The identity salience model of relationship marketing success: The case of nonprofit marketing

Dennis B. Arnett, Steve D. German, Shelby D. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

536 Scopus citations


Researchers suggest that developing long-term relationships with key stakeholders is an important strategy in today's intensely competitive business environment. Many organizations have embraced this concept, which is referred to as relationship marketing. Much of the research on relationship marketing success has examined relationships that (1) are primarily economic in nature, (2) involve business-to-business marketing, and (3) involve for-profit firms. However, the authors argue that relationship marketing is a viable strategy in such contexts as those involving high levels of social exchange, business-to-consumer marketing, and nonprofit marketing. In these contexts, relationship marketing success may require different relationship characteristics from those identified in previous research. The authors develop "the identity salience model of relationship marketing success," which they posit is useful for explaining relationship marketing success in exchange relationships that (1) involve individuals and (2) are based primarily on social exchange. The authors further develop and test the model in the context of nonprofit higher education marketing. The results provide support for the model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-105
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003


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