This study aims to highlight important marketing strategies within the context of a highly competitive emerging market with few points of difference because of service homogeneity. Drawing upon the social identity and self-expansion theories, this research explores the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and discounts and packages offers (DPO) as determinants of purchase intentions. The understudied mediating role of brand love is investigated in the CSR–purchase intentions and DPO–purchase intentions relationships, with relationship age as a moderating variable for the two relationships.
Data from 359 valid responses from customers of cellular service firms in Pakistan were analyzed using partial least squares-based structural equation modeling.
The findings show that brand love partially (albeit a weaker relationship) mediates the CSR–purchase intentions relationship. Brand love also partially (albeit a stronger relationship) mediates the DPO–purchase intentions relationship. The moderating role of relationship age is not established.
Cellular firms in emerging markets experience high volatility. Therefore, understanding of the volatile behavior alongside devising strategies is of the utmost importance. This research shows that customers continue their business with the firms they love. Interestingly, the non-significance of relationship age as a moderator for both CSR–purchase intentions and DPO–purchase intentions indicates that garnering customers' purchase intentions with respect to relationship age will be very difficult for cellular firms under fierce competition. CSR and DPO should be strategically used to increase brand love to boost purchase intentions.
This study makes two important contributions to the literature of emerging markets. The first contribution of this research is the proposal and validation of brand love as a mediating variable in CSR–purchase intentions and DPO–purchase intentions relationships. Evaluation of the moderating role of relationship age in CSR–purchase intentions and DPO–purchase intentions relationships is the second contribution.
The authors are grateful to the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful and constructive feedback on the earlier versions of this article.
Javed, A. and Khan, Z. (2020), "Marketing strategies for highly volatile emerging markets: an empirical study from Pakistani cellular industry", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOEM-10-2019-0861
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