Consumer brand engagement in social media: conceptualization, scale development and validation
Hollebeek, L; Glynn, MS; Brodie, R
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In the last three decades, an influential research stream has emerged which highlights the dynamics of focal consumer/brand relationships. Specifically, more recently the ‘consumer brand engagement’ (CBE) concept has been postulated to more comprehensively reflect the nature of consumers' particular interactive brand relationships, relative to traditional concepts, including ‘involvement.’ However, despite the growing scholarly interest regarding the undertaking of marketing research addressing ‘engagement,’ studies have been predominantly exploratory in nature, thus generating a lack of empirical research in this area to date. By developing and validating a CBE scale in specific social media settings, we address this identified literature gap. Specifically, we conceptualize CBE as a consumer's positively valenced brand-related cognitive, emotional and behavioral activity during or related to focal consumer/brand interactions. We derive three CBE dimensions, including cognitive processing, affection, and activation. Within three different social media contexts, we employ exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses to develop a reliable, 10-item CBE scale, which we proceed to validate within a nomological net of conceptual relationships and a rival model. The findings suggest that while consumer brand ‘involvement’ acts as a CBE antecedent, consumer ‘self-brand connection’ and ‘brand usage intent’ represent key CBE consequences, thus providing a platform for further research in this emerging area. We conclude with an overview of key managerial and scholarly implications arising from this research.