Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 443–472 | Cite as

Consumer brand relationships: an investigation of two alternative models

  • Einar Breivik
  • Helge Thorbjørnsen
Original Empirical Research


Many studies have proposed the use of the relationship metaphor to enhance the understanding of the relationship between consumers and brands. However, few studies have empirically tested consumer–brand relationship models. In this paper, the authors argue that the success of developing empirical models of consumer–brand relationships depends on the adequacy of the metaphoric transfer. The authors compare two models of consumer–brand relationships—the brand relationship quality (BRQ) model and the relationship investment (RI) model on the basis of empirical fit and model interpretation. They modify both models to better accommodate less involving relationships and test them in two studies. The findings suggest that the modified RI model offers a straightforward interpretation of consumer–brand relationships that vary in intensity. The results from the BRQ model are less clear, though further refinements of the model demonstrates the increased potential of the BRQ model compared with traditional attitude models to explain relationships between consumers and brands.


Consumer–brand relationships Metaphoric transfer Model comparison Habit persistence 



The authors would like to thank Anders Christensen, Roy Howell, Sharon Shavitt, Kåre Sandvik, Magne Supphellen and Herbjørn Nysveen for comments and suggestions in preparing this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian School of Economics and Business AdministrationBergenNorway

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