Purpose: While the literature attends to how customer retention strategies develop relationship quality (e.g. trust), it does not account for the potential mediator (s) in this relationship. The purpose of this paper is to examine the mediating role of brand relationship quality (BRQ) in the relationship between relational bonds and brand loyalty in retail service contexts. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 524 valid questionnaires from respondents aged between 15 and 24 are analyzed using structural equation modeling. Findings: First, BRQ significantly mediates the relationship between relational bonds and brand loyalty. Second, structural bonds are the only driver of attitudinal attachment; social and structural bonds lead to a sense of community. Third, attitudinal attachment is the main influence on both behavioral and attitudinal loyalty. Research limitations/implications: First, a focus on a single market segment, i.e. 15-24 year olds. Second the dimensions used to measure relational bonds and BRQ might not be applicable to other contexts. Third, does not consider potentially important moderator(s). Fourth, does not distinguish between store and product brands. Originality/value: This study makes the following contributions to the literature: First, demonstrates the importance of BRQ as a mediator in the relationship between relational bonds and brand loyalty. Second, elucidates the role of BRQ in establishing brand loyalty in three theoretical frameworks applied to retail service contexts. Third, suggests a more comprehensive view of brand loyalty involving both behavioral and attitudinal dimensions. Fourth, proposes the managerial implications of this work for the customer retention strategies of retail service firms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management