Exploring consumer‐brand relationship quality and identification

Erifili Papista (Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)
Sergios Dimitriadis (Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Publication date: 13 January 2012



The purpose of this paper is to examine alternative constructs that are used in parallel to describe the strength of consumer‐brand relationships. First, the two main conceptualisations of relationship quality (RQ), as developed by relationship marketing and branding literature, are analysed to highlight their common elements. Then, the recently applied in branding context concept of consumer‐brand identification (CBI) is analysed, and issues regarding its nature and link to RQ are raised.


The paper draws upon existing literature on the streams of branding and relationship marketing, to propose a conceptualisation of consumer‐brand RQ and examine the link of CBI to RQ. To investigate the research questions, an exploratory qualitative paper is undertaken involving four focus groups with consumers who have developed relationships with cosmetic brands.


Responses provide evidence for the concepts of satisfaction, trust, commitment, intimacy and love in describing consumer‐brand RQ. CBI emerges as a distinct construct of cognitive nature. Furthermore, RQ appears to be differentiated according to consumer age.

Research limitations/implications

This research enables commencement of empirical examination of the link between RQ and CBI and the relative role of age into building strong relationships with brands.


The paper bridges two different research streams, relationship marketing and branding, into conceptualising consumer‐brand RQ. Furthermore, the paper is a first attempt to explore the role of CBI in relation to the construct of RQ, thus fulfilling an identified gap in the literature regarding the link of those constructs.



Papista, E. and Dimitriadis, S. (2012), "Exploring consumer‐brand relationship quality and identification", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 33-56. https://doi.org/10.1108/13522751211191982

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