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EMAC 2020 Regional Conference

How do online brand communities generate customer loyalty in the fashion industry?

Published: September 16, 2020


Wilson Ozuem, University of Cumbria; Michelle Willis, University of Cumbria; Silvia Ranfagni, University of Florence


Online brand communities; customer loyalty; millennials


Online brand communities are gaining traction in the development of marketing strategy, but it is unclear how the dominant group of users, the millennials, is being targeted with the prevailing and varying customer loyalty programmes. Grounded in understanding that loyalty is seen and understood differently by people who participate in online brand communities, this study is based on a constructivist perspective combined with hermeneutic methodology and embedded case study research strategy to examine how online brand communities activate multi-dimensional customer loyalty intentions. Empirical data were generated through 45 in-depth interviews of millennials. The analysis proposes a framework that categorises customer loyalty into: Ambassador loyalists; Public-Voting loyalists; Loveless loyalists; Mercenary loyalists.