Customer interaction strategy, brand purpose and brand communities

Bobby J. Calder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Customer interactions are integral to service brands. Indeed, many product brands have added services in order to create more opportunity for customer interaction. This paper deals with the strategic use of customer interactions to build a strong brand. Customer interaction strategy has evolved considerably beyond traditional sales and advertising in how customer interactions are conducted. Yet the Pareto rule (e.g. 80% of sales from 20% of customers) continues to guide who brands interact with. Conventional wisdom is that firms should target heavy users or customers high on the recency, frequency and monetary (RFM) value of purchases. The purpose of this conceptual paper is to examine how brands can use brand purpose and brand communities to target light users and even nonuser stakeholders as well. Design/methodology/approach: There is reason to hypothesize that brands can go beyond the heavy user limit of targeting customer interactions by developing brands around purpose. Purpose can be based on engagement with personal goals or values or on societal values about doing good for others. Brand purpose can be reinforced by either life purpose brand communities or societal purpose brand communities. Findings: The paper reviews findings in the brand interaction, brand purpose and brand communities literature. Research limitations/implications: The two types of brand purposes and brand communities offer the possibility of growing a brand by targeting customer interactions at light users and nonuser stakeholders. Practical implications: There are important future research issues to be addressed, but this approach could increase the value of brands to consumers and extend the life cycle of brands for organizations. Social implications: Furthermore, the concept of societal brand purpose could allow firms to focus on creating shareholder value as well as addressing social and environmental problems. Originality/value: This paper broadens the current conception of customer interaction strategy and is thus relevant to relationship and experience marketing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-757
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Jul 8 2022


  • Brand communities
  • Brand purpose
  • Brand value
  • Engagement
  • Stakeholders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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