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Customer Engagement on Social Media - Understanding customer-brand interactions in the digital age.

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I have investigated the notion of engagement in new media and customer interests in brand utility in the course of my final degree in Marketing. This study focuses on IKEA and explores al the facets ...

I have investigated the notion of engagement in new media and customer interests in brand utility in the course of my final degree in Marketing. This study focuses on IKEA and explores al the facets of customer engagement. More than 500 individuals took part in the study. Please contact me if you are interested in some of the findings.

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Customer Engagement on Social Media - Understanding customer-brand interactions in the digital age. Customer Engagement on Social Media - Understanding customer-brand interactions in the digital age. Document Transcript

  • Customer Engagement on Social Media:Understanding customer-brand interactionsIn the digital ageEmmanuel Peype 593449Submitted to Swansea University in fulfillment of therequirements for the Degree of MSc MarketingSwansea University 2011
  • 2    
  • 3    Abstract    Social media has become a real challenge for marketers likely to connect with anaudience. The rising empowerment of customers in these new media tends to changemarketing landscape and oblige companies to start a conversation with them. Theconcept of customer engagement highlights the imminent need to focus on buildingpersonal two-way relationships with the audience and engaging them on new mediaplatforms.The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of customer engagement on customerbrand interactions, specifically in social media platforms using IKEA as a focalcompany. In addition to customer engagement, the study was measuring two otherconcepts likely to impact on those interactions: passion and brand utility.The research was elaborated through the use of conceptual models of engagement. Incomplement, motivations for engaging with brand in social were identified in currentliterature. Conceptual frameworks were indeed tested along the study.The empirical study was conducted in summer 2011. An online questionnaire was usedto collect information from 305 respondents. The questionnaire aimed at measuringinsights related to IKEA as well as testing constructs in the process of engagement.The result of this study proves the validity of conceptual model of engagement used.Results show that customer engagement had several implications with concepts relatedcustomer brand relationships such as satisfaction, loyalty and passion. However,customer engagement in social media was indirectly related to those constructs, as it didnot impact positively on some variables. The study also identified the importance ofintrinsic motivations for customers likely to engage with IKEA, such as getting fun andgetting information.Finally the study identified passion and brand utility as two important aspects ofcustomer-brand interactions likely to encourage customers in engaging.
  • 7      Table  of  Contents  Contents  Abstract  ....................................................................................................................  3  Declaration  &  Statements  .........................................................................................  4  Ethical  Evaluation  Form  ............................................................................................  5  Record  of  Supervision  ...............................................................................................  6  List  of  Tables  .............................................................................................................  9  List  of  Figures  .........................................................................................................  10  1   Introduction  ....................................................................................................  11  2   Literature  Review  ............................................................................................  15  2.1   Customer  Engagement  .....................................................................................................................  15  2.2   Social  Media  ..........................................................................................................................................  17  2.2.1   Types  of  Social  Media  ..........................................................................................................................  17  2.2.2   Characteristics  of  Social  Media  .......................................................................................................  19  2.2.3   User  participation  on  social  media  ...............................................................................................  19  2.3   Customer  engagement  on  social  media  .....................................................................................  22  2.3.1   Types  of  Customer  Engagement  on  social  media  ...................................................................  22  2.3.2   The  Engagement  Ladder  ....................................................................................................................  24  2.3.3    .............................................................................  26  2.4   Motivations  for  engaging  in  social  media  .................................................................................  27  2.5   Customer-­‐Brand  relationship  ........................................................................................................  30  2.5.1   Emotional  attachment  and  Passion  ..............................................................................................  31  2.5.2   Brand  Utility  ............................................................................................................................................  32  3   Statement  of  research  and  hypotheses  ............................................................  33  4    Methodology  ................................................................................................  37  4.1   Research  Purpose  ...............................................................................................................................  37  4.2   Research  Strategy  ...............................................................................................................................  38  4.3   Research  Method  ................................................................................................................................  38  4.4   Sample  Selection  .................................................................................................................................  39  4.5   Data  collection  .....................................................................................................................................  39  4.6   Questionnaire  Design  ........................................................................................................................  40  4.7   Pilot  study  ..............................................................................................................................................  42  4.8   Validity  and  Reliability  .....................................................................................................................  42  4.9   Measurement  implications  .............................................................................................................  42  5   Results  and  analysis  ........................................................................................  43  5.1   Profile  of  respondents  ......................................................................................................................  43  5.2   Consumer  Behaviour  with  IKEA  ...................................................................................................  44  5.2.1   IKEA  purchases  over  the  last  12  months  ....................................................................................  44  5.2.2   Offline  Engagement  ..............................................................................................................................  45  5.2.3   Reasons  for  visiting  an  IKEA  store  .................................................................................................  46  5.3   The  use  of  Social  Media  among  respondents  ..........................................................................  47  5.3.1   Frequency  of  Use  ....................................................................................................................................  47  
  • 8    5.3.2   Level  of  Participation  ..........................................................................................................................  48  5.4   User  Engagement  with  IKEA  in  Social  Media  ..........................................................................  49  5.5   Motivations  for  engaging  with  IKEA  ...........................................................................................  51  5.5.1   Confirmatory  Factor  Analysis  ..........................................................................................................  51  5.5.2   Reliability  of  scale  .................................................................................................................................  51  5.5.3   Construct  Validity  ..................................................................................................................................  52  5.5.4   Exploratory  Factor  analysis  .............................................................................................................  53  5.6   Relationship  Quality  ..........................................................................................................................  54  5.6.1   Satisfaction  ...............................................................................................................................................  54  5.6.2   Loyalty  ........................................................................................................................................................  54  5.6.3   Passion  ........................................................................................................................................................  54  5.6.4   Brand  Image  ............................................................................................................................................  54  5.6.5   Product  Image  ........................................................................................................................................  55  5.7   Passion  points  and  brand  utility  ..................................................................................................  55  5.7.1   Passion  points..........................................................................................................................................  55  5.7.2   Brand  Utility  ............................................................................................................................................  56  5.8   Regression  analyses  ..........................................................................................................................  58  5.8.1   Consumption  ............................................................................................................................................  58  5.8.2   Predictors  of  User  Engagement  ......................................................................................................  59  5.8.3   Predictors  of  Offline  Engagement  ..................................................................................................  60  5.8.4   Relationship  Quality  and  User  Engagement  .............................................................................  61  5.9   Brand  Utility  .........................................................................................................................................  63  5.9.1   Predictors  of  Perceived  Brand  Utility...........................................................................................  63  5.9.2   Predictors  of  Brand  Utility  types  ....................................................................................................  64  5.10   Additional  findings  .............................................................................................................................  66  5.10.1   Effect  of  Age  on  the  study  .............................................................................................................  66  5.10.2   User  Engagement  and  Relationship  Quality  .......................................................................  67  5.11   Evaluation  of  Hypotheses  ................................................................................................................  67  5.11.1   Initial  Hypotheses  ............................................................................................................................  67  5.11.2   Additional  results  .............................................................................................................................  69  5.11.3   Final  Model  of  Engagement  ........................................................................................................  70  6   Conclusions  &  Discussion  ............................................................................  72  6.1   The  Process  of  Engagement  ...........................................................................................................  72  6.2   Motivations  for  engaging  in  social  media  .................................................................................  74  6.3   Customer  engagement  and  Passion  ............................................................................................  74  6.4   Customer  engagement  and  Brand  Utility  .................................................................................  75  6.5   Customer  engagement  and  Consumption  ................................................................................  76  6.6   Managerial  implications  ..................................................................................................................  76  6.7   Limitations  and  further  research  .................................................................................................  77  Bibliography  ...........................................................................................................  79  Appendices  .............................................................................................................  85              
  • 9    List  of  TablesTABLE 1 MOTIVATION FACTORS AND RELIABILITY OF SCALE 52TABLE 2 - MOTIVATION FACTORS 53TABLE 3 - 4 TYPES OF IKEA BRAND UTILITY 57TABLE 4 - PREFERENCES IN TERMS OF BRAND UTILITY PLATFORMS 57TABLE 5 - PREDICTORS OF OFFLINE ENGAGEMENT 60TABLE 6 - PREDICTORS OF SATISFACTION 61TABLE 7 - REGRESSION OF LOYALTY 62TABLE 8 - REGRESSION OF PASSION AGAINST ENGAGEMENT,SATISFACTION, LOYALTY 62TABLE 9 - PREDICTORS OF PERCEIVED BRAND UTILITY 63TABLE 10 - REGRESSION OF BRAND INTERACTION AGAINST BRANDUTILITY 64TABLE 11 - REGRESSION "EXTRA VALUE" AGAINST BRAND UTILITY 65TABLE 12 - REGRESSION OF PASSION AGAINST BRAND UTILITY 65
  • 10    List  of  Figures      FIGURE 1 - PROCESS OF ENGAGEMENT 16FIGURE 2 - SOCIAL TECHNOGRAPHICS LADDER (FORRESTER, 2010) 20FIGURE 3 - TYPOLOGY OF CONSUMERS ONLINE BRAND-RELATEDACTIVITIES (MUNTINGA ET AL. 2010) 23FIGURE 4 - THE USER PARTICIPATION LADDER (AUTHOR GENERATED) 24FIGURE 5 - THE ENGAGEMENT LADDER (AUTHOR GENERATED) 25FIGURE 6 - CLASSIFICATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY MEDIA RICHNESS ANDSELF-DISCLOSURE (FROM KAPLAN & HAENLEIN, 2009) 26FIGURE 7 F MOTIVATIONS IN USING MEDIA 28FIGURE 8 - THE IMPACT OF ENGAGEMENT IN CUSTOMER-BRANDRELATIONSHIP (AUTHOR GENERATED) 32FIGURE 9 - THE PROCESS OF ONLINE ENGAGEMENT (ADAPTED FROMHOLLEBEEK, 2010; 2011) 34FIGURE 10 - PERCEIVED BRAND UTILITY AND USER ENGAGEMENT 35FIGURE 11 - AGE OF RESPONDENTS 43FIGURE 12 - COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE 43FIGURE 13 - CURRENT OCCUPATION 44FIGURE 14 - IKEA PURCHASES OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS 44FIGURE 15 - OFFLINE ENGAGEMENT IN THE 6 MONTHS 45FIGURE 16 - REASONS FOR VISITING AN IKEA STORE 46FIGURE 17 - USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA 47FIGURE 18 - USER PARTICIPATION IN BLOGS 48FIGURE 19 - USER PARTICIPATION IN YOUTUBE 48FIGURE 20 - USER PARTICIPATION IN FACEBOOK 48FIGURE 21 - USER PARTICIPATION IN FOURSQUARE 49FIGURE 22 - USER PARTICIPATION IN TWITTER 49FIGURE 23 - USER ENGAGEMENT WITH IKEA 50FIGURE 24 - THE PROCESS OF ENGAGEMENT, AS APPLIED TO SOCIALMEDIA 701  
  • 11    1  Introduction  Background  of  the  study    For decades, companies relied on traditional push marketing to sell products andservices to both newly acquired or existing customers (Urban, 2004). Overwhelmingpeople with approximately 3000 messages everyday was apparently an efficient way tocost of acquiring new customers to be 5 to 10 times higher than the cost involved insatisfying its own customers (Murphy et al. 2002). As a consequence, companies haveemphasized the idea of strengthening relationships with customers to build advocacyover time. According to Urban (2004), quality of products, customer satisfaction andtransparency appeared as critical conditions to develop consumer trust towardscompanies and to maintain long-lasting relationships. For instance, relationshipmarketing programs such as loyalty card or airline flyer programs were established inorder to maximize customer value and profitability for companies, rather than focusingat fully engaging with people by a lack of commitment with consumers as well as theuse of one-way communication.With the rise of the Internet, traditional communication channels have been challengedimplied new obstacles to marketers in the process of reaching a relevant audience. Ascable TV did with TV networks in the 1980s, the Internet and new media such as socialnetworking platforms tend to split audience across all the available channels, thusder (Forrester Research, 2004). Forinstance, individuals among young generations may prefer to watch streaming videoonline rather than traditional TV programs. Thus, consumers dedicate far less attentionto each media, which strongly impact on advertising effectiveness (Hennig-Thurau etal., 2010).In the meantime, new media have contributed to the emergence of empoweredand exchanging information about products, how they ob
  • 12    Thanks to the plethora of available social media platforms, consumers have increased-Thurau et al., 2010). Above all,consumers have reached the status of influential referents concerning buying decision;according to Nielsen (2009), consumers used to trust more in peer recommendations(90%) and consumer opinions (70%) than in paid media channels.The rise of social networking platforms has intensified eWOM communication andtherefore made it a powerful voice against untruthful marketing practices. As recentlyseen this year with the Jasmine revolution in Tunisia, social media helped protestors inconnecting each other and spreading their ideas, that contributed in the ignition of arevolution (Buhl, 2011).From a company perspective, the social media phenomenon seems to provide extensiveopportunities for brands to connect with target audience. In 2010, it represented about23% of the time spent online and was one of the most important activity for Internetusers (AOL, 2010). Despite assumptions about their ability to reach mainstreamsegments, social media platforms have enabled brands to listen people, to identify theirinterests and motivations, and then, to start a conversation with mass markets. Forinstance, Facebook recently reached 750 million users. Twitter had about 200 millionusers last January whereas geo-location social service Foursquare surpassed 10 millionmembers (Rao, 2011; Chiang, 2011, LA Times, 2011). Consequently, social media isnow considered as a mass medium. Indeed, Forrester Research defined Internet-basedservices as mass media with regards to the number of influence impressions forwell as their consideration by large companies such as Procter & Gamble (Ray, 2010).Nevertheless, this recently appeared mass channel tends to require a disruptive approachfor companies likely to enter in.In the era of conversation, brands are supposed to adopt a two-way communicationprocess and engage with the audience. As stated by Antony Young, CEO of Optimediato2011). That seems to imply that success on thismedium is not depending on brands, but on what people say. Furthermore, marketersedia is not euros, pesos or dollars, butQualman, 2009).
