Tag Archives: brand

Delivering service quality to increase brand loyalty

IMG-5907(C) M.A. Camilleri

This is an excerpt from my latest academic article.

How to Cite: Rather, R. A. & Camilleri, M.A. (2019). The effects of service quality and consumer-brand value congruity on hospitality brand loyalty, Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/13032917.2019.1650289

This study has proved that the combined effects of value congruity and service quality can have an impact on consumer-brand identification and engagement. The results from this study indicated that the consumer-brand identification as well as consumer-brand engagement were predicting the consumers’ loyalty toward the brand. The findings also reported that consumer-brand identification, perceived service quality as well as value congruity were significant antecedents of consumer-brand engagement. In addition, the service quality and value congruity had moderate, direct effects on consumer brand identification. Furthermore, the empirical results revealed that consumer brand identification has mediated the relationships between value congruity and brand loyalty, and between service quality and brand loyalty.

In a similar vein, a critical analysis of the relevant literature revealed that consumer-brand relationships are dependent on the customers’ identification with their favorite brands (Çifci et al., 2016; Rather & Camilleri, 2019; Rather, 2018; Tuskej & Podnar, 2018; So et al., 2013; 2014). Specifically, the consumer-brand identification is related with the consumer-brand value congruity (Rather, 2018). As a matter of fact, past research also reported that consumer-brand identification has a positive effect on customer behaviors and attitudes (in terms of loyalty and commitment) (Rather & Camilleri, 2019). However, in this case, the findings of this study suggest that both the consumer-brand value congruity and perceived service quality are the significant antecedents of consumer-brand identification and engagement.

The consumer-brand identification will inevitably trigger supporting behaviors like increased purchase / repurchase intentions (e.g., Kuenzel & Halliday, 2008) or positive word-of-mouth recommendations (Tuskej et al., 2013), among other positive outcomes. Therefore, hospitality practitioners ought to nurture physical and virtual relationships with their stakeholders via a multitude of approaches, if they want them to remain loyal to their business (Dedeoğlu & Demirer, 2015). Public activities such as sponsorship, charity events, social campaigns and so on can be used to enhance the brands’ image among interested parties, including customers (Bhattacharya & Sen, 2003). For this reason, several hospitality brands are increasingly engaging in interactive communications either individually or in groups, via digital technologies, including social media, blogs, v-blogs, video clips, review sites, etc. (Camilleri, 2018a; So et al., 2017; Su, Mariadoss, & Reynolds, 2015). Very often, individuals are intrigued to share their travel experiences, including their hotel accommodation (Camilleri, 2018b).

In a nutshell, this contribution posited that the hotel guests will probably engage and remain loyal to particular hospitality brands if they feel and perceive that their values reflect their own values. This study reported that the consumer-brand value congruity had a very significant effect on the consumers’ identification and engagement with the upscale hospitality brands. It indicated that the hotel guests who have experienced excellent service quality are more likely to share their experience with other individuals. Hence, hospitality managers need to ensure that their brand consistently delivers high levels of tangible and intangible service quality (at all times) to their valued guests in order to create long-lasting relationships with them.

The hotels’ provision of the service quality and brand experience ought to meet and exceed their guests’ expectations to satisfy their self-enhancement needs and their sense of well-being.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under branding, Business, Hospitality, Marketing

The Customers’ Brand Identification with Luxury Hotels: A Social Identity Perspective

This is an excerpt from one of my latest papers.

How to Cite: Rather, R.A. & Camilleri, M.A. (2019). The Customers’ Brand Identification with Luxury Hotels: A Social Identity Perspective. In Harrison, T. & Brennan, M. (Eds.) 2019 AMS World Marketing Congress. University of Edinburgh, Scotland (July 2019). Academy of Marketing Science (Download Now).

 

Relevant theoretical underpinnings on the social identity theory (SIT) suggests that the consumers’ self-expressions are somewhat associated with their relationships with firms and brands (Rather & Hollebeek, 2019; Fujita, Harrigan & Soutar, 2018; Elbedweihy, Jayawardhena, Elsharnouby & Elsharnouby, 2016; So, King & Sparkes, 2014; So, King, Sparks & Wang, 2013; Bhattacharya & Sen, 2003). For this reason, this paper relied on the SIT perspective to explore the consumer-brand relationships (Elbedweihy et al., 2016; Lam, Ahearne, Mullins, Hayati, & Schillewaert, 2013; Ahearne, Bhattacharya & Gruen 2005).

