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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2019

Apostolos Giovanis, Pinelopi Athanasopoulou, Costas Assimakopoulos and Christos Sarmaniotis

The purpose of this paper is to investigate which of four well-established theoretical models (i.e. technology acceptance model, theory of planned behavior, unified theory…

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1590

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate which of four well-established theoretical models (i.e. technology acceptance model, theory of planned behavior, unified theory of acceptance and use of technology, decomposed theory of planned behavior (DTPB)) best explains potential users’ behavioral intentions to adopt mobile banking (MB) services.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on data from 931 potential users in Greece, the structural equation modeling method was used to examine and compare the four models in goodness-of-fit, explanatory power and statistical significance of path coefficients.

Findings

Results indicate that the best model is an extension of the DTPB with perceived risk (PR). Customers’ attitude, determined by three rationally-evaluated MB attributes (usefulness, easiness and compatibility), is the main driver of consumers’ intentions to adopt MB services. Additionally, consumers’ perceptions of availability of knowledge, resources and opportunities necessary for using the service, and the pressure of interpersonal and external social contexts toward the use of MB are the other two, less important, adoption drivers. Finally, PR negatively affects attitude formation and inhibits willingness to use MB services.

Practical implications

Findings can help marketers of financial institutions to select the more parsimonious model to develop appropriate marketing strategies to increase adoption rates of MB services.

Originality/value

This is the first study that compares the performance of four well-known innovation adoption models to explain consumers’ behavior in the MB context.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 November 2018

Apostolos Giovanis and Pinelopi Athanasopoulou

The purpose of this study is to develop and empirically test a lovemark measure that can be used to identify how brands of wireless-enabled computing devices are…

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8192

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop and empirically test a lovemark measure that can be used to identify how brands of wireless-enabled computing devices are classified based on customers’ respect and love toward them.

Design/methodology/approach

On evidence drawn from 1,016 consumers of wireless-enabled computing devices (e.g. netbooks and tablets) in Greece, partial least squares method is used to test the validity of the proposed hierarchical model.

Findings

Results show that a lovemark measure can be conceptualized as a third-order reflective construct having respect and love as its second-order dimensions. In turn, respect reflects on brand performance, trust and reputation, and love reflects on brand commitment, intimacy and passion. The proposed measure presents a very good external validity as it can explain big portions of variance in consumer responses including repurchase intentions, positive WOM and willingness to pay a price premium. Finally, the proposed measure is used to classify eight well-known devices as products, fads, brands and lovemarks and identify the love styles associated with brand relationships.

Originality/value

This paper provides empirical evidence for measuring and identifying lovemarks using a hierarchical model, which can be further used to develop a more effective strategy for managing the functional and emotional aspects of brands to strengthen consumer-brand relationships.

Propósito

El objetivo de este estudio es el desarrollo metodológico y validación empírica de una escala para clasificar las marcas de productos tecnológicos en base a las dos dimensiones que caracterizan a las marcas Lovemark: el respecto y amor.

Diseño/metodología/enfoque

Con una base de datos recogidos de una muestra de 1.106 consumidores de productos tecnológicos (e.g., tablets y portátiles pequeños) en Grecia, se usa PLS para testar la validez del modelo jerárquico propuesto.

Resultados

Los resultados ponen de manifiesto que el concepto Lovemark puede ser conceptualizado como un constructo reflectivo de tres dimensiones siendo el respeto y el amor hacia la marca las dimensiones de segundo orden. A su vez, el respeto hacia la marca refleja el desempeño, la confianza y reputación de la marca mientras que el amor queda reflejado en conceptos tales como el compromiso, la intimidad y la pasión. La medida propuesta presenta una aceptable validez externa pues es capaz de explicar mayor porcentaje de la varianza de las intenciones de compra, la comunicación boca-oreja positiva y la disposición a pagar un mayor precio por la marca. Finalmente, se demuestra la utilidad de la medida propuesta para clasificar ocho marcas conocidas según los niveles de amor y respeto que los consumidores manifiestan hacia las mismas así como identificar los estilos de amor asociados a la relación que los consumidores mantienen con estas marcas.

Originalidad/valor

Este trabajo ofrece evidencias empíricas para medir e identificar las Lovemark usando un modelo jeráquico que puede ser utilizado posteriormente para desarrollar una estrategia más efectiva en la gestión de los aspectos funcionales y emocionales de las marcas como medio para fortalecer las relaciones marca-consumidor.