  • 13    Given this new marketing environment, marketers have been increasingly considering-wayopportunity to amplify interactions between their brands and customers (Kumar et al.,2010). This strategic approach of customer-brand interactions is known as customerengagement, and is partially connected to various major concepts isuch as customer satisfaction, customer value or services quality.Scope  of  the  study    emerging researchtopic for marketing academics as a consequence of empowered consumers and anFEEDbrands than offline consumers (Jack, 2009). This interesting fact regarding digital usersand a search of entertaining contents (Razorfish, 2009).For instance Starbucks succeeded in driving customers to its outlets while providingthem relevant rewards, such as discounts or free products through the use of Foursquare(Van Grove, 2011). Moreover, a US based food truck Kogi BBQ succeeded in engagingwith 86000 twitter users as it uses social networks to indicate them where it will deliverits Korean tacos (Gelt, 2009). Both initiatives enabled Starbucks and Kogi BBQ tobenefit from increased traffic and to maximize revenues compared to competitors.Indeed, a deep correlation between engagement on social media and financialperformance seems to exist, as stated in a 2009 Altimeter study performed among Top100 Brands (Altimeter, 2009).Objectives  of  the  study  As highlighted previously, customer engagement on social media can become a sourceof business opportunities or even competitive advantage for companies. The purpose of
  • 14    this study is to understand the process of customer engagement andmotivations to engage with a specific brand and finally to investigate potentialopportunities for this brand. To enable an in-depth analysis, this research project willfocus on one company, IKEA as this Swedish furniture retailer is involved ininternational markets and targets wide range of market segments. Research questionswill be introduced further.
  • 15    2 Literature  Review  This chapter aims to develop a better understanding of concepts that seem to play animportant role in the area of customer engagement. Current literature provides relevantmaterial related to the specific research objectives, a large part of this background willcustomers are likely to benefit from such a relationship. By referring to various notionsconnected to engagement and social media usage, this review will provide pertinenttheoretical foundations for the design of a conceptual framework.2.1 Customer  Engagement      The notion of engagement used to be investigated in various academic disciplines, suchas psychology and organizational behaviour. Prior studies on employee-firmsatisfaction and high organizational commitment and performance (Salanova et al.,2005). Furthermore, academics also reveal that employee engagement positivelycontributes in increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty (Bowden, 2009).As a matter of fact, authors have extended the scope of engagement to customer-firminteractions, that is to say that it en bothemotional and rational bonds formed by customers with particular brandss with aengagement is not restricted to transactions, but also behavioural manifestations relatedto a brand (Van Doorn et al. 2010). Therefore, investigating the concept of customerengagement implies to consider all types of direct brand interactions such as word-of-mouth, customer recommendations and referrals as well as physical interactionscommonly defined as customer touchpoints (Hollebeek, 2010). In practice, customers
  • 16    who regularly discuss a brand with peers, interact via online channels with a specificbrand or visit a store are considered as individuals who engage. Furthermore, thesestakeholders (Van Doorn et al. 2010)A number of studies tend to clarify the position of customer engagement among othermarketing concepts, as literature suggests that engagement has a predictive power oncustomer loyalty (Hollebeek et al. 2010). Based on(2009) investigates how rational and emotional bonds might impact on customerprocess, arises out of a combination of calculative commitment, following by the2009).While conceptualising the process of customer engagement, Hollebeek (2010) identifiesdistinct relationships between engagement and a series of marketing constructs relatedto customer brand interactions. Firstly, involvement and interactivity appear being twoantecedents whereas the concept of flow may act as a psychological antecedent stateencouraging customer engagement (Hollebeek, 2010; Patterson et al. 2006). The author-creation, brand experience-hibitor in the processof engaging existing customers (Hollebeek, 2010). Furthermore, as proposed in Bowden(2009), customer satisfaction, empowerment, trust, commitment, customer value andtial positiveFigure  1  -­  Process  of  Engagement
  • 17    Conceptual models tend to emphasize customer engagement as a holistic approach toconsumer behavioural manifestations over time. Customer involvement and interactivitywith a specific brand are considered as two initial steps of engagement whereassatisfaction, trust and commitment (both affective and calculative) may enhance it overtime, by strengthening customer-brand relationships. Fig.1 shows the process ofengagement as conceptualized by Hollebeek (2010; 2011).Besides, it is advisable to consider other dimensions of customer engagement behaviourwhen investigating such a process. Van Doorn et al. (2010) highlight the choice ofch2.2 Social  Media  Although it is commonly restricted to social networking sites (SNS), the notion of social-based applicationsconcept encompasses several types of platforms, from collaborative projects to socialnetworks. Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) distinguish 6 distinct types of social media asfollowed: collaborative projects, blogs, content communities, social networking sites,virtual game worlds and virtual social worlds.2.2.1 Types  of  Social  Media    Collaborative projects emphasize the creation of content through participation of manyend-users. Users involved into collaborative platforms may be responsible forgenerating a specific content (i.e: writing or editing an article on Wikipedia) or simplysharing and organizing relevant media content available online (Solis, 2010). The ideaunderlying applications such as Wikipedia and social bookmarking service Delicious isexample, Wikipedia had over 18 million articles but only 90000 active contributors(Reagle, 2010).
  • 18    Blogs and microblogs are given as one manifestation of user-generated content.Generally managed by a single user, blogs give individuals an opportunity to expressand share their opinions through a dedicated medium. However this type of platformenables interaction with other Internet users via comments and may help them inspreading positive or negative feelings related to a brand among other consumers(Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). In August 2011, there are over 168 million blogsavailable online accSlideshare (presentations and documents) are among the most popular platforms topublicly publish and share content (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). For example, YouTubemembers upload 48 hours of video every minute while more than 3 billion videos arewatched on a daily basis (YouTube, 2011). As a result, the success of video sharingcommunities is challenging traditional media such as TV and it also empowersindividuals to generate online content (Hennig-Thurau et al, 2010).Currently considered as a high popular new media, social networks are applications thatenable individuals to create a personal profile and interact with other users. Being activeon social communities consists of sharing and publishing any type of objects (i.e:photos, videos, audio files or links) communicating with online contacts and postingupdates about his/her activity (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010; Solis, 2010). In fact,Facebook allows 750 million users to share various types of information with friendsand experience a real social life online whereas Twitter provides its 200 million users amicroblogging platform on which they can share instant messages (Rao 2011; Chiang,2011). With a common purpose, geo-location social service Foursquare allows its 10million users to check-in places they used to go and share personal tips to their onlinecomplement their real world counterparts and serve as forums for consumers-Thurau et al. 2010). In this way, socialnetworking platforms provide possibilities for consumers to share and interact directlywith both individuals and brands (i.e. Facebook pages, Twitter corporate accounts and
  • 19    In comparison with aforementioned platforms, virtual game worlds and social worldsmight be considered differently as these applications are associated with entertainmentand differing from real life (i.e. Second Life, World of Warcraft). Through the creationof virtual representations of themselves, usevirtual context, these applications provide opportunities for companies to promotethemselves via game mechanics platforms. For instance, British bank Barclays unveiledin 2010 a virtual game to reach a younger audience.2.2.2 Characteristics  of  Social  Media    d them to play a more active role (Deighton &Kornfeld, 2009; Hennig-Thurau et al., 2010). According to Hennig-Thurau et al. (2010),-active, visible,real-time, ubiquitous and netwWith regards to digitality and ubiquity, any consumer with an Internet connection isable to blog, write reviews and share content with peers. Otherwise, instantaneity andetweenusers and contribute in developing intangible but more powerful networks. As a result,proactivity of new media highlight their potential contributions in creating value forboth individuals and organisations; i.e: reporting flaws to a company or participatinginto co-creation projects (Hennig-Thurau et al. 2010).2.2.3 User  participation  on  social  media    Due to the bulk of social media platforms available to Internet users, it is advisable tomake a distinction in terms of user participation. Early studies have investigated userparticipation on the Internet, online shopping platforms and social mediaIn the process of identifying opportunities for brands, Li & Bernoff (2007) provide aSocialincreasing levels of participation they may reach in their online activities (Li & Bernoff,2007)
  • 20      Figure  2  -­  Social  Technographics  ladder  (Forrester,  2010)Spectators    As explained in Li & Bernoff (2007), Spectators defines people who generally performrequently participated insimilar activities (Forrester, 2010). Although this level of participation is compatiblewith others, Spectators appear less likely to adopt Creator, Conversationalists or Criticsbehaviours and remain in a traditional way to consume new media platforms (Li &Bernoff, 2007).Joiners  To the next level, researchers identify Joiners as users who are active on SNS bymaintaining a profile and visiting regularly sites such as Facebook, Myspace or Orkut.Forrester (2010) estimates that Joiners represent 59% of online population and was theyoungest category in 2007 Social Technographics (Li & Bernoff, 2007; Forrester,2010). A study from Pew Research corroborates it as 65% of online adults use SNS in2011, including 83% in the 18-29 age group (Madden & Zickuhr, 2011).
