Purpose – Studies on customer satisfaction and loyalty have focused on brand rather than product. It is not that brand is not important, but the process of loving a brand starts with a product. Customers appreciate products by themselves, independent of the brand, as shown in their pursuit of satisfaction and development of loyalty. Such appreciation seems to be prominent regarding innovative products when compared to traditional products. This paper aims to investigate this issue and provide a product‐brand typology. Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the form of empirical research on a partial application of the typology. Findings – Results show that the relationship satisfaction‐loyalty is significantly present when evaluating products alone albeit a weaker presence than when evaluating brand alone. Such unequal presence is corroborated in both traditional (bottled wine) and innovative (electronic) products even though it is much stronger in innovative products. The relationship satisfaction‐loyalty is also present when evaluating product and brand combined, indicating that there is an intermediate position between product and brand. In contrast, the literature treats brand and product‐brand as being in the same category thereby diminishing the importance of a useful difference between brand and product‐brand. Practical implications – There are practical consequences of applying the typology and examining the findings. The relationship satisfaction‐loyalty starts with the product, includes the product‐brand, and culminates with the brand. This process is significantly more important regarding innovative products, such as electronics, as compared to traditional products such as wine. Originality/value – This study introduces a typology underscoring the pursuit of satisfaction and development of loyalty in three conditions of product presence versus brand presence, that is, product alone, brand alone, and product and brand combined.
Journal of Consumer Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 2008
Keywords: Customer satisfaction; Customer loyalty; Brands; Electronic commerce; Wines
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