The differential impact of brand loyalty on traditional and online word of mouth: The moderating roles of self-brand connection and the desire to help the brand

Jiska Eelen, Peren Özturan, Peeter W.J. Verlegh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Marketers increasingly seek to build brand advocacy not only via traditional word of mouth (in-person WOM) but also by engaging their (loyal) customers via online media (eWOM). In a survey and three follow-up experiments, however, we show that brand loyalty is less positively related to spreading eWOM than in-person WOM (Studies 1-3). We find that loyal consumers' willingness to engage in eWOM increases when they are motivated to signal their identity through a brand (i.e., high self-brand connection in Studies 1-3) or to help a brand (Study 4). Our findings support the notion that online communication spreads faster and is less spontaneous and more deliberate than face-to-face communication. In turn, loyal consumers need strong motivation tied to the brand to engage in eWOM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)872-891
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Research in Marketing
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • (Electronic) word of mouth
  • Branding
  • Loyalty
  • Self-brand connection
  • Social media

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