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The Development and Maintenance of Customer Relationships through Communication: a Consumer Perspective

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posted on 10.11.2021, 18:56 by Thompson, Nicholas Paul

Consumers increasingly control their relationships with brands, including how and with whom they choose to communicate. Bringing together elements of relationship marketing and brand theory, this research examines the process by which consumers form brand relationships. Results highlight the influence of advertising and social networking upon relationships, and confirm that a consumer’s connection with a brand impacts brand performance. In doing so the manner in which customer relationships are developed and maintained from a consumer perspective is identified, as well as the benefits of relationships for brand owners. This thesis focuses on customer relationships from a consumer perspective. Specifically, it examines the process by which individual consumers build and maintain relationships with brands through communication. Bringing together elements of relationship marketing and branding theory, the underlying purpose is to identify key factors influencing a consumer’s perceived relationship with a brand and determine their measurement. The literature suggests that individual consumers form a connection with brands, seeing them as relationship partners (Fournier, 1998). They do so to varying extents, depending on the brand. The relevance of a brand to a consumer, therefore, extends further than brand image or the signals associated with a brand. Relationships between consumers and brands involve an emotional connection. A consumer’s perceived connection with a brand then influences the manner in which they behave regarding that brand ...


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Marketing and International Business


Thirkell, Peter; Sinha, Ashish