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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Kay Naumann, Jana Lay-Hwa Bowden and Mark Gabbott

Minimal attention is given to the negative valences of customer engagement and how they manifest in ways that detract from service value. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Minimal attention is given to the negative valences of customer engagement and how they manifest in ways that detract from service value. The purpose of this paper is to uncover the meaning and conceptual dimensions of disengagement and negative engagement in conjunction with positive engagement. It explores how three valences of engagement manifest towards dual objects: the service community and the focal service organisation. This exploration is based within a new and novel social service context.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach using (four) focus groups is used.

Findings

A conceptual model of customer engagement is derived from the groups that include strongly held and positive customer engagement; passive, yet negatively orientated customer disengagement; and active and destructive negative customer engagement. Positive customer engagement is found to be directed at the service community object, whereas customer disengagement and negative engagement are directed at the focal service organisation object. A spillover effect is also revealed whereby negative engagement with the focal service organisation detracts from customers’ positive engagement within their service community. This suggests that engagement within a social service is multifaceted: several engagement valences may exist within one service relationship. It also suggests that these engagement valences are interrelated.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to apply three valences of engagement within the one focal relationship and examine how they manifest towards two objects, providing a unique perspective of how different interactions within the service ecosystem can influence engagement.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Jana Lay-Hwa Bowden, Jodie Conduit, Linda D. Hollebeek, Vilma Luoma-aho and Birgit Apenes Solem

Online brand communities (OBCs) are an effective avenue for brands to engage consumers. While engaging with the brand, consumers simultaneously interact with other OBC…

Abstract

Purpose

Online brand communities (OBCs) are an effective avenue for brands to engage consumers. While engaging with the brand, consumers simultaneously interact with other OBC members; thus engaging with multiple, interrelated engagement objects concurrently. The purpose of this paper is to explore both positively and negatively valenced consumer engagement with multiple engagement objects, the interplay between these, and the spillover effect from consumers’ engagement with the OBC to their engagement with the brand.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on 16 in-depth interviews with OBC members of a luxury accessory brand, a constant comparative method was adopted using axial and selective coding procedures. The objective was to understand the nature of participants’ engagement with the brand, the OBC, and the interplay between individuals’ engagement with these objects. The coding framework and resultant interpretive frameworks address engagement valence, outcomes, and direction.

Findings

This study illustrates consumer expressions of consumers’ positively and negatively valenced engagement with a focal brand, and with the OBC. Further, it demonstrates the interplay (spillover effect) that occurs between consumers’ engagement with the OBC, to their engagement with the brand. While the existence of positively valenced engagement with the OBC was found to further enhance consumer brand engagement (i.e. reflecting an engagement accumulation effect), negatively valenced engagement with the OBC was found to reduce consumer brand engagement (i.e. reflecting an engagement detraction effect).

Originality/value

While consumer engagement has been recognized to have both positive and negative manifestations, this study demonstrates that consumers’ engagement valence may differ across interrelated engagement objects (i.e. the brand and the OBC). Further, we demonstrate the existence of engagement spillover effects from the OBC to the brand for both positively and negatively valenced engagement.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2013

Jana Lay-Hwa Bowden

Increasingly, higher education institutions are being held to account for the performance of their students internally in terms of academic performance and timely program…

Abstract

Purpose

Increasingly, higher education institutions are being held to account for the performance of their students internally in terms of academic performance and timely program completion, as well as externally through job placement. This challenge is compounded by a range of additional factors including fluctuating, international economic conditions, an increasingly globalised, competitive environment, widespread provision of online qualifications, and high student drop-out rates. There is a pressing need therefore to understand the factors which contribute to positive perceptions of institutional services and the way in which these drive student retention, especially within the first year experience. This research aims to explore the role of affective commitment in students' perceived satisfaction within the student-university relationship and the effect of this on retention in an Australian tertiary context.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was adopted using four focus groups and eight in-depth interviews with first year undergraduate students enrolled at a large metropolitan Australian university. In addition, an online expert forum was used to obtain qualitative verbatim from 22 internationally-based faculty educators.

