Brand Communication

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Journal of Consumer Marketing
Emerald Article: Brand communities for mainstream brands: the example of the Yamaha R1 brand community Reto Felix

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To cite this document: Reto Felix, (2012),"Brand communities for mainstream brands: the example of the Yamaha R1 brand community", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 29 Iss: 3 pp. 225 - 232 Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363761211221756 Downloaded on: 08-10-2012 References: This document contains references to 47 other documents To copy this document: permissions@emeraldinsight.com

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Brand communities for mainstream brands: the example of the Yamaha R1 brand community Reto Felix
´ Department of Business Administration, University of Monterrey, San Pedro Garza Garcıa, Mexico Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this study is to understand consumers’ product use, practices, identity, and brand meanings in the context of a brand community dedicated to a mainstream Japanese motorcycle brand. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative research approach was used in the form of netnography (i.e. ethnography adapted to the study of online communities). Findings – On the product level, consumers experience multiple conflicts and negotiations of meaning related to the use of the product. These findings are reproduced on the brand level, where members of the brand community present a more differentiated look on the brand, accompanied by lower levels of admiration and identification with the brand, as in previous reports of brand communities for brands such as Apple, Jeep, or Harley-Davidson. The results suggest that consumers for mainstream brands may be more prone to multi-brand loyalty instead of single-brand loyalty. Practical implications – Marketers should monitor motivations, attitudes, and decision-making processes on both the product and the brand level. Further, non-company-run online communities such as the Yamaha R1 forum bear the risk of community members transmitting brand information in a way not desired by the company. Thus, marketers should consider sponsoring an entire discussion website, a forum, or part of a forum. Originality/value – Whereas previous studies on brand communities have concentrated predominantly on highly admired and differentiated brands, such as Apple or Harley-Davidson, this study investigates consumer practices, identities, and negotiations of meaning on both the product and brand level for a less differentiated mainstream brand. Keywords Brand community, Brand loyalty, Netnography, Identity, Consumer behaviour, Brand management Paper type Research paper

An executive summary for managers and executive readers can be found at the end of this article.

Introduction to brand communities and literature review
Community-based brand relationships in marketing literature have been discussed commonly with a focus on brand communities. A brand community is a...
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