Customers and Relations

This theme includes research on all kinds of customers' experiences of and responses to brands, product and service offerings, marketing communication, marketing activities as well as other conditions in the markets.


Responsible faculty member:

Researchers focusing on the area:

Prof. Tore Strandvik
Assoc. Prof. Pia Polsa
Assoc. Prof. Annika Ravald
Asst. Prof. Johanna Gummerus
Asst. Prof. Christian Kowalkowski
Post-doc. Karl-Jacob Mickelsson


Specific topics

  • Customer experiences in B2C and B2B
  • Customer value formation
  • Service/product quality, customer satisfaction
  • Customer involvement and engagement
  • Customer activities and practices
  • Customer network relationships
  • Relationship marketing, customer
  • Value selling, solutions selling
  • Service interface, service encounters, servicescapes
  • Customers' social media use
  • Brand relationships and image

Focus industries studied in the area

  • Financial services and banking industry
  • Tourism and hospitality industry

Recent publications

In the research database you will find all research activity.
To the research database


2019 Johanna Gummerus, Michaela Marie-Louise Lipkin, Apramey Dube, Kristina Heinonen 'Technology in use - characterizing customer self-service devices (SSDS)' Journal of Services Marketing, vol 33, no. 1, pp. 44-56.


2018 Kwesi Sakyi-Gyinae, Maria Holmlund 'What Do Business Customers Value? An Empirical Study of Value Propositions in a Servitization Context' Technology Innovation Management Review, vol 8, no. 5, pp. 36-43.
2018 Hannele Kauppinen-Räisänen, Peter Björk, Alexandra Lönnström, Marie-Nathalie Jauffret 'How consumers' need for uniqueness, self-monitoring, and social identity affect their choices when luxury brands visually shout versus whisper' Journal of Business Research, vol 84, no. March , pp. 72-81.


2017 Christian Grönroos 'Relationship marketing readiness: theoretical background and measurement directions' Journal of Services Marketing, vol 31, no. 3, pp. 218-225.
2017 Erose Sthapit, Peter Björk, Dafnis N. Coudounaris 'Emotions elicited by local food consumption, memories, place attachment and behavioural intentions' Anatolia : An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol 28, no. 3, pp. 363-380.
2017 Christian Grönroos 'Relationship marketing and service: an update' Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science : Bridging Asia and the World, vol 27, no. 3, pp. 201-208 .
2017 Werner Kunz, Lerzan Aksoy, Yakov Bart, Kristina Heinonen, Sertan Kabadayi, Francisco Villaroel Ordenes, Marianna Sigala, David Diaz, Babis Theodoulidis 'Customer engagement in a Big Data world' Journal of Services Marketing, vol 31, no. 2, pp. 161-171.
2017 Maria Jose del Rio Olivares, Kristina Wittkowski, Jaakko Aspara, Tomas Falk, Pekka Mattila 'Relational price discounts: Consumers' metacognitions and nonlinear effects of initial discounts on customer retention' Journal of Marketing, vol 82, no. 1, pp. 115-131.
2017 Francesco Polese, Jaqueline Pels, Bård Tronvoll, Roberto Bruni, Luca Carrubbo 'A4A relationships' Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol 27, no. 5, pp. 1040-1056.
2017 Bård Tronvoll, Tore Mysen 'Emosjoner i kundedrevet samskaping av tjenester' Magma: Econas tidsskrift for økonomi og ledelse, vol 4, pp. 50-58.


2016 Maria Holmlund, Christian Kowalkowski, Sergio Biggemann 'Organizational Behavior in Innovation, Marketing, and Purchasing in Business Service Contexts' Journal of Business Research, vol 69, no. 7, pp. 2457-2462.
2016 Karl-Jacob Mickelsson '"Running Is My Boyfriend": Consumers’ Relationships with Activities' Journal of Services Marketing, vol 31, no. 1, pp. 24-33.
2016 Magnus Söderlund 'Mere employee presence and its impact on customer satisfaction' Psychology and Marketing, vol 33, no. 6, pp. 449-464.


2015 Fredrik Nordin, Annika Ravald 'Managing relationship gaps: A practitioner perspective' Journal of Business Research, vol 69, no. 7, pp. 2490-2497.
2015 Anne Rindell, Fernando Pinto Santos, Ana Pinto de Lima 'Two sides of a coin: Connecting corporate brand heritage to consumers’ corporate image heritage' Journal of Brand Management, vol 22, no. June/July, pp. 467-484.
2015 Veronica Liljander, Johanna Gummerus, Magnus Söderlund 'Young consumers’ responses to suspected covert and overt blog marketing' Internet Research, vol 25, no. 4, pp. 610-632.
2015 Kristina Heinonen, Tore Strandvik 'Customer-dominant logic: foundations and implications' Journal of Services Marketing, vol 29, no. 6/7, pp. 472-484.
2015 Christian Grönroos, Katri Ojasalo 'Service productivity as mutual learning' International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol 7, no. 2-3, pp. 296-311.


