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Article

Bastian Popp, Claas Christian Germelmann and Benjamin Jung

Social media has promoted anti-brand communities, which build around the shared aversion to a specific brand. The purpose of this paper is to investigate social…

Abstract

Purpose

Social media has promoted anti-brand communities, which build around the shared aversion to a specific brand. The purpose of this paper is to investigate social media-based anti-brand communities and their effects on the sports team brand in question.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a netnographic study of Facebook-based anti-brand communities that oppose a professional football team.

Findings

The netnographic study reveals characteristics and drivers of Facebook-based anti-brand communities that oppose a professional football team. The research further identifies co-destructive behaviours of anti-brand community members that harm the sports team brand and even its sponsors. However, the findings also reveal that anti-brand communities may play a positive role in sport, as they strengthen the relationship between fans of the opposed brand and this brand and foster rivalry among football fans.

Practical implications

This research establishes the relevance of social media-based anti-brand communities for sports brands. Recommendations are made for team sport brands with regards to how to deal with the phenomenon of anti-brand communities.

Originality/value

While the previous research on anti-brand activism focused on either offline movements or movements using traditional websites, this research is the first to investigate the pivotal role of social networking sites for anti-brand activism. The paper further uncovers unique motivational, attitudinal, and behavioral patterns of fans that meet in communities opposing not only the rival team, but also the brand associated with the team. Findings show ways to better understand and deal with such anti-brand communities in sports.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

Keywords

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Article

Maximilian Stieler and Claas Christian Germelmann

This paper aims to focus on similarity cues that may strengthen bonds among crowd members and that serve as “glue” between individual group members in the context of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on similarity cues that may strengthen bonds among crowd members and that serve as “glue” between individual group members in the context of collective football-viewing events.

Design/methodology/approach

Study 1 is a qualitative field study that focused on the subjective socio-emotional experiences of event visitors, whereas Study 2 tested the hypotheses quantitatively.

Findings

The qualitative pre-study revealed a variety of discrete emotions that consumers experienced through the course of consumption. Apart from individualistic emotions, respondents reported feeling common bonds with fellow crowd members. Respondents used a variety of emotion terms to express this experience. Moreover, we found different types of similarity cues which strengthen feelings of connectedness among crowd members in a football-watching scenario. Collaborative actions and team identification, as a sports-specific variable, foster a feeling of social connectedness, which in turn directly positively affects consumer enjoyment.

Research limitations/implications

Experiencing a feeling of social connectedness may serve as a starting point for a long-term relationship with the service itself or with associated brands. Future experimental studies might isolate the antecedents of a feeling of social connectedness and, thus, enhance the understanding of consumers’ emotional states during the course of hedonic consumption.

Practical implications

Service providers should encourage consumers to perform collaborative actions, as consumers potentially infect others and start a ripple effect.

Originality/value

This paper differs from existing work on crowds, in that the authors focus on similarity cues as antecedents of feelings of connectedness among group members.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

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Article

Julia A. Fehrer, Herbert Woratschek, Claas Christian Germelmann and Roderick J. Brodie

The purpose of this paper is to extend existing engagement research in two directions: first, it operationalizes the dynamic nature of the engagement process within a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend existing engagement research in two directions: first, it operationalizes the dynamic nature of the engagement process within a customer-brand dyad and, second, it tests the interrelationships with other network actors in a triadic network setting.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2×2 experimental design models the iterative nature of the engagement process based on repeated measures at three points in time, considering the contextual effects of connections with other customers and crowding-in effects based on monetary incentives.

Findings

This research demonstrates that in a utilitarian service setting, customer engagement does not emerge per se in the dyadic interaction between the customer and the brand. For high levels of engagement behavior to occur, incentives and ties to other network actors are essential. Further, the findings suggest a non-linear relationship between engagement behavior and its antecedents and consequences: engagement behavior must overcome a certain intensity threshold to unfold its effect.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed to explore the dynamic nature of the engagement process in experiential and interactive service settings, and more complex network settings that may involve more actors and more complex relationships.

Practical implications

By facilitating connections between customers and compensating for low intrinsic interest, managers can facilitate actual engagement behavior even in utilitarian service contexts. Once engagement behavior has been triggered, an increased engagement disposition, higher satisfaction, higher involvement and higher loyalty follow.

Originality/value

This study empirically tests the dynamic nature of the engagement process within and beyond the dyad, and has revealed a non-linear pattern of customer engagement behavior within its nomological network.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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