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Style before substance? Building loyalty through marketing communication congruity

Orie Berezan (College of Business Administration and Public Policy, California State University, Carson, California, USA)
Anjala Selena Krishen (Department of Marketing, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Sarah Tanford (William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Carola Raab (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 11 July 2017




Because communication channels are inherently unique, they may differentially affect customers depending on their preferred communication style. Therefore, the information that firms provide might not have the intended effect, which is to increase program loyalty. The purpose of the current study is to present a marketing communication model that focuses on promoting program loyalty via self-congruity with the communication style of information channels.


The study introduces a self-congruity theory-based structural equation model, which is validated through an online sample of 575 respondents. The model begins with communication style and investigates its impact on satisfaction and loyalty in relation to hotel loyalty program members.


The model confirms that different forms of communication have varying levels of relevance to program loyalty. Communication style, information quality, self-congruity and satisfaction are all significant predictors of program loyalty.

Practical implications

Management can cultivate a community of loyal program members through the recognition of self-image congruence and its relationship with communication style, along with a solid understanding of target markets.


Despite the apparent influence that communication has on loyalty, very little research evaluates the typologies (firm-created and customer-created), dimensions (electronic and in-person) and attributes of information in terms of their effects on program loyalty.



Berezan, O., Krishen, A.S., Tanford, S. and Raab, C. (2017), "Style before substance? Building loyalty through marketing communication congruity", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 51 No. 7/8, pp. 1332-1352.



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