We all know that the power of the brand. Also, we do know that part of power of the brand holds in the consumers themselves. They create, co-create value, actively collaborate in the firm’s innovation process and sometimes co-create the entire marketing program. But what happens inside of the companies themselves and in which ways they interact with consumers?
The article by Schau et al (2009) gives an insight of the practices used by the organization to create brand value and community inside the company. In a nutshell, the theoretical part leaves the reader to the knowledge that companies should move beyond customization, that managers need to encounter broad ranges of practices inside of the organization itself and that company needs to continue fostering the consumers to be a part of marketing.
The research was based on evaluating the brand creation across different companies in different industries: internet device, personal digital assistants, global positioning systems, beverages and television. This data represents a diverse view on the evaluation of different practices applicable to the different industries in the value creation processes. Also, it addresses the important aspects of the organization’s work as gender differences in the brand recognition processes (some industries are more gender specific: reality shows for women, for instance). The data includes in-depth interviews with members of the organization in different industries, naturalistic observations of community activities as well as other research.
As it can be seen in the figure, the value creating practices are segmented across the different areas, where each have attributes. Thus, social networking practices are those that focus on creating, enhancing, and sustaining ties among brand community members and settle the expectations of themselves and one another. The impression management practices are focusing on creating external positive perceptions of the brand. Community engagement practices reinforce members to be a part of the brand creation community inside of the organization. These practices are competitive in nature, allowing the members to come up with ideas and ensuring the heterogeneity inside of the community. Lastly, brand use practices are focused on improving the current brand attributes.
The main outcomes of the articles point that the consumers tend to use the customization of the product a lot. Thus, when using the option of involving consumers with the practices, marketing teams tend to create stronger brand communities that serve to cultivate different markets. Co-creating plays a vital role in assembling the marketing campaign and enforcing the brand value among members of the organization which see the impact the brand has on the customers directly, as well as developing new ways to deliver the value to the targeted consumers. Milestoning, badging and documenting helps secure the creation from the corporate perspective. To ensure the health of the brand community, the research suggests that the firm should foster or sponsor social networking practices to build and sustain the community and to inspire further co-creation.
So, the more involved you as a company are with your consumers in different aspects using different value creation practices, the better!
Schau, H., Muñiz, A. and Arnould, E. (2009). How Brand Community Practices Create Value. Journal of Marketing, 73(5), pp.30-51.