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Consumer Brand Relationships further advances the understanding of consumers' relationships with brands. The book discusses what brand relationship means and how to measure and manage brand relationships by compiling eleven chapters written by leading experts to provide an important contribution to a better understanding of brand relationships.



Brand Relationships Rule

Brand Relationships Rule

Consumer Brand Relationships (CBR) or Brand Relationships focus on how consumers think and specifically feel about brands. A sound basis for the CBR field was established by Max Blackston’s (1993) book chapter “Beyond Brand Personality: Building Brand Relationships,” followed by Fajer and Schouten’s (1995) article on “Breakdown and Dissolution of Person-Brand Relationships” and Fournier’s (1998) seminal article on “Consumers and Their Brands: Developing Relationship Theory in Consumer Research.” Today, “consumer brand relationships research is multi-disciplinary, multi-dimensional and multi-conceptual with a varieties of theories, concepts, and constructs borrowed from different fields” (Fetscherin and Heinrich, 2014, p. 367). A few books (MacInnis et al., 2009; Fournier et al., 2012) and hundreds of articles have been published about brand relationships in scholarly journals and disciplines such as psychology, management, marketing, and communications. This book provides an up-to-date contribution from academics and practitioners from various disciplines. We thank and congratulate chapter authors for their significant contributions to the CBR field.
Marc Fetscherin, Tobias Heilmann

Love and Brand Relationships


1. Role of Brand Love in Consumer Brand Relationships

Research into consumer brand relationships has proposed and tested various relational concepts, including brand trust (Hess, 1995), brand commitment (Fullerton, 2005) and brand identification (Escalas and Bettman, 2003). The brand relationship paradigm has been successful because of its relevance for understanding brand loyalty, conceptualized as long-lasting relationships with the brand that rely on deep, underlying feelings toward it (Fournier, 1998). More recent studies also demonstrate that consumers can experience a feeling of love for their brand (Albert et al., 2008a; Batra et al., 2012). Drawing on seminal work by Shimp and Madden (1988) and Ahuvia (1993), studies of brand love tend to focus on its conceptualization (Ahuvia, 1993) and measurement (Carroll and Ahuvia, 2006). But even as brand love has emerged as an important consumer brand relationship construct, we still know little about what generates a love relationship (e.g., trust) and what its behavioral consequences may be (e.g., repeat purchase). For example, brand love may be influenced by product or brand characteristics (e.g., hedonic product, brand quality) and may influence loyalty toward the brand (Batra et al., 2012; Carroll and Ahuvia, 2006). Yet few studies have conceptualized or explored how established constructs from the consumer brand relationship paradigm explain brand love (e.g., commitment, trust, identification). Because love is essentially a relational construct, it logically should be linked to other relational constructs. We therefore investigate how brand love might be explained by other consumer brand relationship (CBR) constructs and its position in a nomological framework.
Noël Albert, Dwight Merunka

2. Will You Defend Your Loved Brand?

Consumers and products have been in question since the earliest thoughts about marketing, with the prime focus on transactions. Later, the focus on transactions started to be replaced by a focus on relationships, and so the focus shifted from products to brands. Initially, the importance of relationships was recognized among the different marketing players, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and then somehow customers. But the real shift in the thinking about marketing emerged from the real focus on the consumer brand relationships, with the prime focus on ‘consumers,’the prime end user of any products or services. And the quest began from this focal shift, how consumers respond to the brand offerings and efforts, how they relate themselves to brands, how they feel about brands, and how and what they attribute to the brands to which they feel related.
Mansoor Javed, Sanjit Roy, Bano Mansoor

3. Evolution of Luxury Brand Love Intensity over Time

In their integrative review of the concept of material possession attachment, Kleine and Baker (2004) suggest that further research should be carried out to better understand the difference between consumer brand bonds and consumer-possession bonds. Based on their extant literature review, Kleine and Baker (2004) recommend clarifying these concepts that express bonds with brands and possessions, using terms such as ‘brand relationships’ (Edson Escalas, 2004; Escalas and Bettman, 2003; Fournier, 1998; Muniz Jr. and O’Guinn, 2001), ‘brand love’ (Ahuvia, 1993; Albert et al., 2008; Batra et al., 2012; Carroll and Ahuvia 2006), ‘possession attachment’ (Ahuvia 2005a; Belk 1988; Kleine and Baker 2004; Kleine III et al., 1995; Wallendorf and Arnould 1988), and ‘possession love’ (Lastovicka and Sirianni 2011). In particular, they highly recommend a study on how possession attachment evolves into brand meaning over time.
Gachoucha Kretz

Personality and Social Groups, and Brand Relationships


4. Product Type and Personality in Brand Relationships

Most manufacturers wish that all their customers would start a relationship with their brands. Not just any relationship but preferably one that is of an exclusive and loyal nature since this can be very beneficial (Sheth and Parvatiyar, 1995). This was also the central theme in the book Lovemarks(Roberts, 2004), which stipulated that great brands need more than just respect to earn undying loyalty from their consumers. In 2004, Roberts posited that respect for the brand is required, but that only when brand love is obtained can the hearts of followers be unlocked. Since then it seems as if brand love has become the Holy Grail for brand marketing research.
Ronald Voorn, Sabrina Hegner, Ad Pruyn

