Research Summary

Consumer-Brand Relationships and CRM

by Jill J. Avery


This highly pragmatic stream investigates the contemporary practice of customer relationship management (CRM) by exploring the phenomenological, lived experience of consumers' relationships with brands.  Using a contracting theory lens supplemented with knowledge of sociological practices, this work explores the consumer-brand relationship contract, outlines the contents of various relationship contracts found in consumption, and traces the process by which consumers and brands form, negotiate, and renegotiate relationships over time.  Select publications develop a critical perspective on customer relationship practices that leave the people out of the equation and create contracts that are opportunistic and misaligned. This research stream is one of the first to inquire into the dynamics of consumer-brand relationships — enlivening an important construct in marketing that had previously been theorized only as a static variable.