Functional and Experiential Routes to Attitudinal and Behavioural Loyalty
: What Matter Most Brand Satisfaction or Brand Love?

  • Soulaima Mouawad

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Brand loyalty is a foundational concept in marketing, which has attracted the attention of academics and practitioners for over three decades. To date, however, the lion’s share of previous research in the consumer and branding literatures has focused on examining the antecedents and the outcomes of brand loyalty, whilst little is known about which brand constructs are more effective in developing and enhancing brand loyalty (attitudinal and behavioural) and under what conditions different precursors come into play.
This study is amongst the first in filling this gap by proposing and examining different functional and experiential routes to behavioural intentions (i.e. brand loyalty, word-of-mouth, and willingness to pay a price premium) and actual behaviours (i.e. Facebook behaviours). The functional routes are represented by perceived brand quality and brand satisfaction, whereas the experiential routes are represented by brand experience and brand love. Another important gap addressed in this research is related to the effects of the interactions between the functional and the experiential antecedents and their influence on behavioural intentions and actual Facebook behaviours. To advance understanding on the relationships between brand satisfaction and brand loyalty as well as brand love and brand loyalty, this study explores the moderating roles of self-esteem, public self-consciousness, and product involvement on these links.
Building on solid theoretical groundings, a nomological model of brand loyalty, its
relationships, mediators, and moderators was conceptualised and evaluated in the fashion context following a quantitative research approach. An online questionnaire was conducted in the UK by a market research agency, achieving a total sample of 440 questionnaires. A series of meticulous statistical analyses of the data was undertaken through SPSS. Subsequently, the conceptual model was assessed using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) with Mplus software. In accordance with conventional SEM procedures, the key findings disclosed the
outperformance of brand experience and brand love (i.e. experiential brand constructs) in fostering behavioural intentions and Facebook behaviours over the functional constructs (i.e. perceived brand quality and brand satisfaction). Furthermore, self-esteem was found a significant moderator of brand satisfaction-brand loyalty and brand love-brand loyalty relationships, whereas public self-consciousness was identified a significant moderator of brand satisfaction-WOM and brand love-WOM relationships. Both moderators had a positive influence on the indicated relationships. Unexpectedly, the moderating effect of product
involvement was nonsignificant. Drawing on these findings, this research advances theoretical, methodological, and managerial implications, and offers fruitful avenues for future research along the discussion of the limitations.
Date of Award6 Jul 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorMohammed Rafiq (Director of Studies) & Lia Zarantonello (Co-Supervisor)


  • brand loyalty
  • consumer-brand relationship
  • brand experience
  • brand love
  • brand satisfaction
  • perceived brand quality

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