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ANZMAC 2009

Measuring the love feeling to a brand with
interpersonal love items

Noel ALBERT*, Wesford Business School, France
noelalbert@yahoo.fr

Pierre VALETTE-FLORENCE, IAE Grenoble & CERAG, France
pvalette@upmf-grenoble.fr

Abstract
This manuscript focuses on efforts to measure the brand love construct. By identifying the
conceptual limitations of existing consumer love scales, this research develops, tests, and
validates a new scale that can measure the feeling of love toward a brand, composed of items
from four interpersonal love scales. This study also compares the nomological validity of the
proposed scale with that of two other brand love scales.
Keywords
Love concept, interpersonal love scales, consumer behaviour, PLS.

ANZMAC 2009 Measuring Love for a Brand with Interpersonal Love Items Since pioneering work by Rubin (1970) to understand and conceptualize the love feeling. 1999. In the first section. we provide a comparison of the nomological validity of our proposed scale with the validity of two other brand love scales. neuroscience. attachment. implies that this construct may be similar to love. very rare exceptions. 2004). Merunka. 1 Page 2 of 8 . happiness. and Valette-Florence (2008a). Fisher.. the scale items might have different meanings (e. In the second part. The importance of love for human existence (Argyle and Henderson. However. because most interpersonal research presents love feelings as multidimensional constructs (Hatfield. (8) this brand is a pure delight. (3) this brand is totally awesome. MacInnis. 1988). Moreover. and (10) I am very attached to this brand. and computing reliability and validity indices.. Sternberg. The presence of a “passion” dimension (along with affection and connection) indicates that the scale measures a brand love feeling. Hendrick and Hendrick. Hatfield. researchers have studied this concept in various settings (e. Moreover. we review and discuss two currently available brand love measurement scales. 2006). but with a few. 1986). passion. 1984) also makes this topic a central concern for various social science fields (e. 1988. (7) I have no particular feelings about this brand (reverse-coded item). conducting confirmatory analyses. the attachment component of a love relationship does not tend to include a passion dimension (Baumeister and Bratslavsky. Finally. two items (2 and 5) seem to measure consumer well-being.g. Brand Love Scales: A Critical Review We present two brand love scales currently available for marketing applications and note some of their limitations. and Park (2005). though well-being and love represent two completely different constructs (Kim and Hatfield. Carroll and Ahuvia’s (2006) Brand Love Scale Carroll and Ahuvia (2006) propose a brand love scale that consists of 10 items: (1) this is a wonderful brand. MacInnis. the uni-dimensionality of their scale seems very surprising. Thomson. 1986.g. which we developed by starting with exploratory factor analyses. and Park’s (2005) Brand Love Scale Another prominent marketing scale for measuring a feeling of brand love comes from Thomson. 2006. the use of the item “loved. sociology) and marketing (Carroll and Ahuvia. 1988. 1986). From a conceptual standpoint. Finally. This study attempts to propose a measure of the brand love construct. we present a new love scale. (5) this brand makes me very happy.” which belongs to the affection dimension. (6) I love this brand. (9) I am passionate about this brand. Hatfield. well-being) and likely favour multi-dimensionality. (2) this brand makes me feel good.g.. Sternberg. (4) I have neutral feelings about this brand (reverse-coded item). we assert that this scale deals more with the love construct than any attachment construct. this identification of the limitations relies heavily on the synthesis and analysis recently proposed by Albert.

