Investigating the Impact of Social Identity, Communication Appeals, and Product Classification on Brand Loyalty

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Prof., Department of Corporate Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 MSc., Department of Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 MSc., Department of Industrial Management, Collage of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran.

4 Assistant Prof., Department of New Business, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


The multitude of clothing manufacturers has led to a fully competitive market. Therefore, respective stakeholders are always seeking to increase the attraction and retain committed and loyal customers to their brand in this competitive market. Many clothing manufacturers from other countries are attempting to enhance the attraction and retain loyal Iranian customers through their sales representatives in Iran and understanding how to build constructive communications with their Iranian customers. This study examines the factors affecting the brand attraction and loyalty of Iranian customers to a foreign clothing manufacturer. In fact, the present study aims to investigate the drivers of attraction to the brand and loyalty to a foreign clothing brand, despite the diversity and differences between the two countries, including cultural and social differences. In addition, this research helps local marketers and stakeholders in clothing to attract loyal and committed customers in other countries by identifying the factors affecting loyalty and interest in the brand. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to enrich the brand management literature as well as to investigate the effect of social identity, communication and, product classification on brand interest and brand loyalty.
The present applied research is quantitative and descriptive in terms of data collection (research design). The statistical population of this study includes customers of Benton clothing brand in Tehran and the required data were collected using a questionnaire. Structural equation modeling and SmartPLS3 software (professional version) were used to analyze the data. Accordingly, the model fit is examined in three modes: the measurement model (the reliability of the factor loading of the indicators, the reliability that includes Cronbach's alpha and the combined reliability, and the validity that includes convergent as well as divergent validity), the structural model (determinant coefficient), and the general model (goodness-of-fit index). Structural equation modeling and partial least squares approaches were also implemented to investigate the research hypotheses.
The results have shown that brand loyalty includes three feelings of passion, kindness, and communication. On the other hand, brand loyalty is related to the quality of communication, and any increase in the communication with consumers can lead to improved loyalty and enhanced financial performance. Moreover, the effect of self-expression on brand interest was confirmed in the present study. Self-expression of an activity is related to emotions, which affects brand loyalty by creating dependence and interest in the brand.
According to the findings, social identity indicates the sense of belonging to certain social groups with an individual aspect. Thus, the social identity of social groups is achieved when the person considers himself/herself as a member of a particular group. The results of this study showed that social identity has a positive effect on self-expression. Besides, customers who have experienced brand interest are more likely to participate in a constructive partnership within a brand community. In addition, the results revealed that self-expression is potentially influential in increasing brand interest and encouraging desirable post-purchase behaviors.


Aaker, J. L. (1997). Dimensions of brand personality. Journal of marketing research, 34(3), 347-356.
Albert, N., & Merunka, D. (2013). The role of brand love in consumer-brand relationships. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 30(3), 258-266.
Albert, N., Merunka, D., & Valette-Florence, P. (2008). When consumers love their brands: Exploring the concept and its dimensions. Journal of Business research, 61(10), 1062-1075.
Algharabat, R. S. (2017). Linking social media marketing activities with brand love: The mediating role of self-expressive brands. Kybernetes, 46(10), 1801-1819.
Allen, N. J., & Meyer, J. P. (1990). The measu-rement and antecedents of affective, continuance and normative commitment to the organization. Journal of occupational psychology, 63(1), 1-18.
Ball, D., Simões Coelho, P., & Machás, A. (2004). The role of communication and trust in explaining customer loyalty: An extension to the ECSI model. European journal of marketing, 38(9/10), 1272-1293.
Batra, R., Ahuvia, A., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2012). Brand love. Journal of marketing, 76(2), 1-16.
Bergkvist, L., & Bech-Larsen, T. (2010). Two studies of consequences and actionable antecedents of brand love. Journal of brand management, 17(7), 504-518.
Bhattacharya, C. B., & Sen, S. (2003). Consumer–company identification: A framework for understanding consumers’ relationships with companies. Journal of marketing, 67(2), 76-88.
Bosnjak, M., Brown, C. A., Lee, D. J., Yu, G. B., & Sirgy, M. J. (2016). Self-expressiveness in sport tourism: Determinants and consequences. Journal of Travel Research, 55(1), 125-134.
Carroll, B. A., & Ahuvia, A. C. (2006). Some antecedents and outcomes of brand love. Marketing letters, 17(2), 79-89.
Chin, W. W. (1998). Commentary: Issues and opinion on structural equation modeling. MIS Quarterly, 22(1), 7-16.
Chinomona, R. (2016). Brand communication, brand image and brand trust as antecedents of brand loyalty in Gauteng Province of South Africa. African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, 7(1), 124-139.
Cruz, R. E., Leonhardt, J. M., & Pezzuti, T. (2017). Second person pronouns enhance consumer involvement and brand attitude. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 39, 104-116.
