Enhancing Brand Equity for Services through Consumer-Brand Experiences and Relationship

Lai Cheung LEUNG

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Other Conference Paperpeer-review


Given the paradigm shift in marketing to a service dominant logic (Vargo and Lusch, 2004) and the changing role of branding to a cocreation process during which brand value is developed and evolved through interactions among the stakeholders involved (Merz, he and Vargo, 2009), the consumer experiences in the process are viewed as the basis for brand value creation (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2000 and 2004) and developing a close consumer-brand relationship is proposed
as a strategic imperative to foster brand loyalty (Fournier, 1998). A number of previous studies confirm the importance of brand experiences in marketing practice (e.g. Schmitt, 1999; Brakus, Schmitt and Zarantonello, 2009) and the existence of the consumer-relationship framework (e.g. Sweeney and Chew, 2002; Veloutsou, 2007). However, only a few studies examine how brand experiences affect brand relationship quality (e.g. Chang and Chieng, 2006; Lee and Kang, 2012;
Morgan-Thomas and Veloutsou, 2013). Very little research has been conducted to investigate how brand value is co-created through brand experiences and consumer-brand relationship, especially in a service context. The objective of the present research is to investigate how brand experiences and brand relationship are related to brand equity for services (a measure of perceived brand value). The consumer-brand relationship is conceived as a second order construct comprising affective relationship (measured by love, brand-self connection and interdependence) and utilitarian relationship (measured by intimacy, commitment and partner quality) (Leung, Bougoure and Miller, 2014). A conceptual model was developed to depict the relationships among brand experiences, brand relationship and brand equity. The proposed model was tested against a student sample recruited from a university in Hong Kong. Two service products and three brand stimuli for each service category were chosen this study. The two service products chosen were fast foods which represent standardized services, and banking services which represent customized services (Lovelock, 1983; Bowen, 1990). Another reason for selecting these two service products is to reflect the different relationship forms displayed in the consumerbrand relationship map developed by Fournier (2009). The relationship mapping is defined by relationship strength (superficial/weak vs. intense/strong) and relationship rewards (socio-emotional vs. utilitarian/functional rewards) (Fournier, 2009; Fournier and Avery, 2011). The model was analyzed by using structural equation modeling and received reasonable supports. The present research confirms that brand equity and consumer-brand relationship are the result of a cocreation process between the marketers and the consumers via consumers’ experiences in a service process. Therefore, it is an important task for marketers to employ a variety of marketing vehicles to enhance brand experiences and develop partnership with consumers. Marketing implications are discussed at the end of the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Event13th Annual International Conference on Management and Marketing - Greece, Athens, Greece
Duration: 29 Jun 20152 Jul 2015


Conference13th Annual International Conference on Management and Marketing
OtherAthens Institute for Education and Research
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