This study aims to use social exchange theory and the principle of reciprocity in proposing a theoretical model to examine the essential but unexplored unique roles of individual customer equity drivers (CEDs) and their contribution to brand loyalty. This study identifies a reciprocity pathway in that brand equity, which mediates the linkage between relationship equity and brand loyalty. This study further posits that the linkage between relationship equity and brand equity is contingent on value equity. The authors then incorporate value equity as a moderator upon which the interrelationships among CEDs and brand loyalty may vary.
A sample consisted of 2,268 shoppers in a metropolitan city in Vietnam.
Relationship equity significantly determines brand loyalty through the moderating effect of value equity and the mediating effect of brand equity. Interestingly, these relationships are diverse across different experiential types of consumers.
This study contributes to a better understanding of why and when value equity, brand equity and relationship equity trigger brand loyalty. Brand equity and value equity are the two underlying mechanisms that establish a moderated mediation model between CEDs and brand loyalty. The findings of this study show that experiential consumers are not created equals. The strength of the relationships between CEDs and brand loyalty differ among the five clusters of experiential consumers.
This study reveals the critical relationships between the three components of customer equity in the supermarket industry. The findings provide concrete direction for managers and marketers to be more effective in allocating resources, tailoring their marketing strategies and, accordingly, promoting brand loyalty of different types of consumers.
This study reveals the underlying modus operandi that explains the reciprocity effects of CEDs and the contingency role of brand experience on the CEDs–loyalty link. This study shows that brand equity fosters and sustains the reciprocity generated when consumers perceive a high level of relationship equity, serving as a mediator between relationship equity and brand loyalty. Importantly, value equity is an important moderator for strengthening this reciprocity effect. Furthermore, this study identifies a typology of experience-focussed consumers and shows that the CEDs–loyalty link significantly varies by these types of experiential appeal that characterise the consumers.
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