How do brands create closeness? Contribution of the theories of Self-Expansion and Attachment

9th International Research Meeting in Business and Management, Nice (2018)
Auteurs : T. Gorlier et G. Michel 

Brands are investing heavily in more and more powerful technical gateways to customers apparently in search of proximity. Yet, the distance between brands and customers shows no significant signs of narrowing: how do brands create proximity? On the basis of an experiment with 687 respondents, we test a conceptual framework of proximity, including theories of Interdependence and Self-Expansion. It contributes to questioning the central role of interaction in the creation of proximity and to highlighting the influence of novelty and dissimilarity on the client’s relational and behavioral commitment. In addition, it clarifies the moderating role of commercial attachment styles on the customers’ individual preferences for proximity. In conclusion, it encourages brands to consider proximity as a choreography of distance, rather than an offensive of contact.


Proximity; interdependence; expansion; novelty; dissimilarity