Customer brand engagement behavior in online brand communities
Taeshik Gong , (College of Business and Economics, Hanyang University ERICA, Ansan, Republic of Korea)
This study aims to investigate the moderating role of cultural value orientations on the relationship between brand ownership and customer brand engagement behavior through brand responsibility and self-enhancement.
Respondents came from firm-managed online smartphone brand communities in South Korea and the USA. Convenience sampling yielded 197 valid responses, with 98 coming from South Korea and 99 coming from the USA.
The study results provide empirical evidence that cultural value orientations influence customer brand engagement behavior. As expected, the findings indicate that individualism-collectivism and power distance significantly moderate the indirect effect of brand responsibility and self-enhancement on the relationship between brand ownership and customer brand engagement behavior.
Prior research has focused mainly on customer engagement behaviors that target the firm, employees and other customers, with little research examining customer engagement behavior that targeted the brand (customer brand engagement behavior). This exploration is important because customers could serve as brand missionaries, become less apt to switch brands and provide feedback, leading to a sustainable competitive advantage.
Emerald Publishing Limited
11 August 2016
21 December 2016, 28 March 2017, 20 August 2017, 21 October 2017
26 October 2017
The author gratefully acknowledges the insightful comments made by Jin Nam Choi.
copy; Emerald Publishing Limited 2018
Published by Emerald Publishing Limited
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According to the service-dominant logic (SDL) (Vargo and Lusch, 2004), customers are not passive respondents but are active value creators, acting as resource integrators and contributing to value creation by integrating physical, social and cultural resources. By engaging customers in value creation, service firms can create a sustainable competitive advantage (Xie et al., 2008; Yi and Gong, 2013). Researchers have developed a framework that fully examines customer engagement behavior, which includes customer loyalty, word of mouth, recommendations and helping (van Doorn et al., 2010). Prior work has also focused on multi-foci customer engagement behaviors that target the firm, employees, other customers (Guo et al., 2013; Mende and van Doorn, 2015; Verleye et al., 2014), and more recently, several researchers have further examined customer engagement behavior toward the brand (Baldus et al., 2015; Merz et al., 2009; Wirtz et al., 2013). Exploration of customer brand engagement behavior is important because customers could serve as brand missionaries, become less likely to switch brands and provide feedback for brand management, creating a sustainable competitive advantage.
Given the dramatic technology-led changes in the marketplace (e.g. advances in the internet, social media and mobile technologies), researchers are interested in understanding the implications of online brand communities (OBCs) (Wirtz et al., 2013). Compared to offline brand communities, OBCs enable customers to share their brand experiences with others more easily and frequently owing to the low cost of interaction with others (Shang et al., 2006). Accordingly, customer brand engagement behavior in OBCs has been well documented (