An emotive loyalty framework for fast moving consumer goods
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- It has been suggested that when consumers undertake shopping activities it involves more than just the attainment of goods. They also engage in a combination of utilitarian, rational consumer choices and hedonic, pleasure- seeking consequences. This research is seeking to understand if consumers are influenced by how they ‘feel’ about a grocery brand, and if so, how these feelings act and interact with rational decision making. This requires consideration of emotions and their roles in consumer purchasing and the construction of brand loyalty but in this case, emphasis is placed on fast moving consumer goods (FMCG). This particular industry was chosen because of the perception that due to the large number of choices available and low switching costs; brand loyalty and consumer-brand relationships would not exist. With the number of grocery products heading towards twenty thousand per supermarket, it is suggested that what was once a relatively simple decision process has now become more challenging for the consumer. This leads to the suggestion that too much choice motivates consumers to rely more on their internal reference sources. This study will seek to uncover what and how these inner drivers motivate the consumer to select a grocery brand. It is not primarily concerned with confirming the presence of emotions in brand interactions or the details of brand loyalty. Instead, the research purpose is to determine the role emotions play in grocery purchasing which can subsequently be outlined in a framework for further understanding in future research. This moves the emphasis away from how marketing strategy can manipulate consumer behaviour and more onto understanding how consumers perceive their brand relationships. Using a combination of mostly qualitative research techniques: a focus group, video observation and depth interviews; the results reveal that consumers have a repertoire of grocery brands which are moderated by different levels of emotive brand loyalty. These moderating variables include tangible aspects such as price, perceived quality and availability and intangible factors such as trust, memory, and brand familiarity. Whilst the study of emotions within the marketing environment is not a new initiative, moving it away from the service environment or the manipulation of external influences and concentrating on the consumer perspective provides substantial research possibilities. Ideally, this research can be expanded to identify a connection between market performance, consumer devotion to grocery brands via emotive loyalty and how this notion of emotional bonding is linked between brands within the consumer repertoire. The nature of the methodologies applied and the order in which they are applied will reveal an emerging pattern supporting this supposition.
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