This conference was a wonderful opportunity for me to present my research to a primarily British audience and the surroundings of Regents University in London were beautiful.
I received some good feedback on my work and importantly some methodological advice regarding data analysis. It was also a good opportunity for me to further develop my network of academics and particularly UK based academics.
It is certainly a conference that I will potentially look to submit to again in the future. Below is the introduction to the paper that I presented. If you want further information please do get in touch.
Academy of Marketing Conference 2019 - Regents University, London
The evolution of individuals’ social networks, and the importance they play in consumer decision making, has complicated the process by which brands develop relationships with consumers (Bagozzi and Dholakia, 2002). Brand community theory has enabled academics and practitioners to understand the complex networks which exist among admirers of specific brands (Muniz and O’Guinn, 2001; McAlexander et al., 2002). Extant research posits that the social influence exerted on and by individuals within the brand communities drives pro-brand outcomes (de Valck et al., 2009; Stokburger-Sauer, 2010; Brodie et al., 2013; Dholakia et al., 2004). McAlexander et al. (2002) suggested that brand communities comprise more than just a single touch point with the brand for consumer. They posited that the employees of the brand were integral to the structure of the brand community. However, little research has explored the effect that employees have upon consumers within a brand community structure.
Brand engagement has also become a key focus within the literature. However, a fixation upon brand engagement directly developed with the brand is surprising as one of the few agreements within the engagement literature is that a consumer’s social interactions impact their engagement with the brand and in turn the associated benefits (Kozinets, 2014). Therefore, this research will advance the understanding of brand engagement and brand community theory whilst accounting for the impact of employee brand engagement.
Keywords: Brand Community, Brand Loyalty, Brand Identification, Social Identity
References available upon request