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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2017

Apostolos Giovanis and Pinelopi Athanasopoulou

In emerging devices (smartphones, tablets, and notebooks) markets, increasing brand loyalty is critical for suppliers. Generation Y (Gen Y) is the first global target…

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2416

Abstract

Purpose

In emerging devices (smartphones, tablets, and notebooks) markets, increasing brand loyalty is critical for suppliers. Generation Y (Gen Y) is the first global target group and the best customer segment for emerging devices. The purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework that assesses the brand value of emerging devices as perceived by Gen Y-ers, identify the components that contribute to its formulation, and investigate its relative influence on the development of brand relationships, represented by satisfaction and brand trust, and on brand loyalty.

Design/methodology/approach

A mall-intercept survey of a sample of 1,109 Gen Y consumers was implemented using a structured questionnaire with established scales. Data were analyzed with PLS-PM, a SEM methodology.

Findings

Results show that brand satisfaction and reliability are the main drivers of Gen Y-ers’ brand loyalty followed by brand intentions, while both trust dimensions (reliability and intentions) and satisfaction partially mediate the relationship between brand value and brand loyalty. Brand value is also directly related to brand loyalty irrespective of consumer-brand relationship quality. Also, functional value-quality and emotional value are shown to be the most important components for brand value formulation followed by functional value-price and brand reputation (BRP) whereas symbolic value is the least important.

Research limitations/implications

The sample is country specific and this may affect generalizability of findings. Also, the cross-sectional design adopted does not reflect temporal changes.

Practical implications

Emerging devices should provide customers both functional (e.g. advanced features, attractive style, quality, durability) and emotional (entertainment, communication) benefits in order to increase brand loyalty. Furthermore, firms should manage their BRP since it can affect significantly brand value, customer-brand relationship quality, and brand loyalty.

Originality/value

The model developed provides a useful guideline for marketers in identifying the most important brand benefits for Gen Y-ers for developing relationships and stay loyal to a brand.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2013

Pinelopi Athanasopoulou, Dora Kalogeropoulou and John Douvis

The purpose of this study is to identify the antecedents and dimensions of relationship quality (RQ) between customers and providers of athletic services.

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1139

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the antecedents and dimensions of relationship quality (RQ) between customers and providers of athletic services.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection involved in‐depth, personal interviews of fitness centre customers and year‐ticket holders of football clubs in order to determine the similarities and differences between the two contexts. RQ is approached from the point of view of the customer since no other study has investigated that part of the dyad. Data were analysed with thematic content analysis.

Findings

In fitness clubs, RQ is perceived as a relationship that involves trust, customer satisfaction and commitment; social bonds with employees; effective cooperation and communication, and adaptation of services to suit customers’ needs. In contrast, the relationship of football club year‐ticket holders is simpler and is perceived as trusting; satisfying for customers and one where customers feel committed to the team. The antecedents of RQ identified do not differ between the two types of relationship studied and include the quality of the servicescape; the power of entertainment; the quality of personnel; customer experience and knowledge; customer relationship orientation; relationship duration, and circumstantial or personal factors such as free time shortage, family obligations or bad weather conditions. Based on these findings a conceptual framework is developed for analysing RQ and its antecedents in athletic services.

Research limitations/implications

The study extends findings regarding RQ in athletic services. However, it is qualitative in nature. Future research should quantify the constructs identified and test them in quantitative studies.

Practical implications

The implications of the study are wide and include appropriate methods of selecting and training staff; the effective management of service portfolios; customer training; providing an entertaining experience for customers, and designing a good quality servicescape.

Originality/value

The conceptual framework developed can serve as a guide for sport managers in enhancing the value of relationships with customers.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Apostolos Giovanis, Pinelopi Athanasopoulou and Evangelos Tsoukatos

The purpose of this paper is to extend the well-established nomological network of service quality-relationship quality-customer loyalty by introducing service fairness …

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5364

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend the well-established nomological network of service quality-relationship quality-customer loyalty by introducing service fairness – a distinct service evaluation concept. Specifically, the study aims to investigate the impact of service fairness on relationship quality as a complementary to service quality driver, and the direct and indirect effect of service fairness on customer loyalty in the presence of service quality and relationship quality in a no failure/recovery effort service context.

