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Schmitt, & Lia Zarantonello ˘
Brand Experience: What Is It? How Is It Measured? Does It Affect Loyalty?
Brand experience is conceptualized as sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments. The authors distinguish several experience dimensions and construct a brand experience scale that includes four dimensions: sensory, affective, intellectual, and behavioral. In six studies, the authors show that the scale is reliable, valid, and distinct from other brand measures, including brand evaluations, brand involvement, brand attachment, customer delight, and brand personality. Moreover, brand experience affects consumer satisfaction and loyalty directly and indirectly through brand personality associations.
Keywords: experience marketing, brand experience, customer experience management, scale development, marketing communications
ow do consumers experience a brand? How is brand experience measured? Does brand experience affect consumer behavior? Many useful constructs and measurements have been developed recently in the branding literature, including brand personality, brand community, brand trust, brand attachment, and brand love (Aaker 1997; Carroll and Ahuvia 2006; Delgado-Ballester, MunueraAlemán, and Yagüe-Guillén 2003; McAlexander, Schouten, and Koenig 2002; Thomson, MacInnis, and Park 2005). However, a conceptualization and scale for measuring brand experiences has not yet been developed. In addition, research has studied contexts in which specific product and service experiences arise (Arnould, Price, and Zinkhan 2002). However, research has largely ignored the exact nature and dimensional structure of brand experiences. Notably, brand experience has attracted a lot of attention in marketing practice. Marketing practitioners have come to realize that understanding how consumers experience brands is critical for developing marketing strategies for goods and services. Many trade writings have appeared that present useful concepts as well as some ad hoc experience measurements (Chattopadhyay and Laborie 2005; Pine and Gilmore 1999; Schmitt 1999, 2003; Shaw and Ivens 2002; Smith and Wheeler 2002). In this article, we present both a conceptual analysis of brand experience and a brand experience scale. As with other brand research, the development of a brand experience scale must go hand-in-hand with conceptual development of the construct itself. We need to identify the underlying dimensions of brand experience (analogous to the “Big Five” dimensions of brand personality or the dimensions of affection, connection, and passion that make up
brand attachment) and develop a scale that can measure the strength with which a brand evokes each experience dimension. However, the experience construct is not as clearly associated with one particular basic discipline (e.g., psychology) as other brand constructs are. For example, brand personality and brand attachment have been defined on the basis of equivalent concepts in personality and developmental psychology; as a result, the development of scale items was relatively straightforward. In contrast, writing on experience can be found in a wide range of fields, including marketing, philosophy, cognitive science, and management practice. Therefore, we must clearly conceptualize our construct and develop scale items based on this conceptualization. To define and conceptualize the brand experience construct, we begin with a review of consumer and marketing research, which examines when experiences occur and how they affect judgments, attitudes, and other aspects of consumer behavior. Next, we review the literature in philosophy, cognitive science, and applied management to distinguish brand experience dimensions and develop a brand experience scale. We then examine the psychometric properties of the scale using standard scale validation procedures. Finally, we test whether brand experience affects consumer satisfaction and loyalty.
The Experience Concept in Consumer and Marketing Research
Consumer and marketing research has shown that experiences occur when consumers search for products, when they shop for them and receive service, and when they consume them (Arnould, Price, and Zinkhan 2002; Brakus, Schmitt, and Zhang 2008; Holbrook 2000). We discuss each in turn.
J. Josko Brakus is Assistant Professor of Marketing, William E. Simon ˘ Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Rochester (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Bernd H. Schmitt is Robert D. Calkins Professor of International Business, Columbia Business School, Columbia University (e-mail: email@example.com). Lia Zarantonello is a postdoctoral research fellow, Department of Management, Institute of Marketing, Bocconi University (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). The authors contributed equally to the article and are listed in alphabetical order. They thank Professor Kamel Jedidi for his help in data analyses.
Product experiences occur when consumers interact with products—for example, when consumers search for products and examine and evaluate them (Hoch 2002). The product experience can be direct when there is physical
Journal of Marketing Vol. 73 (May 2009), 52–68
© 2009, American Marketing Association ISSN: 0022-2429 (print), 1547-7185 (electronic)
fantasies. brands that consumers are highly involved with are not necessarily brands that evoke the strongest experiences. Experiences can happen when consumers do not show interest in or have a personal connection with the brand. baseball. Web sites) and in environments in which the brand is marketed or sold (e. In summary. name. Murphy and Zajonc 1993). Joy and Sherry 2003). MacInnis.contact with the product (Hoch and Ha 1986) or indirect when a product is presented virtually or in an advertisement (Hoch and Ha 1986. such as feelings. values. attitudes.g. 2005. Huffman and Houston 1993). Brand experience also differs from motivational and affective concepts. Meyers-Levy and Peracchio 1995). When consumers search for. Ofir and Simonson 2007).e. such as involvement (Zaichkowsky 1985). museums. and cognitions) and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related Brand Experience / 53 . and marketing communications (e. Rose. affective. for example. research in this area investigates how atmospheric variables and salespeople affect the experience (Arnold et al. Boulding et al. However. stimuli that are part of a brand’s design and identity. and Leigh 1993. and recall (Hoch and Deighton 1989. packaging. signage). brand experiences also vary in valence. purchase intent. stores. experiences arise in a variety of settings. internal consumer responses. Gorn et al. should affect consumer satisfaction and loyalty (Oliver 1997. passion. Moreover. some are more positive than others. some brand experiences are stronger or more intense than others. Brand experience does not presume a motivational state. brand attitudes. Thus. and Howard 2002). Several articles have investigated customers’ interaction with salespeople and how that experience affects customers’ feelings. and consume products. Much of the interpretive research on consumption experiences has analyzed hedonic goals that occur during and after the consumption of. and its policies and practices (Hui and Bateson 1991. feelings. the overall attitude toward the experience captures only a small part of the entire brand experience. a brand). Consumption experiences are multidimensional and include hedonic dimensions.g. brand experience differs from evaluative. If involvement can be characterized by mild affect. “I like the experience”). and connection Conceptualizing Brand Experience Most of the research on experiences to date has focused on utilitarian product attributes and category experiences. and associative constructs. and brand characters (Keller 1987). Rust. especially evaluations of the experience itself (e. and customer delight (Oliver. Differences Between Brand Experience and Other Brand Constructs Brand experience is related but also conceptually distinct from other brand constructs. which we refer to as “brand experience.. not on experiences provided by brands. typefaces.” At times.. Jain.. buy. As with product experiences. brand attachment refers to a strong emotional bond (i. packaging. and behavioral responses triggered by specific brand-related stimuli. they are exposed to utilitarian product attributes. mascots. Jones 1999. as evidenced by its three dimensions—affection. its personnel. In the following sections. brochures. others occur more deliberately and last longer. and fun (Holbrook and Hirschman 1982).g. stored in consumer memory. feelings.” Thus. events). brand attachment. 1997. Over time. Kempf and Smith 1998). communications. river rafting. internal consumer responses (sensations. and brand personality. These brand-related stimuli appear as part of a brand’s design and identity (e. and skydiving (Arnould and Price 1993. background design elements (Mandel and Johnson 2002). advertisements. Experiences can also occur indirectly—for example. some brand experiences occur spontaneously without much reflection and are short-lived.. shop for. Consumption Experience Experiences also occur when consumers consume and use products. we distinguish various dimensions of brand experience. Moreover. and consume brands.g. such as brand attitudes. Celsi. and environments. Holt 1995. Antecedents of involvement include the perceived importance and personal relevance of a brand (Zaichkowsky 1985). These brand-related stimuli constitute the major source of subjective. shapes (Veryzer and Hutchinson 1998). not just an overall “liking. Shopping and Service Experience Shopping and service experiences occur when a consumer interacts with a store’s physical environment. and some experiences may even be negative. Involvement is based on needs. “I like the brand”).g. that is. 1993.. Attitudes are general evaluations based on beliefs or automatic affective reactions (Fishbein and Ajzen 1975. In particular. “hot affect”) between a consumer and a brand. Reicheld 1996). Respondents are typically asked to reflect on a combination of direct and indirect product experiences to investigate how the combination affects product judgments. experiences may include specific feelings. preferences. customer delight. and Park 2005). we explicate the brand experience construct further and differentiate it from other brand concepts. logo. such as brand-identifying colors (Bellizzi and Hite 1992.g. and interests that motivate a consumer toward an object (e. cognitions. we conceptualize brand experience as subjective.. and Varki 1997). They include specific sensations. experiences may result in general evaluations and attitudes. they are also exposed to various specific brand-related stimuli. Most experiences occur directly when consumers shop. these long-lasting brand experiences. brand involvement. In contrast. brand attachment (Thomson. Hoch and Ha 1986. brand experiences are not general evaluative judgments about the brand (e. that is.. slogans. However. For example. Most important. including Web sites. Further Explication of the Brand Experience Construct Brand experiences vary in strength and intensity. when consumers are exposed to advertising and marketing communications. and satisfaction (Grace and O’Cass 2004). Kerin.
