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Abstract

This study tried to investigate the relationships among the sought benefits, consumer-brand relationship and purchase experiences with regard to cosmetics, based on Scmitt (1999)`s Strategic Experiential Modules (SEM) which classified consumer`s purchase experiences into five modules (sense, feel, think, act & relate) and provide strategic implications based on the results. According to the result, among the sought benefits of cosmetics, functionality had the most significant impact on purchase experience, and brand affected "sense" and "think-act-relate" experiential modules. Fashion was only found to affect "feel" module. Also, the "think-act-relate" module positively affected all components of consumer-brand relationship. And, "love and passion" component was significantly influenced by sensory experience, while "mutual commitment" and "affinity" were both affected by affective experience. In addition, gender difference was found in fashion, economy, and functionality among the sought benefits, Specifically, women showed higher score on fashion and functionality than men, while men scored higher in economy benefit than women. Also gender was a differentiating factor for "feel" and ``think-act-relate" experiential modules, where women scored higher than men. Finally, In terms of causal relationships, "functionality" influenced all three experiential modules (sense, feel, think-act-relate) for both men and women. But, women showed more significant relationship between brand and sensory module, whereas men showed significant relationship between brand and think-act-relate module. At conclusion, the study provides some strategic implications that cosmetics companies need to strengthen brand relationship with consumers in order to provide them with targeted purchase experiences that fit the benefits most sought by them, which will result in competitive strengths.

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