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Article
Publication date: 22 September 2020

Qingjuan Bu, Yongsheng Jin and Zhaohui Li

With the development of social networking service and WeMedia, virtual brand community has become a typical platform of value co-creation and customers have become a core…

Abstract

Purpose

With the development of social networking service and WeMedia, virtual brand community has become a typical platform of value co-creation and customers have become a core subject of value co-creation. The high proportion of negative members and even zombie members has become an obstacle to the sustainable development of many communities. Then, how to maintain and promote the sustainable development of virtual brand community? The purpose of this article is to examine how customers prefer community or brand.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper obtained data through an online questionnaire survey to test the proposed hypotheses of this study.

Findings

The findings of this study indicated that practical and social values not only promote customers to be loyal toward community but also drive customers to be loyal toward brand and their influence on community loyalty is greater than on brand loyalty, but entertainment value does not significantly affect community and brand loyalty. The effect of practical and social values on community loyalty is fully mediated by the effect of brand loyalty, and the effect of practical and social values on brand loyalty is fully mediated by the effect of community loyalty.

Originality/value

This research enriches the research study’s results of value co-creation theory and customer assets, thus providing a new perspective for research on customer loyalty.

Details

Journal of Contemporary Marketing Science, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2516-7480

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2007

Luis Casaló, Carlos Flavián and Miguel Guinalíu

The importance of virtual brand communities is growing day by day as a result of consumers increasingly using online tools to contact fellow consumers in order to get…

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10703

Abstract

Purpose

The importance of virtual brand communities is growing day by day as a result of consumers increasingly using online tools to contact fellow consumers in order to get information on which to base their decisions. For this reason, this work aims to explore some of the effects of participation in a virtual brand community on consumer behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper proposes the positive effects of participation in a virtual community on both consumer trust and loyalty to the product, brand or organisation around which the community is developed. In addition, it also proposes a positive effect of trust on consumer loyalty. After the validations of measurement scales, the hypotheses are contrasted through structural modelling.

Findings

The data, obtained through a web survey using members of several free software virtual communities, show that participation in the activities carried out in a virtual community may foster consumer trust and loyalty to the mutual interest of the community (the free software in this case). In addition, the study also found a positive and significant effect of consumer trust on loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

Data were collected thanks to a web survey using Spanish‐speaking subjects.

Practical implications

The high costs every company has to face in order to get new customers make it increasingly necessary to reinforce the ties established with customers. In this respect, this study has shown that managers may foster consumer trust and loyalty by developing virtual brand communities and promoting consumers' participation in them.

Originality/value

Most of the works that are focused on virtual communities have been conducted at the conceptual level. Thus, with the aim of moving on this topic, this study analyses empirically the effects of participation in a virtual brand community on consumer behaviour.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Carlos Flavián and Miguel Guinalíu

This paper aims to present the virtual community as a strategy that can increase the chance of success in the distribution of products over the internet.

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9272

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the virtual community as a strategy that can increase the chance of success in the distribution of products over the internet.

Design/methodology/approach

First, this paper describes the concept of a virtual community. Second, it analyzes how five well‐known companies are using virtual communities to back up the distribution of their products over the internet. Following the study of the various companies, the additional benefits arising from the use of virtual communities are explained and a series of recommendations for managing them.

Findings

Through the conceptual analysis of the virtual community and the descriptive study of five real cases of companies that use the virtual community in their online marketing strategies, this paper shows, among other things, how it is possible to attain greater brand awareness, more precise market segmentation and the highest degree of supply differentiation.

Research limitations/implications

Virtual community is a tool that can increase the chances of success in the marketing and distribution of products over the internet. Therefore, there are several lines of research that might be followed in the future. Foremost among these might be a study that gives rise to a quantitative assessment of the impact of virtual communities. A thorough assessment of the effect of virtual communities on various sectors will also be needed. Thus, the study of the virtual community as a knowledge management system in the corporate or educational fields would be particularly useful.

Practical implications

The case studies and the recent literature have enabled us to define various management recommendations, such as promoting self‐management of virtual communities, minimizing control or promoting specialization of their members.

Originality/value

This work thoroughly examines one of the phenomena that is reaping the most success on the internet and yet, paradoxically, has received the least attention from marketing researchers: virtual communities.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 6 August 2008

Maria Sicilia and Mariola Palazón

The purpose of this study is to provide a better understanding of the virtual communities' phenomenon.

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14388

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to provide a better understanding of the virtual communities' phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports a case study. It explains one of the most successful online strategies developed by a global brand, Coca‐Cola, in Spain.

Findings

This study has shown that a web site can act as a marketing tool to develop a group of loyal consumers around the brand. The strength of the Spanish strategy relies on the creation of a virtual community, which provides functional, social, and experiential values.

