Types Of Consumer-Brand Relationship

Types Of Consumer-Brand Relationship

All marketers want to develop stronger relationships with big customers because it is usually more profitable to serve one large customer than to serve several smaller customers. Even when the large customer receives quantity discounts, it still costs time and money to serve many small customers by calling on them, processing orders, and dealing with any complaints that might arise. For example, let’s say you’re a delivery driver. If you have one big load to deliver to one customer, you can make that happen in just one trip. But if you have smaller loads to deliver to multiple customers, that’s going to take a lot more trips. So from the perspective of a company or marketing department, they would rather have bigger, more profitable customers. Companies like Home Depot and Best Buy are examples of the type of large customers that businesses want to sell to, because they know they can make more money from selling larger quantities of product to them.

Marketers understand the importance of having stronger relationships with customers, especially those who are innovative and considered lead users. Furthermore, marketers also seek out customers with high status or who are known by others to have expertise in a particular field. Additionally, salespeople play an important role in maintaining relationships with market influencers, even if they are not customers.

Types of Customer Relationships

The relationships you have with your friends and family can teach you a lot about how to build relationships with your customers. Most relationships fall somewhere on a continuum of intimacy and trust. The more you trust someone, the more intimate information you share with them, and the stronger your relationship becomes. The relationships between salespeople and customers are similar to the ones you have with your friends and family, ranging from acquaintance to best friend.

Transactional relationships

By contrast, there are relational transactional relationships, in which both parties have an interest in maintaining the relationship beyond any individual sale. For example, you might have a go-to barista at your local coffee shop who knows how you like your coffee. The barista’s goal is to keep you as a customer, and your goal is to keep coming back for the quality service. Even though there are other coffee shops in the area, you have developed a relationship with this one that keeps you coming back.

Functional relationships

Functional relationships in commerce are those between a customer who habitually buys a product from the same seller, so long as the customer’s needs are met. MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) items, such as nuts and bolts used to repair manufacturing equipment, are often sold on the basis of functional relationships: the customer sticks with a product that works, rather than incurring costs associated with switching to a new product.

Marriage Partner

Brand relationships are often compared to marriages because they are intense and emotional bonds. They are close partnerships that are assumed to be lifelong relationships. Just like a real marriage, a consumer-brand marriage is high touch and high maintenance. And, as we see in real life, divorces between tightly connected brands and consumers are ugly and costly affairs.

Brands that have intimate relationships with their consumers can quickly get called out for any number of missteps, from forgetting anniversary dates to using up the last bit of toilet paper without replacing it. These seemingly small offenses can convey that you haven’t actually been paying attention – or worse, that you just don’t really know them as well as they thought.

Best Friends

Achieving best friend status with your customers requires a lot of work and dedication from your end. You have to be an active listener, be open to their suggestions and feedback, and sometimes even give them tough love when it’s for their own good. Most importantly, you have to be reliable and dependable; if you can’t keep secrets or be trusted with sensitive information, your customers are not going to want to stick around.

It’s interesting to note how two tech giants in the same industry can have such different public images, with Facebook struggling to be seen as friendly despite being in the business of personal data, while Google is able to establish a much stronger consumer-brand relationship. However, it’s important to remember that even the strongest brands can fade over time as people’s lives change.

Parent Child

Just like you’re born into a family, the parent-child relationship is a brand that you’re born into. You’re brought up with it as an integral part of your life. Love, intimacy, nostalgia, and self-connectedness are ever present.

However, this is a hard brand relationship to define because it’s ever-changing. Should a brand be expected to change with its consumers? Might it alienate them by doing so? If the relationship is less functional, then what is more important: product/service or brand identity?

Disney is a consummate example of the parent child relationship. When most of us say the word, “Disney,” we shuttle and loop through a roller coaster of emotions in an instant. That’s the power of the brand. The power is also part of the risk.


We don’t always get to choose our teammates, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work to build positive relationships with them. A good teammate is someone who is not only good at their role on the team, but also complementary to your own strengths and weaknesses. It’s ideal if you’re friends with your teammates, but it’s not the most important thing. What matters most is that the relationship between the two of you is stronger than either of you could achieve alone.

Being a great partner to consumers requires more than just top-notch quality products or services – it’s about creating a relationship in which the consumer feels that the brand is invested in helping them be their best selves. This involves developing a certain degree of interdependence and intimacy with consumers so they know that the brand is always there for them, even if they’re not always physically present.

This can be seen in the sports world, where we often witness that being a great teammate is just as hard as being a great player. But more often than not, it’s even more important. A great teammate allows brands to seem low touch and even distant at times, but intimate enough in the things that matter to customers so that they feel like the brand is reading their minds!

There are several different types of consumer-brand relationships. These relationships can be formed between companies and consumers, producers and consumers, and producers and producers. There are many different types of relationships that can be formed. We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at

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