Original Empirical Research

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 604-616

First online:

Service firms and customer loyalty programs: a regulatory fit perspective of reward preferences in a health club setting

  • Ahmad DaryantoAffiliated withNewcastle Business School, Northumbria University Email author 
  • , Ko de RuyterAffiliated withDepartment of Marketing, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University
  • , Martin WetzelsAffiliated withDepartment of Marketing, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University
  • , Paul G. PattersonAffiliated withSchool of Marketing, University of New South Wales

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In this paper, we examine the impact of various configurations of regulatory fit on the attitudes, exercise intentions and actual behavior of members of a health club loyalty program. Regulatory fit is conceptualized as both the match between types of program rewards and how they are communicated, as well as the congruence between reward types and regulatory focus as a stable, individual disposition. In two experimental designs, non-point reward programs offering a short-term cash bonus were used. The results of Study 1 suggest that regulatory fit has a positive impact on perceived value, exercise intentions and exercise intensity, but not on visit frequency. Analysis of repeated behavioral measures further reveals that regulatory fit has a stronger impact on exercise intensity over time relative to nonfit. Study 2 also confirms the predictive power of regulatory fit over nonfit when conceptualized as the match between reward type and trait regulatory focus.


Regulatory fit Value perception Customer loyalty programs