Brand Community Analysis
As the development of communication technology and global market, the concept of Brand Community was fist defined as ‘a specialized, non-geographically bound community, based on a structured set of social relationships among admirers of a brand’ by two social scientists, Albert M. Muniz, JR and Thomas C. O’Guinn (2001). This essay will firstly give a brief overview of brand community, and then point out three main characteristics and further discuss these features of brand community based on the article by Muniz and O’Guinn (2001) using the supporters of Manchester United Football Club as an example.
Brand community is a customer-customer-brand triad. It reflects on a collection of brand-centric social group stressing the use of brand and the relationship formed by emotion between consumers (Muniz and O’Guinn, 2001). Furthermore, McAlexander, Schouten and Koenig (2002) have extended this model to the extent that brand community is actually a customer-centric network and aim to provide customer special brand-related consumption experience. They have also emphasized the concept of brand experience in a community. Any brand experience comes from the interaction among members, and at the same time customers also construct the meaning of the brand in the process of interaction and experience. Subsequently, by the research in the abandoned Apple Newton, Muniz and Schau (2005) found brand community can be regarded to a kind of religious affiliation.
Manchester United Football Club (MUFC) is a famous professional football team founded in 1878 in England. It is the best supported in Europe (Rice, 2009) and probably the most popular football club in the world. According to the article by Cass (2007) from Daily Mail, the number of worldwide MUFC supporters was closed to 333 million in 2007. In this case, I assume the fans of MUFC all are the members of the club community and they principally consume match tickets and club-related...
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