Title: A study of the loyalty-building process for Mobile Data Service usage in Korea

Authors: Chung K. Kim, Elizabeth Fife, Mina Jun, Lejun Sheryl Soh, Sunnyoung Lee

Addresses: Graduate School of Business, Sungkyunkwan University, Jongro Myungyun 3-53, Business Hall 517, Seoul, Republic of Korea. ' Marshall School of Business, CTM: Institute for Communication Technology Management, University of Southern California, 444 South Flower Street, Suite 1000, Los Angeles, CA 90089-8204, USA. ' Graduate School of Business, Sungkyunkwan University, Jongro Myungyun 3-53, Business Hall 517, Seoul, Republic of Korea. ' Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA. ' Graduate School of Business, Sungkyunkwan University, Jongro Myungyun 3-53, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Abstract: This paper examines the elements that support customer loyalty for Mobile Data Service (MDS) use in Korea, namely customer assessment of specific services and attachment to the mobile handset device. The first part of our study employs the model of Customer-Based Brand Equity (CBBE) to understand the influence of rational and emotional assessment in the loyalty-building process. Next, brand attachment theory is used to investigate the influence of personal and social attachment to the mobile handset and augment our understanding of the MDS loyalty-building process. Using survey data collected in Korea and the USA, this study provides several interesting strategic implications not only for Korean telecom companies that are dealing with subscriber churn issues, but also for foreign counterparts seeking to compete in Korean markets.

Keywords: MDS; mobile data services; consumer–brand relationship; brand loyalty; consumer assessment; brand attachment; cultural difference; Korea; mobile communications; mobile phones; cell phones; customer-based brand equity; m-services; mobile services.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2011.040355

International Journal of Electronic Business, 2011 Vol.9 No.1/2, pp.44 - 62

Published online: 24 May 2011 *

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