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I Cannot Let Go of the Passion: Comparing the Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Conceptualizations of Brand Passion

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Brand passion is a consumer construct that has garnered a lot of attention in the recent past. The literature on brand passion is divided by two broad conceptualizations, which have resulted in nomological inconsistency. The present research tackles this conceptual disagreement by identifying and contrasting the two broad conceptualizations of brand passion. In this vein, the current study compares the impact of brand passion on consumer well-being, positive word of mouth, and social media following. The study also examines the role of “duration of use” as a moderator on the proposed relationships. A total of 336 responses were analyzed using structural equation modeling, and the findings indicate that interpersonal conceptualization is a better conceptualization. The study also elucidates implications and future research directions.
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Business Perspectives and Research
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© 2022 K.J. Somaiya Institute of
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DOI: 10.1177/22785337221105701
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I Cannot Let Go of the Passion:
Comparing the Interpersonal and
Intrapersonal Conceptualizations
of Brand Passion
Vivek Pani Gumparthi1, Vamsidhar Ambatipudi2 and
Amandeep Singh Narang3
Abstract
Brand passion is a consumer construct that has garnered a lot of attention in the recent past. The litera-
ture on brand passion is divided by two broad conceptualizations, which have resulted in nomological
inconsistency. The present research tackles this conceptual disagreement by identifying and contrast-
ing the two broad conceptualizations of brand passion. In this vein, the current study compares the
impact of brand passion on consumer well-being, positive word of mouth, and social media following.
The study also examines the role of “duration of use” as a moderator on the proposed relationships. A
total of 336 responses were analyzed using structural equation modeling, and the findings indicate that
interpersonal conceptualization is a better conceptualization. The study also elucidates implications and
future research directions.
Keywords
Brand passion, unidimensional brand passion, harmonious brand passion, obsessive brand passion
Introduction
Brands have been trying various strategies to establish relationships with consumers. Particularly, emo-
tional relationships have been found to deliver important managerial outcomes such as brand loyalty
(Batra et al., 2012), positive word of mouth (PWoM) (Carroll & Ahuvia, 2006), and willingness to pay
premium (Bauer et al., 2007) to name a few. In this vein, it is found that brand passion (BP) is the ulti-
mate emotional connection that can be established with consumers (Swimberghe et al., 2014).
Research Paper
Corresponding author:
Vivek Pani Gumparthi, Department of Management Studies, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, Telangana 500101, India.
E-mail: vivekpani@nalsar.ac.in
1 Department of Management Studies, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Rajasthan, India
3 Indian Institute of Management, Kashipur, Uttarakhand, India
Business Perspectives and Research
1 –20
© 2022 K.J. Somaiya Institute of
Management Studies and Research
Reprints and permissions:
in.sagepub.com/journals-permissions-india
DOI: 10.1177/22785337221105701
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2 Business Perspectives and Research
BP is a highly affective construct that is experienced by satisfied consumers (Swimberghe et al.,
2014). Literature suggests that BP is a critical element that signals an emotional link between consumers
and brand, thus contributes to the development of loyalty (Pourazad et al., 2019).
Research suggests that Harley Davidson, Apple, and Starbucks are a few examples of brands that
could create and maintain deep affective bonds with consumers (Bauer et al., 2007). Consumers have
shown willingness to pay premium to acquire products of these brands (Bauer et al., 2007). Passionate
consumers of brands have also gone onto develop brand communities and have helped brands in product
development activities (Füller et al., 2008).
Theoretically, BP is connected to internal motivation in driving commitment toward a brand
(Das et al., 2019). Hence, it can be understood that BP is a crucial construct with strong theoretical foun-
dation essential for long-term relationships with consumers (Das et al., 2019).
However, review of literature suggests that literature on BP has been plagued by two starkly different
conceptualizations (Pourazad et al., 2019). BP as a stream of research was initiated using the unidimen-
sional approach (e.g., Albert et al., 2013; Sarkar et al., 2012). Criticizing this approach, Swimberghe et
al. (2014) came up with a dualistic approach to capture BP, as the unidimensional approach could not
capture the concept of “self.” Since then, there have been multiple papers that have captured BP using
the dualistic conceptualization (e.g., Astakhova et al., 2017; Das et al., 2019). While the unidimensional
approach considers interpersonal analogy, the dualistic approach considers the intrapersonal analogy (by
incorporating the concept of “self”) to capture BP. In other words, the former considers the passionate
relation between consumers and brands like that of any passionate relationship between two individuals
(Albert et al., 2013). However, the latter represents strong inclination for an activity and contributes to
optimal functioning and joy of living (Swimberghe et al., 2014; Vallerand et al., 2003).
Due to inconsistent conceptualizations, the antecedents and consequences of BP that were identified
are not directly comparable or generalizable. Further, there has been no empirical research that has iden-
tified a better conceptualization of the two. This indicates that there is an urgent need to address the
debate over the two conceptualizations that have been used to explain BP (Pourazad et al., 2019). Hence,
this study investigates the impact of these two conceptualizations on crucial managerial consequences
and aid managers in decision-making.
