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Categorizations of Online Brand Communities

Question:

The Social Network

The growing use of social network sites (such as facebook) and online communities (such as for instance the Apple Computer community, the community of Harley-Davidson riders, and the community of Starbucks customers) provides exciting opportunities for organizations. Online brand communities allow organizations to engage and interact with customers, obtain market information, sell and advertise products, rapidly disseminate information, develop long-term relationships with the community, and eventually to influence consumers' preferences and behavior (Dholakia and Bagozzi, 2001, Dholakia, Bagozzi, and Pearo, 2004, Franke and Shah, 2003, Muniz and Schau, 2005, Tedjamulia, Olsen, Dean, and Albrecht, 2005). "Brand community" is a term that is used to describe like-minded consumers who identify with a particular brand and share significant traits, such as for instance "a shared consciousness, rituals, traditions, and a sense of moral responsibility" (Muniz and O'Guinn, 2001, p. 412). Online brand communities are based on their core value - the brand - and grow by building relationships with and among members interested in the brand (Jang et al. 2008).

There are several possible categorizations of online brand communities, but they are generally grouped into two categories based on who initiates and manages the community; (1) company-initiated communities, built by the company that owns the brand and (2) user-initiated communities, voluntarily built by their members (that is, the consumer) (e.g., Armstrong and Nagel 1996; Kozinets 1999). These two types of brand communities provide different opportunities for marketers. For instance, a brand community on a company website is one of the key determinants of attracting consumers to and retaining customers on the website (Nysveen and Pedersen, 2004). Consumer-initiated online brand communities may provide consumers with useful information about other consumers' experiences with the product or service and the strengths and weaknesses of products or services (Jang et al. 2008).

The success of online brand communities is heavily dependent on consumer participation in the online brand community. To determine why consumers participate in online brand communities business student Jesse Eisenberg has developed a model based on extant service marketing literature. The main idea in this literature is that perceived value and satisfaction are antecedents of the intention to use a product or service (Anderson, Fornell, and Lehmann 1994; Bolton and Drew 1991; Gronroos 1990; Hocutt 1998; Kang, Lee, and Choi 2007; Ravald and Gronroos 1996). Jesse wants to apply this idea to consumer participation in online brand communities. According to Jesse, "members will probably be satisfied with an online brand community and have the intention to participate in the community when they derive value from the community. Therefore it is important to know which values members may derive from participating in an online brand community." A thorough review of the literature has convinced Jesse that participation in online brand communities depends on the communities' perceived informational value, self-discovery value, social interactivity value, social enhancement value, entertainment value, and reward value (e.g., Dholakia, Bagazzi, and Pearo 2004; Flanagin and Metzger 2001).

A good theoretical framework identifies and defines the important variables in the situation that are relevant to the problem and subsequently describes and explains the interconnections among these variables.

Perceived Value and Satisfaction in Online Brand Communities

Requirements:

1. There are three basic features that should be present in any theoretical framework. Discuss these features?

2a. Is there or are they any alternative approaches that would allow Jesse to develop a conceptual model?

2b. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of undertaking a literature review to develop a model?

2c. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative approach that you have come up with?

3a. Label the variables of Jesse's conceptual model in terms of independent, dependent, moderating, and/or mediating variables?

3b. Explain the general difference(s) between moderating and mediating variables?

4.  Develop the relevant hypotheses based on Jesse's model?

5a. Provide a thorough evaluation of Jesse's arguments?

5b. Provide a better explanation of why we would expect these relationships to exist?

6a. Try to come up with a variable that moderates the relationship between one of the independent variables and 'member's satisfaction'?
 
6c. Provide the relevant hypothesis?

1. There are three basic features that should be present in any theoretical framework. Discuss these features.

Social Marketing uses the commercial Marketing technologies for analysis, planning, execution of programs designed to influence the behavioral changes of the population in order to improve their personal welfare and also that of the society in which they live. Social Marketing is considered to be the toughest of all because it deals with changing behavior of the people and it is not easy to change the behavior the people and when it comes to health related issues it becomes even difficult. Theoretical framework is a collection of interrelated concepts; it’s like a theory but may not necessarily be a well-articulated one. A theoretical framework guides the researcher. Once the statement of the research is framed the theoretical framework helps in determining the variables that need to be measured, and the statistical relationships that need to be set and further analysed.

