Special Issue "Customer Relationship Marketing and Brand Management for Business Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Andrea Moretta Tartaglione
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Law, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy
Interests: international marketing; internationalization of SMEs; retail management; dynamic capabilities; customer loyalty; customer engagement; brand management
Prof. Fabio Cassia
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Business Administration, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Interests: international marketing; customer relationships; business-to-business; brand management; value co-creation; tourism and hospitality
Dr. Ylenia Cavacece
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Law, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy
Interests: healthcare management; service marketing; value co-creation; customer engagement; quality management; international marketing; brand loyalty

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last decade, the global economic/financial crisis, the more intense competition related to the globalization of the business environment, the fast-changing customer expectations and behaviors, and the greater complexity of business environments have challenged the sustainability of firms. In such a context, successfully establishing and managing customer relationships becomes fundamental to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. In fact, the ability to maintain long-term customer relationships contributes to increased and more stable revenues, without incurring the high costs of acquiring new customers. Customer relationships marketing (CRM) represents a fundamental approach to influencing customers’ (rational and emotional) attitudes, such as the involvement and attachment to a firm or brand and price tolerance, and behavioral reactions such as repurchasing behavior, intention to recommend, and positive word-of-mouth. Effective CRM strategies require effective brand management to develop brands that are sustainable and that are able to intercept sustainability issues and conversations to arouse customer loyalty, commitment, and engagement (both in business-to-consumer and in business-to-business contexts). Moreover, through social media and online brand communities, businesses have increasing opportunities to create brand experiences and involve customers in value co-creation paths for building shared and sustainable brand image and value.

This Special Issue aims to collect up-to-date, high-quality research articles covering a wide range of multidisciplinary aspects related to business sustainability and brand management. In particular, selected topics will include but not be limited to:

  • Supporting business sustainability through CRM and brand management;
  • The influence of social corporate responsibility on brand image;
  • CRM strategies for brand loyalty, brand engagement, and brand equity;
  • The use of social media to manage the relationships with customers;
  • Brand communities as places for customer engagement and value co-creation;
  • Differences and relationships between customer variables: satisfaction, loyalty, involvement, commitment, engagement, empowerment;
  • Brand management and sustainability across different cultures and types of markets.

We invite you to contribute to this issue by submitting comprehensive reviews, case studies or research articles. Papers selected for this Special Issue are subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.

Prof. Andrea Moretta Tartaglione
Prof. Fabio Cassia
Dr. Ylenia Cavacece
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • customer relationship marketing
  • brand management
  • business sustainability
  • brand communities
  • social media
  • customer engagement
  • value co-creation

