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Book part
Publication date: 2 May 2015

Sankar Sen, Allison R. Johnson, C. B. Bhattacharya and Juan Wang

We examine two conceptualizations of consumer-brand relationships: identification, as identity-based relationships between a consumer and a brand, and the related…

Abstract

Purpose

We examine two conceptualizations of consumer-brand relationships: identification, as identity-based relationships between a consumer and a brand, and the related construct of attachment as a bond based on security and personal history with the brand.

Methodology

Predictions emanating from the two constructs’ disparate theoretical traditions regarding the relative antecedents and outcomes of these brand relationship constructs are tested in a survey of real consumer-brand relationships, where the two are likely to co-occur.

Findings

Identification is more socially motivated, wherein the brand is used for “identity building” and impression management, such as through public endorsement. In contrast, attachment is more personally motivated; it is more likely to be founded on an intimate history with the brand and feelings of security inspired by the brand.

Implications

This is the first work in marketing to explicitly compare identification with attachment in contexts where they co-occur. In doing so, it underscores the validity and usefulness of these two related but distinct relationship constructs.

Details

Brand Meaning Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-932-5

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Article
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Kimberley D. Preiksaitis and Peter A. Dacin

This study aims to examine how brands attempt to extend their customer set not through the typical route of adding brands, but through the strategic extension or…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how brands attempt to extend their customer set not through the typical route of adding brands, but through the strategic extension or enlargement of their target customer set. Building on theories from both reference group perceptions and brand identification, this research explores the impact of strategic customer extensions on current target market consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

Two scenario-based experiments explore strategic customer extensions for a packaged goods brand and a well-known retail brand. The analysis involves both analysis of variance and SEM methods.

Findings

Current target market consumers’ evaluations of strategic customer extensions are informed by reference group perceptions relating to the proposed customer extension. When current target market consumers perceive strategic customer extensions as potentially attracting a dissociative reference group, consumers have weaker evaluations and brand identification measures and, subsequently, weaker future intentions towards the brand.

Originality/value

The brand identification literature is augmented by incorporating theories from the reference group literature to demonstrate how to reference group perceptions drive a current target market consumers’ evaluations of strategic customer extensions to affect the strength of the identification that current target market consumers have with a brand. Brand identification is also demonstrated as mediator customer evaluations and subsequent intentions towards the brand.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Na Xiao and Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee

This paper aims to introduce brand identity (BI) fit as an important factor that influences co-branding success. Based on motivated reasoning theory, the authors propose…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce brand identity (BI) fit as an important factor that influences co-branding success. Based on motivated reasoning theory, the authors propose consumer-brand (C-B) identification moderates the effect of BI fit on co-branding attitudes. In addition, they investigate the role of consumer coping and perceived BI fit on consumers’ attitude toward co-branding.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experiments were conducted to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

Study 1 results reveal that when C-B identification is low, consumers’ co-branding evaluations and the loyalty of the focal brand are higher in the low BI fit condition than those in the high BI fit condition. When C-B identification is high, such effects are not observed. Study 2 results reveal that when the BI fit is low, decoupling is more effective than biased assimilation at defending the positive evaluations of the focal brand.

Research limitations/implications

First, while the authors focus particularly on BI fit, it may be fruitful for marketers to combine BI fit with other types of fit such as functional dimension fit and product category fit. For example, while the results suggest marketers should co-brand with low BI fit pairs when targeting at low C-B identification consumers, this recommendation should be taken in conjunction with how consumers respond to other co-branding fit strategies. Second, the authors encourage future researchers to explore deeper into the consumer coping in other contexts. As these elements are critical to consumers’ attitudes, it will be beneficial to see how decoupling or biased assimilation strategies differ in other co-branding fit contexts.

Practical implications

The authors advise marketers to consider both the level of BI fit and the level of C-B identification when looking for a co-brand partner. When targeting low C-B identification consumers, it is better for marketers to find a co-branding partner with a low BI fit than high BI fit. This is a counterintuitive finding given that higher fit (e.g. product category fit and brand image fit) is often associated with positive evaluations. For high C-B identification consumers, BI fit does not adversely affect consumer attitudes (and loyalty). Thus, these consumers are safer targets for marketers in terms of maintaining attitudes. Second, the authors find that when perceived BI fit is low, decoupling strategy is more effective than biased assimilation strategy at defending the positive evaluations of the focal brand. However, when perceived BI fit is high, the two coping strategies have little difference in influencing co-branding attitudes. Thus, the authors advise marketers to encourage their consumers to cope using a decoupling strategy to garner higher attitudes.

