آیا هنجارهای ارتباطی در روابط بین مصرف کننده با برند اهمیت دارند؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2027||2013||7 صفحه PDF||21 صفحه WORD|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Business Research, Volume 66, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 98–104
تحقیق کیفیت رابطه
تحقیق هنجارهای ارتباطی
هنجارهایی که روابط تجارت الکترونیکی برند با مصرف کننده را مقرّر می کند
مبادله ی اطلاعاتی
هنجارهای ارتباطی به عنوان یک ساختار درجه ی دوّم
توسعه ی مدل
Researchers criticize current research of consumer-brand relationships (CBR) and research of relational norms because they draw on the interpersonal relationship literature. This paper responds to such remarks in two ways. First, the paper develops a conceptual framework that highlights the mediating role of relational norms in CBR, their effect on brand-relationship quality (BRQ) and their linkage between the characteristics of the dyad and consumer behavior. Second, this article offers an alternative conceptualization and operationalization of BRQ and relational norms. Contrary to prior work, this work draws on the business-to-business relationship literature instead of the interpersonal relationship metaphor. The research findings provide evidence for a second-order structure of relational norms and BRQ. The results suggest that relational norms and BRQ significantly mediate brand relationships.
Consumer–brand relationships (CBR) are important for the profitability of companies (Reichheld, Markey, & Hopton, 2000) and enhancing the understanding of CBR is of great interest to researchers (e.g. Fournier, 1994). Despite the relevance of CBR in practice and theory, academics often criticize that CBR research originates from the interpersonal relationship literature. Nevertheless, several findings support the notion that brand relationship quality (BRQ) is a significant indicator for the strength and depth of consumers’ relational behavior towards consumer goods brands (e.g. Fournier, 1994 and Smit et al., 2007). Despite this interest in CBR, research which assesses mediating variables when investigating the relationship between consumers and consumer goods brands is scarce. One study (Kressmann, Sirgy, Herrmann, Huber, Huber, and Lee, 2006) finds that BRQ mediates CBR. However, no previous work examines the mediating role of relational norms even though several authors support the idea of norms intervening in brand relationships. Using a longitudinal experiment, Aaker, Fournier, and Brasel (2004) argue that relationship-specific expectations influence a service brand and brand perception. Aggarwal (2004) applies a social relationship framework (Clark & Mills, 1993) to examine whether distinct motivations – referred to as norms – exist in brand relationships. He finds support for the theory that an action which violates a relationship norm leads to a less favorable evaluation by the consumer than of an action that conforms with the relationship norm. Although both studies analyze the impact of certain elements on service brands, the role of norms in the context of consumer goods brands is still unclear. Moreover, Aggarwal's study could not verify whether Clark and Mills’ interpersonal relationship framework is applicable to the brand context. An even more important conceptual issue arises from the fact that Aggarwal does not measure actual brand relationships but confronts participants with hypothetical descriptions of relationships in an experimental setting. Therefore, Johar's key question “Is there a norm attached to brand behavior” (Johar, 2005, p. 26) remains open. Responding to this question is especially important for brand managers as the answer provides information on the key drivers of successful brand relationship management. This insight represents a departure from traditional CBR research. This research addresses the gaps in two ways. First, this paper provides an operationalization of BRQ and relational norms that stems from business rather than interpersonal relationships. The alternative operationalization neither stretches the interpersonal relationship metaphor too far nor changes the original understanding of the relationship metaphor. Second, the present framework explores the link between brand loyalty and brand characteristics, consumer characteristics as well as brand relationship characteristics. This paper emphasizes the mediating role of relational norms and BRQ. If a link exists, measures of relational norms and BRQ provide enriching insight into CBR for both researchers and brand managers. The remainder of the paper proceeds as follows. The next section reviews the extant literature on CBR and evaluates different approaches to operationalize relationship quality. The subsequent section summarizes the current knowledge on relational norms. Section 4 develops a multidimensional conceptualization of brand relationship quality and relational norms and identifies relevant antecedents and outcomes of brand relationships. Section 5 presents the empirical study, and Section 6 reports the findings. The concluding section discusses implications and suggests avenues for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The following discussion comprises three components. After considering the study's academic contributions, the second section assesses practical implications for brand management. A critical evaluation of the study outlines its limitations and suggests avenues for future research. 