Applied Writings on Experience Marketing and Management Pine and Gilmore (1999) study “staged experiences” in retail environments and events. Schmitt (1999) proposes five experiences: sense. affective. Thus. In contrast. and doing. He critiques the purely cognitive Kantian view of experience as knowledge. mascots. Similarly. Therefore. experiences are sensations. and Park 2005). he considers bodily experiences and motor actions and behaviors part of the “sensory-motor module. it can be both expected or unexpected. which are highly relevant to brands. The sense experience includes aesthetics and sensory qualities. typefaces. 1925) categorization. Moreover.” similar to Lakoff and Johnson’s (1999) concept of embodied cognition. The think experience includes convergent/analytical and divergent/imaginative thinking. olfactory. and applied writings on experiential marketing and management. because brand experience differs from brand evaluations. feelings. Summary There has been considerable agreement in the categorization of experiences by philosophers. One of the most studied constructs of brand associations is brand personality (Aaker 1997). and social relationships. their four experience dimensions nonetheless overlap with some of the dimensions of experience we discussed previously. In contrast to customer delight. act. Cognitive Science Cognitive scientists have investigated “mental modules. Dimensions of Brand Experience To identify dimensions of brand experience. Brand personality is based on inferential processes (Johar. intellectual/educational. they distinguish aesthetic (including visual. social. designs. we next review pertinent work in philosophy. and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli. and emotional/entertaining dimension. excitement. In addition to intellectual experiences resulting from knowledge. intellectual. Sengupta. feelings and emotions. In contrast to brand attachment. The five experiences are closely related to Dewey’s (1922. cognitive scientists. educational. In this literature. has been proposed. creativity and reasoning. brand experiences may result in emotional bonds. the relate experience refers to social experiences. Consumers tend to endow brands with human characteristics that result in a brand personality. and Varki 1997). feeling. and management thinkers. sophistication. and reasoning about things) is only one part of a person’s understanding of the world. behavioral. brand experiences are actual sensations. Dubé and LeBel’s (2003) pleasure construct. but emotions are only one internal outcome of the stimulation that evokes experiences. and relate. cognitions. and behavioral responses. Finally.g. especially if we view Pinker’s sensory module as including sensory and behavioral components. 1925) views experience as the intertwining of human beings and their environments. Finally. Over time. emotional. As with brand attachment. feel. typefaces. As we described previously. Although Pine and Gilmore’s framework is limited to retail settings and events. for the scale development that follows. Rust. Philosophical Investigations The philosopher John Dewey (1922. and customer delight. involvement. analyzing. arguing that knowledge (classifying. Rust. and Pinker’s (1997) mental modules.” or special purpose computational systems that respond to specific environmental cues and solve a restricted class of problems (Fodor 1998).. competence. across a variety of disciplines. think. aural. surprising consumption (Oliver. it can be considered the affective component of satisfaction (Oliver. human beings are fundamentally connected with other people. and Aaker 2005). and designs usually result in sensory experience. 1925) postulates: sensory perception. when designs use complex patterns). brand experience is also conceptually and empirically distinct from brand personality. customer delight is characterized by arousal and positive affect. Note that there is no one-to-one correspondence. For example. experiences also include perceiving (through the senses). MacInnis.g. brand experiences do not occur only after consumption. entertaining. attachment. Pinker does not list a separate “doing” module. feelings. although colors. and tactile aspects). the feel experience includes moods and emotions. Following Dewey. cognitive science. a fairly consistent set of experience dimensions. a brand experience does not need to be surprising. the experience dimensions are evoked by brand-related stimuli (e. Consistent with recent research in consumer behavior (Richins 1997). which consists of five dimensions—sincerity. and ruggedness (Aaker 1997). consumers are not sincere or excited about the brand. Moreover. colors.. such as relating to a reference group. and escapist experiences. May 2009 . brand characters). Thomson. Dubé and LeBel (2003) distinguish four “pleasure dimensions”: intellectual. That is. Pinker (1997) identifies four mental modules that correspond closely to the experiences that Dewey (1922.g. However. 54 / Journal of Marketing.(Park and MacInnis 2006. The act experience refers to motor actions and behavioral experiences. brand experience is distinct from brand associations and brand image (Keller 1993). For these settings. and social. In line with our conceptualization. Customer delight results from disconfirming.. such that a certain stimulus type would trigger a certain experience dimension and only that dimension. it is necessary to generate items along the five experience dimensions that broadly emerged from our literature review: sensory. thus confirming the need for conceptualizing a sensory/aesthetic. slogans. red for Coca-Cola) or intellectual experiences (e. brand experience is not an emotional relationship concept. they merely project these traits onto brands. shapes. shapes. they occur whenever there is a direct or indirect interaction with the brand. cognitions. and Varki 1997). they may also result in emotions (e. and physical pleasures.
” “I think of topics like animal testing. “touch and feel. Hilton. we asked them to choose a brand in the same or a related category that provides a weak experience for them or no experience at all and to describe in an open-ended way the “sensations. which had been selected as strong experiential brands by more than one respondent. We instructed participants to choose a brand that provides a strong experience for them. and social experiences. True Value. but they were primed with terms related to experience dimensions for the weak experiential brand. They also viewed brand experiences as being evoked by brand-related stimuli. Two other findings are noteworthy. as well as functionality and basics. qualitative study that we designed to determine whether the conceptualization of brand experience presented here was in line with consumers’ conceptions of brand experience. (For Apple and Nike. Only 6 respondents provided detailed descriptions of highly specific elements of their experiences—for example.g. Visa promotes being accepted everywhere. Reebok (chosen by two respondents). Participants in the study provided open-ended responses for a variety of goods and service brands. W Hotel.” Note that. Six respondents did not provide a specific weak experiential brand in the same category but described weak experiential brands in the category generically. even though they were explicitly primed with an experiential terminology. Participants provided descriptions of weak experiential brands for Aéropostale. we asked graduate-level business students (N = 25) to describe their experience with a brand of their choice. the background music or visual design in stores. cognitive. In addition.. Google. Visa (chosen by two respondents). analytical and imaginative thoughts (e. They rated the following brands to be strong experiential brands: Abercrombie & Fitch. This allowed for a conservative assessment of whether consumers shared our conception of experience and whether they perceived a difference between strong experiential and weak experiential brands. Starbucks. Crest. We also analyzed the descriptions for the weak experiential brands. Dunkin’ Donuts. Next. Apple/iPod (chosen by six respondents). “I change the way I organize and interact with information. we present three descriptions per strong experiential brand. Tim Hortons.. in Table 1. “Visa is not about experience. we provide six descriptions each.g. Volkswagen. Nike’s “Just Do It”). For each experiential brand. feelings. Washington Mutual. many descriptions were at the general level of experiences at which we provided our conceptualization. which had been selected by both raters. such scales typically assess a lasting trace stored in long-term memory based on multiple exposures to brand-related stimuli. and WalMart. their retail stores are incredibly basic” (for Wal-Mart). “Aéro’s brand stands for little more than cheap clothing” (for Aéropostale). or the way a BMW drives (“I love the sensations I get from BMW: The noise of the motor during acceleration. Visa is about convenience and reliability and less about how I as a customer feel about the brand”. “Bibendum. Canon. Microsoft. The Body Shop.” “reminds me to use my imagination”). Dick’s Sporting Goods. alone or with others.” “It’s a place I want to go”). a wide range of feelings (e.although slogans. thoughts. affective. “It’s like a membership in an exclusive.” “inspired. we asked two raters to select descriptions that corresponded with our conceptualization of sensory.. and Aéropostale: “They focus on price as low as price can be. In contrast to the strong experiential brands. mascots. to list the brand. Some respondents defined “category” more broadly than others (e. almost all descriptions of strong experiential brands were positive. American Express. and behaviors (e. we included their responses to avoid biasing the results.” “refreshed. Moreover. and behaviors that they might have or engage in.” “I feel like an athlete”).. “the brand intrigues me.. we first report the results of an exploratory.) As Table 1 shows. the grip on curves.g. As an illustration. Consumers’ Conceptions of Brand Experience Are consumers’ conceptions of experience similar to our conceptualization? To address this question. and then to describe their experience in an open-ended way on one sheet of paper. when consumers complete brand experience scales. Before we develop the actual scale.” “appeal to different senses. participants needed to rely on their own conceptions of experience for the experiential brand.g. Although these respondents did not strictly follow instructions. consumer electronics rather than MP3 players). and Williams-Sonoma. by referring to the colors and design of Apple products. we develop a brand experience scale that captures the dimensions of brand experience and the level of experience Brand Experience / 55 . country-clubish community. Visa. Douglas.” “smells nice and is visually warm”).. Respondents reported brand experiences that occurred when they shopped and consumed brands.. Developing the Brand Experience Scale Next.” the Michelin Man) or stimulate actions (e. such scales are usually not directly assessing the dynamic. HBO. MasterCard. only 2 of the 25 respondents provided some negative descriptions (see Table 1). First. Nike (chosen by four respondents). rather.g. Sur La Table. For example. purity and wellness.g. participants provided descriptions of sensations (e. BMW.g. Disney. the qualitative study shows that consumers’ conceptions of brand experience are aligned with the concept of brand experience we developed from prior research and theoretical writings in various disciplines. Target. behavioral. Macy’s. A content analysis of the open-ended responses indicated that all consumers had a concept of brand experience. Participants also made occasional references to the social context of branded experiences (e. Dell. participants described weak experiential brands mostly in terms of price and promotions.” “I am part of a ‘smarter’ community..” “I want to work out. consider the following descriptions of Wal-Mart. Sony. they may also trigger emotions (e.” “nostalgia”). Home Depot. “fun. the resistance on the steering wheel when I turn”). given the instructions. and brand characters may result in imaginative thoughts. “online” experience of the consumer in the here and now. In summary.g.
