The creation and management of customer relationships is fundamental to the practice of marketing. Marketers have long maintained a keen interest in relationships: what they are, why they are formed, what effects they have on consumers and the marketplace, how they can be measured and when and how they evolve and decline.
While marketing research has a long tradition in the study of business relationships between manufacturers and suppliers and buyers and sellers, attention in the past decade has expanded to the relationships that form between consumers and their brands (such as products, stores, celebrities, companies or countries). The aim of this book is to advance knowledge about consumer-brand relationships by disseminating new research that pushes beyond theory, to applications and practical implications of brand relationships that businesses can apply to their own marketing strategies.
With contributions from an impressive array of scholars from around the world, this volume will provide students and researchers with a useful launch pad for further research in this blossoming area.
Table of Contents
Foreword Introduction: The Why, How, and So What of Consumers’ Relationships with Their Brands Part I: The "What" of Brand Relationships: Exploring Brand Relationship Varieties and Type 1. When is our Connection to Brands like our Connection to People?: Differentiating between Consumer-Brand Relationships and Interpersonal Relationships 2. Exploring Relationship Analogues in the Brand Space 3. Understanding Negative Consumer Responses: Motivations for the Brand Avoidance Relationship 4. Brand Flings: When Great Brand Relationships Are Not Made to Last 5. Examining Childhood Consumption Relationships 6. Mental Accounting in Consumer-Brand Relationships Part II: Understanding Consumer-Brand Relationship Bonds: Brand Love and Other Strength Indicators 7. Love Actually?: Measuring and Exploring Consumers’ Brand Love 8. Brand Love: Interpersonal or Parasocial Love Relationships? 9. Brand Relationship Quality – Conceptualization and Measurement: Results of a Cross-Industry Study in the German Consumer Market 10. Brand Forgiveness: How Close Brand Relationships Influence Forgiveness 11. Relationships Are Complicated: On Construct Validity when Consumer-Brand Relationships are Systems Part III: How Goals and Identity Drive Consumers’ Relationships with their Brands 12. This Store Just Gets Me!: Customer Chemistry and its Role in Identity Construction 13. Beyond Relationship: Metaphor Transfer and Beyond 14. Teenagers’ Purposive Brand Relationships: From Social Filters to Shoulders to Lean On 15. Brands Can Be like Friends: Goals and Interpersonal Motives Influence Attitudes toward Preferred Brands Part IV: Managerial Applications and Extensions of Consumer-Brand Relationship Ideas 16. Firing Your Best Customers 17. On the Complexity of Managing Brands in a Social Media World 18. Corporate Identity and its Reflective Effect in Developing Brand Relationships 19. Brand Humanity: Transforming the Business of Building Brands Final Reflections: So Where Do We Go from Here?
Susan Fournier is Associate Professor and Dean's Research Fellow at Boston University, USA. Her research explores the creation and capture of value through branding and brand relationships and she has received five awards for her published work. She is an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Consumer Research and Journal of Marketing amongst others
Michael Breazeale is Assistant Professor of Marketing at University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA. His primary areas of research include the consumption of experiences and emotional branding. Mike has published articles in publications such as International Journal of Market Research, Marketing Management Journal and Journal of Business Research
Marc Fetscherin is an Associate Professor of the Crummer Graduate School of Business and the International Business Department at Rollins College, USA. His research has been published in leading academic journals such as International Business Review, International Marketing Review, European Journal of Marketing and Journal of Brand Management
'…a stimulating and challenging treatment of the topic…a valuable addition to any brand scholar or marketing practitioner.'
Kevin Lane Keller, E.B. Osborn Professor of Marketing, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, USA
'The book addresses consumer-brand relationships, which are critical for branding academics and brand managers alike. The authors do an impressive job in pulling together the various stages in brand relationships.'
Bill Merrilees, Research Leader, Griffith Business School, Australia
'If you want to truly understand one of the most important concepts in branding, the consumer- brand relationship, you need to read the multiple perspectives provided in this book. This is a treasure of insights that will advance your thinking and your brand.'
- David Aaker, Vice Chairman of Prophet, Professor Emeritus at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
'In the midst of this global economic crisis, Consumer-Brand Relationships re-focuses us on the primal foundations of branding: individuals, lived experiences, relationships and humanity. This book offers a vibrant framework for re-mastering our human understanding of brands. With this as a foundation, we can fine-tune our brand measurement systems and deliver improved present and future financial performance through the discipline of branding.'
- Ed Lebar, CEO of BrandAsset® Consulting™, a division of Young & Rubicam Brands
'Few subjects are more top-of-mind to marketers than the quest for resonant ‘brand relationships’ with customers. Yet, for all the talk in today’s socially networked world, there is little real scholarship applied to the actual science of relationship-building. In Consumer-Brand Relationships, the authors have taken a major, comprehensive step towards understanding the real drivers of successful brand-consumer intimacy. Through scholarly assessment and pragmatic insights, the real meaning of ‘brand relationships’ is revealed: how they are built, nurtured and, too often, abused. Read, learn and profit!'
- Hayes Roth, Chief Marketing Officer, Landor Associates
'Every marketer aspires to move his or her brand from one that is preferred to one that is loved. The consumer-brand relationship is a delicate dance that when properly choreographed can create material value for both the customer and the organization. Consumer-Brand Relationships provides an insightful primer in understanding the framework of what ignites, engages and sustains consumer-brand relationships over time. This book is a must-read for organizations seeking competitive advantage through deeper brand engagement.'
