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Hence, the nature of these consumer–brand interactions on Facebook, tends to be more hedonic (e.g. sharing event-related, humorous and social-cause related posts).
“Brand reliant” These consumers are the most enthusiastic and committed to brand fan pages on Facebook, and thus represent the highest level of online brand-related activities. They spend more than one hour on Facebook per day. Moreover, they think it is highly important for brands to have Facebook pages. They have high levels of online interaction with brands, and also a high level of response to brands’ invitations to interact. In this regard, they play the critical role of brand ambassadors.
Regarding their primary motivations to interact, “brand reliant” use the brand’s Facebook page to gather information about the brand (i.e. symbolic and functional benefits), for entertainment, and also for keeping in touch with friends.
Originality and value Building on the five primary motivations that might influence consumers’ interactions with a brand on Facebook, a classification using clustering techniques reveals four different groups of consumers: brand detached, brand profiteers, brand companions and brand reliant. Our results provide valuable and applicable insights for brands’ social media marketing activities.
This study helps brand managers to develop strategies for effectively targeting the most desirable consumer groups.
Limitations This study considered liking, sharing and commenting separately, whereas consumers might engage in multiple roles and thus like, share and/or comment on the same brand-related content. However, a detailed view of each of these levels of interaction is critical for brands to understand whether they have an appropriate distribution across the different interaction levels. Furthermore, the sample size and profile could also be considered a limitation, as the data were collect in Portugal only, and the sample consisted solely of young respondents.
Although this population is relevant with respect to Facebook users, it is recommended that the research is replicated among older users in order to explore the generalizability of the findings.
We did not include specific brands in our study since we wanted to analyze consumer motivations to interact with brands in general. Future research could thus include specific brands, namely brands that have good results in terms of likes, but also in terms of comments and shares, in order to provide a more realistic appraisal of the content that effectively drives consumer–brand engagement on Facebook. Our research did not include potentially influential motivations that are brand specific, such as brand identity and consumer–brand relationship. Further research should explore the roles of these variables in driving consumer–brand interaction on Facebook.
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Value co-creation: A managerial perspective Marković, Stefan Iglesias, Oriol Ind, Nicholas Purpose of the paper Brand management has evolved from a product-centric viewpoint to one that conceptualises brands as social processes where multiple stakeholders integrate their resources in order to co-create value (Merz et al. 2009). In spite of the fact that value co-creation primarily takes place during the interactions of the firm with its customers, value is also co-created with other stakeholders (Iglesias et al. 2013). These stakeholders –shareholders, business partners, distributors, suppliers, and journalists – can influence the perceptions of individual customers, and can connect in brand communities (Iglesias et al. 2013; Muniz et al. 2001).
This prevalent stakeholder approach in the field of branding (Merz et al. 2009) has created the need to study how value is co-created between the firm and its diverse stakeholders (Brodie 2009; Frow and Payne 2011; Hatch and Schultz 2010). In order to meet this need, researchers have mainly developed theoretical studies of the co-creation process from the multiple stakeholder perspective (Pillai 2012; Wallström et al. 2008). Nevertheless, little empirical research has been conducted on this topic (Iglesias et al. 2013; Jaakola and Hakanen 2013; Merz et al. 2009; Vallaster and von Wallpach 2013).
Despite the lack of empirical research on co-creation from the multiple stakeholder perspective, there is actually a great deal of empirical research on the more dyadic approach to co-creation, which solely considers the interactions between the firm and the customers (Füller 2010; Füller et al. 2009; Hatch and Schultz 2010). This empirical research is mainly conducted from the customer perspective (Ind et al. 2013). And, this customer perspective is fundamentally built on the aspects of customers’: (1) motivations, (2) resources, and (3) experiences. First, there is a great deal of literature studying why customers are willing to participate in co-creation (for example, Füller 2010; Ind et al. 2013; Nambisan and Baron 2007, 2009; Nambisan and Nambisan 2008; Zwass 2010). Second, scholars have also studied co-creation from the viewpoint of the resources that customers need to have (for example, Arnould et al. 2006; Baron and Harris 2008; Gummesson and Mele 2010; Lusch and Vargo 2006; Vargo and Lusch 2008). Third, co-creation has been researched from the perspective of the personalised experiences from which customers derive value (for example, Prahalad and Ramaswamy 2003, 2004; Ramaswamy and Gouillart 2010).
