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Seriously Engaged Consumers: Navigating Between Work and Play in Online Brand Communities

Stefânia Ordovás de Almeida, Daiane Scaraboto, João Pedro dos Santos Fleck and Marlon Dalmoro

Journal of Interactive Marketing, 2018, vol. 44, issue C, 29-42

Abstract: Seriously engaged consumers create and manage online communities dedicated to brands or consumption activities, but this type of engagement remains under-examined. This study explores the contextual triggers and individual drivers of serious engagement in online communities and explains how seriously engaged consumers navigate the intersection between work and play that characterizes serious engagement. We draw from qualitative data spanning over a decade on the trajectory of four seriously engaged consumers who created and/or managed an online brand community for players of Microsoft's Xbox. Three contextual triggers (market-specific practices, marketplace shifts, sociotechnical advancements), when aligned with individual drivers (relevant skills and expertise, entrepreneurial vision, personal commitment), motivate consumers who have been engaged with a brand or consumption activity to deepen their engagement, becoming managers of or launching an online brand community. Consumers can navigate the in-between space of serious leisure through knowledge development or searching for personal fulfillment and/or external recognition. These findings support several contributions to the literature on consumer engagement: demonstrating the vital role seriously engaged consumers play in online community development; drawing attention to contextual triggers and individual drivers of consumer engagement that have not been addressed in prior research; and exploring how consumers navigate the in-between space arising from serious engagement in online communities, finding routes that can lead to deeper engagement in the community itself or redirect it to alternative targets.

Keywords: Online community; Brand community; Serious engagement; Longitudinal study; Netnography (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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