The Lovemarks Effect: An Abstract
In the research stream that appreciates the role of emotions when brands are evaluated and inspired from work by the CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi Kevin Roberts (2004), some researchers examined lovemarks (brands loved and respected simultaneously) (Pawle & Cooper, 2006). The academic research in the last 15 years focuses on positive consumer-brand relationships (Alba & Lutz, 2013; Veloutsou, 2015; Alvarez & Fournier, 2016), brand love (Carroll & Ahuvia, 2006; Hwang & Kandampully, 2012; Wallace, Buil & de Chernatony, 2014; Karjaluoto Munnukka & Kiuru, 2016) or brand passion (Albert, Merunka & Valette-Florence, 2013). The few studies on brand respect that centres its attention to the degree that consumers feel respected (Bitran & Hoech, 1990; Daskou, Veloutsou & Tzokas, 2004; Bennett & Barkensjo, 2005; Ali & Ndubis, 2011; Ali & Ndubis, 2011b; Daskou & Konstas, 2013), rather than the degree that the consumers respect an offer or a specific brand (Pawle & Cooper, 2006; Cho, Fiore & Russell, 2015). The limited literature focusing on lovemarks is either qualitative, where the authors use a reader-response methodology to analyse the effect of the content of the original book by Roberts (2007) on management practice (Sayers & Monin, 2007), or is primarily contacted in the US (Pawle & Cooper, 2006; Cho et al., 2015) and very rarely examines antecedents and outcomes of brand love and brand respect together quantitatively (Cho, Fiore & Russell, 2015).
Using a 22-item instrument, having as a context in Thailand and with 300 fully completed questionnaires distributed online, this study focuses on brand love and brand respect and identifies specific antecedents (brand trust and brand identification) and behavioural outcomes (purchase intention and willingness to spread positive WoM) of these constructs.
Structural equation modelling with maximum likelihood estimation was used to test the derived hypotheses. In the predictive model the statistics demonstrate that the data fits the model at a satisfactory level. All the hypotheses, except one, were accepted. Trust and brand identification were predicting respect to the company, with trust being the best predictor. Brand respect was the best predictor of the WoM, while the relationship between brand love and WoM was not significant. Both brand love and the brand respect are predicting purchase intention, with brand love being a stronger predictor.