Title: The effect of eWOM communication on brand image and purchase intention towards lifestyle products in India

Authors: Devkant Kala; D.S. Chaubey

Addresses: Department of General Management, School of Business, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India ' Department of Management, Uttaranchal University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Abstract: The exponential growth of the internet has empowered customers and enhanced their interactivity. This has given pace for the phenomenal growth of the electronic word of mouth (eWOM) communication. In this easier, wider and faster medium of communication, the message itself performs a critical role in building brand image and persuading purchase intention. The present study is an attempt to explore the effect of eWOM on the brand image of lifestyle products and subsequent customer purchase intention. Based on the information obtained from 313 online customers, this paper analyses the effect of eWOM on brand image and purchase intention in the Indian context. Using structural equation modelling, this study confirms the significant effect of eWOM on brand image and the moderating role of the brand image between eWOM and purchase intention. The present study recommends that marketers should emphasis on favourable eWOM communications to enhance the brand image that subsequently would encourage customers' purchase intention.

Keywords: electronic word of mouth; eWOM; purchase intention; brand image; lifestyle products; India.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEM.2018.096077

International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, 2018 Vol.9 No.2, pp.143 - 157

Received: 21 Feb 2018
Accepted: 05 Sep 2018

Published online: 09 Nov 2018 *

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