Literature review suggests that consumers who are passionate about brands cultivate strong effects
such as PWoM (Albert et al., 2013), an important factor for the success of a business (Bairrada et al.,
2018). So, the present study considers comparing the effect of BP on PWoM. An intense consumer–
brand relationship has been found to be beneficial to consumers and brands. Consumer well-being
(CWB), as a concept, is of interest to both academics and practitioners. Interestingly, the definition of
marketing has also progressed to highlight “well-being” (Pancer & Handelman, 2012). Hence, the pres-
ent study aims to also compare the effects of both the types of BP on CWB. Of late, there is an increased
interest in the role of social media in consumer research (Ramaswamy, 2008). Particularly, research has
looked at how social media facilitates brands and opportunities to continuously interact with consumers
from various walks of life (Labrecque, 2014). Further, these interactions have benefited the brands in
many ways (Ramaswamy, 2008). Therefore, the present study examines the impact of BP on social
media following (SMF).
In addition to addressing the debate over the two conceptualizations, the study also intends to under-
stand the dynamic nature of passion in a consumption context by using “duration of use” as a moderating
variable. Relationship stage models indicate that all relationships change with increasing duration and so
do the feelings and behaviors that underlie the relationship (Avtgis et al., 1998). Hence, the factors that
are influenced by the passionate feelings might have different effects with change in time. Further, litera-
ture on BP has largely focused on the determinants and outcomes of BP and has not considered the
Gumparthi et al. 3
impact of time on BP relationships (Pourazad et al., 2019). Hence, the present study addresses this gap
by using “duration of use” as a moderator.
The current study is the first to discuss, investigate, and compare the two conceptualizations of BP.
The study assesses the impact of two approaches of BP on these three crucial managerial consequences.
To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is also the first study to empirically validate the effect of BP on
CWB and measure the moderating impact of duration of use on these three consequences.
The flow of the article is as follows: after the introduction, a section on theoretical background and
hypotheses development is provided. Second, the methodology employed in the present study is eluci-
dated. Third, the results of the study are illustrated. Finally, a conclusion that covers implications and
limitations and future research directions is provided.
Background and Hypotheses Development
Brand Passion
In the present section, passion has been reviewed, and the application of passion in the context of con-
sumption is outlined. Passion as a word is derived from the Latin word “passio,” which means suffering
(Swimberghe et al., 2014). The debate on passion dates back to Kant (1724–1804) and Hume (1711–1776)
(Swimberghe et al., 2014). Kant regarded passion as a desire which becomes a habitual inclination to
destroy freedom (Vallerand et al., 2003). Hence, passion was considered evil and had a negative connota-
tion. Both Kant and Hume subscribed to the view that passion and reason are independent of each other.
However, Spinoza (1632–1677) and Descartes (1596–1650) had a contrary view (Vallerand et al., 2003).
According to them, passion and reason are not independent of each other. Spinoza recognized “the pos-
sibility of passions themselves being transformed into a form of reason” (Dilman, 1984, p. 86). Hence, the
argument of passion not being fundamentally evil and can result in positive outcomes, “as long as reason
underlies the behavior” (Vallerand et al., 2003, p. 756) started taking shape as a separate school of thought.
This implies that there have been different conceptualizations of passion from the beginning.
Passion, as a term, has often been used in interpersonal relationships. Sternberg (1986), posited in his
triangular theory of love that passion is an integral component of interpersonal love. It is a motivation that
is derived from an emotion or affect, which leads to psychological arousal in romantic relationships
(Sternberg, 1986). Continuing the discussion, Hatfield and Walster (1978) defined passion as an intense
desire for union with another. In addition to the sexual needs, other needs such as self-esteem, nurturance,
succorance, dominance, affiliation, self-actualization, and submission also contribute to the experience of
passion (Sternberg, 1986). Baumeister and Bratlslavsky (1999) defined passion as “strong feelings of
attraction for the other person. These feelings are typically characterized by physiological arousal and the
desire to be united with the other person in multiple senses” (p. 52). Hence interpersonal passion indicates
frequent thinking of the partner, idealization of both the partner and the relationship, sexual attraction, and
a desire of reciprocity (Hatfield, 1988). Further, passion can occur as a single and exclusive feeling for
another person or as one component of a complex emotion like love (Sternberg, 1986) (Table 1).
Shimp and Madden (1988) used this framework in the context of consumption and suggested that
passionate feelings of a consumer held for a brand are analogous to the passionate feelings held for
another consumer. Further, Fournier (1998) regarded that passion is central to high-quality consumer–
brand relationships. Consequently, marketing researchers used passion as a component to understand
emotional brand attachment (Thomson et al., 2005), brand love (Carroll & Ahuvia, 2006), romantic
brand love (Sarkar et al., 2012), and other allied consumer–brand constructs.
4 Business Perspectives and Research
In addition to this, BP was also used as an independent factor to understand passionate consumers. In
one of the pioneering empirical studies on BP, Bauer et al. (2007) provided a clear explanation of the
determinants and outcomes of BP. Later, Albert et al. (2013) also studied BP as a sole component and
looked at the antecedents and consequences of BP.
However, disputing the “narrow” approach of Sternberg (1986), Swimberghe et al. (2014) came up
with a dualistic model to capture BP that was proposed by Vallerand et al. (2003). In line with the argu-
ments of Spinoza and Descartes, Vallerand et al. (2003) argued passion as “a strong inclination toward
an activity that people like, that they find important and in which they invest time and energy” (p. 757).