like swing the baseball bat. •It’s just great to drive. Second. •It’s “discussion inducing”. fresh. purity. excitement.. W Hotel •Being part of something fun. Disney •Stimulates my senses. MasterCard •Makes me think about precious things in life. but it’s now simply a way of identifying the brand for me. •I feel happy and proud because I am “smart” and “in-theknow. As part of the scale development. •I feel more youthful than using American Express or Visa.g.” “attached.. intellectual. the brand reminds me to use my imagination. we must address methodological challenges. but I felt really comfortable. whether the experience is visually exciting or emotionally warm.. Washington Mutual •I have positive feelings because of their friendliness. sophistication. happening. Target •Shopping experience is very pleasant. or social experience with a brand. •I enjoy the entertainment. I feel a strong urge to buy it”. “I enjoy seeing displays of products that have superior design”.g. •Stimulates me. affective. •I enjoy playing with all the products. •I feel inspired to start working out. and healthy. Google •The search is elegant. or specific intellectual processes (e. or the needfor-cognition scale (Cacioppo and Petty 1982). •This brand intrigues me. emotions scales (Izard 1978). I want to discover things.g. intellectual. and entertainment. Crest •I feel refreshed. •The store incites me to act. •I use the iPod when I am jogging. •It’s like being around a Barnes & Nobles crowd. •It’s comfortable and puts me in a better mood. Brunel. they should not measure the specific sensory. the items of the scale should focus on the degree to which a consumer has a sensory. I feel warm and safe. “affectionate. and I exercise more because of the iPod. what specific imaginary thoughts or behavioral actions come to mind). •I feel like a child. Nike •Makes me think of how to live an active lifestyle. They use multifaceted items to measure specific sensations (e. sexy. •I really feel Apple products go with my way of life.” •With Google. I feel stylish. welldesigned products) or tasks (e. •I think of topics like animal testing. •Because of sponsoring activities. •Many stores are putting in Starbucks for an even more enhanced shopping experience.g. The Body Shop •Appeals to different senses. and exclusivity. Bloch. •Products are displayed to please the eye. Williams-Sonoma •I had a feeling of nostalgia. behavioral..g. •A BMW is the symbol of my success. evoked by the brand on each dimension. Starbucks •Smells nice and is visually warm. and exciting. Brunel. •It’s like a membership in an exclusive. country-clubish community. Home Depot •I did not know anything about construction. Apple/iPod •I love the touch and feel of the products. First. and Arnold 2003). •I am part of a “smarter” community. specific emotions (e. I want to discuss the shows with others.g. •It was an amazing feeling to hang out in the lobby. Several scales already provide 56 / Journal of Marketing. •Service is disappointing. •I felt confident and in good hands. •I want to work out. •Provides the experience that any customer can tackle any home improvement project. American Express •It’s an interactive experience.. abstract thinking).. •It’s relaxed and unhurried. it creates a mood of playfulness and curiosity. and Arnold 2003). •Feels clean. •Part of luxury. These scales focus on individual reactions to specific stimuli (e. or put on the running shoes. Thomson. •I feel part of the magic. in contrast to some other brand scales adopted from existing scales in psychology. •Full of memories of home. •Don’t really like the smell. •It’s a place I want to go and do not have to go. BMW •I feel young. the development of a brand experience scale requires a broader search for acceptable items. HBO •Puts me in a good mood. •I enjoy designing my own shoe that perfectly fits my personality. “When I see a product that has a really great design. and Park 2005). MacInnis. affective. such as the visual product aesthetics scale (Bloch. •Initially the “Priceless” campaign was emotive. I change the way I organize and interact with information. •I feel like an athlete. •I want to be with people that share the values that the brand promotes. •Makes me feel powerful. May 2009 highly specific measures for specific experiences.” “passionate”. and wellness. or social content of the experience (e. I feel fun.TABLE 1 Descriptions of Experiential Brands Abercrombie & Fitch •It’s a complete experience when you enter the store. •I also had a negative one-time experience. behavioral. “I would pre- .
