The paper "Brand Communities and Customer Engagement" is a good example of marketing coursework. The contemporary market has undergone a shift from traditional service marketing. This has been made possible by globalization and thus the advancement of technology. Brands being one of the most informed marketing foundations have to use the participation of their customers to meet their dynamic demands and also increase the quality of output as per the expectations of the customer. To realize success the brand and the consumer must be reading from the same page which is sometimes not the case.
In the latter, brands will be forced to undergo rigorous marketing campaigns to capture the attention of the consumers who once loyal to a brand may be costly to shift. The field of service marketing as said earlier has dramatically experienced changes and it is no longer about marketing to the customers but rather engaging with and among them. A brand community is a concept that has received wide coverage in marketing based literature as well as social research works being that it is what the current consumers are slowly shifting into (Schau, Muniz, & Arnould, 2009).
Unlike the traditional communities, this type of community brings together customers from various backgrounds into a common base that is easily traceable by the brand promoters. This paper evaluates how brand communities have been used or can be used to engage with and among customers. Brand Communities Brand communities refer to a special type of consumer community that has received widespread recognition for brands since it creates a binding factor between the brands and the community (Schau et al.
2009). By definition, brand communities are groups of like-minded customers or consumers who identify themselves with a particular brand and share a number of traits, traditions, values, consciousness, rituals and sense of moral responsibility with reference to the brand in question (Schau et al. 2009; Brodie, Ilic, Juric, & Hollebeek, 2011). Consumers participate in such communities so as to share their individual experiences with the brand (Brodie et al. , 2011). Through the community, consumers are able to reflect the value of the brand that in turn attracts others to come to join in the community and thus engagement of a new set of customers. There are three factors that mark a brand community.
First off, the consumers in the community have a shared value that creates an intrinsic interconnection that the members feel within the brand community (Wirtz, Ramaseshan, Klundert, Canli, & Kandampully, 2013). This common consciousness or perception of the brand community delineates it from other brand communities making it stand alone. Secondly, brand communities have rituals and traditions that propagate the community’ s culture, heritage, and consciousness (Zaglia et al. , 2013). Collectively, these attributes influence the norms of behavior and values that center the consumption experiences with the brand at different need levels (Schau et al.
2009). Lastly, the brand communities have a sense of moral responsibility such that each group member contributes to the collective action as well as the cohesion of the group (Zaglia, 2013). The propellants of brand communities have been the development of contemporary marketing as well as the mass media (Brodie et al. , 2011). There are both online and offline brand communities defined by costs to the members, geographical coverage and time dimensions, mode of interaction and involvement with the brand (Wirtz et al. , 2013).
Brodie et al. , 2011 outlines some examples of brand communities to be Apple users, Sony Users and Starburks customer community as well as Oracle community.
Brodie, R. J., Ilic, A., Juric, B., & Hollebeek, L. 2011, "Consumer engagement in a virtual brand community: An exploratory analysis". Journal of Business research, 1(2011), 1-10.
Habibi, M. R., Lorache, M., & Richard, M. O. 2014, "The roles of Brand Communities and Community Engagement in Creating Trust on Social Media". Computers in human Behaviors, 37(2014), 152-161.
Schau, H. J., Muniz, A. M., & Arnould, E. J. 2009, "How Brand Communities Create Value". Journal of Marketing, 73(2009), 30-51.
Van Doorn, J. 2011, "Comment: Customer Engagement: Essence, Dimensionality, and Boundaries". ,. Journal of Service Research, 23(3), 280-282.
Wirtz, J., Ramaseshan, B., Klundert, J. V., Canli, Z. G., & Kandampully, J. 2013, "Managing brands and customer engagement in online brand communities". Journal of Service Management, 24(3), 223-244.
Zaglia, M. E. (2013). "Brand communities embedded in social networks". Journal of Business Research, 66(2-2), 216–223.