Online brand communities: Value creating capabilities of brand communities on Facebook
Verlag: Anchor Academic Publishing
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This dissertation examines how online brand communities create value through social practices. Building on the work of Schau et al. (2009) this study utilizes a netnographic approach and qualitatively investigates how Facebook brand Fan Pages are employed as brand community resources, to alleviate ties between members in the community and to establish consumer-brand-relationships. Through hermeneutic data analysis the following four value creating practices are discovered: ‘exchanging brand narratives’, ‘celebrating brand love’, ‘support and information resource’, and ‘pressure valve for discontent’. The findings are drawn from qualitative interviews and netnographic observations of three Facebook brand Fan Pages. It is found that interaction among community members and engagement with the brand itself develop practices creating value on Fan Pages. Postmodern consumers want to be able to influence brands and also long for connections with other consumers; besides relationships are shaped by dialogue and interaction. Facebook Fan Pages offer means to achieve this and allow brands to become part of consumers´ lives.
This study extends research on brand communities to the field of Social Networking and discovers insights helpful for marketing practitioners. The four detected practices create value and reconfirm findings of earlier studies on brand communities, but also add new insights by explaining how value is developed. The findings enhance understanding why and how consumers engage online with brands and other members and especially what kind of value these consumers derive from brand Fan Pages.
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