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The differential impact of brand loyalty on traditional and online word of mouth: The moderating roles of self-brand connection and the desire to help the brand

Jiska Eelen, Peren Özturan and Peeter W.J. Verlegh

International Journal of Research in Marketing, 2017, vol. 34, issue 4, 872-891

Abstract: Marketers increasingly seek to build brand advocacy not only via traditional word of mouth (in-person WOM) but also by engaging their (loyal) customers via online media (eWOM). In a survey and three follow-up experiments, however, we show that brand loyalty is less positively related to spreading eWOM than in-person WOM (Studies 1–3). We find that loyal consumers' willingness to engage in eWOM increases when they are motivated to signal their identity through a brand (i.e., high self-brand connection in Studies 1–3) or to help a brand (Study 4). Our findings support the notion that online communication spreads faster and is less spontaneous and more deliberate than face-to-face communication. In turn, loyal consumers need strong motivation tied to the brand to engage in eWOM.

Keywords: Loyalty; Branding; (Electronic) word of mouth; Self-brand connection; Social media (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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