Additionally, they argued that there are two types of passions—harmonious and obsessive. This distinc-
tion was based on the way an individual internalizes the passionate activity into one’s self-identity.
According to this conceptualization, if a passionate individual can keep passion in harmony with
other aspects of life, then the individual is experiencing harmonious passion. It is a result of autonomous
internalization of a brand into a consumer’s identity (Swimberghe et al., 2014). This kind of passion has
a crucial but not overriding space in the consumer’s identity and is in harmony with other facets of
consumers.
On the other hand, if the passion dominates individual’s existence thereby causing an imbalance, then
the individual is experiencing obsessive passion, a result of controlled internalization activity
(Swimberghe et al., 2014). Such an internalization emanates from internal and/or external reasons either
because the brand is attached with feelings of social acceptance and/or social esteem or because the
amount of excitement or pleasure that is derived from the brand is uncontrollable (Swimberghe et al.,
2014). As the relationship with the brand is out of control, the passionate consumer eventually is domi-
nated by the brand; therefore, the individual becomes obsessed with the brand, and the passion starts
interfering with other aspects of life (Swimberghe et al., 2014). It has been observed that obsessively
passionate people develop ego-invested structures (Hodgins & Knee, 2002) and demonstrate rigid and
conflicted forms of engagement that impede the experience of volition. This kind of BP should not be
misinterpreted with the concept of addiction. An addict does not view the addictive activity as a pleasur-
able activity, while loving and valuing the activity are the necessary requirements for obsessive passion
(Philippe et al., 2009).
From the above-mentioned example, it can be understood that the literature of BP has two broad con-
ceptualizations. They are interpersonal conceptualization (Unidimensional BP—UBP) and intrapersonal
Table 1. Some Definitions of BP.
Definition Author(s)
An emotional, extremely positive motivation for a brand that leads to
intense emotional attachment and influences crucial consumer behavior.
Bauer et al. (2007)
A passionate consumer is found to engage in an affective relationship with
the brand and will miss the brand, if not available.
Matzler et al. (2007)
Behavior indicating a strong desire to use a brand, invest resources into a
brand, and a demonstrated history of doing so.
Batra et al. (2012)
A psychological construct that is embraced by very few consumers and
contains excitement, infatuation, and fixation for a particular brand.
Albert et al. (2013)
An intense emotional attachment with a brand that people value, find
significant, desire to acquire and/or consume, integrate into their identity,
and invest resources over time.
Swimberghe et al. (2014)
Source: The authors.
Gumparthi et al. 5
conceptualization (dualistic BP—DBP). While the former is based on a person’s strong inclination for
another person (Sternberg, 1986), the latter is based on strong inclination of a person for an activity.
Hence, it can be understood that the essence of both the conceptualizations is starkly different.
The literature suggests that BP was linked to various antecedents and consequences. However, due to
two broad conceptualizations, the nomological framework of BP lacks consistency. Hence, the studies
that have looked at the determinants of BP are not comparable. For example, Albert et al. (2013) exam-
ined the equation between BP and willingness to pay premium, using unidimensional conceptualization,
and found that the direct relationship between the two was insignificant. On the other hand, Swimberghe
et al. (2014) found that there was a significant direct effect of both harmonious BP (HBP) and obsessive
BP (OBP) on willingness to pay premium.
As there are two conceptualizations of BP, the literature has witnessed use of different scales to under-
stand the phenomenon (as seen in Table 2).
Table 2. Various Scales Used in BP Literature.
Scale Attributes Conceptualization
Sternberg (1997) Source of pleasure or happiness
Significantly important in life
Romantic involvement
Frequent thinking
Adoration
Idealizing
Intention to invest in the relationship
Magical relationship
Interpersonal
Keh et al. (2007) Irreplaceable
Source of pleasure/happiness
Frequent thinking
Strong urge
Interpersonal
Albert et al. (2009) Source of pleasure/happiness
Idealization
Interpersonal
Vallerand et al. (2003) Variety of experiences
Discovery of new things
Memorable experiences
Reflection of self
Harmony with life
Crucial part of life
Strong urge
Emotionally dependent
Uncontrollable
Obsessive
Intrapersonal
Thomson et al. (2005) Declaration of passion
Real trust
Attached
Appealing
Delight
Interpersonal
(Table 2 continued)
6 Business Perspectives and Research
Consumer Well-being
Well-being is a topic of interest for several researchers and has resulted in several meanings (Philippe et
al., 2009). CWB in consumption context has been associated with the satisfaction of consumer’s affec-
tive, economic, physical, and social needs (Jaikumar et al., 2018). CWB can be understood as the sum of
consumer’s subjective well-being and objective well-being (Sirgy, 2008). The former contains life satis-
faction, quality of life, and overall happiness, while the latter includes financial, social, and environmen-
tal well-being (Sirgy, 2008). Further, subjective well-being is instrumental in building consumers’
repetitive and long-run buying behavior, as the chances of manipulating “well-being” are very less
(Zhong & Mitchell, 2012). Hence, the present study adapts the perceived quality of life model, which
captures the consumer’s perception of product’s influence (or brand’s) on overall life (Sirgy et al., 2007).
