Brand Community And Manufacturer Loyalty Marketing Essay
Brand Community And Brand Loyalty Marketing Essay
The purpose of the literature assessment is to supply the readers an entire overview of previous studies and researches carried out on this area of study aswell as to distinguish gaps in the literature before showing evidences for why this research is important. Specifically, the next literature review is targeted to critically determine the concepts of brand loyalty, brand community, company fan pages and brand fan page participation. First of all, it will begins to review the concepts of company loyalty and ways to measure it. After that, it will explores the definitions of company community and the ways how brand communities have already been used to raise company loyalty. Next, the literature assessment will compares between brand fan pages and classic company communities before examining the antecedents of manufacturer community participation. Finally, the framework of this research will be is made predicated on the uses and gratification theory.
This chapter was created on the goal of providing readers a synopsis about previous research and researches associated with the area of (give your brand of research here)â€¦. together with determining the gaps in the literature before displaying evidences as reasons supporting the important purpose of my study. In particular, the next literature review critically focuses on assessing the ideas of four brands: loyalty, community, fan web pages, and fan site participation. On the blast of research, principles and measuring ways of company loyalty are examined earliest. Following is brand of community using its definitions together with the ways how this type has been used to raise the brand loyalty. Running after may be the comparison between brand enthusiast pages and traditional brand communities before talking about the antecedents of brand network participation. Finally, the framework of this research is established predicated on the uses and (gratification theory).
2.1 Brand loyalty
Oliver (1999, p. 34) defines manufacturer loyalty as:
A deeply held determination to rebuy or repatronise a recommended product/service consistently in the foreseeable future, thereby triggering repetitive same-brand or same brand-set getting, despite situational influences and advertising efforts getting the potential to trigger switching behavior.
This definition encompasses the two different aspects of company loyalty – behavioral and attitudinal – which have been illustrated in past research on the concept. Definitions of company loyalty vary noticeably among researchers. Some experts who focus on the behavioral aspect of the loyalty defined manufacturer loyalty as a sequence (repetition) or selection (order) of the same company in every cases of purchase (Brown, 1952), and as a percentage of total purchases of a particular brand in comparison to other competitor makes (Cunningham, 1956). On the other hand, some scholars who are worried with the attitudinal aspect of loyalty referred to manufacturer loyalty as ‘the level when a customer holds positive attitudes towards the brand, commitment and intention to repurchase this manufacturer in the potential’ (Mowen and Minor, 2001, p.210). Also, there is a description that included both the behavioral and the attitudinal concept. Relating to Jacoby and Kyner (1973, p.6), brand loyalty is the ‘biased behavioral response expressed as time passes by some decision-making models with respect to one or more alternative makes out of a couple of such brands and is a function of psychological (decision-making, evaluative) techniques’. The difference between these definitions displays changes in the concept of brand loyalty as time passes from the behavioral through the attitudinal to the blended concept.
Brand loyalty takes on a essential role in the success of a enterprise in current highly competitive business environments. Company loyalty is usually a prerequisite for a company’s competitiveness and profitability (Aaker, 1991, 1996; Reichheld, 1996). Also, brand loyalty might help companies to gain bigger market show when loyal buyers repeatedly purchase the same brand (Assael 1998), to reduce marketing costs, to get more new customers and also to obtain greater trade leverage (Aaker, 1991). More importantly, brand-loyal customers feel pleased to pay more for a manufacturer (Jacoby and Chestnut 1978; Reichheld 1996). Loyal buyers not only bring long-term income to a company but also remain with the company over time regardless if the supplier does not provide best price (Reichheld 2003). Additionally, brand loyal consumers also create great word-of-mouth marketing by frequently talking positively about the brand together with introduce it to their acquaintances (Anderson,1998; Dick and Basu, 1994). In this context, such faithful clients turn into a network of unpaid revenue persons and offer benefits for that brand. Since loyalty plays such a significant purpose in a firm’s success, many studies have focused on exploring ways to accurately measure it, which is certainly definitely a challenging task.
Based on the literature of company loyalty, there will be three main techniques experts have used for calculating it, including the behavioral, the attitudinal and the mixed approach. The original studies on brand loyalty followed the behavioral approach. Some researchers who chose this process (Brown, 1952; Cunning ham, 1956; Ehrenberg et al., 1990; Kahn et al., 1986) believed that repeat purchasing could measure the loyalty of a client towards the make of interest. The behavioral aspect of loyalty specializes in a measure of proportion of get of specific brand (Dick and Basu, 1994). However, it seems to be inaccurate to consider loyalty basically as a behavior because a customer may repeatedly acquire one brand without commitment to this brand. Quite simply, in this case it generally does not indicate that she/he is certainly devoted to the brand. For example, a client keeps on purchasing the same brand because of feeling indifferent, inertia, reduced amount of perceived risk, or comfort of not having to make a new choice, instead of being committed to the manufacturer (Bloemer and Kasper, 1995; Holland and Baker, 2001). Thus, it is very easy for such a customer to change her/his mind to buy another brand which offers better benefits for instance a greater package, a sale-off voucher or promotion gifts. This situation is thought as spurious manufacturer loyalty (Bloemer and Kasper, 1995) and the procedure that is based on repeat purchasing tendencies has been criticised to be too one-dimensional and unable to differentiate between authentic loyalty and spurious loyalty (Time 1969; Bloemer and Kasper, 1995; John and Shiang-Lih, 2001).
To get over the limitation of the behavioral methodology, researchers started to pay more focus on the attitudinal factor in studying company loyalty. Some researchers who followed the attitudinal methodology thought an attitudinal loyalty to brand was premise of real loyalty. The attitudinal loyalty to brand was preferable and continuing attitudes toward the manufacturer that purchased. For example, Guest (1964), who’s among pioneers in employing the attitudinal procedure, suggested the way of measuring loyalty through attitudinal loyalty by asking consumers to select only the company they prefer out of a set of makes. In the framework of the approach, experts examined the psychological dedication of customers in their purchase, without always taking the purchase behavior into account (e.g., Jacoby, 1971; Jarvis and Wilcox, 1976). However, like the behavioral procedure, the attitudinal approach to loyalty was also inadequate and narrow in scope to gauge the real brand loyalty. Therefore, researchers developed the built-in approach which takes into account both the behavioral and attitudinal styles. For instance, Day (1969) recommended a blend between customers’ frame of mind towards the company and their repeated ordering behavior to develop a composite index for loyalty. The attitudinal constituent that stated here refers to a strong internal disposition of consumer to continue purchasing the same company.
