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Antecedents and outcomes of brand love: utilitarian and symbolic brand qualities

Cristela Maia Bairrada (Faculty of Economics and Centre for Business and Economics Research, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal)
Filipe Coelho (Faculty of Economics and Centre for Business and Economics Research, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal)
Arnaldo Coelho (Faculty of Economics and Centre for Business and Economics Research, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 2 February 2018

Issue publication date: 29 March 2018

6027

Abstract

Purpose

Brand love is associated with consumer behaviours that are key for organisational performance. However, research on the antecedents of brand love is sparse. The current research draws on the information processing model as well as on the experiential approaches to consumer behaviour to develop a model comprising a novel set of antecedents.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the research hypotheses, we resort to two samples, which implied the collection of usable 1,018 questionnaires. For hypotheses testing, we resort to structural equation modelling.

Findings

Both functional constructs as well as more symbolic/emotional ones are positively associated with brand love. In addition, constructs with a more functional nature tend to have an indirect effect on brand love, whereas constructs with a higher level of abstraction tend to mediate the effects of more specific brand qualities. Finally, brand love is related with important outcomes, including loyalty, word of mouth and willingness to pay a premium price.

Research/limitations implications

This research has a cross-sectional nature. Moreover, we rely on a single informant, but the procedural remedies as well as the statistical tests we conducted suggest that common method variance is not a concern.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that managers should emphasise both functional as well as emotional/symbolic aspects to strengthen the links between brands and consumers, which will be beneficial for both sides.

Originality/value

This study is the first to investigate the relationship between a number of symbolic and functional brand aspects and the development of brand love feelings.

Keywords

Citation

Bairrada, C.M., Coelho, F. and Coelho, A. (2018), "Antecedents and outcomes of brand love: utilitarian and symbolic brand qualities", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 52 No. 3/4, pp. 656-682. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-02-2016-0081

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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