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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2021

Manuela López, Maria Sicilia and Peeter W.J. Verlegh

Opinion leaders are increasingly important as a source of information, with consumers judging them to be more credible than other media and more influential than other…

Abstract

Purpose

Opinion leaders are increasingly important as a source of information, with consumers judging them to be more credible than other media and more influential than other consumers. Thus, companies have an interest in engaging opinion leaders to post about products and brands, and the authors analyse different incentives for encouraging them to spread the word on social media (via electronic word-of-mouth [e-WoM]).

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 × 3 between-subjects experimental design was developed in which 359 technological opinion leaders (bloggers) participated. The authors manipulated the monetary incentive (money vs no money) and non-monetary incentives (information only vs return product vs keep product) offered in exchange for a brand post.

Findings

Various techniques for approaching opinion leaders are effective, but to differing degrees. Providing a product free of charge increases the likelihood that opinion leaders will post about it, and the highest intention to post is observed when they are allowed to keep the product. In contrast, giving money to opinion leaders could have an indirect negative impact on their intention to post through the expected negative reaction of followers.

Originality/value

It remains unclear how opinion leaders can best be encouraged to spread e-WoM, as incentives used for consumers may work differently for opinion leaders, who have followers that they want to maintain. The main contribution of this paper lies in its explanation of why opinion leaders react differently to monetary versus non-monetary incentives.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2020

Ignat Kulkov, Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen, Maria Ivanova-Gongne, Anastasia Tsvetkova, Magnus Hellström and Kim Wikström

This study aims to identify how the personal social capital of opinion leaders contributes to the market adoption of start-up innovations.

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1552

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify how the personal social capital of opinion leaders contributes to the market adoption of start-up innovations.

Design/methodology/approach

A design-oriented case study is undertaken with a start-up company focusing on the development and commercialization of innovations in the veterinary market. Based on a literature review, the authors examine the social capital in value creation and the role of opinion leaders and use qualitative methodology and semi-structured in-depth interviews to collect data.

Findings

The adoption of innovations could start with opinion leaders that will later share their experience with other members of the professional community. In turn, social capital allows for creating a collaboration between start-ups and leaders based on a number of specific parameters.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to marketing literature by providing new insights regarding collaboration between start-ups and opinion leaders. The collaboration between opinion leaders and start-ups could be implemented not only in the veterinary industry but also in other industries with minor adaptations. Authors demonstrate how the social capital of external stakeholders may be used as a resource of the company for business development. The main contribution of this study is to demonstrate that social capital could be used as a parameter for the adoption of innovations. The key parameters that allow creating cooperation between start-up and opinion leader have been identified.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 13
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2009

Emma Hazelwood, Rob Lawson and Rob Aitken

The purpose of this paper is to examine the characteristics and usefulness of opinion leaders and market mavens in relation to theatre guides as a way for theatres to…

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3396

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the characteristics and usefulness of opinion leaders and market mavens in relation to theatre guides as a way for theatres to develop new audiences.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys and a small number of in‐depth interviews are conducted within a sample of 1,200 theatre patrons. A univariate analysis of variance analysis determines degrees of correspondence between levels of opinion leadership or mavenism and reported influential behaviour.

Findings

Opinion leaders are much more useful in the process of audience development than mavens given their propensity to engage in positive reinforcement behaviours particularly in their roles as theatre guides.

Research limitations/implications

While the level of mavenism is related to provision of general market information, it is not related to diffusion of performance‐specific information. Also, the portrayal of opinion leaders as living in a “closed world” unlikely to be an effective cultural influence on non‐attendees, is not supported. A further limitation is that it could not gauge the effectiveness of the self‐reported influential behaviour of non‐attendees. Further research should measure the effectiveness of opinion leaders based on how many of the non‐attendees they influenced came to the theatre.

Practical implications

Theatres should identify opinion leaders and encourage their natural “guide” behaviour with targeted incentives and information as a method of building new audiences and developing new relationships.