Surprisingly, however, there is scarce empirical research on co-creation from the managerial perspective. The barriers and challenges that firms face when they engage in co-creation have not been studied empirically. Furthermore, the corporate culture in which these barriers and challenges are best addressed is also empirically under-investigated. Consequently, the type of leadership that Iglesias at al (2013) characterise as open, humble and participative is still to be empirically researched.
Figure 1: Research objectives.
Figure 1: Research objectives.
Figure 1: Research objectives.
Our research objective is twofold:
(1) To empirically investigate the value co-creation process, as well as the main barriers and challenges that it entails, from the managerial perspective.
(2) To empirically study, from a managerial perspective, which type of corporate culture, and leadership best supports and fosters the value co-creation process.
Methodology To achieve these research objectives, we will use qualitative research methodology. This methodology is appropriate for studying largely under-investigated topics (Eisenhardt 1989;
Gummesson 2000; Jaakkola and Hakanen 2013) with a relative lack of robust theory (Yin 2003). The fieldwork comprises: (1) 20 in-depth interviews of managers of companies engaged in co-creation initiatives, (2) a face-to-face workshop with all the managers interviewed, and (3) two case studies of companies with opposite approaches to co-creation.
First, interviews are the primary source of data in qualitative methods, because they enable the detection of deep respondents’ insights about their social realities (Eisenhardt and Graebner 2007). We are recording, transcribing, and coding these interviews using NVivo 10 and looking for emerging themes and categories. Second, a face-to-face workshop will allow us to examine further the relevant topics that have emerged from the NVivo analysis, as well serve to provide the interviewed managers with feedback. Third, the two case studies will enable us to understand the peculiarities of each contextual setting (Yin, 2003). Actually, the use of extreme cases (i.e. two companies with contrary perspectives of co-creation) is suitable for extending relationships among constructs, and thereby facilitates the emergence of theory (Eisenhardt and Graebner, 2007).
Finally, this data source triangulation (i.e. corroborating the observed patterns among diverse data sources) will increase the validity of the findings (Eisenhardt and Graebner, 2007; Stake, 1995; Yin, 2003). Moreover, to further enhance the internal generalizability, the participating organizations will be from different sectors and geographies, as well as involved in different stages of the co-creation process - from early conceptualisation stage to post launching evaluation.
Findings The preliminary findings of this research indicate that managers understand co-creation as a process that consists of working together not solely with customers, but also with other stakeholders, in order to reach a joint solution. More concretely, preliminarily findings show two predominant managerial perceptions of co-creation: a more tactical and a more strategic one.
On the one hand, those managers that have a more tactical perception use co-creation to get quick customer insights, and therefore they ask customers quick questions about the innovations that are to be developed. These managers usually engage customers in just a few stages of the co-creation process, especially in the initial ones of conceptualisation and idea generation. On occasion, customers are also involved in the design and development, testing, and/or launching stages of the co-creation process. Given that in this more tactical perception of co-creation the engagement of customers is ad-hoc and discrete, the main managerial challenge becomes to retain the involvement of customers. This can be achieved by improving the follow-up and providing customers with feedback, especially regarding the status of the innovations that they have proposed or participated in. Another important challenge is leadership’s lack of receptivity towards co-creation, caused by uncertainty as to its success. Accordingly, the tactical perception of co-creation is found to be more present in larger organisations with a more hierarchical corporate structure and a less participative leadership style.
On the other hand, those managers that have a more strategic perception of co-creation generally do not only involve customers, but also other stakeholders. This wider set of stakeholders is usually engaged in most stages of the co-creation process – idea generation, design and development, testing, refinement of ideas, implementation/execution, launching, communication and post-launching evaluation. As their engagement is greater and more longterm oriented compared to the tactical approach, the main managerial challenges become the technical difficulty for ordinary customers and other stakeholders to participate, as well as the high economic and time investment for the company. Managers can overcome these challenges by developing user-friendly co-creation platforms and focusing on the potential long-term profits. This strategic perception of co-creation is found to be more present in smaller organisations with a more flat corporate structure and a highly participative leadership style.
Implications By helping managers to better understand the process of co-creation, as well as to be aware of its barriers and challenges, this research will serve as a starting point for them to develop the strategies, corporate culture, and leadership style required in their organisations so as to ensure the success of co-creation initiatives.
More precisely, we expect our managerial implications to be in line with what Ind et al.