THE EFFECT OF PRODUCT CATEGORY ON CONSUMER BRAND RELATIONSHIPS
Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the effect of product category on consumer brand relationships.
Design/methodology/approach – Based on a total of 800 consumers, respondents evaluated their relationship with their favorite brand in one of the four product categories studied (soft drink, mobile phone, shoes, cars). EFA, subsequent CFA, SEM and ANOVA were used to assess these relationships and the product category effect.
Findings – The authors find that brand love positively influences brand loyalty and both, influence positively WOM and purchase intention. Looking at the directionality of these relationships, the results show no product category differences. However, the authors found significant differences in terms of their intensity and their effect on the explanation power of the brand outcome variables WOM and purchase intention.
Research limitations/implications – The survey was conducted in Brazil and future research should assess the same product categories in other cultural settings as well as consider other product categories to assess the external validity of these results.
Practical implications – This paper demonstrates that consumer brand relationships are not product category specific. However, certain product categories tend to have more intense relationships than other product categories.
Originality/value – Despite the importance of the product category effect in the branding literature, this study shows that consumer brand relationship theory can be applied to different product categories. This suggests, the product category is less important in the study design than the unit of analysis which requires to be consumer’s favorite brands.