Measuring Multi-Brand Loyalty


Jerry C. Olson and Jacob Jacoby (1974) ,"Measuring Multi-Brand Loyalty", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 01, eds. Scott Ward and Peter Wright, Ann Abor, MI : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 447-448.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1, 1974    Pages 447-448


Jerry C. Olson, Pennsylvania State University

Jacob Jacoby, Purdue University

Much work suggests the theoretical and practical usefulness of the concept of multi-brand loyalty --- consistent repurchase of more than one brand from among a set of brands (e.g., Day, 1969; Ehrenberg and Goodheart, 1970; Jacoby, 1971a, 1971b, 1973). This paper briefly reviews the results of a series of investigations (Jacoby and Oslon, 1970; Jacoby, Olson, and Kaplan, 1970; Jacoby, Olson, and Szybillo, 1971) the major purpose of which was to develop reliable and valid measures of multi=brand loyalty. Three such measurement approaches derived from different conceptual bases are described below.

Social Judgment Theory. Briefly, social judgment theory would hold that an individual's response to a brand depends on how he perceives it --- i.e., into which of three regions (acceptance, neutral, rejection) he categorizes the stimulus (Sherif and Hovland, 1961; Sherif, Sherif, and Nebergall, 1965). The Sherif's have developed two procedures ("own categories" and "ordered alternatives") for measuring the magnitude of these three regions. For our purpose, the acceptance region which contains those brands acceptable to the consumer may be taken as a measure of brand loyalty.

Results of one study (Jacoby and Olson, 1970) show both the own categories and ordered alternatives procedures to have some construct validity and to be generally related as expected to more traditional uni-brand loyalty measures, with the ordered alternatives method seeming most appropriate empirically and operationally.

Bradley-Terry-Luce Scaling. A second attempt to measure multi-brand loyalty used a scaling procedure developed by Luce (1959) from the work of Bradley and Terry (1952) in which paired comparison preference data is transformed logarithmically into a unidimensional data scale with least interval properties

The BTL procedure was used to develop preference values for nine cake mix brands. Then the brands were categorized according to their preference values into acceptance, rejection, and neutral regions ( see Jacoby, 1971). Although substantial evidence for the construct validity of the BTL scale values was found, the subjective interpretation of these values in behavioral terms is a problem.

Expectancy-Value Models. To the extent that scores derived from expectancy-value-type systems (e.g , Fishbein, 1967; Rosenberg, 1956; Hansen, 1969) are predictive of affect and behavioral intention, they should also identify brands toward which loyalty is manifested. In one study (Jacoby, Olson, and Szybillo, 1971) expectancy-value scores were computed for several brands in a product category, ordered along a continuum, and then categorized into acceptance, neutral, and rejection regions based on visual inspection of the continua. However subsequent analysis revealed weak relationships with the previously mentioned measurement methods, and conceptual problems due to experimenter subjectivity and lack of clear criteria for distinguishing between loyal and nonloyal brands.

In conclusion, each of the three measures for measuring multibrand loyalty has some promise. In our judgment, sufficient internal consistency and nomological validity has been demonstrated in these early studies to warrant further effort direct toward developing reliable and valid measures of multi-brand loyalty.


Bradley, R.A. and Terry, M.E. Rank analysis of incomplete block designs. I. The method of paired comparisons. Biometrika, 1952, 39, 324-25.

Day, G.S. A two dimensional concept of brand loyalty. Journal of Advertising Research, 1969, 9, 29-35.

Ehrenberg, A.H.C. and Goodhart, G.J. A model of multi-brand buying. Journal of Marketing Research, 1970, 7, 77-84.

Jacoby, J. Brand loyalty: a conceptual definition. Proceedings of the 79th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, 1971a, 6, 655-656.

Jacoby, J. A model of multi-brand loyalty. Journal of Advertising Research, 1971b, 11, 25-30.

Jacoby, J. and Kyner, D. Brand loyalty vs. repeat purchasing behavior. Journal of Marketing Research, 1973, 10, 1-9.

Jacoby, J. and Olson, J.C. An attitudinal model of brand loyalty: conceptual underpinnings and instrumentation research. Paper presented at the University of Illinois Conference on Attitude Research and Consumer Behavior, Urbana, Illinois, 1970.

Jacoby, J., Olson, J.C., and Kaplan, L.B. Operationalizing an attitudinal model of brand loyalty. A proprietary report presented to the Pillsbury Company, August, 1970.

Luce, R.D. Individual choice behavior. New York: Wiley, 1959.

Olson, J.C. and Jacoby, J. A construct validation study of brand loyalty. Proceedings of the 79th Convention of the American Psychological Association, 1971, 6, 657-658.

Sherif, M. and Hovland, C.I. Social Judgement: Assimilation and contrast effects in communication and attitude change. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961.

Sherif, C.W., Sherif, M., and Nebergall, R E. Attitudes and attitude change. Philadelphia, Saunders, 1965.



Jerry C. Olson, Pennsylvania State University
Jacob Jacoby, Purdue University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 01 | 1974

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