Can the label ‘member’ in a loyalty program context boost customer satisfaction?

Magnus Söderlund*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines if labeling customers as ‘member’ versus ‘non-member’ in the context of a firm’s loyalty program can influence the customers’ evaluations of the firm. It was assumed that firms’ membership-related labels, which typically are euphemisms in relation to the mere discounts offered by many loyalty programs, can (a) prime customers so that positively charged content in a general member category is activated, and that (b) this content can have a positive impact on evaluations of firms with loyalty programs. An experiment showed that evoking customers’ membership status resulted in a higher level of sense of belonging, and higher customer satisfaction, for members than for non-members. Sense of belonging mediated the impact of evoking membership status on customer satisfaction. A second study confirmed that the content of customers’ general member construct is indeed associated with sense of belonging and satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)340-357
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 27.05.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • customer satisfaction
  • Loyalty programs
  • membership
  • priming
  • sense of belonging


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