Gristedes (5). For intellectual experiences. One-third of the items were negatively worded. For affective experiences. we reviewed the literature on brand communities and relationships (Fournier 1998. we ask consumers to rate 21 brands on the remaining items of Study 1. we asked the participants to evaluate the extent to which the 125 items described their experiences with brands. What experiences are captured by these dimensions? Study 1: Item Generation and Selection The objective of Study 1 was to generate specific items for the proposed dimensions of brand experience and to select the items that have face validity in terms of describing relevant brand experiences. To reduce primacy and recency effects. Abercrombie & Fitch (4). sentiments. for social experiences. Next. 23 behavioral. To generate the items. we examined Brand Experience / 57 . Virgin (4).fer complex to simple problems. we examine the discriminant validity of the scale from motivational and affective brand scales. We retained items with a mean value greater than 4. and Park (2005). Reebok (4).” and 7 = “extremely descriptive”). using a seven-point Likert scale (1 = “not at all descriptive. such as brand involvement. feelings. we varied the order of presentation of brands and items. we reviewed the literature on physical/ behavioral and lifestyles aspects of consumption (Helman and De Chernatony 1999. but only the first four factors were significant based on a scree plot (variance explained = 62%). in each version of the questionnaire. behavioral. Smith and Yang 2004). assuming that these items were poorly understood. we selected or constructed 131 items to refer to sensory impressions and appeals (25 items). and customer delight. and relationships and belonging (25 items). Cacioppo and Petty 1982). Poland Spring (4). The factor analysis revealed a nine-factor solution with eigenvalues greater than 1 (variance explained = 71%). 29 affective. IBM (6). McDonald’s (4). In Study 3. In Study 1.0 and a standard deviation less than 2. in addition. W Hotels (4). Each respondent received one of the five versions randomly. we retained 125 applicable items: 24 sensory. we show that the scale has criterion validity. From the literature review. Izard 1978. physical and bodily actions and behaviors (25 items).” “The notion of thinking abstractly appeals to me”. Nike (10). for a total of 83 items: 23 (7 negative) for sensory. we reviewed research on intelligence and cognitive style and literature on creative thinking and applications of creative thinking in advertising (Guilford 1956. affective. brand attachment. Whole Foods (9). Finally. Sony (5). and emotions (30 items). Some of the selected items needed to be reworded to create linguistic style consistency for the scale so that the word “brand” appeared in each item and referred to or implied a consumer experience with the brand. 26 intellectual. For sensory experiences. Barnes & Noble (4). thinking. we show that brand experience is distinct from general brand evaluations and that the scale is reliable over time. the specific items on these scales are of limited value given our objective of measuring more generally whether and to what degree a consumer has a sensory. Berlyne 1974. This resulted in the deletion of 4 items. We then conducted a factor analysis using Varimax rotation. and 23 social items. we conduct an extensive literature review. and we conduct an exploratory factor analysis to determine the dimensionality of the scale. and Starbucks (4). 18 (7 negative) for behavioral. The nonexperiential brands were Wal-Mart (7). Solomon 2004). we conducted an extensive literature search and review focused on concepts related to the five dimensions of experience. we removed the items that more than 10% of participants did not rate. McAlexander. Richins 1997). Bloch. Parsons and Conroy 2006. In Study 4. 30 university students were paid $5 each to participate in a study on brand experience. we asked 68 university students to think of three product categories and to pick one brand in each category that they believed was marketed in an experiential way and another brand that they believed was not marketed in an experiential way. Schmitt and Simonson 1997). we examine the dimensionality of the scale with a nonstudent population. we included Apple. each version included four experiential brands and one nonexperiential brand. To examine the consistency of ratings across the five groups. How many brand experience dimensions are there? 2. JetBlue (5). we reviewed the literature on affect and emotions in psychology and consumer research (Edell and Burke 1987. curiosity. in each version. BMW (8). intellectual. we asked a new sample of students (N = 267) to indicate the extent to which the 83 items described their experiences with each of five brands listed (1 = “not at all descriptive. for a total of 21 brands (16 experiential and 5 nonexperiential). Coca-Cola (4). We modeled instructions after the work of Thomson. and Arnold 2003. Study 2: Item Reduction and Dimensionality of the Scale We designed Study 2 to reduce the number of items and to examine two questions: 1. and problem solving (26 items). For behavioral experiences. Plutchik and Kellerman 1989. Although reviewing such scales is important. and 19 (7 negative) for social experiences. one of the experiential brands. and Koenig 2002. Finally.0. We prepared five different versions of the questionnaire. Schouten. 13 (7 negative) for affective. we use exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses to further determine the scale dimensionality. In Study 2. in Study 5. select initial items along the five proposed dimensions. MacInnis. and Dell (4). Brunel. Muniz and O’Guinn 2001). moreover.” and 7 = “extremely descriptive”). naire in random order. MacInnis. or social experience. using a shorter scale and a new sample of consumers and brands. 10 (8 negative) for intellectual. We then included the items in a question- In a pretest. Target (4). The chosen experiential brands were (frequencies of mention are in parentheses) Apple (13). we examined research related to aesthetics and sensory perceptions (Arnheim 1974. To interpret the four-factor solution. After the initial screening and face validity check. Following Thomson. In the main study. We retained brands with the highest frequency of mention. and ask experts and consumers to screen these items. After explaining the concept of brand experience. Tiffany (4). and Park (2005).
1 (Apple). 3 intellectual. 4. This brand is not action oriented.13 .4 (88% of items had loadings greater than .7) to evaluate the Varimax rotated factors.72 . indicative of a general brand experience. the mean of Reebok was not significantly different from the means of Dell.75 are negatively phrased and reverse coded.63 (Nike).02 (McDonald’s).18 . Bold values indicate the factor on which each item predominantly loads. Moreover.35 . Notes: Factor analysis uses Varimax rotation. The new scale resulted in 12 items. Specifically.15 . and 3.07).10 (JetBlue). Factors 1 and 2 included a mix of items: Factor 1 focused primarily on intellectual items. Poland Spring. 4. whether responses to the scale items were truly brand and respondent independent and. I engage in physical actions and behaviors when I use this brand.26 .a This brand stimulates my curiosity and problem solving.03 .86 (Virgin). Twenty items fulfilled the criterion.27 . all the experiential brands had higher mean values than the nonexperiential brands. and 1 item had a borderline loading of . and IBM. 4. To determine whether the four-factor solution could provide a more distinct structure and to reduce the number of items further.63 . 4. 3. Next. Columns 1 and 2). To test the stability of the scale.01: 3. we also conducted an exploratory factor analysis that restricted the number of factors to four (variance explained = 62%) and then used a stricter loading criterion (>. only intellectual items loaded on the second factor (6 items).67 (Whole Foods). The results show a distinct pattern: Only sensory items loaded on the first factor (6 items).72 .00 (Coca-Coca).a This brand is an emotional brand.24 (Sony).60 (Abercrombie & Fitch).69) loaded on the third factor.39 . we employed a new sample of brands and respondents. and the mean of Abercrombie & Fitch was not significantly different from the means of Dell and Poland Spring. We divided them randomly into six groups of 5 brands each (see Table 3.87 to 5. This enabled us to examine 58 / Journal of Marketing. 4. and social/affective items (. This brand does not make me think.22 (Starbucks). and Factor 2 focused on social and affective items.27 (Poland Spring). 3.32 (Tiffany). 4. Finally.44 (Reebok).items that had a loading greater than .34 . The means of experiential brands ranged from 3. 4. To reduce the number of items further. I do not have strong emotions for this brand.27 .a I engage in a lot of thinking when I encounter this brand.17 . two independent judges closely examined the 20 items in terms of semantic similarity.75 .65 (Target). The nonsignificant comparisons included Reebok and Abercrombie & Fitch. In line with Nunnally’s (1978) criterion of .77 . .19 .08 (Wal-Mart).80 Study 3: Further Item Reduction and Confirmation of the Dimensions In Study 3. We performed 80 t-tests to examine statistically whether the mean of each experiential brand was significantly different from the mean of each nonexperiential brand. we reduced the number of scale items further and conducted both exploratory and confirmatory analyses. the data support the criterion validity of the scale. May 2009 .38 .09 (Barnes & Noble). 3.12 .a This brand induces feelings and sentiments.15 . The fourfactor analysis on the 83 items revealed two factors that were easy to interpret: Factor 3 (sensory experience) and Factor 4 (behavioral experience).72 (W Hotels).92).13 .20 (IBM). They omitted 8 items (3 sensory. aItems Sensory/ Affective Behavioral Intellectual .4 on at least one factor). To check the criterion validity of the new.7. indicating that respondents in the five groups used the scale in a similar way. and they were adequate for behavioral items (. both affective and social items loaded on the fourth factor (5 items).93).76 . 4. thus.11 . This brand does not appeal to my senses. We also prepared a different sample of 30 strong experiential brands (based on expert judgments). we asked a new sample of 193 students to evaluate the extent to which the 12 items were descriptive of their experience with each brand using a TABLE 2 Study 3: Exploratory Factor Analysis: Revealed Brand Experience Dimensions Factor Item This brand makes a strong impression on my visual sense or other senses.24 .12 . 3.22 .22 –.93). and 2 social items of the social/affective dimension).33 . In contrast.05). and 5. Specifically. and only behavioral items (2 items had loadings of greater than . 3. Column 1). 3. sensory items (. This brand results in bodily experiences. 4.80 .13 . A total of 75 comparisons (94% of all comparisons) resulted in significant differences (ps < .83 (BMW). suggesting that the socially worded items include strong emotional aspects.44 to 5. including 3 items for each of the four types of experience dimensions (see Table 2. we calculated the mean value of the 20 items for each of the 21 brands.92 (Gristedes).82 . 3.59 .7. the Cronbach’s alphas were satisfactory: They were high for intellectual items (. 4.47 .78). Ratings on the Apple brand were high and consistent (all means ranged from 4.33 (Dell).75 . the means of nonexperiential brands were all lower: 2. shorter scale. I find this brand interesting in a sensory way.
