An Exploration of Seniors' Relationships with Prescription Pharmaceutical Brands: An application of “arranged marriage” metaphor framework
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore relationships that seniors (aged 55 and above) experience with prescription pharmaceutical brands, thus attending to situations where consumers have limited control over brand choice. Design/methodology/approach - A phenomenological study was conducted involving interviews with seniors in two Canadian cities. Phenomenology relies on a small number of interviews that are analyzed in depth and describes the lived consumer experience. Data analysis focused on types of relationships participants had experienced with brands and factors that influenced relationships. Findings - Analysis reveals four types of relationships that seniors hold with prescription pharmaceutical brands. The interpersonal relationship metaphor of arranged marriages can be used to describe relationship forms that seniors develop with brands. The quality of relationship seniors have with prescribing physician, who acts as marriage broker, and brand attributes influence relationships with prescription pharmaceutical brands. Consumer's ethos and nature of illness also influence brand relationships. Research limitations/implications - The study provides insights into brand choice situations where consumers have low control and addresses impact of intermediaries on consumer experiences. It opens the way for further research on mediated brand relationships. Practical implications - Marketing managers need to understand the role of intermediaries, where applicable, in influencing consumer relationships with brands. Originality/value - The study closes a gap in academic research (which is sparse) on relationships with prescription pharmaceutical brands held by consumers - specifically older consumers. It also encourages a critical view of the arranged marriage metaphor as a means of understanding consumer-brand interactions.
International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing
Marketing not elsewhere classified