Only 14 pages are availabe for public view
The service system could be represented by two parties which are the service firm itself and its customers and the other stakeholders who might influence the co-creation value (Agarwal and Selen, 2011; Leckie, Nyadzayo, and Johnson, 2018). Hence, the service-dominate logic could be reflected (Leckie, Nyadzayo, and Johnson, 2018). Customer engagement can be included in the value creation studies (Banytė, Tarutė, and Taujanskytė, 2014). Customer brand engagement (CBE) included three investment levels directed toward specific brand interaction, which are the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral levels (O’Brien, Jarvis, and Soutar, 2015; Hollebeek, Srivastava, and Chen, 2016; Bowden, 2017a; Risitano et al., 2017; Gong, 2018).
In order to reflect the link between CBE and the S-D logic, Leckie, Nyadzayo, and Johnson (2018, p. 72) defined CBE as “a customer’s motivationally driven, volitional investment of focal operant resources (including cognitive, emotional, behavioural and social knowledge and skills), and operand resources (e.g., equipment) into brand interactions in service systems.”
Customer brand engagement has three dimensions which make it a multidimensional approach which consists of cognitive processing, affection, and activation dimensions (Hepola, Karjaluoto, and Hintikka, 2017; Loureiro, Gorgus, and Kaufmann, 2017). The process of engagement has a relationship with some of its antecedents such as satisfaction, trust, and involvement (Brodie et al., 2011; Youssef et al., 2018).
Satisfaction can be defined as “an overall evaluation based on the total purchase and consumption experience with a good or service over time” (Akinci, Kiymalioğlu, and Atilgan, 2015, p. 118). Also, brand trust can have a relation with engagement in the value co-creation process (Banytė, Tarutė, and Taujanskytė, 2014). Furthermore, affective commitment has a relation with customer engagement (Bowden, 2009); it is defined as “the customer’s attachment to, identification with, and involvement in the organization. Hence, affective commitment is based on a sense of liking and emotional attachment to the partnership and leads to a sense of belonging or being “part of the family” (Auh et al., 2007, p. 365).
Loyalty includes two common dimensions: behavioral and attitudinal (Russell-Bennett, McColl-Kennedy, and Coote, 2007; Bruwer et al., 2014; Nadeem et al., 2015; Molinillo et al., 2017; Islam, Rahman, and Hollebeek, 2018; Leckie, Nyadzayo, and Johnson, 2018). Brand loyalty is the process that can be started from satisfaction, trust, involvement, and commitment in the service context (Bowden, 2009). Furthermore, customer engagement encompasses behaviors such as word of mouth and writing reviews (Kandampully, Zhang, and Bilgihan, 2015). The interactivities included in the online environment allow customers to join brand engagement (Khan, Rahman, and Fatma, 2016). Consequently, loyal customers may engage in sharing the WOM in different communications (Arifine, Felix, and Furrer, 2019).
As a result, engagement’s cognitive dimension can affect loyalty (Snijders et al., 2020); the emotional and behavioral dimensions also affect loyalty (Fehrer et al., 2018). Therefore, upon the three mentioned dimensions, loyalty can be affected by customer engagement (So, King, and Sparks, 2012; Dessart, 2015). This study was prepared to investigate all of the above mentioned points, to reach customer brand engagement in relation to its potential antecedents and its integration with brand loyalty. Hence, the service-dominant logic is used to achieve the current research objective.
2. Research Problem
The research problem is determined based on the following: review of the literature on CBE, satisfaction, brand trust, affective commitment, brand involvement, and brand loyalty as well as the exploratory study conducted by the researcher. The growth of the use of the Internet can attract customers’ interactions; hence, it enables some kinds of service companies to enhance and maintain the link between the firm and its customers in the service context (So, King, and Sparks, 2014). Moreover, the service-dominant logic concentrates on the dynamic enhancement of the relationships in which value creation and different forms of interaction can be connected over time (Tronvoll, 2012). Value co-creation activities are like sharing ideas, preference information, and knowledge to participate with the brand (Carlson et al., 2019). The co-creation perspective includes terms such as social media, technology, mobile web solutions, and app experiences and, also, their effect on customer loyalty (Kandampully, Zhang, and Bilgihan, 2015).
