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Loyalty layers, expectations and the role of knowledge

Sara Quach (Department of Marketing, Griffith University–Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia)
Park Thaichon (Department of Marketing, Griffith University, Southport, Australia)
Robin E. Roberts (Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University, Southport, Australia)
Scott Weaven (Department of Marketing, Griffith University–Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 2 September 2020

Issue publication date: 13 April 2021




Adopting exchange theory and social orientation of loyalty, this research investigates the antecedents of customer loyalty consisting of (1) loyalty layers (i.e. personal loyalty, relationship with consumption communities and local network effects) and (2) loyalty expectations (i.e. service quality, reciprocity and firm innovativeness) and how these relationships are moderated by customer knowledge.


The data were collected from 4,208 customers in the mobile services industry using mall intercept technique.


The findings reveal that loyalty layers, including personal loyalty and relationship with consumption communities, can influence customers' expectations of service providers. The degree to which the firm is able to handle and meet customers' expectations over time would result in the strength of customer loyalty. Customer expectations also mediate the relationships between different loyalty layers and customer loyalty. In addition, customer knowledge significantly moderates the effects of loyalty layers and expectations on both attitudinal loyalty and behavioural loyalty.


The study extends the current body of knowledge by incorporating a sociological perspective to examine the relationships between loyalty layers and customer expectations and customer loyalty. This research enables service operators to establish strategies to sustain customer loyalty across different customer segments with various levels of knowledge.



Quach, S., Thaichon, P., Roberts, R.E. and Weaven, S. (2021), "Loyalty layers, expectations and the role of knowledge", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 377-393.



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