connectedness.4%). These points indicate that the two main brand love scales suffer from some important limitations from conceptual and statistical points of view.g. which adopts the procedures recommended by Churchill (1979). most of whom are young (66. 2006). 57 were retained for inclusion in the questionnaire that supported our scale construction.1%). and 17. 23% are executives. some items might offend French consumers). adidas (11. the Triangular Theory of Love Scale (Sternberg.6% are married. We also developed a paper-and-pencil questionnaire. There is no mention of a connection dimension. Finally. From the 65 items culled from the four scales. we collected 825 fully completed questionnaires for the analysis. 315) defines intimacy as “feelings of closeness. Two marketing experts. they frequently mentioned popular brands such as Sony (14.2%). 1988) demonstrate that the feeling of love consists of two dimensions: affection and passion. Scale Construction Item generation The items for our proposed scale come from four interpersonal love scales.8% men (64.. Apple (12. 1997). and bondedness in loving relationships” and confirms that connection is an attribute of affection. widely cited in love literature: the Passionate Love Scale (Hatfield and Sprecher. We propose a novel brand love scale that consists of interpersonal items in an attempt to address these limitations of existing scales. Sternberg (1997. and the Romantic Love and Liking Scales (Rubin. L’Oreal (10.2% women). 1970). We then present the scale structure and its reliability and validity tests.3% younger than 30 years).8% are employees. The final sample of respondents consists of 35.Page 3 of 8 ANZMAC 2009 Although the scale appears remarkably strong from a methodological standpoint. recent findings regarding interpersonal love from the fields of neuroscience (Fisher. we detail our scale construction.6%). also called intimacy (Sternberg. and Chanel (10%). Furthermore. Passion and affection represent key characteristics of love. Respondents could evaluate any brand they chose. Their evaluation suggested the removal of items that are not applicable to a brand in a French context (e. 1997) or attachment (Fisher. 2006) and social psychology (Hatfield. The Internet-based survey employed four questionnaire versions that varied the order of the items randomly. First data collection: Scale construction Respondents used a 10-point Likert scale (1 = does not apply at all to 10 = totally applies) to describe the extent to which the items applied to the brand they chose for the survey. 2 . 43% are students. 1986). 2005) and comparing the results with those for the two extant brand love scales. it suffers some issues from a conceptual perspective. we focus on the nomological validity of the love scale by testing it in terms of affective and continuance brand commitment (Fullerton. Most (65. first evaluated the items from the four scales. independent from this research project. Across all conditions. p. though 25. Methodology and Results In the following sections. Moreover.6%) of these respondents are single. but connection may represent a characteristic of affection.

they show high correlations with the others items on the same factor. 1988). followed by the confirmatory factor analysis and the psychometric properties of the brand love scale. Promax rotation supports these analyses.4% are executives and 17. Four different versions were available to the respondents. Finally. and adjusted goodness-of-fit index = 0. the fit indices with respect to the CSA analysis are as follows: root mean squared error of approximation = 0. calculated using Joreskog’s Rho. Students represent 39. 1981). The two brand love scale dimensions attain a Joreskog’s Rho superior to 0. The respondents’ mean age is approximately 30 years. MacInnis. we focus on the nomological validity of the love scale. In addition. and Adler. provides satisfactory results.ANZMAC 2009 Second data collection: Scale construction As recommended by Churchill (1979). and they exhibit weak correlations with other factors (Malhotra.924. Thomson. because of the supposed correlations between the factors that we anticipate will remain (Hendrick. Confirmatory factor analyses The confirmatory factor analyses.051. confirm the previously obtained scale structure: 12 items load on two dimensions. we received 683 questionnaires for the analysis. The brand love scale consists of passion and affection (for the brand) dimensions. 3 Page 4 of 8 . Hendrick. whereas 27. 1986). 1988. and Park. The scale reliability.7. or kinds (Lee.8% are employees. Table 1 includes the scale’s factor loadings and items. the critical threshold.5% of our sample. 1977) of love in previous interpersonal literature. which employ both partial least squares (PLS) and covariance structure analysis (CSA). We retain those items that fulfil the following criteria: They load strongly on the factor that they are designed to represent. steps (Hatfield. 2005). we conducted a second data collection procedure to (1) confirm the scale structure and (2) test its psychological characteristics. the passion dimension refers to the difficulty the consumer senses because of a separation from the brand and its omnipresence in the consumer’s mind. goodness-of-fit index = 0. We again posted the questionnaire on the Internet and asked consumers to evaluate their chosen brands using a 10point Likert scale. Results We first present the exploratory factor analyses. The affection dimension measures the psychological and affective proximity between the brand and the consumer. Passion and affection represent the major characteristics of interpersonal love and appear as dimensions (Sternberg.901. Exploratory factor analyses We conduct an exploratory factor analysis of the 57 items remaining in our collection from the four interpersonal love scales.

