Brand Meaning and Virtual Brand Community Amongst Teenagers: A Study of the IPod Brand

Wiedemann, Katharina (2006) Brand Meaning and Virtual Brand Community Amongst Teenagers: A Study of the IPod Brand. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Research on symbolic brand meaning and brand community has so far been limited to the adult population. No research has been conducted concerning the existence or characteristics of brand community amongst the adolescent population. Moreover, very little is known about virtual communities, and research on virtual brand communities of adolescents remains nonexistent to this day. Given the positive implications of brand meaning and brand community to the marketer, and the increasing economic importance of teenagers, these are significant gaps in literature.

This paper fills those research gaps by conducting an adolescent consumer study on the IPod brand. Apart form proving new insight into virtual brand community, and consumption meanings the research furthermore addresses the lack of research into the internet experiences and self-brand connections of adolescents.

Using netnography, a brand new research technique, twelve key components of virtual brand community among adolescents could be established. The first three consist of the three core components of brand community as conceptualized by Muniz and O'Guinn (2001); 1. consciousness of kind, 2. shared rituals, traditions and symbols, and 3. moral responsibility. The other nine components were identified by the research and include 4. engagement in discussing brands in a virtual environment, 5. symbolic meanings and linking values, 6. tolerance for brand failure, 7. criticism towards the brands management, 8. converting IPod arguments towards Apple, 9. the quest for individualism, 10. dealing with opposition towards the brand, 11. image concerns and 12. personification of the brand. The findings of the study have very important and interesting implications for marketers, particularly for those targeting adolescents.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: marketing, teenagers, adolescents, iPod, virtual community, brand community, linking values, brand meaning, symbolic meaning,
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 15 May 2016 17:29

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