and intellectual factors).10.e. the 3 sensory and 3 affective items loaded on the first factor.52.58 4. we used structural equation modeling to conduct confirmatory factor analyses. Finally.47b 4.57 4.62 3.42 4.88 4. the 3 affective items = . cUnique.60c 4.83. loading on a second-order factor). we investigated the following models further: (1) the three-factor model (sensory/ affective. we grouped the observations by Brand Experience / 59 .40 4.24 5.19a 5.07 3.39b 3.90 4.55b 5.95a 4.55 4.24b 4.47 4.70b 5.36 3. Because we did not anticipate that both sensory and affective items would load on a single factor. An exploratory factor analysis revealed three factors with eigenvalues greater than 1.33 4.25 Intellectual 5. all individual items within each dimension averaged item-to-total correlations of .33 5.91 3. In addition.90 4.17 3.51 3.22 5. As Table 2 shows.27c 4. Group 3 1 5 2 6 1 4 6 6 4 1 3 4 5 1 5 6 2 3 3 3 5 2 4 2 5 1 6 4 2 Overall Experience 5. seven-point Likert scale (1 = “strongly disagree. For each model.79c 5.55 2. one-factor model).79. we investigated two cases: a case in which factors were allowed to be correlated and a case in which the factors were assumed to be orthogonal.80 3.58 3.18 3.68 3. a one-factor secondorder model with four subdimensions.56 4.60 3.72c 5.97 4.67 4.35a 4.70 5.52b 3.64 4.56 3.42 4.38 4.75 3.87 3.64 4.90 3.14 4.26 4.62 3.14 4. and all exceeded .56 2.91 3.85 4.76.78c 5.14 3.62 3. The students were paid $5 each to participate. we conducted another exploratory factor analysis on the 6 sensory and affective items only.84 5.TABLE 3 Study 3: Means by Brand for Overall Experience and Experience Dimensions Brand LEGO Victoria’s Secret iPod Starbucks Disney Puma Viagra Ferrari Toys “R” Us Gatorade Hallmark Ben & Jerry’s Harley-Davidson Adidas Nokia Hershey’s Sudoku Blackberry Samsung L’Oréal Gillette Tropicana Clinique American Express Prada Motorola Dannon Calvin Klein Crate & Barrel La Prairie Overall aModerately differentiated.63 3.85 3.63 4. the 3 behavioral items = .17 Notes: all ps < . and the 3 intellec- tual items = .39 3.71 5.65 3.08 4.07 4.20 3.67b 5. The three factors explained 67% of the variance.94 3.34c 5.80 3. indicating satisfactory levels of internal consistency. behavioral.97 2.25 3.16 4.41 4. the 3 behavioral items loaded on the second factor.18 4.32 3. except for the simple one-factor model.13a 4.00 3.46 4.51b 5.76 3.52 5.03 5.74 3. behavioral.60 Affective 5.52 3.26 3.50 3.46 3.17 4. All values were satisfactory: the 3 sensory items = .86 3.68.75 3.” and 7 = “strongly agree”). (2) the fourfactor model (sensory.69 3. affective. and (3) the nested model (two first-order factors— behavioral items loading on one factor and intellectual items loading on another—plus two other first-order factors. and the 3 intellectual items loaded on the third factor (see Table 3).39 3.78c 4.92 3.81. and intellectual factors).73 3.31 3.01 4.26 3.02 3.25a 4. we considered the possibility that these 6 items would load first on two first-order factors “nested” within the second-order sensory/ affective factor.66 3.72 4.33 4.99 4. a clean factor structure emerged.82 4.35b 4.12 2. In addition.31 3. and a one-factor second-order model with three subdimensions.56 3.03 3.87 2.51b 5.67 4.. After Varimax rotation.42 4.18 Sensory 5.46 3.23 2.32 4.26 2.80 3. Thus.49 3. After Varimax rotation.15b 4.67 3.75 5.86 3. bHighly differentiated.63 4. this subsequent analysis revealed two nested factors—the sensory factor and the affective factor—which explained 74% of the variance.66 4.35 2.70 4.89 2.71 4.71 Behavioral 5.28b 5.34b 5.97 5. To determine which measurement model fit the data best. We also assessed the internal reliability of the four dimensions of brand experience by calculating a Cronbach’s alpha for each dimension using the 12-item scale.27 2.95 3.63b 4.76 3.85 3.62 3.53 3.27a 5.26a 4. On the basis of these results.75 3. sensory and affective. we analyzed a model that assumed that all items loaded on a single brand experience construct (i.92 4.68c 4.
69* .66* .86* .8. except for the one-factor second-order model (with four FIGURE 1 Study 3: Confirmatory Factor Analysis: The Four-Factor Model This brand makes a strong impression on my visual sense or other senses. and the chi-square statistic of this model represented a significant improvement over any of the competing models. thus.59* I engage in physical actions and behaviors when I use this brand. MacInnis. This brand does not appeal to my senses. close to 5.62* Intellectual This brand stimulates my curiosity and problem solving. . Dotted lines represent correlations.76* Sensory . the comparative fit index (CFI) = . all indicating acceptable fit. indicating an adequate fit (lower values are more desirable.77* . see Figure 1).a .01.a . p < . the ratio between the chi-square statistic and the number of degrees of freedom was 5.76* Affective . . The fit measures for that model suggested a reasonable fit: The goodness-of-fit index (GFI) = .brands and centered the means of 12 items at zero to remove any brand effects.69* .001. we considered other fit statistics more valuable in this context.81* This brand induces feelings and sentiments. . and Park 2005). In addition.67* This brand is an emotional brand. and χ2(48) = 278. *p < .80* This brand does not make me think. May 2009 . and the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = . The fit measures for this model were better than those for all other tested models. Bagozzi and Heatherton (1994) question the usefulness of the chi-square statistic in similar models. Thomson.61.a . aReverse coded.69* .83* I find this brand interesting in a sensory way.91.08.70* . This brand results in bodily experiences. The confirmatory factor analyses revealed that the best model was the four-factor model with correlated factors (for details.84* . . Notes: All coefficient values are standardized and appear above the associated path. I do not have strong emotions for this brand. 60 / Journal of Marketing.57* I engage in a lot of thinking when I encounter this brand.92.a .53* Behavioral This brand is not action oriented.
or behavioral experience.16 1209.92 of subsequent models (e. we conducted Study 4 in a real-life consumer setting with a nonstudent population. iPod and Hallmark are highly differentiated. we included only agreed-on brands (overall and per dimension) in the subsequent analyses. affective.92 . Puma. LEGO and Sudoku are unique. To assess whether an experiential brand is viewed as being differentiated from other experiential brands by our respondents in terms of its sensory.10).13 versus M = 3. Compared with brands that experts judged as moderately experiential.001 . Ferrari. Brand Experience / 61 . and LEGO is moderately differentiated.” Excluding these.61 GFI One-factor higher order (four subdimensions) Four factor aFor details on this model. M = 4. for intellectual. as delivering either a “highly” or a “moderate” sensory. Disney is unique. 515. In addition.f. 969. for affective.88 versus 3. or behavioral experience. To assess the criterion validity of the scale.” As Table 3 shows. iPod. iPod. Some of the comparative data among the experiential brands may seem surprising.09 .90 1497.60.. — p< p< p< p< p< 0 .e. inferior) RMSEA (. intellectual. Recall that experts preselected all brands to be experiential brands. which stand out in terms of their overall experience. For example. Gatorade.001 .64. the iconic Harley-Davidson brand ranks only 13 on the list. and iPod are highly differentiated.f. iPod. affective. Starbucks. null versus one-factor model. we refer to brands with high means that were significantly different from all remaining brands (labeled with a superscript “a”) as “moderately differentiated. Study 4: Additional Reliability and Validity Tests of the Brand Experience Scale The purpose of Study 4 was to validate the brand experience scale further in several ways. and Disney are unique. on each dimension. participants rated Toys “R” Us as a more sensory brand than Crate & Barrel. Thus.21.91 Chi-Square Differenceb 4036. and Starbucks. we refer to the group of brands that had high means and were significantly different from all other brands (labeled with a superscript “b”) as “highly differentiated. Viagra. we asked two experts to categorize each of the 30 brands as either a “highly experiential brand” or a “moderately experiential brand” and.001 . excluding these. on the sensory dimension (Column 4). participants rated highly experiential brands significantly higher on overall experience (M = 4.08 . from the tests and cutoff criteria.60. on the behavioral dimension (Column 7).92 versus 3. all ps < . Adidas is unique. which had the same chi-square statistic of 278. and Starbucks is moderately differentiated. and Puma. On the affective dimension (Column 5). Finally.61 (d.001 .correlated subdimensions). and Ben & Jerry’s are moderately differentiated from the other experiential brands.50 1043. see Table 4) but a higher (i. Overall.89 278.” Finally. intellectual. not their. these brands were unique. we refer to the group of brands with high means that were significantly different from all other brands (labeled with a superscript “c”) as “unique. M = 5.81 versus M = 3.65) and on each of the experience dimensions (for sensory. On the intellectual dimension (Column 6).26. Toys “R” Us. and they may view these brands as icons of a prior. Victoria’s Secret. and Starbucks is moderately differentiated. For the comparisons.03 versus 3. and LEGO are highly differentiated.001 RMSEA . A reason for the relatively low ranking of these brands may be our sample of respondents. and for behavioral. 931. we treated all data as between subjects (all ps < . that is.50 527.01). we conducted pairwise comparisons among the 30 brands on each experience dimension.91 . In Table 3.28. students may have less direct experience with Harley-Davidson and Crate & Barrel than with other brands. Interviewers intercepted 150 consumers (ranging in age TABLE 4 Study 3: Confirmatory Factor Analysis Model Fit Comparisons Model Null One factor Three factor One-factor higher order (three subdimensions) “Nested”a Four factor One-factor higher order (four subdimensions) Chi-Square 5079.. 287.g. First. 66 54 51 48 48 48 44 CFI . ranked by degree of overall experience. generation.61 278. Victoria’s Secret. M = 3. Interrater agreement was 85%. Victoria’s Secret. to provide evidence of consistency across populations. = 44) (for details. respondents rated LEGO. any differences among the brands must be interpreted relative to the notion that all are experiential and that some of the perceived differences in the degree of experience may be specific to our sample. one-factor model versus three-factor model). or moderately differentiated on overall experience (see Column 3) and on three of the four experience dimensions (see across columns). bChi-square differences represent comparisons d. behind brands such as LEGO. Victoria’s Secret.27. Victoria’s Secret and Hallmark are highly differentiated. see the text.09). Table 3 (Columns 3–7) shows the means of the 30 brands on the overall brand experience scale and its dimensions.89. M = 5. and Starbucks as the most experiential brands. highly differentiated.
