Consumer Psychological Attachment: Exploring Differences ACRoss Customer Segments and Product Categories

Melissa Moore, Mississippi State University
S. Ratneshwar, University of Connecticut
ABSTRACT - How and why do consumers become psychologically attached and ultimately committed to firms? This topic is an important issue in relationship marketing but also one that raises important questions regarding consumer behavior. Recent research has shown that the structure of consumer psychological attachment entails four key dimensions (i.e., utilitarian, affective, symbolic, and obligatory). We focus here on how these four dimensions of psychological attachment are likely to vary across different customer segments (e.g., committed vs. transactional customers) and across different product categories (e.g., high vs. low involvement). We first briefly describe the consumer psychological attachment (CPA) model and then develop hypotheses regarding profile differences between customer segments on specific CPA dimensions for different types of product categories. We test these hypotheses using survey data from 142 adult female respondents. The results suggest that the various consumer psychological attachment dimensions play significantly different roles in distinguishing specific market segments and that these roles are contingent on the product category.
[ to cite ]:
Melissa Moore and S. Ratneshwar (2001) ,"Consumer Psychological Attachment: Exploring Differences ACRoss Customer Segments and Product Categories", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, eds. Mary C. Gilly and Joan Meyers-Levy, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 354.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, 2001     Page 354

CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTACHMENT: EXPLORING DIFFERENCES ACROSS CUSTOMER SEGMENTS AND PRODUCT CATEGORIES

Melissa Moore, Mississippi State University

S. Ratneshwar, University of Connecticut

ABSTRACT -

How and why do consumers become psychologically attached and ultimately committed to firms? This topic is an important issue in relationship marketing but also one that raises important questions regarding consumer behavior. Recent research has shown that the structure of consumer psychological attachment entails four key dimensions (i.e., utilitarian, affective, symbolic, and obligatory). We focus here on how these four dimensions of psychological attachment are likely to vary across different customer segments (e.g., committed vs. transactional customers) and across different product categories (e.g., high vs. low involvement). We first briefly describe the consumer psychological attachment (CPA) model and then develop hypotheses regarding profile differences between customer segments on specific CPA dimensions for different types of product categories. We test these hypotheses using survey data from 142 adult female respondents. The results suggest that the various consumer psychological attachment dimensions play significantly different roles in distinguishing specific market segments and that these roles are contingent on the product category.

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