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How to transform consumers into fans of your brand

Benedikt Jahn (Institute of Marketing, Ludwig‐Maximilians‐University, Munich, Germany)
Werner Kunz (College of Management, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 22 June 2012




Brand fan pages on social networks have become very popular online services. However, empirical research on fan pages is still in its infancy. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of fan pages on the customer‐brand relationship and what motivates users to participate.


For this a framework was developed based on classical concepts of use and gratification theory, customer engagement, and involvement theory. The model is tested using a multi‐step approach of qualitative and quantitative methods.


The paper can show a significant influence from online service usage behavior on the fan page on the customer‐brand relationship. Furthermore, the paper identifies different values such as functional and hedonic content as drivers of fan‐page participation.

Research limitations/implications

The results are limited by the used data set, which is not representative for all industries and is cross‐sectional. Further research could build up a database over a longitudinal time frame in different industries. The results are interesting for theory and practice. They confirm the positive effect of integration and engagement in general and show that fan pages are more than just tools to connect brand fans. They are also instruments for gaining new fans.


The present study is the first study that not only shows the effect of fan pages on customer behavior, but also analyses the motives for participation and the crucial constructs to manage them successfully.



Jahn, B. and Kunz, W. (2012), "How to transform consumers into fans of your brand", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 344-361.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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