The emphasis of this chapter is brand community. A brand community is a virtual community where consumers who share a set of social relations based upon usage or interest in a product gather into a group and mutually interact. The consumers' purchase decision-making is often influenced by word-of-mouth communications with the other consumers; who to trust among them is often determined by their similarity of product purchase behavior. This bidirectional effect between trust and product preference explains the emergence and the strength of brand community. This chapter presents a theoretical model of this phenomenon along with analyses of an actual virtual community. We designate the bidirectional effect as community gravity because it represents the power to induce users to join the community. This analysis provides insights for understanding consumer behavior in an online environment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- コンピュータ サイエンス（全般）