Article

Consumer Engagement in an Online Brand Community

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Abstract

This research aims to explain members' online brand community (OBC) engagement and participation based on their relationships with other members and with the community sponsor. It proposes a conceptual model integrating variables that have been studied in previous research on brand trust, OBC identification, and satisfaction, and others that have received little or no research attention, including the OBC sponsor's opportunism, sponsor's control, and OBC experience, with OBC engagement playing a key role. The conceptual model has been tested by applying structural equation modelling to a database of 628 consumers belonging to over 260 different online brand communities OBC from diverse economic sectors: for example, brands involving sports (Adidas and Nike), fashion (Mango, Stradivarius and Zara) and technology (Apple, Samsung and Sony). In general, the authors conclude the importance of engagement in explaining a member's involvement in a community, and the important role played by antecedents such as online brand community experience and trust, not only directly but also indirectly via identification with the community. The results confirm the influence of engagement upon a member's participation in a community. Our study supports this direction of the relationship over the reverse – participation engagement – as suggested by other previous works. With regard to the antecedents of trust in the online brand community, it has been concluded that using the community for mainly commercial purposes has a negative effect.

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... Consumers are sceptic about product differentiation as well as traditional advertising (Tuškej, Golob, and Podnar 2013; Hollebeek and Macky 2019) and want to reshape the communication process with brands. Supported in social media technological capabilities, current consumers interact actively and permanently with brands, designing the conversation to their convenience (Martínez-López et al. 2017;Rasool, Shah, and Islam 2020). One of the focus of this study is to understand what motivates consumers to maintain a conversation on social media with brands of low involvement products, such as food, beverage, personal, home, and pet care. ...
... Nevertheless, consumer engagement as a multidimensional construct, composed by cognitive, emotional, and behavioural aspects (Hollebeek, Glynn, and Brodie 2014;Vivek, Beatty, and Morgan 2012;Solem and Pedersen 2016), is the one that has been most used in the social media context (Baldus, Voorhees, and Calantone 2015;Dessart, Veloutsou, and Morgan-Thomas 2016;Paruthi and Kaur 2017;Pansari and Kumar 2017;Kaur et al. 2020). Consumer engagement as a psychological process has been adapted to more interactive and social environments to better reflect the environment of today, where brands from all product categories interact with an increasing number of different consumer profiles (Baldus, Voorhees, and Calantone 2015;Liu et al. 2018;Martínez-López et al. 2017). The operationalisation of the concept could reflect the new forms of interaction mediated by social media, as a twoway channel between brands and consumers . ...
... Consumer engagement in brand communities was considered as a formative construct based on its conceptual definition, as a composite of motives to continue interacting in a brand community (Baldus, Voorhees, and Calantone 2015). Conceptually, the variable was implemented as a second-order construct, as it is the result of a process associated to consumer intentions and participation (Wirtz et al. 2013;Martínez-López et al. 2017;Algesheimer, Dholakia, and Herrmann 2005), and because their dimensions may act independently (Becker, Klein, and Wetzels 2012;Hair et al. 2017). Regarding operationalisation, it allows the reduction of the number of relationships in the structural model, making it more parsimonious and easier to understand (Matthews, Hair, and Matthews 2018;Hair, Marko Sarstedt, and Siegfried 2018). ...
Article
Consumer-brand identification and consumer engagement in social media brand communities (SMBC) are two of the concepts most highlighted in recent studies, as brand benefit facilitators. This study addresses the importance of these two concepts and their interaction effect on brand loyalty in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) category. The results of the quantitative study show that in FMCG, consumer engagement in SMBC is driven by information searching, brand passion, feelings of community connection, and self-expression in the community. Consumer engagement and consumer-brand identification have positive impacts on brand trust and loyalty. The moderating effect of consumer–brand identification on the relationship between consumer engagement in SMBC and brand loyalty is negative, revealing that consumer engagement in social media brand communities has a stronger impact on brand loyalty when consumer-brand identification is low. This study showed the role of SMBC as a powerful communication medium, where brands and consumers can meet, and reach a mutual understanding of common needs and aspirations.
... The identification of users with a brand and its OBC, as well as their trust in these brands and OBCs, remain key variables to capitalize on the benefits of the use of OBCs from a brand perspective. These variables require further research with regard to their role in influencing consumer behavior in the context of OBCs [14,16,17]. ...
... Therefore, existing research on consumer behavior in OBCs needs to overcome some important challenges. Here, this study highlights some concrete issues and current research gaps in this context which require attention [11,14,17]. First, there is a need to establish more integrated models [18] specifying the consequences of interactions in the communities [6,14,19]. ...
... Second, the context that produces a co-creative attitude among customers and affects their post-purchase behavior has still not been sufficiently clarified [21][22][23]. Third, the role that both OBC engagement and participation have in explaining strategic aspects for the brand supporting the community (i.e., brand co-creation, brand loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth (WOM)) still have to be discussed and analyzed [17,24]. ...
Article
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The purpose of this study is to analyze the effects of online brand community (OBC) engagement on strategic aspects for the brand supporting the community. A total of 628 valid responses were collected through a self-administered questionnaire. The authors tested the proposed model using structural equation modeling. The results show that OBC engagement directly favors par-ticipation in the community, willingness to co-create with the brand and positive WOM; it also has an indirect positive influence on brand loyalty. At the same time, OBC engagement is directly influenced by OBC identification and, through this, indirectly influenced by brand identification. Likewise, brand trust directly influences brand co-creation, loyalty and positive WOM. However, OBC participation has been shown to have no significant effect on brand co-creation and positive WOM. Open access article available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/7/3679
... Algesheimer et al. (2005) postulate that it is the quality of the brand-customer relationship that directly contributes to the customer's identification with the brand community. This relationship was tested empirically by Martínez-López et al. (2017) who conceptualized brand identification as a direct antecedent to brand community identification. Marzocchi et al. (2013) did not hypothesize any relationship between brand identification and brand community identification. ...
... Building on Marzocchi et al. (2013) and Zhou et al. (2012), this study has sought to explore the relationship between individuals' identification with a brand and their identification with a brand community. As supported by Algesheimer et al. (2005) and Martínez-López et al. (2017), consumers needs to develop a strong relationship, or to have developed identification directly with the brand, before they would identify with the associated brand community. However, our results indicate that, once developed, consumers' identification with the brand community becomes essential because brand community identification fully mediates the impact that direct identification with the brand has on both private and public brand loyalty. ...
Article
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This research examines the role that brand community plays in the relationship between brand identification and brand loyalty. A theoretical framework was developed and tested using an online survey in the brand community of a UK professional basketball team. Study results reveal that consumers’ brand community identification has a significant direct relationship on both public and private brand loyalty. It also shows that brand community identification fully mediates the relationship between brand identification and consumer behavior towards the brand, which is enacted both publicly and privately. The study adds to academic understanding of brand identification, brand community theory, and the importance of the differentiation of public and private brand loyalty, whilst providing guidance for branding practitioners.
... The experience of meaningful brand consumption means that the customers share their personal understanding of the brand through their unique experiences of consumption, which help them feel connected, important, and understood by other customers (Stach, 2019). Thus, OBCs are online platforms where information is distributed from very diverse sources (Martínez-López et al., 2017). ...
... For this, we followed the guidelines of Gilbert (1979). A total of four measurement items for "controlled climate" were filtered from the extant literature (Bacharach and Bamberger, 2007;Martínez-López et al., 2017). For example, "you are not allowed to misbehave in the company." ...
Article
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This study examines the impacts of the online brand community (OBC) climate on customer interaction and customer inspiration, which are yet under-explored in the extant literature. The data were collected online from the Chinese respondents ( N = 504) to analyze the proposed constructs of the study. Findings show that supportive OBC climate and controlled OBC climate are positively related to customer interaction (including information interaction and social interaction) and exert a significant and positive impact on customer inspiration. A mediating impact of customer interaction is found on the relationship between OBC climate and customer inspiration. This study unravels the importance and mechanism of customer-brand relationships in the online environment and illuminates pathways for marketers and policymakers to positively influence customer inspiration for business promotion. This study updates existing literature boxes of consumer behavior and marketing in the context of online customer-brand relationships. Limitations and future research directions are noted.
