Consumer Journey from First Experience to Brand Evangelism
This paper aims to access the lived reality of consumption and brands through the subjective meanings and interpretative processes of consumers, exploring how they perceive the journey from the first experience to a strong meaningful emotional bond with a brand. We follow the logic of the experience pyramid model in analysing qualitative interviews with brand evangelists, starting with the motivational level, moving on to the physical level where the evangelist meets the brand, and further to the level of experience where, if appropriate, the emotional bond with the brand manifests itself: for the customer, the brand has become experiential with a singular meaning. The experience model proved a useful research tool for understanding the consumer-brand relationship in depth. The study complements experience marketing with insights regarding the meaning of brand-related experiences for consumers, and enables marketers to understand the development of a strong emotional bond between a brand and a consumer. In addition, the results of the study shed further light on recognizing brand evangelists.