5. The Personality of Brand Lovers

In everyday conversation, people frequently talk about ‘loving’ products, brands, and consumption activities such as skiing or eating out at restaurants. Previous studies have found that talk about love is more than a colorful figure of speech (Ahuvia, 1993). There is mounting evidence that consumers use mental schemas and processes such as love not only in interpersonal contexts (“I love you”) but also in consumption contexts (“I love my car”) (Aaker, 1997; Ahuvia, 2005; Batra et al., 2012; Fournier, 1998). Brand love is a legitimate form of love alongside romantic love, parental love, friendship love, unrequited love, and other types of love. Henceforth, we will use the term ‘brand love’ in a very general way, to refer to the love of brands (including nonprofit brands), products and services, product categories (e.g., cell phones, fashion), as well as specific products (i.e., a particular consumer’s cell phone).
Philipp Rauschnabel, Aaron Ahuvia, Björn Ivens, Alexander Leischnig

6. Role of Brands When Children Share Snacks

In her campaign to prevent childhood obesity, Michelle Obama has called on food manufacturers to produce and promote healthy foods, and to use the power of brands to teach to children to adopt healthy eating behaviors.
Valérie Hémar-Nicolas, Mathilde Gollety, Coralie Damay, Pascale Ezan

7. Brand Relationships with Hockey Teams

People relate to their favorite sports teams in a passionate manner. The experienced emotions are multifaceted ranging from happiness, pleasure, and pride to deep disappointment, anger, and hate. Sports managers view their teams as brands to be managed (Gladden and Funk, 2002). Sports teams, like other brands, generate diverse brand meanings in the minds of sports consumers. They have a strong symbolic dimension. First, sports spectating is a visible social activity. Second, the price of tickets to these events, along with the segmentation of seat location, influences consumers’ ability to attend, in this manner contributing to the variability in sports attendance. Finally, sports teams usually represent unique brands of a sports product category/activity grounded in their promotional activities, their style of play, personality and the atti-tude of the players, and their logos, slogans, and other brand signifiers (Armstrong, 2007).
Samil A. Aledin

Measuring and Managing Brand Relationships


8. A New Consumer Brand Relationships Framework

The creation of brand-based differentiation is the most influential approach to the development and maintenance of competitive advantage, particularly a consumer-focused competitive advantage. For consumers, these differential aspects may act as a signal of achieving expectation, which will provide more confidence and believability that the brand will meet their expectations (Kim et al., 2008). The extant literature on consumer brand management has examined these differentiating aspects, based on which consumers perceive and evaluate brands, for example, brand equity (Aaker, 1991; Keller, 1998), brand personality (Aaker, 1997; Batra et al., 1993; Plummer, 1985), and brand extensions (Aaker and Keller, 1993; Nakamoto et al., 1993). Recently, a new stream of literature stated that consumers differentiate brands based on how they relate to them (Fournier, 1998), and this gave rise to a new area of thinking, called consumer brand relationships (CBRs) (e.g., Fournier, 1998; McAlexander et al., 2002; Parvatiyar and Sheth, 2001; Webster, 1992).
S. Sreejesh, Subhadip Roy

9. Brand Relationships in the Commodity Market

In any city or village of the Western world, travelers may come to face innumerable cultural variations: languages, local wisdom, beliefs, values, and soon. Among these variations, perhaps one in particular significantly attracts observers: the location’s architecture. The works of Antonio Gaudi, in Barcelona (Church of the Holy Family, Batlló House, among others), the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, and the Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River, United States, are some typical examples of architectonic features that are capable of impressing any observer. In and around these great or small works, even considering all cultural diversity, an element is ostensibly present: cement. Perhaps no other material has been and continues to be consumed by such different people, and yet with such similar purposes. According to Battagin (2009), John Smeaton, in 1756, elaborated the current formula for cement, by assessing the proportion of soft and clayish limestone and obtaining a mixture similar to the one that helps support buildings, bridges, and houses today. Variations of this product were typified and standardized so as to comply with different environmental conditions and improve the durability of buildings. However, the basis of this material remains practically the same.
Antônio Santos, Cid Gonçalves Filho, Euler Alves Brandão, Gustavo Quiroga Souki

10. Discovering and Sustaining the Brand Bond

Our propensity to form social bonds serves more than our need to increase our chances of survival. In highly practical terms, connections advance our personal interests, and they matter for the social, psychological, and economic benefits they return (Hooper, 2012). In pursuit of such benefits, our life experience reminds us that our individual connections are not equal — we know that some linkages must be more ‘efficient’ than others (Roloff, 1981). It would therefore stand to reason that, as we progress through life and grow our networks, we are forced to make clever choices that satisfy our evolving needs, reflect our expectations, and inspire our imaginations. It is no coincidence that this would appear to mirror our search for love. When choosing partners in business, friendship, or romance, we seek potent bonds that propel us forward; meaningful — and efficient — affinities that offer a momentum we intend to sustain.
Ryan Barker, Jeffrey Peacock

11. Measuring and Managing Brand Love: The BERA Platform

Philosophically, Brand Equity Relationship Assessment (BERA) is designed to direct attention and sensitivity to relationship-crucial signals between consumers and brands. It connects many indicators that address a fundamental question asked by many marketing and brand managers with whom we have variously worked: “How can we ensure people love or come to love our brand(s)?” And, intriguingly, while brand owners seek deep connection — consumer love — it is often rare for us to find organizations sensitive enough to continually redirect their ‘radar’ in the directions that generate the idyllic state they hope to achieve.
Ryan Barker, Jeffrey Peacock


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