In other words, CWB captures the impact of the product on aspects like personal life and professional
Scale Attributes Conceptualization
Merz et al. (2018) Addiction
Admiration
Declaration of love
Interpersonal
Sarkar et al. (2012) Attractive
Delight
Captivating
Fascinating
Interpersonal
Matzler et al. (2007) Important
Frequent thinking
Declaration of passion
Inclination to invest time with the brand
Exciting
Interpersonal
Batra et al. (2012) Willingness to invest resources
Desirability
Involvement
Interpersonal
Kim & Kim (2018) Irreplaceable
Attraction
Significant
Interpersonal
Fritz et al. (2014) Frequent thinking
Source of happiness
Magical relationship
Attractive
Idealization
Separation anxiety
Irreplaceable
Interpersonal
Baldus et al. (2015) Declaration of passion
Feelings of good
Helping others
Interpersonal
Source: The authors.
(Table 2 continued)
Gumparthi et al. 7
life. Perceived satisfaction in different life avenues is a balance between the benefits received and cost
incurred (Sirgy et al., 2007). The emotions of consumers are episodic in nature and may impact percep-
tions of quality of life (Kemp et al., 2018).
Past research has suggested that emotions and satisfaction are crucial elements for long-duration
consumer–brand relationships (Carroll & Ahuvia, 2006). Further, research has also noted that these rela-
tionships are not just because of satisfaction with a product but its impact on other consumer needs
(Junaid et al., 2020). As BP is a feeling that satisfied consumers’ experience (Swimberghe et al., 2014),
it can therefore be understood that BP leads to CWB. Further, passion for an activity has been found to
contribute to happiness and self-growth of an individual (Vallerand et al., 2003). Additionally, brand
love, which encompasses BP, has been found to positively influence CWB (Junaid et al., 2020).
H1: UBP positively impacts CWB.
H2: HBP positively impacts CWB.
H3: OBP positively impacts on CWB.
Positive Word of Mouth
Word of mouth (WoM) is regarded as any remarks (affirmative or negative) made by future, present, or
past consumer about a brand or a product. Consumers would spread PWoM, especially when they
develop positive affect for a brand (Carroll & Ahuvia, 2006). Further, satisfied consumers are known to
engage in PWoM, thereby enhancing holistic marketplace reputation (File & Prince, 1992). In other
words, PWoM acts as a low-cost promotional alternative for the brands.
It has been observed that infatuated consumers or consumers with excitement regarding a brand
speak positively about their passionate brands (Pourazad et al., 2019) as part of their identity-building
process (Batra et al., 2012). Swimberghe et al. (2014) further found that HBP is positively related to
PWoM, and obsessively passionate consumers have an inclination to do more than just “share the good
word” about their favorite brands. Hence, it is proposed that irrespective of conceptualization, BP posi-
tively impacts PWoM.
H4: UBP positively impacts PWoM.
H5: HBP positively impacts PWoM.
H6: OBP positively impacts PWoM.
Social Media Following
As mentioned previously, the impact of social media in consumer–brand relationships has been immense
(Ramaswamy, 2008). Social media has helped consumers to interact with brands and share information
about the brands to fellow consumers (Labrecque, 2014). Further, managers perceive social media as a
platform for feedback from consumers while they interact (Holt, 2016). In this regard, it has been
observed that social media enhances BP by providing communication exchanges among homogeneous
consumers (Gensler et al., 2013). These interactions reinforce the self-concept of the consumers, thereby
enhancing BP (Hsu et al., 2015). The quality of consumers’ involvement with the brand on social media
signals the intensity of the consumer–brand relationships (Labrecque, 2014). Hence, the present study
proposes that BP has an impact on SMF, that includes “liking” and/or “following” the brand or “sharing”
content pertinent to the brand.
8 Business Perspectives and Research
Further, consumers who are obsessed about brands are prompted by the feelings of self-esteem and/
or social acceptance (Swimberghe et al., 2014). The uncontrolled liking for brands that comes from OBP
is likely to push consumers to support brands by not just sharing the good word about the brand but also
by engaging in building brand communities. Hence, we hypothesize that BP positively impacts SMF.
H7: UBP positively impacts SMF.
H8: HBP positively impacts SMF.
H9: OBP positively impacts SMF.
Duration of Use
Literature of BP suggests that empirical examination of the role of moderators has been scant (Pourazad
et al., 2019). There have been repeated calls for empirical investigation of length of consumer–brand
relationships (Huber et al., 2015; Pourazad et al., 2019). The current study aims to investigate the mod-
erating role of “duration of use” in the relationships between BP and the above-mentioned conse-
quences (PWoM, CWB, and SMF). “Duration of use” is a crucial examination as passion is an emotion,
and it is temporary in nature (Batra et al., 2012). So, BP is subjected to fluctuations. Hence, relation-
ships that are based on BP also fluctuate and so do the intensity of feelings and behaviors associated
with it (Avtgis et al., 1998). Hence, the present study analyzes the impact of “duration of use” on vari-
ous above-mentioned consequences.
H10: Impact of BP on CWB is significantly moderated by increasing duration of use.
H11: Impact of BP on PWoM is significantly moderated by increasing duration of use.
H12: Impact of BP on SMF is significantly moderated by increasing duration of use.
Methodology
To test the above-mentioned hypotheses, a self-administered online survey questionnaire was designed.