  • 21    Collectors    motivations. Internet users who use RSS feeds or bookmark websites in the process ofcollecting and aggregating information are considered by Li & Bernoff (2007) asCollectors. Collectors behaviour can be related to a professional use of social media andonly represent 19% of adult online population (Forrester, 2010).Critics    This category of online consumers correlates with the idea of active role offered to theaudience enhanced by Hennig-Thurau (2010). Critics are users who respond to contentticipated regularly in Criticsactivities (Forrester, 2010).Conversationalists    Conversationalists are defined in the typology as who update their statuses onplatforms like Facebook and Twitter at least weekly Ray, 2010). Consideringimplications of social media in terms of instantaneity and user connectivity,Conversationalists, who represent 31% of online population, are likely to play animportant role among other users. Indeed, 83% of them generally share opinions or giveproduct advice to friends and relatives (Forrester, 2010; Ray, 2010).Creators    The most active level of participation identified by Li & Bernoff (2007) is Creators,website, upload videos andpopulation are frequently expressing themselves by creating on the Internet (Forrester,2010). In their 2007 study, Li & Bernoff underlined the fact that some of them (14%)were endorsing this role on several platforms.
  • 22    On the contrary, Inactives represent those who do not perform any of the socialcomputing activities aforementioned. These non-participating users represent 19% ofonline population, and are less likely to engage in electronic word of mouth andinfluence others (Forrester, 2010). But, Li & Bernoff (2007) point out the fact thatation ofuser participation towards the investigation of customer engagement. First, applying theladder of participation to SNS enables researchers to measure the level of participationon these platforms, and then to identify differences related to engagement on media. Toanother extent, it enables measurement of brand-related involvement by classifying userbehaviours towards brand-related content.In the process of investigating customer engagement with IKEA, these constructs forma relevant basis to measure the level of customer participation with the brand.Nevertheless, it implies to successively address customer motivations for engaging onthese platforms.2.3 Customer  engagement  on  social  media  The definition of customer engagement refers to direct brand interactions as customerinvolvement and interactivity with a specific brand represent two main antecedents toengagement (Hollebeek, 2011). For instance, watching an IKEA commercial onYouTube, liking an official IKEA page on Facebook or checking into an IKEA store viaFoursquare will be considered as examples of consumer brand-related online activities(Muntinga et al. 2010). Nevertheless, indirect brand interactions such as electronic wordof mouth on blog platforms should be also integrated into the scope of brand-relatedonline activities. For instance, a user-generated blog entry about IKEA might beassimilated to a brand-related content as it enhances user manifestations towards thebrand.2.3.1 Types  of  Customer  Engagement  on  social  media  Muntinga et al. (2010) propose a typology of consumer online brand related activitiesbased on Li & Bernoff (2007; 2008). Thus, consumers who perform brand-related
  • 23    online activities can have three usage behaviours: from consuming, contributing, tocreating brand related content (see Fig.3).  Figure  3  -­  Typology  of  Consumers  online  brand-­related  activities  (Muntinga  et  al.  2010)These usage types are inherent to the process of engagement as they determine the levelof user participation on brand-related online activities. It helps in differentiatingconsumers based on their involvement, assuming that creating a brand-related content isthe highest level of online engagement a consumer may have towards a brand(Muntinga et al., 2010; Li & Bernoff, 2007).Based on the previous usage types, the level of user participation has beenconceptualized for 5 social media platforms IKEA consumers are likely to engage withthe brand (Fig.4).Nevertheless, it is compulsory to adapt these typologies to each online platform, inorder to measure the overall level of customer participation in brand-related activities.
  • 24      Figure  4  -­  The  User  Participation  ladder  (author  generated)2.3.2 The  Engagement  Ladder      In regards to previous frameworks, the level of customer engagement can be ranged-point measurementscale is elaborated and applied to a number of new media allowing consumers to engagewith IKEA. 5 distinct platforms have been selected based on the existence of customer-brand interactions as well as their recent use by brands in advertising campaigns.Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Foursquare are the most popular platforms for onlineadvertising in 2011, meaning that brands are encouraging both indirect and directinteractions with users (eMarketer, 2011). In complement to social networks andcontent communities, blogs are the most popular user-generated platforms and deservesgreat attention in customer engagement as they enable consumers to express themselvesand interact about a certain brand (Hennig-Thurau et al. 2011).
  • 25        Figure  5  -­  The  Engagement  ladder  (author  generated)Fig. 5 exhibits 4 levels of engagement consumers have on specific social mediathe basis of customer-brand interactions. For instance, Twitter enables customers andbrands to engage in a conversation. Thus, the highest level of engagement is reachedwhen a direct customer-brand interaction (i.e: a direct message (DM) or a mention (@))occurs.While it is assimilated to other social media in Fig.4, Foursquare does not let usersassume a role of creator in brand interactions. Except sharing tips about users, the-relatedplace (i.e an IKEA store), awarded to the user who visited the more frequently a placeover a 60 days period (Foursquare, 2011). As a matter oassumed to be a loyal customer, therefore a brand advocate among other users.Nevertheless, this minimal difference does not affect the measurement of interactivitybetween IKEA and its customers.
  • 26    2.3.3 Measuring  the  overall   Engagement  Score    The endeavour to measure the overall level of engagement requires considering atchannel importance for customers when engaging with a brand.A recent study from digital agency Razorfish focused on the channel importance andfrequency of use to identify the most important consumer engagement channels(Razorfish, 2011:14). Apparently, Google company websites, word of mouth and e-mailare the most preferred channels to connect online with a brand while social mediaplatforms seem to fail astudy aims to investigate customer engagement on new channels, it is advisable toconsider frequency of use and channel importance into the measurement.Media  Richness  Theory      To date, there have not been academic studies, which have investigated channelimportance among new media. In their attempt to define social media, Kaplan &Haenlein (2009) provide a classification of social media platforms according to thedegree of self-disclosure required and media richness of a specific platform. Theconcept of self- he amount of personal information that one1959). Applied to engagement, self-disclosure is compared to the level of interactionbetween consumers and brands. Alternatively, media richness is concerned withheir ability to enable users to communicate andchange understanding al. 1999; Draft & Lengel, 1984). It suggests that thericher the medium is, the better understanding it may provide.  Figure  6  -­  Classification  of  Social  Media  by  media  richness  and  self-­disclosure  (from  Kaplan  &  Haenlein,  2009)
  • 27    In the context of social media, Kaplan & Haenlein (2009) consider blogs, microblogsand collaborative projects as leaner mediums than SNS and content communities. Forexample, blogs and collaborative projects are often text-based and do not allow thesame level of user interactivity available on social networks (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009).This classification suggests that certain social media are more appropriate to enhancecommunication between brands and customers, thus to enable a stronger level ofcustomer engagement. In practice, it means that a fan from one IKEA Facebook pagewould be able to engage than someone following IKEA on twitter. Although similarcoefficient into the calculation of engagement requires preliminary studies and cannotbe applied in this research. Therefore, to simplify the measurement, engagement scores2.4 Motivations  for  engaging  in  social  media    In complement to the level of user participation, identifying key motivations ofcustomers to engage with IKEA on social media is inherent to the process ofunderstanding engagement.Early theories on traditional media, based on television, focused on identifyingbehaviours and reasons why individuals use a specific media (Quan-Haase & Young,-centric functionalistin the context of engagement in socialmedia, as it emphasizes the importance of media content to gratify audience needs(Calder et.al, 2009; Muntinga et al. 2010; Ruggiero, 2000).McQuail (1983) classifies into four categories motivations for using media:Information, Personal Identity, Integration and social integration and Entertainment(Fig.1). Studies on interactive marketing tend to confirm the validity and potentialapplication of U&G theory to social media (Calder  et  al.  2009;;  Bronner  and  Neijens,  2006;;   Nambisan   and   Baron,   2007).   However,   recent   applications   of   U&G   approach  Muntingaet al. 2010).
  • 28      Figure  7     g  mediaInformation    This type of motivation covers information-related outputs provided by the use ofseeking advices and opinions, satisfying curiosity and general interestrisks in decision choices (Calder et al. 2009). Therefore, it is possible to connectblogs, and social networking sites, on which users generally share information.Applying U&G approach to Twitter, Johnson & Yang (2009) identify that informationgratifications are main motivations of using Twitter, as positive relationships exist withTwitter use.Personal  Identity    As stated in Muntinga et al. (2010), media gratifications induced by the personalidentity motivation are related to the shelf. Sub--identification to others and recognition amongpeers. Identity expression, self-fulfilment and self-enhancement are generally the mostimportant motivations for social using networks and blogs (Muntinga et al. 2010). Forinstance, being fan on Facebook is a way to promote its shelf by supporting a brand, anorganisation or celebrities.Integration  and  Social  Interaction    In comparison to Personal Identity, this dimension refers to media gratificationsobtained by the interaction with other people. It covers several sub-motivations such asnging, connecting with friends and
  • 29    family, finding a basis for conversation and substituting real-(McQuail, 1987; Muntinga et al 2010). Considering social connectivity on SNS, Quan-Haase & Young (2010) discovered that about 85% of their research participants hadjoined Facebook because of social pressure, being as one of their friends had suggestedit.  Entertainment    As identified in McQuail (1987), media can provide users with four entertainmenteing diverted from problems, relaxing, gettingfigure out that entertainment is one primary motivation for users to watch and sharevideos among their peers. Otherwise, Lindqvist et al. (2011) identify that Foursquarerewards (i.e. badges, mayorships) are entertainment gratifications, which motivates inengaging on this location-based service.New types of motivation for U&G approach have emerged from recent academicstudies focusing on new media as reviewed in Liu et al. (2010) (Wang & Fesenmaier,2003; Cheung and Lee, 2009). Muntinga et al. (2010) introduce two relevantmotivations while considering brand-related social media use: empowerment andremuneration.Empowerment    that empowerment is a driver of participation in online communities (Cova & Pace,2006) and in UGC practices (Berthon et al., 2008). Additionally, social networkinginfluencers. Johnson & Wang (2009) show that the ability to express himself freely onTwitter is an important social motive for users compared to groups on facebook whichsucceed in changing the behaviour of brands, such as Cadbury and Nestlé (Meadows-Klue, 2008).
