Consumer engagement is being considered nowadays as an important research topic as it is proving to be providing an improved academic insight into the behavior of consumer in complicated, shared and co-creative environments (Koller, 2009). In theory, consumer engagement is understood to be larger sphere of relationship marketing (Kozinets, et. al. 2010). It is considered largely that consumer engagement is merely the detail of relationship marketing theory. Specified interactive consumer experience formulates consumer engagement. For this reason consumer engagement holds the central position in the marketing system (Kozinets, et. al. 2010). Consumer engagement has been defined as the degree of the presence a customer’s physical, cognitive and emotional aspects in their relationship with an organization. Consumer engagement with self-expressive brands has an amplified effect.
Self-expression in brands nowadays is being understood as the capability of the brand to allow the customer to alter it as per his own identity (Keller, Parameswaran, & Jacob, 2011). For instance, Freestyle fountain drink machines, were recently introduced by Coke in order to provide its customers with the option to mix selections from more than 100 choices into a drink of their own making. Other than expressing his identity through choice in the brand a customer can also express his identity by modifying the brand. Examples of such a modification can range from selecting the ringtone that one prefers to the personalizing the desktop of a computer. Self-expressive brands have also increased due to the fast increase in social networking platforms and communication between individuals (Keller, Parameswaran, & Jacob, 2011). This study strives to understand consumer engagement with self-expressive brands leading to brand advocacy by consumers using positive Word Of Mouth and Brand Acceptance.
The following two questions will be answered in this research:
The objective of the study is to determine whether brand advocacy for self-expressive brands is performed well with Word of Mouth or by Brand Acceptance.
The importance of this study can be understood by the need to understand the impact of rapidly rising areas of self-expression on the sale or promotion of a given brand as it is directly affecting it.
The social identities of consumers are enhanced by the environments provided by Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter which allows them to voice their opinions and discover others that share the same opinions (Keller, Parameswaran, & Jacob, 2011). Their identities are further expressed, in fact they become capable enough to develop new personalities with the help of virtual reality games, such as Second Life and The Sims. This unparalleled access to personally relevant self-expressive schemes and information raises a potential question; how the rapid growth in the means of self-expression does affect the opinion and decision of the customer about the product (Koller, 2009). This self-expression causes the consumer to develop love for Brand. According to Wirtz, et. al. (2013), Brand love is a predecessor to brand loyalty and satisfaction is an ancestor to brand love. Consequently, brand love ensues as the strong connection between brand loyalty and customer satisfaction (Keller, Parameswaran, & Jacob, 2011). If a person keeps being satisfied with a brand over a longer period of time, then it can be said that satisfaction will get changed into an affecting and passionate connection with the brand. This connection is more like affection, devotion and love. Ismail, & Spinelli (2012 state brand love as a mixture of feeling, sentiments, and passion. Another researcher of Batra, Ahuvia, & Bagozzi (2012) define it as it is the thing which has long term loyalty to the brand along with feelings and passion. Followed by this, it is believed that loving a brand, not simply satisfaction, is a step on the road to loyalty.
For this, marketers need to make a plan to have ways to make satisfied customers love a brand and become loyal customers (Batra, Ahuvia, & Bagozzi, 2012). Once brand love takes hold of a consumer his first impulse becomes brand advocacy which can be done by two methods; Word of Mouth and Brand Acceptance. For many years, word of mouth (WOM) has been known as a main power on what people identify, believe and do. Earlier, interpersonal influence was worked on. The book Rhetoric (Aristotle, trans. Roberts, 1924) highlights the influential and convincing implication of three artistic proofs a speaker controls: ethos, pathos and logos. Ethos is the ethical and personal appeals of a speaker (Ind, Iglesias, & Schultz, 2013). It consists of various ways in which a speaker can plan his/her characteristics in an attempt to bring forth belief on the listener’s part. Pathos includes the emotional pleas of the speaker. Logos are the base of logical discussion. Alamgir, et. al. (2011) point out the impact of word of mouth on consumers through his influential review of derived connection between social sciences and consumer behavior. Experts’View (2013) works on WOM to persuade ignorant experimental subjects, in spite of clearly noticeable proof to the contrary, marketing management agreed that advertising is one of some pressures on a person’s attitudes and not that much important than such persuasion as personal observation and peers (Brodie, et. al. 2013). In general, this research works as a foundation that declare WOM as more powerful on behavior than other marketer-controlled sources. Undeniably, it has been examined that WOM can be more significant and dominant than neutral print resources like Which and Consumer Reports.
