Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe research which introduces attractiveness as a moderator of the relationship between the perceived brand personality and evaluations of the brand as a relationship partner in a product marketing context. Design/methodology/approach – This research tests hypotheses concerning the relationship between the perceived personality of a test brand and perceptions regarding the quality of the test brand as a relationship partner, and the moderating effects of the test brand's perceived attractiveness. The research is based upon a survey of 142 graduate and undergraduate students attending four universities in the southeastern USA. Reliability and validity of the measures were tested using structural equation modeling and the hypotheses tested using multiple linear regression. Findings – This research provides empirical evidence, in a product‐marketing context, that perceived attractiveness significantly influences the consumer‐brand relationship development process in meaningful and predictable ways. Results indicate that consumer perceptions regarding a product brand's possession of certain personality traits can influence their opinion of the desirability of the brand as a relationship partner, and that the brand personality‐partner quality connection depends, to a degree, on the brand's perceived attractiveness. The specific role attractiveness plays in the relationship appears to vary across individual brand personality dimensions. Research limitations/implications – Limitations of this study include use of a student sample, use of a single test brand selected from a single product category, and reliance upon a subset of ten items from the original 42‐item Brand Personality Scale to represent the brand personality construct. Practical implications – The results suggest that, for relevant product categories, understanding how perceived attractiveness interacts with other brand perceptions can enhance brand managers' understanding of, and thus their ability to foster, consumer relationships with their brands. Originality/value – This research reveals that it is appropriate to include perceived attractiveness in the discussion of the impact of psychological brand perceptions on consumer‐brand relationship development.
Journal of Product & Brand Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 2006
Keywords: Brand management; Brand image; Brand identity; Customer relations; Buyer‐seller relationships; Relationship marketing
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