Forging meaningful consumer-brand relationships through creative merchandise offerings and innovative merchandising strategies

Anne L. Roggeveen, Dhruv Grewal, John Karsberg, Stephanie M. Noble, Jens Nordfält, Vanessa M. Patrick, Elisa Schweiger, Gonca Soysal, Annemarie Dillard, Nora Cooper, Richard Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This research highlights the importance of retailer-consumer identity congruence – the match between the retail brand identity and the consumers’ identity. Retailers can leverage identity congruence to forge meaningful consumer-brand relationships which will result in enhanced engagement, brand loyalty, and willingness to pay. The paper discusses how creative merchandise offerings and innovative merchandising strategies contribute to the creation of a unique retail brand identity and facilitate communication of this identity to consumers. Based on interviews with retail practitioners, we formulate five ways in which retailers can establish and communicate their brand identity through creative merchandise offerings (by focusing on unique and original merchandise, leveraging local merchandise to reflect the area, making their merchandise akin to art, offering sustainable merchandise, and a high fashion product assortment). In addition, we focus on five innovative merchandising strategies which help the retailer connect the brand to the customer (creating themes, reflecting the brand story, being playful, signaling exclusivity, and virtual merchandising). We then discuss how retailers can utilize social and technological tools to amplify the retailer identity to consumers, thus increasing the likelihood that a consumer will view their identity congruent with the retail brand.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Retailing
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Dec 2020


  • Consumer-Brand relationships
  • Identity congruence
  • Merchandise
  • Merchandising

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

Cite this