It has been analyzed that WOM has a great impact on various situations: consciousness, expectations, awareness, feelings, behavioral intentions and attitudes. Fournier, & Lee (2009)wrap up with the view that WOM is more essential than advertising when one wants to increase awareness of an innovation and in making safe the decision in order to test the product. Silverman (2011) concludes that this was because of the elasticity and source reliability of interpersonal communication. He figures out that WOM was nine times as effective as advertising at changing adverse or nonaligned tendencies and implementing more affirmative, activists, and positive approaches (Schmitt, 2012). Brand acceptance is the instinct of the customer that comes after he decides he appreciates the brand and falls in love with it (Chu, & Kim, 2011). It encompasses the customer’s ability to accept the brand because of its name or reputation rather than judging it by its present or current state. For example, the brand Mcdonalds would never be tested for the hygiene of its products because it is renowned in the world to serve the best quality of all (Hollebeek, 2011). Another type of acceptance that customer adheres is the minor default or flaw in the brand that the customer chooses to overlook in order to maintain a regular consumption of the product (Chu, & Kim, 2011). This should not be intermixed with Brand forgiveness as that entails a deeper meaning than acceptance.
One of the notions that should have been discussed here is that of the Brand Forgiveness. It poses a vital gap in literature which needs to be studied. Brand forgiveness pertains to the customer’s love for the brand being so extensive that he overlooks the fault in the brand or its marketing or its make (Vivek, 2009). It is the step that comes after Brand loyalty because once a customer has indentified a brand the question that faces him is whether or not to make continued used of it. With regard to consumer engagement with self-expressive brands, Brand forgiveness ought to have been kept in mind.
As this study focuses on the brand advocacy by two methods namely Word of Mouth and Brand Acceptance, it has been inspired by a conceptual model described below: Engagerâ„¢ is a strategic framework for evolving and measuring effective and an encompassing marketing engagement. It expresses the new ways brands and communications have adopted. It generates experiences that are much more strong and involving (Gambetti, & Graffigna, 2010). It displays explicit instruction and insight to improve brand relations and increase prospective sale and profit ratios. For contemporary research in brands, Engager provides a great framework. It is a qualitative and quantitative approach both for proper understanding of the customers in the new, modern and rapidly growing world (Gambetti, & Graffigna, 2010). Global insight and several studies have been taken into account under this framework. To obtain positive impact on decision making and engaging in fruitful relations, Engager has recognized nine major key areas.
This study will be carried out using surveys, interviews, internet depictions and several research studies already conducted in this regard.
It will take the lively population of Islamabad from Pakistan.
Through random sampling, we will choose a sample of 100 youngsters aged between 18 to 25 years, belonging from middle to upper classes of the population.
The data will be collected using questionnaires in the survey, interviews and internet depictions as primary tools while researches conducted by other authors will be treated as the secondary source of data.
SPSS Statistics is software through which one can manage and calculate a wide range of statistics. The clearest use for SPSS is to use the software to run statistical tests. SPSS has all of the most broadly used statistical tests included in it (Hollebeek, 2011). Thus, now people do not have to do any mathematical equations by hand. SPSS is used to have more accurate results that can be justified. SPSS will be used to analyse the collected data. Different tests, like reliability, correlations, Anova and other suitable tests will be run on the collected data to come up with the results.
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