Luxury companies are striving to improve their communication with customers while paying attention to online promotion and marketing activities. As companies interact with customers in luxury brand communities via various channels, they yield consumers higher value throughout the effective consumption process. In addition, this connection enhances customers’ understanding of the company, making it easier for companies to acquire empathy from customers. This study aims to analyze the value factors that affect luxury brand community members’ purchase intention and brand attitude. This study utilizes online survey results of four hundred prestige brand community users in China. The results reveal the positive effects of customer engagement on customer psychological empowerment and flow, the positive impacts of customer psychological empowerment and flow on community identity and brand attachment, the positive effects of community identity on purchase intentions, and the positive effects of brand attachment on purchase intentions and brand attitude. Furthermore, the results show that community types and fashion involvement partially moderate customer engagement. This study provides theoretical suggestions for relationship marketing in the luxury brand community environment. Last, this study presents practical implications that companies could utilize to create an emotional connection with their community members, resulting in an increase of customer support.
Brand community influences consumer behavior due to the growing impact of social media in both virtual environment and in real life. Social networks for the brand - it's an opportunity to simply, accessible and round the clock talk about all the important events of its audience within an online brand community. The subject of our research is based on the type of user and the motivations for participating in the online brand community. We investigate how the brand relationship quality and online brand community engagement are related and what consumer motives influence the online brand community engagement. This study represents how brands and consumers make interactions in a virtual environment.
Past research demonstrates that members of brand communities are motivated to join or participate in life of brand communities for various reasons. Some scholars distinguish motives, values, drivers, stimulating the attention, activity, relationship with the online brand community or brand commitment and engagement as well. They include: information or knowledge-seeking motives, entertainment, remuneration, personal identity, integration, social interaction, sense of belonging, level of communication, self-discovery and hedonic benefits (Muntinga, Moorman, & Smit, 2011; Dholakia & Bagozzi, 2004; Yen, Hsu & Huang, 2011; Wang, Fesenmaier, 2004). The benefits gained by consumers through engaging in an OBC are obvious, which were discussed in prior studies (Yen, Hsu & Huang, 2011) such as entertainment, gratification, social – appreciation or learning (Wang, Fesenmaier, 2004). But accordingly to Tseng, Huang & Setiawan (2017) the main initial reasons why people join the online brand community are usually pragmatic, for example, they seek information or entertainment. Tseng, Huang & Setiawan (2017) focus on two pragmatic motives, knowledge- and entertainment seeking motives, that served as the members‟ initial drives to participate in online brand communities. They categorized motivations into pragmatic (functional-related) and symbolic (social-related) motives. In this case, not all of the motives are on the same level. Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh (2004) demonstrated that the crucial factor that influence on the interaction of consumers with online brand communities is that consumers are more actively involved in online communities when there are economic incentives (discounts, actions, competitions). Zhou, Zhang et al. (2012) came to a similar conclusion, that companies should provide material assistance and also deliver care and rewards to the brand community as well. Communication can relate to the necessity to receive feedback from the brand on the issues of consumer‟s interest as well as communication with community members, which may be caused by motives such as social – appreciation, creating a status or self-esteem status, sharing personal experience, self-confidence or establishing relationships (Dholakia, Bagozzi, and Pearo 2004). For brands, on the one hand, it is important to understand the motives of the community members, and on the other, to help them achieve their goals. Directly concerned the online brand community allows not only to increase brand awareness, establish brand identity to the consumer's perception, but also promotes the penetration of the brand's personality into the consumer's lifestyle. That is why such serious importance should be paid to the content (filling) of the brand pages: external events, news, which can be popular in the internet environment, or simply congratulates subscribers on holidays (Schau, Muñiz, & Arnould, 2009). Great attention is paid to the diversity of content in the brand communities of well-known cosmetic brands: video lessons, make-up instructions, contests for every new product launch, interesting facts about the brand, beauty memories for instance. In the brand communities of sports goods the content of expert materials about sports and their benefits is used, about the nuances of performing certain exercises, about proper nutrition, about new scientific