Lego Branding Community Essay

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Online communities are becoming “places” of belonging, information, and emotional support that people cannot do without. These social groups have a real existence for their participants, and thus have consequential effects on many aspects of behaviour. This article examines collective value creation and empowerment in an online brand community. It presents the main features of an online brand community, the process of value co-creation, and motivators for participating in online brand communities. These key factors jointly characterize collective value creation and empowerment. This netnographic study focuses on an online brand community called BrickBuilders, which is a meeting place for LEGO builders in Finland. BrickBuilders’ members feel a sense of belonging, they share similar motivations, and they create value together. Introduction .

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Traditions include certain behavioural norms and values. The third feature is a sense of moral responsibility, which is a felt sense of duty or obligation to the community. The sense of moral responsibility is what produces collective action. Heinonen and Halonen (2007) have identified motivators for online brand community activities. Members want to belong to something, build and strengthen their identities, get feedback from others, and create something new. The Process of Collective Value Creation . Schau and colleagues (2009) have identified the process of value co-creation in online brand communities. The process consists of four thematic practices, which are social networking, impression management, community engagement, and brand use. Social networking is a practice that focuses on creating, enhancing, and sustaining ties among brand community members.

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Customizing means modifying existing ideas and discovering new ideas, which result in customized products. Commoditizing means that members rant or chastise some products, but at the same time, they have new ideas on how those products could be developed. Synthesis of the Theoretical Framework . The main features of online brand communities, value co-creation, and motivators for participating in online brand communities (Heinonen and Halonen, 2007; Kozinets, 2010; Muniz and O’Guinn, 2001; Schau et al., 2009) are the key factors that jointly – realized in various combinations – characterize collective value creation and empowerment in an online brand community. The collective value creation and empowerment in the online brand community may occur when its members have a sense of belonging, they create value together, and they have similar motives. The collective value creation and empowerment of the online brand community allows mutual interaction between the online brand community and the company as well as other stakeholders. Companies have an opportunity to communicate with consumers and influence their opinions (Kozinets, 2010) and vice-versa. We have moved away from one-way transactions to a relationship-based interaction model that emphasizes consumers’ and other stakeholders’ roles in networks and communities.

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