The aim of this paper is to develop a comprehensive model that combines brand awareness, brand image, brand emotional attachment, brand evaluation and also shows how these constructs affect e-loyalty through the use of travel-related online social network (OSN) websites.
Based on an in-depth literature review, a conceptual e-loyalty model was developed. Empirical data were collected through a web-based questionnaire from 236 respondents. A structural equation modeling was utilized to test the e-loyalty model.
Results indicate that brand awareness positively affects brand image. Brand awareness directly and indirectly influences brand emotional attachment and brand evaluations. The total effects of brand awareness and brand image suggest that higher awareness level and positive image encourage OSN users to be more loyal. In return, this increases the probability that OSN members will repurchase through the OSN websites that they are emotionally connected with. Study results further suggest that there is no difference between the conceptualization of loyalty and the medium used when brands attempt to create consumer loyalty either in the traditional offline medium or the online medium.
Study results suggest that travel-related brands should consider brand emotional attachment and brand evaluation as the most important antecedents to e-loyalty, while e-loyalty results in the increased transaction intentions of online users.
Very few studies have so far looked at the cause-and-effect relationship between brand emotional attachment and brand evaluation, and e-loyalty through the use of travel-related OSN websites. Study results confirm that the conceptualization of loyalty is similar to the conceptualization of e-loyalty.
Received 23 September 2013. Revised 23 September 2013. Accepted 23 September 2013.
Barreda, A., Nusair, K., Okumus, F. and Bilgihan, A. (2013), "Developing a brand structure pyramid model for travel-related online social networks", Tourism Review, Vol. 68 No. 4, pp. 49-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-09-2013-0055
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