Loyal Customers are Attached to Brands. Is this True? What is the Role of Customer Equity and Customer Trust?
Marketing and Branding Research,
Gaining customer loyalty is key to achieving repeated purchases that have ripple effects on sale revenue, market penetration, and profitability for firms. Can brand attachment guarantee customers’ loyalty? Based on the assumptions of the theory of customer equity, the study evaluated the interactions of brand attachment, customer loyalty, customer equity, and customer loyalty, focusing on Nigeria's telecommunication industry. A survey-based approach to research with 1,035 active subscribers of five telecommunication companies in Nigeria was examined. Regression analysis was used to test the four-way hypotheses formulated in the study. Overall, the result showed that brand attachment had a positive and significant effect on customer loyalty. However, the link between brand attachment and customer loyalty was explained through customer trust to suggest a full mediation effect. Further analysis revealed that customer trust explained significant variation in customer equity. The study concluded that customer trust is a critical factor in achieving the benefit of brand attachment and customer equity. The study recommended that the management of the telecommunication companies in Nigeria invest significant resources to secure their customers' trust and adhere to the dimension of value, brand, and relationship equity given their concomitant effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty.
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