Antecedents and consequences of customer engagement on Facebook: An attachment theory perspective

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 2019, 13 (2), pp. 204 - 226
Issue Date:
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© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: Marketing researchers have usually studied consumers’ attachment to brands from an emotional bonding perspective. However, the purpose of this study is to show that attachment to objects is not only limited to bonding. Thus, the authors conceptualised the attachment theory from two perspectives: bonding-based and identity-based attachment. In addition, the study further seeks to identify the elements of each component and examine how these elements drive customer engagement on a brand’s Facebook page while assessing some consumer-related outcomes of customer engagement on Facebook. Design/methodology/approach: Using an online survey, the authors examined antecedents of customer engagement on Facebook and the outcomes of engagement behaviours among 649 respondents. Structural equation modelling was used in analysing the data. Findings: The results of the study show that consumers’ attachment to a brand drives them to engage the brand on the brand’s Facebook page. The results also show that the consumer engagement of brands on Facebook results in positive user-generated contents and consumer involvement. Practical implications: Managerially, the attachment theory provides value for marketers in terms of evaluating customer–brand relationships and how such a relationship can yield positive results. Originality/value: This study expands how the attachment theory has been conceptualised and applied in the marketing literature. The study shows that consumer attachment to brands is identity-based in addition to being bonding-based.
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