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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1998

Steve Worthington and Suzanne Horne

To enable research to be conducted into the validity of the relationship marketing paradigm, a model has been developed which allows researchers to test the…

Abstract

To enable research to be conducted into the validity of the relationship marketing paradigm, a model has been developed which allows researchers to test the characteristics of the relationship at any point in time. This model is rooted in the biological sciences and is based around the concept of symbiosis. It has been adapted to offer a five part classification of relationships and used during an on‐going research programme into affinity credit card relationships. The results of the research indicate that the majority of the “relationship managers” employed by a sample of charities with affinity credit cards, perceive their relationship with their credit card issuer to be of equal benefit to both organisations, and thus fit the classification of the model. From the comments of the relationship managers in the research interviews there is, however, also evidence of some degrees of some of the other classifications in the proposed model of relationships.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2021

Priya Sharma, Qiyuan Li and Susan M. Land

The growth of online social network sites and their conceptualization as affinity spaces makes them well suited for exploring how individuals share knowledge and practices…

Abstract

Purpose

The growth of online social network sites and their conceptualization as affinity spaces makes them well suited for exploring how individuals share knowledge and practices around specific interests or affinities. The purpose of this study is to extend what is known about highly active/key actors in online affinity spaces, especially the ways in which they sustain and contribute to knowledge sharing.

Design/methodology/approach

This study analyzed 514 discussion posts gathered from an online affinity space on disease management. This study used a variety of methods to answer the research questions: the authors used discourse analyses to examine the conversations in the online affinity space, social network analyses to identify the structure of participation in the space and association rule mining and sentiment analysis to identify co-occurrence of discourse codes and sentiment of the discussions.

Findings

The results indicate that the quality and type of discourse varies considerably between key and other actors. Key actors’ discourse in the network serves to elaborate on and explain ideas and concepts, whereas other actors provide a more supportive role and engage primarily in storytelling.

Originality/value

This work extends what is known about informal mentoring and the role of key actors within affinity spaces by identifying specific discourse types and types of knowledge sharing that are characteristic of key actors. Also, this study provides an example of the use of a combination of rule mining association and sentiment analysis to characterize the nature of the affinity space.

Details

Information and Learning Sciences, vol. 122 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2020

Reza Fazli-Salehi, Ivonne M. Torres, Rozbeh Madadi and Miguel Ángel Zúñiga

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of country affinity, ethnocentrism and product quality judgment on self-brand connection regarding both domestic and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of country affinity, ethnocentrism and product quality judgment on self-brand connection regarding both domestic and foreign brands.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved an online experiment and was conducted using online questionnaires. Sampling was done among undergraduate students of a Southwestern university in the US. The data was analyzed using SEM with PLS.

Findings

The results showed, for foreign brands, consumer self-brand connection increased through the effect of country affinity and product quality judgment. For domestic brands, self-brand connection was influenced by ethnocentrism (and not country affinity or product quality judgment).

Research limitations/implications

This study only focused on one industry (i.e. Television industry), and the authors recommend future studies examine a broader range of industries. Moreover, other country related constructs such as national identity need to be examined in future studies.

Practical implications

Marketers focusing on global branding and international marketing can benefit from the findings of this paper by understanding the routes through which consumers build self-brand connections in foreign vs domestic settings. Additionally, marketers can, more effectively, invest their resources by focusing on the factors that can be influential (i.e. ethnocentrism for domestic brands vs country affinity and product judgment for foreign brands).

Originality/value

This study examines the effect of country affinity, ethnocentrism and product quality judgment for consumers' domestic country as well as a foreign country. Moreover, this study contributes toward the global branding literature by incorporating self-brand connection as a behavioral outcome.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2000

Suzanne Horne, Pete Naudé and Steve Worthington

Aims to expand the traditional view of marketing to include a wider network of actors, all of which have a role to play in executing transactions. Measurement has…

Abstract

Aims to expand the traditional view of marketing to include a wider network of actors, all of which have a role to play in executing transactions. Measurement has traditionally been a stumbling‐block: while the importance of actors other than those forming the traditional dyad is accepted, it has not been easy to determine empirically what it is that the different partners want from the relationship. In this paper we present a possible way forward. The preliminary work presented here is based on the affinity credit card market which has three clear partners in a triad: the bank, the affinity group itself, and the customers that elect to make use of the card. We present some early results that indicate the extent to which these three partners do, and do not, have an overlapping understanding of each other’s needs.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Hong Tian and Haixia Yuan

The purposes of this study are to demonstrate the conditional effect of functional fit and image fit on consumer brand attitude through the altruistic attributions and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purposes of this study are to demonstrate the conditional effect of functional fit and image fit on consumer brand attitude through the altruistic attributions and identify the criteria for choosing a perfect social cause for managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the existing research, a conceptual model is proposed, explained the moderating effect of social cause affinity on the indirect influence of functional fit and image fit on consumer brand attitude via altruistic attributions; these relationships were assessed through a bootstrap procedure. The model was estimated with a sample of 240 subjects. Two newly created, printed corporate social responsibility (CSR) information served as the basic stimulus of this article.

Findings

The main conclusions are as follows: first, social cause affinity moderates the effect of functional fit and image fit on altruistic attributions, and the combination of image fit and social cause affinity both on high levels can more easily lead to the emergence of suspicion of company's altruistic motives, contrary to functional fit. Second, contingent on social cause affinity, CSR fit has an indirect relationship with consumer brand attitude mediated by altruistic attribution. More specifically, the indirect effect will be more positive for functional fit with higher levels of social cause affinity, but for image fit with low levels of affinity.

