“Touching” services: tangible objects create an emotional connection to services even before their first use

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract

Although research suggests that physical elements of the servicescape play an important role in the service process, there is little research on the impact of tangible objects that companies give to consumers such as membership cards, pens, mugs, or fashion articles. Drawing on research about embodied cognition, this paper investigates how and under which conditions the provision of tangible service objects affects consumers. Three experimental studies were conducted, in which participants received different objects they could either touch or just see. These studies indicate that touching a service object metaphorically translates into a perceived mental connection towards the service. More specifically, physically connecting to a service object leads to a stronger psychological connection to the corresponding service, which, in turn, increases behavioral intentions. The results also demonstrate that providing a tangible object only has an impact when the object is of high aesthetic appeal. These findings suggest that providing tangible service objects is an effective way for service providers to build an emotional connection with potential customers and to strengthen the emotional connections of existing customers.

Authors Nägele, Nora; von Walter, Benjamin; Scharfenberger, Philipp & Wentzel, Daniel
Journal or Publication Title Business Research (BuR)
Language English
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 2020
Publisher Springer
Volume 13
Number 2
Page Range 741-766
Number of Pages 26
ISSN 1866-8658
Publisher DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s40685-020-00114-0
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Benjamin von Walter
Date Deposited 18 Dec 2020 14:13
Last Modified 18 Dec 2020 14:55
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/261756

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Citation

Nägele, Nora; von Walter, Benjamin; Scharfenberger, Philipp & Wentzel, Daniel (2020) “Touching” services: tangible objects create an emotional connection to services even before their first use. Business Research (BuR), 13 (2). 741-766. ISSN 1866-8658

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/261756
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