Factor 2 had loadings greater than . Moreover. seven-point scale: “unimportant to me/important to me. May 2009 Notes: Standardized regression coefficients.” “stimulated.88 2 . with standardized coefficients raging from .19 –. participants completed items related to the following motivation and affective scales: Zaichkowsky’s (1985) brand involvement (six items. mean age = 23 years) in the shopping streets of two medium-sized cities and asked them to rate one brand (Nokia) on the 12-item brand experience scale. Factor 2 was “affective experience” (all loadings > .23 .84.02 . all other loadings were less than .” “attached.2.37. and passion). and Oliver.” “passionate. evaluation and. participants felt a stronger experience when asked to report on a “strong” brand than when asked to report on a “moderate” or “weak” experiential brand (M = 5. we manipulated “experience strength. the best-fitting model was again a four-factor model with correlated factors (χ2(48) = 102. The nonstudent sample results were highly similar to the student sample results in the previous study. p < .33 . A final factor analysis that restricted the number of factors to 2 (variance explained = 58%) resulted in an overall experience factor (all brand experience item loadings > . Factor 3 was “sensory experience” (all loadings > . we conducted a factor analysis on the ten composite brand scales. intellectual.7 years) volunteered to fill out the brand experience scale for a second time for the same brand.13 . to assess the discriminant validity of the scale from brand attitude.85.78). After Varimax rotation. all ps < .54 . Using confirmatory factor analysis.” “excited.68 for the sensory items.” “unfavorable/ favorable. Bold values indicate the factor on which each item predominantly loads.02 3 . .” “loved. Second.68). respectively.44 . On the composite experience index. in particular. Rust. Thomson.” “pleased. we considered customer delight a one-dimensional scale. To prepare the data for further analyses. affective.00 –.” and “insignificant to me/significant to me”).77.” and “captivated”).088). experience” for them. to assess the test–retest reliability of the scale.00 Study 5: Discriminant Validity of the Brand Experience Scale We conducted Study 5 to provide additional evidence for the discriminant validity of the scale in relation to brand 62 / Journal of Marketing. brand involvement.” “of no concern to me/of concern to me.00001. 72 consumers (mean age = 22.” and “elated”). seven-point scales: “affectionate. Finally. the three brand attachment dimensions (affection. key motivational and affective brand constructs.21 .” “useless to me/ useful to me.69 to r = .” “do not like/like very much. Brand Experience Dimensions.55 .78 for the evaluation items. From a factor analysis. and Factor 5 was “intellectual experience” (all loadings > .4. Table 5 shows the factor TABLE 5 Study 5: Exploratory Factor Analysis (Promax Rotation).” “delighted.77 to . The manipulation was successful. All other loadings were less than .79 for the behavioral items. connection. The test– retest reliability for the overall scale was r = .58 . the test–retest reliability seems adequate.” and “not attractive/very attractive”).” “means nothing to me/means a lot to me. Participants (N = 144) completed the 12item brand experience scale and four seven-point general brand evaluations items (“bad/good. Given the time frame.23 . overall brand evaluation. which revealed a three-factor solution (explaining 75% of the variance).78).9.07 . Another factor analysis (variance explained = 79%) that restricted the number of factors to 5 (thus examining whether the items of the four experience dimensions and the evaluation items would load on different factors) provided a similarly distinct rotated factor pattern that could easily be interpreted as follows: Factor 1 was “behavioral experience” (all loadings > .48 . and Factor 4 had loadings greater than .14 . fivepoint scale: “astonished.” or a “weak. Finally.” “cheerful.” “friendly.65) and a separate brand evaluation factor (all evaluation item loadings > .72). all other loadings were less than . Specifically. and Varki’s (1997) customer delight (ten items.69).75 .58 . Factor 4 was “overall brand evaluation” (all loadings > .05 . Each item loaded on the predicted factor. or almost no. Factor 3 had loadings greater than . MacInnis. two weeks after completing the scale for the first time. separated by two weeks.” “peaceful.” asking onethird of the respondents each to think about a brand that provides a “strong experience.” “happy. and behavioral). participants. M = 3. a factor analysis that did not restrict the number of factors resulted in four factors with eigenvalues greater than 1 (variance explained = 74%).01). In addition. and customer delight. we asked consumers to evaluate the brand on three seven-point scales (“good/bad.” “connected.” “irrelevant to me/relevant to me. we reversecoded negatively worded items and computed composite scores for the four brand experience dimensions (sensory. RMSEA = .81 .80).” “dislikable/likable.from 15 to 56 years. we examined the test–retest reliability of the brand experience scale by correlating the ratings at the two measurement points.” “bonded. Factor 1 had loadings greater than .45 .” and “disagreeable/agreeable”). and Other Brand Scales Factor 1 Sensory experience Affective experience Intellectual experience Behavioral experience Overall brand evaluation Brand involvement Affection Connection Passion Customer delight . and Park’s (2005) brand attachment (ten items.82 .26 –. and M = 2.” “surprised.73 for the dimensions.” “contented.68 for the affective and intellectual items. Next.95.15.73 .” “enthused. the experience scale and its dimensions were distinct from overall brand evaluations by loading on separate factors.05 .” a “moderate experience. To create variation in brand experience scores. the brand experience scale displayed high discriminant validity from overall brand evaluations. In several exploratory factor analyses.01 .32 –. ranging from r = .68 . and environments.
