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Unveiling heterogeneous engagement-based loyalty in brand communities

Laurence Dessart (HEC Liège – Management School of the University of Liège, Liege, Belgium)
Joaquín Aldás-Manzano (Department of Marketing, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Cleopatra Veloutsou (Department of Business and Management, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 31 May 2019

Issue publication date: 20 September 2019




Although recent research appreciates that consumers increasingly interact with brands in brand communities and that brand engagement is an important and complex phenomenon in brand communities, little is known about the nature of individuals’ brand engagement in brand communities. This study aims to identify brand community members’ segments in terms of their brand engagement within the community; help us understand if these segments use a different approach in the development of brand loyalty; and develop mechanisms that can be used to identify members of these segments.


The paper adopts a quantitative approach and uses a total of 970 responses from members of Facebook brand pages in three popular languages on Facebook (English, French and Spanish). Data are analysed with structural equation modelling, integrating FIMIX-PLS and POS-PLS.


The results reveal that cognitive, affective and behavioural engagement dimensions play a different role in driving brand loyalty. Three different segments of engaged consumers exist (emotional engagers, thinkers and active engagers). Variables related to the perceived value of the brand community provide initial explanations as to the differences of the consumer groups.

Research limitations/implications

The data were collected from a specific type of brand communities (Facebook-based, company-managed brand communities) and are self-reported.

Practical implications

This work demonstrates the heterogeneity of brand community members in terms of their brand engagement profile and the effect of this profile on the formation of behavioural brand loyalty. Suggestions on identifying members of these segments based on the value that they get from the community are offered.


This work extends the brand engagement and brand community literature. It is the first work that provides this nature of actionable suggestions to the teams supporting brands with brand communities.



Dessart, L., Aldás-Manzano, J. and Veloutsou, C. (2019), "Unveiling heterogeneous engagement-based loyalty in brand communities", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 53 No. 9, pp. 1854-1881.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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