Over the past decade, online communities have been discussed in terms of their utility to facilitate new product development (e.g., Füller et al., 2004) and word of mouth marketing (Kozinets et al., 2010) and as a marketing research tool (Pitta and Fowler, 2005). However, only a very limited amount of research has been conducted that attempts to segment users of online communities. Instead, it has been commonly assumed that a community is comprised of individuals that share a large degree of homogeneity in their attitudes and preferences (e.g., Muiniz and O’Guinn, 2001). However, evidence from studies of the broader construct of brand communities has highlighted that there is a greater amount of heterogeneity between members than some conceptualizations permit (Ouwersloot and Odekerken-Schröder, 2008). However very few of papers exist that identify the structure and implications of this heterogeneity in the more specific context of online brand communities.
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- Attitudinal Segmentation and Loyalty of Retailer Online Community Users
Peter J. McGoldrick
Daniel P. Hampson