The individual consumers form part of a social group who regularly experience the delivery of services (Fujita et al., 2018; Huang, Cheng, & Chen, 2017; Elbedweihet al., 2016; So et al., 2013; Kuenzel & Halliday, 2008; Bhattacharya & Sen, 2003). Hence, the service brands can be considered as the facilitators of the consumers’ social identity and expression as individuals can identify with brands if they perceive that they match their self-concept (Stokburger-Sauer, Ratneshwar, & Sen, 2012; Homburg, Wieseke & Hoyer, 2009). In a similar vein, the customer-brand identification (CBI) concept describes the relationships between the brands and their customers, as it explicates how the brands relate to the individuals’ self-concept (Martinez & Rodriguez del Bosque, 2013). Many brands are increasingly looking after their existing customers by satisfying their various needs, wants and desires (Chaudhuri & Holbrook, 2001; Martinez & Rodriguez del Bosque, 2014). They do so to retain their existing customers. The loyal customers are usually willing to pay more, spend more and recommend more than new prospects (Martinez & Rodriguez del Bosque, 2014; Harris & Goode, 2004).

The subject of brand loyalty has been explored extensively in the marketing literature. Past studies have often focused on the antecedents of loyalty, including;  customer satisfaction (Popp & Woratschek, 2017), trust (Martinez & Rodriguez del Bosque, 2014; So et al., 2013), perceived service quality (So et al., 2013), commitment (Narteh, Agbemabiese, Kodua, & Braimah, 2013; Su, Swanson, Chinchanachokchai, Hsu, & Chen, 2016), customer engagement (Rather, Hollebeek & Islam, 2019; So et al., 2014), as well as perceived value (So et al., 2013), among other constructs. Notwithstanding, CBI has been investigated in different research contexts, and has often yielded contradictory results. For instance, Su et al. (2016) indicated that brand identification was not significant in predicting customer loyalty. While other studies suggested that the relationship between customer retention, word-of-mouth and loyalty were positive and significant (Kuenzel & Halliday, 2008); other research reported that there is a correlation between CBI and customer loyalty (Rather & Hollebeek, 2019; Martinez & Rodriguez del Bosque, 2013; 2014). However, the literature did not devote sufficient attention to discover the antecedents of CBI, albeit a few exceptions (Su et al., 2016; So et al., 2013; Keh & Xie, 2009).

 

Research Question

Previous theoretical underpinnings and empirical studies have contributed to advancing our knowledge on brand loyalty and customer-brand relationships (Ahearne et al., 2005; Bhattacharya & Sen, 2003; Fujita et al., 2018; He, Li, & Harris, 2012; So et al., 2013). However, there is still a gap in the extent literature that explores CBI by using the social identity perspective (Ahearne, et al., 2005; Choo, Park, & Petrick, 2011; Elbedweihy et al., 2016; He et al., 2012; Martinez and Rodriguez del Bosque, 2014; Popp & Woratschek, 2017; So et al., 2013; Su et al., 2016). Hence, this paper addresses this lacuna in academic literature. The aim of this study is to provide further empirical evidence on the CBI construct (Keh & Xie, 2009; Su et al., 2016). To the best of our knowledge, few studies have combined the social identity theory with social exchange factors to explain the determinants of hotel brand loyalty. Many researchers maintain that by incorporating the social identity (Rindfleisch, Burroughs, & Wong, 2009; Homburg et al., 2009; Tajfel & Turner, 1986) and the service dynamics (Harris & Goode, 2004; Martinez & Rodriguez del Bosque, 2014) they would better understand the psychological processes that are linked to brand loyalty. Prior empirical studies in the hospitality context did not incorporate certain aspects of brand loyalty, including the mediating effects of commitment, satisfaction and trust. Hence, this research differentiates itself from other contributions; by building on the foundations of previous research on the social identity perspective of customer-brand loyalty. However, it considers the direct and indirect effects of social exchange variables from the marketing science literature, to explore the causal path from CBI to brand loyalty. In sum, this study addresses the following research questions: (i) How is CBI related to customer satisfaction? (ii) How is CBI related to trust? (iii) Is CBI different from customer commitment? (iv) Are CBI, customer satisfaction and commitment influencing brand loyalty?

 

References (featuring all the references that appeared in the full paper)

Ahearne, M., Bhattacharya, C. B., & Gruen, T. (2005). Antecedents and consequences of customer–company identification: expanding the role of relationship marketing. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(3), 574-585.