The respondents were advised to fill the questionnaire, keeping in view their most favorite brand, an
approach commonly used in branding stream of research (e.g., Bairrada et al., 2018; Joshi & Garg,
2021). Convenience sampling, a nonprobability sampling technique, is an efficient way to collect infor-
mation quickly for a large population (Munikrishnan et al., 2021).
The questionnaire was designed on Google Forms and was disseminated on social media platforms to
attract responses by all the three authors (Munikrishnan et al., 2021). Further, the authors came from
different geographical backgrounds and institutions, thus adding to the diversity of the sample. A total of
336 usable responses from Indian geography were obtained, which was suitable for covariance-based
structural equation modeling (SEM; Hair et al., 1998).
The scales of Albert et al. (2009) and Vallerand et al. (2003) for UBP and DBP approaches, respec-
tively, were adapted. CWB, PWoM, and SMF were adapted from Grzeskowiak and Sirgy (2007), Carroll
and Ahuvia (2006), and Wallace et al. (2014). A 5-point Likert scale (“strongly disagree” to “strongly
agree”) was used for measuring all the items of the scale (Appendix A).
Lavaan package of R was used for analysis (Rosseel, 2012). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and
SEM were executed in a sequential two-step process to analyze the obtained data (Anderson & Gerbing,
1988; Patnaik & Shukla, 2020). In line with the objective, the authors conducted separate analysis for
both the unidimensional approach and dualistic approach. Model 1 contained the measures of UBP,
CWB, PWoM, and SMF. While Model 2 contained the measures of DBP, CWB, PWoM, and SMF.
Gumparthi et al. 9
Findings
Common Method Bias
Common method bias (CMB) was tackled prior to and post data collection. The instructions of the ques-
tionnaire indicated that there was no correct or incorrect answer in any of the questions and requested the
respondents to fill the questionnaire without any biases. It was also mentioned that the responses would
be used for academic purposes and kept confidential. Before performing CFA and SEM, the data were
evaluated for CMB using Harman’s single-factor test. The results indicated 42.94% variance for Model
1 and 42.31% variance for Model 2, which is acceptable as it is below 50% (Podsakoff, 2003). Therefore,
CMB does not exist in both the models.
The model fit indices (Table 4) of both the CFA models suggest a fit between the data and the hypoth-
esized model (Hair et al., 2010).
The data for all the variables were found to be reliable as Cronbach’s alpha values (as seen in Tables 5
and 6) were greater than 0.7 for all variables of both the models (Nunally, 1978). The average variance
extracted (AVE) of each measure was observed to be more than 0.5, thereby suggesting that convergent
validity exists (Fornell & Lacker, 1981) among the items of all the constructs.
Discriminant validity (DV) was observed, as the AVEs of all the measures exceeded their respective
squared inter-scale correlations (Tables 7 and 8).
Path Analysis
SEM was performed using bootstrapping of 5,000 samples (Joshi & Garg, 2021). Values from Table 9
show that UBP positively impacts PWoM, CWB, and SMF at a significance level of 5% (p < 0.05).
Table 3. Demographic Summary of the Respondents.
Percentage Frequency
Gender
Female 33.63 113
Male 66.37 223
Age group
18–25 25.29 85
25–35 33.92 114
35–45 16.36 55
45–55 19.34 65
55 and above 5.05 17
Duration of use
0–2 years 17.85 60
2–5 years 22.91 77
5–10 years 29.46 99
10 and above 29.76 100
Source: The authors.
10 Business Perspectives and Research
Table 6. Factor Loadings, Cronbach’s Alpha, and AVE (model 2).
Items Factor Loading Cronbach Alpha AVE
HBP2
HBP3
HBP4
OBP1
OBP2
OBP3
OBP4
OBP5
OBP6
0.614
0.809
0.771
0.770
0.831
0.789
0.894
0.826
0.728
0.778
0.918
0.542
0.653
Table 4. Fit Indices.
Indices Unidimensional Fit Indices (model 1) Dualistic Fit Indices (model 2)
CFI 0.939 0.913
NFI 0.910 0.897
TLI 0.925 0.883
RMSEA 0.076 0.085
SRMR 0.049 0.056
Chi-squared/df 2.929 3.406
Source: The authors.
Table 5. Factor Loadings, Cronbach Alpha, and AVE (model 1).
Items Factor Loading Cronbach’s Alpha AVE
UBP1
UBP4
UBP5
UBP6
0.672
0.729
0.725
0.752
0.812 0.519
CWB1
CWB2
CWB3
0.696
0.803
0.763
0.799 0.570
PWoM1
PWoM2
PWoM3
PWoM4
0.752
0.782
0.864
0.859
0.888 0.666
SMF1
SMF2
SMF3
SMF4
SMF5
0.835
0.683
0.844
0.864
0.762
0.898 0.641
Source: The authors.
(Table 6 continued)
Gumparthi et al. 11
Items Factor Loading Cronbach Alpha AVE
CWB1
CWB2
0.761
0.740
0.721 0.564
PWoM1
PWoM2
PWoM3
PWoM4
0.752
0.776
0.866
0.862
0.888 0.665
SMF1
SMF2
SMF3
SMF4
SMF5
0.833
0.692
0.843
0.863
0.760
0.899 0.641
Source: The authors.