The three basic features that should be present in any theoretical framework are as follows: - Philosophy, Definitions, and Procedure

  • Philosophy: - it is very necessary to develop a philosophy around the theory. While probing into the requirements of business ethics, the related theories frequently involve decisions about right and wrong. Thinking a lot of honesty, fairness, integrity, and loyalty, this model has made comprehensive consideration for the internal and external issues in a detailed manner.

  • Definitions:- Identifying the detailed principles, the rights and duties between a company and its employees, suppliers, customers and neighbours, its fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders are well integrated.

  • Procedure: - Procedure basically defines how will go ahead with the research which means whether the writer will follow descriptive method, work shop method, questionnaire method or interview method.

The procedure will define how to go about the project.

2a. Is there or are they any alternative approaches that would allow Jesse to develop a conceptual model?

No there is not only 1 method but various other alternative approaches that would allow Jesse to develop conceptual model.

Conceptual model is basically knowledge based concept or by using expert systems.

The other approaches which Jesse can use is the questionnaire method, where the writer can gather different views from the population and get a clear idea about his framework

He can also use Workshop method where it is generally conducted with 6 to 8 population at a time in order to gather the information for system requirement. It is considered to be fastest method for collecting data related to information requirement but the process requires extra IT persons for recording the information and people involved in it should be skilled in conducting workshops (Boyatzis, 1998).

2b. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of undertaking a literature review to develop a model.

In many countries around the world many people die prematurely which is attributable to their lifestyle and environmental factors.

  • Advantages:-

  • The main advantage of literature review is that the writer gets the whole idea about the project.
  • It also helps in getting a insite about the development and the method which other researchers use, this will help them to give a better research.
  • Fact finding techniques can be identified
  • Purpose of the research is well defined.

  • Disadvantages:-

  • Figures are not realistic
  • Assumptions are taken into consideration
  • Results are not full proof

Features of a Theoretical Framework

2c. describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative approach that you have come up with.

  • Advantages:-

  • Alternative approaches help the writer to compare 2 results.
  • It helps in using the research which gives the most appropriate results.
  • It helps in identifying the errors and making necessary corrections.

  • Disadvantages:-

  • Alternative approaches can divert the writers mind
  • It creates a confusion in the mind and in the research methodology
  • Creates a confusion in the results which are generated in different approaches

3a. Label the variables of Jesse's conceptual model in terms of independent, dependent, moderating, and/or mediating variables.

  • Independent Variables:-

Independent variables are the variables which do not change from approach to approach

  • Informative: - This is a variable which describes all the information about the research. This is a variable which doesn’t change from approach to approach coz the information about the research will never change.

  • Non Informative: - this is a variable which may change from approach to approach because this variable is irrespective of the approach used. These are basically the assumptions which are used in the research.

  • Dependant:-

  • Depending variables are the variables which are totally dependent on the results that are generated.
  • If there is a slight change in these dependent variables then the research result is totally changed.
  • Social Interaction: - This basically means the approach which the researcher uses by talking socially to the people and generating assumptions about the project.
  • Enhancement:- if the researcher uses this approach it enhances the researchers knowledge which gives him a better insight about the problem statement

  • Moderating/Mediating

  • Moderating variables are the variables which basically describe the qualitative and quantitative variables of the study
  • Mediating variables talk about the input and the outputs of the research approach. They decide on the inputs of the research which will give the best output for that approach.

3b. Explain the general difference(s) between moderating and mediating variables.

  • Moderating:-

Moderating variable are the variables which talk about the quantitative and qualitative approach of the research. Qualitative variables are the variables which decide the quality of the research study. Quantitative variables decide the quantity of information that will be required for the research study. These variables are important for the research study because it gives the researcher a brief idea about the study and the problem statement.

  • Mediating:-

Mediating variables are the variables which define the inputs for the study which will give the best output. This defines the variable which will give a better output to the public like the reward value. The variables should help generate an award for the public.

4. Develop the relevant hypotheses based on Jesse's model.

The model basically talks about the social networking sites. Some of the relevant hypotheses can be as follows:-

  • To give better incite and better knowledge about the new brands.
  • Better reward values to high valued customers.
  • High valued customers should be given the best satisfaction level.
  • To feel free in accepting feedback and suggestions from the customers.

