Effects of online brand communities on millennials’ brand loyalty in the fashion industry

Ozuem, Wilson ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0337-1419, Willis, Michelle ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6183-3661, Howell, Kerry, Helal, Guida, Ranfagni, Silvia and Lancaster, Geoff (2021) Effects of online brand communities on millennials’ brand loyalty in the fashion industry. Psychology and Marketing, 38 (5). pp. 774-793.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21466


Online brand communities are gaining traction in the development of marketing strategy, but it is unclear how the dominant group of users, the millennials, is being targeted with the prevailing and varying customer loyalty programmes. Grounded in understanding that loyalty is seen and understood differently by people who participate in online brand communities, this study is based on a constructivist perspective combined with hermeneutic methodology and embedded case study research strategy to examine how online brand communities activate multi-dimensional customer loyalty intentions. Empirical data were generated through 45 in-depth interviews of millennials. The analysis proposes a framework that categorises customer loyalty into: ambassador loyalists, public-voting loyalists, loveless loyalists and mercenary loyalists. Each stream contains one additional sub-category mediated by consumer levels of participation in online brand communities. This paper contributes to existing literature. Unlike extant studies, it specifically argues that customers’ loyalty intentions in online brand communities depends on the individuals and context, and it categorises loyalty into different levels. Practical steps by which companies may utilise these categories and theoretical implications for wider consideration are proposed.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Psychology and Marketing
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1520-6793
Departments: Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership > Business
Depositing User: Christian Stretton
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2021 11:30
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2023 15:00
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5958


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