... An OBC is an online group that focuses on and interacts with one another around a specific brand. OBCs enable consumers to connect with their peers with the same brand interest and provide a space where consumers generate, share and consume brand-related content (Baldus et al., 2015;Gummerus et al., 2012;Luo et al., 2016;Mart ınez-L opez et al., 2017). With their increasing realisation of the value of OBCs, numerous firms have built a variety of OBCs, which are termed firm-hosted OBCs. ...
... Brand community-swinging can be consistent with channel complementarity theory in that consumers can efficiently navigate through multiple brand communities of a brand to keep in touch with the brand as well as interact with their peers by exploiting the differences of such communities. Despite the extant brand community literature, it primarily focuses on the engagement of consumers with a single brand community (Baldus et al., 2015;Gummerus et al., 2012;Luo et al., 2016;Mart ınez-L opez et al., 2017). Brand community-swinging reflects the active participation of consumers in brand-related activities that are worthy of further research. ...
Purpose This study aims to examine the increasingly widespread phenomenon of brand community-swinging, which refers to a user's routine use of multiple brand communities of a brand across different social media. Drawing from channel complementarity theory, this study examines whether the complementarity of gratifications in four values (i.e. information value, entertainment value, social interaction value and self-presentation value) influences brand community-swinging and, in turn, cultivates brand loyalty. Design/methodology/approach A questionnaire was developed to collect relevant data from users of a well-known smartphone brand. The survey yielded a total of 351 useable responses, and a structural equation model approach was used to test the hypotheses. Findings The results indicate that three types of gratification complementarity (information value, social interaction value and self-presentation value) have a significantly positive impact on consumers' brand community-swinging, which further fosters brand loyalty. Originality/value Previous research predominantly focused on the motivations and outcomes of consumers' participation within a single-brand community, but little is known about the antecedents and outcomes of brand community-swinging in a poly-social-media context. This study contributes to the brand community literature by addressing this research gap.
... It involves a categorization process in which a member classifies himself or herself as part of the brand community [35]. In previous research, social identity theory has been a widely used approach and has been shown to be an antecedent of other related constructs such as the member's participation, engagement and identification [36]. According to this theory, consumers define their social identity based on the community to which they belong and brands are an important component of consumers' social identification [37,38]. ...
Article
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The effect of online brand communities’ value creation practices on brand identification and community identification was examined using social identity theory as a theoretical background of this study. In examining their relationship, this study defined the practices that relate to the focal brand as both brand use and impression management whereas the practices that relate to the community were defined as both social networking and community engagement. The effects of the two identification constructs (brand and community identification) on participation and their impact on brand awareness were also tested. The effects of frequency as a moderating variable on the relationship between brand identification community identification and participation were also revealed. Structural equations modeling was used to analyze the data collected after an online survey was done. Among the value creation practices, this study revealed that the impression management practice had a significant effect on brand identification and the community engagement practice had a significant effect on community identification. Test results have also shown that community identification has a significant effect on participation. Frequency moderated the relationship between brand identification and participation. In the high frequency group, brand identification had a significant effect on participation whereas in the low frequency group, the effect was not significant.
... In the online environment, trust has been recognized as an important research topic and plays a crucial role in decision making (Li & Yeh, 2010;Nilashi, Ibrahim, Mirabi, Ebrahimi, & Zare, 2015). It is stated that positive experience leads to trust (Luo, 2002;Martinez Lopez, Anaya Sanchez, Molinillo, Aguilar Illescas, & Esteban Millat, 2017). However, there is a lack of understanding of the influence of design elements on customer experience which affects trust (Li & Yeh, 2010;Rose, Clark, Samouel, & Hair, 2012). ...
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This study aims to examine the role of mobile application atmospherics in enhancing customer experience. This enhanced experience leads to trust and satisfaction, which in turn influences repurchase intention and generates positive word of mouth. A cross-sectional study, with an experimental design method and an online survey for data collection, were used to examine proposed relationships by developing a real mobile application. Mobile application atmospherics have a positive and stronger influence on customer experience. This enhanced experienced leads to developing trust and satisfaction on the application and in consequence results in repurchase intention from the same application store and spreading positive word of mouth about the app. The present study contributed to the existing literature of mobile app atmospherics and customer experience with consequence behavior. This study empirically investigated the role of mobile app atmospherics in customers' evaluations of experience and their positive responses towards the app by developing real application.
... Este estudio se centra en la comunicación mediante la plataforma digital y social Facebook debido a que, en la actualidad los hoteles utilizan este tipo de redes como un medio de diferenciación de sus competidores (Kim et al., 2006). Facebook permite altos niveles de interacción con potenciales clientes hoteleros y cuenta con el mayor número de usuarios para este tipo de redes en el mundo occidental (Martínez-López et al., 2017). Estar red permite no solo informar rápidamente sobre sus marcas, productos y novedades relacionadas con el hotel, sino también anticipar experiencias únicas para el turista (Gómez-Suárez & Veloso, 2020). ...
... ement goals (i.e. entertainment, life philosophy) respond to the statement that on social media, firms need to treat themselves as invited guests, 'bring wine', and talk about interesting things of relevance to their followers (Russel, 2009). They allow for enhancing brand community experiences and help firms build long-term consumer relationships (Martínez-López, et. al., 2017). ...
Chapter
Social media-based visual strategies are quintessential elements of tourism and social media marketing; yet, very little is known about how firms formulate and implement such strategies in a technologically advanced and consumer-driven communication context. Drawing on rhetorical structure theory, and marketing, tourism and social media marketing literature, this research examines and dissects the structure of social media-based visual strategies implemented by tourism marketers. 250 Weibo posts initiated by 5 Chinese provincial destination marketing organizations were collected and analyzed. The results show a diversity of social media-afforded visual modalities, a variety of visual content and marketing goals, and different rhetorical relations between visuals and their accompanying text. This research advances social media marketing and tourism literature by exploring essential structural aspects of social media-based visual rhetoric and offers firms a holistic overview of possible visual strategies.
... Trust can be defined as the willingness to rely on another individual in whom one has confidence in (Zhang et al. 2020;Gruss et al. 2020); Trust is the belief that people are based on a set of beliefs that other people they depend on will act in a socially acceptable way by showing appropriate integrity, kindness, and ability (Gong et al. 2021); and it proposes that trust beliefs, including community engagement (Martinez-Lopez et al. 2017), integrity, and benevolence, (Zhou et al. 2020;Kanje et al. 2020) affect customers' behavioral intention. From a trusted perspective, hosts must also be able to identify potential threats and remain attentive to risks (Bowen and Bowen 2016). ...
Article
Purpose - The purpose of this study is to examine how online travel communities and host benevolence influence Couchsurfer behavior. We formulated a model of Couchsurfers’ behavioral intentions from the perspectives of trust, social identity theory, and altruism. Design/methodology/approach - Empirical data were collected from members of online travel communities. Participants were required to complete an online survey program developed using the SURVEYCAKE website (https://www.surveycake.com/), via invitation message. The invitation information stated the purpose of the study and provided a hyperlink to the digital survey form. We sent out the invitations, and 423 were returned completed. Findings - Community engagement is an enzyme catalyst between Couchsurfers and online travel communities. Online travel communities that provide an enjoyable experience could increase the satisfaction of Couchsurfers, who tend to spend more time browsing and interacting with interesting online travel communities. Research limitations/implications - Research will discuss the travel purpose of Couchsurfers and may better understand the considerations of hosts willing to provide lodging in future research. Practical implications - The operator of online travel communities should collect tacit knowledge and transform it into useful tourism information that can benefit both online travel communities and Couchsurfers. Originality/value - The results of this study provide additional evidence of altruism in the study of tourism behavior and offer new perspectives on behavior in virtual communities.
... Social networks, peer power, and community elements are critical because of the social connections between individuals, sellers, and buyer groups [89]. Community influence or peer pressure has been identified as a critical driver of consumer engagement in an online platform [90]. In effect, the user's content (referrals, comments, ratings, or testimonials) contributes to affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses. ...
