Since the concept of brand love was introduced, it has been positively evaluated for its originality and, later, for its profitability (Romaniuk, 2013, 2015). Academic scholars are keen to know more about it, while marketing managers are working to develop it for their brands. The topic seems well on its way to becoming a favorite in research and practice alike, but its nature remains unsettled (Bairrada, Coelho, & Coelho, 2018).
Carroll and Ahuvia (2006) conceptualized brand love using Sternberg's (1986) triangular theory of love. This conceptualization has served us well, but it is also subject to criticism on certain grounds, particularly that Sternberg's (1986) triangular theory of love refers to erotic love (Masuda, 2003), which, for obvious reasons, is not in the case in the relationship between consumers and brands. In addition, the triangular theory of love stands against the notion that consumers use brands to project their identity and commitment, so this part of triangular theory is also irrelevant to brand love (Batra, Ahuvia, & Bagozzi, 2012). Therefore, the application of companionate love theories seems more logical (Fetscherin, 2014). Theory can be used to conceptualize brand love, as can the way it functions. Referring to functionality, no matter which theory of interpersonal love is endorsed, we see this conceptualization of brand love as a perfect two-way love relationship, where brands respond to consumers like human beings would in a perfect case of anthropomorphism.