An important development in the theory of brands has been the concept of a brand personality as part of the brand image. The construct of congruence relates the personality of brands to the self-concept of consumers. It is assumed that congruence between the recipient's perception of his or her own personality and his or her perception of the brand personality leads to a higher degree of loyalty. The congruence construct has been proven to be a loyalty-promoting factor in various studies for consumer good brands. Whether the influence of congruence also exists with regard to media brands has, however, not yet been examined. As a step to close the gap, this research explores the effects of congruence on consumer loyalty in the media, taking the leading German news magazine brands— Focus, Spiegel, and Stern—which are published in print and online, as a case. The study uses a structural equation model, which is estimated by the partial least squares method, based on a questionnaire answered by 736 respondents. The model was tested for all respondents and those with print and online preference separately. As a result, the influence of congruence on loyalty could also be detected in our media case. Differences of the impact within the models for print and online give rise to the assumption that a differentiated approach to brand management in these two fields has to be taken into consideration.
ACCESS TO FULL TEXT