5a. Provide a thorough evaluation of Jesse's arguments.

Jesses’s arguments on the theory say that most of the customers prefer online brand community. They get better service and are freer in expressing their thoughts over the online communities. He also describes that when a person is related to an online community his expectations towards the online website increases. This also increases the expectations of the customers in getting a free reward gift in exchange of a purchase.

He also says that the customers are more diverted towards the networking websites because it provides entertainment which makes them relax and stress free. He thinks that providing sufficient entertainment will help him attract members on his website. He thinks on the entertainments like playing videos, contests, games etc. Requirement gathering is crucial part of social marketing in. It helps the marketer in understanding the needs of the organization related to that particular sector (Boyatzis, 1998). It helps in understanding the uses of the newly developed system and also serves as important tool in system analysis. By proper requirement gathering system it is possible for the developer to design and develop new or alternative solutions which will cater the needs of the study. For the development of good and effective structure it is necessary that the data related to requirements should be well documented, testable and helps to relate to new business opportunities and helps in providing information necessary for system. Usually the requirement analysis includes three steps, identifying the population, analyzing requirements and finally documenting the requirements and using the data while testing the newly development.

5b. Provide a better explanation of why we would expect these relationships to exist.

We expect these relations to exist because this will help to generate the loyalty of the members. Certain actions will increase the relationship between the member and the community, like providing sufficient entertainment will help him attract members on his website and will increase the participation of the members on the community websites. This will increase the interactions on the community websites and help in getting better suggestions to make the website a better place of entertainment.

6a. Try to come up with a variable that moderates the relationship between one of the independent variables and 'member's satisfaction'.

The variable that moderates the relationship between one of the independent variables and 'member's satisfaction' is Entertainment. Entertainment will help in relation building since the member will have a nice time on the community website. Entertainment will also help the member to stay and participate on the community website.

6b. Provide an explanation of why and how you would expect that this variable affects the relationship between the independent variable of your choice and `member's satisfaction'.

The independent variable will help in building the relationship because by providing entertainment the member will feel that the community website cares about the member’s expectations and have a better incite on the time which they spend on the community website.

Social networking websites and community websites are the best sources where the member can share his ideas and thoughts and feel stress free. Entertainment when provided on the websites shows various types of discount coupons, different options of purchase, different type of products which the member is looking for etc. The effective implementation of social marketing strategy will depend upon three factors that are education, law and marketing. In order to achieve success in public health objectives it is important that all three factors are used properly and in co-ordination to achieve the final goals.

 6c. Provide the relevant hypothesis.

Most relevant hypotheses that can be given for this study is that, the better entertainment and the better reward a community website provides the more will be the participation of the member on the social networking website.  The more the social networking website will work on the customer front is directly proportional to the participation level of the members and the customers. This will also increase the satisfaction level of the customers. The information for the requirement gathering is obtained from the below mentioned. The marketer should collect the information related to required study from the existing structure and it should be clear and unambiguous. The information can be collected through several methods. Social marketing is critical to exhibit because it looks at public health sector with the view point of the customers. While involving social marketing in public health you should be well aware of the target audience. We should be aware of what the consumer is looking for. The marketers should be known why the consumer will accept the change, why is he not accepting the change etc. The marketer should realize the difficulties and the negative issues from the mind-set if the target audience and try to remove it from the population.

References:

  1. Boyatzis, R. (1998). Transforming qualitative information: Thematic analysis and code development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  2. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1991). What is philosophy? New York: Columbia University Press.
  3. Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). (1994). Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  4. Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 105–117). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  5. Mishler, E. G. (1990). Validation in inquiry-guided research: The role of exemplars in narrative studies. Harvard Educational Review, 60, 415–441.
  6. Morse J. M., Hupcey, J. E., Penrod, J., Spiers, J. A., Pooler, C., & Mitcham, C. (2002). Symposium conclusion: Issues of validity—Behavioral concepts, their derivation and interpretation. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 1(4), 68–73.
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My Assignment Help. Online Brand Communities And Consumer Participation: A Theoretical Framework Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2016 [cited 21 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/the-research-process-theoretical-framework-and-hypothesis-development.

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