(Table 6 continued)
Values from Table 10 also show that DBP positively impacts PWoM, CWB, and SMF at a significance
level of 5%. The results suggest that effects of variables are significant irrespective of the type of con-
ceptualization. However, the model fit indices, as presented in Tables 9 and 10, indicate that interper-
sonal conceptualization (Model 1) is superior to intrapersonal conceptualization (Model 2). Further, the
coefficients (ß and R2) of Model 1 are also found to be better than Model 2.
Through the analysis, it was found that inducing passion in a consumer benefits both the brand and
the consumer. The impact on CWB is even higher when the passionate consumer considers the favorite
Table 7. DV for Model 1.
UBP CWB PWoM SMF
UBP 0.720
CWB 0.604 0.755
PWoM 0.618 0.638 0.816
SMF 0.521 0.544 0.697 0.800
Source: The authors.
Table 8. DV for Model 2.
HBP OBP CWB PWoM SMF
HBP 0.736
OBP 0.489 0.808
CWB 0.706 0.728 0.751
PWoM 0.591 0.394 0.616 0.815
SMF 0.519 0.550 0.536 0.697 0.801
Source: The authors.
12 Business Perspectives and Research
brand as a relationship partner instead of an activity. Further, consumers who consider brands as relation-
ship partners are more likely to spread a positive word when compared to consumers who do not con-
sider brands as relationship partners. Similar results were observed with SMF, and the interpersonal
conceptualization was found to be a better approach when compared to intrapersonal
conceptualization.
Moderating Effects
Multigroup analysis was used to examine the moderating effect (Joshi & Garg, 2021) of “duration of use”
on the above proposed relationships of BP (of both conceptualizations). It facilitates dividing the data into
two subgroups and running the SEM model simultaneously on both the subgroups (Tarhini et al., 2014).
Table 9. Standardized Regression Weights (unidimensional brand passion—model 1).
Hypothesized Path βR2p-Value
UBP CWB 0.605 0.366 0.00
UBP PWoM 0.618 0.381 0.00
UBP SMF 0.521 0.271 0.00
Model fit indices CFI 0.939
TLI 0.925
NFI 0.910
RMSEA 0.076
SRMR 0.049
Source: The authors.
Table 10. Standardized Regression Weights (dualistic brand passion—model 2).
Hypothesized Path βR2p-Value
HBP CWB 0.574 0.329 0.00
OBP CWB 0.398 0.158 0.00
HBP PWoM 0.530 0.289 0.00
OBP PWoM 0.134 0.017 0.031
HBP SMF 0.328 0.107 0.00
OBP SMF 0.389 0.151 0.00
Model fit indices CFI 0.913
TLI 0.898
NFI 0.880
RMSEA 0.082
SRMR 0.056
Source: The authors.
Gumparthi et al. 13
Table 11. Moderating Effect: Duration of Use (unidimensional approach).
Duration of Use βp-Value
H10 BP* 0–2 years CWB 0.202 0.086*
H11 BP* 0–2 years PWoM 0.417 0.001#
H12 BP* 0–2 years SMF 0.297 0.008*
H10 BP* 2–5 years CWB 0.342 0.013*
H11 BP* 2–5 years PWoM 0.398 0.008*
H12 BP* 2–5 years SMF 0.372 0.012*
H10 BP* 5–10 years CWB 0.154 0.261#
H11 BP* 5–10 years PWoM −0.004 0.983#
H12 BP* 5–10 years SMF −0.110 0.466#
H10 BP* 10 and above years Years CWB −0.199 0.091#
H11 BP* 10 and above years PWoM −0.109 0.297#
H12 BP* 10 and above years SMF −0.087 0.442#
Source: The authors.
Note: # p>0.05; * p<0.05.
Brand
passion
Consumer well-being
Posive word of mouth
Social media following
Duraon of
use
Figure 1. Structural Model of the Present Study (Model 1 and Model 2).
Source: The authors.
14 Business Perspectives and Research
The moderating role of duration in the above proposed relationships were examined using pair-wise com-
parison of four categories, as shown in Tables 11 and 12. The results of moderating effect of duration
among majority of the proposed relationships across both the models seem insignificant. Therefore, an
increase in relationship duration does not enhance CWB, PWoM, and SMF. Hence, the present study
rejects H10, H11, and H12.
Past literature suggests similar reports of moderating role of relationship duration. “Duration of use”
as a moderator was found to have an insignificant impact on the link between satisfaction and WoM
(Ranaweera & Menon, 2013). Coulter and Coulter (2002) also found that “duration of use” has an insig-
nificant impact on promptness—trust relationship. Additionally, Raimondo et al. (2008) also had no
significant impact on satisfaction and behavioral loyalty. Sabiote and Román (2009) also found that the
“duration of use” has an insignificant effect on the equation of social regard and WoM. Further, it also
had an insignificant impact on the relationship between brand love (which contains BP as a component)
and consumer engagement (Junaid et al., 2020).
Table 12. Moderating Effect: Duration of Use (dualistic approach).