discoveries concerning sports and health, and even food recipes. But qualitative content is not a frequent phenomenon, as mass borrowings of other people's materials and ideas are most often observed. If the content is really useful and qualitative, then the community will gain tremendous trust from subscribers or active members (Habibi et al., 2014). Motivational content is important for brand promotion as well. For example, motivation is often not enough for people to start a healthy lifestyle. And due to the lack of motivation many consumers throw begun half-way. If the company gives selfconfidence to the community members, then it will become a loyal friend to them and will be able to gain trust, create an emotional connection with them. This variety of content in one account is useful for different categories of subscribers. Therefore it is worth emphasizing that for communities it is important UGC (user generated content). According to Muntinga et al. (2011) the term „user-generated content‟ (UGC) is used for the content produced and uploaded by consumers rather than companies. Schau, Muñiz, & Arnould (2009) demonstrate that companies can encourage the interaction of practices to foster greater customer engagement with the brand in the process of value co-creation. Choi, Ko and Kim (2016) emphasized that value cocreation means that customer emotional, cognitive, and behavioral experiences are the basis of the value, impressions, recognition, and internalization they accord to the brand. Some people like to participate in the creation of content, give some recommendations. Accordinly to Schau, Muñiz, & Arnould (2009) if the firms give consumers the opportunity to construct brand communities and the freedom to modify their products, they will be ready to take the initiative. Different motives, values, brand trust, brand loyalty, brand identification and brand community identification are related. Martínez-López, Anaya, & Molinillo (2017) explain in their study, that members‟ OBC engagement and participation based on their relationships with other members and with the community sponsor (companies/brands). But there are points of view that determine that the relationship between motives and community commitment can be both direct and indirect. Bagozzi & Dholakia (2004), Zhou & Zhang et al. (2012) support the positive influence of brand community identification on brand identification and attachment. Previous studies find that members‟ commitment to a brand community leads to their commitment to the brand (Kim, Choi, Qualls, & Han, 2008) and consequently consumers tend to purchase the same brand consistently (Algesheimer et al., 2005). Positive aspects of the community's influence will lead to positive behavioral intentions, such as consumer recommendations for joining this community to friends and acquaintances (Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh, 2004). Therefore electronic positive word-of-mouth‟(eWOM) on social media is significant tool for online consumer-to-consumer interactions both about brands (Muntinga et al., 2011) and about brand communities (Pop & Woratschek, 2017): consumers can generate and spread brand related information to their friends, peers, and others without constraints (Kim & Ko, 2012). The best channel for promotion at any level is a positive experience that a person receives from the use of products, and the desire to share it arises as a consequence. Cooperation with opinion leaders has recently become a priority for many brands. In addition, collaboration with different bloggers allows to establish contact with a wider audience, because in the last few years it is the authors of popular blogs that shape the tastes and preferences of the public. Leaders of opinion help shape the brand's image in the eyes of the widest audience of consumers and, as a result, influence sales. Quite often, when bloggers become brand ambassadors, they take part in advertising campaigns.
In our study we attempt to determine the influence of the type of consumer (innovators, opinion leaders, status seekers, etc.), the motives for participating in the online brand community (entertainment, information search, reward, hedonistic motives, self-expression) on online brand community engagement (interaction), positive WOM online brand community. Therefore, this study particularly addresses the following research questions:
1. What consumer motivations influence the online brand community engagement and the positive WOM online brand community?
2. Does the brand identity influence the online brand community engagement (interaction) and the positive WOM online brand community?
3. What factors influence the promotion activity of brand and online brand community?
Our study suggests that consumer motivations (social interaction, knowledge seeking, hedonic motives) and type of consumers (innovators, opinion leaders, status seekers) positive influence on the online brand community engagement and WOM brand community. Accordingly, we have developed the following hypothesis:
H1: Hedonic consumer motives influence online brand community engagement positively.
Н2: Knowledge seeking consumer motives influence online brand community engagement positively.
Н3: Creation UGC consumer motives influence online brand community engagement positively.
H4: Opinion leaders influence brand relationship quality positively.
H5: Innovativeness (consumer innovators) influence brand relationship quality positively.
H6: Brand relationship quality influences e-WOM online brand community positively.