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Co-Creation Behavior in a Virtual Community: Antecedents and Moderating Effect of Participant’s Perception of Own Expertise
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8151; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198151 - 02 Oct 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Value co-creation by users in a virtual community is a key element of the community’s value and sustainability. This paper first analyzes the effect on co-creation behavior of (1) users’ altruism and (2) users’ interactivity with the different firms housed in the virtual [...] Read more.
Value co-creation by users in a virtual community is a key element of the community’s value and sustainability. This paper first analyzes the effect on co-creation behavior of (1) users’ altruism and (2) users’ interactivity with the different firms housed in the virtual community. It considers different sustainable co-creation behaviors based on intensity, distinguishing between moderate or high intensity, where recommendation of the service represents a moderate level of co-creation and co-innovation at a high level. Both behaviors are oriented not only to the firms housed in the virtual community, but also to the virtual platform itself. Second, the study proposes whether users’ perception of their expertise about the services and/or firms housed in the community exerts a moderating effect on the proposed modelling. Empirical contrast is performed using the virtual community TripAdvisor. This study contributes to current academic research on co-creation and sustainability. The results show that the user’s altruism is the determining factor in encouraging moderate sustainable co-creation behavior (recommendation of the service), whereas user–firm interactivity is the critical antecedent for fostering high-level co-creation in the form of co-innovation activities. The results vary, however, depending on the segment of virtual community users analyzed (expert vs. non-expert). This study also contributes to formulation of business strategies to foster sustainable co-creation behavior with greater repercussions for long-term participation in the virtual community. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Brand Image on Brand Extension Evaluation: Design of the Living Intention Service Model and Brand Positioning of a Retirement Community
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7478; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187478 - 11 Sep 2020
Abstract
The proportion of the elderly in Taiwan’s population has been increasing in recent years. In the context of ageing and a low birth rate, retirement care for the elderly has become a serious challenge but remains underresearched. Choosing a retirement community that meets [...] Read more.
The proportion of the elderly in Taiwan’s population has been increasing in recent years. In the context of ageing and a low birth rate, retirement care for the elderly has become a serious challenge but remains underresearched. Choosing a retirement community that meets the needs of the elderly by considering their health and leisure activities and providing housing has become an important ageing-related topic. Therefore, this study aims to investigate whether the living intention of the elderly when choosing a retirement community is affected by brand attachment, high partner quality, brand trust and commitment, and brand self-congruence. A living intention service model is proposed and an empirical study is conducted with 101 random residents of Chang Gung Health and Culture Village (CGHCV) to measure the constructs proposed in the model. The results show that self-congruence and partner quality did not have a significant impact on the elderly’s brand trust and commitment, likely because when choosing their last residence, unlike when buying general consumer products, the elderly attach more importance to healthcare brands, which in turn affects their living intention. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Impact of Sustainability Reporting on Brand Value: An Examination of 100 Leading Brands in Singapore
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7392; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187392 - 09 Sep 2020
Abstract
The recent sustainability reporting (SR) mandate by the Singapore Exchange has heightened stakeholder awareness and propelled sustainability disclosures. Albeit encouraging, more than half of listed companies in Singapore do not produce sustainability reports. This signifies a lack of sustainability commitment, or perhaps, local [...] Read more.
The recent sustainability reporting (SR) mandate by the Singapore Exchange has heightened stakeholder awareness and propelled sustainability disclosures. Albeit encouraging, more than half of listed companies in Singapore do not produce sustainability reports. This signifies a lack of sustainability commitment, or perhaps, local companies have limited understanding on the potential value of sustainability. Our study aims to fill this gap by examining if (1) the 100 leading brands in Singapore similarly benefit from a higher brand value when they produce sustainability reports; (2) if more disclosure leads to higher brand value; (3) if a lagged effect is present. The methodology of this study included the collation of sustainability information from the 100 leading brands in Singapore, scoring each company’s sustainability performance using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. Finally, we examine the correlations using regression analysis to compare the companies’ sustainability performance with the reputed brand rankings by Brand Finance. Our findings revealed that one-fifth of the 100 leading brands in Singapore do not engage in sustainability, despite the positive correlation between sustainability reporting and brand value. Our results also suggest that greater disclosure leads to higher brand value, yet social and environmental indicators are undermanaged. Moreover, there is a lagged effect as public perceptions take time to shape. Internalising a company’s sustainability vision through a multi-stakeholder consultative approach is critical. Brand managers and sustainability practitioners must be aware that failures to meet stakeholder expectations today may consequently impact investors’ decisions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Does Service Recovery Really Work? The Multilevel Effects of Online Service Recovery Based on Brand Perception
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6999; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176999 - 27 Aug 2020
Abstract
This study explores how customer perception of online shopping brands plays a key role in moderating the relationship between service recovery and perceived justice. We incorporated brand equity at the organizational level and brand identity at the individual level into the relationship between [...] Read more.
This study explores how customer perception of online shopping brands plays a key role in moderating the relationship between service recovery and perceived justice. We incorporated brand equity at the organizational level and brand identity at the individual level into the relationship between online service recovery and customer-perceived justice. The findings are as follows: (a) online service recovery has a positive effect on customer-perceived justice; (b) brand equity at the organizational level has a negative influence on the relationships that courtesy and compensation have with perceived justice; (c) brand identity at the individual level has a negative influence on the relationships that courtesy and compensation have with perceived justice; and (d) hierarchical linear modeling can precisely measure the relationship between organizations and customers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Exploring How Influencer and Relationship Marketing Serve Corporate Sustainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4392; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114392 - 27 May 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Influencer marketing furthers the goals of relationship marketing. Companies use influencers to advertise their products through social networks such as Instagram. This digital advertising is aimed at shifting the company’s goals from customer acquisition to retention and commitment. While several articles provide interesting [...] Read more.