Drennan, J., Bianchi, C., Cacho-Elizondo, S., Louriero, S., Guibert, N., & Proud, W. (2015). Examining the role of wine brand love on brand loyalty: A multi-country comparison. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 49, 47-55.
Dwyer, F. R., Schurr, P. H., & Oh, S. (1987). Developing buyer-seller relationships. Journal of marketing, 51(2), 11-27.
Erciş, A., Ünal, S., Candan, F. B., & Yıldırım, H. (2012). The effect of brand satisfaction, trust and brand commitment on loyalty and repurchase intentions. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 58, 1395-1404.
Fetscherin, M. (2014). What type of relationship do we have with loved brands?. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 31(6/7), 430-440.
Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error: Algebra and statistics.
Gouteron, J. (2006). L'impact De La Personnalité De La Marque Sur La Relation Marque-Consommateur, Application Au Marché Du Prêt-À-Porter Féminin. Revue française du marketing, (207).
Harrigan, P., Evers, U., Miles, M. P., & Daly, T. (2018). Customer engagement and the relationship between involvement, engagement, self-brand connection and brand usage intent. Journal of Business Research, 88, 388-396.
Harris, L. C., & Goode, M. M. (2004). The four levels of loyalty and the pivotal role of trust: a study of online service dynamics. Journal of retailing, 80(2), 139-158.
He, H., Li, Y., & Harris, L. (2012). Social identity perspective on brand loyalty. Journal of business research, 65(5), 648-657.
Huang, C. C. (2017). The impacts of brand experiences on brand loyalty: mediators of brand love and trust. Management Decision, 55(5), 915-934.
Hung, H. Y. (2014). Attachment, identification, and loyalty: Examining mediating mechanisms across brand and brand community contexts. Journal of Brand Management, 21(7-8), 594-614.
Hur, W. M., Ahn, K. H., & Kim, M. (2011). Building brand loyalty through managing brand community commitment. Management Decision, 49(7), 1194-1213.
Hwang, E., Baloglu, S., & Tanford, S. (2019). Building loyalty through reward programs: The influence of perceptions of fairness and brand attachment. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 76, 19-28.
Hwang, J., & Kandampully, J. (2012). The role of emotional aspects in younger consumer-brand relationships. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 21(2), 98-108.
Japutra, A., Ekinci, Y., & Simkin, L. (2017). Self-congruence, brand attachment and compulsive buying. Journal of Business Research, 99, 456-463.
Jeng, S. P. (2017). Increasing customer purchase intention through product return policies: The pivotal impacts of retailer brand familiarity and product categories. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 39, 182-189.
Kang, J., Manthiou, A., Sumarjan, N., & Tang, L. (2017). An investigation of brand experience on brand attachment, knowledge, and trust in the lodging industry. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 26(1), 1-22.
Kaufmann, H. R., Kaufmann, H. R., Loureiro, S. M. C., Loureiro, S. M. C., Manarioti, A., & Manarioti, A. (2016). Exploring behavioural branding, brand love and brand co-creation. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 25(6), 516-526.
Keller, K. L. (2009). Building strong brands in a modern marketing communications environment. Journal of marketing communications, 15(2-3), 139-155.
Kennedy, E., & Guzmán, F. (2016). Co-creation of brand identities: consumer and industry influence and motivations. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 33(5), 313-323.
Khamwon, A., & Niyomsart, S. (2015). Brand Love, Brand Loyalty, and Word of Mouth: A case of AirAsia. In Conference of the International Journal of Arts & Sciences.
Khamwon, A., & Niyomsart, S. (2016). Brand Love, Brand Loyalty, and Word of Mouth: a Case of Airasia. In Conference of the International Journal of Arts & Sciences (pp. 263-268).
Khurram, M., Qadeer, F., & Sheeraz, M. (2018). The Role of Brand Recall, Brand Recognition and Price Consciousness in Understanding Actual Purchase. Journal of Research in Social Sciences, 6(2), 219-241.
Laroche, M., Habibi, M. R., Richard, M. O., & Sankaranarayanan, R. (2012). The effects of social media based brand communities on brand community markers, value creation practices, brand trust and brand loyalty. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(5), 1755-1767.
Lee, D., Moon, J., Kim, Y. J., & Mun, Y. Y. (2015). Antecedents and consequences of mobile phone usability: Linking simplicity and interactivity to satisfaction, trust, and brand loyalty. Information & Management, 52(3), 295-304.
Lee, Y. K., Back, K. J., & Kim, J. Y. (2009). Family restaurant brand personality and its impact on customer's emotion, satisfaction, and brand loyalty. Journal of hospitality & tourism research, 33(3), 305-328.
Lin, C. W., Wang, K. Y., Chang, S. H., & Lin, J. A. (2017). Investigating the development of brand loyalty in brand communities from a positive psychology perspective. Journal of Business Research, 99, 446-455.