Design/methodology/approach

A telephone survey of a random sample of 408 customers of auto repair and maintenance services was implemented using a structured questionnaire with established scales. Data were analyzed with partial least squares path methodology, a structural equation modeling methodology.

Findings

Interactional fairness is the most important formative determinant of customers’ overall fairness perception, followed by procedural and distributive fairness. Relationship quality measured as a higher order construct, made of satisfaction; trust; affective and calculative commitment, is the main determinant of customer loyalty. Also, it partially mediates, along with service quality, the relationship between service fairness and customer loyalty and fully mediates the effect of service quality on customer loyalty. Finally, service fairness has the highest overall effect on customer loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

The sample is industry-specific and this may affect generalizability of findings. Also, the cross-sectional design adopted does not reflect temporal changes.

Practical implications

Interactional fairness is of utmost importance to customers of the investigated industry. So, customers should be fairly treated at every point of contact. Also, service quality is heavily affected by service fairness. Thus, fair service leads to high-perceived service quality. Third, service quality affects customer loyalty only through relationship quality. Only when service quality is coupled by long-term quality relationships, signs of customer loyalty appear. Finally, service fairness influences customer loyalty mainly through service and relationship quality and has the highest overall effect on customer loyalty. So, fairly treating customers is crucial for developing long-term relationships that lead to customer loyalty.

Originality/value

The role of service fairness in the service quality-relationship quality-customer loyalty chain is investigated and using a higher order construct for relationship quality.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2008

Pinelopi Athanasopoulou

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise relationship quality (RQ) and determine its antecedents and consequences in athletic services.

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2058

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise relationship quality (RQ) and determine its antecedents and consequences in athletic services.

Design/methodology/approach

One in‐depth case study is carried out in a big fitness centre and involves ten personal interviews with various employees and observation.

Findings

RQ is perceived through the behaviour of both provider and customer and the quality of their interaction. RQ antecedents include the personality and skills of employees and customers; the servicescape; the quality of the offer; permanent staff; the relational orientation and reputation of the provider; the power of entertainment, and relationship duration. Finally, RQ effects include the creation of enduring customers; psychologic benefits for customers; employee satisfaction; customer retention and profitability; new service ideas; relationship exploitation, and the personal success and reputation of instructors.

Research limitations/implications

New variables emerge for analysing the quality of service‐based buyer‐seller relationships. Also, RQ is linked to the everyday behaviour of both parties and not the feelings that they develop such as trust, commitment and satisfaction as previous research demonstrates. However, results are based on one case study. Future research should expand the number of cases; test results empirically and validate them in other types of relationships or services; do dyad (provider and customer) studies, and analyse the factors that influence RQ at different relationship development stages.

Practical implications

The results of this study offer guidance to athletic services firms on how to increase RQ by selecting and training employees; informing, researching and training customers; the management of the servicescape; the adoption of flexible services; the development of loyal customers; the use of customer ideas, and the enhancement of employee satisfaction.

Originality/value

A guide to developing quality relationships in athletic services is provided to fitness centres. New concepts emerge for the management of service‐based buyer‐seller relationships.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2009

Pinelopi Athanasopoulou

In today's highly competitive environment losing customers is very costly. Customer retention and loyalty have become possible through the development of long‐term…

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10982

Abstract

Purpose

In today's highly competitive environment losing customers is very costly. Customer retention and loyalty have become possible through the development of long‐term, mutually beneficial relationships with customers. This paper seeks to critically review the literature on relationship quality (RQ) and to suggest avenues for further research.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected with impartial cross‐referencing of papers published in all major journals in the marketing area. Papers are presented in tabulated form based on six rigorously cross‐checked categories of information.

Findings

Most RQ research centres on business‐to‐business (b‐to‐b) markets and products use survey data, look at relationships from the customer perspective and analyse either the US or European markets. Also, results differ in various contexts and there is no universally accepted framework for RQ. By analysing the different variables used in previous studies, a general conceptual framework is provided for the study of RQ.

Research limitations/implications

The characteristics of RQ research that were identified from the review indicate that future research should focus on service and retail settings; validate existing conceptual frameworks across countries and contexts; do more seller and dyad studies; use more qualitative approaches to capture the subtle differences between contexts; analyse RQ in different relationship development stages, and look at new types of relationships between parties that may not be individuals or businesses or may not assume the traditional roles of buyer and seller.