Considering the above mentioned points, customer brand engagement is an important asset that requires a lot of investment in order to be developed. There are some variables that are essential in the CBE relationships and have not been studied together in previous studies under the application of the service-dominant logic. These variables are represented in the current study model. Also, CBE has been studied in limited service contexts which applies in a narrow way to private ride services (i.e., which was included in one study at most, that is, Leckie, Nyadzayo, and Johnson, 2018). Therefore, there was a lack of research on the application of CBE in the context of the Egyptian and Arab World societies (World, 2019; Egyptian Universities Libraries Consortium, Future Library Automation System, Egyptian Libraries, 2019), which directed this study to identify the potential antecedents of CBE, better understand the integration of CBE with brand loyalty into the model, and empirically validate the relationships between customer brand engagement and other related constructs.
3. Research Aims and Objectives
The current research aims at the following:
• Examining the potential antecedents of CBE.
• Determining the relationship between satisfaction, brand trust, affective commitment, brand involvement, and CBE.
• Investigating the relationship between CBE dimensions and brand loyalty.
• Investigating the relationship between CBE and brand loyalty.
4. Research Hypotheses
H1: There is a positive effect of satisfaction on CBE.
H2: There is a positive effect of brand trust on CBE.
H3: There is a positive effect of affective commitment on CBE.
H4: There is a positive effect of brand involvement on CBE.
H5: There is a positive effect of cognitive processing on brand loyalty.
H6: There is a positive effect of affection on brand loyalty.
H7: There is a positive effect of activation on brand loyalty.
H8: There is a positive effect of CBE on brand loyalty.
5. Research Findings and Recommendations
Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equations modeling (SEM) were used to test the current research hypotheses. Hence, their results were supported except for H1 as illustrated in Table (1).
Table (1) Hypotheses results summary
Hypothesis Number Hypothesis Supported/ Rejected
H1 There is a positive effect of Satisfaction on CBE. Rejected
H2 There is a positive effect of Brand Trust on CBE. Supported
H3 There is a positive effect of Affective Commitment on CBE. Supported
H4 There is a positive effect of Brand Involvement on CBE. Supported
H5 There is a positive effect of Cognitive processing on Brand loyalty. Supported
There is a positive effect of Affection on Brand loyalty. Supported
H7 There is a positive effect of Activation on Brand loyalty. Supported
H8 There is a positive effect of CBE on Brand loyalty. Supported
Source: The researcher
Based on the findings of Table (1), seven hypotheses out of eight are supported (H2, H3, H4, H5, H6, H7, and H8), while one hypothesis is rejected (H1).
First, the rejection of H1 indicates that people using the Uber brand application’s private ride service were not highly satisfied with its experience before engaging with it. This finding can be justified by the fact included in some of the previous studies which reflect that satisfaction could act as one of the CBE consequences (Brodie et al., 2013; So, King, and Sparks, 2014). This result is inconsistent with the results of Hapsari, Clemes, and Dean (2017) and Youssef et al. (2018). Also, according to Hapsari, Clemes, and Dean (2017) and Snijders et al. (2020), there is a direct significant relationship between customer satisfaction and customer engagement or student engagement.
Second, the acceptance of H2 shows that Uber users tend to trust it because of its honesty and convenience. Also, it reflects that people using the Uber brand’s private ride service trust it and can depend on its honest services. This result is consistent with the findings of Osei-Frimpong, McLean, and Famiyeh (2019), which found that social media brand engagement (SMBE) is significantly and positively affected by brand trust. Other studies have found that trust is one of the online brand community engagement antecedents (Dessart, Veloutsou, and Morgan-Thomas, 2015).
Third, the acceptance of H3 illustrates that Uber users tend to affectively commit to the brand because it provides them with the family and belonging senses, which reflect their care about its sustainable success and their enjoyment when joining its related discussions. All of that showed a substantial relationship with the Uber brand. Also, this may reflect that people using the Uber brand’s private ride service feel a strong sense of belonging to it and care about its long-term success. This result is consistent with the findings of Vivek, Beatty, and Morgan (2012) and Youssef et al. (2018), which confirm that affective commitment is positively associated with customer engagement.
Fourth, the acceptance of H4 shows that Uber users tend to categorize it as relevant, worthy, and needed. Moreover, consumers who are involved more with a particular brand exert more effort in it. Highly involved persons are motivated toward the brand (or object), which is important in determining the level of activation (Hepola, Karjaluoto, and Hintikka, 2017). This may reflect that people use the Uber brand’s private ride service for some purposes such as its relevance to their lifestyles and their daily trips. This result agrees with the findings of France, Merrilees, and Miller (2016), which found that brand involvement has a positive effect on customer-brand engagement, which confirms its crucial role in driving engagement by the brand’s customers. It also agrees with the findings of Youssef et al. (2018) which found that there is a positive relationship between customer involvement and customer engagement.
