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A sensory perspective in the Italian beer market

Valentina Cillo (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy)
Laura Gavinelli (University of Milan, Milan, Italy)
Francesca Ceruti (University of Milan, Milan, Italy)
Mirko Perano (Department of Management, Reald University College, Vlorë, Albania)
Ludovico Solima (University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Campania, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 August 2019

Issue publication date: 1 August 2019




From literature, an uncovered issue around the customer-based brand equity (CBBE) is detected: the influence of sensorial preferences on the relationship between social media communication and CBBE. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects produced by social media brand communication – both firm-created content (FCC) and user-generated content (UGC) – on CBBE, according to the sensorial preferences in the beer industry.


A literature review has been used to develop a research model and hypotheses. The research is based on online survey carried out on a sample of 183 valid questionnaires of Italian active fans and followers in the beer industry. A multi-group analysis applied to structural equation modeling is used.


The sensory dimension prevails limiting the operating range of brand awareness that does not strongly affect CBBE. In brand equity development’ process, non-sensorial users do not consider sensorial preferences. The brand equity can become stronger by stimulating the reaction of customers through firms’ communication by using social media platforms. Therefore, the quality of peer interactions in the social media communication has a positive impact on brand loyalty. When firms use social media communication to increase overall brand equity, they have to foster and monitor FCC and UGC responses that affect different CBBE components.


The paper provides empirical evidence about the relationship between social media communication and CBBE, according to the importance given to sensorial preferences by beer lovers. This can be considered as the first study on this specific topic focused on the CBBE issue.



Cillo, V., Gavinelli, L., Ceruti, F., Perano, M. and Solima, L. (2019), "A sensory perspective in the Italian beer market", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 9, pp. 2036-2051.



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