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Transitioning loyalty programs: A commentary on “the relationship between customer loyalty and customer satisfaction”

John T Bowen (University of Houston)
Shiang-Lih Chen McCain (School of Hospitality Management, Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 13 April 2015




The purpose of this study is to reflect on Bowen and Chen’s study and provide insight for researchers to help them build loyalty models that will fit the consumer behavior of Millennials and managers as they build customer loyalty with Millennials. In 2001, Bowen and Chen developed and implemented a research framework for hotel managers to identify attributes that will increase customer loyalty. Since 2001, a major shift has taken place: demographically, as Baby Boomers retire and pass on, Millennials will become the dominant generational segment.


The authors use a review of literature to accomplish its purpose.


The authors argue that the loyalty models developed for Boomers will not be a good fit for Millennials. Three propositions are presented in the paper to help researchers develop models that will explain the customer loyalty of Millennials.

Research limitations/implications

Implications are presented for researchers wishing to investigate the antecedents and consequences of loyalty for Millennials.

Practical implications

The transition from Boomers to Millennials creates a number of opportunities and challenges for managers, which are discussed in the paper.


There has been a dearth of empirical research on customer loyalty models developed for Millennials. This paper is a commentary on past models developed for Boomers and the transition needed to develop models for Millennials. It is hoped this dialogue will spawn research that develops loyalty models for Millennials.



Bowen, J.T. and Chen McCain, S.-L. (2015), "Transitioning loyalty programs: A commentary on “the relationship between customer loyalty and customer satisfaction”", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 415-430.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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