Does Process and Time Matter? The Impact of Relational Bonds on Brand Loyalty: Effects of Brand Relationship Quality and Relationship Age

  • 黃 朝欽

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

The purposes of this study are two-fold First 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 This study examines the mediating role of brand relationship quality (BRQ) in the relationship between relational bonds and brand loyalty in retail service contexts Second prior studies tend to pay attention to the moderating effect of relationship age among constructs (e g satisfaction commitment) they overlook the relationships among constructs (e g BRQ brand loyalty) This study thus examines the moderating effect of relationship age among relational bonds BRQ and brand loyalty A total of 524 valid questionnaires from respondents aged between 15 and 24 are analyzed using structural equation modeling This study finds the following results: (1) Brand relationship quality significantly mediates the relationship between relational bonds and brand loyalty (2) Relationship age moderates the relationships among relational bonds BRQ and brand loyalty and thus demonstrates both reinforcing and attenuating effects (3) Structural bonds are the only driver of attitudinal attachment; social and structural bonds lead to a sense of community (4) Attitudinal attachment is the main influence on both behavioral and attitudinal loyalty This study thus makes the following contributions to the literature: (1) Demonstrates the importance of BRQ as a mediator in the relationship between relational bonds and brand loyalty and thus deepens the understandings of the process in shaping brand loyalty (2) Demonstrates the moderating role of relationship age in the relationships among relational bonds BRQ and brand loyalty in the way that deepens the understandings of how time factor influences the relationships among relational bonds BRQ and brand loyalty and thus offers the potential solutions for firms wishing to tailor-make their loyalty programs for both shorter- and longer-term customers (3) Extends the validity of three existing theories (i e S-O-R KMV model and the bridging strategy) from a B-B to a B-C context (i e retail service) by elucidating the mediating role of BRQ (4) Extends the applicability of three theories (i e the dark and bright sides of relationship marketing and the honeymoon effect) from the B-B virtual and interpersonal contexts to the retail service contexts by identifying the attenuating drivers of social bonds and attitudinal attachment and the reinforcing ones of structural bonds and a sense of community (5) Suggests a more comprehensive view of brand loyalty involving both behavioral and attitudinal dimensions than the current literature which treats it as a one-dimensional construct (i e behavioral) This study has the following limitations: (1) A focus on a single market segment i e 15 to 24 year olds (2) The dimensions used to measure relational bonds and BRQ might not be applicable to other contexts (3) Does not consider potentially important moderator(s) (4) Uses a two-stage (i e shorter- and longer-term) model not relationship life cycle (e g four stages) as a timeframe of relationship age (5) The use of survey data and method might limit to an understanding of directional relationship not for casual inferences (6) Does not distinguish between store and product brands
Date of Award2014 Jun 19
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorShih-Chieh Fang (Supervisor)

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