Duration of Use βp-Value
H10 HBP* 0–2 years CWB 0.018 0.940#
H10 OBP* 0–2 years CWB 0.039 0.855#
H11 HBP* 0–2 years PWoM 0.324 0.105#
H11 OBP* 0–2 years PWoM −0.091 0.491#
H12 HBP* 0–2 years SMF 0.097 0.554#
H12 OBP* 0–2 years SMF 0.118 0.322#
H10 HBP* 2–5 years CWB 0.277 0.044*
H10 OBP* 2–5 years CWB −0.116 0.523#
H11 HBP* 2–5 years PWoM 0.113 0.580#
H11 OBP* 2–5 years PWoM 0.021 0.914#
H12 HBP* 2–5 years SMF 0.110 0.490#
H12 OBP* 2–5 years SMF 0.086 0.544#
H10 HBP* 5–10 years CWB 0.291 0.112#
H10 OBP* 5–10 years CWB −0.550 0.000*
H11 HBP* 5–10 years PWoM 0.370 0.010*
H11 OBP* 5–10 years PWoM −0.169 0.254#
H12 HBP* 5–10 years SMF 0.118 0.434#
H12 OBP* 5–10 years SMF −0.100 0.482#
H10 HBP* 10 years and above CWB 0.008 0.957#
H10 OBP* 10 years and above CWB 0.099 0.526#
H11 HBP* 10 years and above PWoM 0.100 0.652#
H11 OBP* 10 years and above PWoM −0.141 0.290#
H12 HBP* 10 years and above SMF 0.288 0.022*
H12 OBP* 10 years and above SMF −0.072 0.568#
Source: The authors.
Note: # p>0.05; * p<0.05.
Gumparthi et al. 15
There can be many reasons for the insignificant moderating role of “duration of use” on the
hypotheses. As mentioned previously, BP is an emotion, and it is episodic in nature. Hence, the pas-
sionate consumer–brand relationships may undergo significant changes with increasing duration.
Brands of this day and age frequently bring in innovation in their products, by adding new features,
which are instrumental in renewing the passion of consumers, thereby significantly impacting PWoM,
CWB, and SMF. This can be supported by the fact that Indian consumers are materialistic in nature
(Davidson et al., 2018) and allocate majority of their income in purchasing offerings of reputed
brands (Sharda & Bhat, 2018). Additionally, materialistic consumers acquire possessions that are
symbolic in nature (Fitzmaurice & Comegys, 2006). Further, majority of the respondents are young,
that is less than 35 years of age (Table 3), who always desire “something new” and “something dif-
ferent” (Kang, 2015).
Conclusion
Discussion and Implications
At the outset, the study has proved that passion for brands benefits consumers and practitioners, thereby
suggesting that BP is a significant construct. The primary objective of this study is to discuss, investigate,
and compare the two conceptualizations of BP. Accordingly, it compared the two conceptualizations
using a few consequences of which a few, as per the review of literature, are untested relationships.
Through the analysis, it has been observed that irrespective of the conceptualization, BP as a phenome-
non that leads to CWB, PWoM, and SMF. Also, the regression coefficients of interpersonal conceptual-
ization are better in influencing CWB, PWoM, and SMF. So, the study encourages practitioners to
promote brands as relationship partners instead of activities, as this kind of positioning benefits both
brands and consumers. The study has also added to the body of knowledge by introducing a few untested
relationships—they are UBP–CWB, HBP–CWB, OBP–CWB, HBP–SMF, OBP–SMF, and
OBP–PWoM.
To evaluate the efficacy of marketing campaigns, brand managers need to calibrate BP. The current
study compares the two conceptualizations of BP, which will help managers identify the most apt scale
to gauge the passion that consumers have for their favorite brands.
The study has demonstrated that irrespective of the conceptualization, BP enhances CWB. However,
the well-being is higher when consumers treat brands as relationship partners. Further, the CWB is
higher when the passion of consumers is harmonious in nature. Analysis has also shown that CWB is the
least when it is OBP.
The study has also shown that passionate consumers spread a positive word about their favorite
brands. This is even higher when the passionate consumers regard their favorite brands as relationship
partners. Surprisingly, obsessively passionate consumers’ tendency to spread a positive word is very less
when compared to HBP and UBP.
The study has also shown that BP has a positive impact on SMF. These findings are an extension to
past findings that show that social media facilitates strengthening of consumer–brand relationships
(Pourazad et al., 2019). The results suggest that UBP has a stronger impact on SMF when compared to
HBP and OBP. However, OBP has a stronger impact on SMF when compared to HBP. This suggests that
obsessively passionate consumers tend to strengthen brands on social media through their
engagements.
16 Business Perspectives and Research
The present study addresses a major gap in the literature by examining the moderating impact of dura-
tion of use on the above proposed hypotheses. The results suggest that relationship duration does not
enhance the value of BP relationships. Hence, practitioners are advised to make efforts to rejuvenate BP
for desired outcomes. The possible reason can be that with increasing duration, the characteristics of the
brand may change, which may conflict with the passionate consumer’s idealization (Albert et al., 2013).
Past research suggests that passionate consumers of Coke reacted in a similar manner when the brand
launched “New Coke” (Albert et al., 2013).
Further, the current study highlighted that positioning brands as relationship partners in a materialistic
society like India will help brands in achieving PWoM and SMF, which can help in generating positive
user-generated content. Therefore, managers are encouraged to design communications following the
idea of Sternberg (1986). Interestingly, results further indicate that if managers consider consumer–
brand relationships as intrapersonal relationships, the managers will still achieve desired outcomes.
Limitations and Future Research Directions
This study has a few limitations. First, the study has been conducted in Indian geography, and the results
of the study cannot be extended beyond the current sampling framework. Hence, future research can
consider using a multi-country sample.
