Brand Antecedents of true BrAnd LoyALty
Jooyoung Kim, Jon d. Morris, and Joffre swait ABSTRACT: We examine a model of six latent constructs and propose that true brand loyalty can be explained as a result of five distinct antecedents: brand credibility, affective brand conviction, cognitive brand conviction, attitude strength, and brand commitment. Data from experimental conditions with manipulations of eight product classes and two involvement levels lend support for the proposed model, demonstrating that brand loyalty can be considered as truly loyal only when mediated by a high degree of affective and cognitive brand conviction, and attitude strength. Advertising and marketing implications for the relationships among the six constructs under different manipulation conditions are discussed.
How to make consumers more loyal to a brand is one of the important questions marketers face. Growing interests and practices in customer relationship management (CRM) in recent years clearly reflect the importance of consumer loyalty in marketing. Brand loyalty can provide both consumers and companies essential benefits. For consumers, a brand toward which they feel loyal can act as a signal of achieved expectation. Because of the familiar and favorable signal that a brand sends, consumers buy the brand with more comfort, believing the brand will meet their expectations. This comfort would mostly come from the credibility of the brand established from past experiences the consumers have had with it, either directly or indirectly. For companies, customer loyalty enhances brand equity by lowering vulnerability to competitive marketing actions, increasing margins, increasing marketing communication effectiveness, and possibly generating more brand licensing or extension opportunities (Keller 1998). A study by Bain & Co. (Reichheld and Teal 2001) shows that a 5% increase in customer loyalty can increase a company’s profitability by 40 to 95%, and an increase in customer loyalty of 1% is the equivalent of a 10% cost reduction. Advertising and brand loyalty are known to have a mutually beneficial relationship. For example, Raj (1982) found that the loyal users of a brand increased their volume of purchase in response to increased advertising, while nonloyal users did
Jooyoung Kim (Ph.D., University of Florida) is an assistant professor of advertising in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia. Jon d. Morris (Ph.D., University of Florida) is a professor of advertising in the Department of Advertising, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida. Joffre swait (Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is a fulltime partner in Advanis Inc., Edmonton and Toronto, Canada.
not increase their purchases in spite of the increased advertising. According to Smith and Swinyard (1983), advertising can influence the formation of brand loyalty by establishing source credibility and setting up a predisposition for a favorable usage experience, which would have an effect on subsequent purchases. Deighton (1984) argues that advertising can work as a frame for the brand usage experience, which is directly related to the brand loyalty formation. Deighton’s framing is twofold. One is predictive framing, which explains advertising’s preceding effect on brand usage experience. Advertising can help consumers focus on the brand’s best attributes; consumers’ brand usage experience can then be more favorable as advertised, which in turn will aid in the formation of brand loyalty. The second type of framing is diagnostic, which explains the effect of advertising placed after the usage experience. Diagnostic framing argues that advertising can help consumers to find ways to make sense of what they have experienced with a brand. Accordingly, whether the advertising message is delivered before (predictive framing) or after (diagnostic framing)...
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