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Member-organization connection impacts in affinity marketing


  • Fock, Henry
  • Chan, Allan K.K.
  • Yan, Dengfeng


Affinity marketing collaboration is a growing practice in the marketplace, yet theories to explain its influence are scarce in the literature. This study suggests two complementary cause-related effects stemming from an organization's connection with its members to explain the underlying mechanism of affinity marketing. The convergent findings of a survey and an experiment reveal that the responses of consumers in affinity marketing are both empathetic and particularistic. These characteristics distinguish affinity marketing from general commercial co-branding and from cause-related strategies which call for sympathetic and altruistic responses. These effects are more pronounced among individuals with a high interdependent orientation in collectivistic cultures. The dual influence of these effects makes affinity marketing an ideal marketing strategy for improving customer loyalty in the more interdependent societies in Asia.

Suggested Citation

  • Fock, Henry & Chan, Allan K.K. & Yan, Dengfeng, 2011. "Member-organization connection impacts in affinity marketing," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 672-679, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:64:y:2011:i:7:p:672-679

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Belk, Russell W, 1988. " Possessions and the Extended Self," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 139-168, September.
    2. Aaker, Jennifer L & Williams, Patti, 1998. " Empathy versus Pride: The Influence of Emotional Appeals across Cultures," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 241-261, December.
    3. McCracken, Grant, 1989. " Who Is the Celebrity Endorser? Cultural Foundations of the Endorsement Process," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 310-321, December.
    4. Cornwell, T. Bettina & Coote, Leonard V., 2005. "Corporate sponsorship of a cause: the role of identification in purchase intent," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 268-276, March.
    5. Escalas, Jennifer Edson & Stern, Barbara B, 2003. " Sympathy and Empathy: Emotional Responses to Advertising Dramas," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 566-578, March.
    6. Lafferty, Barbara A. & Goldsmith, Ronald E., 2005. "Cause-brand alliances: does the cause help the brand or does the brand help the cause?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 423-429, April.
    7. Aaker, Jennifer L & Lee, Angela Y, 2001. " "I" Seek Pleasures and "We" Avoid Pains: The Role of Self-Regulatory Goals in Information Processing and Persuasion," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 33-49, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Begoña Gutiérrez-Nieto & Carlos Serrano-Cinca & Juan Camón-Cala, 2016. "A Credit Score System for Socially Responsible Lending," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 133(4), pages 691-701, February.


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