In this dissertation, I explore the intersection between interpersonal and consumer behaviour in three chapters. In chapter 2, I propose that consumers with low self-esteem become wary of new relationships with alternative service providers if they experience service failures in a current service relationship, whilst consumers with high self-esteem do not. In line with this prediction, I document that consumers with high self-esteem are willing to sign contracts with other available alternatives if a service failure occurs, whereas consumers with low self-esteem tend to stick to their current brand. Moreover, consumers with low self-esteem who experience service failures avoid new commitments, and seem to prefer short-term marketing relationships to long-term relationships. In chapter 3, I define brand flirting as consumers’ casual interest in or short-term experimentation with a competitor to a favored brand, and I examine the consequences of minor consumer infidelity. I demonstrate that brand flirting can be beneficial for brand relationships, under certain conditions. I propose that flirting is exciting and that consumers who flirt with a competing brand may transfer the flirting-induced arousal to their favored brand – resulting in even greater love and desire for it. In chapter 4, I move away from consumer loyalty and commitment, and examine a different behavioral outcome: information sharing. In this case, I investigate the effect of the presence of others in a given space on the likelihood that consumers engage in word-of-mouth.
This paper demonstrates that the higher the number of people surrounding consumers in a given space, the greater the likelihood that consumers will share information with others (elsewhere, e.g., on social media). I propose that this happens because crowdedness decreases perceptions of personal control, and consumers use information sharing as a means to restore it.