Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Thomson, Matthew


Customer brand loyalty is one of the most important concepts to consumer researchers and marketing practitioners. A considerable amount of research over the last 20 years documents that different consumer-brand relationship constructs, such as those characterized by attachment, identification, brand love, self-brand connection and trust, are positive predictors of customer brand loyalty. However, there is little consensus on what consumer-brand relationship constructs are superior predictors of loyalty and under what conditions each type performs relatively better. To advance understanding of how well different consumer-brand relationship constructs drive customer brand loyalty and to help companies improve the effectiveness of their relationship-building investments, I conduct a meta-analysis of the link between three categories of consumer-brand relationship constructs and customer brand loyalty in Essay 1. The analysis of 304 elasticities from 143 studies reported in 127 publications over 21 years (n = 179,395 across 35 countries) reveals that the aggregate brand relationship elasticity is .404. More importantly, my results demonstrate under what conditions various consumer-brand relationship constructs increase customer brand loyalty. For example, while elasticities are generally highest for affect-based brand relationships and when customer brand loyalty is operationalized in attitudinal (vs. behavioral), absolute (vs. relative) or retrospective (vs. prospective) terms, identity-based brand relationship elasticities are higher for estimates using behavioral loyalty, retrospective loyalty or non-student consumers, and trust-based brand relationship elasticities are higher among American consumers. Essay 2 focuses on theory by developing an explanatory framework for Essay 1’s meta-analysis results. Specifically, I proceed to link individual brand relationship elasticities with a wide array of country-level cultural and institutional moderating factors to better understand the magnitude of the elasticities identified in the Essay 1 meta-analysis. In other words, this Essay adopts an explanatory perspective on why certain consumer-brand relationship constructs drive customer brand loyalty best in some country and institutional contexts but not others. Drawing on these findings, I advance implications for managers and scholars and provide avenues for future research.

Included in

Marketing Commons