Title: Cultivating consumer-brand relationship in social media: the role of consumer willingness to engage

Authors: Terri H. Chan

Addresses: Department of Communication Studies, Communication and Visual Arts Building, Hong Kong Baptist University, CVA930, 5 Hereford Road, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Abstract: In today's digital era, social media advertising efforts continue to expand with strong abilities to concisely target, behaviourally profile, and interactively engage consumers. In the midst of plentiful brand information presented on social media, it has been argued that while consumers can attend to many brands, it is through consumers' motivation to interact with one particular brand that brand-consumer relationship can be further fostered. Using stage theories of relationship development as the overarching framework, consumer and brand relationship in this study is conceptualised to be similar to the trajectory of a close friendship, which involves active engagement from both parties. Collating data from three independent sources, this study examined 195 leading consumer brands across 23 product categories in China to verify the role of consumer's willingness to engage in shaping brand preference.

Keywords: consumer-brand relationship; consumer engagement; social media; empirical; online advertising; brand salience; brand distinctiveness.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2022.125138

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2022 Vol.17 No.1/2, pp.1 - 19

Received: 06 Jul 2020
Accepted: 27 Nov 2020

Published online: 31 Aug 2022 *

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