To date, most researchers admit that a mixture of the attitudinal and behavioral approach is the foremost way to measure the brand loyalty. This process measures the customer loyalty through item and brand choices, repurchase, the total purchased top quality, and changing the brand (Hunter, 1998; Pritchard and Howard, 1997). Thus, this method raises the predictive electricity for measuring manufacturer loyalty. The two-dimensional composite measurement approach has been employed as a highly effective tool to grasp brand loyalty in several fields, such as retailing, recreation and airlines (Working day, 1969; Jacoby and Kyner, 1973; Pritchard et al., 1992; Pritchard and Howard, 1997). This can be a more completed and appropriate way of understanding loyalty, and by firmly taking into account both the behavioural and attitudinal areas of loyalty, firms are more likely to find out why is a truly loyal client. According to Gremler (1995), both the attitudinal and behavioural measurements ought to be included whenever loyalty has been measured. In that sense, the researcher of this study consequently adopted the composite method of brand loyalty. Because of this study the brand loyalty was measured through the frame of mind, the commitment, the repurchase and the suggestion of customers toward a brand.
On the other palm, improving the loyalty of clients is as crucial as measuring it effectively. Keeping the customer satisfied and loyal a sufficient amount of to frequently buy just one brand has been a considerable concern with which firms have faced for some decades. The client relationship management and immediate advertising literatures indicates that on a regular basis contacting with customer can help firms increase consumer loyalty (Marko and Mika, 2004). In the same fashion, brand literature as well reveals that by deepening consumer-brand relationships marketers can boost brand loyalty (Aaker, 1996; Fournier, 1998; Kapferer, 1998; Keller, 1998). In keeping with this, relationship marketing targets attracting, maintaining, and enhancing long-term customer associations. Such long-term associations create a competitive benefits and strategic source for the business (Webster 1992). However, it isn’t always efficient to maintain one-on-one relationships with consumers since time spent developing the relationship can take away from time spent in fact serving the customer (Gruen and Ferguson 1994; Iacobucci 1994). To cope with this issue, companies employ manufacturer communities to connect and connect to their customers and therefore remain their loyalty to the company. Since brand communities can perform important functions on behalf of the brand such as sharing information, perpetuating the history and tradition of the company and providing assistance, they offer social structure to the partnership between marketer and client (Muniz and O’guinn, 2001). In addition they add that by exerting pressure on participants, communities can preserve and raise the customers’ loyalty to the brand. The literature of brand community in addition to the link between brand network and manufacturer loyalty will become studied in the next section.
2.2 Brand community and brand loyalty
A brand community is a particular, non-geographically bound community, based on a structured group of social human relationships among admirers of a brand (Muniz and O’guinn, 2001, p.412).
Since the last decade, brand community has been a central subject of branding exploration, and marketers have significantly focused on setting up, managing, and maintaining company communities (Muniz and O’Guinn 2001; McAlexander et al., 2002). The definition of brand network has considerably varied over time. Rheingold (1993) defines it as a group of people who have longtime interactions with wealthy individual affection, which is certainly mediated by computers online. Differently, Cova and Rate (2006) define a manufacturer community as any group of individuals that possess a common curiosity in a specific company and generate a parallel sociable universe rife using its own myths, ideals, rituals, vocabulary and hierarchy. Regardless of the difference between the definitions, it really is believed there are stable relationships within company community. Primarily, some scholars who centered on studying manufacturer loyalty argued that there is merely the customer-brand romance within manufacturer communities (Gardner and Levy 1955; Aaker 1996; Aaker 1997). This argument is probable limited because it will not take into account the relationship between brand community’s members. From then on, the topic was even more extensively studied, and Muniz and O’Guinn (2001) disclosed that we now have two crucial relationships in a brand community: the relationships between your customers and the company and between community’s members. However, their declaration is inadequate because it does not encompass the business and the product.
Subsequently, McAlexander et al. (2002) added two additional relationships, including the relationship between your customer and the organization and the relationship between the product and the customer.
Based on those results, brand communities have increasingly been used as an effective approach to build and foster such consumer-brand relationships. A company community can provide a useful venue for consumers to share brand experience and details, to solve problems and to meet peer customers and provider representatives (McWilliam, 2000). Consequently, brand communities bring wonderful benefits for companies. For example, building brand communities can help companies not merely nurture company champions and ‘super users’ but also reduce support costs through customer-to-customer alternative for product issues (Noble et al., 2012, Bagozzi and Dholakia, 2006). Moreover, brand communities can allow companies to improve their relationship-marketing conversation since manufacturer communities are viewed as yet another communication channel that is used for establishing linkages to devoted users (McAlexander et al., 2002; Adersen, 2005). Hence, brand community could be utilised to support marketers in setting up and maintaining the manufacturer loyalty of customers.
A number of past studies on brand community reveal that brand network has a positive influence on brand loyalty. Relating to Muniz and O’Guinn (2001), brand communities directly affect all four of these components of brand collateral, namely perceived quality, manufacturer loyalty, brand consciousness, and brand associations (Aaker, 1991). A solid brand community can lead to a socially embedded and entrenched loyalty, brand determination (Jacoby and Chestnut 1978; Keller 1998), and possibly hyper-loyalty (McAlexander and Schouten 1998). Furthermore, Kim et al (2008) demonstrate that there surely is a link between online community commitment and brand commitment. Their research likewise discovers that users of a brand network had more powerful brand commitment than customers who aren’t members of the company community. In the context of consumer-brand relationship, community commitment indicates members’ attitude toward the city. In this regard, associates expose their community determination through actual behaviors locally, such as taking part in community activities, providing help to the city and solving problems for others (Won-Moo et al, 2011). On the other hand, analyses on the mediating role of community dedication have examined that construct positively effect on company loyalty (Jang et al., 2008; Fuller et al., 2007). According to
Algesheimer et al. (2005), brand community associates who are focused on the brand network perceive brand extra positively and clearly, plus they also show more powerful attachment to brand marriage quality. Therefore, it really is concluded that there is a positive link between brand community commitment and company loyalty.
2.3 Brand admirer pages and traditional online brand communities
Brand fan internet pages are seen as a special kind of brand community because they are designed and organised around an individual brand, product or organization (De Vries et al. 2012). Brand fan web pages are one of offerings that are unveiled by Facebook for corporations as a way to contact and communicate with their customers. Facebook may be the most popular social networking site with more than 873 billion active people (Facebook statistic, 2012). Social media sites are thought as ‘web-based solutions that allow individuals to construct a general public or semi-public account within a bounded system, articulate a set of various other users with whom they talk about a connection, and look at and traverse their list of connections and those created by others within the system’ (Boyd and Ellison, 2007, p.211). Among prominent property of social networking blog is that it enables its users to create information about themselves, post links of websites or pictures they like, touch upon postings of their friends, and agree to invitations for occurrences. These users also can receive invitations to become fans of particular brands, organizations, or celebrities (Raacke and Bonds-Raacke, 2008).
Since brand fan page is a special category of social networking sites, it possessed all such features. Furthermore, brand fan page has its distinguishing attributes. One distinctive feature of Facebook brand fan page is definitely that it belongs to a manufacturer or a company rather than individuals, and the goal of operating a brand admirer page is to help companies to establish and build-up the brand-customer marriage with their customers. As a result, brand fan page can be an open social media site which allows each enthusiast to actively connect to both the company and additional peers. The other exceptional feature of brand admirer page may be the ability to connect with followers’ Facebook profiles. To be fans of a brand fan site, a Facebook user must press the “like-button” on the page, which implies that he/she likes this company. Subsequently, this inclination is added to the user’s profiles, and any new content of the brand will automatically look on the user’s personal Facebook media feed. Accordingly, with this function brand fan page is considered as a fantastic vehicle for fostering associations with buyers (De Vries, Gensler and Leeflang, 2012).
Although brand fan pages and traditional online company communities (community forums, bulletin boards) are very similar and are oftentimes used interchangeably, there are differences between your two types. One of many critical distinctions is that fan pages are embedded in an organic grown and not brand-related network of public internet site ties (Benedikt and Werner, 2012). Hence, associates of a fan site can hook up to other persons called “friends” who are not fans of the brand within the social networking site (Boyd and Ellison, 2007). This function enables these good friends to update almost all their friends’ activities on brand fan pages, plus they can also comment on some topics or post something on the wall structure of internet pages although they aren’t fans of these brand fan webpages, whereas other categories of traditional brand communities do not have this property or home. Furthermore, in a classical brand community, most activities quite often focus on the brand, and the community is ‘based on a organized set of social associations among admirers of a manufacturer’ (Muniz and O’Guinn, 2001, p.412). As opposed to this, a brand supporter page gives more concern to a connection between customers and the brand and actions include both brand-related and non-brand-related topics. Consequently, fan-page use and engagement determination might differ from traditional brand communities.
2.4 Brand lover page participation
One of the most crucial purposes of developing a brand fan site is to develop a setting which makes consumers committed and willing to participate in interaction with both the brand and peers. Customers’ participation in a digital brand community can be regarded as an integral to warrant the success of the community (Casaló, Flavián and Guinalíu, 2007), a principal issue for the development and sustainability of the community (Luis, Carlos and Miguel, 2007). Accordingly, exploring antecedents and effects of consumers’ participation in digital company communities has been one of central matters of brand community analysis (Mathwick, 2002; Luis, Carlos and Miguel, 2007). In organizational context, participation is certainly defined as an activity getting involved in or adding to events, in fact it is measured by specific behaviors, activities and assignments (Barki and Hartwick, 1994; Vroom and Jago, 1988). In a virtual brand network, participation identifies posting messages, reading text messages posted by others and engaging in dialogue with others by answering messages published by others (Mathwick, 2002; Nonnecke, Andrews, & Preece, 2006). These activities increase group cohesion because associates can share info and experiences relevant to the brand around that your community is created (Luis, Carlos and Miguel, 2007). Once a consumer has the higher level of participation in a digital community, they tends to share knowledge, disseminate concepts and create emotional works with for other users (Koh and Kim, 2004). Algesheimeret al (2005) as well state that the participation may improve the members’ identification with the community and therefore improve the value of the city. Besides, participants’ participation in the digital community is considered as a significant element to guarantee the community’s survival in the long term (Koh and Kim, 2004).
As for antecedents of participation, to be able to increase the degree of participation of customers in the virtual manufacturer community, it is recommended that trust and fulfillment must be created locally. Casaló, Flavián and Guinalíu (2007) concur that trust in a virtual community has a positive and significant influence on users’ participation in the digital community activities. Besides, companies also must satisfy some of consumers’ must promote consumer participation in virtual communities (Luis, Carlos and Miguel, 2007). Furthermore, the result of previous interactions between customers and the brand as well affect the amount of participation. Ridings et al (2002) argue that a key factor that affects significantly on people’ participation is normally perceived responsiveness in the community. If a member posts some messages and there is absolutely no response, consequently the level of participation of the member will go down (Luis, Carlos, and Miguel, 2007). Alternatively, some researchers remember that the content of posts in manufacturer communities includes a huge impact on the participation of people. For example, Holland and Baker (2001) emphasize that to make sure customers’ involvement brand communities must provide relevant and valuable content and create adequate depth and breadth. As can be seen from previous research, it is clear that there are many various elements that significantly have an impact on the participation of people to an network. However, their findings are insufficient and unconvincing because they’re struggling to encompass all feasible motives of members systematically.
In terms of outcomes of participation, there are a variety of previous studies prove that participation in a company community may increase buyers’ loyalty to the company (Andersen, 2005; Algesheimeret al., 2005; Muniz and O’Guinn, 2001). Some researchers have found that there is a positive link between your level of participation in a manufacturer community and the intention to purchase and utilize the brand products later on. For example, in study on a Jeep network, McAlexander et al. (2002) discover that members who regularly participate in events of the city have the higher level of intention to buy the product in future than others. With a report on free computer software (FS) virtual communities, Luis, Carlos, and Miguel (2007) as well demonstrate that consumer loyalty to the FS goods is straight and positively afflicted by the amount of participation in a FS digital community. Also, Algesheimer et al (2005) illustrate that once clients actively take part in a brand network, their determination, identification and psychological ties with company are improved. These linkages likely arise from the interaction with other community associates through discussion about issues related to the brand. Thus, it really is concluded that there exists a positive linkage between substantial participation and high loyalty.
In the context of company fan pages, because it is only one of additional capabilities of Facebook that has been introduced to companies for just two years, there are few analyses on brand fan web pages, particularly in marketing factors. One of early studies in this field is a work of Cvijikj, Spiegler and Michahelles (2011) that investigates the partnership between posts and the degrees of interaction of members based on the info collected from 14 manufacturer fan webpages. By analysing the consequences of moderator post characteristics, such as post type, category and publishing day, on an individual interaction in terms of number of remarks and likes and interaction duration, they reveal that there surely is a significant aftereffect of the post type and category on amount of likes and responses as well as on interaction length. They demonstrate that several types of moderator posts, types and posting weekdays cause different levels of member’s interaction. Nevertheless, their research has two main limitations. First of all, although they unveil the relationship between types of posts and interaction of members, it could not really identify which category attracts member most. Second, the amount of interaction of each category in their study is determined based on the number of likes, comments
and time of interaction. This may lead to inaccurate conclusions for the reason that number of comments can be influenced by the content of comments that people create. For example, if one member articles some initial controversial comments for a particular topic, this will create a higher number of responses.
Another research that has the same way is a study of De Vries, Gensler and Leeflang (2012). The research is based on analysing 355 brand posts from 11 international makes spread across six merchandise categories to identify possible drivers for company post popularity. The findings of the study indicate that the position of a brand post may escalate its acceptance. For instance, these posts that are located near the top of the wall structure of a brand lover page seem to attain more likes and feedback than at different positions. They indentify three primary drivers that effect on the number of likes and the amount of comments. Different motorists have diverse impacts on the number of likes and the amount of remarks. They conclude that the amount of likes can be enhanced through the use of vivid and interactive manufacturer post characteristics in addition to sharing positive feedback on a brand content while the number of comments could be escalated by the interactive manufacturer post feature and the shares of both positive and negative comments. Although their study unveils some determinants of manufacturer post popularity as a way to recommend marketers methods to improve the participation of users, these results are inadequate due to their approach of conducting the research. Given that they determine key drivers of the participation of users based on counting the number of likes and the number of comments on each manufacturer post characteristic, it is unconvincing and limited for the reason that results depend significantly on the amount of brand post qualities that marketers often use to post on their brand fan pages. For example, posting a quiz can boost the participation of users, but the marketers do not recognise its important roles plus they therefore do not utilize it. Consequently, this factor cannot be taken into the research if researchers use the above methodology. De Vries, Gensler and Leeflang (2012) as well admitted that they excluded a few variables such as quizzes and occurrences from the analyses because makes didn’t of post them.
As is seen from two above analyses, analysing the quantity of likes and remarks of brand posts to determine key drivers of the participation of participants is bound. Therefore, the studies cannot include all conceivable determinants that improve the participation in addition to identify elements that motivate users to participate in a brand fan web page. To get over these weaknesses, a fresh approach is made for this research to investigate main motorists of the participation of customers together with examine outcomes of excessive participation on brand supporter pages. First of all, the researcher will establish a theoretical framework by reviewing literature and constructing hypotheses. From then on, these hypotheses will get tested through analysing info that will be collected by conducting a study in which brand fans will answer a questionnaire. Within the next section, the theoretical framework of the study will be introduced.
2.5 The theoretical framework
After reviewing literature, the researcher proven a theoretical framework. The essential idea of the framework is that people participate right into a brand fan web page to satisfy their particular needs, if the brand fan web page fulfils their necessities adequately, their participation will increase. After the participation of people is enhanced remarkably, it results in great brand loyalty. As a way to identify key motorists of the participation of associates on a brand admirer page, the researcher considered causes that motivate persons to enjoin into the brand fan page based on the uses and gratification (U&G) theory, presented by Katz (1959). U&G theory attempts to explain why persons have different media-usage patterns. Relating to U&G theory, individuals utilise press to fulfill various needs and to reach their goals. Various scholars who have used this theory confirm that it is useful for application to new media like the internet, online communities, social media, and sites (Raacke and Bonds-Raacke, 2008; Sheldon, 2008; Ko et al., 2005; Ruggiero, 2000). In general, essential needs of participants can be classified into two key areas, including a content-oriented area predicated on the information provided by the press and a relationship-oriented location based on social interaction with others. In the content region, the researcher distinguishes between the functional and hedonic ideals that are created by brand fan pages. Similarly, in the relationship area, the researcher likewise differentiates two important types of interaction, namely the interaction with other users, and the interaction with the manufacturer or company behind the brand.
2.5.1 Functional values
Functional values refer to purposeful and rational values produced from completing pre-determined tasks, such as for example buying a product, solving a problem, or obtaining and rendering information utilising the web (Dholakia et al., 2004). Among main purposes of network members when they access to the internet is to get functional benefits. These benefits may include advice, information and experience for learning. Researchers state that members participate in social network for exchanging info and other resources what exactly are aggregated in the web community (Hagel and Armstrong, 1997; Preece, 2000; Maria and Mariola, 2008). Virtual communities allow users to provide and receive information on matters they may be thinking about. This exchange of information can allow all network members to access to a greater amount of essential data needed to make decisions. Sangwan (2005) identifies three key motorists for virtual community use, including functional, emotive and contextual desires. He as well emphasise that the most significant motivation relates to the info acquisition and more for browsing for entertainment. Dholakia et al. (2004) also argue that informational value is among benefits that members want to achieve from getting and sharing data in the virtual network. For example, members of a digital community may obtain understanding of the attributes of a particular product or technology, or gain up-to-date data. Tonteri et al.,(2011) show that participation in a virtual community is significantly driven by the expectation of useful benefits, which in this case means obtaining knowledge on business- and economics-related issues. Based on this the researcher propose the following:
Hypothesis 1: There is a positive relationship between useful value and fan page participation.
2.5.2 Hedonic values
Hedonic ideals indicate to thoughts of amusement, rest and refreshment that can be made in accessing to a virtual network (Tonteri et al., 2011). When signing up for into an on the net brand community, people have opportunities not only for informational search also for enjoyable experience. Previous U&G analyses on traditional and brand-new media have identified two principal motives for press consumption, namely information looking for and entertainment (Rafaeli, 1986; Korgaonkar and Wolin, 1999; McQuail, 2000). Some researchers also discover that many users use the Internet for enjoyment and leisure through random browsing and browsing (Ko, Cho, and Roberts, 2005; Sheehan, 2002). For social network sites, folks are motivated to use social network websites if they see them enjoyable, searching for hedonic values is, accordingly, regarded as a very important reason for users’ participation lab abstract. Social network websites frequently have rich entertainment contents such as Youtube, Facebook molar mass of sugar and Twister, so users can buy great enjoyment when working with them. Based on a study employing utilitarian and hedonic goal frameworks, Shin (2007) illustrate that perceived satisfaction as a hedonic purpose powerfully impacts on over the internet use for entertainment reasons. Therefore, it usually is hypothesized that:
Hypothesis 2: There exists a positive relationship between hedonic worth and fan site participation.
2.5.3 Social conversation values
Social values make reference to social benefits produced from establishing and maintaining interaction with various other users (Dholakia et al., 2004). People may participate right into a brand fan page as a way to establish and maintain contact with other members such as public support, friendship and intimacy. Several previous studies demonstrate that many participants join some online communities principally to dissipate their loneliness, match like-minded others and receive companionship and cultural support (McKenna and Bargh, 1999; Ellison et al., 2007; Dholakia et al., 2009). Some users participate into virtual communities largely to answer others’ problems also to provide information for recognition by other users. Tonteri et al. (2011) confirm that the participation of customers into a virtual community is largely driven by the anticipation of social interaction values. Also, Shao (2009) demonstrates that there is a positive linkage between your participation of users and social-integrative great things about an online brand community. Regarding the online networks, they can offer instant posting and messaging features that let users to connect and interact with their friends or other members from unique geographical locations, so they can satisfy users’ social interaction needs.
Hypothesis 3: There is a positive relationship between interpersonal interaction value and fan page participation.
2.5.4 Brand conversation values
In the context of manufacturer fan pages, brand conversation refers to the communication between customers and the company or a provider behind the brand. The existence and development of a virtual community is directly predicated on postings and their responses by both community’s customers and the company (Ridings et al., 2002). They also add that once a end user posts a message, the speed and frequency of response is viewed as key elements of the communication locally since they permit the creation of conversation. Nevertheless, responses should be valuable for the user to ensure that the communication should be effective. If there is no response or responses happen to be valueless, the user will never be motivated to participate in that virtual community (Casaló, 2008). Third , factor, the researcher proposes the hypothesis:
Hypothesis 4: You will find a positive relationship between company interaction value and fan page participation.
2.5.5 The relationship between participation and manufacturer loyalty
A number of earlier studies concur that participation in a company community immediately support for the development of the partnership between the brand and its own customers (Andersen, 2005; McAlexanderet al.; 2002). Also, some scholars argue that since a principal final result of participation in manufacturer communities may be the intention to buy and use goods of the brand later on (Algesheimeret al., 2005), the participation may foster customers’ loyalty to the manufacturer (Muniz and O’Guinn, 2001; Benyoussefet al., 2006). On top of that, Algesheimer et al. (2005) demonstrate that consumers’ identification and emotional ties with a company will enhance if they actively take part in a brand network. The interaction with both the brand and other users based on topics related to that manufacturer creates these mental ties. Predicated on these considerations, the researcher proposes the hypothesis:
Hypothesis 5: There exists a positive relationship between fan page participation and manufacturer loyalty.
2.6 Summary and research questions
Due to the significantly competitive business environment, establishing and retaining client loyalty play a vital role in marketing approaches. There have been some types of on the net brand communities that are being used to escalate the relationship between businesses and their consumers, including community forums, bulletin boards and websites. However, these systems own low interactive features that limit the conversation between firms and clients. With the tremendous upsurge in the quantity of users as well as its high interactive properties, Facebook has been turn into a powerful platform for romantic relationship marketing. Particularly, brand lover page, one of Facebook marketing equipment, has substantially contributed to developing company and improving customer loyalty. Hence, companies have committed to brand fan internet pages to build their brand image and to connect to their customers more closely.
As for brand loyalty, it’s been a central issue of marketing study for few years and there are a variety of diverse definitions of brand loyalty. To measure company loyalty, researchers often use three main methods, namely the behavioral, the attitudinal and the combined approach. Many companies have already been used company communities as an
effective channel to maintain and enhance clients’ loyalty since some prior studies discover that a solid brand community has a positive effect on customers’ loyalty (Jacoby and Chestnut 1978; Keller 1998; McAlexander and Schouten 1998; Kim et al., 2008). Extra particularly, some scholars have discovered that the amount of participation of participants of a brand community positively influences on their loyalty to the company (Andersen, 2005; Algesheimeret al., 2005; Muniz and O’Guinn, 2001). Therefore, it is figured high loyalty can be an outcome of the huge participation of members. In regards to to antecedents of the participation of members, different experts have found numerous motives that urge persons actively to join a brand community. While Casaló et al. (2007) assume that rely upon a virtual brand community has a positive effect on users’ participation, Luis et al., (2007) declare that the amount of the satisfaction of customers with the brand is certainly a principal driver. Additionally, Holland and Baker (2001) inform that relevant and worth content is among main determinants of the participation. However, their results are unconvincing and inadequate because they’re unable to encompass all feasible motives of members systematically. Hence, it really is inappropriate to look at these findings for the study. Eventually, the researcher utilized the uses and gratification (U&G) theory, released by Katz (1959) to determine four key motorists of the participation and then constructed five hypotheses.
2.6.2 Gaps identified
Brand fan page is recognized as a new category of brand community, so that it has been applied as an effective and efficient instrument for building customer-brand romance. Compared to traditional brand community, brand fan pages’ houses are more interactive than other channels given that they connect right to users’ Facebook profile. Accordingly, in marketing conversation today brand fan pages have been a powerful and efficient channel for businesses. Nevertheless, empirical research on fan pages and its position for the customer-brand marriage is limited due to its recent advance in the social conversation aspect. There are just two main analyses on brand fan internet pages in relationship marketing facet. Among early studies is a work of Cvijikj et al. (2011) that examines the relationship between posts and the levels of interaction of members predicated on counting the quantity of likes and comments of each kind of postings. Although they point out that various kinds of moderator posts, categories and publishing weekdays cause different levels of member’s interaction, their study is bound because it could not examine which category attracts member most and also identify key motorists of the participation of people.
Similarly, De Vries et al. (2012) determine practical main drivers for manufacturer post popularity based on counting the quantity of likes and remarks. They identify three key drivers that substantially influence the recognition of brand articles, namely the level of vivid characteristics, the level of interactive features and the shares of confident comments. These research have only centered on classifying all sorts of postings and analyzing the popularity of each type regarding to its quantity of likes and feedback. This approach only helps researchers to identify which kind of postings attracts buyers most, but it could not explain why a particular type is more appealing than others and what key motives of consumers are. Thus, it is necessary to employ a new way for investigating the key drivers of the participation of customers into a brand fan page.
In order to answer these above concerns, this research use a fresh approach that specializes in needs of individuals rather than types of postings. The researcher will adopt the uses and gratification (U&G) theory, released by Katz (1959), to identify principal motives of consumers that prompt them to participate in a brand fan site and establish hypotheses. On top of that, Vietnam is viewed as an emerging industry with a tremendous increase in the number of Facebook users each year, and brand fan web pages have already been used nationwide as an efficient marketing channel for two years. However, there is absolutely no research upon this topic in Vietnam, so it is meaningful to execute this research to evaluate the effect of brand fan internet pages on customer loyalty and find out key drivers of company fan web page participation. This research will provide insights in brand fan pages and recommend feasible recommendations to marketers in Vietnam to greatly help them to employ their brand fan web pages more effectively and efficiently.
2.6.3 Research Objectives
The target of this research was to acquire an in-depth understanding of the role of brand fan pages in accumulating customers’ loyalty in addition to main factors that induce users to participate into manufacturer fan pages. Considering the previous research conducted in this specific area of study, the key objectives of this research were:
To examine the fan-page participation and manufacturer loyalty and assess the relationship between the two.
To investigate main elements that influence fan-page participation and assess the relationship between each factor and fan-page participation
2.6.4 Research Questions
Based on the past literature and the designed objectives for this study, the next research inquiries were explored:
Is there a romantic relationship between fan-webpage participation and brand loyalty?
What are main motorists that have an effect on the fan-page participation?
How do drivers affect the fan-site participation?
Based on the prior studies and literature, hypotheses were investigated:
H1: You will find a positive relationship between functional value and fan webpage participation.
H2: There is a positive romantic relationship between hedonic value and fan web page participation.
H3: There is a positive relationship between sociable interaction value and enthusiast page participation.
H4: You will find a positive relationship between company interaction value and admirer page participation.
H5: There exists a positive relationship between enthusiast page participation and brand loyalty.
Chapter 3: Methodology
This chapter is geared to justify the decision of the methodology that your researcher has adopted in this study to answer the research questions and to meet up with the research objectives.
3.1 Research Philosophy
The methodology of this research is based on research “onion” model produced by Saunders et al. (2009).
Identifying the research philosophy is among the main initial methods in doing research for the reason that research philosophy contains necessary assumptions about what sort of researcher view the environment. These assumptions will support for the study strategy and methods that are picked for the research (Saunders et al. 2009; Johnson and Clark, 2006). Relating to Saunders et al. (2009), there will be four main exploration philosophies in management analysis, incorporating Realism, Interpretivism, Pragmatism and Positivism. The research philosophy used for this analysis was positivism. The philosophy of Positivism advocates dealing with an observable social certainty. It underlines an extremely structured methodology to help replications (Saunders et al., 2009). Additionally, Positivism is the approach in which, “the only meaningful phenomena that could be studied scientifically are those that can be directly noticed and measured quantitatively” (Coolican, 2004, pg.47). Burrell and Morgan (1979) define Positivism as an epistemology “which seeks to describe and predict what goes on in the social universe by looking for regularities and causal interactions between its constituent elements” (Burrell and Morgan, 1979 cited in Goles and Hirschheim, 2000). This exploration was targeted to search for causal relationships between key drivers, the fan-web page participation and brand loyalty so the philosophy of Positivism was a proper choice because of this research.
According to many experts, there are two of the most significant characteristics of Positivism. Initially, Positivism involves only straight observable phenomena that is excluded any mention of the intangible or subjective points. Second, Positivism is concerned with the screening of theories in a “hypothetico-deductive” vogue by examining the facts of a readily observable external globe (Keat and Urry,1975; Giddens,1979; Gill and Johnson, 2002). The hypotheses of a theory are often produced from existing theories before they happen to be tested through the collection info and analysis of effects. The objective of the testing is to confirm, in whole or component, or refute the hypotheses in order that the further advancement of theory will come to be inferred and will be approved by further research (Saunders et al. 2009). Predicated on the reviewing and analysing existing theories, this study formulated hypotheses and examined these hypotheses so as to develop previous study and increase our understanding of the phenomena.
3.2 Research Approach
This analysis adopted deductive methodology. The deductive strategy involves the advancement of a theory and hypotheses that are subsequently analyzed through collecting and analysing data (Saunders et al. 2009; Partington, 2002). The deductive approach is normally attached to Positivism while the inductive approach is mounted on Interpretivism (Saunders et al, 2009). So as to help researchers to select a proper research approach, Creswell (2002) highlights some practical conditions. If a topic has a wealth of literature that researchers can set up a theoretical framework and a hypothesis, the deductive approach should be used. Conversely, if a topic is new, has very much debate and has little existing literature, it really is more appropriate to utilize the inductive approach (Creswell 2002, Remenyi et al. 1998, Saunders et al. 2009). Also, Saunders et al (2009) state that the inductive approach is normally used when the info is limited to gain access to or existing understanding of the topic is insufficient. On the other hand, Saunders et al. (2009) also identify a number of important characteristics of deduction. First of all, this approach is employed for explaining causal associations between variables. Second, the concepts are operationalised in a way that allows facts to come to be measured quantitatively. Finally, problems as a whole are divided into the simplest possible factors to be better understood.
This research aims to investigate relationships between main drivers of fan-page participation, fan-webpage participation and company loyalty; and the prevailing theories and early analysis on the topic are sufficient to build up the hypotheses to answer the research questions. Therefore, the deductive strategy was adopted because of this study.
One of significant benefits of the deductive methodology is that it allows experts to anticipate the phenomena, to predict the occurrence and therefore to control all of them (Collis and Hussey 2003). According to Robson (2002), deductive research will pass through five consecutive stages:
Formulating a hypothesis from earlier theories;
Presenting the hypothesis in the manner which proposes a marriage between two variables;
Testing this hypothesis;
Analysing the outcomes of the hypothesis tests so as to support or suggest change to existing theory;
If required, modifying the theory in accordance with findings.
This review applied the above process to check its hypotheses and examine romantic relationships. The way in which the hypotheses had been deduced, analyzed and analysed was subsequently outlined.
3.3 Research Purpose
The purpose of research is considered as a useful guideline for researchers in formulating research questions and research goals in initial stages to do research. It is inevitable for researchers to start to think about the purpose of research before considering research problems (Saunders et al, 2009). The research purpose provides three types, namely exploratory, descriptive and explanatory. Explanatory studies are concerned with establishing causal relationships between variables predicated on examining and analysing a trouble (ibid.). This exploration seeks to determine relationships between the variables being investigated and for that reason can be considered an explanatory study. The main purpose of explanatory research is to clarify the interactions between variables (Saunders et al, 2009).
3.4 Research Design
Research design is an over-all plan of what sort of researcher will do so that you can address research questions. At this stage, there are two key approaches that experts can employ for his or her study – quantitative and qualitative study. The quantitative research specializes in numeric data, whereas the qualitative study focuses on non-numeric info (Saunders et al, 2009). The questionnaire strategy is predominantly employed for quantitative study whilst the interview strategy is connected with qualitative analysis (Johnson and Harris, 2002; Gill and Johnson, 2002; Jackson, 2009). Quantitative research, which is closely connected with the positivist research approach, investigates the human relationships between variables through analysing the info of large samples (Creswell, 2009; Gray, 2009). Subsequently, the quantitative research can
help researchers to test the hypotheses and examine relationships between variables (Gray, 2009; Saunders et al, 2009).
Based on considering all of the qualities of the quantitative study, the researcher decided to adopt the quantitative approach because of this study since not merely does it let answering the research questions and obtaining analysis objectives, but also it offers many benefits. It ensures reliability through efficient and valid measurement, control through approach to sampling and research design and style, in addition, it allows sophisticated analyses, in fact it is in a position to be replicated easily (Burns 2000). Also, Johnson and Harris (2002) have the same check out, and they highlight that the quantitative exploration is an efficient opportinity for analysis of large amounts of data in fact it is also a great way to test hypotheses. Consequently, with the variables becoming investigated and the objectives at hand, a quantitative approach may be the most appropriate choice.
3.5 Data Collection
This research used most important data. Primary data is defined by Hox and Boeije (2005) as information that is collected using processes that may effectively answer particular study issues. Primary data is not changed or changed by experts, whereas secondary data has already been manipulated by investigators. Hence, primary data is more reliable, authentic and objective than secondary data. As a way to collect the primary data because of this research, survey strategy was adopted because of its advantages. First, this strategy allows the data could be quantitatively accumulated and analysed through descriptive and inferential statistics so that the data can be utilized to propose factors behind particular romantic relationships between variables also to depict types of these associations (Saunders et al, 2009). Second, surveys are believed as a cost-effective and easy approach used for collecting a huge amount of data from a sizeable human population (Gill and Johnson, 2002; Jackson, 2009). Finally, the survey strategy is viewed as authoritative by people generally speaking and is both fairly easy to explain and also to figure out (Saunders et al, 2009; Jackson, 2009).
Primary data can be gathered through observation, interviews or questionnaires (Saunders et al, 2009). This study used the questionnaire approach because it offered a competent and effective way of gathering responses from a sizable sample before quantitative examination. This technique necessitates each respondent to remedy the similar group of questions, so it permits studies to be conducted broadly with a huge number of participants (ibid.). With applying standardised questions, questionnaires enable all respondents to interpret the queries just as (Robson 2002). Furthermore, if questionnaires are worded accurately, they require less skill and sensitivity to regulate than observation and interviews (Jankowicz 2005).
3.5.1 Sampling Population
This research is targeted to analyse the variables of motorists of fan-page participation, fan-webpage participation and customer-manufacturer loyalty in the advertising environment of Vietnam. Hence, the population was Vietnamese men and women who are supporters of Facebook brand enthusiast pages.
3.5.2 Sampling Method
This research employed convenience sampling technique to select a sample. Convenience sampling, known as accidental or haphazard sampling, is a non-probability strategy in which participants are selected predicated on accessibility (Tharenou et al, 2007; Saunders et al, 2009). Since in some cases it is infeasible to add the complete population, convenience sampling can often be used and is one of the most frequent techniques. This technique is quick and economical (Tharenou et al, 2007).
A convenience sample of this research has 254 individuals. There are 110 males and 144 females, aged from 18 to 35, with majority between the ages of 18 – 23. A sample size was chosen based on conditions that make certain that it effectively represents the populace. According to Biau et al. (2008), a more substantial sample size will produce extra accurate and precise benefits. Because of this research, 254 lovers were an acceptable amount of the sample for analysing.
The data was collected through the consumption of questionnaires. An on the net questionnaire had been designed on Isurvey website, an paid survey website, then the hyperlink of the questionnaire and an introduction about the survey were delivered to brand fan webpage users in two key ways. Email was employed for acquaintances of the researcher and popular brand fan pages, such as for example Coca-cola fan webpage, Pepsi fan webpage and Vietnam Airline admirer site, were used for various other potential participants. Sixty e-mail were delivered and the hyperlink was posted on 20 different brand fan pages that have been the best number of lovers in Vietnam during one month from 15th July to 15th August in 2012. Finally, there were 485 individuals who took part in the survey. Of these, 254 persons completed the survey while the rest of these – 231 persons – include abandoned. The response level is 52%. The web questionnaire included a resume cover letter explaining the analysis and providing the researcher’s details for additional enquiry. Also, entire anonymity was ensured and participants were announced they are free to withdraw at any time.
The questionnaire (Appendix 1) that was sent to participants contained seven sections. The first section aimed to obtain additional comprehensive information from participants such as the number of fan webpages they possess participated, how generally they have utilized Facebook and a company fan page, as well as demographic facts, including gender, age and education.
The second section comprised four items that determine participants’ fulfillment with functional values that have been supplied by the brand fan page in which they are fans. The measurement of practical worth was adapted and improved for this research predicated on a scale from Voss et al. (2003). A five-point liker scale, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree was used for each statement to be able to examine the extent to which individuals agreed with. Similarly, the 3rd section included four statements which were constructed based on a study of Voss et al. (2003). All statements also used a five-stage liker level. This section aimed to evaluate to the level to which participants were satisfied with the hedonic value of a brand enthusiast page.
Both the 4th section and the fifth section got four statements and utilized a five-point liker level for measurement. The former was made for participants to judge the social interaction benefit of a brand enthusiast page predicated on the social element of the social networking sites gratification program of Barker (2009). The latter was targeted to measure the degree of participants’ fulfillment with the brand conversation value of a brand fan web page. Four statements of the fifth section were composed relating to a study on communication element of the web-interactivity scale (Track and Zinkhan, 2008).
The sixth section contains six statements which were supposed to measure the level of respondents’ participation into a brand fan site. These statements were shaped based on a study of van Doorn et al. (2010) focusing on elements like network participation, identification and integration. The final section had thirteen statements which were used for measuring the amount of fans’ brand loyalty. These statements had been developed reliance on reviewing three previous research (Oliver, 1999; Moorman et al., 1992; Johnson et al., 2006). Two previous sections as well used a five-level liker level to measure.
3.7.5 Stability and Validity
According to Tharenou et al. (2007), there is absolutely no measure that is clearly a ideal representation of an fundamental construct which is normally conceptualied as a variable. Therefore, maximising the stability and validity of measures is an essential part of empirical research.
Reliability identifies the consistency or stability of a measuring instrument (Jackson, 2009). Basically, it is expected that a measure to measure precisely the same way every time it is used. So that you can determine the reliability of the study, a pilot test was conducted in which a comfort sample of twelve respondents who were 18-35 year olds. The purpose of pilot check is to remove potential trouble in the wording or understanding of the concerns (Malhotra and Birks 2007). The benefits of the pilot evaluation recommend that the questionnaire needed some change in a few questions for easier understanding.
Once all multi-item procedures had little random measurement error, the things of each measure were tested to make certain that they are steady with each other. Internal consistency reliability is used for multi-item measures. Internal consistency reliability is typically measured by a statistic known as Cronbach’s alpha coefficient (Tharenou et al., 2007). Thus, a Cronbach’s Alpha evaluation was conducted for every portion of the questionnaire, exception the 1st section. In general, it can be concluded that a measure is reputable if it has alpha coefficient over 0.7. Conversely, the alpha coefficient is usually significantly less than 0.7, the measure will be said that it’s unreliable.
* (benefits of Cronbach’s Alpha Check).
Validity refers to a way of measuring the truthfulness of a calculating instrument. It indicates whether the instrument measures what it really is supposed to assess (Jackson, 2009). The questionnaire of this study was assessed content material validity by two marketing specialists who are brand advertising managers in Vietnam. Regarding to Jackson (2009), to determine whether a test out has content validity, researchers should check with experts in the region being tested. However, the questionnaire is valid if it is predicated on the literature review and it could answer the study questions together with meet the research objective (Tharenou et al., 2007). The questionnaire of the research was developed from considering some of previous studies. In addition, the questionnaire was considered appropriate by the brand marketing specialists. Therefore, it had been figured the questionnaire had content validity.
Since the info was collected through online questionnaire, the likely ethical concerns were considered cautiously. The questionnaire was composed logically and specifically to ensure that enough time a respondent can spend on answering within seven moments. This content was also familiar with participants. Age limitation (18 year olds or even more) was released in the invitations. The questionnaire was fully done by volunteers. Because the invitations were delivered via email, Facebook text messages and postings, this method was considered never to negatively influence attitude of participants.
3.9 Data Analysis
To analyze quantitative data, the researcher applied SPSS software program. This software could make data analysis basic and time-saving. However, it requires an individual to have basic expertise in using SPSS software program because these skills very likely influence the precision of results significantly. Since there are many types of inquiries on the online questionnaire, including multiple decision and rating questions, the info input is in types of nominal, ordinal and interval data. According to the research questions and the study objectives, component factor evaluation and regression analysis need to be conducted to be able to investigate human relationships between variables.
Chapter 4: Data Analysis
This chapter will reveal the effects of the examination of data that was collected using the questionnaire.
4.1 Descriptive Statistics
Descriptive statistics aims to supply a better understanding of the participants that define the sample of the research.
As is seen from the table 1 and figure 3, the amount of female participants was considerably greater than male participants with 144 females (57%) and 110 males (43%).
Both Table 2 and Figure 4 show that there are three sets old groups of participants, including 18 – 23 year olds, 24 – 30 calendar year olds and over 30 season olds. The youngest group (18 – 23) had the highest number of respondents with 160 made up 63 %, whilst the oldest group (over 30) was the smallest group with only 6 answerers made up 2.4%. The center group (24-30) contains 88 participants and made up 34.6%. Therefore, it really is clear that the age distribution had not been even between age ranges and nearly all respondents had been aged between 18 and 23.
Table 3 and Number 5 illustrate the highest degree of education of participants. There have been four main amounts, namely GCSEs, A-levels, Undergraduate degree and Postgraduate degree. It is usually se