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The role of personalization, engagement, and trust in online communities

Minjeong Kang (Department of Business Administration, Mokpo National University, Mokpo, Korea.)
Dong-Hee Shin (School of Media and Communication, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea)
Taeshik Gong (College of Business and Economics, Hanyang University, Ansan, Korea)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 1 August 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore whether brand community characteristics (perceived personalization and familiarity among members) affect brand community engagement through customer-to-customer (C2C) interaction.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey questionnaire was distributed to members of online brand communities to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

The findings showed that the relationships among the brand community constructs are significant. C2C interaction mediates the relations between the characteristic variables and brand community engagement. Furthermore, the findings revealed that brand community trust moderates the effects of perceived personalization on the quality of C2C interaction and on brand community engagement. It also moderates the relations between perceived familiarity among community members and each of brand community engagement and the quality of C2C interaction.

Practical implications

Marketers should utilize a brand community’s C2C interaction for its marketing strategies. Moreover, managing brand communities by focussing on perceived personalized service and the familiarity of members can also ultimately increase community engagement by enhancing the quality of C2C communication.

Originality/value

This study argues that firms need to manage online brand communities intuitively in order to increase members’ community engagement. To do so, they need to allocate spaces in which C2C communication can actively occur within brand communities, for example, in a discussion forum.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2014S1A3A2044046: SSK Project).

Citation

Kang, M., Shin, D.-H. and Gong, T. (2016), "The role of personalization, engagement, and trust in online communities", Information Technology & People, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 580-596. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-01-2015-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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