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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Product & Brand Management, Volume 23, Issue 1
As the marketplace has seen major changes in technology and a heightened level of global competition, the concept of branding has become increasingly important. Simultaneously, brands face increasing levels of promotional clutter due to the boundary spanning nature of online marketing. The ever present question of making brands more effective takes on new meaning in the current environment. We see that more Internet connected consumers spend their purchase time online, reducing direct contact with and the ability of a brand to build lasting relationships.
Recent literature has highlighted the importance of building brand relationships. It is fundamental that the brand be relevant to the consumer. Brand managers can foster relationship building by efforts to engage target consumers. Such efforts can differentiate particular brands from competitors and allow for the creation of barriers to competitive entry. Successful efforts may result in very high levels of engagement represented by brand preference, an indicator of adoption. The area of brand engagement is currently an under-researched area that may benefit from focused investigation.
Taute and Sierra examine the idea that a company should move beyond product-attribute positioning to foster effective-laden relationships with customers, as customers often want to feel engaged with the brand they purchase. These brand tribal members share something emotively more than mere brand ownership. As measures of brand engagement continue to evolve, proven instruments measuring brand tribalism and studies investigating its explanatory powers are limited. Moving consumers from occasional brand users to members of their brand tribe should be one of many company objectives. The authors offer insight as to why such objectives should be pursued and how they can be met.
Franzak, Makarem and Jae develop a better understanding of brand engagement by examining two of its antecedents – i.e. design benefits and consumer emotions. The authors explore the relationship between the design and brand engagement and advance a model with emotional responses as mediator. The resulting model improves understanding of how marketers can use design to elicit different forms of brand engagement.
Sarkar and Sreejesh develop and validate a scale of romantic brand jealousy and also examine the role played by brand love-jealousy framework on consumers active engagement. This study will help managers to formulate better marketing strategy to increase consumer engagement using a proposed brand love-jealousy framework.
Wallace, Buil and de Chernatony explore the attitudes of consumers who engage with brands through Facebook “likes. The study explores the extent to which those brands are self-expressive, and examines the relationship between brand “liking and brand outcomes. Brand outcomes include brand love, and advocacy, where advocacy incorporates WOM and brand acceptance. The authors offer suggestions for managers seeking to enhance brand engagement through Facebook “liking and to encourage positive brand outcomes (such as WOM) among consumers already engaged with the brand on Facebook.
Lau explores the drivers of change in product evolution and examines the relationship between company performance and active management of the driving forces behind product change. This research leads to a number of management practices that define the active management of product-change driving forces. The implementation of these practices may have a positive impact on improving company performance, especially in brand recognition.
Kaltcheva, Pation, Laric, Pitta and Imparato posit that relational models, schemata and scripts that customers hold for their interactions with the service firm structure how consumers engage with service firms, thus generating different types of customer engagement value for the firm (the value derived by the firm from customer engagement). The authors use Fiskes (1991) relational models framework, which is widely adopted in the social sciences, and develop propositions arguing that customers employing different relational models are likely to yield different types of customer engagement for the service firm.
Hollebeek and Chen propose a novel brand engagement conceptualization that extends to cover focal negatively valenced, in addition to positively valenced, brand engagement expressions, thus providing a more comprehensive theoretical model of brand engagement. Generating enhanced managerial understanding of positively/negatively valenced brand engagement contributes to guiding managerial decision making regarding the management of specific brands.
Richard C. Leventhal