Title: The Theory of Reasoned Action Applied To Brand Loyalty Author:Choong Lyong Ha, Doctoral Candidate, University of Texas, Arlington, Texas, USA. Citation: Choong, L.H (1998). The theory of reasoned action applied to brand loyalty. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 7(1), 51-61.
The purpose of this paper is to integrate the three aspects of brand loyalty which are cognitive response, subjective norm, and purchase behaviour in the measurement of brand loyalty. These aspects will then be used to investigate relationships among several antecedents of behavioural brand loyalty through Theory of Reasoned Action (Fishbein, 1980). As stated in the introductory paragraph of the article, Fisher (1985) states that marketers are now battling with each other as there are less brand loyalty as it used to be. This comes as a response towards the ever growing brand choice alternatives (e.g., competitions, other variety, substitute products, etc) which drives consumers to be unloyal. Previous studies of brand loyalty have mostly measured brand loyalty by investigating repeat purchase of a brand, the behavioural aspect of brand loyalty (Jacoby and Chestnut, 1978). The author thinks that cognitive aspect of brand loyalty, such as a bad attitude towards a certain brand is also possible to predict purchase behaviour. This article started of with an introductory background with emphasis in the lack of measurement systems to measure brand loyalty. He then moved on to define brand loyalty and the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). The method used in this research is basically using TRA to identify the level of loyalty in customers, based on the measurement of unit brand loyalty (UBL). Each UBL has its own significance and can be used by marketing managers to form proper strategies at each level.
The author first provided several definitions of brand loyalty and how it has been measured in previous studies. Dating all the way back to Kotler (1984), customer loyalty has been, and still is, a major focus of strategic marketing planning. Marketing efforts is known to play a major role in promoting brand loyalty which is important for developing sustainable competitive advantage. (Dick and Basu, 1994). A few examples have been given to support this idea, such as price promotions being an antecedent of brand switching behaviour (Bawa and Shoemaker, 1987; Rothschild and Gaidis, 1981; Winer, 1986). According to these studies, price promotions increase sales in the short term and there might be a tendency that customers would be satisfied with the brand and will probably choose the brand again after the promotion ended. Other few examples of antecedents to brand loyalty cited by the author are lineage (Miller,1975; Moore-Shay and Lutz, 1988) and high-share brands having a higher brand loyalty than low-share brands (Fader and Schmittlein, 1993), which puts the weight on market share instead of on the individual. All these were used as a basis of contradiction by the author. Throughout this article, the author based his research on brand loyalty closest to Jacoby and Chestnut’s (1978) conceptual definition which identified three kinds of categories; attitudinal, loyalty, and composite (both attitudinal and behavioural) in measuring brand loyalty. According to the author, any conceptualization of brand loyalty has not utilized the theory of reasoned action proposed by Fishbein. This concept of brand loyalty is expected to be more manageable and meaningful by the utilization of Fishbein’s theory. This provides a fresh angle in terms of all the brand loyalty studies and is relevant to my own area of research. The next aspect discussed by the author in his article is on the advances in research of attitude. This article applies the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) as a basis to measure brand loyalty. According to TRA (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1980), attitude toward buying and...