The paper "Consumer-Brand Relationship and Human Relationship" is a great example of marketing coursework. The establishment and management of consumer relationships is an essential aspect of marketing practice. Marketers have long upheld a fanatical interest in relationships: what these relationships are, why they are established, their effects on the marketplace and consumers, how they are measured, how and when they develop and decline. The relationships between a consumer and a certain brand hold positive outcomes for both the brand and the consumer. Consumers establish relationships with different brands and they regard brands as partners.
Apparently, brands are humanised in consumer’ s minds and offer symbolic meanings as well as the cultural and social value that surpasses the functional benefits. Consumers gain knowledge of different brands, like them and start using them but with time they dislike these brands and on some occasions stop using them completely. In this regard, the human relationship metaphor concerning marriage offers an effective structure for comprehending the consumer-brand interaction metaphor. Consumers establish relationships with brands. Similar to human relationship, consumer-brand relationships are of diverse temperament. In the milieu of human relationships, one apparent motivation underlying the establishment of such relationships is affiliation.
Affiliation is an essential element for human survival. Similarly, affiliation to a given brand is necessary for brand survival. This essay contends that consumer-brand relationships are principally motivated by the affiliation and friendship feelings realised from interacting with the brand. Consumers gain awareness of brands, develop love and passion for them, but when they lose passion for the brand, they disassociate themselves from the brand. Consumer-brand Relationship Brands can serve as viable relationship partners. Consumer-brand relationships entail an integrated perspective to develop, uphold and promote relationships between customers and brands and to constantly reinforce this relationship via value-added, interactive and individualised contacts and mutual exchange and realization of promises over a long period.
A brand relationship entails the frequent interactions between a consumer and a given brand that begins to mirror akin traits of human relationships (Iglesias & Saleem 2014 p. 217). These traits include love, interdependence, commitment, intimacy and self-connection. Based on the mentioned traits, consumer-brand relationships are not different from human relationships. Some consumers care about some brands while others are connected to the brands because they require them.
For instance, some consumers are linked to Wal-Mart brands because of the price and brand value. Iglesias and Saleem (2014 p. 217) consider brands as active contributors to the relationship dyad established with the customer. Brands are facilitators of relationships and are relational assets in an intricate relationships network. Therefore, brands create bonds with consumers; a bond that brings closer the brand to the consumer. Bengtsson (2003, p. 156) seeks to legitimise brands as relationship partners. He asserts that consumers perceive brands as a behavioural entity. Consumer-brand Relationship and Human Relationship The main foundation of consumer-brand relationships is based on the assumption that customers translate behaviours of a brand through trait language that offers the meaning of the brand personality.
In this view, the personification condition of a brand makes it an active partner in the interaction dyad. However, the brand personification does not automatically mean that a brand can become a dynamic partner with a consumer (Bengtsson 2003, p. 156). Apparently, a brand is an inert object and cannot feel or think.
However, consumers do not have a problem perceiving brands as human characters. The creation of brands as humans is a metaphor of allowing consumers to view brands through the lens of human characteristics. The attempt to personify brands has instigated the introduction of deep-rooted and strong interpersonal feature such as love, attachment and the integration of positive and negative aspects of non-emotional and emotional characteristics (Bengtsson 2003, p. 157). Therefore, marketers conceptualise the idea of consumer-brand interactions as similar to interpersonal relationships by assuming anthropomorphous characteristics. These characteristics add brands a human character and enable people to view a brand as an individual who can engage in reciprocal and mutual exchange relationship.