Research limitations/implications

The experiment relied on fictitious corporate name. Most of the responders were students from Changchun. This may reduce the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

Besides functional fit and image fit, social cause affinity should be treated as a key criterion to choose social cause.

Originality/value

This work analyses and compares the indirect effect of functional fit and image fit on consumer brand attitude through altruistic attributions. The findings give some enlightenment on solutions to contradictions in existing research.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1992

Steve Worthington and Suzanne Horne

Examines the history and economics of the credit card beforedescribing the origins of the affinity card concept both in the USA andthe UK. Explores different strategies of…

Abstract

Examines the history and economics of the credit card before describing the origins of the affinity card concept both in the USA and the UK. Explores different strategies of some major UK affinity card issuers and the aspirations of the affinity groups with whom a mutually beneficial relationship is sought. Successful affinity cards occur where the expectations of the card issuer are met by the aspirations of the affinity group and examples are used to illustrate a good and bad “fit”. Considers the current pressures on affinity cards and offers some thoughts on the need for a mutual understanding of the aspirations of both issuer and affinity group.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 10 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2008

Aster Mekonnen, Fiona Harris and Angus Laing

Cause‐related and affinity marketing are based on the assumption that linking a commercial organisation's product with a non‐profit organisation enhances the product's…

Abstract

Purpose

Cause‐related and affinity marketing are based on the assumption that linking a commercial organisation's product with a non‐profit organisation enhances the product's appeal and provides differentiation from rival offers. The purpose of this paper is to examine the efficacy of this premise.

Design/methodology/approach

In‐depth qualitative research was conducted to explore the construction of consumer value in affinity credit cards, followed by large‐scale quantitative research to assess the prevalence of the perceptions and behaviour patterns identified.

Findings

Linked products offer a range of individual and group benefits, both functional and symbolic. However, the value placed on these benefit categories varied according to the type of affinity group.

Research limitations/implications

Whilst encompassing a wide range of affinity categories, all of the affinity credit cards were issued by one financial services organisation. Variation is therefore possible between the benefits offered by other financial services organisations operating affinity schemes.

Practical implications

The findings demonstrate the need to identify the value perceived by different groups of consumers of affinity products and to tailor affinity products to the type of affinity organisation with which they are linked.

Originality/value

A key strength is the research's access to card holders from a wide spectrum of affinity categories. This has proved elusive in prior research. The paper challenges the assumption that linking a product to a non‐profit organisation enhances its appeal and provides a basis for differentiation. The efficacy of this premise depends on the type of cause or affinity group, with the value placed on benefit categories varying accordingly.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 42 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1995

Steve Worthington and Suzanne Horne

The credit card industry in the UK has a growing number of affinitycards, some of which are specifically aimed at the alumni ofuniversities. Discusses the evolution of the…

Abstract

The credit card industry in the UK has a growing number of affinity cards, some of which are specifically aimed at the alumni of universities. Discusses the evolution of the relationship between the university alumni officers and the credit card issuers responsible for the alumni affinity cards. Bases the research on a five‐phase model of relationship formation and describes how the alumni officers perceive their relationship with their affinity card issuers through the phases of awareness, exploration, expansion, commitment and dissolution. Concludes that the entry of the affinity card issuer potentially dilutes the strength of the relationship between the alumni and their university, as the card issuer seeks to build a direct relationship with the alumni affinity cardholders. Alumni officers and others responsible for initiating affinity credit card agreements, therefore, need to be aware of both the benefits and costs of establishing and maintaining relationships with affinity credit card issuers.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2001

Steve Worthington

Describes the importance of plastic payment cards at the point of sale (POS) and the evolution of the credit card in general and affinity cards in particular. Suggests…

Abstract

Describes the importance of plastic payment cards at the point of sale (POS) and the evolution of the credit card in general and affinity cards in particular. Suggests reasons for both the growth of plastic card payments (the cashless society) and the threats to affinity cards (the interchange fee). Places the affinity credit card within the paradigm of relationship marketing and emphasises the triadic nature of these relationships. Discusses the development of the research into affinity credit cards and the issues of branding and trust that impact upon the triadic relationships. Explores the potential for affinity marketing and reports on research into trust and ethics which is relevant to this concept. Places affinity marketing within the retail arena and finally draws conclusions on the future for payments at the POS, relationships operationalised via plastic cards and triadic affinities.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 29 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Henry K.Y. Fock, Ka‐shing Woo and Michael K. Hui

This study investigates the synergetic impact of joint marketing collaboration between a bank and an affinity organisation on their affinity credit card holders'…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the synergetic impact of joint marketing collaboration between a bank and an affinity organisation on their affinity credit card holders' behaviours. Seeks to identify the sources of the influence of the alliance partners which induce changes in the attitude and behaviour of cardholders.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model was developed to reveal the impact of perceived card benefits, affective customer loyalty toward the bank, affective customer loyalty toward the affinity organisation, and perceived prestige of affinity organisation, on the card usage behaviours of customers. Survey data were obtained from 162 students who were holders of a university affinity credit card in Hong Kong.

Findings

Findings indicated two routes of influence that affect the intention and behaviours of affinity credit cardholders. The two routes were complementary rather than competitive in a symbiotic collaboration. The first is a cognitive route. It shows that a cardholder's attitude formation is strongly influenced by the cognitive evaluation of card benefits instead of by affective loyalty toward the bank or toward the affinity organisation. The second route is an emotional route of influence. It originates from the perceived prestige of the affinity organisation to cardholders' intention and usage behaviours.

Originality/value

The impact of the symbiotic collaboration on customer behaviours is an important question which has yet to be answered in the literature of strategic alliances. To the best of one's knowledge, this is a pioneering empirical study addressing this research issue.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 39 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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