Antecedents of brand love in online network-based communities. A social identity perspective

Maria Vernuccio (Department of Management, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)
Margherita Pagani (Department of Markets and Innovation, EMLYON Business School, Lyon, France)
Camilla Barbarossa (Department of Human Studies, LUMSA University, Rome, Italy)
Alberto Pastore (Department of Management, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Publication date: 16 November 2015



This paper aims to analyse the antecedents of brand love in online network-based communities and to develop an integrative conceptual model in which social-interactive engagement influences brand love via the mediating effects of social identity.


A survey was conducted on the Facebook fan pages of 20 leading international brands. A total of 387 responses were collected from consumers living primarily in Europe and the USA. Structural equation modelling was performed to test the hypothesised linkages.


The results confirmed that the positive influence of social-interactive engagement on brand love is mediated by the psychological effects related to how members perceive their self-concept based on belonging to the social group of the brand fan page.

Research limitations/implications

This study considered Facebook, the favourite social network used by customers to connect with brands. Future research is invited to consider other social media to increase the external validity of the model.

Practical implications

To strengthen the emotional bond with a brand in online network-based communities, managers should stimulate consumers’ social identity by leveraging on the experiences which influence social-interactive engagement.


This study is the first to investigate the effects of social-interactive engagement on social identity to enhance the understanding of brand love’s antecedents in specific online social environments.



Vernuccio, M., Pagani, M., Barbarossa, C. and Pastore, A. (2015), "Antecedents of brand love in online network-based communities. A social identity perspective", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 24 No. 7, pp. 706-719.

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