Purpose – The objective of this paper is to examine online brand relationships, and the linkage between satisfaction, trust, and loyalty on the web site level. The web site is considered to be an extension of the parent brand. It also seeks to explore the effects of offline experiences on web site‐level experiences. Design/methodology/approach – Hierarchical regression analysis is applied in order to test the hypotheses. The data are based on an online survey ( n =867) conducted on a Finnish consumer‐magazine web site. Findings – The research findings support the results of earlier studies suggesting that satisfaction and trust on the web site level are determinants of web site loyalty. However, they also show that brand‐level experiences affect online satisfaction, trust, and loyalty differently, depending on the consumers' relationship with the brand. Interestingly, in this case the length of user history and registration on the web site had a negative effect on web site trust. Two of the reasons behind this type of result are believed to be the prevalent culture in web site discussion forums and the degree of fit between the parent brand and the brand extension. Originality/value – The paper synthesises the literature on online and offline brand relationships and brand extension. The results of the study, which was based on a large‐scale survey, give researchers and practising managers alike valuable information on how parent‐brand experiences relate to the attitudes and commitment of customers to online brand extensions. The context of the study, i.e. the magazine publishing industry, has attracted less research attention, even though several publishers have extended their brands online.
Journal of Product & Brand Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 19, 2008
Keywords: Worldwide web; Customer satisfaction; Trust; Brand loyalty; Brands; Magazines
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