Purpose - The purpose of this study is to understand differences in consumer brand engagement (CBE) according to the functional or emotional nature of consumer-brand relationships and its direct and/or indirect impact on brand loyalty (BL). Additionally, the study aims to compare CBE and Satisfaction as predictors of BL, considering the two types of consumer-brand relationships. Design/methodology/approach - A cross-sectional survey was applied to two independent samples. Respondents of one of the samples were asked to recall a brand with which they had a functional relationship, while the other respondents were asked to consider a brand with which they had an emotional relationship. To test research hypotheses, a causal model using SEM was developed. Findings - Results validate CBE as a three-dimensional construct, stronger for emotional than functional brand relationships and show its significant direct and indirect impact on BL. Through a comparative analysis, findings also prove that the effects of CBE on BL, directly or indirectly through Satisfaction, are stronger for emotional relationships, while Satisfaction is a stronger direct predictor of BL for functional brand relationships. Originality/value - Addressing calls to focus on the impact of specific brand types on engagement, this study allows a better understanding of the moderating role of functional and emotional relationships on CBE. This study further adds to the existing body of knowledge by establishing the mediating role of Satisfaction and comparing the contribution of CBE and Satisfaction to BL according to the nature of consumer-brand relationships. Overall, our findings enhance knowledge on how consumers engage with and become loyal to brands, offering important implications for brand managers.
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