Article
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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak globally during 2020, the usage and virtues of food delivery apps (FDA) have increased immensely, facilitating the consumer to access the food and food providers to keep functioning. However, this study aims to investigate the enablers of online consumer engagement (OCE) and platform preference in the foodservice industry, keeping in view the moderating role of peer pressure by following uses and gratifications theory (UGT). The data were collected from 322 FDA's user in China during the COVID-19 lockdown and analyzed employing partial least-square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). PLS-SEM results revealed that consumer’s self-concept and platform interactivity affect OCE and platform preference. Further, OCE mediates the effect of the relationship between platform interactivity, self-concept, and platform preference. Furthermore, peer pressure significantly moderates the relationship between OCE and platform preference. This research contributes to the prevailing body of literature in a novel way by employing UGT on consumer behavior in the FDA. The study has value for online food businesses and implications for consumers, retailers, and practitioners to formulate and implement value-added strategies in a consumption-oriented emerging economy.
... Este estudio se centra en la comunicación mediante la plataforma digital y social Facebook debido a que, en la actualidad los hoteles utilizan este tipo de redes como un medio de diferenciación de sus competidores (Kim et al., 2006). Facebook permite altos niveles de interacción con potenciales clientes hoteleros y cuenta con el mayor número de usuarios para este tipo de redes en el mundo occidental (Martínez-López et al., 2017). Estar red permite no solo informar rápidamente sobre sus marcas, productos y novedades relacionadas con el hotel, sino también anticipar experiencias únicas para el turista (Gómez-Suárez & Veloso, 2020). ...
... Only a few have discussed the role of the sponsorship of an online brand community. Martínez-López et al. find that sponsors' control of an online brand community will increase sponsors' opportunism and eventually lead to less trust and engagement of participants in the online brand community [46]. But, little is known that whether or not it is necessary to financially sponsor an online brand community, especially when the brand company (i.e. ...
Article
Despite the importance and benefits of Online Brand Communities, there is little discussion in the literature about whether it is necessary for a firm to financially sponsor its online brand community. By incorporating brand trust, brand knowledge, and reciprocal behavior into Lead User Theory, this paper studies what influences consumers' participation potentials in new product development. Two online survey instruments are employed, and data is collected from two matchable well-known IT companies for two types of online brand communities: Company-initiated and Consumer-initiated. Two separate parallel Structural Equation Modeling analyses are conducted to test these two matchable samples and assess the research model. Our findings suggest that firms may not need to pay to sponsor their online brand communities. We infer our conclusion about company-sponsored communities from our findings that brand trust and brand knowledge play different roles for company-initiated and consumer-initiated online brand communities. Brand knowledge directly impacts consumers' participation potentials in consumer-initiated online brand communities, but only indirectly impacts through brand trust in company-initiated online brand communities.
... In essence, social participation is a complex phenomenon, and online contribution is no exception (Chang et al., 2013). For instance, in their study of an OBC, Martínez-López et al. (2017) contend that engagement influences a member's participation in a community, while previous work results have supported the reverse relation (participation-engagement) (Vivek et al., 2012). So far, communities that can retain users have denser user-user interaction networks and less triadic closure, meaning they have consistent interactions and less subgroup fragmentation (Hamilton et al., 2017). ...
Article
Member contributions are the lifeblood of online communities (OC) and a critical factor in their success. To help managers foster contributions, this research investigates how the level of social features (i.e., the number of social features shown in the OC interface) shapes member contribution at divergent levels of involvement. A 2 × 2 factorial design experiment (presence vs absence of members' profiles and evaluations, respectively; N = 353) was performed in a realistic setting on actual members of a North American health-related community. Member contribution was gauged by the attitude toward contribution and the social value of contribution measured. The results show that, while the level of social features has a positive and linear effect for members with low involvement in the community's theme, the effect is nonlinear (U-Shaped) for the highly involved members. Therefore, to improve contribution of members with low involvement, a community's administrator should offer more social features. However, for members with high involvement, affording one social feature (an interface offering either members' profiles or their evaluations) should be avoided because it lessens contribution.
... Although OBCs are numerous and continue to proliferate, not all OBCs are active and successful in driving participation because the level of interaction and participation among OBCs varies widely. Past studies of why individuals participate in information sharing indicate that an individual's perceived experience of the usage process of an OBC has a substantial impact on his or her behavior [9,10]. Many past studies have mainly emphasized the functional effects of the online environment, such as perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, website qualities and characteristics [11], and their influence on user satisfaction, and subsequent continuous usage [12][13][14]. ...
Article
The exponential growth of online brand communities has created a platform where empowered consumers can share knowledge and experiences and participate in community activities. Drawing from psychological empowerment theory, this study proposes a comprehensive framework integrating both social and functional views to investigate the determinants that enhance psychological empowerment and user satisfaction, which consequently influence online brand community participation. By shedding light on the explanatory path routes and highlighting the underexplored and distinctive role of psychological empowerment, this study provides theoretical contributions to illustrate how an enabling environment can be cultivated to drive consumer participation in brand value co-creation.
... Knowledge about brand community management mostly stems from managerial implications following research findings, which unfortunately remains a blind spot (Liao et al., 2017). brand communities are a cost-efficient way (LaPointe, 2012) to attract consumers and maintain word-of-mouth comprising localised clusters (Khan and Khattak, 2017;Martínez-L opez et al., 2017;Ahn et al., 2010;Sung et al., 2010). Such clusters may form dense communities in specific cultural settings and markets, especially non-Anglophonic ones. ...
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This paper presents a model of training young females in metropolitan as well as semi-urban and rural areas addressing the barriers to entrepreneurship as well as the skill and competencies needs of a generally disadvantaged social group. The model formed the basis of a large-scale intervention which was implemented through a partnership between the largest, in terms of research output and student numbers, Greek universities and government. The development, deployment and evaluation process are detailed and conclusions and recommendations are drawn on how this project can serve as a blueprint for other countries wishing to address the problem of female employment and economic development through entrepreneurship with an emphasis on new technologies.
... . In addition, studies have delved into the association between brand engagement and favorable brandrelated outcomes, and brand community engagement, which uncovers the investments consumers make in their encounters with brands Islam et al., 2018), has been widely acknowledged as a critical success factor of virtual brand communities (Meek et al., 2019). In an online brand community setting, earlier studies have primarily explored firm-initiated brand communities that are under the direct control of the brand owners (Chang et al., 2020;Martínez-Lopez et al., 2017;Qiao et al., 2021). As the motivations for joining a firm-initiated vs. peer-initiated brand community might differ, understanding the nature of peer-initiated brand communities can help brand owners, managers, administrators, and the brand community strengthen brand identification and achieve improved brand engagement. ...
Article
In the recent years, consumers are increasingly engaging in dynamic interactions with their preferred brands through online brand communities. Although Facebook has been commonly used as the social media platform for online brand communities, less is known with respect to the success factors for these brand communities. This study examines the nature of peer-initiated brand communities by proposing and testing a conceptual framework that encompasses brand community identity, brand community engagement, brand love, and brand loyalty. The study investigates the dimensions of brand community identity and engagement, namely the affective and cognitive dimensions, and the moderating effect of brand community involvement. A total of 205 respondents were recruited via the Facebook social media platform of a peer-initiated brand community. The results show that brand community identity affects brand community engagement for both affective and cognitive dimensions, with cognitive engagement predicting brand love. The moderating role of brand community involvement and the positive relationship between brand love and loyalty are confirmed. The findings contribute to knowledge and practice by highlighting the factors that can strengthen a brand's social media presence and consumer-brand relationships.
... Moreover, online learning must now take place because of the emergency situation and condition of COVID-19 disease which has become a global pandemic in almost all countries including Indonesia. This automatically causes the process of technology acceptance as a learning media directly influence the intention, behavior and effectiveness of the learning process [2]. ...
... Although the concept of brand opportunism is rarely investigated in the field of consumer-brand relationships, following the theoretical lens of social contract theory (SCT) (Donaldson, 1982) which suggested that brands/companies exist not only for themselves, but also for the welfare of their stakeholders, we posit that a violation of the social contract would also result in consumers' perception of brand's opportunism. Previous studies in consumer-brand relationships have documented that when brands present strong manipulations of consumers for the brand's own benefits, consumers would perceive the brand to be opportunistic (e.g., Clemons, 2009;Mart ınez-L opez et al., 2017). In situations such as natural disasters and global health crisis, consumers expect brands/companies to abide the social contract, and seek the benefits of the consumers and society at large through CSR initiatives (Aziz, 2020;Park et al., 2019). ...
