Why are some brands better than others at engaging with their customers? How can managers and executives benefit from understanding consumers' intentions? ESADE Visiting Professor Michele Quintano talks about the relationship between brand engagement and consumer experience, and what makes people feel more attached to a brand and more willing to pay a premium price. Published in the British Food Journal, the research findings are a joint collaboration between Prof. Quintano and researchers Marcello Risitano and Annarita Sorrentino from the UniversitÓ degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope and Rosaria Romano from the UniversitÓ degli Studi della Calabria. ESADE Knowledge: What was the ultimate goal of your research? Michele Quintano: The consumption experience is becoming more and more appealing both for firms and for researchers, as consumers are becoming increasingly demanding in their experience of consumption. What consumers seek is an augmented value that goes beyond the basic utility and functional benefit of what they buy. In this regard, the role of emotions and perceived feelings play a crucial role in the consumption process as influencers of repeated purchase and word-of-mouth effects. EK: Why did you target the food industry in your research? MQ: Regarding the role of emotions in the consumption experience, food may be considered one of the main "relational" products as it satisfies not only the utilitarian need of nutrition but also (and increasingly) the desire to socialize, to know different cultures, and to enjoy events, to experiment and so on. The brand plays a relevant role in these experience processes that consumers adopt. EK: What are the main findings in your paper?MQ: The study demonstrates that the consumer brand engagement is an antecedent of brand experience - we show a positive relationship between the two. We prove that consumer brand engagement is an antecedent of consumer intention to buy - that is, the willingness to accept a brand extension and the willingness to pay a premium price. However, we also show that brand experience has a positive influence only on the willingness to accept a premium price.  The second part of our analysis provides interesting findings on product categories (pasta versus coffee) as moderating variables. In particular, we find that there is higher engagement between people and coffee brands in the Italian context. EK: What do you mean?MQ: This higher engagement in the Italian context is stressed in the relationship between engagement and the willingness to pay a premium price. Coffee is considered a more engaging product than pasta because pasta is considered a more functional product. On the other hand, coffee generates engagement and people are willing to pay a higher price in order to receive a "better" experience from that consumption due to its more consistent symbolic value. Coffee is a symbol of "taking a break", of energy, of celebrations and of socialization. EK: What is the difference between consumer brand engagement and brand experience?MQ: Brand engagement is the relationship between a brand and consumers derived from a mental activation process of a consumer towards a brand. In other words, engaged consumers tend to include particular brands as a part of their self-image. However, there is not a clear identification of brand experience and it is conceptualized as the sensations, feelings, cognitions and behavioral response after a certain consumption. Normally, consumers who have a high engagement with a brand have a positive experiential response and show positive behavioral intentions. EK: How can managers and brands benefit from these research findings?MQ: Marketing managers should take into consideration the fact that brand engagement is an antecedent of brand experience. This could help to improve their brand engagement in order to attract new consumers and keep existing ones. This is extremely important now that brands compete not only for consumers' loyalty but also for various affective relationships, such as emotional attachment. The example of brand extensions is representative of how important the notion of brand engagement can be in decisions regarding whether to expand a brand to new food product categories.  The results also demonstrate the critical role of the consumer response to the marketing stimulus. By monitoring the consumer engagement and experience with brands, companies should measure the gap between "push strategies" and "market responses". Coherently, companies can improve the policy or the relationships post-purchase. As shown by the positive relationship with behavioral intentions, positive or negative brand experiences can also affect electronic word-of-mouth by influencing the virtual social community.

ESADE

Back to home

Brand engagement and consumer experience: why both matter

11/2017

Why are some brands better than others at engaging with their customers?


How can managers and executives benefit from understanding consumers' intentions? ESADE Visiting Professor Michele Quintano talks about the relationship between brand engagement and consumer experience, and what makes people feel more attached to a brand and more willing to pay a premium price. 


Published in the British Food Journal, the research findings are a joint collaboration between Prof. Quintano and researchers Marcello Risitano and Annarita Sorrentino from the UniversitÓ degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope and Rosaria Romano from the UniversitÓ degli Studi della Calabria.


ESADE Knowledge: What was the ultimate goal of your research?


Michele Quintano: The consumption experience is becoming more and more appealing both for firms and for researchers, as consumers are becoming increasingly demanding in their experience of consumption. What consumers seek is an augmented value that goes beyond the basic utility and functional benefit of what they buy. In this regard, the role of emotions and perceived feelings play a crucial role in the consumption process as influencers of repeated purchase and word-of-mouth effects.


EK: Why did you target the food industry in your research?


MQ: Regarding the role of emotions in the consumption experience, food may be considered one of the main "relational" products as it satisfies not only the utilitarian need of nutrition but also (and increasingly) the desire to socialize, to know different cultures, and to enjoy events, to experiment and so on. The brand plays a relevant role in these experience processes that consumers adopt.


EK: What are the main findings in your paper?


MQ: The study demonstrates that the consumer brand engagement is an antecedent of brand experience - we show a positive relationship between the two. We prove that consumer brand engagement is an antecedent of consumer intention to buy - that is, the willingness to accept a brand extension and the willingness to pay a premium price. However, we also show that brand experience has a positive influence only on the willingness to accept a premium price.  


The second part of our analysis provides interesting findings on product categories (pasta versus coffee) as moderating variables. In particular, we find that there is higher engagement between people and coffee brands in the Italian context.


EK: What do you mean?


MQ: This higher engagement in the Italian context is stressed in the relationship between engagement and the willingness to pay a premium price. Coffee is considered a more engaging product than pasta because pasta is considered a more functional product. On the other hand, coffee generates engagement and people are willing to pay a higher price in order to receive a "better" experience from that consumption due to its more consistent symbolic value. Coffee is a symbol of "taking a break", of energy, of celebrations and of socialization.


EK: What is the difference between consumer brand engagement and brand experience?


MQ: Brand engagement is the relationship between a brand and consumers derived from a mental activation process of a consumer towards a brand. In other words, engaged consumers tend to include particular brands as a part of their self-image. However, there is not a clear identification of brand experience and it is conceptualized as the sensations, feelings, cognitions and behavioral response after a certain consumption. Normally, consumers who have a high engagement with a brand have a positive experiential response and show positive behavioral intentions.


EK: How can managers and brands benefit from these research findings?


MQ: Marketing managers should take into consideration the fact that brand engagement is an antecedent of brand experience. This could help to improve their brand engagement in order to attract new consumers and keep existing ones. This is extremely important now that brands compete not only for consumers' loyalty but also for various affective relationships, such as emotional attachment. The example of brand extensions is representative of how important the notion of brand engagement can be in decisions regarding whether to expand a brand to new food product categories.  


The results also demonstrate the critical role of the consumer response to the marketing stimulus. By monitoring the consumer engagement and experience with brands, companies should measure the gap between "push strategies" and "market responses". Coherently, companies can improve the policy or the relationships post-purchase. As shown by the positive relationship with behavioral intentions, positive or negative brand experiences can also affect electronic word-of-mouth by influencing the virtual social community.

More Knowledge
The impact of consumer-brand engagement on brand experience and behavioural intentions
Risitano, Marcello; Romano, Rosaria; Sorrentino , Annarita; Quintano, Michele
British Food Journal
Vol. 119, n║ 8, 08/2017, p. 1884 - 1896
Back to home