At present, the influencing factors of brand love include brand identity, brand community, service quality, customer satisfaction, hedonic brand and self-expression brand. However, the existing research on the influence of consumption experience on brand love has some deficiencies in the aspects of influencing factors, forming reasons and how to cultivate brand love. In the field of commodity economy, consumers, especially young consumers, tend to be curious about new things. The purchase process and post-purchase evaluation are easily affected by external environment. They have positive feelings about the products and services they have bought. This emotion is extended through the interpersonal love emotion between people in psychology and applied to the consumption field, which is called brand love. In view of this, this study will explore the relationship between surreal experience and brand love, as well as the moderating effect of self-fragmentation on the relationship between them through empirical research methods, taking consumers with thematic brand consumption experience as the research object.
Although scholars at home and abroad have different understandings of brand experience, they all agree that brand experience requires interaction between customers and brands. This paper agrees with the definition of Schmitt, that is, brand experience is a behavioral response caused by sensation, perception and stimulus related to brand. This definition is concluded by combining the characteristics of brand experience based on Schmitt’s understanding of experience, which is more consistent with the connotation of brand experience in this study.
The article is organized as follows: Literature Review, Proposal of Hypotheses, Research Design, Results and Discussion.
2. Literature Review
2.1. Brand Experience
Brand experience is the initial experience, which forms the sensory stimulation through vision, hearing, taste and touch, producing primary emotional responses such as joy, satisfaction or disappointment. Sensory experience is easier to realize and stimulate, which is the dimension of consumption experience that scholars agree with. Oliver’s research shows that perceptual experience has a significant impact on consumer satisfaction behavior. During the experience of a product or service, consumers will experience positive or negative feelings or emotions such as satisfaction, novelty, disappointment, etc. Experience can be discussed from the perspectives of marketing, philosophy and aesthetics  . Brakus and other researchers divide the experiences into “product experience” during the process of contact with the product, “patronage and service experience” during the patronage and receiving service process and “shopping experience” during product use process  . Customer experience is the consumer’s cognition, emotion, mood, social and material reaction to products and brands.
2.2. Brand Love
The research of brand love started late at home and abroad. Carroll & Ahuvia defined and measured brand love for the first time. They proposed that brand love was the emotional dependence on the brand of highly satisfied consumers, which includes positive emotional response, positive brand evaluation, brand attachment and declaration of brand love   . Different fields have different interpretations of love. The conceptual framework of love is also different. The extended brand love is a new concept in marketing, which is mainly used to evaluate the emotional attachment of satisfied consumers to a specific brand. Through literature review, this study believes that brand love refers to the emotional separation of love from interpersonal relationships, with passion and intimacy as the main emotional colors, showing emotional dynamics such as fanaticism, attachment and worship, and involving positive cognitive and emotional attributes. The premise of brand love is to pay attention to the emotional experience of consumers. So it is based on the study of the interaction between consumers and brand experience perspective, emphasizing the positive feelings of consumers towards the brand. We emphasize how young consumers consider the psychology of love objects, specifically, the positive feelings of satisfied consumers towards brands.
3. Proposal of Hypotheses
Sensory experience enables individuals to have a unique “emotional capability” of their favorite products, that is, they can obtain a sense of pleasure and satisfaction, and thereby construct the meaning of themselves, which also means that consumer atmosphere will promote individuals to actively experience the environment or products with strong sensory colors, and deepen their impression and favorable impression of the brand through unique feelings   . Thus, sensory experience positively affects brand emotion, brand intimacy and brand passion. Therefore, the following hypotheses are proposed:
Hypothesis 1: Sensory experience positively affects consumers’ brand love.
Pleasant consumption experience will promote consumers to have positive, active and effective cognition, use and communication of products or services. They are willing to pay for the brand, such as buying at a premium, which will stimulate consumers’ desire and attachment to the brand. Therefore, the following hypotheses are proposed:
Hypothesis 2: Emotional experience positively affects consumers’ brand love.
Social experience is the highest stage of experience. Through dreaming and unexpected consumption experience, consumers can enjoy the unique and surreal environment to the fullest, improve their cognition and evaluation of the brand, and promote the generation of their beloved emotion. Therefore, the following hypotheses are proposed:
Hypothesis 3: Social experience positively affects consumers’ brand love.
4. Research Design
1) Sample Data Collection
This research mainly carries on the questionnaire survey to the consumer who has had the subject brand experience. There are two main types of respondents: One type includes the theme brand dining customers, whose consumption service receiving, experience evaluation is more real and accurate in the theme brand. The other type includes the customers who have visited the theme brand for many times. They have emotional dependence on the theme brand and have a more comprehensive evaluation of the previous experience. A total of 500 questionnaires were distributed in this survey, and 451 questionnaires were recovered, among which 426 were valid and the recovery rate was 85.2%. Among the questionnaires, 98 questionnaires were distributed through network channels, and 58 were effectively recovered.
2) Variable Design and Measurement
The research design of the five variables in this research was supported by relevant theories or literature, and the mature scale was used for reference   . After many modifications and tests, a preliminary questionnaire was formed.
5. Empirical Results
5.1. The Survey Questionnaire Is Shown in Table 1
Table 1. Survey questionnaire.
5.2. Correlation Coefficients between Six Variables
Between 0.3 and 0.5, the common variation value between variables is not high, as shown in Table 2. The data show that the research hypothesis and relationship model are reasonable, so the relationship between variables can be further analyzed.
It can be seen from Table 3 that sensory experience, emotional experience and social experience have a significant positive impact on brand love at the level of significance 0.001. Hypothesis 1, hypothesis 2 and hypothesis 3 are verified from the analysis.
When investigating what aspects of a brand attract consumers, it is found that staff enthusiasm, business hall decoration and staff wear account for a similar proportion.
Table 2. Correlation coefficient matrix.
Note: ** indicates significant level P < 0.01 (double-tailed test).
Table 3. Regression analysis of independent variables to outcome variables.
Note: ***indicates P < 0.001, *indicates P < 0.05 (2-tailed); R2 is 0.585, standard deviation is 0.653, the value of F is 49.159.
According to the research data, 89% of the students are more likely to contact people who use a certain brand, which shows that college students prefer to join a certain group, hoping that they can have a sense of belonging and can communicate with people who have similar hobbies. For a brand, its most basic business is to contact others.
6. Discussion & Conclusion
According to previous studies by scholars, consumers strengthen their social relationship with others through brand consumption, and they will have a kind of love and attachment to the brand itself. However, this is not supported by data in this article. According to the respondents’ evaluation of social relations in this paper, the average value is only 2.767, which is less than the median of 3.00. Respondents rated the social relationship they obtained from brand consumption as low, or they did not feel the strengthening of social relationship construction at all. This may be related to the group of interviewees and the brand of the survey  .
Sensory experience and emotional experience both have a significant positive impact on brand love, which indicates that postmodern consumers, especially young college students, pay more attention to the detail design in the theme brand environment. Therefore, in the environmental design and site facilities construction, sound, light, electrical design, picture decoration and other resources should be made full use to achieve the appearance of landscape architecture. In terms of internal consumption environment, space design, interior furnishing, lighting design and other aspects are fully combined with the brand theme. It is necessary to improve service etiquette to meet consumers’ requirements for sensory and emotional experience, and create an atmosphere that makes people relax in time. Both rest and entertainment can make people feel comfortable and happy, thus stimulating the formation of brand emotion such as yearning and pursuit.
Social experience has a significant positive impact on brand love. The cultural atmosphere of the theme brand is its selling point    . The expectation and demand of the target consumer group should be integrated into the theme culture to maintain the richness of the type and content of brand activities. The theme activity process should strengthen the participation of customers, not only to let customers participate in the activity as the audience, but also to encourage customers to participate in it as actors. Finally, the interaction between customers and customers is formed. The customers can enjoy the satisfaction of internal needs and identity expectations, experience the life experience of different cultures and the fun of role playing, and form the cultural resonance of subject and object.
The research conclusion mainly includes three points: First, there is an important connection between brand experience and brand love. Extraordinary customer experience is an important condition for the generation of brand love. Brand experience is an important variable, which has an important impact on the construction of consumers’ social relations, personal and social self-presentation, as well as the entertainment enjoyment of consumers. Extraordinary experience encourages consumers to form brand love. Second, both personal and social self-identity have positive effects on brand love, and entertainment also plays an important role in brand love. Third, the influence of social relationship construction on brand love is not significant.
 Brakus, J.J., Schmitt, B.H. and Zarantonello, L. (2009) Brand Experience: What Is It? How Is It Measured? Does It Affect Loyahy? Journal of Marketing, 73, 52-68.
 Wang, C.Z. and Zhou, X.C. (2012) Does Postmodernism Lead to “Infidelity”? How Does Surrealism and Self-Fragmentation Affect Consumers’ Loyalty to Symbolic Brands. Journal of Marketing Science, 8, 11-29.