Article
This study examined how the roles of perceived brand-social cause fit (i.e., functional fit and image fit) and consumer skepticism in influencing consumers’ perception of brand opportunism and its subsequent outcomes during COVID-19 pandemic. A 2 (high vs. low fit) × 2 (industry: travel vs. grocery) between-participants online experiments (n = 373) were conducted. Results showed that the lack of brand-social cause fit leads to less favorable consumer attitude due to their perception of the brand’s opportunism. Specifically, with individuals high in skepticism, such perception of brand opportunism was greater, which in turn has a stronger negative influence on consumers’ attitude toward the message and the brand. Theoretical contributions, managerial implications, limitations and future studies are also discussed.
... From this perspective, a committed consumer will establish a psychological connection with the company/brand that will keep him/her tied to it for the long term (Xue et al., 2020). When customers are engaged in online social environments it has been observed that their participation levels are higher (Martínez-López et al., 2017), they help other users more and they make more positive comments (Van Doorn et al., 2010). ...
Drawing on the stimulus-organism-response (SOR) framework, a model is tested that improves the understanding of customer loyalty toward social commerce websites. The results showed that: information and service quality are key antecedents of perceived value, whereas rewards and recognition, and customization are non-significant. Perceived value is an important driver of customer loyalty toward these websites. The model's relationships are affected by gender and frequency of use. Overall, the findings of this study extend the understanding in the social commerce context of: (i) the antecedents of customer perceived value and behavioral intentions; and (ii) the moderating effects of age, gender and frequency of social commerce use on the model relationships. Note: before April 03, 2021 free access to the full text at https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1cZm33SU%7EVhpK8
... In an online brand community, the flow of trust is along the engagement process. For new consumers, trust at the community level creates the potential of consumers to engage with other community members (Hollebeek, 2011) and encourage the development of sense of belonging and getting involved in brand activities (Martínez-López et al., 2017). Through their engagement in the brand community they learn more about the brand and its uses, be more familiarised and increase their brand knowledge; thus, reducing uncertainty levels. ...
... To enhance user immersion, high telepresence can be created by embedding rich media and interactive features such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), animation and such onto virtual selling platforms (Cowan and Ketron, 2019;Ongsakul et al., 2020). Similarly, research conducted by Martínez-López et al. (2017) suggested that the interactive function associated with telepresence features can stimulate a positive perception of real consumption experience. Telepresence, thus offers tremendous opportunity for retailers to erase the line between brick-and-mortar and online selling platforms. ...
In this age of technology, consumers have become comfortable shopping with their mobile devices. In light of this growing trend, the branded app market has grown steadily, surpassing all other types of mobile commerce. Although many retail businesses go mobile, consumers' continuous use of the branded app remains a key challenge in gaining a competitive advantage in the contemporary market. By integrating both the stimulus-organism-response (S-OR) model and gender schema theory (GST), this study aims to investigate how gender differences affect the factors that drive branded app continuous use intention (CUI). Survey data collected from 715 millennial mobile shoppers were analyzed using the partial least squares-structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) technique. The results demonstrate that telepresence and social presence have a significant effect on customer engagement (CE) and value co-creation (VCC), which consequently impact CUI. Furthermore, the moderation results indicate that both genders play rather different roles in the proposed relations. Therefore, our work contributes to the information system and consumer behavior literature, while providing practitioners with useful information about effective strategies to drive the continuous usage of a branded app.
... Many online communities provide a cyberspace where social identity is built and valued. For instance, identification with an online brand community is affected by a consumer's identification with the brand [98]. Knowledge sharing and communication are possible using various relationships provided through mobile social apps, and as the expressions of ideas and opinions by people are becoming more recognized by others, they are motivated to participate in building a social identity in a community [75]. ...
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Mobile social apps have experienced enormous growth as online personal networking media. Social exchange theory (for individual motivation), theories of collective action and social capital theory (for social capital) can be applied in order to understand how an individual’s behavior may exert effects on or receive influences from other users with regard to the continuance usage intention of mobile social apps. This study examines individual motivations and social capital affecting relationship quality in terms of trust in and satisfaction with mobile social apps and how these factors influence continuance usage intentions of mobile social apps. An online survey is used to collect 320 responses from users of mobile social apps. Our results indicate that promotional motivation and innovativeness affect relationship quality levels. Maintaining relational enhancement, social homogeneity, and social identity along with service usefulness have effects on the relationship quality level, which in turn affects continuance usage intention. Given the lack of studies regarding the application of the theories of collective action and social capital to gain a better understanding of continuance usage intentions, this study provides additional insight into how individual motivations and social capital affect continuous usage.
... In various context engagement has been developed as an important concept, including work engagement [42], organization engagement [43], brand engagement [44,45], media engagement [46], online brand community engagement [47,48], firm engagement [49,50], engagement with mobile apps and video games [51,52] and consumer engagement with branded messages or tweets [10,15,53,54]. However, the definitions and measures of engagement are inconsistent and mixed. ...
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Microblogs have gained concerns from both academics and practitioners owing to their great potential for communication and diffusion. Brand managers can release posts containing photo, video, and hashtags besides a short text on microblog platforms. This study concentrates on the influence of explicit characteristics in brand post (i.e., photo, video, hashtags, and brand personality traits) on consumer engagement (i.e., number of likes, comments, and shares of brand post). Furthermore, we propose that brand prestige moderates the relationships between brand post characteristics and consumer engagement. We examine these hypotheses with a dataset that includes more than 250,000 brand posts across about 70 brands’ official accounts collected from the platform Sina Weibo, the largest and most popular microblog platform in China. Our research yields interesting findings that uncover the relationships among different characteristics of brand post and consumer engagement under different levels of brand prestige. We conclude the paper by highlighting its theoretical and practical contributions.
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Firms can leverage social media brand communities (SMBCs) to manage consumer relationships. This study investigated firm engagement tactics using a mixed-methods approach with qualitative (Study one) and quantitative (Study two) analyses. Building on uses and gratifications theory and the qualitative results, we identify brand-specific consumer education, reputation enhancement, incentives provision, interaction support, and entertainment support as firm engagement tactics. Next, we explore the moderating effect of firm engagement tactics on the SMBC identification/SMBC engagement and SMBC engagement/brand loyalty relationships using the partial least squares method. The results confirm that consumer engagement mediates the link between SMBC identification and brand loyalty. In addition, firm engagement tactics positively moderate the aforementioned relationships. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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To ensure effective and efficient relationship marketing, brand management has become an asset (pre-requisite) for quality service marketing to thrive. Brands have gone viral to develop communities to interact with existing and novice consumers. However, the relationships between these online communities and brand trust are less explored in the literature, given the fact that consumers and users of information are core beneficiaries of these communities. The study, hence, adopted a referral (snowball) method of sampling technique to identify and gather data from social media users who are mainly millennials from the Czech Republic. Five hypotheses were tested using PLS-SEM with 534 valid respondents. The results show that online brand community has a direct significant effect on consumer’s brand trust, and indirect significant via the mediating role of peer-to-peer interaction and consumer brand engagement. Hence, the research provides managers (brand practitioners) with new insights regarding the motivations (brand promise and trust) as consequence of interacting in online brand communities. Again, this study enhances social media marketing and branding literature for researchers and practitioners to leverage on the relevance of online brand community for a firm’s competitive edge. Limitation and future research directions are considered.