Findings

The results of this study suggest that the development of deeply entrenched emotional bonds with students is important in facilitating high levels of satisfaction during the first year experience. In addition, a sense of belonging was perceived by faculty as being the primary mechanism for ensuring the retention of students beyond the first year of enrolment.

Practical implications

From a managerial perspective, uncovering the nature of student-institution relationships and the importance of affective forms of commitment will enable higher education institutions to develop more targeted relationship marketing programs to increase student retention.

Originality/value

In a unique contribution, this research examines this issue from the perspective of first year students, as well as from an international faculty perspective, enabling a multi-dimensional comparison to be drawn between the perceptions of the student, and the service provider.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 22 January 2021

Jana Bowden and Abas Mirzaei

Brands are investing heavily in content marketing within digital communication channels, yet there is limited understanding of the effectiveness of this content on…

Abstract

Purpose

Brands are investing heavily in content marketing within digital communication channels, yet there is limited understanding of the effectiveness of this content on consumer engagement. This paper aims to examine how consumer engagement with branded content is created through consumer-initiated online brand communities (OBCs) and brand-initiated digital content marketing (DCM) communications. Self-brand connections are examined as an important antecedent to the cognitive, affective, behavioural and social dimensions of consumer engagement and the subsequent impact of engagement on loyalty is explored across these two channels.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey approach was used with two consumer samples for one focal retail brand, namely, a consumer-initiated OBC (Facebook) and email subscribers of the retail brand’s DCM communications. A multi-group analysis of structural invariance procedure was used to comparatively examine the formation of engagement for consumers within the OBC and DCM channels.

Findings

This study demonstrates the different ways in which engagement forms across different digital communication channels. Self-brand connection (SBC) was found to strongly drive behavioural, cognitive, affective and social engagement. The cognitive, affective and behavioural engagement was found to mediate the self-brand connection and consumer loyalty relationship. Overall, this relationship was most strongly and significantly mediated by affective and cognitive engagement within the OBC channel when compared to the DCM channel.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study should be interpreted with several limitations in mind. First, the research was conducted within the confines of one OBC, within one social networking site platform characterised by self-selected membership based on a passion and immersion with the brand. This means that consumers within the OBC were highly connected to one another and the retail brand and highly socialised in-group norms and mores. This type and intensity of connection may not be the case for all forms of OBCs. Second, this study was limited to one retail brand, from one brand category. Future research should examine OBCs across a range of utilitarian and hedonic brands to comprehensively contextualise the dimensions of engagement. Third, the data for this study was cross-sectional. The use of netnographic analysis and qualitative interviews across a range of OBCs would support the triangulation of the findings of this research, especially with regard to the narrative that consumers’ express when discussing how their SBC manifests through the dimensions of engagement. Fourth, this study explored a single antecedent of engagement, namely, self-brand connections. Future research may consider how SBC operates in conjunction with other complementary factors to enhance consumers’ affective, cognitive, social and behavioural engagement such as brand awareness, satisfaction and participation/interactivity. In addition, future research could examine an expanded array of engagement outcomes such as purchase intention, the share of wallet and reputation. Finally, future research should examine the operationalisation and validation of the dimensions of engagement using multiple competing scales to assess the suitability of these engagement scales across multiple brand categories and contexts.

Practical implications

Given the increasing investment in branding within social media and the fragmentation of brand communications across multiple communications platforms, the management of effective brand communications remains a significant challenge. This study found that the relationship between self-brand connections, affective, social, behavioural and cognitive engagement and loyalty was context-specific and moderated by a digital communication channel (OBC vs DCM email marketing), thus providing insights as to the effectiveness of OBCs and DCMs as two tools for enhancing consumer loyalty.

Originality/value

This study makes a novel contribution to the engagement literature by examining the antecedent role of self-brand connections in predicting consumers’ engagement; the moderating role of digital communication platforms (OBC vs DCM) on the formation of cognitive, affective, behavioural and social engagement; and the mediating effect of these dimensions on loyalty.

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