Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model for smartphone brand switching behavior, based on the consumption value theory (functional value, emotional value, social value and epistemic value) and the cognition affect behavior (CAB) model. Two paths – product consumption values and retail service relational benefits – were considered as the cognitive elements to predict brand commitment (affect) and smartphone brand switching behavior. In addition, switching cost was used to measure the moderating effect on the relationship between brand commitment and smartphone brand switching behavior. Design/methodology/approach: This research examined whether product consumption value and cognitive benefits related to retail services will enhance brand commitment and then further decrease smartphone brand switching behavior. Switching cost was predicted as a moderator in the model. An investigation of consumers who own a particular brand of smartphone (e.g. the top five smartphone brands: Samsung, Apple, HTC, Sony and Asus) was conducted, and 565 valid responses were collected for the structural equation modeling analysis. Findings: The results demonstrated that emotional value, social value, epistemic value and confidence benefits increased consumer brand commitment and predicted less smartphone brand switching behavior. In addition, switching cost played a significant moderator role in the relationship between brand commitment and brand switching behavior. Practical implications: A multiple cognitive paths design, with a consumption values aspect and a relational benefits aspect, can elaborate consumer perceptions of product values and service benefits simultaneously, which can lead to a better understanding of the whole picture of the brand services and the key reasons why consumers commit to a brand. Administrators of brand vendors are suggested to improve product innovation and the professionalism of sales services in order to facilitate consumer consumption values, increase their degree of confidence in members of sales staff and, in the meantime, help these administrators gain an understanding of the real reasons for brand switching so as to provide solutions leading to the maintenance of consumer brand commitment through products or services. This is, in turn, likely to increase continued usage intention and reduce the possibility of brand switching. Originality/value: This study extended the consumption value theory and the CAB model to show that product consumption value and cognitive benefits related to retail services can enhance brand commitment and further decrease smartphone brand switching behavior. The results indicated that brand retailer managers should regularly conduct activities to connect with their customers to induce consumption values and relational benefits and, consequently, increase brand commitment and prevent customer switching behavior.
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