||Does Process and Time Matter? The Impact of Relational Bonds on Brand Loyalty: Effects of Brand Relationship Quality and Relationship Age
||Institute of International Management
Brand relationship quality (BRQ)
Structural equation modeling (SEM)
本研究的目的有二。第一，當今文獻傾向討論顧客保留策略如何影響關係品質(例如信任)，然而並無說明當中可能潛在的中介變數。因此，本研究檢視品牌關係品質(BRQ)的中介角色，特別在零售服務場域；第二，過去研究傾向關注關係年齡在一些關係品質構念(例如滿意、承諾)的調節角色，然而似乎忽略它在其他構念間(例如BRQ以及品牌忠誠)的調節效果，因此本研究檢視關係年齡在關係連結、品牌關係品質與品牌忠誠構念間的調節角色。本研究共計有524份受試者介於15~24歲的有效問卷，以結構方程模式(SEM)為分析方法。本研究有下列的發現：(1).品牌關係品質在關係連結與品牌忠誠間有顯著的中介效果；(2).關係年齡在關係連結與品牌忠誠間有顯著的調節效果(減弱與加強)；(3).結構連結是態度依附的唯一驅動，社會與結構連結兩者影響共同體感覺；(4).態度依附是影響行為與態度忠誠的主要驅動因子。本研究因此有下列的貢獻：(1).證實品牌關係品質(BRQ)在關係連結與品牌忠誠間的顯著中介效果，因而深化對於塑造品牌忠誠過程的了解；(2).證實關係年齡在關係連結、品牌關係品質與品牌忠誠間的顯著調節效果，因而深化了解時間因素如何影響建立顧客品牌忠誠，並提供企業針對短期與長期客戶忠誠方案的客製化建議；(3).延伸三個現有理論–i.e., 刺激-個體生理心理-反應模型(S-O-R), 關鍵中介變數模型(KMV)與橋梁策略(bridging strategy)的效度，從B-B到零售服務的場域，證實品牌關係品質(BRQ)為重要的中介變數；(4).延伸三個現有理論–關係黑暗與光明面、蜜月效應(honeymoon effect)的可應用性，從B-B、虛擬與人際關係到零售服務的場域，並證實社會連結與態度依附為減弱效果的驅動因子，結構連結與共同體感覺為加強效果的驅動因子；(5).提議一個品牌忠誠較全面的觀點，以行為與態度忠誠兩個量度，與現有文獻以單一構面(即行為忠誠)做比較。本研究有下的限制：(1).樣本集中在15~24歲；(2).衡量品牌關係品質(BRQ)的量度可能無法適用其他研究場域；(3).無考慮其他潛在重要的調節變數；(4).使用兩階段(短期、長期)作為時間的分界參考點，而非使用關係生命週期(多階段)作為參考點；(5).調查法的使用僅可了解構面間方向性關係，非因果關係；(6).無區別產品與商店品牌的差異。
The purposes of this study are two-fold. First, while the literature attends to how customer retention strategies develop relationship quality (e.g., trust), it does not account for the potential mediator (s) in this relationship. This study examines the mediating role of brand relationship quality (BRQ) in the relationship between relational bonds and brand loyalty in retail service contexts. Second, prior studies tend to pay attention to the moderating effect of relationship age among constructs (e.g., satisfaction, commitment), they overlook the relationships among constructs (e.g., BRQ, brand loyalty). This study thus examines the moderating effect of relationship age among relational bonds, BRQ and brand loyalty. A total of 524 valid questionnaires from respondents aged between 15 and 24 are analyzed using structural equation modeling. This study finds the following results: (1) Brand relationship quality significantly mediates the relationship between relational bonds and brand loyalty. (2) Relationship age moderates the relationships among relational bonds, BRQ, and brand loyalty, and thus demonstrates both reinforcing and attenuating effects. (3) Structural bonds are the only driver of attitudinal attachment; social and structural bonds lead to a sense of community. (4) Attitudinal attachment is the main influence on both behavioral and attitudinal loyalty. This study thus makes the following contributions to the literature: (1) Demonstrates the importance of BRQ as a mediator in the relationship between relational bonds and brand loyalty, and thus deepens the understandings of the process in shaping brand loyalty. (2) Demonstrates the moderating role of relationship age in the relationships among relational bonds, BRQ and brand loyalty, in the way that deepens the understandings of how time factor influences the relationships among relational bonds, BRQ and brand loyalty, and thus offers the potential solutions for firms wishing to tailor-make their loyalty programs for both shorter- and longer-term customers. (3) Extends the validity of three existing theories (i.e., S-O-R, KMV model, and the bridging strategy) from a B-B to a B-C context (i.e., retail service), by elucidating the mediating role of BRQ. (4) Extends the applicability of three theories (i.e., the dark and bright sides of relationship marketing, and the honeymoon effect) from the B-B, virtual, and interpersonal contexts, to the retail service contexts, by identifying the attenuating drivers of social bonds and attitudinal attachment, and the reinforcing ones of structural bonds and a sense of community. (5) Suggests a more comprehensive view of brand loyalty involving both behavioral and attitudinal dimensions than the current literature, which treats it as a one-dimensional construct (i.e., behavioral). This study has the following limitations: (1) A focus on a single market segment i.e., 15 to 24 year olds. (2) The dimensions used to measure relational bonds and BRQ might not be applicable to other contexts. (3) Does not consider potentially important moderator(s). (4) Uses a two-stage (i.e., shorter- and longer-term) model, not relationship life cycle (e.g., four stages) as a timeframe of relationship age. (5) The use of survey data and method might limit to an understanding of directional relationship, not for casual inferences. (6) Does not distinguish between store and product brands.