Originality/value

The authors introduce BI fit as an important abstract dimension of brand image fit when facing co-branding decisions. Overall, our results demonstrate C-B identification moderates the effects of BI fit on co-branding attitudes. Counter-intuitively, the results suggest that low BI fit co-branding can also generate higher attitudes depending on consumers’ level of brand identification. Moreover, marketers must also be wary of how consumers cope with co-branding, as coping explains the underlying mechanism of how consumers deal with high or low perceived BI fit. Specifically, our findings suggest that consumer coping moderates the relationship between perceived BI fit and co-branding attitudes.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 48 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Urška Tuškej and Klement Podnar

This paper aims to examine relationships between consumer-brand identification (CBI), brand prestige (BP), brand anthropomorphism (BA) and consumers’ active engagement in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine relationships between consumer-brand identification (CBI), brand prestige (BP), brand anthropomorphism (BA) and consumers’ active engagement in brand activities on social media in corporate brand settings.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collected with an online survey on a sample randomly drawn from an online panel of consumers were used to test the proposed theoretical model.

Findings

Anthropomorphism and prestige of corporate brands were found to positively influence consumer-brand identification. Also, CBI positively affects consumers’ active engagement and fully mediates the effect of BP and BA on consumers-brand engagement (CBE) with corporate brands.

Research limitations/implications

Further research in other markets and on a broader set of corporate brands would additionally validate results and enable comparisons of impacts among different brand categories. The data were gathered in one country, so further research in other markets would additionally validate results of this study.

Practical implications

Chief executives responsible for corporate brand management are provided with some insights on how appropriate corporate brand identity management can strengthen CBI and stimulate CBE on social media.

Originality/value

This paper provides some novel insights into the research on consumer-brand identification. It is the first study (to the authors’ knowledge) that empirically supports the positive influence of brand anthropomorphism on CBI in corporate brand settings. It also contributes to the clarification of previously inconsistent results of the influence of BP on CBI. By showing that consumersidentification with a corporate brand plays a vital role in increasing consumers’ active engagement on social media, the study contributes to the relatively sparse body of research on CBE.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Manuela López, María Sicilia and Alberto Alejandro Moyeda-Carabaza

Companies are now using social network sites (SNSs) within their marketing and brand-building activities. Twitter is the preferred SNS for creating brand communities…

Abstract

Purpose

Companies are now using social network sites (SNSs) within their marketing and brand-building activities. Twitter is the preferred SNS for creating brand communities, which offer companies many advantages. The purpose of this paper is to examine how individuals manage their competing needs for being affiliated (operationalized as personal and communal-brand connections) and for being seen as distinctive (operationalized as need for uniqueness (NFU)) when they are members of brand communities on Twitter. The authors have also analysed which type of brand community is able to achieve the balance between both needs, enhancing identification with the brand community.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 318 valid responses were collected from three camera brand communities on Twitter. Messages (“tweets”) which included a link to an online questionnaire were sent to community members via Twitter. The authors examine the proposed model using structural equation modelling.

Findings

The authors demonstrate that consumers can satisfy their need for affiliation in brand communities created in Twitter. However, consumers can only reach a balance between the need for affiliation and the need for distinctiveness in brand communities built around niche brands. In contrast, the two needs work in opposition to shape identification in brand communities of big brands.

Originality/value

Optimal distinctiveness theory is used as a theoretical background for proposing how the antecedents of identification with the brand community enhance brand loyalty, with reference to the conflict between the individual’s needs for both distinctiveness and affiliation. Consumersidentification with the brand community is proposed as a mediator to achieve brand loyalty in brand communities. Consumers reach this balance in brand communities built around a niche brand, where individuals with high NFU feel a high identification with the brand community. For big brands, as consumers’ NFU increases, their identification with the brand community and brand loyalty decreases.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2016

Mobin Fatma, Imran Khan and Zillur Rahman

The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of two types of corporate associations – corporate ability (CA) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) – on…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of two types of corporate associations – corporate ability (CA) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) – on consumer brand loyalty in retail banks in India.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey on 489 banking consumers was carried out. To achieve research objectives, test hypotheses and analyze data, structural equation modeling was used.

Findings

The findings show that CA and CSR associations were found to have positive and indirect influences on consumer brand loyalty through brand identifications. This indicates that the process of corporate association transforming into loyalty is much more complicated, and there are other factors influencing this process, making brand identification necessary for achieving customer brand loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

The results presented in this study have important managerial implications for banking companies in India. The findings demonstrate the importance of CA and CSR associations in the present business scenario and highlight the need to successfully implement them in management policies.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing body of literature by highlighting the influence of brand identification on brand loyalty through affective commitment and satisfaction.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 25 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2020

Junyun Liao, Xuebing Dong, Ziwei Luo and Rui Guo

Oppositional loyalty toward rival brands is prevalent. Although its antecedents have increasingly received scholarly attention, the literature is rather disparate. Based…

Abstract

Purpose

Oppositional loyalty toward rival brands is prevalent. Although its antecedents have increasingly received scholarly attention, the literature is rather disparate. Based on identity theory, this study aims to propose that oppositional loyalty is a brand identity-driven outcome and provides a unified framework for understanding the formation and activation of brand identity in influencing oppositional loyalty.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modeling was used to test the theoretical framework based on an online survey of 329 brand community members. Multigroup analysis was used to test the moderating effect of inter-consumer brand rivalry and brand community engagement.