though there are some important differences in their ability to influence brand commitment.890 miserable. Brand commitment. I think that this brand and I are quite similar to each 0. but their influences are weaker (0. we integrate Carroll and Ahuvia’s (2006) and Thomson. 2006.758 0. 0. 2005): affective and continuance brand commitment.887 0. (passion) Sometimes I feel I can’t control my thoughts.819 other. There is something almost ‘magical’ about my 0. some research indicates that brand affection. Therefore. and Park’s (2005) scales in our analysis. Merunka. 0. If I were separated from this brand for a long time.863 0. Thomson.822 When I am with this brand. they are Hatfield 0. can influence brand commitment (Lacoeuilhe.e.920 0.907 0. usually represents the attitudinal portion of brand loyalty (Jacoby and Chesnut. one of the dimensions of brand love. the proposed instrument better captures some cognitive aspects of love (i.833 0. 2005) demonstrate that brand love influences brand loyalty.928 CSA: 0. and Park’s emotional attachment scale). The results indicate that all three brand love scales predict both continuance and affective brand commitment.715 the day. 2000. 1978). The two other brand love scales also can predict continuance brand commitment.867 relationship with this brand. I would feel Rubin (love) 0. Moreover. We postulate in turn that brand love influences brand commitment. There is nothing more important to me than my Sternberg 0.785 PLS: 0. presence of the brand in the consumer’s mind).802 0. I Hatfield 0.913 0. because no prior research compares existing brand love scales.849 Table 1: Factor Loadings and Items: Interpersonal Brand Love Scale 0.769 relationship with the brand. and Priester. MacInnis. MacInnis.777 0.919 would feel intensely lonely. (passion) I would feel deep despair if this brand left me Hatfield 0. Park. Carroll and Ahuvia.448 for Thomson.837 Joreskog's Rho PLS: 0. I feel tender toward this brand. and Park.. MacInnis.674 If I could never be with this brand. I find myself thinking about this brand frequently during Sternberg 0. Affection Passion Loading PLS CSA 0.784 0. which emphasizes its nomological validity for continuance commitment.835 0.737).940 CSA: 0. MacInnis. 4 . Several studies (Albert.440 for Carroll and Ahuvia’s brand love scale. In addition. I feel emotionally close to this brand. the brand love scale developed herein reveals the greatest influence (0. 2006).851 0. and feelings in interpersonal relationship literature. 2008b. The resulting comparison should help researchers and managers select the proper brand love scale for their related studies. we are almost always in the 0. and Valette-Florence.703 obsessively on the brand.Page 5 of 8 ANZMAC 2009 Factor Original scale Sternberg (intimacy) Sternberg (intimacy) Rubin (liking) Rubin (liking) Sternberg (passion) Hatfield Items I experience great happiness with this brand.778 same mood. Regarding continuance brand commitment. emotions. another important construct in the brand–consumer relationship.872 Nomological validity The love feeling relates to several different behaviours. We consider brand commitment as consisting of two dimensions (Fullerton.

737 0. Finally. which provides a surprising result. because it can influence the attitudinal loyalty of consumers toward a brand.736 Table 2: Influences of Brand Love Scales on Continuance and Affective Brand Commitment Discussion Consumers may feel love toward some brands. Although our brand love scale comprises interpersonal love items.. Whang et al. those that have tend to measure brand love with a single interpersonal love scale that remains subject to criticism (e.. 2004). Therefore.667 0. Furthermore.440 0. and Park. the scale psychometric characteristics appear satisfactory.700 Thomson. MacInnis.444 0. the emotional attachment scale has the weakest influence on affective brand commitment (0.e. 2006. 2005). Thomson. the three scales all obtain similar results. As its main objective. and Park’s scale and brand affective commitment. which conceptually should relate to and influence the affective aspect of the relationship.g. two brand love scales currently exist. passion and affection. From a statistical point of view. passion or affection) and thereby design appropriate communication. but they are subject to important conceptual and/or statistical limitations. the scale possesses some significant managerial implications.672 Carroll and Ahuvia. because it can predict continuance and affective brand commitment. We present these results in Table 2. few researchers have tried to measure brand love using only interpersonal items. From a conceptual point of view. the two dimensions of interpersonal love seem applicable in a consumption context as well.700).438 0.737 0. More generally.736 0. 2006 0. The proposed instrument contains two dimensions.. we compare the nomological capacity of our scale with that of two other brand love scales (Carroll and Ahuvia.448 0. we expected stronger links between Thomson. and 12 items. MacInnis. The results indicate that our scale achieves a greater influence on continuance brand commitment than do the two other scales.736). the results confirm the need for managerial attention to the brand love construct. Marketers can identify consumers who feel love toward their brands. then use this identification to recognize which characteristics link the consumer to the brand (i.ANZMAC 2009 With regard to affective brand commitment. loyalty programs. as demonstrated by various studies. 2005 0. followed by our proposed brand love scale (0. Moreover. and products launches that fit the consumers’ preferences and feelings of love. and Park. Scale Continuance Brand Affective Brand Commitment Commitment R² Adjusted R² R² Adjusted R² This study 0. MacInnis. Moreover. Carroll and Ahuvia’s brand love scale exhibits the highest influence on this dimension (0. this research proposes a new brand love scale that consists of interpersonal love items derived from four different scales. which may indicate that brand love and interpersonal love are similar.672). To measure the love construct. the brand love scale offers a useful brand management tool. because it consists of both affection and connection. 5 Page 6 of 8 .698 0.

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