TABLE OF CONTENTS X
LIST OF TABLES XIV
LIST OF FIGURES XVI
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Research Background and Motivation. 1
1.2 Research Objectives and Questions. 3
1.3 Research Structure. 3
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 5
2.1 Related Theories. 5
2.1.1 The Stimulus-Organism-Response (S-O-R) Theory. 5
2.1.2 The Relationship Development Process Model. 6
2.1.3 The Honeymoon Effect. 7
2.2 Research Constructs. 8
2.2.1 Relational Bonds. 8
2.2.2 Brand Relationship Quality. 10
2.2.3 Brand Loyalty. 13
2.2.4 Relationship Age. 14
2.3 Research Model and Hypotheses Development. 16
2.3.1 Financial Bonds and Brand Relationship Quality. 18
2.3.2 Social Bonds and Brand Relationship Quality. 18
2.3.3 Structural Bonds and Brand Relationship Quality. 19
2.3.4 Brand Relationship Quality and Brand Loyalty. 20
2.3.5 The Mediating Effect of Brand Relationship Quality.21
2.3.6 The Moderating Effect of Relationship Age. 22
CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 27
3.1 Data Collection. 27
3.2 Measurement. 30
3.2.1 Relational Bonds. 30
3.2.2 Brand Relationship Quality (BRQ). 33
3.2.3 Brand Loyalty. 35
3.2.4 Relationship Age. 37
3.3 Data Analysis. 38
3.3.1 Sample Size. 38
3.3.2 Common Method Variance (CMV). 38
3.3.3 Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). 39
3.3.4 Measurement Model: Reliability and Validity. 41
3.3.5 Structural Model: Hypotheses Testing. 42
3.3.6 A Two-Group Model. 43
CHAPTER FOUR RESEARCH ANALYSIS AND RESULTS 44
4.1 Measurement Model. 44
4.1.1 Reliability and Validity. 44
4.1.2 A Two-Group Model. 46
4.2 Structural Model and Hypotheses Testing. 50
4.2.1 Antecedents of Attitudinal Attachment. 52
4.2.2 Antecedents of Sense of Community. 52
4.2.3 Consequences of Brand Relationship Quality. 53
4.2.4 The Mediating Effects of Brand Relationship Quality.53
4.2.5 The Moderating Effect of Relationship Age. 57
CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS 63
5.1 Drivers of BRQ and Brand Loyalty: The Main Effect. 63
5.2 Cognition- versus Value-Based Drivers of Brand Loyalty over Time. 65
5.3 An Overall Discussion of the Findings. 67
5.4 Theoretical Implications. 68
5.4.1 An Extended Stimulus-Organism-Response Model to Retailing. 68
5.4.2 An Application of the Key Mediating Variable Model to Retailing. 69
5.4.3 A Retail-Specific Bridging Strategy. 70
5.4.4 The Dark Side of Relationship Marketing, and Honeymoon Effect. 70
5.4.5 The Bright Side of Relationship Marketing. 71
5.5 Managerial Implications. 71
5.5.1 Strategies for Developing Customer Loyalty Programs.71
5.5.2 Tailor-Made Loyalty Programs for Shorter- and Longer-Term Customers. 72
5.6 Limitations and Future Research. 73
5.7 Conclusion. 74
Appendix 1: Questionnaire of the Pilot Test (English Version). 87
Appendix 2: Questionnaire of the Pilot Test (Chinese Version). 91
Appendix 3: Questionnaire of the Formal Test (English Version). 94
Appendix 4: Questionnaire of the Formal Test (Chinese Version). 97
Appendix 5: Mean and Standard Deviation of Relational Bonds. 100
Appendix 6: Mean and Standard Deviation of BRQ. 101
Appendix 7: Mean and Standard Deviation of Brand Loyalty. 102
Appendix 8: Mean and Standard Deviation of Relationship Age. 103
Appendix 9: Cross Loadings of the Research Variables. 104
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