Findings

The results show that self-brand similarity, brand prestige and brand uniqueness lead to consumersbrand identity (i.e. consumer-brand identification), which, in turn, facilitates oppositional loyalty. Furthermore, the results indicate that inter-consumer brand rivalry and brand community engagement are identity-salient situations that strengthen the relationship between consumer-brand identification and oppositional loyalty.

Practical implications

Identity has great power in shaping consumer behaviors. Fostering consumer-brand identification is critical for firms to prevent consumers from switching to competing brands. Inter-consumer brand rivalry and brand community engagement can help firms consolidate their customer base by evoking consumersbrand identity.

Originality/value

This investigation makes theoretical contributions by providing a unified theoretical framework to model the development of oppositional loyalty based on identity theory.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2020

Van Thac Dang, Ninh Nguyen and Jianming Wang

Anchored on social trust theory, social identity theory and signalling theory, this study investigates the process of how consumers respond to online retailers' corporate…

Abstract

Purpose

Anchored on social trust theory, social identity theory and signalling theory, this study investigates the process of how consumers respond to online retailers' corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Design/methodology/approach

Following the hypo-deductive research design, a unique model was developed to link online retailers' CSR with consumer purchase intention through brand identification and word of mouth (WOM). This model was subsequently tested and validated by conducting an online survey to 239 customers of a major online retailer in China, that is, JD.com.

Findings

Analysis using structural equation modelling demonstrates that online retailers' CSR is positively associated with consumer purchase intention, and brand identification positively mediates such an association. In addition, WOM exhibits a mediating effect on the relationship between perceived online retailers' CSR and consumer purchase intention and between brand identification and consumer purchase intention.

Practical implications

Online retailers must endeavour to employ CSR as a strategy to enhance consumer purchase intention and behaviour. Moreover, they should develop communication programmes that highlight their engagement in CSR activities to improve their brand image and facilitate consumers' positive WOM.

Originality/value

To the best of the researchers' knowledge, this study is the first to examine the mediating roles of brand identification and WOM in the relationship between online retailers' CSR and customer purchase intention. Furthermore, this study extends current knowledge about online retailers' CSR and its potential impact in emerging economies by focussing on the context of China.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 48 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 22 November 2018

Li-Chun Hsu

Many enterprises recognize that social media is a valuable source of information propagation for brands. Using the self-congruity and social identity theories as…

Abstract

Purpose

Many enterprises recognize that social media is a valuable source of information propagation for brands. Using the self-congruity and social identity theories as theoretical bases, the purpose of this paper is to develop an integrated conceptual model and explore the effects of brand-evangelism-related behavioral decisions of enterprises on virtual community members.

Design/methodology/approach

This study targeted community members who had purchased a specific cosmetic brand’s products and had been members of an official brand fan page for at least one year. Using a survey of 488 valid samples and structural equation modeling was used to conduct path analyses.

Findings

The results indicated that seven hypothetical paths were supported and exhibited desirable goodness of fit. Value congruity can be used to explain effects of dual identification on various relationships. Relationships among variables of brand evangelism are not independent. Specifically, the effect of brand purchase intentions on positive brand referrals is higher than that on oppositional brand referrals.

Practical implications

The findings can help brand community managers to adopt innovative and effective strategies to gain community members’ identification and maintain a desirable relationship between business and community members. In addition, this study should help marketers to increase the opportunity of maximizing the brand evangelism effect.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the understanding for multiple perspectives of value congruity and adopts the extension viewpoint to understand community members not only have brand value and self-congruity problems but also have community membership goals and values related to the fit problem.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 2 July 2018

Urška Tuškej and Klement Podnar

The purpose of this paper is to examine how brand anthropomorphism (BA), consumerbrand engagement (CBE), consumer skepticism and brand prestige influence consumerbrand

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how brand anthropomorphism (BA), consumerbrand engagement (CBE), consumer skepticism and brand prestige influence consumerbrand identification (CBI).

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed theoretical model is tested using structural equation modelling approach on the data gathered from 464 consumers.

Findings

The paper shows that being more engaged in consumerbrand interactions and perceiving a brand as more humanlike and prestigious increases consumer’s identification with product brands. On the other hand, consumer skepticism towards advertising only slightly decreases their identification. CBI is shown to have a strong positive influence on brand loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

The study restricts itself to those brands that consumers know well and are somehow close to them. It might prove worthwhile to replicate the study to broaden the inferences beyond the criteria used in this study.

Practical implications

To strengthen consumersidentification with their brands, organisations should maintain a focus on interactions with their target consumers. Specifically, companies should expose their human-like character and engage consumers in company’s offerings. Also, companies should take care for keeping their competitive edge to be perceived as more prestigious than the competition.

Originality/value

While previous papers studying drivers of CBI focused mainly on brand associations that help satisfy one of consumer’s self-definitional need, this paper aims to define the drivers of CBI by examining the origins of consumer’s interactions with brands. The paper proposes CBE and BA as two vital antecedents of CBI.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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