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Value creation and acquisition are pivotal for continuous participation in online communities and thus have become goals that brand companies strive to develop in online brand communities (OBCs). Prior studies, however, predominately adopted the goods-dominant logic to assess the role of OBC members’ value perceptions in their value experiences. Such an approach overlooks the fact that one's value experiences in OBCs manifest in the co-creation with the brand and with other OBC members, benefiting from technology platforms and one's community motives. We thus draw on the service-dominant logic to formulate a research model with seven research hypotheses. These hypotheses depict relationships among five research constructs, in which (1) OBC continuance intention serves as the ultimate dependent variable, (2) brand engagement and co-creation experience represent OBC members’ value experiences in consumer-to-brand and consumer-to-consumer interactions, respectively, and (3) social media affordances and members’ OBC identification serve as the antecedents of OBC members’ value experiences. We used the Amazon MTurk platform to collect 246 valid samples worldwide that represent general OBC members. We adopted PLS-SEM to assess the measurement model and test the proposed hypotheses. Our findings indicate that co-creation experience and brand engagement are pivotal value experiences that can increase OBC continuance intention. In addition, social media affordances and OBC identification are instrumental to both value experiences through their facilitation of technology-mediated and communal interactions for resource integration and service exchange among OBC members and the brand. This study sheds light on OBC research by identifying the central role of brand engagement and co-creation experience in OBC continuance. We also discuss theoretical and practical implications and provide future research suggestions.
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Across the globe, companies increasingly use social media-based brand communities (SMBBC) to facilitate customer engagement (CE). This study clarifies the relationship between brand trust and CE in SMBBC, which is often inconsistent in previous literature. Drawing on the uses and gratifications theory, we examine the motivations that drive customers' active and passive engagement behaviors. Additionally, this study employs multi-group analysis to compare the differences in the customer engagement process concerning the brand's country of origin. The empirical results demonstrate that brand trust is an antecedent to customer engagement in a long-term relationship. Brand affiliation, entertainment, and investigation prompt customers' active and passive engagement behaviors; the opportunity-seeking only encourages the passive engagement, but the motivation of conversation prompts neither active nor passive behaviors of the customers. Notably, there is no significant difference in Chinese customer engagement between domestic and foreign brands on Sina Weibo. The research enriches the understanding of customer engagement in SMBBC and provides valuable insights for international brands keen on the Chinese market.
Chapter
The purpose of this study is to put forth tactics to influence the consumer purchase decision process by using Instagram Stories tools. The tactics are handled with successful examples from around the world. Analysis of the examples reveal that many powerful tools of Instagram Stories such as different camera modes, face filters, stickers, live video, “see more” links, shopping stickers, hashtags, etc. can be used to accomplish business goals like driving online and in-store sales, promoting apps, raising brand awareness, generating leads, gathering follower feedback, and retaining customers by influencing consumers at every stage of the purchase decision process.
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With the advancement in technology and convenience of social media, the customers and marketers' adoption and use of online brand communities have extensively increased. Customer engagement in social media brand communities has become an emerging research topic in the marketing area that has recently brought attention to researchers. The present study conducted bibliometric analysis to evaluate the current level of research has been conducted on the concept of customer engagement in online brand communities. The study has extracted the data from the Scopus database. The study identified 174 relevant research papers, and data was analysed with the help of a bibliometric tool called Bibliometrix. The study has presented significant findings and given some future research directions.
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While the trade press has started to report on consumer responses to brand messaging about the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, empirical results have yet to emerge. In this study, we investigated how consumers in the United States responded to Instagram ads containing COVID-19 claims based on the perceived brand–social issue fit, which is determined by whether the brand’s product was considered essential or nonessential. Results showed perceived brand–social issue fit to be of dual nature, where stronger perceptions of fit (i.e., essential products advertised with COVID-19 claims) resulted in more positive ad evaluations, brand attitudes, and consumer engagement intentions. Lower perceptions of fit (i.e., nonessential products with COVID-19 claims) led to perceptions of brand opportunism, which we conceptualized as a negative evaluative outcome that negatively impacted ad/brand attitude and consumer engagement intentions. The findings provide insights for brands interested in placing ads addressing the changing environmental conditions resulting from COVID-19 and advances the literature on pandemic messaging.
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With the prevalence of social media, a great deal of research has examined consumer engagement in social media brand communities. However, we lack a holistic understanding of the phenomena. Given the importance and relevance of this topic to Information Systems researchers, this study aims to summarise the current state of research on the topic and identify research gaps. Following the descriptive search approach, this study identifies and analyses 134 articles. Our analysis shows that prior studies adopted various research approaches and methods to study consumer engagement in social media brand communities. In addition, researchers adopted varied definitions and studied consumer engagement using the attitudinal, behavioural, and motivational dimensions. Our analysis also shows that Uses and Gratifications Theory and Social Identification Theory were the most referred theories in prior studies. Finally, we conclude our study by proposing an integrative framework and suggesting research opportunities and future research directions.
Purpose This study aims to explore the value co-creation for developing cultural and creative virtual brand communities (CCVBCs) by developing a conceptual framework based on the stimulus-organism-response framework, social cognition theory (SCT) and social exchange theory (SET). Design/methodology/approach The proposed conceptual framework was developed from a comprehensive review of the related literature. This study tested and validated the proposed framework using partial least square structural equation model based on the data collected through a survey. Findings First, perceived hedonic benefit was positively affected by content personalization, user interaction design and technological innovation. Perceived social benefit and perceived self-achievement benefit were positively affected by user interaction design and technological innovation. Second, user content creation behavior was affected by perceived social benefit and perceived self-achievement benefit; user browsing behavior was significantly affected only by perceived hedonic benefit, and interaction behavior was significantly affected by perceived hedonic benefit, perceived social benefit and perceived self-achievement benefit. Third, perceived social benefit and perceived self-achievement benefit partially mediated the relationship between user interaction design and interaction behavior. As for the influence of technological innovation on interaction behavior, however, and the influence of user interaction design and technological innovation on content creation behavior, both perceived social benefit and perceived self-achievement benefit had complete mediation. Originality/value This study found that the characteristics of developing CCVBCs affected perceived benefit in participating in the value co-creation process. The results contributed to the value creation research by enriching the understanding of user value co-creation in developing CCVBCs.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study is by drawing on signaling theory to address the need for more investigation into the conceptual underpinnings of sponsorships by investigating and seeking to understand sponsorship objectives, opinions and practices, with a focus on smaller organisations. Design/methodology/approach This empirical study contributes to the literature through researched findings from German respondents and a critical evaluation of literature relating to the impact of sports sponsorship on SMEs within local German communities. Findings Drawing on signalling theory and extant studies, the following four categories of SME sport sponsorship activities are proposed: value-based connections, social engagement, recognition and bonding. Research limitations/implications Sponsor, sponsee and dyadic antecedents have increased in both sophistication and complexity, resulting in expected positive consumer outcomes as the justification for marketing communication investments. Practical implications Sponsorship has evolved from short-term philanthropic activities to long-term strategic alliances involving billions of dollars of annual spending globally. Social implications SME companies have certain local opportunities that larger multinational corporations cannot replicate. Originality/value No study to date has provided researchers with a framework to understand sports sponsorship from an SME perspective. This paper contributes to the theories and practice of sport sponsorship, drawing on signalling theory and extant studies.
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this study is to uncover consumer engagement research that has been undertaken since 2005 and to comprehend the numerous concepts and empirical investigations that have been conducted based on diverse theories. This report will also synthesize the study's numerous findings and suggest areas that have not been thoroughly investigated, allowing for future research. A rigorous assessment of the literature on the evolution of customer interaction should disclose the contributions and disagreements on the concepts created. Methodology Extensive data mining was carried out and out of a total of 800papers, 139 scholarly papers published in top journals top publishers such as Emerald Insight, Elsevier, Tailor and Francis, SAGE, Springer etc. Papers with high citations were selected for final review. Findings Customer engagement has been identified as a critical component of marketing. However, there is no universal agreement on the concepts and dimensions of customer engagement, and both scholars and practitioners are working tirelessly to uncover more precise aspects in order to design effective customer retention methods. Cognitive, emotional, social, and behavioral engagement characteristics are relatively well-aligned. Marketing relations theory and Service–Dominant (S-D) theories were determined to be the most commonly employed theories. Research Limitations The non-availability of many scholarly papers was a significant limitation. This was largely overcome by obtaining working papers. Still, many papers were reviewed with their abstracts, which may have caused some errors in the findings. Many other important chapters, blogs, theses, and conference papers were not reviewed due to the limitation of the length of the paper, which may also lead to the loss of some important aspects of customer dimensions. Contribution Through this review paper, a large number of scholarly papers were made available as a single source reference. This paper expects to highlight the important research aspects of customer engagement.