  • 30    Remuneration    Codriver for people to engage on some platforms. Economic incentives (e.g: money,prize), job-related benefits (e.g. information) or personal wants have been identified inMuntinga et al. (2010) as examples of rewards people may expect. In location-basedservices, the possibility of getting discounts and special offers generally motivates theuse of Foursquare (Lindqvist et al., 2011), whereas Facebook launched local dealservicZhao & Rosson (2009) underline through a series of interviews the usefulness ofmicroblogging service Twitter in informal communication at work.In accordance to prior studies, the U&G approach identifies relevant motives to user(Rodgers et al., 2007), the 6 motivation categories focus on audience needs and providea better understanding of how a brand may gratify it through online interactions withcustomers.2.5 Customer-­‐Brand  relationship  While conceptualizing impacts of customer engagement, Hollebeek (2010; 2011)-order constructto prior studies, these concepts are positively correlated to the development ofrelationships between customers and brands, and may lead further to the development ofbrand loyalty (Bowden et al., 2009). For instance, the dimension of trust tends to turn acustomer- -oriented and affective connections,005; Bowdenet al., 2009).McEwen (2004) enhances the requirement of emotional bonds in building strongrelationships and defines 4 levels of customer engagement that reflect importantemotional bonds in customer- ty, Pride,
  • 31    benefits from its personal relationship with brand, the ultimate level of engagement,2.5.1 Emotional  attachment  and  Passion    A number of studies continue to investigate passion and emotional attachment incustomer-brand interactions (Albert et al., 2008; Yim et al., 2008; Grisaffe & Nguyen,2010; Patwardhan &   Balasubramanian, 2011). Grisaffe & Nguyen (2010) distinguish 5antecedents of emotional attachment to brands between controllable (i.e. superiormarketing characteristics, customer outcomes and user-derived benefits) and lesscontrollable (i.e. socialization, sentimental memory). Based on their study, authors-inducingYimHowever, as explained in Patwardhan &   Balasubramanian (2011), emotional attachmentis not compulsory in building relationships: according to Park et al. (2009) consumerscan be strongly involved with a brand without having developed emotional connectionswith. For instance, such a behavior may result in people engaging in social media withIKEA but with a poor personal consideration for the brand.Otherwise, the notion of passion and emotional attachment with a brand can beapproached from a different manner. Marketers tend to develop customer engagementthrough the use of passion branding. In an attempt to target an audience, it aims atcreating associations between a specific passion platform (i.e. sports, art events) and abrand in order to generate real emotions for potential customers (Duffy & Hooper,2003). For example, sport events and celebrity endorsements provide opportunities forbrands to promote brand attributes as well as brand personality. In the UK, Orangesucceeded in engaging customers through innovative arts sponsorships (Duffy &Hooper, 2003).In the context of social media, the notion of passion branding may appear in terms ofonline published content. A recent AOL study considers content as the fuel of social
  • 32    AOL, 2010). Implications towardcontent are important, as it tends to create motivations for engaging with a brand, suchbecoming a Facebook fan or a follower. On social networking sites, IKEA tends to raiseits brand awareness among customers by sharing content dealing with art, homedecorating, and provides a subjective value of engagement.2.5.2 Brand  Utility    In addition to emotional bonds, McEwen emphasizes the need of rational bonds incustomer engagement. Besides the emergence of customer engagement, brands haveintroduced the notion of brand utility in the way to offer extra value to customers. Asexplained in Contagious Magazine (2008), brand utility redefines customer-brandFor example, releasing a branded mobile application and offering an extra free serviceon social networks are ways to improve brand value for customers and to generate aunique brand experience compared to competitors.of brand utility and its impact on consumer engagement. However, a large number ofcommunication campaigns tend to confirm positive impacts on customer-brandrelationships. Trend consultancy Trendwatching (2010) identifies 8 categories ofutilities brand were likely to provide for their customers including Transparency(information utility), Saving money, Finding, Connectivity, Health, nutrition &exercise, Skills & advice, Eco-friendly (environmental utility) and Tools & amenitiesThis classification is seemingly related to existing motivations of customers to engagewith brands, bufrom a focal brand such as IKEA.Fig.8 provides a summarized approach of engagement within customer brandrelationships. Even though academics have different views on the importance ofemotional ties on loyalty, it appears possible for brands to reach consumers usingappropriate passion points and offering a strong brand utility.  Figure  8  -­  The  impact  of  Engagement  in  Customer-­Brand  relationship  (author  generated)
  • 33    3 Statement  of  research  and  hypotheses    The preceding discussion reviews existing literature and frameworks of customerengagement as well as other related marketing constructs. Additionally, it makes anattempt to apply conceptual models of customer engagement to social media platforms,while considering specific attributes that may create variations towards traditionalengagement. A measurement scale, the engagement ladder, has been generated in orderto estimate user engagement on social media. Thus, further research is required toprovide a better understanding of how engagement on social media impacts ontraditional engagement, consumption as well as customer loyalty. Since there arevariations in terms of consumer behaviour towards social media, this study will focuson the following research problem.-brand interactions and to whatextent it may leverage the overall customer engagement with a focal brand such asThis research problem will be investigated in four different sections.First, the impact of both traditional engagement and online engagement on consumptionwill be tested. Then, the model of engagement conceptualized by Hollebeek (2010;2011) will be applied to online engagement and an attempt to define predictors of userengagement will be made. In complement to the identification of predictors, a thirdsection aims to point out how user engagement affects concepts related to customer-brand relationships (i.e satisfaction, loyalty and passion). Finally, a fourth part willfocus on possibilities to leverage customer engagement through extra value proposition(brand utility)A Consumption HypothesesH1: Consumers who engage offline with IKEA consume more than others.H2: Consumers who engage in social media with IKEA consume more thanothers.
  • 34    The preceding review does not refer to the impact of consumer engagement on the levelof consumption, even though Bowden (2009) make a distinction between new andexisting customers concerning the process of engagement. Nevertheless, consumption isinherent to customer-brand relationships and the impact of engagement deserves to betested.B Predictors of User Engagement HypothesesH3: People who participate in social media engage more in social media withIKEA.H4: People who engage offline with IKEA engage in social media platforms.H5: Motivations for engaging with IKEA impacts positively on user engagementH6: Consumers who are satisfied with IKEA experience engage more in socialmedia than others.H7: Consumers who are loyal to IKEA engage more in social media than others.H8:H9: The more positive IKEA image is, the more people engage in social media.H10: People who purchase from IKEA engage more than others.Figure  9  -­  The  Process  of  Online  Engagement  (adapted  from  Hollebeek,  2010;  2011)  
  • 35    The conceptual model of Hollebeek (2011) identifies customer involvement andinteractivity as antecedents of engagement. Furthermore, the author emphasizessatisfaction and other constructs related to relationship quality as potential antecedentsfor existing customers. Usually seen as consequences of engagement, loyalty andpassion are tested to identify if there are recursive associations with customerengagement.C Impacts of User Engagement HypothesesH11: User engagement in social media impacts positively on satisfaction.H12: IKEA consumers who engage in social media are more loyal.H13: User engagement impacts positively on customer passion about IKEA.Hollebeek (2010; 2011) and Bowden (2009) propose that customer satisfaction andcustomer loyalty are consequences of engagement with potential positive relationshipsbetween these constructs. To another extent, McEwen (2004) underlines passion as theapex of customer engagement.D Brand Utility HypothesesThe notion of brand utility refers in this study to the extra value proposition IKEA isable to offer in the process of strengthening its current bonds with customers. In order tolink this concept to customer engagement, it is relevant to test whether the level ofIKEA brand utility perceived by customers is predicted by brand passion, loyalty,satisfaction and user engagement. In case one of these constructs is related to customerperceived brand utility, it might infer that IKEA value proposition can influence theprocess of engagement on social media.Figure  10  -­  Perceived  Brand  Utility  and  User  engagement  
  • 36    H14: User engagement in social media impacts positively on IKEA perceivedbrand utility.H15: Consumers who are satisfied with IKEA experience have more positiveperceptions of IKEA brand utility.H16: Passion impacts positively on perceptions of IKEA brand utility.H15: Consumers who are loyal to IKEA have more positive perceptions ofIKEA brand utility.
  • 37    4    Methodology  This chapter tends to describe the research approach and design used in the course ofthe study. It will provide the different steps of the research process (i.e. questionnairedesign, data sources, data collection) conducted in order to investigate the researchproblem.The main purpose of the study is to evaluate the impact of user engagement oncustomer-brand interactions and to identify potential ways to leverage engagement,using IKEA as focal brand.4.1 Research  Purpose    The first objective is to determine which research design the study will follow byconsidering information requirements. Generally, a research problem can beinvestigated according to three different purposes: exploratory, descriptive and causal(Hair et al., 2003).identifyto provide more information on the basis of the investigation (Hair et al., 2003;Zikmund et al., 2009).On the other hand, descriptive research is generally used as a procedure to describe anorder to determine relations between variables and aspects of a phenomenon (Hair et al.,2003).To another extent, an explanatory or -and-effectcausal research in complement to exploratory and descriptive research, as this techniqueBased on the objectives of the study, the research problem is twofold and requires bothdescriptive and exploratory researches. First, it aims to describe the concepts of offline
  • 38    and online engagement in order to understand to what extent measured variables tend toimpact on the process of engagement. Then, the research will try to explore potentialeffects of passion and brand utility on the same process among IKEA consumers.4.2 Research  Strategy    A research study can be conducted through quantitative and qualitative methods.le qualitative methods put onemphasis on less structured approaches to collect detailed insights from a small sample(Hair et al., 2003). It is often used in the preliminary stages of research to gain a betterunderstanding of research problems whereas quantitative methods are appropriate to testand verify the validity of hypotheses on a large sample (Zikmund et al., 2009).The process of customer engagement applied throughout the study is based on aconceptual model elaborated from existing literature by Hollebeek (2011). As pointedout by the author, a few academics have investigated the concept of customer/brandengagement to date through the use of qualitative and quantitative researches (Ilic,2008; Sprott et al., 2009 in Hollebeek, 2011) while motivations of engagement wereidentified in Muntinga et al. (2010) by using qualitative techniques such as interviews.In addition, aforementioned authors emphasize the need of empirical testing andvalidation in order to evaluate the consistency of their researches.As this study investigates two forms of customer engagement, quantitative methods willas defined in Chapter 2. Thus, key findings will potentially help to confirm theengagement with IKEA.  4.3 Research  Method    Consequently to the selection of quantitative methods, customer engagement with IKEAwas addressed through an online questionnaire. Zikmund et al. (2009) considers that-
  • 39    research method to connect with individuals who participate in social media platforms,as the study aims to do.4.4 Sample  Selection  The main objective of the study is to evaluate the process of engagement among IKEAconsumers. As IKEA is currently established in 42 countries (IKEA, 2011), norestriction related to geographic locations or age was applied. Being an IKEA customerand engaging at least offline with the brand (i.e. visiting stores) was the onlyrequirement to access the study.As defined in Zikmund et al (2009), two general sampling techniques can be used basedon a nonzero probability of selection (probability sampling) or personal judgement andconvenience (nonprobability sampling). In this study, probability sampling such assnowball technique was used at the launch (i.e. peer recommendations) whilenonprobability procedures such as random sampling occurred later (i.e: mass mailing,website links).The use of various sampling techniques tends to minimize risks of sampling errors. Forexample, using only mass mailing among university students would increase errorsrelated to the representativeness of students and the accuracy of data (Hair et al., 2003).4.5 Data  collection    The data were collected through an online questionnaire available in English and Frenchfor 5 weeks.Initially, the link was shared via e-mails and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter,Foursquare) to users who were actually engaging with the brand (i.e. Facebook fans,Foursquare mayors etc.). Furthermore, the questionnaire was also displayed on thehome page of IKEA Hackers (http://www.ikeahackers.net/), an online community ofHackers, 2011). Moreover, a participation incentive (2 £15 gift cards) was given awayto respondents in order to increase level of participation in this 15 minute questionnaire.About 310 individuals took part in the study from early August hto early September but248 respondents were finally kept for data analysis because of missing data.
