Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 277–292 | Cite as

Antecedents and consequences of participation in brand communities: a literature review

  • Margurite Hook
  • Stacey Baxter
  • Alicia Kulczynski
Original Article


With hundreds of articles dedicated to investigating brand communities, there is now a need to consolidate the literature. This review addresses the need to reconcile the findings of brand community participation literature through undertaking a literature review. Over 1900 articles were examined, 41 in detail. Findings reveal that three forms of brand community participation have been studied: offline, online, and social-media-based, each uncovering the antecedents and consequences of brand community participation. Antecedents were grouped into five categories (self-related, social-related, information-related, entertainment-related and technology-related) and consequences into three categories (brand-related, brand community-related, and social-related). From the review, several future research directions are uncovered, including 16 specific research questions. By scrutinising the vast literature on brand community participation, and presenting multiple avenues for future research, this review presents findings useful for academics and practitioners alike.


Brand community participation Literature review Online brand communities Offline brand communities Social-media-based brand communities 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


  1. Annett-Hitchcock, K., and Y. Xu. 2015. Shopping and virtual communities for consumers with physical disabilities: Shopping and virtual communities. International Journal of Consumer Studies 39(2): 136–144. Scholar
  2. Bagozzi, R.P., and U.M. Dholakia. 2006. Antecedents and purchase consequences of customer participation in small group brand communities. International Journal of Research in Marketing 23(1): 45–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baldus, B.J., C. Voorhees, and R. Calantone. 2015. Online brand community engagement: Scale development and validation. Journal of Business Research 68(5): 978–985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Belk, R.W., and G. Tumbat. 2005. The cult of Macintosh. Consumption Markets & Culture 8(3): 205–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bruhn, M., S. Schnebelen, and D. Schäfer. 2014. Antecedents and consequences of the quality of e-customer-to-customer interactions in B2B brand communities. Industrial Marketing Management 43(1): 164–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Canniford, R. 2011. How to manage consumer tribes. Journal of Strategic Marketing 19(7): 591–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carlson, B.D., T.A. Suter, and T.J. Brown. 2008. Social versus psychological brand community: The role of psychological sense of brand community. Journal of Business Research 61(4): 284–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Casaló, L.V., C. Flavián, and M. Guinalíu. 2008. Promoting consumer’s participation in virtual brand communities: A new paradigm in branding strategy. Journal of Marketing Communications 14(1): 19–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chaplin, L.N., and D.R. John. 2005. The development of self-brand connections in children and adolescents. Journal of Consumer Research 32(1): 119–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chaplin, L.N., and T.M. Lowrey. 2010. The development of consumer-based consumption constellations in children. Journal of Consumer Research 36(5): 757–777.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen, C.-D., and E.C. Ku. 2013. Bridging indistinct relationships and online loyalty: evidence from online interest-based communities. Online Information Review 37(5): 731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cicchetti, D., and Cohen, D. J. 2006. Developmental Psychopathology Volume 1. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved from 2555640&.Google Scholar
  13. Cova, B., and S. Pace. 2006. Brand community of convenience products: new forms of customer empowerment—The case “my Nutella the community”. European Journal of Marketing 40(9/10): 1087–1105. Scholar
  14. Cova, B., and V. Cova. 2002. Tribal marketing: The tribalisation of society and its impact on the conduct of marketing. European Journal of Marketing 36(5/6): 595–620. Scholar
  15. Crawford, H.J., and G.D. Gregory. 2015. Humorous advertising that travels: A review and call for research. Journal of Business Research 68(3): 569–577. Scholar
  16. De Vries, L., S. Gensler, and P.S. Leeflang. 2012. Popularity of brand posts on brand fan pages: An investigation of the effects of social media marketing. Journal of Interactive Marketing 26(2): 83–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dholakia, U.M., R.P. Bagozzi, and L.K. Pearo. 2004. A social influence model of consumer participation in network- and small-group-based virtual communities. International Journal of Research in Marketing 21(3): 241–263. Scholar
  18. Enginkaya, E., and Yılmaz, H. 2014. What drives consumers to interact with brands through social media? A motivation scale development study. In 2nd international conference on strategic innovative marketing, 148, 219–226.
