Building brand community

James H. McAlexander, John W. Schouten, Harold F. Koenig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

A brand community from a customer-experiential perspective is a fabric of relationships in which the customer is situated. Crucial relationships include those between the customer and the brand, between the customer and the firm, between the customer and the product in use, and among fellow customers. The authors delve ethnographically into a brand community and test key findings through quantitative methods. Conceptually, the study reveals insights that differ from prior research in four important ways: First, it expands the definition of a brand community to entities and relationships neglected by previous research. Second, it treats vital characteristics of brand communities, such as geotemporal concentrations and the richness of social context, as dynamic rather than static phenomena. Third, it demonstrates that marketers can strengthen brand communities by facilitating shared customer experiences in ways that alter those dynamic characteristics. Fourth, it yields a new and richer conceptualization of customer loyalty as integration in a brand community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-54
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marketing
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2002
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • BUYER-SELLER RELATIONSHIPS
  • COMMITMENT
  • CONSUMPTION
  • CONSUMERS
  • TRUST
  • SELF
  • ASSOCIATIONS
  • PERSPECTIVE
  • BEHAVIORS
  • LOYALTY

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