Al-Wugayan, A., Pleshko, L., & Baqer, S. (2008). An investigation of the relationships among consumer satisfaction, loyalty, and market share in Kuwaiti loan services. Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 13(2), 95-106.

Anderson, E. W., Fornell, C., & Lehmann, D. R. (1994). Customer satisfaction, market share, and profitability: findings from Sweden.  Journal of Marketing, 5(8), 53-66.

Ashforth, B. E., & Mael, F. (1989). Social identity theory and the organization. Academy of Management Review, 14, 20-39.

Bai, B., Law, R., & Wen, I. (2008). The impact of website quality on customer satisfaction and purchase intentions: Evidence from Chinese online visitors. International journal of hospitality management27(3), 391-402.

Bentler, P. M., & Bonnett, D. G. (1980). Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. Psychological Bulletin, 88(3), 588-606.

Bhattacharya, C. B., & Sen, S. (2003). Consumer company identification: a framework for understanding consumers’ relationships with companies. Journal of Marketing, 67(2), 76-88.

Bowden, J. L. H. (2009). The process of customer engagement: A conceptual framework. Journal of marketing theory and practice17(1), 63-74.

Bowden, J. L., Dagger, T, S., & Elliott, G. (2013). Engaging customers for loyalty in the restaurant industry: the role of satisfaction, trust, and delight. Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 16(1), 52-75.

Camilleri, M. A. (2017). Understanding customer needs and wants. In Camilleri, M.A. (Ed.) Travel marketing, tourism economics and the airline product (pp. 29-50). Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.

Camilleri, M.A. (2018). The Marketing Environment of Tourist Destinations. In Camilleri, M.A. (Ed.) The Branding of Tourist Destinations: Theoretical and Empirical Insights. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited.

Caruana, A. (2002). Service loyalty: The effects of service quality and the mediating role of customer satisfaction. European journal of marketing36(7/8), 811-828.

Chaudhuri, A., & Holbrook, M. (2001). The chain of effects from brand trust and brand affect to brand performance: The role of brand loyalty. Journal of Marketing, 65(2), 81-93.

Choo, H., Park, S.Y., & Petrick, J. F. (2011). The influence of the resident’s identification with a tourism destination brand on their behavior. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 20(2), 198-216.

Elbedweihy, A., Jayawardhena, C., Elsharnouby, M. H., & Elsharnouby, T. H. (2016). Customer relationship building: The role of brand attractiveness and consumer-brand identification. Journal of Business Research, 69, 2901-2910

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39-50.

Fujita, M., Harrigan, P., & Soutar, G. N. (2018). Capturing and co-creating student experiences in social media: a social identity theory perspective. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice26(1-2), 55-71.

Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Babin, B. J., & Black, W. C. (2010). Multivariate data analysis: A global perspective (Vol. 7). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Han, H., & Hyun, S. S. (2013). Image congruence and relationship quality in predicting switching intention conspicuousness of product use as a moderator variable. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 37(3), 303-329.

Harris, L. C., & Goode, M. M. H. (2004). The four levels of loyalty and the pivotal role of trust: a study of online service dynamics. Journal of Retailing, 80(2), 139-158.

He, H., & Li, Y. (2011). CSR and service brand: the mediating effect of brand identification and moderating effect of service quality. Journal of Business Ethics, 100, 673-688.

He, H., Li, Y., & Harris, L. (2012). Social identity perspective on brand loyalty. Journal of Business Research, 65, 648-657.

Hennig-Thurau, T., Gwinner, K. P., & Gremler, D. D. (2002). Understanding relationship mmarketing outcomes: an integration of relational benefits and relationship quality. Journal of Service Research, 4(3), 230-247.

Homburg, C., Wieseke, J., & Hoyer, W. D. (2009). Social identity and the service-profit chain. Journal of Marketing, 73(2) 38-54.

Huang, C. C. (2017). The impacts of brand experiences on brand loyalty: mediators of brand love and trust. Management Decision55(5), 915-934.

Huang, M. H., Cheng, Z. H., & Chen, I. C. (2017). The importance of CSR in forming customer-company identification and long-term loyalty. Journal of Services Marketing31(1), 63-72.

Jani, D., & Han, H. (2011). Investigating the key factors affecting behavioral intentions: Evidence from a full-service restaurant setting. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 23(7), 1000-1018.