  • 40    4.6 Questionnaire  Design    The questionnaire was developed to measure the constructs highlighted in the(Appendix 1)The questionnaire was structured with regard to the four sections underlined in thestatement of research (Table 1). It was made up with 25 questions including 7demographic items. In order to reduce time and effort required by respondents, most ofthe questions were close ended, allowing the sample to select an item or a level ofintensity (Hair et al., 2003). For example, the level of consumption in the last 12 monthswas measured on 5-level of agreement was assessed on a 5-point Likert scale, considered as the norm.Although academics consider a 7-point scale more reliable, Colman et al. (1997) pointout that scores from 5-point and from 7-point are virtually equivalent. Otherwise,Besides, a ratio scale was developed in order to evaluate the level of user participationand level of engagement on social media. As emphasized in Chapter 2, respondentswere asked to select the level of participation in social media platforms, ranked on 4distinct beh(2008) and Muntinga et al. (2010) offers the opportunity to identify types ofparticipation and to compare it with other variables (Hair et al., 2003). The same 4-pointscale was applied to the concept of user engagement in order to enhance the validity ofcomparisons between those variables (see Fig 4 and 5, Chapter 2).Table 1 provides further information about the questionnaire design in terms ofconstructs. Except the development of user participation and engagement scales, thequestionnaire integrated some constructs applied in other studies. In fact, reliable and
  • 41    valid scales for Loyalty and Passion were used from a recent research on customerintimacy and passion (Yim et al., 2008).Table 1 - Questionnaire DesignConstructs and Questions Scale Adopted fromConsumption & Offline EngagementQ1 - Frequency of purchase from IKEAselling points (consumption)5 point scale(Ordinal)ResearcherQ2 - Frequency of visits to IKEA sellingpoints (offline engagement)5 point scale(Ordinal)ResearcherQ3 - Reasons for visiting an IKEA store Rank order scale ResearcherQ4 - Loyalty Program Member Yes / No ResearcherUser ParticipationQ5 - Frequency of use of social mediaplatforms5 point scale(Ordinal)ResearcherQ6 - Level of Participation in socialmedia4 point scale(Ratio)Li (2008), Muntinga etal. (2010)User EngagementQ7 - Level of Engagement with IKEA insocial media4 point scale(Ratio)Li (2008), Muntinga etal. (2010)Motivations for engagingQ8 - Motivations to connect with IKEA 5 point Likert scale Muntinga et al. (2010),ExactTarget (2010)Brand ImageQ9 - Perceptions of IKEA as a brand 5 point Likert scale ResearcherProduct ImageQ10 - Perceptions of IKEA products 5 point Likert scale ResearcherSatisfactionQ11 - Overall Satisfaction 5 point Likert scale ResearcherLoyaltyQ12 - Level of loyalty 5 point Likert scale Yim et al. (2008)PassionQ13 - Level of Passion 5 point Likert scale Yim et al. (2008)Q14 - Passion platforms Nominal scale ResearcherBrand UtilityQ15 - Types of Brand Utility 5 point Likert scale Contagious (2008),TrendWatching (2010)Q16 - Brand Utility platforms 5 point Likert scale Researcher
  • 42      4.7 Pilot  study    As shown in the previous section, a number of research questions were newlydeveloped based on Chapter 2. In order to evaluate the validity of the framework, a pilotstudy was conducted. According to Hunt et al.1989, it might help in avoiding issuesThus, an initial questionnaire was pre-tested among a sample of 17 students to ascertainthe adequacy of the framework with the investigated research problem as well as theneed for introducing more questions. On one hand, pre-testing the questionnairecontributes in evaluating items related to motivation factors and brand utility. Factoranalyses highlight a need for reformulating some variables while a new question relatedto brand utility platforms was introduced into the final questionnaire.4.8 Validity  and  Reliability    Although a pilot study was run prior the launch of final questionnaire, it is advisable toassess the quality of results by looking at the validity and reliability of constructs.Validity refers to the extent a measure of a concept is accurate while reliabilityrepresents the internal consistency of a measure (Zikmund et al. 2009). In the process ofstatistical analyses, these two concepts will have to be verified to avoid measurementissues, for instance, when running confirmatory factor analyses.4.9 Measurement  implications    Due to the inexistence of reliable measurement scales, Chapter 2 introduced the notionof user engagement score as an aggregate score of the engagement level a respondenthas on each platform. For example, an individual who only engages with IKEA onFacebook as a fan will have an overall engagement score of 6 (Facebook: 2; Twitter: 1;Youtube: 1; Foursquare: 1; Blogs: 1). This empirical measurement scale implies that thehigher the overall score is, the more an individual engages with IKEA.
  • 43    5 Results  and  analysis  5.1 Profile  of  respondents  The total number of respondents who took part in this study was 305. However, missingvalues were identified on engagement-related variables, contributing in the exclusion of57 respondents from the analysis. Table 1 (in Appendix 2) shows the basic informationabout the surveyed population.The sample was divided between 185 females (74,6%) and 63 males (25,4%), thereforeit was not equally representative in terms of gender. Respondents were relatively youngas the mean age was 27.99 years old. Indeed, 48.4% of the respondents were aged 24and below whilst the total number of the 35+ respondents was approximately equal to17% (see Fig.11).Consequently to the use of both French and English surveys, 41.5% of the sample wasliving in France while the UK and the US accounted respectively for 24.6% and 16.1%of responden % of respondents were from 22 othercountries, including Germany, Spain, Australia, Canada and China (see Fig.12).  When considering their current occupations, 50% of respondents were students whilst36.7% of them were employed in organizations. Moreover, only 5.6% of the sample areconsidered as economically inactive (i.e. retired, housewives and unemployed persons)Figure  11  -­  Age  of  Respondents  Figure  12  -­  Country  of  Residence  
  • 44    the self-employedperson.Furthermore, the proportion of respondents who were livingin close proximity to an IKEA store wasapproximately equal to 47%, which impliespotential variations in terms of frequency ofvisits among respondents.5.2 Consumer  Behaviour  with  IKEA  The starting point of this study is to investigate respondent behaviour as an IKEAconsumer. It aims to define the level of consumption, the level of offline engagementwith the brand as well as their loyalty over the last 12 months.5.2.1  IKEA  purchases  over  the  last  12  months  In order to identify the level of consumption among respondents, three different types ofpurchases were considered according to the available selling points used by IKEA:stores, official websites and catalogues. Respondents were asked to estimate the numberof times they purchased items at IKEA during the year.Figure  13  -­  Current  Occupation  Figure  14  -­  IKEA  purchases  over  the  last  12  months  
  • 45    First, 35.1% of respondents used to purchase 2 to 3 times in IKEA stores over the lastyears whereas a quarter of the total (25.8%) purchased more than 4 times. Nevertheless,only 12.5% of the sample did not consume in any IKEA store during the same period.When considering other selling points, a large majority of respondents (respectively89.1% and 89.9%) have never purchased from the IKEA websites and catalogues. 5.2%of the respondents purchased once from the website while 5.6% of them ordered onlinemore than 2 times over the last 12 months. In contrast, 6.4% ordered more than 2 timesusing the catalogues as selling points.Results show that the respondents were not familiar with purchasing on IKEA websitesand via the official IKEA catalogue. Based on these findings, an overall score forconsumption is calculated for each respondent. As shown in Appendix 3, consumptionscore has a mean equal to 5.2258, which is quite low (min= 3; max = 14).5.2.2 Offline  Engagement  outside social media environment. Thus, offline engagement will refer to the level ofinteractivity respondents experienced with the brand on the aforementioned sellingpoints along the last 12 months.Figure  15  -­  Offline  Engagement  in  the  6  months  
  • 46    Results point out that catalogues and websites are the two most frequently used touch-points (see Appendix 4). Indeed, when considering respondents interacting regularlywith IKEA, 25.7% of the sample visited IKEA websites, 20.9% of them browsedthrough an IKEA catalogue while a tenth (9.7%) went to an IKEA store more than oncea month. In fact, a majority of respondents estimated to have visited a store less than 12times during the last year (66,9%). Nevertheless, IKEA stores appear as the most usedtouch-points, as only 24.2% of the sample admitted visiting it less than once a year,compared to 40.7% for catalogue readings.Similarly to consumption variables, an overall score for offline engagement iscalculated. The mean of offline engagement among respondents is 5.8 (min= 3; max=12).5.2.3 Reasons  for  visiting  an  IKEA  store  Reasons for visiting stores are inherent to understand variations in consumer behaviouras IKEA provides non-related in-stores services such as low cost catering. Allrespondents were asked to rank from 1 to 5 possible reasons for going to an IKEA store.Based on analysis of frequencies (Fig.16for visiting an IKEA store according to 37.9% of respondents. The second reasoni 5% of the sample whereas the thirdmotive consists of getting some inspiration (35.9%). Finally, window-shopping andgoing to an IKEA restaurant are respectively the fourth and fifth reasons to visit aFigure  16  -­  Reasons  for  visiting  an  IKEA  store    
  • 47    store. Nevertheless, results highlight some variations among respondents; with forexample 37.5These differences will be considered later on in the discussion.5.3 The  use  of  Social  Media  among  respondents  As this research focuses on social media platforms, the use of new media wasinvestigated among the sample. Indeed, respondents were asked to define the frequencyof use as well as the level of participation in 5 of the most commonly used platforms:Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare and blogs.5.3.1 Frequency  of  Use  The questionnaire addressed the use of social media by asking respondents to estimatethe frequency of use over the last 6 months according to a 5-point Likert scale (fromNever to Very Often). First, the analysis of means points out the fact that Facebook(4.37) and YouTube (4.15) are the two platforms most frequently used. Meanwhile,respondents appear to be less familiar with the use of Foursquare (1,46) (see Appendix6).Figure  17  -­  Use  of  Social  Media  
  • 48    As displayed in Fig. 12, respondents often use Facebook (72.6%), YouTube (48.4%)and blogs (29%). On the contrary, Twitter and Foursquare are two platforms thatrespondents use less frequently with respectively 48.4% and 82.7% of them who did notconnected recently5.3.2 Level  of  Participation  As mentioned in Chapter 2, the level of participation in social media was measuredaccording to a 4 point-scale. Thus, respondents were required to select the most relevantitem towardsn Facebook.Considering blogs (Fig.18), 42.3% of all respondents tend to be spectators by readingblog posts whereas almost 16.9% participates one step further by reading and writingcomments. Equally, 16.9% of the sample consists of creators, as these users writethemselves posts.As previously shown with the frequency ofuse, a large majority of respondents (98%)are active on YouTube. It consisted inwatching videos (73.4%), watching andcommenting (17.7%) while the remaining6.9% of respondents publish videos (Fig.19).Facebook tends to encourage userFigure  20  -­  User  participation  in  Facebook  Figure  19  -­  User  participation  in  YouTube  Figure  18  -­  User  participation  in  blogs  
  • 49    contribution and creation as 56.9% of respondents share content with their friends and18.5% of the sample has even created a fan page or group. Nonetheless, about 7.7% ofthe respondents are not active on this particular social network (Fig.20)As shown in Fig.21 and 22, Twitter and Foursquare have the largest proportion ofinactive users, with respectively 54.4% and 83.5% of respondents. However, 14.1% ofrespondents were using micro-blogging platform Twitter to create conversation withother users. Concerning Foursquare, 6% of the sample was actually participating ascreators, by sharing tips about places.        Even though further analysis will be carried out on user online participation, previousoutputs emphasize probable impacts of demographics on the adoption and use of socialmedia platforms. Otherwise, the study takes into account an aggregate score of userparticipation in order to evaluate its whole impact on consumer engagement. Onaverage, the user participation score among respondents is equal 10,6 (min= 5; max 20).5.4 User  Engagement  with  IKEA  in  Social  Media    Chapter 2 referred to user engagement as the level of interactions occurring on socialmedia between users and a particular brand. The level of engagement was measuredsimilarly to user participation, using a 4-point scale based on 4 existing user types andadapted to each platform (see Appendix 7). For example, respondents could define theirengagement with IKEA on YouTube (Inactives) published a(Creators).Figure  22  -­  User  participation  in  Twitter   Figure  21  -­  User  participation  in  Foursquare  
  • 50    Fig. 23 highlights variations among respondents who had already engaged with IKEAon new media platforms at the time of the study.As a consequence of low user participation and their newness, Foursquare and Twitterare two digital platforms on which the sample engages with IKEA the least. Whenconsidering the tenth of respondents engaging in Foursquare, 4.8% of them havealready checked-in an IKEA store while 4.4% have contributed by sharing tips withinplatform users. Moreover, Twitter was used by 7.2% of all respondents in the process ofengaging with IKEA. Even though only 8 individuals were following an IKEA account(3.2%), 8 have already retweeted an IKEA related message (3%) while 2 respondentsexperienced previously a direct exchange with the brand.Besides, 21% of all respondents have already interacted with an IKEA fan page onFacebook. While 10.9% of the sample was fan of the brand, 22 individuals (8.9%) haveendorsed a role of contributor by liking or commenting an entry.Otherwise, YouTube and blog platforms consisted of two relevant engagementplatforms as they represent respectively 32.2% and 37.1% of all respondents. In asimilar way, a large majority of individuals engaging with IKEA via such a platform actgenerally as spectators by watching videos (27%) or reading a blog entry about thebrand (26.2%). Nevertheless, results underline that individuals are more likely toexpress themselves about IKEA by writing blog entries (2.0%) than editing a video(0.4%) or writing on a Facebook page (1.2%).Figure  23  -­  User  Engagement  with  IKEA  
  • 51    When aggregating aengagement in this sample appears to be low (mean= 6,45 with min=5; max=17).5.5 Motivations  for  engaging  with  IKEA  Based on literature review, a series of 13 statements were used to measure 6 potentialmotivations for respondents to engage in social media. A confirmatory factor analysiswas carried out to reduce items into smaller factors and later, to test prior assumptionsidentified in Chapter 2. (Pallant, 2001)5.5.1 Confirmatory  Factor  Analysis  In regards with motives predefined in Chapter 2,weretested through confirmatory factor analyses (see Appendix 8). It requires an assessmentof the suitability and factorability by looking at the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure ofachnik &sphericity must be significant (p < .005) in order to provide a good factor analysis(Pallant, 2001).According to Pallant (2001), the appropriateness of these factors has to be confirmedwith two characteristics: reliability and validity. In case each factor appears to bereliable and valid, it implies that motives can be generalized to other studies.5.5.2 Reliability  of  scale  The reliability of scale must be tested for each factor in order to control the internalconsistency of measurement and confirm their relevance (Pallant, 2001).has to be ideallyabove 0.7 however values between 0.6 and 0.7 are acceptable. Furthermore, it isadvisable to consider a high sensitivity of which is sensitive towardsthe number of items (Pallant, 2001:85). Results displayed in Table 1 confirm thereliability of 4 fac and
  • 52    fail to reachA closer look at the validity will provide moreinformation about issues occurring with these two factors.Table  2    Motivation  factors  and  Reliability  of  Scale  FactorsKMOTotalVarianceexplainedCronbachRenumerationI want to receive discounts and promotions.0.5 81,99% 0.780I want to get free products.Information0.5 74,30% 0.653I want to learn about IKEA as a company.I want to stay informed about IKEA (future products).Personal Identity0.5 74,20% 0.652A friend recommends me to like / follow IKEA.I want to show to others my support to IKEA.Empowerment0.669 65,50% 0.736I want to benefit from customer service.I want to share my opinions and ideas directly with IKEA.I want to get access to exclusive content.Integration Social0.5 69,60% 0.564I want to interact and share my interest with people aboutIKEA.I want to take part in challenges or events organised by IKEA.Entertainment0.5 68,37% 0.537I want to get fun and entertainment from content.I want to enter a contest organised by IKEA.5.5.3 Construct  Validity  Campbell & Friske (1959) distinguish two subcategories of construct validity asdiscriminant validity. Convergent validity is demonstrated if higher correlationsbetween items occur within the same factor. In complement, discriminant validity isachieved if the strength of correlation is higher with items apart of the same factor thanitems. Therefore, it is required to look carefully at correlationsbetween all 13 items, to detect factors that overlap.Appendix 9 shows inter-correlations between items. Exceptother predefined motivation factors are invalid, because of not meeting conditionsabove. According to Bagozzi et al. (1991), measurement errors, such as invalidconstructs, might potentially threaten the validity of research results. Thus, the research
  • 53    will not consider previous motivation categories and an exploratory factor analysis mustbe carried out to define valid factors.5.5.4 Exploratory  Factor  analysis    As a result, two components with an eigenvalue over 1 were extracted (Appendix 10).Factor 1 consisted of 9 items (explaining 34.686 of total variance) whereas Factor 2 wasmade of 4 items (for 23,458 of total variance). Nonetheless, several cross-loading itemswere found and deleted as they load above 0.32 on both factors (Tabachnick & Fidell,2001). A second EFA excluding cross-loading items was run and resulted in 2 factorsexplaining 62,767% of total varianceth.provide to individuals through online interaction. For example, providing information,listening to customer opinions or offering entertainment may enhance customerrestricted to IKEA products and services and enhance consumer interests in extrinsicrewards such as vouchers and free products.Table  3  -­  Motivation  factors  FactorsFactor 1 - Brand interaction0.816I want to get fun and entertainment from content.I want to interact and share my interest with people about IKEA.I want to share my opinions and ideas directly with IKEA.I want to learn about IKEA as a company.I want to show to others my support to IKEA.Factor 2 - Extra value for customers 0.773I want to receive discounts and promotions.I want to get free products.I want to benefit from customer service.Items deleted due to cross-loadingI want to stay informed about IKEA (future products).I want to enter a contest organised by IKEA.I want to take part in challenges or events organised by IKEA.I want to get access to exclusive content.A friend recommends me to like / follow IKEA.
  • 54    5.6 Relationship  Quality    5.6.1 Satisfaction      Generally, most of the sample (79%) was more than very satisfied with theIKEA experience while about 18.5% of respondents were moderately satisfied (see.Appendix 11).5.6.2 Loyalty      As mentioned in methodology, a series of 3 items was used to measure loyalty amongrespondents. Almost 66% of the sample tends to agree that IKEA was their firstfurniture store they chose in order to buy furniture. To another extent, less than 40% ofall respondents would remain IKEA customers if prices increase (Appendix 12).To consider the impact of loyalty on customer engagement, a factor analysis was carriedout. One component with an eigenvalue over 1 was extracted and explained 65.444% oftotal variance. Furthermore, this component was reliable (Cronbach alpha = .722),therefore it will be integrated in further analyses (Appendix 12).5.6.3 Passion      Like More than 60%of all respondents agree that going to an IKEA store will never bored them, whereas40% of them stated that they love IKEA.A factor analysis was also used to extract a single component of passion (explaining73.07% of total variance) and the high coefficient of reliabi0.815) implies its use further (Appendix 13).5.6.4 Brand  Image    Moreover, IKEA brand image among the sample was evaluated with three items relatedto reputation, ethics and eco-friendliness. Respondents have generally positive opinions
  • 55    toward IKEA as a company. A majority of them (87%) agreed that it is a well-reputedcompany even though 45% were neutral about ethical practices.To measure potential impacts of brand image on engagement, one reliable factor wasextracted (Total variance explained = 70,195; Cronbach alpha = 0.788).5.6.5 Product  Image    ns about IKEA were measured with 5 items in relation with productcharacteristics for design, price and functionality (Appendix 14). A factor analysis wasused to extract smaller factors but two items were cross-loadings (i.e. functionality) orsimply inaccurate (i.e. unconventional design). Once irrelevant variables dismissed, twofactors finally extracted (explaining75,815% of total variance5.7 Passion  points  and  brand  utility      Chapter 2 widens the notion of customer brand interactions to the development ofemotional and rational bonds. Investigating IKEA-related passion platforms and brandutility in social media platforms aimed at providing insights about existing bondsbetween IKEA and respondents. For instance, some passion platforms could enhancemotivations for brand interaction while the perceptions of IKEA brand utility couldraise the interest of people in engaging with the brand.5.7.1 Passion  points    To discover IKEA-related interests, respondents were invited to choose out of 20, 3centres of interest likely to evoke their passion for IKEA. However, the questionnaireenabled respondents to propose other interests.
  • 56      Respondents tend to frequently associate -it-as well as These particular interests mightevoke IKEA as they imply a close proximity with IKEA products or shared values withthe brand. Consequently, people may refer to the brand when practising for example ado-it-yourself activity. Further implications of passion platforms will be discussed later(Appendix 15).5.7.2 Brand  Utility    Brand utility was measured through the use of 14 concrete examples of utilities IKEAmay provide to improve daily life of consumers. Respondents were asked to select theirlevel of interest for each proposition. (Appendix 15)An exploratory factor analysis was carried out to identify distinct categories of brandutility and their potential impact on customer passion and engagement. Indeed, the moreinteresting utilities are, the more consumers should be likely to interact with IKEA.Four factors assuming conditions of factorability and reliability were finally extracted.To strengthen factor structures, two items with high cross-loadings were withdrawn(Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001). Table 3 summarizes several types of brand utility IKEAmight provide to its consumers, as presenteEco-Figure  20    IKEA-­related  interests  
  • 57      Table  4  -­  4  types  of  IKEA  Brand  Utility  FactorsKMOTotalVarianceexplainedCronbachFactor 1 - Connectivity / TransparencyBy enabling me to connect in real life with people living in my city0.694 49,82% 0.655By sponsoring and curating art events (exhibitions, performance)By sharing tips about Best Things to do in the city I live at themomentBy learning me Cultural tips about Sweden and SwedesFactor 2 - Altruism / Eco-friendliness0.637 59,57% 0.6583By providing more information about environment impact of productI buyBy creating an online service to support non-profit organizations (..)By giving 1% of consumers spending to a local charity consumerschooseFactor 3 - Skills & advices0.653 58,48% 0,644By offering online How to video guides to help me in assemblingfurnituresBy launching online based consumer communityBy offering me in-store tutorials on how to assemble furnituresFactor 4 - Saving Money0.500 72,54% 0,621By offering vouchers, free samples to reward my regular coming instoresBy helping consumers to customize their furnitures at low priceItems deleted due to cross-loading    By helping me in adopting eco-responsible behaviour in my dailyroutineBy letting me know promotional offers about products Im interestedinSimilarly to previous constructs, an overall score of brand utility is measured and willwith min=25; max=70) (see Appendix 15).Otherwise, the importance of brand utility platforms was also subjected to analysis.Respondents were asked to evaluate their preferences between mobile apps, blogs,printed magazines or branded entertainment. By looking at statistical means (Table 4.),the sample appeared considering a traditional blog (mean= 3.29), an extra service instores (mean=3.20) or a mobile app as a valuable platform to provide them brand utility.Even though widgets and branded entertainment were seen less useful, differences interms of user participation in social media will require a closer look.Table  5  -­  Preferences  in  terms  of  brand  utility  platforms  Brand utility platforms MeansOfficial blog/website 3.29Extra service in store / streets 3.20Mobile applications 3.033.00Branded entertainment 2.70Widgets 2.70
  • 58    5.8 Regression  analyses  In the process of clarifying relationships between all constructs, multiple regressionanalyses were carried out to confirm theoretical assumptions on customer engagementin social media. Multiple regression analyses help in examining the influence of a set ofproviding the bestpredictor for a particular outcome (Hair et al., 2003; Pallant, 2001). Hypothesis drawnin Chapter 3 from the model of online customer engagement will be partly testedthrough regression analyses.5.8.1 Consumption    According to literature, customer engagement is generally considered as a positivecontributor to consumption. However, other considerations in customer-brandinteractions such as satisfaction, loyalty or passion may encourage individuals toincrease their level of consumption. To assess potential contributions in consumption, amultiple regression analysis was run including dimensions of engagement as well asother predefined constructs.The initial step of regression analysis is to evaluate to which extent independentvariables explain the total variation in the dependent variable, using the value of R-square (Pallant, 2001). As the value of R-square equals 0.307, this implies that allindependent variables can explain 30,7% of total variance in consumption (Appendix16).Then, the overall significance of regression model is tested with an analysis of variance.The ANOVA table confirms the existence of linear relationship between consumptionand other variables, as the significant level p equals 0.00.Finally, a closer look at beta coefficients provides the contribution of each variable inpredi threevariables tend to significantly impact on consumption: offline engagement, userengagement and a motivation
  • 59    Offline engagement is the main predictor variable of consumption with a beta value of0.410 (p=.000) while user engagement positively impacts on consumption (b= 0.291;p=.000). This underlines that consumers who engage with IKEA on selling points andsocial media tend to consume more than less-engaged individuals.rana negative beta value. This meansassociated with higher levels of consumption. Ultimately, users engaging with IKEA forsuch a motivation will consume less than others.Consequently to these findings, hypotheses related to consumption H1 and H2 havebeen verified.5.8.2 Predictors  of  User  Engagement        Chapter 2 tends to connect customer engagement with a series of constructs bothpotential predictors and consequences. These theoretical assumptions must be analysedwhen investigating user engagement to see whether social media platforms are subjectto differences in terms of engagement. The following analysis tests hypotheses from H3to H11.As shown in Appendix 17, almost 58% of total variance in user engagement can beexplained with all concepts related to customer-brand interactions while the ANOVAtable confirms the significance of this regression model (p=.000). According to theCoefficients table (Appendix 17), six independent variables out of sixteen appear as, motivations forResults show that user participation in social media is the stronger predicting variablefor user engagement (b= 0.442; p=.000), as engaging with a brand implies to be activeon new media. This statement appears consistent with offline engagement according toits positive impact on the dependent variable (b=0.240; p=.000).Secondly, motivations for interacting with IKEA are contributing to the level of userengagement (b= 0.258; p=.00correlated with it (b= -0.106; p=.037). As a consequence, individuals more interested
  • 60    IKEA intrinsic value (i.e. content, advices) are likely to engage more than those lookingfor extrinsic value (i.e. rewards).Consumption seems to impact positively on user engagement with a beta value of 0.178(p=.000). Thus, a recursive relationship exists between the two variables.has a low negative relationship with user engagement(b=-0.induces a weaker engagement among those who consider IKEA as price attractive.The preceding analysis introduces two sub-hypotheses for H5 and H10 and fullyconfirms several hypotheses (H3, H4, H11). Nevertheless four theoretical assumptionswere rejected (H6, H7, H8, H9).5.8.3 Predictors  of  Offline  Engagement  Although the main purpose of the study is to investigate engagement in social mediaplatforms, the impact of offline engagement on the overall model (see Chapter 3)deserves more attentionAs exhibited in Appendix 18, a 43,3% of variations in offline engagement wasact on traditional engagement.Based on this, Hypothesis n°15 is verified.  Table  6  -­  Predictors  of  Offline  Engagement  Predictors of Offline Engagement Beta value Sig.Consumption .298 .000User Engagement .223 .000Brand Interaction (Motive) .046 .450Extra Value for Customers (Motive) -.115 .023Satisfaction .039 .554Loyalty .180 .010Passion .223 .001Brand Image .019 .754Product Design -.133 .032Price Attractiveness .024 .645
  • 61    5.8.4 Relationship  Quality  and  User  Engagement  With regards to existing models mentioned in Chapter 2, impacts of engagement oncustomer-brand relationship need to be addressed when dealing with social media.Chapter 2 underlines several assumptions between customer engagement, consumption-related constructs (satisfaction, loyalty) and affective connections (passion). Usingmultiple regression analyses, predictors of each construct will be identified and thencompared to hypotheses from Chapter 3.5.8.4.1 Predictors  of  satisfaction    Results exhibit in Appendix 19 do not provide support to a direct causality betweensatisfaction and user engagement. Even though the regression model was significant andonlyexplained 14,7% of total variance in satisfaction, four predictors of satisfaction wereidentified as shown in Table 6.    Table  7  -­  Predictors  of  Satisfaction  are the main predictors ofcustomer satisfaction with b value over .2 while consumption contributes less inprediction. However, the variable of user engagement has a negative relationship withsatisfaction, meaning that the higher level of user engagement is, the less satisfiedindividuals are. This particular finding may be corroborated with aforementionedyallowing customers to express their dissatisfaction to IKEA. Besides, the second motivefor engaging with IKEA was not significant toward satisfaction.Predictors of Satisfaction Beta value Sig.Offline Engagement .249 .001Consumption .138 .046User Engagement - 0.164 .028Brand Interaction (Motive) .215 .002Extra Value for Customers (Motive) .062 .302
  • 62    5.8.4.2 Predictors  of  Loyalty    The following analysis attempts to identify potential predictors of customer loyaltyamong engagement-related concepts. The impact of satisfaction on loyalty, consideredin literature as inherent, was also tested. The regression model was significant and ableto explain 41,1% of total variance in loyalty (Appendix 20). As exhibited in Table 7,satisfaction is the strongest predicting variable of loyalty (b=.482; p=.000), while offlineengagement also contributes significantly in customer loyalty. Moreover, motivationsfor brand interaction seem to be positively associated with loyalty. Indeed it isconsistent that people who engage for interacting with IKEA are more loyal than thosewho engage for extrinsic rewards.  Table  8  -­  Regression  of  Loyalty  Predictors of Loyalty Beta value Sig.Offline Engagement .219 .001Consumption .021 .721User Engagement -.100 .110Brand Interaction (Motive) .162 .007Extra Value for Customers (Motive) .056 .264Satisfaction .482 .0005.8.4.3 Predictors  of  Passion    Chapter 2 emphasizes passion as the apex of customer engagement, encompassing allaforementioned constructs. As exhibited in Appendix 21, the significant level of theregression model used was confirmed and 48,6% of total variance in passion wasexplained by selected independent variables. Table 8 provides consistent results towardpassion as an emotional state of mind predicted by satisfaction (b= .218; p=.000) andloyalty (b= .208; p=.002). Motivations for brand interaction (b= .156; p=.007) andoffline engagement (b= .202; p= .001) impact positively on customer passion in asimilar way than they do with other previous emotional concepts.  Table  9  -­  Regression  of  Passion  against  Engagement,  Satisfaction,  Loyalty  
  • 63    These findings tend to reject some hypotheses referring to the positive impact of userengagement on satisfaction (H12), loyalty (H13) and passion (H14). User engagementdoes not have any direct influence on loyalty and passion while a negative relationshipexists with satisfaction.5.9 Brand  Utility    The notion of brand utility offers a different approach to customer-brand relationshipsas it is seen as an extra value for people. Although this concept is not covered inexisting models of engagement, assessing its potential impacts on customer engagementmight emphasize the importance of specific value proposition for IKEA.5.9.1 Predictors  of  Perceived  Brand  Utility    First, a multiple regression analysis was carried out to identify whether relationshipsbetween consume perceived brand utility and other constructs exist or not. Asdisplayed in Appendix 22, the R-square value of 0,326 implies that all variablesincluded can explain 32.6% of total variance in perceived brand utility. Moreover, theoverall significance of the regression model is confirmed with the ANOVA table(p=.000).Table  10  -­  Predictors  of  Perceived  Brand  Utility  Predictors of Perceived Brand Utility Beta value Sig.Predictors of Passion Beta value Sig.Offline Engagement .202 .001Consumption -.038 .485User Engagement .055 .362Brand Interaction (Motive) .156 .007Extra Value for Customers (Motive) .064 .183Satisfaction .218 .000Loyalty .208 .002Brand Image .102 .082Price Attractiveness (Cheap products) -.066 .187Product Design .127 .031
  • 64    Consumption .064 .306User Engagement .021 .758Brand Interaction (Motive) .387 .000Extra Value for Customers (Motive) .301 .000Satisfaction .053 .442Loyalty .080 .185Passion .095 .001Offline Engagement -.166 .018Results in Table 9 do not provide support to direct relationships between brand utilityand user engagement. Nonetheless, motivations, passion and offline engagement seemto contribute significantly to the way individuals perceive IKEA brand utility.predictor variables of brand utility. The feeling of passion that consumers experiencewith IKEA also impacts perceived brand utility. Furthermore, offline engagement andperceived brand utility have a negative relationship (b= -.166; p=.000). In other words,consumers who frequently visit stores or IKEA websites tend to perceive less brandutility than those who do not interact with the brand. Consequently, three hypotheses(H16, H17 and H19) are rejected.5.9.2 Predictors  of  Brand  Utility  types    Additionally, it is advisable to identify how the four types of brand utility impact on thenewly identified relationships (see part 7.2). A series of regression analyses involvingpredictors of perceived brand utility were run in order to evaluate to what extent thosetypes couldTable  11  -­  Regression  of  Brand  Interaction  against  Brand  Utility  Regression of Brand Interactionagainst types of Brand Utiliy (r2 =.213)Beta value Sig.Factor 1 - Connectivity .328 .000Factor 2 - Altruism / Eco-friendliness -.012 .848Factor 3 - Skills & Advices .246 .000Factor 4 - Saving Money -.006 .922
  • 65      Table  12  -­  Regression  "Extra  Value"  against  Brand  Utility  Regression of "Extra Value" againsttypes of Brand Utiliy (r2 =.207)Beta value Sig.Factor 1 - Connectivity .141 .026Factor 2 - Altruism / Eco-friendliness -.050 .433Factor 3 - Skills & Advices -.009 .883Factor 4 - Saving Money .413 .000Tables 10 andare positively impacting on (Table 11). Otherwise,Table  13  -­  Regression  of  Passion  against  Brand  Utility  Regression of "Passion" againsttypes of Brand Utiliy (r2 =.125)Beta value Sig.Factor 1 - Connectivity .133 .046Factor 2 - Altruism / Eco-friendliness -.077 .247Factor 3 - Skills & Advices .045 .496Factor 4 - Saving Money .296 .000types of Brand Utility is not relevant as the value of R-square is low (r2= .032) and theoverall significance of the model is not confirmed (p= .089 >.05).Preceding outputs highlight positive relationships between components of brand utility,motivations of engagement and passion. As a matter of fact, the notion of brand utilityseems to affect indirectly user engagement in social media.