- Michael Simon, Chief Marketing Officer, Panera Bread
'A brand cannot be valuable without a true understanding of its relationship with its customers. Consumer Brand Relationships provides a thought provoking and illuminating journey through one of the most the complex and multifaceted components of any great brand: its bond with customers. Consumers change so fast within society. Read this if you want a more thorough understanding of their world.'
- Graham Hales, CEO Interbrand London
'There are few concepts in marketing as illuminating as the consumer-brand relationship. Understanding the relationship dynamics between brands and people is a powerful tool for strategists, creatives, and CMOs. With terrific insight and vision Fournier pioneered the basis for the ideas presented in this book years ago while teaching at Harvard Business School. But in the modern marketing era, defined by connections that consumers actively choose, the framework has become more relevant and useful than ever. Relationships drive economic performance. If you understand that, and care about the relationship your brand has with customers and prospects, read this book.'
- Baba Shetty, Chief Strategy Officer, Hill Holliday
'Fournier, Breazeale, Fetscherin and Melewar have assembled heavy hitters to take on the big questions. I am wowed by the results. This book will transform the theory and practice of branding enormously and take us one great leap forward.'
- Grant McCracken, MIT Research Affiliate and author of several leading cultural branding books including Culturematic and Chief Culture Officer
'This smartly edited volume, which brings together prominent academic and practitioner branding experts, advances our understanding of questions fundamental to consumer-brand relationships: their types, their properties, drivers, and consequences to consumers and marketers alike. Critical issues regarding the consumer as co-creator of brand meanings as well as the boundaries of the human relationship metaphor to the study of brands add novel insight to our understanding of this rich topic. A brilliant concluding chapter charts a far-reaching and powerful agenda for pushing the boundaries of knowledge about consumers’ relationships with their brands.'
- Debbie MacInnis, Professor of Marketing, University of Southern California
'Too often relationship marketing practices have been more relationship destructive than helpful to consumers and their marketing sponsors. This book brings together leading scholars who breathe new life and understanding into the fundamental challenges of building the ‘right’ kinds of relationships with consumers. The insights in this book will revitalize relationship marketing in ways that will deliver value to marketers and foster ties that are valued, strong, and that can endure.'
- James McAlexander, Professor of Marketing, Oregon State University
'The editors of this volume have assembled a valuable collection of cutting edge works exploring the nature of the relationship between consumers and the brands they love. The authors have examined the subject from a variety of conceptual and methodological approaches. I highly recommend this book for scholars and managers who want a deeper understanding of the fascinating connections between consumers and their special brands.'
- Tom J. Brown, President, Academic Council, American Marketing Association and Noble Foundation Chair in Marketing Strategy, Oklahoma State University
'Branding has become the sine qua non for effective marketing in the 21st century. Ranging from organizational to individual brands, and from perceptions to experiences, this book allows thoughtful scholars and practitioners to re-engage with fundamental concepts. Consumer-Brand Relationships offers an important conceptual and perceptual map in todays’ fiercely competitive global world.'
- Philip J. Kitchen, Dean and Professor of Marketing, Brock University, Ontario, Canada and author of several books and 100 plus articles on marketing and corporate communications
'Love me, love me not? An essential question not only for people but also for brands! Yet, just like human relationships, consumer-brand relationships are multifaceted and vary significantly in nature and depth. This book bears convincing witness to these many facets and variations, covering multiple conceptual perspectives and the application of different methods. Hence, it is a must-read for everyone interested in a thorough understanding of how consumers embrace brands in their daily life.'
- Suzanne C. Beckmann, Professor of Marketing, Copenhagen Business School
'Consumer-brand relationships is exceptionally rich in brand metaphors, with key human phenomena such as love, friendship, and forgiveness being used to explain relationships between consumers and brands. The comprehensive and in-depth contributions develop along fundamentally subjective lines to show how brands can become person-like when brand and individual identities intermingle in a complex process. Another great merit of this book is to consider both the positive and the negative sides of consumer-brand relationships with topics such as brand avoidance and the potentially destructive effect of CRM.'
- Jean Claude Usunier, Professor of Marketing, HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
'Exploring every facet of how people connect with brands, this fascinating collection of papers gets right to the heart of why branding matters more than ever. Everyone knows that brand loyalty breeds commercial advantage. But here we see how brands reciprocate, bestowing benefits on people, society and culture. We learn how brand affinity is analogous to building a friendship, falling in love, having a fling or forgiving an infidelity. And critically, we gain a better understanding of how social media is redefining how such relationships work.'
- Jim Bodoh, Brand Consultant, Radley Yeldar, London, UK
'In many industries the brand is the only way to differentiate your company from your competitors. And the consumer’s emotional attachment to your brand is maybe the only thing your competitor cannot imitate. Thus, in-depth understanding of consumer-brand relationship is a key issue in order to achieve sustainable advantages and earn superior profits. The editors have done a great job providing a comprehensive overview of the topic and addressing its many facets by encouraging renowned scholars and experienced practitioners to share their insights with us. This book will help understanding, teaching and improving customer-brand relations.'
- Manfred Schwaiger, Professor Munich School of Management, Ludwig-Maximillians University Munich, Germany
'This book provides a comprehensive overview of how consumers embrace brands. With creativity and originality, the authors go beyond theory and provide great insights into the blossoming area of consumer-brand relationships.'
- Christian Casal, Manager McKinsey & Company, Switzerland