Brand community of convenience products: new forms of customer empowerment – the case “my Nutella The Community”

Brand community of convenience products: new forms of customer empowerment – the case “my... Purpose – To analyse the power that a virtual brand community exerts over a brand of a mass‐marketed convenience product. To draw implications about the strategy that a company can employ facing this power shift. To track emerging trends in virtual brand communities applied to convenience product (as opposed to niche or luxury goods). Design/methodology/approach – Case study of the web community “my Nutella The Community” promoted by the firm Ferrero in Italy. The study applied multiple methods and was conducted through interviews with key informants, netnography and document analysis. Findings – The virtual community that gathers around a convenience product brand shows a new form of sociality and customer empowerment: it is not based on interaction between peers, but more on personal self‐exhibition in front of other consumers through the marks and rituals linked to the brand. The company should play the role of non‐intrusive enabler of these personal expressions, reducing its control over the brand's meanings. Originality/value – The literature on brand community has traditionally focused on communities born around niche or luxury brand (Harley Davidson, Mercedes, Saab). The paper deals with a mass marketed convenience product like Nutella (the worldwide famous hazelnut spread), showing noteworthy differences that would advance current knowledge on brand communities and customer empowerment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Marketing Emerald Publishing

Brand community of convenience products: new forms of customer empowerment – the case “my Nutella The Community”

European Journal of Marketing, Volume 40 (9/10): 19 – Sep 1, 2006

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0309-0566
DOI
10.1108/03090560610681023
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – To analyse the power that a virtual brand community exerts over a brand of a mass‐marketed convenience product. To draw implications about the strategy that a company can employ facing this power shift. To track emerging trends in virtual brand communities applied to convenience product (as opposed to niche or luxury goods). Design/methodology/approach – Case study of the web community “my Nutella The Community” promoted by the firm Ferrero in Italy. The study applied multiple methods and was conducted through interviews with key informants, netnography and document analysis. Findings – The virtual community that gathers around a convenience product brand shows a new form of sociality and customer empowerment: it is not based on interaction between peers, but more on personal self‐exhibition in front of other consumers through the marks and rituals linked to the brand. The company should play the role of non‐intrusive enabler of these personal expressions, reducing its control over the brand's meanings. Originality/value – The literature on brand community has traditionally focused on communities born around niche or luxury brand (Harley Davidson, Mercedes, Saab). The paper deals with a mass marketed convenience product like Nutella (the worldwide famous hazelnut spread), showing noteworthy differences that would advance current knowledge on brand communities and customer empowerment.

Journal

European Journal of MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 2006

Keywords: Brand management; Postmodernism; Consumption; Virtual organizations; Internet; Empowerment

References

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    Cova, B.
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    Cova, B.; Cova, V.
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    Dubois, A.; Gadde, L.E.
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    Firat, A.F.; Shultz, C.J. II
  • Direct marketing in postmodernity: neo‐tribes and direct communications
    Patterson, M.
  • Loyalty programs and a sense of community
    Rosenbaum, M.; Ostrom, A.L.; Kuntze, R.
  • Consumer control and empowerment: a primer
    Wathieu, L.; Brenner, L.; Carmon, Z.; Chattopadhay, A.; Wetenbroch, K.; Drolet, A.; Gourville, J.; Muthukrishnan, A.; Novemsky, N.; Ratner, R.K.; Wu, G.
  • Food taste preferences and cultural influences on consumption
    Wright, L.T.; Nancarrow, C.; Kwok, P.M.H.

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