Title: Brand communities: influencing organisations' identities and their perception of the business environment

Authors: John Lipinski; Michael F. Walsh; Laura M. Crothers

Addresses: Middle Tennessee State University, P.O. Box 75, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA. ' College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA. ' Department of School Psychology, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282, USA

Abstract: Companies strive to be in step with the marketplace. An organisation|s identity shapes how it perceives the business environment and affects its market orientation. As media and entertainment choices multiply and evolve, it becomes more complex for companies to easily reach a broad audience. One solution to this problem is for companies to interact more directly with brand communities; specialised, non-geographically bound communities based on a structured set of social relations among admirers of a brand. Integrating and interacting with brand communities and allowing them to influence an organisation|s identity will help companies to become more market-oriented and influence their perception of the business environment to more accurately reflect actual market conditions.

Keywords: brand groups; brand loyalty; marketing orientation; customer relations; consumer behaviour; brand communities; marketplace; market orientation; media choices; entertainment choices; business perceptions; broad audiences; company interaction; specialised communities; non-geographically bound communities; structured relations; social relations; brand admirers; community integration; market conditions; consumer influence; business environment; organisational identity; dynamic equilibrium.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2011.043649

International Journal of Business Environment, 2011 Vol.4 No.4, pp.363 - 377

Available online: 09 Nov 2011 *

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