Originality/value

The paper analyses the evolution from off‐line communities to virtual communities. A uses and gratification approach is used to explain consumer participation in virtual communities. The paper offers some useful guidelines for the creation and maintenance of a virtual community.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Xema Pathak and Manisha Pathak-Shelat

By doing sentiment analysis of netnographic data, this study aims to explain the need to give special attention to negative sentiments expressed in virtual tribes, as they…

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2174

Abstract

Purpose

By doing sentiment analysis of netnographic data, this study aims to explain the need to give special attention to negative sentiments expressed in virtual tribes, as they play a significant role in translating the informational mode of conversation to the relational mode of conversation. The overall purpose is to aid brand managers in the process of brand co-creation by articulating brand communication targeted to specific audiences based on their shared passions and interests.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a mixed-methods approach. The primary data were collected from two virtual brand communities through qualitative net-based ethnographic methods. Semantria Excel plug-in was used to categorize the extracted consumer statements based on positive, neutral and negative sentiments.

Findings

Managing the negative interactions in the virtual communities and relationship development with members through non-commercial conversations should be the two main priorities for effective brand management. Sentiment analysis specifically helps to identify pain points and consumer sentiments at each stage of the shopper journey. The findings of the study endorse the importance of offering and supporting communities as a valid marketing.

Research limitations/implications

This paper shows how systematic attention to user interactions on virtual brand communities can be used for tribal marketing, which in turn will impact the intangible aspects of the business, such as increasing brand value and loyalty. By engaging the consumers, the social ties among the target audience can be nurtured and strengthened.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on decoding their behavior by unpeeling the consumer statements rather than tangible aspects of the business, such as sales of products or services. It contributes to development of a theoretical framework that outlines how the interactions in virtual brand communities can aid in formulating the functional and communicational strategies for a brand.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2006

Rong‐An Shang, Yu‐Chen Chen and Hsueh‐Jung Liao

To examine the effects of consumers' lurking and posting behaviors in virtual consumer communities on specific brand loyalty.

Downloads
17857

Abstract

Purpose

To examine the effects of consumers' lurking and posting behaviors in virtual consumer communities on specific brand loyalty.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of a virtual community of Apple computer users was conducted to test a model of involvement, participation, loyalty, trust, and attitudes toward the brand exist in messages within the community.

Findings

The causes and effects of lurking and posting differed. Lurking contributed to brand loyalty more than posting did, and the primary purpose of lurking was to look for information regarding product function/performance, instead of satisfying consumers' affective needs.

Research limitations/implications

As a result of the limitations in a computer mediated communication environment, virtual consumer communities should be perceived as an arena for weak‐tied strangers to communicate for word‐of‐mouth (WOM) behavior, rather than as a brand community.

Practical implications

Although negative messages in a community can hurt brand image, companies should encourage the establishment of communities about their products and encourage consumers to participate in them.

Originality/value

Although the importance of virtual communities has been recognized, few studies have been done to examine the business value of consumer communities. Based on perspectives of brand community and WOM behavior, this paper contributes to virtual community and marketing research by clarifying the effects of consumers' lurking and posting behaviors in a consumer community on brand loyalty.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 22 November 2018

Yang Zhao, Yawen Chen, Ruoxin Zhou and Yinping Ci

The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors influencing customers’ willingness to participate in virtual brand community’s value co-creation and help companies…

Downloads
1516

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors influencing customers’ willingness to participate in virtual brand community’s value co-creation and help companies better operating the virtual brand community.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on social cognitive theory and the features of the virtual brand community, this paper constructed a model of factors influencing customers’ willingness to participate in virtual brand community’s value co-creation. Then this paper quantitatively analyzed the mediating effect and the moderating effect.

Findings

The empirical analysis came to the following conclusions: first, in virtual brand communities, customers’ willingness to participate in value co-creation would be influenced by subject factors, environment factors, brand factors and perceived value factor. Second, customer involvement is an important moderator. The more involved the customer is, the more he/she will rely on the virtual brand community. Particularly, customer involvement has a positive moderating effect on the influence of subject factors, while it has a negative moderating effect on the influence of community experience and community trust. Third, perceived value plays a significant mediating role between subject factors and customers’ willingness to participate in value co-creation.

Practical implications

The results of this study can help companies better understand the influence of external factors like environment and brand so that they can better operate the virtual brand community and encourage customers to contribute to the development of the community and the brand.