behavioral.48 to . brand experience emerged as Factor 2. Importantly. Because experience provides value.” All four experience dimensions (sensory. According to Aaker (1997). they do not use various brands but rather focus on coffee retail shops in Shanghai and Taipei. an experience may be the basis for more elaborative information processing and inference making that results in brand-related associations (Keller 1993). and Eagly 1989. Study 6: Using Brand Experience to Predict Consumer Behavior In Study 6. in the sense of a single higher-order factor. we In addition to these direct effects. and Aaker 2005). The notion of experiential value is also inherent in the applied work on experience. and 5. the scale as a whole can also be viewed as indicating the overall degree to which a brand evokes experiences. That is. company representatives. The scale is short and easy to administer. connection. and the sensory and intellectual dimensions loaded on the other factor (. except for a . Schmitt. 347). to other constructs. customer delight. had their highest loadings on Factor 1. As Table 5 shows. Both brand experiences and judgments of a brand’s personality occur in response to brand contact and include a categorization process. In addition. brand experience. brand evaluation. ranging from . as in the oblique solution. H1: Brand experience affects consumer satisfaction positively. experiences provide value and utility similar to utilitarian attributes (Brakus. brand involvement. users. which we interpreted tentatively as “brand relationship. we obtained the same factor patterns for the brand feelings and brand relationship factors. seems to be distinct. intellectual. We also examined a Varimax-rotated three-factor pattern that forces the scales into an orthogonal structure. ranging from .69).pattern after oblique (Promax) rotation. with high loadings. p. People seek sensory stimulations (McAllister and Pessemier 1982) and show negative effects under sensory deprivation (Goldberger 1993). They seek pleasure and avoid pain (Freud  1950). the formation and updating of brand personality is a highly inferential process (Johar. no other scale loaded strongly on this factor. the brand experience scale is related to. and Zhang 2008). One construct—and measurement scale—that has been discussed extensively as a key inferential-associative concept is brand personality. we expect consumers to want to repeat these experiences. and behavioral) had the strongest loadings on Factor 2. Moreover. brand experience should affect not only past-directed satisfaction judgments but also future-directed consumer loyalty. including only one dimension of brand personality—namely. Reicheld 1996). endorsers). and they need intellectual stimulation to avoid boredom (Cacioppo and Petty 1982). Again. or communiBrand Experience / 63 . also had a considerable loading on this factor. brand attachment. affective. Hypotheses Development In the following section. These results further attest to the discriminant validity of the brand experience scale from other brand scales. the more satisfied a consumer will be with the brand. Liberman. together with brand evaluation (. Chang and Chieng (2006) examine how experiences and brand personality affect brand relationships. a brand’s personality may be inferred from people associated with the brand (e. two of the three brand attachment dimensions (affection and passion).g. Conclusion The 12-item brand experience scale captures in a reliable and stable way four dimensions of brand experience: sensory. excitement. and it is internally consistent and reliable. 2007. we expect that the more a brand evokes multiple experience dimensions. involvement had a higher loading again on Factor 3 (. H2: Brand experience affects consumer loyalty positively.83. We interpreted the factor as “brand experience. but distinct from. because experiences result from stimulations and lead to pleasurable outcomes. we first discuss the direct effects of brand experience on consumer behavior and then the indirect effects mediated by brand personality.73.48 loading of brand involvement. we examine how brand experience is related to brand personality and whether it can predict behavioral outcomes. However. as measured by the brand experience scale. Oliver 1993). 4. the brand experience dimensions now loaded on two separate factors: The affective and behavioral dimensions loaded on one factor (. We interpreted the factor as “brand feelings. Consumers should be more likely to buy a brand again and recommend it to others and less likely to buy an alternative brand (Mittal and Kamakura 2001.63). such as brand involvement. other brand scales. In the next study. One prior study considers how experience affects consumer behavior. From the results of Studies 3. and brand evaluation. and therefore has a higher overall score on the scale. In both the oblique and the orthogonal solutions. which explained 81% of the variance. Thus. and the brand connection dimension of brand attachment loaded high on Factor 3. On the basis of prior consumer research. brand name. affective. brand experience is also likely to result in further processing and thus affect satisfaction and loyalty indirectly.76) and the brand connection dimension of brand attachment (.. no other scale had substantial loadings. category associations. but related. we focus on two key behavioral outcomes—customer satisfaction and loyalty (Chandrashekaran et al. respectively).” Interfactor correlations among the three factors were moderate. However. Sengupta. expect that brand experience affects these behavioral outcomes through a direct and indirect route (Chaiken. as well as customer delight. these associations may affect satisfaction and loyalty. In summary. Finally. Petty and Cacioppo 1986).” Finally. especially in the work Pine and Gilmore (1999).54. Specifically. Oliver 1997.58 to .61. which is defined as “the set of human characteristics associated with the brand” (Aaker 1997. however. If a brand evokes an experience.71 and . we examined a four-factor solution. respectively). In turn. this alone may lead to satisfaction and loyalty. the third brand attachment dimension. and intellectual. for all experience dimensions on the factor. product attributes.87 and . However.
” “honest. intellectual.” and “successful” (for competence). we were able to conduct an exploratory factor on the entire set of original items—the 12 items of the brand experience scale and the 15 items of the short version of the brand personality scale that address the five dimensions of brand personality (sincerity. it has been shown that consumer satisfaction affects loyalty. a high level of commitment and loyalty results (Anderson and Sullivan 1993. is “rugged” (Aaker 1996). Factor 3 was the only factor that included both personality and brand experience items. Crew and Liz Clairborne (clothing). A useful input in this inference is likely to be brand experience. We counterbalanced the order of presentation of the category and the order of brands within each category. Fournier 1998). We measured items on a seven-point Likert scale (1 = “not at all descriptive. Given the large sample size. the experience dimensions and the personality dimensions loaded separately on the two factors. a clean factor structure emerged (see Table 6). The brand experience scale included the 12-item scale we used in Studies 3. “I will buy this brand again”. brand personality offers value to consumers similar to experiences. May 2009 . To measure brand personality. reverse coded). I would buy a brand different from that brand” (negative item.” and “If I could do it again.” and “cheerful” (for sincerity). or behavioral experiences. Procedure A total of 209 students participated in Study 6 for a compensation of $5. the more a brand is associated with human characteristics. Participants rated a set of 12 brands for six categories: Apple and Dell (computers). which further confirmed the discriminant validity of the scales. we measured the items on a seven-point Likert scale ranging from “strongly disagree” (1) to “strongly agree” (7).” “wholesome.” “spirited. Puma and New Balance (sneakers). increases preference. sophistication. or bodily experiences based on the fit and texture of the jeans. Volkswagen and Saturn (cars).” “imaginative. Thus: H6: Consumer satisfaction affects consumer loyalty positively. or behavioral experiences could easily result from a summary judgment such as brand personality. H4: Brand personality affects consumer satisfaction positively. namely. This information. class” and “charming” (for sophistication). sophistication. “daring. to conclude that Hallmark is “sincere” (Aaker 1996). In general. Oliver 1997). the more satisfied and loyal a consumer will be. and “I am not happy with what I did with this brand” (negative item.” “intelligent. selecting a brand with a certain personality enables consumers to express themselves (Aaker 1999). p. Therefore. 4. intellectual. 352). excitement. affective. we examined the discriminant validity of the brand experience scale from the brand personality scale. Fiji and Poland Spring (water). The higher the overall score on the brand experience scale. and “I will recommend this brand to others. affective. and the New York Times and USA Today (newspapers). competence. but the scree plot exhibited a significant dip between the fourth and the fifth factor. excitement. Mittal and Kamakura 2001.” and 7 = “extremely descriptive”) and provided the instructions in line with the work of Aaker (1997). Brand personality provides differentiation. Two factors had eigenvalues greater than 1. Each seven-point Likert scale was anchored by “strongly disagree” (1) and “strongly agree” (7). we expect that brand experience is an antecedent of brand personality. I will be loyal to this brand”.” and “up-to-date” (for excitement). or nostalgia or thoughts of holiday activities. a consumer may attend to his or her sensory experiences based on the brand’s colors. and “outdoorsy” and “tough” (for ruggedness) (Aaker 1997. Similarly. experiences are used as information (Pham 2004). J. For example. H3: Brand experience affects brand personality positively.cations. to conclude that a clothing brand. the personality of the brands listed. Thus. “I will not buy other brands if this brand is available at the store”. we included a version of the scale that consisted of the 15 brand personality items that represented the five brand personality dimensions: “down-to-earth. H5: Brand personality affects consumer loyalty positively. “reliable. When a consumer feels good about the relationship and appreciates the product or brand. Thus. competence.” Again. and 5. behavioral experience and ruggedness items. it is not clear how sensory. We measured consumer satisfaction using five items modeled after Oliver (1980): “I am satisfied with the brand and its performance. Each participant rated the extent to which the items described his or her experiences with the brands listed. Results and Discussion Before estimating the structural equation model based on our conceptual model. and enhances trust and loyalty (Biel 1993. Each participant evaluated two categories and both brands within that category. however. and feelings of satisfaction and loyalty toward the brands. reverse coded). reverse coded). and ruggedness). Moreover. thoughts about the “Wild West” origin of the brand. We also conducted a factor analysis on the composite scores of each brand experience and brand personality dimension. Finally. or ruggedness can be facilitated when the consumer attends to specific sensory. such as Levi’s. in conjunction with other information. we adopted five standard loyalty items from the work of You and Donthu (2001): “In the future. the more likely the consumer will endow the brand with personality associations. on the three-factor solution. The first four factors explained 62% of the variance. A trait judgment about a brand’s sincerity. The exploratory factor analysis revealed five factors with eigenvalues greater than 1. “This brand will be my first choice in the future”. a consumer may attend to his or her feelings of happiness. As a result.” and “I feel bad about my decision to get this brand” (negative item. the behav- Finally. After Varimax rotation. After Varimax rotation. “upper64 / Journal of Marketing. may be combined into a brand personality judgment. The reverse process—brand personality preceding brand experience—is conceptually less plausible. romance. brand experience and brand personality exhibited high levels of discriminant validity: The respective items loaded on separate factors. to measure consumer loyalty. “My choice to get this brand has been a wise one.
