PurposeThriving brand communities are inseparable from engaged members and their word-of-mouth behavior. The purpose of this paper is to investigate which customer experience elevates customer engagement and consequent word-of-mouth intention in online brand communities, and how.Design/methodology/approachFrom the perspective of service ecosystem theory, a framework with several hypotheses was proposed. The model was verified with structural equation modeling based on questionnaire data collected from smartphone communities in China.FindingsEmpirical results indicate that customer experience promotes community engagement, and further enhances word-of-mouth intention. Furthermore, the mediating effect of community engagement in the relation between customer experience (social support and flow) and word-of-mouth intention has been verified.Practical implicationsThis paper informs practitioners about the importance of experience co-creation with community members in brand and community promotion, and provides several implications to encourage more engaged customers with fostering pleasant customer experiences.Originality/valueThis study contributes to the theory of service ecosystem by empirical examination of its several propositions in a brand community context. The paper extends the present theory with the discussion of the mediation effect of community engagement in the continuing value co-creation process.
Internet Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 7, 2017