Consumers in an Online Brand Community: Uses and Gratifications, Social Capital, and Brand Loyalty

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2016-11-08
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Son, Jihyeong
Damhorst, Mary
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International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Annual Conference Proceedings
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The first national meeting of textile and clothing professors took place in Madison, Wisconsin in June 1959. With a mission to advance excellence in education, scholarship and innovation, and their global applications, the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) is a professional and educational association of scholars, educators, and students in the textile, apparel, and merchandising disciplines in higher education.

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This study investigated (1) needs consumers bring to participation in and social resources generated in OBCs, (2) the process of how needs to use an OBC are gratified through achieving social resources available through the OBC, and (3) how outcomes of social interaction in the OBC influence loyalty toward the brand which the community endorses. Online survey conducted with 499 consumers who are members or visitors of an apparel, shoe, and/or accessory OBC. Results indicate that consumers' needs to use an OBC did not directly influence the outputs of social capital accumulations such as knowledge sharing and community commitment. However, needs influence social capital accumulation, and these accumulations influence social capital outcomes (i.e., knowledge sharing, community commitment) and brand loyalty.

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