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The presence of brands on social networking sites is raising the competitive bar and providing opportunities for consumers to experience products and services. In this sense, it has become very difficult for brands to differentiate themselves from one another. Therefore, providing good experiences to consumers becomes of paramount importance. The current study provides insights into the relationship between experiential value (cognitive, hedonic, social, and ethical) and consumer engagement (cognitive processing, affection, and activation), resulting in brand relationship performance outcomes that in turn lead to value co-creation intentions. In addition, the role of self-brand connection as a moderator and consumer engagement as a mediator is also examined. A large-scale survey was conducted with 485 consumers who follow brand pages at a popular social networking site. The findings reveal that experiential value has a positive impact on consumer engagement, while consumer engagement is positively associated with brand loyalty and satisfaction, which in turn leads to value co-creation. The current study uncovers the ways in which marketers can capitalize on consumer experiences when engaging in social commerce and thereby enhance value co-creation.
Article
Purpose In continuation of Soylemez (2021), this study utilized equity theory and investigated how personal factors (personality traits) and community factors (ownership) influence relative generation of brand-oriented and community-oriented content. Design/methodology/approach A study of A/B testing was conducted with 104 online brand community (OBC) participants who had been active in an OBC in the last 30 days. Findings Members with a high level of conscientiousness, extroversion and neuroticism generate more brand-oriented content than community-oriented content. Openness to experience, agreeableness and community ownership have been found to have no significant effects. Practical implications This research helps marketing practitioners on whether they should build their own online brand communities. The study also suggests that brands should adjust their community strategies based on the personality traits of community members and expectations from the community. Originality/value This is the first study that investigates how personality traits and community ownership influence the generation of different types of user-generated content (UGC).
Article
Creating brand posts that stimulate consumer engagement on social media is both vital and challenging to digital marketers. Despite previous research on this topic, to date, little is known about how the linguistic styles of brand posts influence consumer engagement. Based on the communication accommodation theory, brand anthropomorphism literature, and linguistic research, this paper examined the effects of three brand post linguistic styles, namely, emotionality, complexity, and informality, on consumer engagement. Through analyzing the 15,396 brand posts collected from 104 Facebook pages, we found that the linguistic styles of brand posts can impact consumer engagement, but the effects vary regarding the three consumer engagement behaviors (i.e., like, share, comment). The findings of this paper improve our understanding of the role that language plays in brand-consumer communications on social media as well as provide guidelines for social media marketers on how to design engaging brand posts from the perspective of linguistics.
Article
Social media is utilized to cultivate relationships with stakeholders in nation branding. This study investigates stakeholder engagement on social media in China’s nation branding by looking into the interaction between pro-government stakeholders and citizens. It analyzes the networked narratives surrounding the recent soccer mega-events from the aspects of public communication, public consultation and public participation. The findings highlight the limited citizen engagement attributed to asymmetric power relationships in the communication practice of nation branding. Theoretically, the conceptual development of the authentic stakeholder engagement framework in nation branding advances the conventional goals of nation branding towards inspiring social development and contributes to the emergent field of stakeholder engagement on social media by incorporating the PR-driven relationship building paradigm and the principles of engagement. Practically, the mixed-method design combining social network analysis with content analysis allows for uncovering the underlying relationships between stakeholders constructed by networked narratives in a retweet network, and the outcomes of this study provide an insight into how the brand meaning of a nation is negotiated via stakeholder engagement in the digital space. Due to the surging quest by countries in East Asia for utilizing soccer to achieve political aims, this China-focused study has both domestic and regional significance.
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Recent research has found that social loafing (SL) can severely restrict the development of online brand communities (OBCs). To examine the effects of community support and commitment to SL in OBCs, this paper collected data from 274 members of OBCs and applied the PLS-SEM approach to estimate the conceptual model. The results indicate that (1) Community support positively influences three dimensions of community commitment. (2) Community commitment plays a mediating role between community support and SL, and different commitment paths have different effects on SL: Affective commitment is found negatively to influence SL and normative commitment positively to influence it, but continuance commitment is not found to exert an influence. (3) Membership length only moderates the relationship between normative commitment and SL. This study not only examines the mediating role of community commitment between community support and SL, but also analyzes different effects of the three dimensions of community commitment on SL, thus providing key points of guidance for alleviating SL in OBCs.
Article
Purpose The current study aims to develop a comprehensive model of cocreation and immersion/engagement for café brands as well as their antecedent and consequences in a café brand context. Inherently involving highly socially involving consumption settings, cafés are particularly conducive to brand cocreation. Design/methodology/approach The current study tested a model of these relationships by analyzing data from customers of a local café and those of a global café, Starbucks, situated in the same town, Karakoy, in Istanbul, Turkey. Data from 241 respondents were analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) to test the model of the study. Findings Results show that sense of brand community is a powerful predictor of cocreation and brand immersion, which are also important antecedents of attitude toward a brand including, cognitive, affective and conative dimensions. Results also revealed slight differences between the local and global brands in terms of brand cocreation's influence on brand trust and loyalty. Research limitations/implications The study is conducted with a limited number of customers of two cafés in a city in Turkey. Future research with the customers from other locations of these cafés, especially the multinational customers of the international café brand is needed to retest the model for its validity. Practical implications The significant differences between ratings of local and global café brands are positive news for local and traditional cafés that are losing considerable market share to their global competitors. Strategic cocreation implementations can be used to instill special and robust relationships with consumers. Originality/value The study provides evidence that in highly socially dynamic brand contexts, such as café brands, brand community is a critical predictor of cocreation and brand immersion, which then affect attitude toward a brand with cognitive, affective and conative dimensions, reflected in brand trust, brand love, satisfaction with the brand, brand commitment and brand loyalty.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study is the exploration of customer engagement with the brand and brand community (dual foci) inside online brand communities and to assess the simultaneous impact of dual foci of engagement in creating equity for the brand. The role of sense of community is explored as a moderator in influencing customer engagement. Design/methodology/approach The sample is composed of the members of Facebook-based brand communities. An internet survey of 833 subjects provides data to test the theoretical model with the help of structural equation modelling using AMOS 21. Findings The empirical investigation supports the proposed theory except for a few counterintuitive findings. Psychological ownership with the brand and the brand community has a direct effect on customer engagement with the brand and the brand community, respectively. A brand-based value-congruity has a direct effect on brand engagement; however, community-based value-congruity has an indirect effect on brand community engagement through brand community psychological ownership. The moderating effect of sense of community on engagement is also observed. Engagement with dual foci explained a substantial proportion of the variance in brand equity. Research limitations/implications A student sample, cross-sectional research design and a limited number of constructs in the nomological network to explore engagement in an online brand community constitute few limitations of this study. Customer engagement with dual foci has major implications for both the researchers and practitioners dealing with online brand communities. Practical implications To engage customers in online brand communities, dual foci should be the objective of management. A sense of ownership towards the brand and value-congruity with the brand should be aimed to engage customers with the brands; brand community psychological ownership and value-congruity with the community should be embraced by the firms to achieve brand community engagement. A high sense of community also needs to be promoted for strengthening dual foci engagement that further generates brand equity. Originality/value Customer brand engagement and brand community engagement had been studied separately in literature ignoring the fact that brand is the raison d’etre of the community. Taking a dual object engagement perspective, this study has charted out different routes of how to generate brand equity using online brand communities.
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Since, the introduction of smartphone in 2000, the concept of consumer engagement has attracted the marketers over the globe. The smartphones are assumed as a means of user engagement for digital entertainment media. The idea behind this research paper is to do a systematic review on consumer engagement in digital entertainment (CEDE) and to identify research gaps in the existing studies. The method of systematic review of literature is adopted to review 204 papers on consumer engagement from five reputed publishers. After the initial screening of the articles, 24 relevant articles to the study topic were identified and a content analysis was applied to find the insights. The findings of the study reveal that most of the selected studies on digital entertainment have paid significant attention to social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were in higher use to boost consumer engagement. The maximum number of research citations on CEDE are from year 2015. The results obtained show an increasing publication count after 2017 on consumer engagement and the maximum numbers of such research efforts are from USA, followed by Australia, UK, China, India. The research paper will be helpful for the academicians, researchers and marketers in knowing the research trends in consumer engagement.
