The role of other customer effect in corporate marketing

Elif Karaosmanoğlu (Management Engineering Department, Faculty of Management, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Ayşe Banu Elmadağ Baş (Management Engineering Department, Faculty of Management, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Jingyun (Kay) Zhang (College of Business Administration, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 20 September 2011



By drawing on theories of social identity, attraction, social comparison and consumer identification, this research seeks to examine how consumers' perceptions of other customers of an organisation (the other customer effect) may have an influence on corporate image and consumer‐company identification. This study aims to test a model integrating these constructs in two contexts, i.e. products and services. It also seeks to investigate the attitudinal and behavioural consequences of a favourable corporate image in order to provide more insights to the argument that a corporate marketing approach helps to enhance marketing performance.


A survey of a convenience sample of 383 adult consumers is conducted. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) is employed in order to test the proposed model. An alternative model is examined both in products and in services contexts.


The results indicate that perceptions about other customers influence customers' affective and behavioural reactions towards a company for both products and services. This finding suggests that corporate‐level marketing activities aiming to increase interaction among consumers lead to favourable corporate image and higher consumer‐company identification and hence desirable marketing outcomes. Furthermore, results show that for services the other customer effect is more prominent than for product offerings.


This study extends the concept of other customer effect to the context of corporate image and consumer‐company identification studies. It provides evidence that shifting towards corporate‐level marketing gives organisations another avenue for gaining a distinct position in the minds of consumers. Furthermore, by addressing both service and product contexts, it shows that other customer effect may exist beyond services studies.



Karaosmanoğlu, E., Banu Elmadağ Baş, A. and Zhang, J. (2011), "The role of other customer effect in corporate marketing", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 45 No. 9/10, pp. 1416-1445.

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