Originality/value

This paper will help theatres to use their resources more effectively to increase audience attendance. Further, the identification and establishment of theatre guides based on the characteristics of opinion leaders is within the capability of all arts organizations.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Robin A. Coulter, Lawrence F. Feick and Linda L. Price

Research conducted in the early 1990s in Hungary indicated a lack of knowledgeable and influential personal sources in the cosmetics product category. The purpose of this…

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6673

Abstract

Research conducted in the early 1990s in Hungary indicated a lack of knowledgeable and influential personal sources in the cosmetics product category. The purpose of this article is to examine women cosmetics opinion leaders in Hungary approximately ten years into the country’s transition to a market economy. Because of the evolution of the cosmetics market over the past decade and Hungarian women’s increased involvement with cosmetics, we expected to see the emergence of opinion leadership in the product category. Survey data from 340 Hungarian women indicate that the incidence of cosmetics opinion leadership and self‐reported product knowledge is lower than what we might expect in more established market economies. Nonetheless, we found the relationships between cosmetics opinion leadership in Hungary and antecedent and consequent variables are similar to what we would expect in more established market economies. We discuss the implications of these results for marketing managers.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 36 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Flemming Hansen and Morten Hallum Hansen

Examines the characteristics of young innovators (i.e. those in a group who accept the innovation first, for instance a hula hoop, a mobile phone or a video game) and…

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1055

Abstract

Examines the characteristics of young innovators (i.e. those in a group who accept the innovation first, for instance a hula hoop, a mobile phone or a video game) and opinion leaders (i.e. the person in a group who tends to be copied or consulted for advice); the two roles overlap, as child innovators are usually also opinion leaders, but not necessarily the reverse. Explains the Diffusion of Innovations theory, relating it to the adoption by children of new products and behaviours, i.e. their socialisation as consumers; this process involves the stages of awareness, interest, evaluation, test purchase, and adoption. Outlines the characters involved in the generalised theory of Diffusion of Innovations: opinion leaders, innovators, gatekeepers (for instance parents who allow their children to acquire a new product), and change agents (an outsider who gives advice, for instance a teacher). Discusses whether there are generalised innovators and opinion leaders, i.e. whether the same people tend to fulfil these roles in all or most areas. Moves onto a 2003 study of children which surveyed how well the Diffusion of Innovations theory fits them, how much overlap there was among innovators and opinion leaders, and where children got information about new products. Concludes that the Diffusion of Innovations theory does roughly fit child and teenage behaviour; in the adoption process, personal communication plays a dominant role, followed by television and advertising, but mobile phone and SMS messages played almost no role among eight to 12‐year‐olds in communicating information on new products.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2021

Ahlam Ibrahim Al-Harbi and Nada Saleh Badawi

This study aims to investigate the influence of online opinion leadership and opinion seeking the intention to purchase and purchase behaviour of organic food in Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the influence of online opinion leadership and opinion seeking the intention to purchase and purchase behaviour of organic food in Saudi Arabia.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used an online questionnaire as a method to collect data from Instagram users in Saudi Arabia. Statistical analysis was performed using the SmartPLS to test the research model.

Findings

The study demonstrates the links between the perceived benevolence of the opinion leadership through Instagram and purchase behaviour of organic food and between opinion seeking and intention to purchase.

Practical implications

This study provides insights into the favourable impact of opinion leadership and opinion seeking on consumers’ intention to purchase and purchase behaviour for marketers, especially in the organic food sector of a Middle Eastern context.

Originality/value

Prior studies have investigated the impact of opinion leadership and opinion seeking on purchase behaviour, but not within the organic food sector. This study attempts to fill this gap in the literature by providing useful insights to enhance the understanding of the influence of online opinion leadership on purchase behaviour of organic food. This study also makes a valuable contribution to organic food research in Middle East countries, where there is a lack of research on organic food purchase behaviour.

Details

Journal of Islamic Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0833

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2018

Fatima Zohra Ennaji, Abdelaziz El Fazziki, Hasna El Alaoui El Abdallaoui, Djamal Benslimane and Mohamed Sadgal

This paper aims to detect opinion leaders, who they play a vital role as influencers of their community, which will help companies to improve their image in social media…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to detect opinion leaders, who they play a vital role as influencers of their community, which will help companies to improve their image in social media. This idea came with the fast development of social media, where individuals are increasingly sharing their personal experiences, opinions and critiques about products through these platforms. Thus, the new customers can rely on these spontaneous recommendations to proceed with the purchase without risk of disappointment. Therefore, the mismanagement of the e-reputation can cause huge losses for companies.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, a product reputation framework based on the prediction of opinion leaders is presented. To do so, opinion mining has been used to determine the product reputation in social media. In addition to posts processing, the profile information has also exploited to predict opinion leaders. To achieve the authors’ goal, spammers and duplicated profiles have been detected to improve the product reputation results.

Findings

The effectiveness of this approach has been tested using a social media simulation. The obtained results show that this approach is efficient and more accurate compared to the classical solutions.

