While scholarly acumen of consumer engagement, defined as a consumer's resource investment in his/her brand interactions, is burgeoning, its theoretical interface with consumer stress remains tenuous, exposing an important literature-based gap. Specifically, consumers' engagement with brands, or brand-related elements (e.g., online brand communities, frontline staff, service robots, social media pages, etc.), may either induce, or ensue from, individuals' consumption-related stress (e.g., through perceived resource depletion, brand-related performance anxiety, choice overload, pandemics, climate change, supply shortages, etc.). Addressing this gap, we develop a conservation of resources theory-informed framework of the consumer engagement/stress interface that identifies consumer engagement as either (i) a consumer stressor (e.g., by placing demands on consumers, including in self-service or coproduction tasks), or (ii) a stress-reducing coping mechanism (e.g., by facilitating the development of brand-related learning, skills, or resilience). We, then, introduce the articles contained in this section, which are also linked to the proposed framework. We conclude by outlining avenues for further research in the integrative area of consumer engagement/stress.
- challenge stressor
- conservation of resources theory
- consumer engagement (CE)
- hindrance stressor