CMN3174 Chapter Notes - Chapter 0: Social Exchange Theory

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2 Aug 2016
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Towards a Critique of Brand Relationships
By: Anders Bengtsson (p. 154-158)
Legitimizing the Brand as Relationship Partner
Consumer perceives the brand as a behavioural entity
Assume that consumers translate a brand into trait language (Fournier)
Trait language is what creates a brand personality
Brand responds to consumers in a standardized manner since it cant think or
feel (inanimate)
Analogy to interpersonal relationships lacks parallelism/reciprocity
(Fournier) but needed to make the relationship trustworthy
Giddens thinks relationships cannot exist without reciprocity
Brand relationships = pure relationships
Human relationship analogy is that people associate personal relationships
like those of friends to brands and develop emotional connections to them
Brand Relationship Quality
Fournier derived the 6 facets of brand relationship quality
o1) Characterized by love and passion – affective grounding
o2) Connection between brand and self
o3) High degree of interdependence
o4) High level of commitment
o5) Intimacy in the relationship
o6) Overall positive evaluation of brand partner quality
Love for people and love for objects are 2 different types, because of this the
term fondness is applied to consumer-brand love relationship
Lack of reciprocity since brand relationships are unilateral and make shared
commitment more difficult
Interdependence important in human relationships but hard to distinguish in
brand relationships
Increasing the number of brand interactions can help in creating consumer
dependence but it does not show why brands would be dependent on that
individual consumer
Interdependence is more easily seen in local/community brands
Intimacy can become rejected as brand relationship is
Relationships with objects are 3-way (person-thing-person) Belk
Why Relationships and Consumer Research?
Social exchange theory to over-emphasize the role of trust, commitment,
communication and mutuality between brand and consumer
Benefit of relational discourse is the emphasis on the consumers’ active role
in keeping the relationship going
Consumers are considered as active co-producers of brand meanings
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