Book
This is one of the first textbooks to explore the phenomenon of Influencer Marketing and how it fits within marketing communications to build brands and their communities. Influencers – those who can impact a brand’s marketing and advertising strategies as well as build brand communities – are making extensive use of the new digital and traditional communications platforms. Influencers offer brands the ability to deliver the “right” communication and marketing messages to a specific target audience. Across four core sections, this book brings together the key theory and practical implications of this new marketing tool: how it works as part of communications campaigns, including how to select the right influencers and measure their success, the dark side of influencer marketing, and the legal and ethical framework. With contributions from authors across the globe, each chapter is also accompanied by an in- depth case study – from the Kardashians to Joe Wicks – that demonstrates how the theory translates to practice. Influencer Marketing is important reading for advanced, postgraduate and executive education students of Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing Communications, Brand Management and Public Relations. With its accessible style and practical content, it is also highly valuable for Marketing Communications, Branding and PR specialists.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, it aims to clarify the moderating role of self-esteem (SE) and susceptibility to normative influence (SNI) in the relationship between brand love and brand loyalty. Second, the study proposes modeling the mediation role of brand love and outlining how SE and SNI affect the consumer-brand relationship. Finally, the study explores the impact of brand love on brand loyalty: the moderating role of self-esteem and social influences, as the literature regarding this is still lacking. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected via an online survey, which yielded 218 responses. Structural equation modeling was used to predict the research model. Findings The findings indicate that both SE and SNI mediate the relationship between brand love and brand loyalty. Additionally, consumers love the focal brands positively relates to SE and SNI. In return, SE and SNI lead to brand loyalty. The tight relationship of SE and SNI affects the connection between brand love and brand loyalty. Research limitations/implications The data has been collected in Vietnam, which creates a limitation regarding the study’s cross-cultural nature and the economic context. Thus, the study should be conducted in different cultures and economies (both developing and developed countries) to enhance the generalizability in consumer-brand relationships. Practical implications Brand managers should conduct more advertising in brand communities to enhance the influence of SNI and emphasize unique features of the brands, to attract consumers through the overlap of SE. Social implications The findings can contribute to enhancing unique brand identity and self-motivation will increase consumer loyalty, increasing the revenue of a specific brand. Moreover, as acceptable peers contribute to making purchase decisions, boosting the brand community will maintain current consumers and attract additional potential consumers from the current consumer relationships. Originality/value This study contributes to consumer psychology by indicating both SNI and SE as the mediators in the relationship between brand love and brand loyalty and how the consumer-brand relationship can be enabled.
Article
This study proposes and tests a theory-driven model of online travel community (OTC) commitment, its determinants and outcomes. Additionally, this study also tests the moderating role of advertising towards the impact of OTC commitment on products/services-related behavioral intentions. Using an online survey platform, data were collected from 569 respondents in China. Then, data were subjected to PLS-SEM and findings reveal that OTC members’ commitment is determined by personal influences, social influences, and OTC characteristics, which further shape their behavioral intentions. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed in the end.
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The branding literature has long recognized the power of storytelling to provide meaning to the brand and practitioners have used storytelling to enhance consumers' connections with brands. The premise of brand storytelling has been that the story and its content, production, and distribution are the brand owner's realm and the consumer primarily a listener. The emergence of social media has changed the consumers' role in storytelling from that of a passive listener to a more active participant. Our paper uses the metaphor of improvisation (improv) theater to show that in social media brand owners do not tell brand stories alone but co-create brand performances in collaboration with the consumers. The first and foremost contribution of such a conceptualization is that it offers a semantic framework that resolves issues in storytelling, demonstrates the necessity of co-creation in storytelling, and identifies the core of an inspiring story. The improv theater metaphor also helps identify the following three propositions relevant for branding in social media: (i) the process of improvisation is more important than the output, (ii) managing brands is about keeping the brand performance alive, and (iii) understanding the audience and its roles is the prerequisite for a successful brand performance.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper to use Self-Determination Theory (SDT) to explain the online brand community (OBC) identity internalization process through brand website interactivity. Secondary purpose of the research is to explore the role of several individual difference factors and brand-specific constructs in predicting brand website interactivity. Design/methodology/approach – This study proposes the OBC motivation development continuum of brand website interactivity. Thus, a national panel was collected by a reputable online survey firm and a structural equation model was used to test the proposed model. Findings – The authors examined four brand-related antecedents and mediators (brand engagement in self-concept, susceptibility of normative influence, opinion leadership, and consumer innovativeness) and found evidence of the differing roles that brand engagement in self-concept and purposive motives play as mediators to brand website interactivity. Practical implications – Marketing managers can use the proposed model as a useful tool for understanding ways to target and motivate segment specific consumers in ways that will increase the effectiveness of managers’ OBC building strategies. Originality/value – This study utilized SDT to explain the internalization process of brand website interactivity. Further, several individual difference factors were explored as antecedents and mediators of brand website interactivity.
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Purpose – Effective handling of negative word of mouth in the social media has dramatic impact on customer retention, deflects potential damage and improves profitability. Although marketers enact various defensive strategies to combat such negative publicity, consumers are increasingly acting on behalf of marketers and new value creating behaviors are noticed within virtual brand communities. The purpose of this paper is to explore the kind of consumers’ defensive behaviors present within Facebook brand communities (FBCs). Design/methodology/approach – A netnographic approach guided the data collection. Data were gathered by downloading messages; only the threads related to member’s defensive behaviors were downloaded and archived. This resulted to 34 pages of data with 418 individual comments and 6,257 words in total. Findings – Data reveals that defensive behavior is practiced within Facebook, noticing that more diverse types of defensive behaviors are practiced in high involved products. Also, defensive behaviors are more prevalent within utilitarian rather than hedonic brands. Research limitations/implications – This study suggests that marketers should be open to engage and empower consumers to fulfill the role of defending the brand within brand communities first. Originality/value – This work adds to previous literature on handling complaints in social media by analyzing how devoted consumers may defend the brand against negative remarks done by other consumers in FBCs. This study not only confirms that defensive behaviors are apparent within the eight FBCs considered, but also investigates possible differences between high and low involved brands and also utilitarian and hedonic brands. Keywords Facebook, Value creation, Brand communities, Netnography, Defensive behaviour
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Marketers aim to increase active participation in their brand communities on social networking sites to achieve favorable brand outcomes. This paper is the first to analyze the moderating influence of community type (i.e., whether members primarily strive for social versus functional goals) on the effect of (a) negative word of mouth (nWOM) and (b) positive word of mouth (pWOM) on brand community outcomes. Specifically, we analyzed the effects on community members' perceived goal instrumentality of social network brand communities (i.e., whether the community increases the likelihood that personal goals will be achieved) and active participation in these brand communities. The results of a field study and three laboratory experiments reveal that nWOM evokes more negative consumer reactions in social-goal communities than in functional-goal communities. However, pWOM evokes more positive consumer reactions in social-goal communities than in functional-goal communities. Overall, the results have important managerial implications for effectively managing the occurrence of nWOM and pWOM in social network brand communities.
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This research explores the grassroots brand community centered on the Apple Newton, a product that was abandoned by the marketer. Supernatural, religious, and magical motifs are common in the narratives of the Newton community, including the miraculous performance and survival of the brand, as well as the return of the brand creator. These motifs invest the brand with powerful meanings and perpetuate the brand and the community, its values, and its beliefs. These motifs also reflect and facilitate the many transformative and emancipatory aspects of consuming this brand. Our findings reveal important properties of brand communities and, at a deeper level, speak to the communal nature of religion and the enduring human need for religious affiliation.
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Brand communities have become an important aspect for brand management in social media. However, many brands have failed to establish a successful online brand community. In this study, we introduce branded communities as an alternative concept to brand communities. In contrast to brand communities, a branded community does not revolve around a specific (sport) brand, but around any interest or need. However, a specific brand makes use of the community for marketing purposes by sponsoring or operating the community. We emphasize the suitability of sport as an interest around which branded communities can be built as well as links of branded communities to sport sponsorship. We empirically studied the factors which influence the success of this phenomenon and the effects of operating or sponsoring such a community for a brand by using an online survey (N = 501) of members of a branded online community relating to football. The results demonstrate the relevance of topic interest (i.e., identification and involvement with football) and the quality of the community as determinants of interest in and loyalty towards a branded community. The brand owner benefits from an increase in brand loyalty for those community members who are aware of the brand as the operator of the community, whereby awareness of this sponsorship does not decrease loyalty towards the community. Our research contributes to previous knowledge by proving that branded communities are both an effective means for companies to deploy sponsorship and branding strategies in social media and provide a promising opportunity for sport managers to generate value.
