Brand Communities: Loyal to the Community or the Brand?

European Journal of Marketing, 47 (1/2): 93-114. 2013

22 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2015

See all articles by Gian Luca Marzocchi

Gian Luca Marzocchi

University of Bologna - School of Economics, Management, and Statistics

Gabriele Morandin

University of Bologna

Massimo Bergami

University of Bologna

Date Written: January 1, 2010

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate empirically the relative emphasis accorded by members of a brand community to identification with that community and identification with the brand-owner, and thereby close a gap in the literature to date.

Design/methodology/approach – Based on a review of the literature relating to identification, loyalty, and potentially mediating brand-related constructs, a cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was carried out at a brandfest organised by a major European motorcycle manufacturer. Data collected from 256 respondents were analysed by structural equation modelling, testing seven hypothesised causal links.

Findings – Brand loyalty is primarily influenced by identification with the brand community, through the mediating role of brand affect.

Research limitations/implications – The findings require confirmation in other settings and industry sectors before they can be generalised with confidence, but point to several fruitful research directions.

Practical implications – Brand strategists have new evidence to guide allocation of effort and resources to the effective cultivation and maintenance of brand loyalty.

Originality/value – The study makes an original contribution, in a real-world setting, to the understanding of how members of a brand community relate to the brand, and of how their brand loyalty is activated.

Keywords: Brand communities, Brand loyalty, Social identification, Motorcycles, Europe, Customer behaviour, Brand management

Suggested Citation

Marzocchi, Gian Luca and Morandin, Gabriele and Bergami, Massimo, Brand Communities: Loyal to the Community or the Brand? (January 1, 2010). European Journal of Marketing, 47 (1/2): 93-114. 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2550901

Gian Luca Marzocchi

University of Bologna - School of Economics, Management, and Statistics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy

Gabriele Morandin (Contact Author)

University of Bologna ( email )

Via Capo di Lucca, 34
Bologna, BO 40126
Italy
+39 051 2098416 (Phone)
+39 051 2098074 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.unibo.it/Faculty/default.aspx?UPN=gabriele.morandin%40unibo.it&View=CV

Massimo Bergami

University of Bologna

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