Revista de Administração Contemporânea
On-line version ISSN 1982-7849
ALMEIDA, Stefânia Ordovás de; MAZZON, José Afonso; DHOLAKIA, Utpal and MULLER NETO, Hugo Fridolino. The effects of participating in virtual brand communities on consumer behavior: proposition and test of a theoretical framework. Rev. adm. contemp. [online]. 2011, vol.15, n.3, pp. 366-391. ISSN 1982-7849. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-65552011000300002.
The virtual brand communities as established venues for marketing actions are a recent and relevant phenomenon, with strong implications in the marketing field. Despite its significance, recent studies have not addressed an important question: what are the earnings that companies may have in terms of intent of recommendation, repurchase and loyalty through the action of a brand virtual community? This study proposes and tests a theoretical framework to explain the strength of virtual brand communities on consumer behavior. To test the research hypotheses, two different communities for the same product were used - the Microsoft XBOX game console. The final sampling was 555 cases. The findings, achieved through structural equations modeling, indicate model validity and a direct impact of Psychographic Homogeneity and Availability of Virtual Venues on Participation Level and also an impact of these three dimensions plus Relationship with the Brand on Community Identification. The impact of Community Identification on Community Influences was significant, but not the impact of Participation Level. Community Influences also had a direct positive impact on Future Intentions. Considerations on these results are discussed.
Keywords : consumer behavior; brands; brand communities; marketing strategy.