Lin, Y. T., Chen, S. C., & Hung, C. S. (2011). The impacts of brand equity, brand attachment, product involvement and repurchase intention on bicycle users. African Journal of Business Management, 5(14), 5910-5919.
Loureiro, S. M. C., Ruediger, K. H., & Demetris, V. (2012). Brand emotional connection and loyalty. Journal of Brand Management, 20(1), 13-27.
Manthiou, A., Kang, J., Hyun, S. S., & Fu, X. X. (2018). The impact of brand authenticity on building brand love: An investigation of impression in memory and lifestyle-congruence. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 75, 38-47.
Morgan, R. M., & Hunt, S. D. (1994). The commitment-trust theory of relationship marketing. Journal of marketing, 58(3), 20-38.
Newell, B. R., & Shanks, D. R. (2004). On the role of recognition in decision making. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 30(4), 923.
Orth, U. R., Limon, Y., & Rose, G. (2010). Store-evoked affect, personalities, and consumer emotional attachments to brands. Journal of Business Research, 63(11), 1202-1208.
Park, J. H., Widi, G. A., Gimbel, D. A., Harel, N. Y., Lee, D. H., & Strittmatter, S. M. (2006). Subcutaneous Nogo receptor removes brain amyloid-β and improves spatial memory in Alzheimer's transgenic mice. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(51), 13279-13286.
Piacentini, M., & Mailer, G. (2004). Symbolic consumption in teenagers' clothing choices. Journal of Consumer Behaviour: An International Research Review, 3(3), 251-262.
Portal, S., Abratt, R., & Bendixen, M. (2018). The role of brand authenticity in developing brand trust. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 27(8), 714-729.
Reibstein, D. J. (2002). What attracts customers to online stores, and what keeps them coming back?. Journal of the academy of Marketing Science, 30(4), 465.
Rodrigues, A. I. C., Evans, M. B., & Galatti, L. R. (2019). Social identity and personal connections on the mat: Social network analysis within Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 40, 127-134.
Seyyedamiri, N., & Tajrobehjar, L., (2019). Social content marketing, social media and product development process effectiveness in high-tech companies, International Journal of Emerging Markets, 18(3), 251-289.
Shirazi, A., Zeynvand Lorestani, H., & Karimi Mazidi, A. (2013). Investigating the effects of brand identity on customer loyalty from social identity perspective. Iranian Journal of Management Studies, 6(2), 153-178.
Sierra, J. J., & Hyman, M. R. (2011). Outlet mall shoppers' intentions to purchase apparel: A dual-process perspective. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 18(4), 341-347.
Sweeney, J. C., & Soutar, G. N. (2001). Consumer perceived value: The development of a multiple item scale. Journal of retailing, 77(2), 203-220.
Taylor, D. G., Strutton, D., & Thompson, K. (2012). Self-enhancement as a motivation for sharing online advertising. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 12(2), 13-28.
Thoma, V., & Williams, A. (2013). The devil you know: The effect of brand recognition and product ratings on consumer choice. Judgment and Decision Making, 8(1), 34-44.
Tsai, S. P. (2011). Strategic relationship management and service brand marketing. European Journal of Marketing, 45(7/8), 1194-1213.
Tsiotsou, R. (2010). Brand loyalty through brand attachment and brand trust: a relational perspective. In Proceedings of 6th Thought Leaders International Conference in Brand Management (pp. 18-20).
Tsiotsou, R. H., & Goldsmith, R. E. (2017). Exploring the formation process of brand love: a comparison between goods and services. In The Customer is NOT Always Right? Marketing Orientationsin a Dynamic Business World (pp. 546-550). Springer, Cham.
Tuan, L. Y., Tat, H. H., Shamsuddin, A. S., Rasli, A. M., & Jusoh, A. (2012). Potential of brand personality: attachment styles as moderator. American Journal of Business and Management, 1(2), 34-42.
Unal, S., & Aydın, H. (2013). An investigation on the evaluation of the factors affecting brand love. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 92, 76-85.
Vieira, L. C., & da Silva, F. S. C. (2017). Assessment of fun in interactive systems: A survey. Cognitive Systems Research, 41, 130-143.
Wallace, R. G., Gilbert, M., Wallace, R., Pittiglio, C., Mattioli, R., & Kock, R. (2014). Did Ebola emerge in West Africa by a policy-driven phase change in agroecology? Ebola's social context. Environment and Planning A, 46(11), 2533-2542.
Wang, Y. C., Qu, H., & Yang, J. (2019). The formation of sub-brand love and corporate brand love in hotel brand portfolios. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 77, 375-384.
Yang, D. (2010, August). The effect of perceived quality and value in brand love. In 2010 International Conference on Management and Service Science (pp. 1-3). IEEE.
Zehir, C., Şahin, A., Kitapçı, H., & Özşahin, M. (2011). The effects of brand communication and service quality in building brand loyalty through brand trust; the empirical research on global brands. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 24, 1218-1231.