Antecedents and Outcomes of Brand Love: A qualitative study within the Swedish clothing industry.
Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Within brand management research, brand love has been an increasingly popular research subject. Both antecedents and outcomes of brand love were noticed to comprise a large part of previous research. The main purpose of this study is to develop a deeper understanding of the antecedents and outcomes of brand love. The terms discussed in this thesis are brand management, brand identity, brand image, emotional branding, brand love, brand commitment and brand loyalty.
A research gap was identified within the literature on brand love. Much research has focused on outcomes, but less focus has been on how brand love commences. Therefore, research going more in depth in this area is needed. We found that congruence between brand identity and brand image were emphasized in research and that it needs to be considered within brand management due to its beneficial outcomes. Such a congruence has however not been thought of as an antecedent to brand love in previous studies. Thus, we see that there is a need to investigate this matter further. Through achieving the purpose of this thesis, the hope is to gain a deeper understanding of how brand love commences and how a congruent brand image and brand identity can be the beginning of such a development. The research question was stated as “How can brand love facilitate the development of brand loyalty and brand commitment through a congruent brand identity and brand image?”
To be able to investigate this issue and to fulfil the purpose of this thesis, a qualitative study was conducted. We interviewed four company representatives of Swedish clothing brands as well as eight of their customers. The findings resulted in a conceptual framework where we saw that when a congruent brand identity and brand image existed, brand love could facilitate the development of brand loyalty and brand commitment. However, it was also found that brand loyalty could exist without customers experiencing brand love. Additionally, a theoretical contribution was made in terms of strengthening the literature on emotional brand attachments. Within the findings we could confirm previously identified antecedents to emotional brand attachment, such as traditional customer outcomes and sentimental/emotional memory. We were also able to identify credibility as an antecedent to emotional brand attachment based on our findings.
The managerial implication of our conceptual framework is that the discrepancy between the company’s brand identity and the customers’ brand image need to be kept to a minimum. Another managerial implication that we suggest is for clothing retail companies to include an emotional approach in their marketing strategies of their brand. We base this suggestion on the theoretical findings of emotional attachment antecedents.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 92 p.
congruence, brand love, brand management, brand identity, brand image, brand loyalty, brand commitment, emotional branding
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-106528OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-106528DiVA: diva2:841971
International Business Program
Biedenbach, Galina, Dr.