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Online brand advocacy and brand loyalty: a reciprocal relationship?

Violetta Wilk (School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia)
Geoffrey N. Soutar (UWA Business School, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)
Paul Harrigan (UWA Business School, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 24 February 2021

Issue publication date: 25 October 2021

2857

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to increase the understanding of the online brand advocacy (OBA) and brand loyalty relationship through a social identity theory lens.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was used to obtain the needed data and the relationships of interest were examined using a partial least squares structural equation modelling approach.

Findings

Brand loyalty and consumer-brand identification were found to be predictors of OBA, while OBA impacted on purchase intent. In addition, a strong reciprocal relationship was found between OBA and brand loyalty, which has not been reported in prior studies.

Research limitations/implications

This study highlighted OBA's complexity. It suggested OBA is not only an outcome of a consumer-brand relationship but also that OBA plays a key role in the development of such relationships. A consumer's identification with a brand fosters brand loyalty and purchase intent through the giving of OBA.

Practical implications

The more consumers vocalise their brand relationships through OBA, the more they strengthen their relationship with brands. The inclusion of OBA management in brand and marketing strategies should enable organisations to foster opportunities for online consumer-brand interactions that strengthen consumer-brand relationships.

Originality/value

First, unlike previous studies that have used makeshift scales to measure OBA, the authors used a recently developed OBA scale. Second, the important reciprocal relationship between OBA and brand loyalty, which has significant implications, has not been reported in prior research.

Keywords

Citation

Wilk, V., Soutar, G.N. and Harrigan, P. (2021), "Online brand advocacy and brand loyalty: a reciprocal relationship?", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 33 No. 10, pp. 1977-1993. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-05-2020-0303

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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