2014 Peter Björk, Hannele Kauppinen-Räisänen 'Contemporary insights to the dynamic pre-trip information sourcing behaviour' Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol 15, no. 1, pp. 39-53.
2014 Magnus Söderlund, Veronica Liljander, Johanna Gummerus, Pia Maria Hellman, Michaela Lipkin, Eeva-Liisa Oikarinen, Marianne Sepp, Karina Töndevold 'Preferential treatment in the service encounter' Journal of Service Management, vol 25, no. 4, pp. 512-530.
2014 Gustav Medberg, Kristina Heinonen 'Invisible value formation: a netnography in retail banking' International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol 32, no. 6, pp. 590-607.
2014 Maria Åkesson, Bo Edvardsson, Bård Tronvoll 'Customer experience from a self-service system perspective' Journal of Service Management, vol 25, no. 5, pp. 677-698.
2014 Hannele Kauppinen-Räisänen, Johanna Gummerus, Catharina von Koskull, Åke Finne, Anu Helkkula, Christian Kowalkowski, Anne Rindell 'Am I worth it? Gifting myself with luxury' Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, vol 18, no. 2, pp. 112-132.
2014 Hannele Kauppinen-Räisänen, Anne Rindell, Charlotta Åberg 'Conveying conscientiousness: Exploring environmental images across servicescapes' Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, vol 21, no. 4, pp. 520-528.
2014 Bo Edvardsson, Christian Kowalkowski, Tore Strandvik, Päivi Voima 'Negative critical waves in business relationships' Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol 29, no. 4, pp. 284-294.


2013 Fredrik Nordin, Danilo Brozovic, Maria Holmlund 'Disintermediation in Business-to-Business Service Channels: Mechanisms and Challenges' Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, vol 20, no. 4, pp. 179-192.
2013 Tore Strandvik, Kristina Heinonen 'Diagnosing Service Brand Strength: Customer-Dominant Brand Relationship Mapping' Journal of Service Management, vol 24, no. 5, pp. 502-519.
2013 Pia Polsa 'Crystallization and research in Asia' Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol 16, no. 1, pp. 76-93.
2013 Christian Grönroos, Päivi Voima 'Critical service logic: making sense of value creation and co-creation' Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol 41, no. 2, pp. 133-150.
2013 Anna Lundqvist, Veronica Liljander, Johanna Gummerus, Allard van Riel 'The impact of storytelling on the consumer brand experience: the case of a firm-originated story' Journal of Brand Management, vol 20, no. 4, pp. 283-297.
2013 Karl-Jacob Mickelsson 'Customer Activity in Service' Journal of Service Management, vol 24, no. 5, pp. 534-552.
2013 Sergio Biggemann, Christian Kowalkowski, Jane Maley, Staffan Brege 'Development and implementation of customer solutions' Industrial Marketing Management, vol 42, no. 7, pp. 1083-1092.
2013 Pia Polsa 'The Crossover-Dialogue Approach :' Journal of Business Research, vol 66, no. 3, pp. 288-297.
2013 Pia Polsa, Wei Fuxiang, Maria Caroliina Sääksjärvi, Pei Shuyuan 'Cultural values and health care service quality in China' International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol 26, no. 1, pp. 55-73.
2013 Petri Parvinen, Jaakko Aspara, Joel Hietanen, Sami Kajalo 'Sales activity systematization and performance' Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol 28, no. 6, pp. 494-505.
2013 Jaakko Aspara, Joel Hietanen, Pekka Mattila, Antti Sihvonen, Henrikki Tikkanen 'Generative mechanisms in project marketing – an agenda for inquiry' Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science : Bridging Asia and the World, vol 23, no. 2, pp. 196-212.


2012 Christian Grönroos, Pekka Helle 'Return on relationships:' Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol 27, no. 5, pp. 344-359.
2012 Karolina Wägar, Inger Roos, Annika Ravald, Bo Edvardsson 'My Customers Are in My Blind Spot' Journal of Service Research, vol 15, no. 2, pp. 150-165.
2012 Tore Strandvik, Maria Holmlund, Bo Edvardsson 'Customer Needing: A Challenge for the Seller Offering' Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol 27, no. 2, pp. 132-141.
2012 Christian Grönroos 'Conceptualising value co-creation: A journey to the 1970s and back to the future' Journal of Marketing Management, vol 28, no. 13-14, pp. 1520-1534.
2012 Johanna Gummerus, Veronica Liljander, Emil Weman, Minna Hannele Pihlström 'Customer Engagement in a Facebook Brand Community' Management Research Review, vol 35, no. 9, pp. 857 - 877.


2011 Pia Polsa, Karen Spens, Alabi Soneye, Imoh Antai 'Comparing the perceived quality of private and public health services in Nigeria' Journal of Management Policy and Practice, vol 12, no. 7, pp. 18-26.


2009 Vladimir Vanyushyn, Maria Holmlund, Sören Kock 'Cooperation with Competitors and Internationalization' Journal of Euromarketing, vol 18, no. 2, pp. 89-100.


2008 Bo Edvardsson, Maria Holmlund, Tore Strandvik 'Initiation of business relationships in service-dominant settings' Industrial Marketing Management, vol 37, no. 3, pp. 339-350.
2008 Tore Strandvik, Maria Holmlund 'How to Diagnose Business-to-Business Relationships by Mapping Negative Incidents' Journal of Marketing Management, vol 24, no. 3-4, pp. 361-381.


2005 Maria Holmlund, Tore Strandvik 'Stress in Business Relationships' Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol 20, no. 1, pp. 12-22.
2005 Maria Holmlund, Tore Strandvik 'Exploring and Managing Negative Incidents in Business Relationships' Journal of Customer Behavior, vol 4, no. 2, pp. 227-250.



2001 Maria Holmlund 'The D&D Model' The Service Industries Journal, vol 21, no. 3, pp. 13-36.