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Using qualitative studies involving executives and customers, this study explores the nature and scope of customer engagement (CE), which is a vital component of relationship marketing. We define CE as the intensity of an individual's participation in and connection with an organization's offerings and/or organizational activities, which either the customer or the organization initiate. We argue that it is composed of cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social elements. Finally, we offer a model of CE, in which the participation and involvement of current or potential customers serve as antecedents of CE, while value, trust, affective commitment, word of mouth, loyalty, and brand community involvement are potential consequences.
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This article introduces the idea of brand community. A brand community is a specialized, non-geographically bound community, based on a structured set of social relations among admirers of a brand. Grounded in both classic and contemporary sociology and consumer behavior, this article uses ethnographic and computer mediated environment data to explore the characteristics, processes, and particularities of three brand communities (those centered on Ford Bronco, Macintosh, and Saab). These brand communities exhibit three traditional markers of community: shared consciousness, rituals and traditions, and a sense of moral responsibility. The commercial and mass-mediated ethos in which these communities are situated affects their character and structure and gives rise to their particularities. Implications for branding, sociological theories of community, and consumer behavior are offered.
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The utilization of established virtual communities as a source of profit has become crucial for virtual community service providers. Thus, the service providers should try to determine what types of users are present in their communities, that is, whether the use of the community is utilitarian or hedonic. They would then be able to ascertain what type of trust is to be facilitated. When the service providers understand the kind of trust they need to develop to induce members to use the site more often, they can manage their respective virtual communities more efficiently. In this context, this paper studies two types of trust in virtual communities to differentiate their acceptance processes for usage based on the Technology Acceptance Model. The different effects of trust and other variables are investigated based on customer type. The relationships among these factors are hypothesized. A structural equation model tests the hypothesized relationships. Our study provides an understanding of the kind of trust that virtual community managers need to develop to induce members to use their sites more so they can manage the communities more efficiently.
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Purpose – Given the dramatic technology‐led changes that continue to take place in the marketplace, researchers and practitioners alike are keen to understand the emergence and implications of online brand communities (OBCs). The purpose of this paper is to explore OBCs from both consumer and company perspectives. Design/methodology/approach – The study provides a synthesis of the extant OBC literature to further our understanding of OBCs, and also puts forth future priorities for OBC research. Findings – A conceptual framework is provided that extends our understanding of OBCs and consumer engagement. Four key OBC dimensions (brand orientation, internet‐use, funding and governance) are identified and three antecedents (brand‐related, social and functional) are proposed of consumer‐OBC engagement. Originality/value – This study is the first to explore key dimensions of OBCs, and the differing but related perspectives of the consumers and organizations involved.
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This book presents and analyzes the concept of online brand communities, an emerging and exciting topic in marketing and eCommerce. First, it lays out the foundations like the evolution of the Web and the so-called Social Web, its utility for users and businesses, and the evolution of the marketing mind-set to adapt the Social Web. On this basis, the book then presents a detailed analysis of online brand communities, examining the concept of virtual community with a specific focus on virtual brand communities. In this context the book also explores recent trends related to branding and brand management. Next, it proposes a classification system for online brand communities, taking into account questions like the motivating factors for consumers to join, participate and stay in a community. The process of value creation in communities is examined from both business and consumer perspectives. The book draws to a close with a brief presentation of the process broadly accepted for the successful development of online brand communities.
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Providing an online virtual community may be one effective way to retain potential customers. Prior research indicated sense of virtual community (SOVC) exerts a significant influence on consumers' purchase intention. The effect of persuasive advertising mainly depends on the richness of virtual product experiences (VPEs). This study aims to analyze the relationships between different combinations of VPEs and SOVC. We conducted two experimental studies on two website to investigate the main effects and interaction. The result of the study provides evidence that different combination of interpersonal virtual experience with machine virtual experience would generate different SOVC. We also found the indirect effects of optimum stimulation level (OSL) and levels of motives for reading customer articulations between VPEs and SOVC variables (membership and immersion). Past related studies examined the advertising effects of VPEs chiefly on machine interaction (e.g., 3D advertising). This study is one of the first to examine empirically combinations of machine interaction with interpersonal interaction. This paper provides a review of the major perspectives in the concept of SOVC and 3D advertising or virtual reality. These punctuate the importance as well as the contribution of this paper.
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Corporate executives struggle to harness the power of social technologies. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube are where customers discuss products and companies, write their own news, and find their own deals but how do you integrate these activities into your broader marketing efforts? It's an unstoppable groundswell that affects every industry yet it's still utterly foreign to most companies running things now. When consumers you've never met are rating your company's products in public forums with which you have no experience or influence, your company is vulnerable. In "Groundswell", Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li explain how to turn this threat into an opportunity. In this updated and expanded edition of "Groundswell", featuring an all new introduction and chapters on Twitter and social media integration, you'll learn to: Evaluate new social technologies as they emerge; Determine how different groups of consumers are participating in social technology arenas; Apply a four-step process for formulating your future strategy; and, Build social technologies into your business. "Groundswell" is required reading for executives seeking to protect and strengthen their company's public image.
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Although a considerable amount of research in personality psychology has been done to conceptualize human personality, identify the ''Big Five'' dimensions, and explore the meaning of each dimension, no parallel research has been conducted in consumer behavior on brand personality, Consequently, an understanding of the symbolic use of brands has been limited in the consumer behavior literature. In this research, the author develops a theoretical framework of the brand personality construct by determining the number and nature of dimensions of brand personality (Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness). Tc, measure the five brand personality dimensions, a reliable, valid, and generalizable measurement scale is created. Finally, theoretical and practical implications regarding the symbolic use of brands are discussed.
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The relationships among members of virtual brand-related communities may change depending on the length of their participation in the community. Consumers' commitment to the community is likely to influence the relationship between consumer engagement in the community and brand loyalty. Commitment can be affective, calculative, and normative. Knowledge concerning the impact of these dimensions on behavioral loyalty to a brand over membership time is lacking. This study examines the changing relationship between consumers' engagement in a consumption community, their kind of commitment to the community and their behavioral loyalty to a brand over membership time. Members of a French virtual community sharing photography interests participated in the sample. Configural analysis shows that strong engagement in community activities alone is neither sufficient nor necessary for brand loyal intentions. Combinations of engagement with various levels of affective, calculative and normative commitment to the community can cause high behavioral brand loyalty of community members. These combinations change with the length of membership in the community. Brand managers can use the results to fine-tune their communication to groups of community members with different combinations of engagement and commitment as drivers of brand loyalty.
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This study investigates the constructs and related theories that drive continuance participation in on-line communities from their intention and behaviour perspectives. The research uses theories of ‘social support’ and ‘planned behaviour’ to propose a research model that drives continuance participation in on-line communities in Malaysia. The model reveals that the constructs perceived behavioural control, subjective norms, andattitude from the Theory of Planned Behaviour juxtaposed with social support constructs and a perceived value construct significantly influences on-line communities' continuance participation intention and behaviour. Using PLS–SEM to analyse data gathered in Malaysia, the research demonstrates that users' continuance participation is dependent on their intention and behaviour. The study also contributes to the understanding of individuals' use of on-line communities in the social commerce era.
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In a quest for connecting with customers, the world's largest brands have gone online to develop communities to interact with consumers. Despite widespread adoption less is known about what motivates consumers to continually interact in these communities. Across six studies, we develop and test a typology of online brand community engagement (i.e., the compelling intrinsic motivations to continue interacting with an online brand community). We identify 11 independent motivations and test the scale's predictive power for participation in an online brand community. This study provides a much needed refinement to the disparate conceptualizations and operationalizations of engagement in the literature. As a result, academic researchers can now rely on a diverse set of motivational measures that best fit the context of their research, adding to the versatility of future research studies. The results provide managers with new insight in the motivations for and impact of interacting in online brand communities.
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