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:

Prof. Kristina Heinonen



Researchers focusing on the area:

Prof. Peter Björk
Prof. Emeritus Christian Grönroos
Prof. Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen
Prof. Veronica Liljander
Prof. Bård Tronvoll
Prof. Magnus Söderlund

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
Peter Björk, Hannele Kauppinen-Räisänen, 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 DOI:
Bård Tronvoll, F. Polese, J. Pels, R. Bruni, L. Carrubbo A4A relationships Journal of Service Theory and Practice2015 vol. 27 no. 5 pp. 1040-1056 DOI:
Kristina Heinonen, Werner Kunz, Lerzan Aksoy, Yakov Bart, 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 DOI:
Bård Tronvoll, Tore Mysen Emosjoner i kundedrevet samskaping av tjenester Magma: Econas tidsskrift for økonomi og ledelse vol. 4 pp. 50-58
Peter Björk, Erose Sthapit, Dafnis 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 DOI:
Christian Kowalkowski, Helen Perks, Lars Witell, Anders Gustafsson Network orchestration for value platform development Industrial Marketing Management vol. 67 no. November pp. 106-121 DOI:
Jaakko Aspara, Maria Jose del Rio Olivares, Kristina Wittkowski, 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 DOI:
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 DOI:
Christian Kowalkowski, Heiko Gebauer, Bart Kamp, Glenn Parry Servitization and deservitization Industrial Marketing Management vol. 60 no. January pp. 4-10 DOI:
Magnus Söderlund Mere employee presence and its impact on customer satisfaction Psychology and Marketing vol. 33 no. 6 pp. 449-464 DOI:
Christian Kowalkowski, Heiko Gebauer, Rogelio Oliva Service growth in product firms Industrial Marketing Management vol. 60 no. January pp. 82-88 DOI:
Kristina Heinonen, Tore Strandvik Customer-dominant logic: foundations and implications Journal of Services Marketing vol. 29 no. 6/7 pp. 472-484 DOI:
Annika Ravald, Fredrik Nordin Managing relationship gaps: A practitioner perspective Journal of Business Research vol. 69 no. 7 pp. 2490-2497 DOI:
Christian Grönroos, Katri Ojasalo Service productivity as mutual learning International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences vol. 7 no. 2-3 pp. 296-311 DOI:
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 DOI:
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 DOI:
Hannele Kauppinen-Räisänen, Johanna Gummerus, Catharina Koskull von, 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 DOI:
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 DOI:
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 DOI:
Bård Tronvoll, Maria Åkesson, Bo Edvardsson Customer experience from a self-service system perspective Journal of Service Management vol. 25 no. 5 pp. 677-698 DOI:
Christian Kowalkowski, Tore Strandvik, Päivi Voima, Bo Edvardsson Negative critical waves in business relationships Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing vol. 29 no. 4 pp. 284-294 DOI:
Magnus Söderlund, Veronica Liljander, Johanna Gummerus, Pia Maria Hellman, Michaela Lipkin, Marianne Dube, Eeva-Liisa Oikarinen, Karina Töndevold Preferential treatment in the service encounter Journal of Service Management vol. 25 no. 4 pp. 512-530 DOI:
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 DOI:
Pia Polsa Crystallization and research in Asia Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal vol. 16 no. 1 pp. 76-93 DOI:
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 DOI:
Christian Kowalkowski, Sergio Biggemann, Jane Maley, Staffan Brege Development and implementation of customer solutions Industrial Marketing Management vol. 42 no. 7 pp. 1083-1092 DOI:
Tore Strandvik, Kristina Heinonen Diagnosing Service Brand Strength: Customer-Dominant Brand Relationship Mapping Journal of Service Management vol. 24 no. 5 pp. 502-519 DOI:
Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen, Fredrik Nordin, Danilo Brozovic Disintermediation in Business-to-Business Service Channels: Mechanisms and Challenges Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing vol. 20 no. 4 pp. 179-192 DOI:
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 DOI:
Jaakko Aspara, Petri Parvinen, Joel Hietanen, Sami Kajalo Sales activity systematization and performance Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing vol. 28 no. 6 pp. 494-505 DOI:
Pia Polsa The Crossover-Dialogue Approach : Journal of Business Research vol. 66 no. 3 pp. 288-297 DOI:
Veronica Liljander, Johanna Gummerus, Anna Lundqvist, 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 DOI:
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 DOI:
Johanna Gummerus, Veronica Liljander, Minna Hannele Pura, Emil Weman Customer Engagement in a Facebook Brand Community Management Research Review2010 vol. 35 no. 9 pp. 857 - 877 DOI:
Tore Strandvik, Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen, Bo Edvardsson Customer Needing: A Challenge for the Seller Offering Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing vol. 27 no. 2 pp. 132-141 DOI:
Karolina Wägar, Annika Ravald, Inger Roos, Bo Edvardsson My Customers Are in My Blind Spot Journal of Service Research vol. 15 no. 2 pp. 150-165 DOI:
Christian Grönroos, Pekka Päiviö Helle Return on relationships: Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing vol. 27 no. 5 pp. 344-359
Pia Polsa, Karen Spens, Imoh Antai, Alabi Soneye 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
Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen, Tore Strandvik Exploring and Managing Negative Incidents in Business Relationships Journal of Customer Behavior vol. 4 no. 2 pp. 227-250
Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen, Tore Strandvik Stress in Business Relationships Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing vol. 20 no. 1 pp. 12-22 DOI:
Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen The D&D Model The Service Industries Journal vol. 21 no. 3 pp. 13-36