  19. Filipe Lages, L., and D.B. Montgomery. 2004. Export performance as an antecedent of export commitment and marketing strategy adaptation: Evidence from small and medium-sized exporters. European Journal of Marketing 38(9/10): 1186–1214. Scholar
  20. Flurry, L.A., K.R. Swimberghe, and J.M. Parker. 2014. Examining brand communities among children and adolescents: An exploratory study. Journal of Consumer Marketing 31(2): 103–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gefen, D., and D.W. Straub. 2004. Consumer trust in B2C e-Commerce and the importance of social presence: Experiments in e-Products and e-Services. Omega 32(6): 407–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gorn, G.J., and R. Florsheim. 1985. The effects of commercials for adult products on children. Journal of Consumer Research 11(4): 962–967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Goulding, C., A. Shankar, and R. Canniford. 2013. Learning to be tribal: Facilitating the formation of consumer tribes. European Journal of Marketing 47(5/6): 813–832. Scholar
  24. Habibi, M.R., M. Laroche, and M.-O. Richard. 2014. The roles of brand community and community engagement in building brand trust on social media. Computers in Human Behavior 37: 152–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Habibi, M.R., M. Laroche, and M.-O. Richard. 2016. Testing an extended model of consumer behavior in the context of social media-based brand communities. Computers in Human Behavior 62: 292–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hedlund, D.P. 2014. Creating value through membership and participation in sport fan consumption communities. European Sport Management Quarterly 14(1): 50–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hickman, T., and J. Ward. 2007. The dark side of brand community: Inter-group stereotyping, trash talk, and Schadenfreude. Advances in Consumer Research 34: 314–319.Google Scholar
  28. Ho, C.-W. 2015. Identify with community or company? An investigation on the consumer behavior in Facebook brand community. Telematics and Informatics 32(4): 930–939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hung, H. 2014. Attachment, identification, and loyalty: Examining mediating mechanisms across brand and brand community contexts. Journal of Brand Management 21(7–8): 594–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hur, W., K. Ahn, and M. Kim. 2011. Building brand loyalty through managing brand community commitment. Management Decision 49(7): 1194–1213. Scholar
  31. Jang, H., L. Olfman, I. Ko, K. Joon, and K. Kim. 2008. The influence of on-line brand community characteristics on community commitment and brand loyalty. International Journal of Electronic Commerce 12(3): 57–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ji, M. 2002. Children’s relationships with brands: “True love” or “one-night” stand? Psychology & Marketing 19(4): 369–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ji, M. 2008. Child-brand relations: A conceptual framework. Journal of Marketing Management 24(5–6): 603–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jung, N.Y., S. Kim, and S. Kim. 2014. Influence of consumer attitude toward online brand community on revisit intention and brand trust. Journal of Retailing & Consumer Services 21(4): 581–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kang, I., K.C. Lee, S. Lee, and J. Choi. 2007. Investigation of online community voluntary behavior using cognitive map. Computers in Human Behavior 23(1): 111–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kozinets, R.V. 1999. E-tribalized marketing?: The strategic implications of virtual communities of consumption. European Management Journal 17(3): 252–264. Scholar
  37. Kuo, Y.-F., and L.-H. Feng. 2013. Relationships among community interaction characteristics, perceived benefits, community commitment, and oppositional brand loyalty in online brand communities. International Journal of Information Management 33(6): 948–962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lee, H.J., D. Lee, C.R. Taylor, and J. Lee. 2011. Do online brand communities help build and maintain relationships with consumers? A network theory approach. Journal of Brand Management 19(3): 213–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lego. 2016. City. Retrieved February 23, 2016, from Scholar
  40. Lin, H.-F. 2008. Antecedents of virtual community satisfaction and loyalty: An empirical test of competing theories. CyberPsychology & Behavior 11(2): 138–144. Scholar
