Role of brand attachment in customers’ evaluation of service failure

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© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: This paper aims to examine the role of brand attachment as a relevant construct in customers’ evaluation after they face a service failure which impacts future consumer behaviors. It mainly answers the research question: does brand attachment cushion or amplify the effect of service failure on customers’ negative emotions? Design/methodology/approach: A 2 × 2 × 2 experimental design was conducted. Data analysis was performed with ANOVA and moderated mediation. Findings: Customer’s feelings toward a brand (brand attachment) that existed before a service failure occurred can regulate customer’s negative emotions especially when consumer attribute service failure to a controllable cause. This process minimizes the effect of service failure in customer’s satisfaction and consequently increase customer behaviors like word of mouth and loyalty intentions. Research limitations/implications: Adding perceived intentionality as a service failure’s attribution could provide another layer of explanation of customer behavior. Also, an expanded study using a sector characterized by higher cost of change and permanent consumption could provide result’s generalizability. Practical implications: Brand attachment should be included in the customer service strategy. In a service failure situation, brand attachment becomes part of the “service customer policy” helping customers to regulate their negative emotions. Originality/value: This study fills the knowledge gap regarding the role of customers’ positive emotions toward brands when a service failure occurs. The current study extends branding literature by differentiating brand attachment role from coping tactics.

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Journal of Product and Brand Management



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