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Enhancing customer-brand relationship by leveraging loyalty program experiences that foster customer-brand identification

Minjung Shin (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)
Ki-Joon Back (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)
Choong-Ki Lee (College of Hotel and Tourism Management, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Young-Sub Lee (College of Hotel and Tourism Management, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 24 November 2020

Issue publication date: 11 December 2020

1774

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate ways in which hotel loyalty programs can be designed to enhance customer’s identification with a hotel brand and develop a sustainable customer-brand relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a cross-sectional design survey questionnaire for data collection and used structural equation modeling data analysis to test the conceptual model.

Findings

The three loyalty program experiences proposed (member-to-member similarity, memorable loyalty program experience and loyalty program social benefits) exerted significant positive effects on customer-brand identification (CBI), which, in turn, influences customer-brand relationship elements, including trust, commitment and switching resistance.

Originality/value

This study expands the scope of CBI literature, which previously focused substantially on brand level experiences, by being the first to explore a new set of CBI antecedents with a focus on loyalty program experiences. Furthermore, the current study’s findings delineate specific strategies to uphold the social and experiential aspects of loyalty programs that can develop sustainable customer-brand relationships.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the reviewers for their critical and insightful comments which contributed to the improvement of this paper.

Citation

Shin, M., Back, K.-J., Lee, C.-K. and Lee, Y.-S. (2020), "Enhancing customer-brand relationship by leveraging loyalty program experiences that foster customer-brand identification", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 32 No. 12, pp. 3991-4016. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-06-2020-0550

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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