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An Investigation of Consumer Relationships with Brands

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In her 1998 paper Susan Fournier argues that customers have relationships with brands.

1. Explain what Fournier means by "having a relationship" with a brand. (20%)

2. Using two brands chosen from the product categories below, explain whether or not you believe that customers have relationships with those brands.

The three product categories are:

Furniture (e.g. brands such as La-Z-Boy etc.).
Hair Care (e.g. brands such as Head and Shoulders etc.).
Exercise equipment (e.g. brands such as Bowflex, Nautica etc.).

Select ONE brand from TWO of these three product categories, (e.g. you might choose a brand of furniture, say and a hair care brand, or, alternatively, a brand of exercise equipment, and a brand of furniture. The brands mentioned above are only examples. You can select others not shown if you prefer, but they must come from two of those three product categories.

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Solution Preview

1. Having a relationship with a brand means preferring the brand over competitors and showing a willingness to pay a little more and even go out of the way to seek out this brand, when desired. They are many components to brand relationships. Consumers form relationships with brands that they perceive as fulfilling emotional, as well as rational needs. William Mc Ewan (2005) discusses the four characteristics that consumer must experience, in order to develop a relationship with a brand. Confidence, integrity, pride and passion are the four emotional aspects of creating brand relationships. Without one of these, ...

Solution Summary

This document discusses the nature of consumer relationships with brand name products. It investigates why such relationships occur, how they are formed and forces that affect such relationships. The specific brand discussed in the analysis is Lazy Boy and the reason that customers develop relationships with this specific brand are included in the analysis.