Exploring the dynamics between brand investment, customer investment, brand identification, and brand identity fusion

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Business Research, 2021, 137, pp. 267-277
Issue Date:
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The purpose of this study was to understand the dynamics between customers’ own and perceived brand investment, and the impact of such investment on two relational outcomes, i.e., identification and brand identity fusion. Integrating literature on relationship investment with identification scholarship, and drawing on social exchange theory (Emerson, 1976) and social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1985) this study sought to explicate the linkages between brands’ and customers’ relationship investment and identification and brand identity fusion. The results from an online survey (N = 559) revealed that when customers perceive a brand to make economic and social investment into customer-brand relationships, they tend to reciprocate the efforts with similar types of investment. Furthermore, perceived brand social investment and customer extrinsic investment further engender customers’ brand identification and brand identity fusion. The results of this study make several contributions to relationship investment and identification literature, and practical contributions for managers.
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