Originality/value

The key novelty is the gathering of spammer detection criteria with different weights and the profiles matching by providing the suitable matching methods that take into account the profile’s attributes types. Consequently, a different similarity measure was assigned for each of the considered four attributes types. These two steps can ensure that the results obtained from social media are actually supported by opinions extracted directly from the real physical consumers.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

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Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2015

Kimberly B. Rogers

The present research builds on three complementary theories to explore how social influence processes in interaction bring about opinion and sentiment change: expectation…

Abstract

Purpose

The present research builds on three complementary theories to explore how social influence processes in interaction bring about opinion and sentiment change: expectation states theory, affect control theory, and social influence network theory.

Methodology/approach

An experimental study is used to test intersections between the theories and assess how performance expectations, affective impressions of group members, and emergent perceptions of their influence work together to generate opinion and sentiment change.

Findings

Respondent opinions shifted in the direction of group leadersopinions, regardless of behavioral interchange patterns. Opinion change was greater when a third group member shared the leader’s opinion. Change in affective impressions was shaped by the group leader’s opinion, the assertiveness of their behavior, and the support of a third group member. The perceived influence composition of the group predicted opinion and sentiment change, above and beyond the effects of conditional manipulations. Features of the group interaction led to inferences about status characteristics that reinforced the influence order of the group.

Research implications

The chapter tests hypotheses from earlier work and explores status signals not yet tested as predictors of opinion change – behavioral interchange patterns and the degree of support for one’s ideas. In addition, it examines inferences about status characteristics following the group discussion, and influence effects on the prevailing definition of the situation.

Originality/value

This chapter contributes to recent integrative work that explores the relationship between performance expectations, affective impressions, and social influence. Synergistic processes forwarded by earlier research are tested, along with several newly proposed linkages.

Details

Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-076-0

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2021

Mohamad Saifudin Mohamad Saleh, Normalini Md Kassim and Naziru Alhaji Tukur

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between a sustainable university brand and the intention of international students to study at Universiti Sains Malaysia…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between a sustainable university brand and the intention of international students to study at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), one of Malaysia’s premier universities. Moreover, the study explored the moderating effect of opinion leaders on the intention of international students to study at USM.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey involving 391 international students was conducted using a self-assessment questionnaire, data from which were analysed using partial least squares structural equation modelling.

Findings

Empirical data show that USM’s sustainability brand had a positive impact on international students’ intention to study at the university, but opinion leaders had no significant sway in influencing this decision. This finding could be attributed to USM’s established reputation as a sustainable university, which helps cement its standing as the top choice for international students.

Research limitations/implications

This research only focussed on international students at one Malaysian university. Hence, the findings are not generalisable, in particular, to illuminate the experiences of students at non-Malaysian institutions, whose contexts are inevitably different than Malaysia’s.

Practical implications

This study offered a dimensional insight into the university management on the pivotal branding of sustainability as one of the important tools for attracting international students to study at the university. In light of the findings, it is suggested that universities magnify their efforts to support the sustainable agenda, to help create a sustainable university brand that adds value to the interests of stakeholders.

Originality/value

Universities are continuously faced with challenges in terms of branding. Besides, not many universities are branded as sustainable universities despite the high involvement in sustainability-focused activities. Research has scarcely focused on the influence of the “sustainable university brand” on the marketing effort of the university to international students. In studies where this topic was highlighted, they focused on the opinion leader as the moderating influence of the choice of university amongst international students.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Laurent Bertrandias and Ronald E. Goldsmith

To model the relationships between consumer need for uniqueness and attention to social comparison information with fashion opinion leadership and fashion opinion seeking.

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14082

Abstract

Purpose

To model the relationships between consumer need for uniqueness and attention to social comparison information with fashion opinion leadership and fashion opinion seeking.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 201 US undergraduate students were surveyed and standard scales were used to measure consumer need for uniqueness, attention to social comparison information, fashion opinion leadership, and fashion opinion seeking.

Findings

Both consumer need for uniqueness and attention to social comparison information were positively related to fashion opinion leadership. Attention to social comparison information was also positively related to fashion opinion seeking, but consumer need for uniqueness was negatively related to fashion opinion seeking.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to US consumers and the convenience sample. Other limitations include the specific measures used, and the cross‐sectional survey method prevents one from making causal statements. The effects of other, unmeasured variables could not be assessed.

Practical implications

Apparel marketers seeking to encourage opinion leaders to promote their lines of new clothing might devise appeals emphasizing the social significance of the new products and how they bestow uniqueness on their owners. Such appeals might be more effective than those not stressing these psychological motivations. Appeals to consumers more likely to seek than to give opinions might also stress the social significance of the clothing, but appeals to uniqueness might not be effective with these consumers. Perhaps a belongingness appeal would be more effective.

Originality/value

These psychological concepts have not been studied very much in the clothing/fashion product domain. They give new insights into the psychology of clothing opinion leaders and opinion seekers.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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