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Exploring COBRAs, its antecedents and consequences in the context of banking brands

Aditya Shankar Mishra (Marketing Area, Indian Institute of Management Ranchi, Ranchi, India)

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Article publication date: 7 May 2021

Issue publication date: 6 July 2021




Brands have started investing heavily in their social media pages. Especially for banks having credence nature, the importance of engaging customers with the brand-related content on their social media pages has become a challenge. The present study explores the role of various characteristics of a brand's social media marketing efforts (SMME) and individual customer's general online social interaction propensity (GOSIP) on the customers' engagement/online brand-related activities (COBRAs). The subsequent effect of COBRAs on key banking outcomes such as satisfaction, trust and loyalty has also been evaluated. The moderating role of the customer–brand relationship length has also been evaluated.


A two-stage mixed-method approach was used for the data collection. Two focus group discussions were conducted for the preliminary stage, which resulted in identifying five Indian banking brands as stimuli for further study. For the main study, an online survey link was shared with the members of the stimuli banking brands' social media pages. A total of 552 useable responses were collected. After performing the exploratory factor analysis and common method bias tests, the collected data were analyzed using structural equation modeling and multi-group analysis.


The results of the present study have added all five characteristics (namely, entertainment, interaction, trendiness, customization and electronic word of mouth) of SMME and GOSIP as the key antecedents of the customers' engagement with brand content on social media pages or COBRAs. COBRAs have been found influencing the customers' satisfaction, but evidence of influence on the trust and loyalty has not been found. The length of the relationship between customers and the banking brand has been observed as an important moderator for the satisfaction–trust–loyalty relationship.


The present study has three unique contributions to the literature. Firstly, the study evaluates the role of customer-brand engagement on the banking brand's favorable outcomes such as satisfaction, trust and loyalty. Secondly, the exploration of the role of various social media marketing activities that can enhance customer–brand engagement. And finally, the study tests the moderating role of the customer–brand length of the relationship on the complete set of marketing activities–engagement–loyalty relationships.



Mishra, A.S. (2021), "Exploring COBRAs, its antecedents and consequences in the context of banking brands", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 900-921.



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