Title page for ETD etd-01262010-125830

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Foster, Jamye
URN etd-01262010-125830
Title Conceptualizing the Consumer-brand Relationship as a Truly Dyadic Process
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Marketing (Business Administration)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Black, William C. Committee Co-Chair
Folse, Judith Anne Garretson Committee Co-Chair
Burns, Alvin C. Committee Member
Hicks, Jason L. Committee Member
Kennedy, Philip Lynn Dean's Representative
  • consumer-brand relationship
  • relationship marketing
  • branding
  • customer relationship
  • transactional interaction
  • dyadic relationship
  • social interaction
  • consumer-brand interaction
  • consumer behavior
Date of Defense 2009-12-14
Availability unrestricted
The consumer-brand relationship (CBR) has gained interest in recent years, but as currently conceptualized, it is limited to a parasocial relationship where the role of the brand is not acknowledged. In order to better understand the CBR, we have to ask several key questions: (1) What is the CBR? (2) What are consumer-brand interactions (CBIs)? And (3) How can we measure CBIs?

The objective in Essay 1 is to develop a better understanding of the conceptual foundation of the CBR. This was accomplished through extensive review of relevant literature, which highlighted the need to consider the CBR as a truly dyadic process (rather than a parasocial relationship). At the end of Essay 1, a conceptual definition of the CBR is presented, and the importance of two types of interactions (transactional and social) is stressed. Essay 2 focuses more on the level of interaction in the CBR context—the consumer-brand interaction (CBI). Through a qualitative research design, several interaction themes in the CBR context were discovered, and the result was a comprehensive description of the CBI—including a definition and identification of five relevant CBI dimensions. The CBI and these dimensions were empirically examined in Essay 3. Through the development of a measurement scale for CBI and dimensions, a structural model representing the relationships between these constructs could be tested. In addition, moderating effects of interaction type (transactional and social) were considered.

The essays provide a better understanding of the CBR by first focusing in on the individual interactions (CBIs) that actually create those relationships. And by considering the CBR as a truly dyadic process, the manager’s role is considered—thereby providing managerial and theoretical implications.

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