Brand loyalty and the role of hedonic value

Published date26 October 2012
Date26 October 2012
AuthorAnna Kuikka,Tommi Laukkanen
Subject MatterMarketing
Brand loyalty and the role of hedonic value
Anna Kuikka and Tommi Laukkanen
Department of Business, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
Purpose – The objective of this paper is to explore the antecedents of brand loyalty in the chocolate market.
Design/methodology/approach – A large sample of 808 effective responses was collected through an online questionnaire that was posted on the
Facebook wall of a Finnish confectionery company. A model of four antecedents (brand satisfaction, brand equity, brand value, brand trust) leading to
two aspects of brand loyalty (behavioral loyalty, attitudinal loyalty) was constructed. The moderating effect of consumers’ hedonic value in the model
was tested. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to validate the constructs and multigroup structural equation modeling was used to test the
Findings – The results suggest that brand satisfaction is the most significant factor for brand loyalty within the chocolate market, followed by brand
value and brand equity. The findings suggest that brand trust is the least significant factor for brand loyalty since it was only marginally related to
attitudinal brand loyalty and no effect for behavioral brand loyalty was found. The moderator effect of hedonic value shows that the effect of brand
satisfaction on attitudinal loyalty is significantly stronger among consumers with high hedonic value compared to consumers with low hedonic value.
No other moderating effects were found.
Originality/value – The findings provide more insight into consumer brand loyalty and the role of hedonic value research among hedonic consumable
Keywords Brand loyalty, Attitudinal loyalty, Behavioural loyalty, Hedonic consumption, Hedonic value, Chocolate, Confectionery,
Brand management, Finland, Consumer behaviour
Paper type Research paper
An executive summary for managers and executive
readers can be found at the end of this article.
1. Introduction
Successful brands are one of the most significant ways for a
company to gain competitive advantage (Pitta and Katsanis,
1995). Furthermore, one of the main components of
sustained advantage of a company is to retain its current
customers and make them loyal users of the brand (Dekimpe
et al., 1997). One of the challenges for brand managers in the
twenty-first century is to comprehend the relations between
loyalty and its antecedents (Taylor et al., 2004).
It has been stated that single brand loyalty in the food
industry is not typical (Ehrenberg et al., 1994; Rundle-Thiele
and Bennett, 2001; Yu and Dean, 2001; Sharp et al., 2002).
Instead of purchasing only one brand, consumers’ brand
loyalty on the consumable goods markets is divided among
different brands within a product category (Yu and Dean,
2001). Research on the consumable goods industry has
gained popularity in the marketing literature (e.g. Farley,
1964; Vranesevic and Stancec, 2003; Gabay et al., 2009).
However, although a part of food industry, brand loyalty
within the confectionary and other hedonic consumable
goods markets have not been studied as comprehensively as
the consumable market in general. For instance, Carroll and
Ahuvia (2006) note that more research is needed about the
effects of hedonism on brand loyalty. In addition to the effect
of product category in the brand loyalty process, utilitarian
and hedonic attributes of the product may also have an effect
in the loyalty process (Chaudhuri and Holbrook, 2001). The
aim of this study is to understand what affects consumers’
brand loyalty in the confectionery market.
2. Brand loyalty
A battle has been fought between attitudinal and behavioral
approaches, in regards to brand loyalty studies. Rundle-Thiele
(2005) states that the concept of loyalty emerged in the
marketing literature in the 1940s and it was first considered as
one-dimensional. Over the years, two brand loyalty
dimensions have developed; attitudinal loyalty and
behavioral loyalty. The definition of behavioral brand loyalty
is often considered to be synonymous with repeat purchase
behavior (Day, 1969; Farr and Hollis, 1997; Chaudhuri and
Holbrook, 2001; Quester and Lim, 2003). Later on the role of
attitudinal loyalty was recognized. It was stated that authentic
brand loyalty goes beyond repetitive purchasing behavior and
implies a true commitment to a specific brand (Day, 1969;
Zins, 2001; Back and Parks, 2003; Quester and Lim, 2003).
In conclusion, most of the marketing literature defines brand
loyalty as a result of the interplay between the consumer’s
attitude and repeat purchase behavior (Day, 1969; Jacoby and
Kyner, 1973; Chaudhuri, 1995; Baldinger and Rubinson,
1996; Farr and Hollis, 1997; Fournier and Yao, 1997; Ogba
and Tan, 2009).
3. Hedonic consumption and value
In order to understand consumers’ consumption behavior and
brand choices, one must appreciate the reasons behind
consumer choice behavior. Atfirsttraditionalproduct
purchasing concentrated on the utilitarian aspects (Miranda,
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
Journal of Product & Brand Management
21/7 (2012) 529–537
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited [ISSN 1061-0421]
[DOI 10.1108/10610421211276277]

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