Brand Attachment as a Limitation on Customer Prioritization Strategies
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The marketing literature suggests that the existence of a strong customer attachment to a brand has the potential to bring increased profitability to that brand. While there is certainly the potential for positive benefits, the premise of this thesis is that there is also potential for negative outcomes, including limiting the implementation of other profit seeking strategies (such as customer prioritization strategies) for the brand. I argue that the reason for the expected detrimental effects arises because customers with strong brand attachment often develop a necessity to maintain their perceived brand-self distance, which leads them to constantly assess company actions. When a company’s actions (such as the implementation of customer prioritization strategies) result in a perceived increase in brand-self distance (feeling of being farther away from the brand) for the customer, thereby threatening his/her relationship with the brand, customers with a strong brand attachment are likely to increase their intentions to engage in not only positive behaviours for the brand as previously believed (e.g. repurchase behaviours, paying price premiums etc., Park et.al, 2013), but also neutral and negative behaviours such as retaliatory actions against the brand (by spreading negative word-of-mouth, engaging in problem solving complaining, ending brand relationship etc.) in order to restore or increase their brand-self distance. Contributions and managerial implications are further discussed.