In the present day, relationship marketing is a popular concept in marketing research and practice (Wang and Head, 2005).
Morgan and Hunt (1994) define relationship marketing as all marketing activities directed towards establishing, developing and maintaining relational exchanges.
The goal of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty. Research proves the premise that loyal customers are actually more profitable. Loyal customers are less costly to serve, are usually wiling to pay more for brand choices than non-loyal customers, and act as word of mouth marketers for the company (Reinartz and Kumar, 2002).
It may not be wrong to say that customer loyalty could be achieved through preserving long-term relationships with customers. Relationships are and have always been very important for humans. This was evident from ancient times, where relationships were analyzed by philosophers (Veloutsou, 2007).
Relationship with mental images, symbols and objects can be one of the many aspects that can be used as a basis of a relationship (Gummesson, 1994).
It is appreciated that individuals develop relationships with brands. According to Kotler and Armstrong (2001), a brand helps a product or service offering organization identify itself to its potential markets. It does this by using a sign, some symbol, a name or a term, a unique design or even a combination of these.
Brand and consumer relationships are the latest research focus in brand research (Zhou, 2006). However, despite the growing interest, the research on role of brands in development of relationships with the customers is limited, especially in the case of consumer goods. Moreover, there is a need to determine the elements of the consumer-brand relationship that could serve to strengthen this bond.
In Pakistan, marketing practices are shifting gradually from transactional to a relationship focus. However, this is mainly the case with the... [continues]
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