The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Conceptualisation of Micro-blog branding: exploration of micro-blog branding communication and how customer-based brand equity (CBBE) is affected by such communication

Conceptualisation of Micro-blog branding: exploration of micro-blog branding communication and how customer-based brand equity (CBBE) is affected by such communication
Conceptualisation of Micro-blog branding: exploration of micro-blog branding communication and how customer-based brand equity (CBBE) is affected by such communication
New prominence has been given to WOM and accelerated the generation and transmission of brand-related eWOM. Though existing studies on eWOM’s influence are abundant, research especially on how social media eWOM affect branding practice is still in its novel stage. In particular, research systematically explores how brand-related eWOM affects customer-based brand equity is limited. The present study answers both the call by Christoph to address the gap in understanding user-generated branding and the call by Kimmel and Kitchen for exploration of possible influence of social media brand-related eWOM on intermediate stages of consumer decision-making. In order to fulfil the gaps, the present study asks two research questions: (1) how do micro-blog branding communication contributes to CBBE and (2) how do micro-blog affordances influence CBBE of brands?
Using qualitative interviews, this study constructs a model of how a brand’s CBBE is affected by micro-blog branding communications based on both reflexive qualitative data analysis and template analysis. The model constructed in this study (see Figure 24) is the first that systematically reflects how brands’ CBBE is affected in micro-blog branding communications and how eWOM affordances influence those effects. Creation and strengthening of strong, favourable and unique brand associations are through each stage of the eWOM branding communication. Brands’ learning, consideration and choice advantage are all achieved in the CBBE chain. Frequency and richness of brand-related exposure affects learning advantage. Consumer confidence is increased by positive user and usage imagery, knowledge co-creation by peers as well as increased trust to brand-published content. High trust to brand-published user-generated content significantly influences the consideration advantage. Also, consistency between (1) presupposition and micro-blog brand experience as well as (2) consumption involvement and brand publicity both enhance the consideration advantage. Last but not least, solution provision to recognised consumer problems largely increases the choice advantage. Immediacy of brand touch point in micro-blog space also drives consumers to make brand choice. Besides, permanency of micro-blog content makes eWOM in such a medium searchable, which indicates long-tail effect of micro-blog branding communications on brands’ CBBE. The model also points out that in order to avoid brand dilution, brands need to monitor content valence and existing or possible breach of consistency. This model bears significant contributions to theoretical understanding of CBBE creation and strengthening in micro-blog brand eWOM communication. It is the first that explores brand eWOM in social media context from the CBBE perspective. It also contributes significantly to the practice of branding in social media platforms, especially micro-blogs, that the model should be used as guidance for brands, both well-established and start-ups or small ones in designing and implementing their social media branding strategies.
Keywords: micro-blog branding; CBBE (customer-based brand equity); eWOM/WOM; Sina Weibo; user-generated content (UGC)
Xu, Yun
d29400f7-8b21-4d1e-9be8-b9561651f35f
Xu, Yun
d29400f7-8b21-4d1e-9be8-b9561651f35f
Harris, Lisa
cf587c06-2cf7-49e6-aef8-c9452cbff529

(2015) Conceptualisation of Micro-blog branding: exploration of micro-blog branding communication and how customer-based brand equity (CBBE) is affected by such communication. University of Southampton, Southampton Business School, Masters Thesis, 201pp.

Record type: Thesis (Masters)

Abstract

New prominence has been given to WOM and accelerated the generation and transmission of brand-related eWOM. Though existing studies on eWOM’s influence are abundant, research especially on how social media eWOM affect branding practice is still in its novel stage. In particular, research systematically explores how brand-related eWOM affects customer-based brand equity is limited. The present study answers both the call by Christoph to address the gap in understanding user-generated branding and the call by Kimmel and Kitchen for exploration of possible influence of social media brand-related eWOM on intermediate stages of consumer decision-making. In order to fulfil the gaps, the present study asks two research questions: (1) how do micro-blog branding communication contributes to CBBE and (2) how do micro-blog affordances influence CBBE of brands?
Using qualitative interviews, this study constructs a model of how a brand’s CBBE is affected by micro-blog branding communications based on both reflexive qualitative data analysis and template analysis. The model constructed in this study (see Figure 24) is the first that systematically reflects how brands’ CBBE is affected in micro-blog branding communications and how eWOM affordances influence those effects. Creation and strengthening of strong, favourable and unique brand associations are through each stage of the eWOM branding communication. Brands’ learning, consideration and choice advantage are all achieved in the CBBE chain. Frequency and richness of brand-related exposure affects learning advantage. Consumer confidence is increased by positive user and usage imagery, knowledge co-creation by peers as well as increased trust to brand-published content. High trust to brand-published user-generated content significantly influences the consideration advantage. Also, consistency between (1) presupposition and micro-blog brand experience as well as (2) consumption involvement and brand publicity both enhance the consideration advantage. Last but not least, solution provision to recognised consumer problems largely increases the choice advantage. Immediacy of brand touch point in micro-blog space also drives consumers to make brand choice. Besides, permanency of micro-blog content makes eWOM in such a medium searchable, which indicates long-tail effect of micro-blog branding communications on brands’ CBBE. The model also points out that in order to avoid brand dilution, brands need to monitor content valence and existing or possible breach of consistency. This model bears significant contributions to theoretical understanding of CBBE creation and strengthening in micro-blog brand eWOM communication. It is the first that explores brand eWOM in social media context from the CBBE perspective. It also contributes significantly to the practice of branding in social media platforms, especially micro-blogs, that the model should be used as guidance for brands, both well-established and start-ups or small ones in designing and implementing their social media branding strategies.
Keywords: micro-blog branding; CBBE (customer-based brand equity); eWOM/WOM; Sina Weibo; user-generated content (UGC)

PDF
Yun Xu MPhil thesis Final copy .pdf - Other
Download (2MB)

More information

Published date: September 2015
Organisations: University of Southampton, Southampton Business School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 382883
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/382883
PURE UUID: 68212d68-8dd1-49d0-874f-d7cd6d5eb777

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Nov 2015 12:52
Last modified: 31 Oct 2018 05:01

Export record

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×