Business/Marketing, 1992

Any form of transaction with an animal, object, company, or brand. You don’t own a phone; you are in a “relationship” with it like you are your pet and have an “experience” which conveys “intimacy”. You’re not a customer; you’re part of the “family”.

Despite the enormous complexity of human relational structure and indicators, the idea of a company or corporation basing its marketing on long-term repetitive purchasing was broadly defined by Max Blackston’s 1992 piece, “Observations: Building Brand Equity by Managing the Brand’s Relationships” (Journal of Advertising Research).