Augmented Reality Brand Experiences (ARBEs): The Role of Imaginative Involvement & Episodic Memory in Fostering Brand Loyalty: An Abstract

Jennifer Brannon Barhorst, Graeme McLean, Nina Krey, Heiner Evanschitzky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Rapid advances in the development of new technologies that blend the real and virtual world are transforming the way in which consumers interact with brands. Augmented reality (AR), which overlays computer-generated objects onto the real world, provides tremendous opportunities for brands to engage consumers through sensory and cognitive processes as they interact with the technology. Due to the rapid development of AR however, there is a dearth of research to understand how the sensory and cognitive aspects of AR brand experiences (ARBEs) influence behavioral intentions. With investment in AR technology set to increase to $195 billion by 2025, and with consumer downloads of mobile AR applications set to increase to 5.5 billion by 2022, the need for more research on this burgeoning technology is of importance to both firms and our collective knowledge in academia. In this study, we examine the role of imaginative involvement and episodic memory in fostering brand loyalty when users engage with ARBEs. Imaginative involvement is an individual’s propensity to become receptive to experiences that involve a suspension of reality through a process of non-pathological dissociation. Episodic memory is the remembrance of personally experienced events associated with a specific time or place triggered by a retrieval cue. Using commercially available ARBEs on Snapchat, Web AR and in-store AR simulations, we conducted a series of between-subjects experiments with over 1500 participants and examined the following research questions: (1) does consumer engagement with an ARBE have a lasting impact on behavioral intentions? (2) What cognitive processes optimize the experience of a brand upon engagement with an ARBE? (3) What psychological and sensory processes influence brand loyalty upon engagement with an ARBE? Results indicate that marketers have tremendous opportunities to further understand the role of imaginative involvement in their marketing strategies and to utilize key technological, psychological, cognitive, and sensory aspects of ARBEs to trigger episodic memories and to positively influence behavioral intentions. We provide implications for designers and marketers alike to help them to create ARBEs that foster a positive return on investment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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