A relational approach to direct mail consumption: The perspective of engagement regimes


- This paper aims to investigate how direct mail consumption contributes to brand relationship quality. Store flyers and other direct mailings continue to play a significant role in many companies' communication strategies. Research on this topic predominantly investigates driving store traffic and sales. Less is known regarding the consumer side, such as the value that consumers may derive from the consumption of direct mailings and the effects of such a value on brand relationship quality. To address this limitation, this paper tests a causal model of the contribution of direct mail value to brand commitment, drawing on a value framework that integrates social theory of engagement regimes and literature on experiential customer value.


- The empirical work of this paper is based on a rigorous four-study mixed methods design, involving qualitative study, confirmatory factor analysis and partial least squares structural modeling.


- The authors develop two second-order formatively designed scales - familiar value and planned value scales - that illustrate the role of engagement regimes in consumer behavior. Although both types of value contribute equally to direct mail attachment, they exert contrasting effects on other mediational consumer responses, such as reading and gratitude. Finally, the proposed theoretical model appears to be robust in predicting customers' brand commitment.

Research limitations/implications

- This study provides new insights into the research on consumer value and brand relational communication.


- This study is the first to consider consumer benefits from the social perspective of engagement regimes.

European Journal of Marketing
Françoise, Simon; Andrews, Lynda
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