Originality/value

Most of the existing studies focused on the formation of virtual brand communities and customers’ participation behaviors, but there is limited research focusing on what contributes to customers’ participation in value co-creation of virtual brand communities. This study, therefore, attempts to bridge the research gap.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Marcelo Royo‐Vela and Paolo Casamassima

This paper aims to explore some of the effects of belonging to a virtual brand community on consumer behaviour. It also proposes the concept of belonging as a…

Downloads
14539

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore some of the effects of belonging to a virtual brand community on consumer behaviour. It also proposes the concept of belonging as a three‐dimensional construct.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper proposes that belonging to a virtual community has positive effects on consumer satisfaction, affective commitment and word‐of‐mouth behaviour. After validation of the measurement scales the hypotheses are contrasted through modelling.

Findings

The data show that belonging to a virtual community may enhance consumer satisfaction, affective commitment and word‐of‐mouth advertising towards the brand around which the community is developed. In addition, the paper introduces a third dimension to the construct of belonging, called non‐participative belonging. Active participative belonging influences the level of satisfaction and affective commitment more positively than passive and non‐participative belonging.

Research limitations/implications

Data were obtained through surveys, web surveys and online interviews. There were also limitations of sample size and sampling procedure.

Practical implications

Managers may enhance consumer satisfaction, affective commitment and word‐of‐mouth advertising by developing virtual brand communities and promoting consumers' participation in them.

Originality/value

Previous works that have focused on virtual brand communities have never concentrated on virtual brand communities within Facebook. In addition, prior to this study, belonging to a virtual brand community was a two‐dimensional construct: active and passive participative belonging. The paper identifies a third dimension as non‐participative belonging. Thus this paper offers new areas for future research.

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2020

Longshan Chen, Leping Yuan and Zhangxiang Zhu

This paper aims to examine the motivation for consumer participation in value cocreation and its impact on value cocreation behavior within cultural and creative virtual

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the motivation for consumer participation in value cocreation and its impact on value cocreation behavior within cultural and creative virtual brand communities.

Design/methodology/approach

Through an in-depth analysis of the psychological needs of the users of short videos, the motivations for user participation in value cocreation are categorized based on the self-determination theory, and six theoretical models are proposed for the impacts of participation motivation on the different levels of value cocreation behavior. Our research hypotheses are validated by conducting a regression analysis based on the 277 valid responses collected.

Findings

Ranked from highest to lowest by the degree of impact, the motivational factors that have significant positive impacts on browsing behavior are altruistic motivation, information motivation, social motivation, and hedonic motivation. The motivational factors that have significant positive impacts on member interaction behavior are achievement motivation, hedonic motivation, social motivation, and brand identity, while the motivational factors that have significant positive impacts on content creation behavior are achievement motivation, altruistic motivation, information motivation, and social motivation.

Originality/value

This current paper enriches the research on the consumer’s value cocreation behavior in virtual brand communities and provides constructive relevant platform manager’s suggestions for increasing user participation.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2007

Jane Boyd Thomas, Cara Okleshen Peters and Holly Tolson

Virtual communities are increasing in popularity and changing the way apparel fashion information is learned and shared by consumers. According to Agins, consumers, as…

Downloads
5413

Abstract

Purpose

Virtual communities are increasing in popularity and changing the way apparel fashion information is learned and shared by consumers. According to Agins, consumers, as opposed to élite designers, are now dictating fashion trends and pinpointing the ideal places of distribution. The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the fashion‐related discussion which is taking place on perhaps the best known of these communities, MySpace.com. The three research questions driving this study include: “What are consumers saying about fashion within this particular virtual community?”; “What commonalities exist among the plethora of fashion‐related information available in this context?”; and “What kinds of insights can marketers draw from the categories of fashion‐related information being presented in MySpace.com?”

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis was selected as the method for investigation. Within the forum Fashion and Style, the subgroup FashionLOVERS was selected for investigation because it represented a general discussion of fashion. The first 200 forum topical areas with five or more posts were selected for analysis. A total of 6,623 individual posts were examined and each of the three authors independently reviewed the posts noting the general topical categories of content. Interrater reliability for the coders was computed.

Findings

Eight recurring categories of fashion related information were identified in the study. The four most popular discussion categories were personal style, brands and designers, tips and advice, and retailers. The prevalence of these four topics suggests that consumer driven marketing is a growing and influential component of fashion marketing.

Research limitations/implications

This study makes an important contribution to the study of virtual communities. Results provide insight into the complex, multi‐layered, interactive fashion‐related communication that occurs within virtual communities.

Practical implications

Fashion marketers and retailers are encountering an untapped resource with these virtual communities. Findings highlight the power of consumers in virtual communities and suggest a need for fashion marketers and retailers to closely monitor communication within virtual communities.

Originality/value

This research is particularly valuable because it provides insight into the popular virtual community, MySpace.com. Detailed investigation into types of fashion information that are shared with community members is presented and discussed.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

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