Today in Russia, social networks reach 70% of the population (about 87 million people), and many users are active on multiple sites (http://mandmglobal.com/digital-marketing-trends-in-russia-social-networks). 87% of Internet users use social networks, including 51% have accounts in several online communities. Studies by Nielsen show that people increasingly buy online or choose goods and things on social networks, and then buy them offline. Recently most Russian and international fashion, cosmetics, clothing companies have began to use social media actively as a channel of communication with end customers. Data collection took place between March and December 2017. We developed two online questionnaires, using www.esurveycreator.com and conducted research on two topics – interaction with cosmetic and sportswear brand-communities. The popularity of a healthy lifestyle is constantly gaining momentum, and at the same time the number of new sports brands is growing. The survey questionnaires were originally designed in English then translated into Russian using a translation/ backtranslation procedure. All of the constructs used in this study were adapted or modified from extant research and multiple item statements were measured by seven-point Likert type scale.
Result and Conclusion
A total of 444 respondents from Russia were included in this study: 216 respondents interacted with cosmetic online brand-communities and 228 respondents from sportswear brand-communities. The survey involved young people, as the most active part of social networks users. We found that respondents are mainly subscribed to the community brand in the networks: VK (Vkontakte) and Instagram. Less popular are Facebook and Twitter. Russian social network Vkontakte has the largest audience with a monthly user-base of 82-90 million monthly users (it is most popular with younger users (ages 18-34)), then it is followed by OK, Instagram (about 30-17 mil) and Facebook (21 mil), (http://mandmglobal.com/digital-marketing-trends-in-russia-social-networks). Basically, Instagram is interesting for the audience at the age of 18-24 (36.6%) and 25-34 (34.22%). Older social media users generally prefer the social media site OK (originally Odnoklassniki – “classmates”). OK.ru has over 31.5 million viewers a month, with the majority (69%) being women. (https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/top-8-russian-social-networks- makes-great). A Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), using AMOS 19.0, was first employed to assess the properties of the constructs. Relevant loadings were significant, and construct reliability values ranged from 0.6 to 0.885. Discriminant validity relies on average variance extracted (all AVEs are at level of 0,5-0,7) and it was supported. The Structural Equation Modelling was conducted for examining the model (fig. 1). Overall model fit indices are satisfactory: RMSEA is = 0.06 (according to Hu & Bentler (1999)), x2/df = 2,9 (Chi-Square=3373, df=1153), CFI =0.87, IFI = 0.819, P-value<0.001. Thus, according to the results of the research, not all hypotheses have been confirmed. We find that hedonic consumer motives, creation UGC consumer motives influence on the online brand community engagement (table 1). Social interaction benefits have significant impact on creation UGC consumer motives (ß=0.96, t=16.86, p<0.001). Knowledge seeking motives has negative influence on the Online brand community engagement (ß= - 0.96, t=-5.086, p<0.001). Finally, our findings reveal that, brand relationship quality has no significant impact on WOM Online Brand Community (ß=0.192, t=3.81, p<0.001), it is not related to the Online Brand Community Engagement. Construct of brand loyalty was completely excluded from the model due to poor findings. Online communities can follow distinctive norms of interaction, contain rituals or general agreements (Jang H., Olfman L., Ko I., Koh J., Kim K., 2008). Accordingly, our further research should include research on the influence of online brand community atmosphere (norms, rituals, traditions) on the intentions to continue to be a member of the community. In addition, we would like to pay more attention to the impact of content types on the intentions of the participants.
Sustainable community development has become a cornerstone for the overall sustainability movement in the recent years. Island provinces, due to the unique make up of their communities can and should adopt sound community development process for sustaining their futures growth. Civic engagement and citizen input are crucial for planning sustainable growth of island communities. This is primarily due to the fact that most island communities are inundated with rapidly growing tourism industry that threatens to affect the future of their environmental assets, island cultures and living standards. The purpose of this article is to highlight the importance of environmental governance and citizen participation for sustainable growth of island communities. In addition to discussing the importance of citizen participation in sustainable development of island communities, this article also provides a brief case study of Jeju island and its recent attempts to promote sustainability in the wake of rapidly growing tourist industry. Two emerging and important planning processes that can enhance sustainable community development of island provinces are also discussed with specific applications to Jeju