The study has demonstrated that interpersonal brand passion is better than intrapersonal BP. So, future
research can investigate the nature of interpersonal BP and suggest if it is a perfect two-way or an imper-
fect two-way relationship.
The study acknowledges that having researcher-selected brands for assessment would increase vari-
ance of measures, thereby contributing to stronger brand relationships. Hence, future researchers are
encouraged to have researcher-selected brands so that individual biases are minimized. Future research
can investigate other moderators such as age, gender, and income.
Appendix A
Survey Questionnaire
Name _________
Gender ________
Age_________
Favorite brand________
Duration of Use (in Years)
0–2 years
2–5 years
5–10 years
10 and above
Unidimensional Brand Passion (Albert et al., 2009)
UBP 1: There is something almost “magical” about my relationship with my favorite brand.
UBP 2: There is nothing more important to me than my relationship with my favorite brand.
UBP 3: I idealize this brand.
UBP 4: By buying my favorite brand, I take pleasure.
UBP 5: Discovering new products from my favorite brand is a pure pleasure.
UBP 6: I take a real pleasure in using my favorite brand.
UBP 7: I am always happy to use my favorite brand.
Gumparthi et al. 17
Dualistic Approach Brand Passion (Vallerand et al., 2003)
Harmonious Brand Passion
HBP 1: My favorite brand allows me to live a variety of experiences.
HBP 2: The new things that I discover with my favorite brand allow me to appreciate it even more.
HBP 3: My favorite brand allows me to live memorable experiences.
HBP 4: My favorite brand reflects the qualities I like about myself.
HBP 5: My favorite brand is in harmony with the other activities in my life.
HBP 6: For me, it is a passion that I still manage to control.
HBP 7: I am completely taken with my favorite brand.
Obsessive Brand Passion
OBP 1: I cannot live without my favorite brand.
OBP 2: The urge is so strong. I cannot help myself from my favorite brand.
OBP 3: I am emotionally dependent on my favorite brand.
OBP 4: I have a tough time controlling my need to be with my favorite brand.
OBP 5: I have almost an obsessive feeling for my favorite brand.
OBP 6: My mood depends on me being able to be with my favorite brand.
Consumer Well-being (Grzeskowiak & Sirgy, 2007)
CWB 1: My favorite brand satisfies my overall needs.
CWB 2: My favorite brand plays a very important role in my social well-being.
CWB 3: My favorite brand plays an important role in my leisure well-being.
CWB 4: My favorite brand plays an important role in enhancing the quality of my life.
Positive Word of Mouth (Carroll & Ahuvia, 2006)
PWoM 1: I have recommended my favorite brand to a lot of people.
PWoM 2: I “talk up” my favorite brand to my friends.
PWoM 3: I try to spread the good word about my favorite brand.
PWoM 4: I give my favorite brand tons of positive word of mouth advertising.
Social Media Following (Wallace et al., 2014)
SMF 1: I click “Like” for my favorite brand in order to talk up the brand to my friends.
SMF 2: I click “Like” for my favorite brand as it enhances my Facebook profile.
SMF 3: I click “Like” for my favorite brand in order to spread the good word about this brand.
SMF 4: I give my favorite brand a lot of positive word of mouth online.
SMF 5: I recommend my favorite brand to friends and family on Facebook.
Declaration of Conicting Interests
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of
this article.
Funding
The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
18 Business Perspectives and Research
ORCID iD
Vivek Pani Gumparthi https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8473-2764
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In today's increasingly competitive and dynamic marketplace, achieving brand commitment is one of the ultimate goals for brands. Considering the heightened importance and relevance of brand's ethical perception and its symbolic benefits, the present research examines the impacts of perceived brand ethicality on brand passion and brand commitment. A conceptual framework was tested using structural equation modeling with responses from 273 apparel shoppers collected by using a structured questionnaire. We find evidence of mediating-moderation effect in which the moderating power of perceived brand ethicality is eliminated in the presence of full mediator, brand passion. Interestingly, in studying the “mediated-moderation” links, we also find the dampening effects of perceived brand ethicality at play. The results of this paper have theoretical contributions and implications for managers.
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Purpose Brand love is associated with consumer behaviours that are key for organisational performance. However, research on the antecedents of brand love is sparse. The current research draws on the information processing model as well as on the experiential approaches to consumer behaviour to develop a model comprising a novel set of antecedents. Design/methodology/approach To test the research hypotheses, we resort to two samples, which implied the collection of usable 1,018 questionnaires. For hypotheses testing, we resort to structural equation modelling. Findings Both functional constructs as well as more symbolic/emotional ones are positively associated with brand love. In addition, constructs with a more functional nature tend to have an indirect effect on brand love, whereas constructs with a higher level of abstraction tend to mediate the effects of more specific brand qualities. Finally, brand love is related with important outcomes, including loyalty, word of mouth and willingness to pay a premium price. Research/limitations implications This research has a cross-sectional nature. Moreover, we rely on a single informant, but the procedural remedies as well as the statistical tests we conducted suggest that common method variance is not a concern. Practical implications The findings suggest that managers should emphasise both functional as well as emotional/symbolic aspects to strengthen the links between brands and consumers, which will be beneficial for both sides. Originality/value This study is the first to investigate the relationship between a number of symbolic and functional brand aspects and the development of brand love feelings.