“I Will Have No Other!” – The Role of Communication and Trust in Driving Exclusive Behavior


  • Anna M. Walz Grand Valley State University
  • Kevin G. Celuch University of Southern Indiana
  • Nadine M. Robinson Athabasca University


Marketers are increasingly interested in establishing true loyalty since it can greatly extend an organization's relationship marketing efforts. This paper focuses on an underrepresented aspect of true loyalty (i.e., exclusive behavior) and investigates the role that some of the most important relational exchange constructs (i.e., communication, trust, affective commitment) play in creating emotionally bonded, truly loyal customers in a retail-service environment. Survey data from 144 customers of a regional coffee house chain was analyzed with hierarchical regression analysis. Results show that trust in the retailer moderates the relationship between retailer communication quality and customer affective commitment, such that the impact of increasing quality communication on affective commitment was strongly positive and significant under conditions of higher trust in the retailer and nonsignificant under conditions of lower trust. Results highlight the importance of continued trust-building efforts in creating emotionally bonded consumers who often exhibit exclusive patronage behavior.



— Updated on 2022-02-02


  • 2022-02-02 (2)
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