Bringing Us Together or Driving Us Apart: The Effect of Soliciting Consumer Input on Consumers’ Propensity to Transact with an Organization
This research examines a novel process by which soliciting consumer input can affect subsequent purchase and engagement, namely, by changing consumers’ subjective perception of their relationship with the organization. We contrast different types of consumer input and propose that, relative to no input, soliciting advice tends to have an intimacy effect whereby the individual feels closer to the organization, resulting in increases in subsequent propensity to transact and engage with the organization. However, soliciting expectations tends to have the opposite effect, distancing the individual from the organization. We demonstrate these relationship effects of consumer input in four studies involving both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Implications for theory and practice of brand relationship as well as consumer judgment and decision making are discussed.
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