  41. Luo, N., M. Zhang, and W. Liu. 2015. The effects of value co-creation practices on building harmonious brand community and achieving brand loyalty on social media in China. Computers in Human Behavior 48: 492–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Madupu, V., and D.O. Cooley. 2010a. Antecedents and consequences of online brand community participation: A conceptual framework. Journal of Internet Commerce 9(2): 127–147. Scholar
  43. Madupu, V., and D.O. Cooley. 2010b. Cross-cultural differences in online brand communities: An exploratory study of Indian and American online brand communities. Journal of International Consumer Marketing 22(4): 363–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Manthiou, A., L.R. Tang, and R. Bosselman. 2014. Reason and reaction: the dual route of the decision-making process on Facebook fan pages. Electronic Markets 24(4): 297–308. Scholar
  45. Marzocchi, G., G. Morandin, and M. Bergami. 2013. Brand communities: Loyal to the community or the brand? European Journal of Marketing 47(1/2): 93–114. Scholar
  46. Mattel. 2016. My world—The most pink-tastic world for girls online. Retrieved February 23, 2016, from Scholar
  47. McAlexander, J.H., J.W. Schouten, and H.F. Koenig. 2002. Building brand community. Journal of Marketing 66(1): 38–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mind Candy. 2016. Moshi Monsters - Sign In. Retrieved February 23, 2016, from
  49. Mitchell, C., and B.C. Imrie. 2011. Consumer tribes: Membership, consumption and building loyalty. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics 23(1): 39–56. Scholar
  50. Morandin, G., R.P. Bagozzi, and M. Bergami. 2013. Brand community membership and the construction of meaning. Scandinavian Journal of Management 29(2): 173–183. Scholar
  51. Muniz, J., M. Albert, and T.C. O’Guinn. 2001. Brand community. Journal of Consumer Research 27(4): 412–432. Scholar
  52. Muñiz Jr., A.M., and H.J. Schau. 2005. Religiosity in the abandoned apple newton brand community. Journal of Consumer Research 31(4): 737–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Munnukka, J., H. Karjaluoto, and A. Tikkanen. 2015. Are Facebook brand community members truly loyal to the brand? Computers in Human Behavior 51: 429–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mzoughi, P.N., R.B. Ahmed, and H. Ayed. 2010. Explaining the participation in a small group brand community: An extended TRA. Journal of Business & Economics Research 8(8): 17–25.Google Scholar
  55. Pahnila, S., & Väyrynen, K. 2015. A cultural comparison of open innovation in online brand communities. Retrieved from
  56. Phillips-Melancon, J., and V. Dalakas. 2014. Brand rivalry and consumers’ Schadenfreude: The case of Apple. Services Marketing Quarterly 35(2): 173–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Piaget, J. 1972. Intellectual evolution from adolescence to adulthood. Human Development 15(1): 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Pluye, P., Q.N. Hong, P.L. Bush, and I. Vedel. 2016. Opening-up the definition of systematic literature review: The plurality of worldviews, methodologies and methods for reviews and syntheses. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 73: 2–5. Scholar
  59. Royo-Vela, M., and P. Casamassima. 2011. The influence of belonging to virtual brand communities on consumers’ affective commitment, satisfaction and word-of-mouth advertising: The ZARA case. Online Information Review 35(4): 517–542. Scholar
  60. Sánchez-Franco, M.J., E.M. Buitrago-Esquinas, and R. Yñiguez. 2012. How to intensify the individual’s feelings of belonging to a social networking site? Management Decision 50(6): 1137–1154. Scholar
  61. Scarpi, D. 2010. Does size matter? An examination of small and large web-based brand communities. Journal of Interactive Marketing 24(1): 14–21. Scholar
  62. Schau, H., and A. Muñiz. 2006. A tale of tales: the Apple Newton narratives. Journal of Strategic Marketing 14(1): 19–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Shang, R., Y. Chen, and H. Liao. 2006. The value of participation in virtual consumer communities on brand loyalty. Internet Research 16(4): 398–418. Scholar
  64. Sicilia, M., and M. Palazón. 2008. Brand communities on the internet. Corporate Communications: An International Journal 13(3): 255–270. Scholar
  65. Sierra, J.J., V.A. Badrinarayanan, and H.A. Taute. 2016. Explaining behavior in brand communities: A sequential model of attachment, tribalism, and self-esteem. Computers in Human Behavior 55: 626–632. Scholar
