According to authors Alain Debenedetti from Universite Paris Est, Harmen Oppewal from Monash University, and Zeynep Arsel from Concordia University, people often feel strongly attached to particular places.
Such places typically include their homes, but can also include commercial places such as stores and restaurants.
It was suggested that consumers form strong emotional bonds with locations when they experience familiarity. Consumers also value authenticity and personal relationships.
"The place does not have to be an extravagant flagship store. People can build attachments with quite ordinary and even mundane places, as long as the place meets the criteria of familiarity, authenticity and security," the researchers said.
The authors gained these insights from interviews with a sample of French consumers who talked about their experiences with the places they most treasure: cafes, restaurants, department stores, concert halls, and libraries.
The authors also found that once consumers bond with a commercial space, they are willing to make efforts or sacrifices to support it.
Satisfied customers may pay higher tips, volunteer to help the business, and serve as ambassadors, linking other consumers to the business.
The study is published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
--ANI (Posted on 16-10-2013)