Consumer-Retailer Emotional Attachment: Some Antecedents and the Moderating Role of Attachment Anxiety
European Journal of Marketing, vol. 44, nos. 9&10, pp. 1478-1499
39 Pages Posted: 12 May 2008 Last revised: 29 Apr 2014
Date Written: 2010
Brands enjoy significant benefits with emersion in emotionally strong relationships. These benefits include positively biased brands perceptions, devaluation of alternatives, true brand loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth communication, among others. The present study investigates the phenomenon of emotional attachment in the consumer-brand dyad and in the context of in-store grocery retailing. Specifically the study investigates the next set of questions. Is brand emotional attachment an important strategic goal for grocery retailers? In which strategic assets should the retailer invest in order to build emotional connections with its customers? Does context matter with respect to personality characteristics? Rooted in the theoretical framework of brand attachment, adult attachment, and place attachment literatures, the present study investigates service brand emotional attachment determinants, consequences, and the moderating effects of relationship anxiety. Results identify brand trust, employees trust, interpersonal likeability, enjoyment, brand self-expressiveness, place dependence, and place identity as significant predictors of consumer-brand emotional attachment. Emotional attachment is itself in turn a strong predictor of behavioral loyalty, while relationship anxiety appears to multiply the effects of emotional attachment on behavioral loyalty.
Keywords: Consumer-firm emotional attachment, attachment antecedents, consumer loyalty, attachment theory, attachment anxiety, grocery retailing
JEL Classification: M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation