Online brand community, social networking, impression management, community engagement, brand use, community loyalty
Online brand community refers to a specialized, non-geographically bound, online community, based on social communications and relationships among brand’s consumers. Consciousness of kind, rituals and traditions, and moral responsibility are the three markers of brand community. The present study tested the effects of online brand community by modeling the three community markers as formative indicators of online brand community. The effects of online brand community on four value creation practices, social networking, impression management, community engagement, and brand use, and the mediating effects of community loyalty were tested. Participants (N=370) of this study were members of online brand communities. A survey-based empirical study was conducted using Amazon Mechanical Turk. Data were analyzed through structural equation modeling. Test results showed that,among the three brand community markers,consciousness of kind and rituals and traditions are formative indicators of online brand community while moral responsibility is not. The effects of online brand community on all four value creation practices were revealed.
Test results showed that online brand community has the strongest effects on social networking, moderate effects on community engagement and brand use, and the weakest effects on impression management practices. Community loyalty was found to fully mediate the relationship between online brand community and value creation practices. Implications for theory, practice, and future research are discussed.
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