Understanding Differences Between Firm-Managed and Customer-Managed Brand Communities

Stefania Ordovas de Almeida, Unviersity of Sao Paolo
Utpal Dholakia, Rice University
Silvia Vianello, Universita Ca’ Foscari di Venezia
We study firm-managed and customer-managed brand communities of two large firms, National Instruments and Microsoft. Our results, derived using Netnographic methodology, reveal considerable overlap in membership across these communities. However, they also show that firm-managed communities are employed primarily for instrumental purposes whereas customer-managed communities allow more for broader “off-topic” interactions not necessarily involving the firm’s products and brands thereby enabling small groups to emerge and thrive. Firm-managed communities are targeted toward specific, well-defined consumer segments and customer-managed communities may be formed by members of customer groups that the firm overlooked. We discuss theoretical issues and practical implications of our findings along with future research opportunities.
[ to cite ]:
Stefania Ordovas de Almeida, Utpal Dholakia, and Silvia Vianello (2007) ,"Understanding Differences Between Firm-Managed and Customer-Managed Brand Communities", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 645-650.