The purpose of this study is three-fold: first, to examine the extent to which service quality (SQ) affects the three components of emotional brand attachment (EBA) (brand passion, brand affection and self-brand connection); second, to investigate the extent to which these three components influence brand loyalty; and third, to test the mediation effect of the components of EBA on the SQ–loyalty relationship.
Survey data were collected from 355 respondents using an online panel in the UK. Smart PLS2.0 was used to analyze the data.
Three key findings emerge: first, compared to staff behavior, physical environment tends to have a stronger and more significant effect on the three elements of EBA. Second, brand passion and self-brand connection fully mediate the SQ–loyalty relationship, whereas brand affection partially mediates the same relationship. Finally, the SQ–EBA–loyalty relationship is significantly stronger for repeat visitors compared to first-time visitors.
Hotel brands need to design their facilities and décor and develop guest experiences based on symbolic values and deep emotional aspects. Offering employees customer care training and adopting a consumer-centric, relational, storytelling approach are particularly important to inspire and captivate hotels’ customers and to build and shape profound and enduring affective ties between the hotel brand and its customers.
The findings offer new insights through examining the symbolic consumption and emotional aspects of a guest’s hotel experience as mediators to the SQ–loyalty relationship. The findings also add to the growing body of knowledge of the antecedents of EBA through identifying physical environment and staff behavior as key determinants of EBA.
Hemsley-Brown, J. and Alnawas, I. (2016), "Service quality and brand loyalty: The mediation effect of brand passion, brand affection and self-brand connection", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 28 No. 12, pp. 2771-2794. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-09-2015-0466
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