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Journal Articles Journal of Marketing Year : 2024

Managing Brand Relationship Plurality : Insights from the Non-profit Sector

Jonathan Deschênes
  • Function : Author


The non-profit sector is home to some of the most recognized and trustworthy brands, all competing for financial resources and volunteers. Akin to consumers, volunteers entertain relationships with non-profit brands. These relationships have recently become more diverse as individuals increasingly look for more ephemeral and distant forms of involvement. Drawing on an extensive qualitative dataset of the Vienna Red Cross comprising participant observation, archival data, and in-depth interviews, the authors conceptualize this non-escalating, episodic engagement as a neither-growing-nor-fading (NGNF) relationship. This theorization adds to the literature on consumer–brand relationships, which has predominantly focused on the cultivation of strong relationships. Informed by practice theory, the authors elaborate distinct brand relationship practices key to successfully maintaining NGNF relationships (acquiring and activating) while catering to volunteers following the traditional path of relationship intensification (building and cultivating). The analysis identifies constellations of practice elements conducive to managing both types of brand relationships in a symbiotic manner. The authors argue for the importance of moving beyond an exclusive focus on relationship growth and embracing non-escalating relationships. This study thus contributes to nascent theorizing on brand relationships that do not follow an axiology valuing growth and intensification.
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hal-04558562 , version 1 (25-04-2024)


  • HAL Id : hal-04558562 , version 1


Verena Gruber, Jonathan Deschênes. Managing Brand Relationship Plurality : Insights from the Non-profit Sector. Journal of Marketing, 2024, FORTH, 72 p. ⟨hal-04558562⟩


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