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Abstract

Brand experience has received much attention from considerable marketing research. When consumers consume and use brands, they are exposed to various specific brand-related stimuli. These brand-related stimuli include brand identity and brand communications(e.g., colors, shapes, designs, slogans, mascots, brand characters) components. Brakus, Schmitt, and Zarantonello(2009) conceptualized brand experience as subjective and internal consumer responses evoked by brand-related stimuli. They demonstrated that brand experience can be broken down into four dimensions(sensory, affective, intellectual, and behavioral). Because experiences result from stimulations and lead to pleasurable outcomes, we expect consumers to want to repeat theses experiences. That is, brand experiences, stored in consumer memory, should affect brand loyalty. Consumers with positive experiences should be more likely to buy a brand again and less likely to buy an alternative brand(Fournier 1998; Oliver 1997). Brand attachment, one of dimensions of the consumer-brand relationship, is defined as an emotional bond to the specific brand(Thomson, MacInnis, and Park 2005). Brand attachment is target-specific bond between the consumer and the specific brand. Thus, strong attachment is attended by a rich set of schema that link the brand to the consumer. Previous researches propose that brand attachments should affect consumers` commitment to the brand. Brand experience differs from affective construct such as brand attachment. Brand attachment is based on interaction between a consumer and the brand. In contrast, brand experience occurs whenever there is a direct and indirect interaction with the brand. Furthermore, brand experience is not an emotional relationship concept. Brakus et al.(2009) suggest that brand experience may result in brand attachment. This study aims to distinguish brand experience dimensions and investigate the effects of brand experience on brand attachment and brand commitment. We test research problems with data from 265 customers having brand experiences in various product categories by using multiple regression and structural equation model. The empirical results can be summarized as follows. First, the paths from affective, behavior, and intellectual experience to the brand attachment were found to be positively significant whereas the effect of sensory experience to brand attachment was not supported. In the consumer literature, sensory experiences for consumers are often equated with aesthetic pleasure. Over time, these pleasure experiences can affect consumer satisfaction. However, sensory pleasures are not linked to attachment such as consumers` strong emotional bond(i.e., hot affect). These empirical results confirms the results of previous studies. Second, brand attachment including passion and connection influences brand commitment positively but affection does not influence brand commitment. In marketing context, consumers with brand attachment have intention to have a willingness to stay with the relationship. The results also imply that consumers` emotional attachment is characterized by a set of brand experience dimensions and consumers who are emotionally attached to the brand are committed. The findings of this research contribute to develop differences between brand experience and brand attachment and to provide practical implications on the brand experience management. Recently, many brand managers have focused on short-term view. According to this study, we suggest that effective brand experience management requires taking a long-term view of marketing decisions.

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