7.1. Research implications Although researchers show interest in CBR, prior contributions do not provide a BRQ operationalization that is independent from interpersonal relationships. Studies examining the role of relational norms in CBR are scarce. The first contribution of this study is to propose a different conceptualization of the BRQ construct. Reviewing the extant literature of BRQ in the consumer goods context reveals that a more differentiated view of CBR is needed. Criticism on previous works mostly originates from their reliance on the interpersonal relationship literature (Bengtsson, 2003). This research bases upon a conceptual framework from the business-to-business marketing literature and includes the dimensions relationship commitment, trust, and relationship satisfaction for the BRQ construct. Transferring current knowledge from the business-to-business context to brands enables a more general view of relationships. This approach has two main strengths. Its conceptualization draws on an empirically supported theory base and this approach is free from associations with the interpersonal relationship context. Second, this study contributes to current research as this work is the first to apply the relational exchange theory (Macneil, 1980) to consumer goods brands. Empirical studies on norms in CBR are scarce and the existing works have several limitations. The present study contributes to research on norms in CBR by addressing these issues. All respondents are actual brand users who have a relationship with the brand. This study approaches the norm concept from an alternative perspective by building the bridge between a relationship marketing framework and CBR research. Relational norms compose a second-order model that reflects four dimensions: solidarity, reciprocity, flexibility, and information exchange. Third, this study advances the current knowledge of CBR by empirically testing a comprehensive CBR framework. The findings indicate that consumer characteristics exclusively relate to relational norms and that brand relationship characteristics influence the degree of perceived BRQ and brand loyalty. Brand characteristics have linkages to both mediators as well as to the outcome variable brand loyalty. Finally, this work empirically demonstrates the role of relational norms in consumer-brand dyads and answers Johar's (2005) question about the relation between norms and brand behavior. Norms are attached to brand behavior. Even though no direct link exists, the findings reveal that relational norms are an important driver of BRQ and that they indirectly affect consumer behavior through BRQ. The finding is also in line with Bennett (1996) who argues that the relational norm of reciprocity is an important element in brand relationships. 7.2. Managerial implications Building and maintaining strong CBR are a key factor of business’ success. Hence, the research adds to practical marketing management by providing a new perspective on the drivers of successful brand relationships. The perspective is conducive for several reasons. First, the study's results reveal that BRQ is the strongest driver of brand loyalty. Brand managers should focus especially on enhancing the BRQ dimensions brand trust, relationship satisfaction and commitment in order to increase customer loyalty. Second, the study investigates the drivers of BRQ with the intent to provide managers with information on how to improve the BRQ. Even though brand characteristics influence the BRQ to some extent, brand relationship characteristics are key drivers of BRQ followed by relational norms. This insight helps marketing managers to justify expenditures on the fulfillment of relational norms in an attempt to improve the perceived BRQ and, ultimately, to enhance brand loyalty. The framework developed for this research further supports brand managers in their decisions on how to influence customer expectations. As stated before, relational norms mostly rely on brand characteristics. The more customers perceive a brand as warm, the higher the relational norms and the more brand managers should invest to fulfill the customer expectations. As the findings suggest that relational norms play a decisive role in consumer-brand interactions, brand managers should include measures of relational norms to get deeper insight into the relationships with their customers. 7.3. Limitations and future research Notwithstanding the contributions of this paper, certain limitations remain that future research should seek to overcome. First, the analysis bases upon a limited sample of brands. Even though they cover a wide range of product categories, future research might extend the brand choice given the limited knowledge of the role that relational norms have in the exchange with other consumer goods brands. Second, data collection for the study takes place only in one country. All brands in this survey have a strong position on the Swiss market. However, intercultural differences may lead to different relationship expectations and are a worthwhile aspect to investigate in future. Third, this study focuses exclusively on the maintenance phase. Yet, brand relationships evolve over time and through different phases. Researchers should examine in longitudinal analyses for each phase which relational norms are salient and whether the intervening role of norms increases or decreases over time.