Brand Community Membership and the Construction of Meaning

Scandinavian Journal of Management 29 (2): 173-183. 2013

11 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2015

See all articles by Gabriele Morandin

Gabriele Morandin

University of Bologna

Richard P. Bagozzi

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Massimo Bergami

University of Bologna

Date Written: January 1, 2013

Abstract

We investigate one way that consumers find meaning in their lives through the joint experience of a brand with friends in a brand community. Using the laddering technique, we disclose the sense-making related to the participation of 174 members of Ducati motorcycle communities. The emergent cognitive map reveals that the members’ sense-making is related to a strong personal involvement with the focal brand and its social relatedness and symbolic mean- ings. These variables and their interconnections allow customers to define their relationships through the community. We also explore how elicited explanations for joining a community are efficacious in decision-making processes, through their influence on variables included in the theory of planned behavior. The findings provide a clearer explanation of consumer membership in brand communities than extant approaches and how customers define their identities through the centrality of the brand in their lives.

Keywords: Social identity, Personal identity, Sense-making, Brand communities, Laddering, Means-ends chains

Suggested Citation

Morandin, Gabriele and Bagozzi, Richard P. and Bergami, Massimo, Brand Community Membership and the Construction of Meaning (January 1, 2013). Scandinavian Journal of Management 29 (2): 173-183. 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2550893

Gabriele Morandin (Contact Author)

University of Bologna ( email )

Via Capo di Lucca, 34
Bologna, BO 40126
Italy
+39 051 2098416 (Phone)
+39 051 2098074 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.unibo.it/Faculty/default.aspx?UPN=gabriele.morandin%40unibo.it&View=CV

Richard P. Bagozzi

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

Massimo Bergami

University of Bologna

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