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Magazine communities: brand community formation in magazine consumption

Laura Davidson (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand)
Lisa McNeill (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand)
Shelagh Ferguson (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 26 June 2007

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Abstract

Purpose

The magazine industry is currently experiencing a period of significant growth, resulting in increased competition in the marketplace. As a consequence of these changes many magazine producers are being forced to look for fresh and innovative ways to attract and retain readers. By broadening our understanding of how brand community relates to the consumption of products such as magazines, this paper aims to highlight the way in which the community concept offers opportunities to further bridge the gap between a product and the needs of the consumer.

Design/methodology/approach

The study follows a qualitative approach, using a two‐stage research design consisting of semi‐structured intercept interviews and focus group inquiry.

Findings

The research generated a number of findings in regards to magazine loyalty, brand attachment, reader connections, community formation and the use of traditional brand community support tools in the magazine industry context.

Research limitations/implications

Overall, magazine consumption is found to be conducive to brand community formation, and a number of recommendations and guidelines for fostering and supporting magazine brand communities can thus be given.

Originality/value

This paper extends existing brand community knowledge and current research by investigating the factors driving the formation of brand community in a specific context.

Keywords

Citation

Davidson, L., McNeill, L. and Ferguson, S. (2007), "Magazine communities: brand community formation in magazine consumption", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 27 No. 5/6, pp. 208-220. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330710757249

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited