Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Society

The Impact of Relational Value towards Customer Brand Relationship Stickiness in the Context of Malaysian Public Higher Education Service

Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Society

The Impact of Relational Value towards Customer Brand Relationship Stickiness in the Context of Malaysian Public Higher Education Service

Article excerpt

1.INTRODUCTION

In order to strengthen the role of branding in driving organisational survival, few scholars have integrated brand with other prominent marketing concepts such as relationship marketing and customer brand relationship (Blackston & Lebar, 2015; Fournier et al., 2008; Breivik & Thorbjørnsen, 2008). The introduction of such integrated concept is substantial because the establishment of a strong relationship between the customer and the brand is able to provide better value to the organisational structure and capability to compete (Blackston & Lebar, 2015; Hu et al., 2011), and as a better measure of marketing success and business effectiveness (Dowling, 2002; Smit et al., 2007). Shimp and Madden (1988) were the first to propose the concept of the relationship between customers and brand by using the logic extension of the interpersonal relationship metaphor. Subsequently, several marketing scholars extended the effort of Shimp and Madden, such as the relationship metaphor by Aaker (1997), interpersonal metaphor (Fournier, 1998), social norms (Aggarwal, 2004) and customer brand relationship segmentation (Story & Hess, 2006).

However, there is an issue that needs further investigation, such as the determinants of customer brand relationship especially in the context of service. According to past literature, most marketing scholars agreed that customer value is an important determinant of customer response towards a product or services (Oh & Teo, 2010; Sheth, Sethia, & Srinivas, 2011; Vargo & Lusch, 2004; Vargo et al., 2008). This is consistent with the Social Exchange Theory (SET), which posited that customer behaviour is driven by the motivation of an exchange of value or benefits (Zafirovski, 2005). However, in the context of customer brand relationship, previous scholars focused more on utilitarian value or quality (Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry, 1985) and hedonic value or brand equity (Berry, 2000; Chiu et al., 2012; Sharizal & Noijaya, 2012); but studies in the past neglected the relational value in the overall customer value construct that influences customer response towards a brand.

Consideration of relational value as the additional determinant is crucial because according to Eiriz and Wilson (2006) and Brodie, Gylnn and Little (2006), relational value is able to enhance the "stickiness" of the relationship between customer and brand, especially in the service context. On that account, utility and hedonic values have limitations in differentiating how customers perceive and evaluate brands beyond the monetary evaluation. However, the statement highlighted by Eiriz and Wilson (2006) and Brodie et al., (2006), is still lacking of empirical evidence pertaining to the impact of relational value towards the concept of brand relationship stickiness. Therefore, the focus of this study is to investigate the impact of relational value in the overall customer value construct towards customer relationship stickiness with the brand specifically in the context of service.

On the other hand, one of the service categories that received much attention by recent service and branding researchers is the higher learning service (Chapleo, 2011; Wæ raas & Solbakk, 2009). This was owing to the increase number of higher learning services or universities domestically and internationally. As a result, management of universities had to rely on branding in order to differentiate themselves (Hemsley-Brown & Goonawardana, 2007) and this heavy reliance on branding gradually allowed educational learning service to emerge. Educational related learning service is one of the service categories that captures the fundamental function of the service-dominant view in which intangibility, exchange processes and relationships are central (Vargo & Lusch, 2004; Zainuddin et al., 2011).

Efforts investigating branding in the context of higher learning service related to discussion associated with branding policies in general (e. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.