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Trust‐based commitment: multidimensional consumer‐brand relationships

Jeff Hess (Harris Interactive, Inc., Coto De Caza, California, USA)
John Story (Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 1 October 2005




To propose and test a multi‐dimensional model of relationship commitment defined by personal and functional connections which are, in turn, driven by trust and satisfaction.


A model is proposed to define relationship constructs better within marketing practice and to evaluate the relationships between these constructs. Structural equation modeling was employed to validate the model using data from two case studies.


Satisfaction is antecedent to trust, but primarily contributes to functional connections. Personal connections, on the other hand, stem from trust. The relative strengths of personal and functional connections determine the nature and outcomes of relationship commitment. This trust‐based model is statistically superior to previous models and explains customer‐brand relationships much more extensively.

Research limitations/implications

The primary limitation of this research is that it explores only two product/service categories, potentially limiting the generalizability to other domains.

Practical implications

These results have extensive implications for brand building, establishing customer relationships, and incorporating relationships into brand strategies.


These results improve our understanding of customers' relationships with brands and provide managers with guidance on developing, nurturing, and utilizing these relationships.



Hess, J. and Story, J. (2005), "Trust‐based commitment: multidimensional consumer‐brand relationships", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 313-322.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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