Influencer marketing furthers the goals of relationship marketing. Companies use influencers to advertise their products through social networks such as Instagram. This digital advertising is aimed at shifting the company’s goals from customer acquisition to retention and commitment. While several articles provide interesting advances analyzing social media and sustainability goals, research about influencer types and their impact on engagement preserving corporate sustainability is limited. Thus, the objectives of this study are: (1) Select general influencer traits as positive characteristics in promoting a product; (2) analyze them for micro and macro influencer scenarios; (3) explore potential differences in their adequacy determining customer engagement and preserving corporate sustainability. Credibility, pleasantness, and emotions are the criteria analyzed through multivariate analysis applied over two independent samples of followers. Pleasantness and appearance in the macro influencer scenario and perceived integrity in that of the micro influencer appear to conflict with the desired transparency of the message, while transmission of emotions plays an essential role in both scenarios. This is a very important finding. Companies should assess candidate influencers’ emotional projection skills, in addition to evaluating the brand sponsorship costs and defining the target audience for the advertisement, always under the premise of preserving corporate sustainability. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Marketing Performance Through Enterprise-Initiated Customer Engagement
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3931; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093931 - 11 May 2020
Abstract
The exponential speed of technological advancements and the ever-changing needs of customers have changed the way enterprises engage with their customers. However, despite the increasing scholarly interest in the enterprise-initiated perspective of customer engagement (CE) in recent years, it remains unclear what drives [...] Read more.
The exponential speed of technological advancements and the ever-changing needs of customers have changed the way enterprises engage with their customers. However, despite the increasing scholarly interest in the enterprise-initiated perspective of customer engagement (CE) in recent years, it remains unclear what drives enterprises to initiate customer engagement and how enterprise-initiated customer engagement enhances enterprise performance. Thus, the purpose of this study is to develop and evaluate a conceptual model that consists of drivers and outcomes of enterprise-initiated customer engagement. After developing a conceptual model based on previous conceptual approaches to customer engagement, a quantitative survey was undertaken to gather the data from business-to-customer micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. The data were analyzed using the partial least square path modelling. The findings showed that external pressure and organizational readiness influence enterprise-initiated customer engagement. Enterprise-initiated customer engagement was also found to influence marketing performance. The empirical findings provide insights for managers that explain what drivers may influence enterprise-initiated customer engagement and what benefits they can expect. Overall, this research extends the understanding of the CE domain and provides additional insights for the drivers and outcomes of enterprise-initiated CE. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Trust in Domain-Specific Information of Safety, Brand Loyalty, and Perceived Value for Cosmetics on Purchase Intentions in Mobile E-Commerce Context
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6257; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226257 - 07 Nov 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
In 2016, the safety issues of humidifier disinfectants and some other safety incidents in personal cares caused chemical phobia syndrome in the Korean society. This series of events has created a trend for cosmetic consumers to undermine brand confidence and to self-check the [...] Read more.
In 2016, the safety issues of humidifier disinfectants and some other safety incidents in personal cares caused chemical phobia syndrome in the Korean society. This series of events has created a trend for cosmetic consumers to undermine brand confidence and to self-check the safety of commercial cosmetic formulations through mobile apps. The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of trust in domain specific information on the safety rating of cosmetic ingredients on the perceived value and the purchase intention of the cosmetics. The results of structural equation modeling showed that involvement of skin safety (ISS) had a positive effect on trust in domain specific information on safety (TDSI) and brand loyalty (BL). TDSI showed a positive effect on the perceived safety value (PFV) and the perceived social value (PSV), and BL had a positive effect on the PSV. ISS, TDSI, and PSV had a positive effect on the purchase intention (PI) of green-grade cosmetics (GGC). As hypothesized, BL had an adverse effect on PI of GGC. Given the results, utilizing the signal of the domain specific information may be recommended to new entrants to the cosmetic business or manufacturers with relatively weak brand power. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Role of Social Media Marketing Activities (SMMAs) in Apparel Brands Customer Response: A Moderated Mediation Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5167; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195167 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
This study analyzes the influence of apparel/clothing brand social media marketing activities (SMMAs) on brand equity and customer response in Pakistan. First, the current SMMAs are examined; then, we propose new attributes, i.e., fundamental social media marketing activities (FSMMAs) and sophisticated social media [...] Read more.
This study analyzes the influence of apparel/clothing brand social media marketing activities (SMMAs) on brand equity and customer response in Pakistan. First, the current SMMAs are examined; then, we propose new attributes, i.e., fundamental social media marketing activities (FSMMAs) and sophisticated social media marketing activities (SSMMAs) such as interactions, sharing, and trendiness. Second, the influence of innovative components, i.e., FSMMAs and SSMMAs, are analyzed regarding brand equity and customer response toward apparel brands. A survey was conducted with a total of 406 Pakistani customers who used apparel brands, and the collected data were analyzed through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Hayes PROCESS macro in SPSS. From the empirical results, we concluded that apparel brand equity (i.e., brand awareness, brand image) significantly mediates the relationship between FSMMAs and customer response (price premium willingness, customer loyalty). Moreover, it is also determined that SSMMAs moderate the indirect association of FSMMAs and customer response via brand equity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Project Portfolio Selection Considering Total Cost of Ownership in the Automobile Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4586; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174586 - 23 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Project portfolio selection for developing a new product is critical to a company because the attributes of the project reflect on the price, quality, and functionality of the developed product. The market evaluates the developed product and the assessment of the product value [...] Read more.
Project portfolio selection for developing a new product is critical to a company because the attributes of the project reflect on the price, quality, and functionality of the developed product. The market evaluates the developed product and the assessment of the product value determines its sale on the market. The project portfolio selection and sales are interconnected from a corporate perspective. The automobile industry is an industry which responds to the issue of business sustainability sensitively because their business directly relates to the environment. In this study, business sustainability was approached through the perspective of total cost of ownership (TCO) embedded into the project selection model after the attributes of the project, investment and efficiency, and the TCO of the product were combined to generate a sales function. The sales and revenue models were proposed, and the validity of the models was confirmed using a case from the automobile industry. As a result of the experiments, the sales model tended to show that the market share increased by selecting the proper number of projects to maximize sales. In contrast, the revenue model showed a tendency to select projects more than the sales model in order to maximize the profits of the company. By suggesting project selection models in a new perspective different from the ones in existing studies, this study is valuable with regard to the fact that the suggested models preserve project interrelationships, TCO, and product sales in a practical manner to enhance business sustainability. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop