The Retailer Brand Personality - Behavioral Outcomes Framework: Applications to Identity and Social Identity Theories
Retailer Image Format
Family & Consumer Sciences
AdvisorEastlick, Mary Ann
Sherry, Lotz L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis research aims to examine a framework to test the relationships between consumers' perceptions of a retailer's brand personality and outcome variables (i.e., positive word-of-mouth about and patronage intention toward the retailer) by applying identity and social identity theories to reveal possible factors influencing these relationships in both department and discount retailer image formats. This research hypothesized that retailer brand personality should influence consumers' behavioral outcomes through private and public forms of self-congruity. The more positive the perception of a retailer's brand personality, the higher the private and public self-congruities with the brand personality. In addition, considering the unique, tangible nature of a store's environment, this research suggested that retailer brand identity (RBI), a consumer's perception of oneness with a retailer brand, should play an important role in the retailer brand personality-behavioral outcomes framework by mediating the influences of both private and public self-congruities on various behavioral outcomes. Moreover, the relationships among two forms of self-congruity and perceived RBI should be moderated by the shopping conspicuousness situation (i.e., whether co-shopping with important others or alone and whether shopping in an environment in which one is visible to important others or is relatively secluded) and consumer shopping involvement (i.e., whether consumers see shopping as an important and self-relevant activity). To test the study's hypotheses, data were collected from a sample of 616 general consumers via a self-administered questionnaire provided through the website of an online survey research firm. This research used a 2 (retailer image format) X 2 (shopping situation conspicuousness) between-subjects quasi-experimental design in which subjects were randomly assigned to one of the four treatment groups who read a scenario that provided a description of a retailer image format of either a hypothetical department (n = 311) or discount store (n = 305) and a description that manipulated the shopping situation as being either high (n = 303) or low (n = 313) in shopping conspicuousness. Results revealed that the retailer brand personality scale, adapted from BPS, a brand personality scale developed by Aaker (1997) and other scales specifically used to measure retailer brand personality (Dardin & Babin, 1994; d'Astous & Lévesque, 2003; Helgeson & Supphellen, 2004) comprised two positive dimensions (i.e., Modish and Genuine) and one negative dimension (Inactive). Each dimension influenced the behavioral outcomes of Word-of-Mouth and Patronage Intention differently. Perceived Genuineness was the most influential dimension among the three, exerting direct and indirect influences through increasing Private and Public Self-congruities and overall RBI on both WOM and Patronage Intention. However, Modish had only a direct negative effect on Patronage Intentions whereas Inactive had indirect effects on both behavioral outcomes through a combined (direct and indirect) negative effect on overall RBI. This research also revealed that overall RBI, driven by its affective and evaluative dimensions, fully mediated the influences of Private and Public Self-congruities on behavioral outcomes, suggesting overall RBI as an important factor in the retailer brand personality-behavioral outcomes framework. Moreover, the relationship between Public Self-congruity and overall RBI was found to be stronger in the high Shopping Conspicuousness Situation whereas the relationship between Private Self-congruity and overall RBI was found to be stronger in the department store image format. The moderating role of Consumer Shopping Involvement on the relationships among self-congruities and overall RBI was not significant. Theoretical and managerial implications of these findings and limitations of the study are provided.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family & Consumer Sciences