Building Online Brand Community around your Brand: Exploring the Moderating Role of Function-Based Supports: An Abstract

Cheng Yu Lin, En Yi Chou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Rapid growth of Internet and other technologies has spawned a virtual world resulting from Web 2.0. Firm-hosted online brand communities (OBCs) are among the social medium that have emerged as effective vehicles for organizations to establish long-term relationships with consumers and to facilitate interaction with and among consumers. By engaging in firm-hosted OBCs, consumers not only share similar interests, exchange brand-related information, support others with product- or brand-related issues, but also receive news in advance from the organization. Thus, recent research increasingly focuses on consumers’ OBC engagement, which can be seen as the extent of participants’ specific interactions and/or interactive experiences. Despite an increased interest in the connections among OBC engagement, customer–community relationship, and customer–brand relationship, relatively no empirical research has explored the important role of moderating mechanisms that enhance such relationships. Accordingly, we intend to shed light on how customer–community relationship affects OBC engagement, which in turn, leads to a customer–brand relationship. Drawing on both use and gratification theory and social cognitive theory, we investigate the important role of function-based supports (i.e., cognitive function and social/affective function) as moderators of the relationship between OBC identification–OBC engagement and OBC engagement–brand loyalty. In particular, we identify learning benefits and self-development benefits as key factors of cognitive functions while social/affective function includes social integrative benefits and hedonic benefits. Results based on a 294-respondent survey data show that Social/affective function factors positively moderate both the OBC identification–OBC engagement relationship and the OBC engagement–brand loyalty relationship. Cognitive function factors, on the other hand, only moderates the effects of OBC engagement on brand loyalty. The findings provide academic insights for scholars and marketing implications for practitioners in building and managing firm-hosted OBCs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173


  • Brand loyalty
  • Function-based supports
  • Online brand communities


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