  66. Snyder, H., L. Witell, A. Gustafsson, P. Fombelle, and P. Kristensson. 2016. Identifying categories of service innovation: A review and synthesis of the literature. Journal of Business Research. Scholar
  67. Stokburger-Sauer, N. 2010. Brand community: Drivers and outcomes. Psychology & Marketing 27(4): 347–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sung, Y., Y. Kim, O. Kwon, and M. Moon. 2010. An explorative study of Korean consumer participation in virtual brand communities in social network sites. Journal of Global Marketing 23(5): 430–445. Scholar
  69. Syrjälä, H. 2016. Turning point of transformation: Consumer communities, identity projects and becoming a serious dog hobbyist. Journal of Business Research 69(1): 177–190. Scholar
  70. Tajfel, H. (ed.). 1978. Differentiation between social groups: Studies in the social psychology of intergroup relations. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  71. Taute, Ha, and J. Sierra. 2014. Brand tribalism: An anthropological perspective. Journal of Product & Brand Management 23(1): 2–15. Scholar
  72. Thompson, S.A., and R.K. Sinha. 2008. Brand communities and new product adoption: The influence and limits of oppositional loyalty. Journal of Marketing 72(6): 65–80. Scholar
  73. Thumm, J. 2015. Sephora learns the importance of online brand communities. Retrieved March 2, 2016, from
  74. Tranfield, D., D. Denyer, and P. Smart. 2003. Towards a methodology for developing evidence-informed management knowledge by means of systematic review. British Journal of Management 14(3): 207–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Tsai, H.-T., H.-C. Huang, and Y.-L. Chiu. 2012. Brand community participation in Taiwan: Examining the roles of individual-, group-, and relationship-level antecedents. Journal of Business Research 65(5): 676–684. Scholar
  76. Ungerleider, N. 2014, September 22. How Sephora discovered that Lurkers are also its “Superfans.” Retrieved March 2, 2016, from
  77. Veloutsou, C., and L. Moutinho. 2009. Brand relationships through brand reputation and brand tribalism. Advances in Brand Management 62(3): 314–322. Scholar
  78. Wang, Y., S.F. Chan, and Z. Yang. 2013. Customers’ perceived benefits of interacting in a virtual brand community in China. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research 14(1): 49–66.Google Scholar
  79. Wang, Y., S.S. Ma, and D. Li. 2015. Customer participation in virtual brand communities: The self-construal perspective. Information & Management 52(5): 577–587. Scholar
  80. Wang, Y., J. Shi, S. Ma, G. Shi, and L. Yan. 2012. Customer interactions in virtual brand communities: Evidence from China. Journal of Global Information Technology Management 15(2): 46–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Witell, L., H. Snyder, A. Gustafsson, P. Fombelle, and P. Kristensson. 2015. Defining service innovation: A review and synthesis. Journal of Business Research. Scholar
  82. Woisetschläger, D.M., V. Hartleb, and M. Blut. 2008. How to make brand communities work: Antecedents and consequences of consumer participation. Journal of Relationship Marketing 7(3): 237–256. Scholar
  83. Zaglia, M.E. 2013. Brand communities embedded in social networks. Journal of Business Research 66(2): 216–223. Scholar
  84. Zhang, H., K.Z.K. Zhang, M.K.O. Lee, and F. Feng. 2015. Brand loyalty in enterprise microblogs. Information Technology & People 28(2): 304–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Zheng, X., C.M.K. Cheung, M.K.O. Lee, and L. Liang. 2015. Building brand loyalty through user engagement in online brand communities in social networking sites. Information Technology & People 28(1): 90–106. Scholar
  86. Zhou, Y., and M. Amin. 2014. Factors affecting online community commitment in China: A conceptual framework. Journal of Technology Management in China 9(1): 24–36. Scholar
  87. Zhou, Z., J.P. Wu, Q. Zhang, and S. Xu. 2013. Transforming visitors into members in online brand communities: Evidence from China. Journal of Business Research 66(12): 2438–2443. Scholar
  88. Zhou, Z., Q. Zhang, C. Su, and N. Zhou. 2012. How do brand communities generate brand relationships? Intermediate mechanisms. Journal of Business Research 65(7): 890–895. Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Newcastle Business SchoolUniversity of Newcastle City CampusNewcastleAustralia

Personalised recommendations