16 .42 .06 .59). The direct effect of experience on loyalty (.67 × .72. and consume brands.60 . customer delight.59 + .13) is lower than the direct effect of brand personality on satisfaction (.08 –. As we have conceptualized and shown empirically.41 . experience affects satisfaction and loyalty both directly and indirectly through brand personality. p < . The scale currently does not measure whether an experience is positive or negative. Finally.19 .24) is higher than the direct effect of experience on satisfaction (.68 .69 × . Psychometrically. Notably.58 . As we predicted.001).77 . The estimated model fits the data reasonably well: GFI = .86.05 . which is higher than the total direct effect of Brand Experience / 65 .05 .06 –.78 .33 .33 (. In addition to the proposed model.11 –.21 –. The direct and indirect effects of brand experience on loyalty are roughly equal: The total direct effect on loyalty (through satisfaction) is .74 .50 –.TABLE 6 Study 6: Exploratory Factor Analysis (Varimax Rotation) with Brand Personality Dimensions and Brand Experience Dimensions Factor 1 Sensory 1 Sensory 2 Sensory 3 Affective 1 Affective 2 Affective 3 Behavioral 1 Behavioral 2 Behavioral 3 Intellectual 1 Intellectual 2 Intellectual 3 Sincerity 1 Sincerity 2 Sincerity 3 Sincerity 4 Excitment 1 Excitment 2 Excitment 3 Excitment 4 Competence 1 Competence 2 Competence 3 Sophistication 1 Sophistication 2 Ruggedness 1 Ruggedness 2 .84.71 . Most important. including brand evaluations.36 .69 .22 .08 .08. Thus.80 . consisting of only 12 items. The alternative model had a worse fit: GFI = .66 .04 .05).74. shop for. CFI = .08 –.53 (. and ruggedness = . and tracking purposes.41 .001 (ratio between chi-square and the number of degrees of freedom = 5.11 .22 . All path coefficients in the model are significant (ps < . To estimate the proposed model given the number of observations.67).15 .29 . We demonstrated that brand experience can be broken down into four dimensions (sensory. planning.03 –. brand experience seems to be a stronger predictor of actual buying behavior than brand personality. they can use the scale for assessment.07 . makes the person feel good. there are differential effects of brand experience and brand personality on satisfaction and loyalty.32 . with χ2(146) = 1186. General Discussion Brand experiences arise in a variety of settings when consumers search for. the private nature of experiences may make them less malleable and less subject to situational influences than the more social and self-expressive brand personalities (Aaker 1999).08 .85.13 .62 .03 . Figure 2 shows the estimated structural equation model.69 . excitement = . we did not include the path that links brand experience to brand personality.08 . further research should explore positively Notes: Bold values indicate the factor on which each item predominantly loads. having experiences in and of themselves seems to have value and results in positive outcomes.77. which in turn is a better predictor of satisfaction.15). it affects consumer satisfaction and loyalty directly and indirectly through brand personality.36 .24 + .09 . which are differentially evoked by various brands.29 .24 .86 . However. and the total indirect effect is .63 . In contrast.13). The scale also successfully passed various reliability and validity tests. The total effect of brand personality on loyalty is .12 .73 .57 .16 .07 . The difference in chi-square values between the two models was 392. and engages the mind and body.08 .79 . and behavioral).27 .23 . brand involvement. As marketers engage in projects to understand and improve the experience their brands provide for their customers. however.55 4 .45 .15 × . with χ2(146) = 793.25 .31 . sophistication = .72.05 .01 .20 .59).15 .69. the intellectual dimension = .67 .15 .05 .88. a stimulationseeking organism may strive to receive such stimulation again.28 .69 × .78 .73 .25 .79.40 .06 3 .22 . We encourage further research on the brand experience scale.88.63 .27 .17 .86. The scale will be useful not only in academic research but also in marketing practice.07 .25 . If a brand stimulates the senses. the direct effect of brand personality on loyalty (. Accordingly.05 –.72 . we conceptualized brand experience as subjective consumer responses that are evoked by specific brandrelated experiential attributes in such settings.27 . Internal consistencies of the composite measures were satisfactory (Cronbach’s alphas: the sensory dimension = .67 × .26 . and RMSEA = .14 .71). resulting in a total effect of . CFI = .11 .05 .15 .15 .03 .77 . we tested an alternative model that considered that brand experience and personality may affect consumer behavior independently. ioral experience dimension and ruggedness formed their own factor.47 .17 . the brand experience scale displays discriminant validity from some of the most widely used branding measures and scales.13 .9.15 . This result may be related to the very nature of experience. including test– retest reliability and criterion validity.4).10 experience on loyalty. competence = . sincerity = .1 (p < . affective.096.26 . the affective dimension = .06 .32 . the behavioral dimension = .33 2 .36 (.09 . The brand experience scale that we constructed is short and easy to administer. brand experience has a behavioral impact. and RMSEA = . we used composite measures of the four brand experience and the five brand personality dimensions to reduce the number of parameters.07 .25 . in this model.91. Therefore. intellectual.13 + .09 .12 .25 . the scale is internally consistent and consistent across samples and studies.86 . brand attachment.34 . and brand personality.
we encourage research on the experience concept.e. the type of dimensions that are most commonly involved) and content (i. the intellectual dimension to predict creative usages of the brand.g. both directly and indirectly. many experiences. Evanschitzky. **p < . airline flights). we would expect the sensory dimension to predict future design and aesthetics perceptions and usages.13 * * .79* . we assessed experiences retrospectively.59* Loyalty . Research has shown that the pattern of extended experiences (e. Vogel. worded and negatively worded versions of the scale and investigate how positive and negative experiences affect consumer behavior.e.. extend over time.” “This brand results in positive/negative bodily experiences. “… and this results in an experience that is ‘very positive’ (1) or ‘very negative’(7).81* Intellectual . “This brand makes a strong positive/negative impression on my visual sense or other senses.86* . can brand experiences build customer equity. For example.60* Behavioral . Such research has used the term “experience” generically to refer to responses within a certain time frame.81* Brand Experience .69* Affective .53* Competence . Further research should investigate whether retrospective experiences are different from dynamic experiences. how exactly are brand experience dimensions evoked by brand-related stimuli? In addition. Ariely and Zauberman 2003). the specific sensations.FIGURE 2 Study 6: Discriminant and Predictive Validity of the Brand Experience Scale Ruggedness Sophistication .67* . Finally. There seems to be two ways to create valenced versions of the scale. we did not directly assess a consumer’s dynamic experience with a brand.” “This brand induces positive/negative feelings and sentiments. and the behavioral experience to predict specific actions and physiological reactions when interacting with a brand. regarding antecedents.15** Satisfaction . in terms of both structure (i.. Notes: All coefficient values are standardized and appear near the associated path. and Ramaseshan 2008). the question arises whether brand experiences affect customer lifetime value (Rust.83* Excitement . restau- rants. feelings. the affective experience to predict emotional judgments.. One way is to reword the scale items slightly by including the words “positive” or ”negative”—for example. it would be worthwhile to explore which patterns occur for which experience dimensions.05. and how should marketers manage brands to create experiences that build such equity? 66 / Journal of Marketing.62* Brand Personality Sensory . spas.” Further research should determine which method is more reliable and valid. especially in the services industry (e. On the basis of our theorizing.01. and behaviors that are involved). although we have shown the impact of brand experience. In addition to research on the scale. Zeithaml. and Lemon 2000. From the studies reported here. increasing or decreasing in intensity) can affect how experiences are evaluated (Ariely 1998. That is. For example. May 2009 .” or “I engage in a lot of positive/negative thinking when I encounter this brand. such as satisfaction and loyalty.g.82* Sincerity .24* *p < . Moreover. further research should focus on the antecedents and long-term consequences of brand experiences.. on short-term consequences.” The second way is to add a phrase and a bipolar response scale after each scale item—for example. Further research should also examine whether the scale can predict specific behavioral outcomes. cognitions.
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