Fifth, the acceptance of H5 illustrates that Uber users think about it, are attracted to its offers and trips, and are involved with it. Therefore, this may reflect that people using the Uber brand’s private ride service think about it positively when they have a relationship with it. This result is consistent with the finding of Dessart, Aldás-Manzano, and Veloutsou (2019) as it found that the cognitive dimension of brand engagement has a positive effect on brand loyalty. Also, Brodie et al. (2013) found that the cognitive dimension of customer engagement affects consumer loyalty.
Sixth, the acceptance of H6 reflects that Uber users tend to love it, feel positively using its services, and feel happy using it in their trips which reflect their pride in using its services. Thus, this may illustrate that people using the Uber brand’s private ride service feel very happy and positive when using it. This finding is consistent with the result of Dessart, Aldás-Manzano, and Veloutsou (2019) as it found that the affective dimension of customer brand engagement has a positive effect on brand loyalty. Furthermore, Brodie et al. (2013) found that the affective dimension of customer brand engagement affects consumer loyalty.
Seventh, the acceptance of H7 shows that Uber users feel offended when other people criticize the Uber brand’s services, and when other people praise it, it feels like a compliment to them. Moreover, Uber users find that Uber’s successes are their successes. Also, the true loyalty of a consumer is illustrated by a strong desire to willingly share the experience with others and keep the relationship with them (Bahri-Ammari et al., 2016). Active participation and engagement can be shown in forms such as shares, likes, comments, and discussions (Garanti and Kissi, 2019). This may reflect that people using the Uber brand’s private ride service enjoy their trips. This result is consistent with the finding of Dessart, Aldás-Manzano, and Veloutsou (2019) as it found that the activation dimension of customer brand engagement has a positive effect on brand loyalty. Furthermore, Brodie et al. (2013) found that the activation dimension of customer brand engagement affects consumer loyalty.
Finally, the acceptance of H8 illustrates that there are some recommendations from Uber users for those who seek advice upon using a private ride service. Also, Uber users accept its offers continuously and say positive things about it. Moreover, this may reflect that people using the Uber brand’s private ride service may recommend it to others who seek advice and remain loyal to it. This result agrees with France, Merrilees, and Miller (2016), which found that customer brand engagement affects brand loyalty positively. Also, this result is consistent with the findings of Vivek, Beatty, and Morgan (2012), So et al. (2016) b, Islam, Rahman, and Hollebeek (2018), and Parihar, Dawra, and Sahay (2019), which found that customer engagement positively affects brand loyalty. Accordingly, the cognitive processing, emotional, and behavioral dimensions of consumer engagement influence consumer loyalty (Brodie et al., 2013). More importantly, the cognitive processing, affection and behavioral dimensions of brand engagement have a positive effect on brand loyalty (Dessart, Aldás-Manzano, and Veloutsou, 2019).
The above mentioned findings have presented a number of managerial implications for brand managers and other stakeholders.
Firstly, managers of different brands should take the customers’ role in the brand’s value co-creation into consideration because brands’ customers share their experience with others (Osei-Frimpong, McLean, and Famiyeh, 2019) and spread their discussions about the usefulness of the brand. Secondly, applications brand managers have to closely screen, review, and analyze their users’ affective commitment, opinions, involvement, and percentage of trust as all affect the engagement with the brand directly.
Moreover, companies or firms may use strategies for sharing unbiased consumer reviews and interesting information about their brands’ commitment, trust, and involvement. Thirdly, brand managers have to make sure that their advertising message, brand’s functional performance, their Facebook brand pages, networking sites, and applications are consistent and include the unbiased reviews and information of their customers.
Fourthly, engagement and loyalty can be developed by enhancing and analyzing the submitted content on social networking sites and Facebook pages. Fifth, for application brand managers, it may be useful to develop the application itself to provide customers with the needed information. Finally, brand managers should boost the affection dimension of engagement by enhancing the possible ways that influence the object’s (users) feelings such as pride, concern, and empathy (Liu, Liu, Lee, and Chen, 2019). Therefore, customers can be motivated to engage with and be loyal to their brand strongly.