Keh, H. T., & Xie, Y. (2009). Corporate reputation and customer behavioral intentions: The role of trust, identification and commitment. Industrial Marketing Management, 38, 732-742.

Kuenzel, S., & Halliday, S.V. (2008). Investigating antecedents and consequences of brand identification. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 17, 293-304.

Lam, S. K., Ahearne, M., Mullins, R., Hayati, B., & Schillewaert, N. (2013). Exploring the dynamics of antecedents to consumer–brand identification with a new brand. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(2) 234-252.

Liat, C. B., Mansori, S., Chuan, G. C., & Imrie, B. C. (2017). Hotel service recovery and service quality: influences of corporate image and generational differences in the relationship between customer satisfaction and loyalty. Journal of Global Marketing, 30(1), 42-51.

Martinez, P., & Rodriguez Del Bosque Rodriguez, I. (2013). CSR and customer loyalty: The roles of trust, customer identification with the company and satisfaction. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 35, 89-99.

Martinez, P., & Rodriguez Del Bosque Rodriguez, I. (2014). Exploring the antecedents of hotel customer loyalty: A social identity perspective. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 24(1), 1-23.

Moorman, C., Zaltman, G., & Deshpande, R. (1992). Relationships between providers and users of marketing research: The dynamics of trust within and between organizations. Journal of Marketing Research, 29, 314-328.

Morgan, R., & Hunt, S. (1994). The commitment-trust theory of relationship marketing. Journal of Marketing, 58, 20-38.

Narteh, B., Agbemabiese, G. C., Kodua, P., & Braimah, M. (2013). Relationship marketing and customer loyalty: Evidence from the Ghanaian luxury hotel industry. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 22(4), 407-436.

Nam, J., Ekinci, Y., & Whyatt, G. (2011). Brand equity, brand loyalty and consumer satisfaction. Annals of tourism Research38(3), 1009-1030.

Oliver, R.L., (1997). Satisfaction: A Behavioral Perspective on the Consumer. McGraw- Hill, New York.

Popp, B., & Woratschek, H. (2017). Consumer-brand identification revisited: an integrative framework of brand identification, customer satisfaction, and price image and their role for brand loyalty and word of mouth. Journal of Brand Management, 1-21.

Rather, R. A., & Hollebeek, L. D. (2019). Exploring and validating social identification and social exchange-based drivers of hospitality customer loyalty.

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/IJCHM-10-2017-0627

Rather, R. A., Hollebeek, L. D., & Islam, J. U. (2019). Tourism-based customer engagement: the construct, antecedents, and consequences. The Service Industries Journal. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02642069.2019.1570154?journalCode=fsij20

Rindfleisch, A., Burroughs, J., &Wong, N. (2009). The safety of objects: materialism, existential insecurity, and brand connection. Journal of Consumer Research, 36(1), 1-16.

So, K. K. F., King, C., Sparks, B., & Wang, Y. (2013). The influence of customer-brand identification on hotel brand evaluation and loyalty development. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 34, 31-41.

So, K. K. F., King, C., & Sparks, B. (2014). Customer engagement with tourism brands: Scale development and validation. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 38(3), 304-329.

Song, H., Li, G., van der Veen, R., & Chen, J. L. (2011). Assessing mainland Chinese tourists satisfaction with Hong Kong using tourist satisfaction index. International Journal of Tourism Research, 13, 82-96.

Stokburger-Sauer, N., Ratneshwar, S, & Sen, S. (2012) Drivers of consumer-brand identification. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 29(4), 406-418.

Su, L., Swanson, S. R., Chinchanachokchai, S., Hsu, M. K., & Chen, X. (2016). Reputation and intentions: the role of satisfaction, identification, and commitment. Journal of Business Research69(9), 3261-3269.

Sung, Y., & Campbell, W. K. (2009). Brand commitment in consumer–brand relationships: An investment model approach. Journal of Brand Management17(2), 97-113.

Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of inter-group behavior. In S. Worchel & L. W. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 7–24). Chicago, IL: Nelson-Hall.

Tuskej, U., Golob, U., & Podnar, K. (2013). The role of consumer-brand identification in building brand relationships. Journal of Business Research, 66, 53-59.

Underwood, R., Bond, E., & Baer, R. (2001). Building service brands via social identity: lessons from the sports marketplace. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 9, 1-13.

Leave a comment

Filed under branding, consumer brand identification, Marketing