The Process of Brand Experience: An Interdisciplinary Perspective: An Abstract
Experience has become a key element in understanding consumer behaviour (Addis & Holbrook, 2001). Brand experience can create added value (Whelan & Wohlfeil, 2006) and is an important concept for academics as it has been tied to several key branding constructs including brand personality (Brakus, Schmitt, & Zarantello, 2009; Helm & Jones, 2010; Ramaseshan & Stein, 2014), brand loyalty (Biedenbach & Marell, 2010), and brand relationships (Tully, Hershfield, & Meyvia, 2015).
The currently accepted conceptualization of brand experience has several shortcomings in its richness. Firstly, brand experience is considered to occur immediately (Brakus et al., 2009; Nowak, 2006), and not over a period of time. Secondly, brand experience has only been measured in the post-consumption stage (Brocato, Voorhees, & Baker; 2012; Gilboa et al., 2016), implying that it doesn’t exist in the pre- and during consumption stages. Thirdly, the role of sensations and feelings is muted as their affect is only measured in its existence (Brakus et al., 2009). Therefore, many consider the accepted conceptualization of brand experience to be limited and call for a greater interdisciplinary approach to be adopted when grappling with the complexity of brand experience (Morgan-Thomas & Veloutsou, 2013; Rose, Hair, & Clark, 2011; Taylor & Strutton, 2010), with some arguing that the process of how experiences are formed should be prioritized (Edvardsson, Enquist, & Johnston, 2005; Schmitt et al., 2015), but this call has been largely ignored (Schmitt et al., 2015).
Using appropriate inclusion and exclusion criteria, a systematic literature review in marketing, philosophy and phycology was contacted and identified 132, 75 and 22 articles for analysis, respectively. The overall objective was to see how brand experience can be approached as a process.
Contradicting the current conceptualisation of brand experience as a dyadic construct (Brakus et al., 2009; Gilboa et al., 2016; Pine & Gilmore, 1999), insights from philosophy and psychology view experience as a dynamic process which is conceptualized into levels (Bartsch & Oliver, 2014; Dewey, 1929; Erlich, 2003; James 1976 ); Locke, 1979). The number of levels varies between two and three; however, there is a consistent description of these levels, namely, Level 1, subconscious experience; Level 2, immediate experience; and Level 3, consummatory experience.