Practical implications

The framework developed here provides firms with a guide to the factors that may affect the quality of their relationships with customers and helps them in developing effective relationship marketing strategies.

Originality/value

The paper provides a comprehensive review of the RQ literature that has not been done before and develops a general framework that can be applied in all contexts and will guide future studies in the area. Overall, the study helps researchers identify the critical issues and concepts related to RQ and shapes future research in the field.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 43 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Pinelopi Athanasopoulou and Elena Sarli

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the process followed by sponsors and sport properties in developing their sponsorship deals as seen from a new service development…

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1392

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the process followed by sponsors and sport properties in developing their sponsorship deals as seen from a new service development (NSD) perspective. Sponsorships are expensive and can be a source of sustainable competitive advantage if managed appropriately. Therefore, the authors need to approach sponsorship strategically and formalise sponsorship decision-making. Sponsorships are considered to be complex, relationship-based, business-to-business services, and the development of such services has been analysed in the NSD literature. As past research on the development process of sponsorship deals is limited, the use of an NSD perspective can help in formalising sponsorship decision-making.

Design/methodology/approach

Four case studies were conducted involving two professional, premier league football clubs and two sponsoring organisations, one major sponsor for each club. One of the dyads involved a brand new sponsorship deal and the other a renewal.

Findings

Results showed that in both dyads, the development process of the new service follows the NSD process of other complex, relationship-based, business-to-business services and involves three main phases, namely, information collection, proposal preparation and presentation or receipt and analysis, and negotiations and contract sign. All four firms use a semi-formal and flexible process, whereas the actors in each stage vary. Also, the new deal requires a more lengthy process than the renewal, following the example of really new and me-too services. Multi-functional teams are not present, and top management involvement is important only in the last stage of the process.

Research limitations/implications

This paper helps in analysing the development process of new sponsorship deals, as new business-to-business services. However, it involves only four cases and has limited generalisability. Future research should substantiate results with more cases or quantitative research.

Practical implications

Results can help sponsors and sponsees to structure their processes for successful development of new sponsorship deals. Also, as new sponsorship deals seem to be developed the same way with other business-to-business, complex services, potential sponsors that are big service providers can probably enjoy synergies from using the same or a slightly different process than the one they use for developing their main services. Finally, the use of a semi-formal and flexible process in sponsorship development can be helpful in dealing with customised services and rapid NSD that is critical for new service success.

Originality/value

It is the first time that the development process of sponsorship deals is approached from an NSD perspective and analysed as a new business-to-business service.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Apostolos Giovanis, Pinelopi Athanasopoulou and Evangelos Tsoukatos

The purpose of this paper is to better predict customers’ behavioral intentions (BI) by developing and empirically testing an integrative conceptual framework that allows…

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1088

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better predict customers’ behavioral intentions (BI) by developing and empirically testing an integrative conceptual framework that allows us to investigate the mediating role of corporate image (CI) and switching barriers (SB) in the interrelationships among service evaluation constructs (i.e. service quality (SQ), perceived value and customer satisfaction (CS)) and customers’ future intentions. These relationships are explored in the mobile telecommunications service context.

Design/methodology/approach

Around 1,000 customers of mobile telecommunication services were questioned using a structured questionnaire. To test the proposed hypotheses, a model was constructed and estimated using the method of partial least squares path methodology.

Findings

Findings indicate that the provision of high-SQ and the creation of superior value, through the development of reasonable costs, can result in high-CS; enhanced CI, and either directly or indirectly through SB, in customers’ favorable BI. However, given the price-competitive structure of the industry under investigation, customers’ loyalty decisions are mainly based on service-related criteria. The value of and satisfaction from delivered services are far more important decision criteria, than image and SB.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to one service setting and the proposed model should be cross-validated in other service contexts before the relationships among its components are fully clarified. Also the use of cross-section design reduces inference ability regarding temporal changes in research constructs.

Practical implications

Results suggest that marketers, in their effort to develop more customer-oriented marketing plans in mature markets, should consider both the pool-in factors, reflecting the value of the provided services; CS, and CI, and the interactions among them as well as with the push-back factors, reflecting SB, as they all impact on customers’ BI.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the body of existing knowledge by considering both CI and SB, along with other service evaluation constructs, as antecedents of consumers’ BI. The interrelationships among SB, service evaluation and CI has not been adequately addressed in the existing literature.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

Keywords

Content available
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4574

Abstract

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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