  • 66    5.10 Additional  findings    5.10.1 Effect  of  Age  on  the  study  As the study was conducted within a heterogeneous sample, the effect of age oncustomer engagement need to be addressed in order to support final results. Analyses ofvariance (ANOVA) were carried out to identify potential differences among agecategories for the following variables:t (p< 0.05) for all variables, meaning that assumptions for equal variances are notconfirmed (Pallant, 2001). Nevertheless, according to the ANOVA table, the-value. This implies thatdifferences among age categories are significant for those variables.splayed in Appendix 24 indicates which agegroups significantly differ from others.-44 years old respondents tend to engagemore with IKEA in social media (mean= 7.65) than the group of 17-24 years oldones (mean= 6.225)By comparing means, there is a strong difference between age groups in termsof offline engagement. Indeed, the older respondents are, the more they engage(Appendix 24).45-54 years old respondents purchase significantly more than the group of 17-24years old respondents.Moreover, 17-.There are no strong differences between age categories concerning passion.Nonetheless, means for each group show that older respondents tend to be morepassionate than under 35s (mean 17-24= .04; mean 25-34= -.25; mean over 55s=.755).
  • 67    5.10.2 User  Engagement  and  Relationship  Quality      Prior analyses did not provide support to a series of hypotheses raised in Chapter 3(H12, H13, H14). Indeed, user engagement in social media does not predictsignificantly satisfaction, loyalty and passion among customers, as offline engagementseems to do. Nevertheless, positive correlations between user engagement andemotional constructs may exist. A Pearson product moment correlation analysis wascarried out to measure the degree of associations existing between those variables. Asshown in Appendix 25, there are two significant positive relationships with userengagement:p=.000). This means that the more passion people feel about IKEA, the morethey engage.There is a small positive relationship be(r= .125; p=.05),              5.11 Evaluation  of  Hypotheses  This part aims at looking how preceding results provide support to initial researchhypotheses drawn in Chapter 3. Moreover, the initial model of engagement will takeinto account new significant relationships identified between concepts.5.11.1 Initial  Hypotheses      Table 13 provides details about hypotheses that preceding results analyses haveconfirmed.  
  • 68    Initial Hypotheses Supported Path CorrelationConsumptionH1 - Offline Engagement - Consumption Yes .410**H2 - User Engagement - Consumption Yes .291**    User EngagementH3 - User Participation - User Engagement Yes .442**H4 - Offline Engagement - User Engagement Yes .240**H5a - "Brand Interaction" - User Engagement Yes .258**H5b - "Extra Value for Consumers" - User Engagement Yes -.106*H6 - Satisfaction - User Engagement NoH7 - Loyalty - User Engagement NoH8 - Passion - User Engagement NoH9 - Brand Image - User Engagement NoH10a - "Product Design" - User Engagement NoH10b - "Price Attractiveness - User Engagement Yes -.096*H11 - Consumption - User Engagement Yes .178**Impacts of User EngagementH12 - User Engagement - Satisfaction Yes -.164*H13 - User Engagement - Loyalty NoH14 - User Engagement - Passion NoH15 - User Engagement - Offline Engagement Yes .223**Brand UtilityH16 - User Engagement - Perceived Brand Utility NoH17 - Satisfaction - Perceived Brand Utility NoH18 - Passion - Perceived Brand Utility Yes .095**H19 - Loyalty - Perceived Brand Utility NoH20a - "Brand Interaction" - Perceived Brand Utility Yes .387**H20b - "Extra Value" - Perceived Brand Utility Yes .301**Note: ** p < .001 / * p < .05        Theoretical assumptions related to the development of engagement were supported bothfor traditional engagement and online engagement whereas those dealing withconsequences of engagement could not be applied specifically to social mediaplatforms; for example, positive impacts of user engagement on loyalty and passion.Nevertheless as mentioned in part 9.2 positive correlations exist between thoseconstructs. Furthermore, the notion of brand utility tested appears being indirectlyrelated to the process of engagement in social media thanks to significant relationshipswith customer motivations
  • 69    5.11.2 Additional  results    In the process of testing initial hypotheses, additional results have been obtained fromdata (Table 14).  Additional findings Path CorrelationConsumptionF1- "Brand Interaction" - Consumption -.162*Offline EngagementF2 - Loyalty - Offline Engagement .180*F3 - Passion - Offline Engagement .223**F4 - Consumption - Offline Engagement .298**F5 - "Extra Value for Customers" - Offline Engagement -.115*F6 - Product Design - Offline Engagement -.133*SatisfactionF7 - Offline Engagement - Satisfaction .249**F8 - Consumption - Satisfaction .138*F9 - Brand Interaction - Satisfaction .215*LoyaltyF10 - Offline Engagement - Loyalty .219**F11 - "Brand Interaction" - Loyalty .162*F12 - Satisfaction - Loyalty .482**PassionF13 - Offline Engagement - Passion .202**F14 -"Brand Interaction" - Passion .156*F15 - Satisfaction - Passion .218**F16 - Loyalty - Passion .208*F17 - Product Design - Passion .127*        Brand UtilityF18 - Offline Engagement - Perceived Brand Utility -.166*Note: ** p < .001 / * p < .05Unlike engagement in social media, traditional engagement tends to impact positivelyon customer satisfaction, loyalty and even passion. These three concepts, which havestrong inter-correlations, tend also to contribute in offline engagement both directly(passion, loyalty) and indirectly (s
  • 70    who are more motivated by interacting with the brand and its personality are morelikely to be loyal and passionate. In addition, product design appears as a predictor ofpassion (b=.127; p= .031), meaning that positive considerations of IKEA productsmight imply higher level of passion.5.11.3 Final  Model  of  Engagement    Based on previous results, the measurement model designed in Chapter 3 can beupdated considering confirmed hypotheses and coefficients of correlation betweenelements.  Figure  24  -­  The  Process  of  Engagement,  as  applied  to  social  mediaOverall, the model of engagement applied to social media provides relevant findings asmost of initial assumptions were confirmed. User engagement is in fact highlycorrelated with traditional engagement and seems to enhance indirectly generalconsequences of engagement. Indeed, any strong relationship between user engagementand elements defining relationship quality were identified. Otherwise, the notion of
  • 71    extra value proposition underlined with perceived brand utility tends to impact oncustomer motivations, therefore to enhance customer engagement in new mediaplatforms. The implications concerning the impact of user engagement on customer-brand interactions will be discussed in the next section.
  • 72    6 Conclusions  &  Discussion  This main purpose of this research was to investigate the concept of customerengagement in new media and to identify its potential effects on customer-brandrelationships. Assuming existing models of engagement, the study attempted to testassumptions through the use of IKEA as focal brand and to provide a number ofinsights for enhancing user engagement.From a theoretical approach, findings tend to confirm empirically the validity ofconceptual engagement model from literature (Hollebeek, 2011; Bowden, 2009) and thepositive impact of customer engagement on customer-brand relationships. However, the-brand relationships as traditionalengagement does. Additional findings also provide a better understanding of emotionaland rational bonds toward customer engagement and some implications toward thestrengthening of customer-brand interactions.6.1 The  Process  of  Engagement    The conceptual model of engagement elaborated by Hollebeek (2011) emphasizes anumber of relationships between engagement behaviours and other constructs.First, the author identified customer involvement and interactivity as antecedents ofengagement. In the study, involvement was defined with two variables: the frequency ofmedia. Offline engagement appeared to be influenced significantly by the level ofconsumption (F4), loyalty (F2) and passion (F3) that consumers experience with IKEA.Moreover, user participation has been identified as a strong positive predictor of userengagement (H3), completed with the level of consumption (H11) and motivations forbrand interaction (H5a). Otherwise, user engagement and offline engagement tend tocontribute significantly to each other (H4, H15), reinforcing the strength of the overallengagement. Indeed, a consumer who engages offline with IKEA is more likely toengage in social media with the same brand in order to fulfil his own needs.
  • 73    On a serelationship quality (satisfaction, trust, commitment) and loyalty as consequences ofcustomer engagement with positive relationships as well as a retroactive inhibition. Thisstudy did not measure trust but commitment was assimilated to engagement.Nevertheless, the variable of passion was investigated as an higher level of affectivebonds with IKEA.Based on the results, customer engagement is positively contributing in satisfactionthrough the variable offline engagement (F7). Concerning other constructs of loyaltyand passion, offline engagement is both contributing in and predicted by thosevariables, meaning a recursive relationship. Therefore, the frequency of visits in IKEAselling points depends on the level of customer loyalty and passion for the brand.Besides, user engagement has any relationship with the former variables but a negativecontribution in satisfaction (H6). With regards to Van Doorn et al. (2010),manifestations of engagement can be both positive and negative. In this case, thisnegative correlation implies another facet of engagement in social media, such asconnecting to express dissatisfaction. To another extent, as conceptualized in her initialmodel, satisfaction impacts positively on customer loyalty (F12) as well as passion forthe brand (F15).Despite the integration of other variables, the conceptual model of customerengagement appears to be quantitatively consistent and reliable. However, applied touser engagement, the model infers a need to consider engagement in social media as adifferent construct a part of the overall engagement behaviour one. Engaging in socialmedia does not impact directly on customer satisfaction, loyalty and passion, and thismeans that its effect on customer-brand relationships is not valid at the moment.Consequently, further explanations may be identified through an evaluation of customermotivations for engaging in social media with IKEA.
  • 74    6.2 Motivations  for  engaging  in  social  media  Six distinct motivations for engaging online with a brand have been identified amongprior researches (Muntinga et al. 2010), but a lack of quantitative applicationsminimized reliability of scale and validity of items. Nevertheless, two distinct factorsthem is concerned with intrinsic value and the other with extrinsic value. Based on theresults, IKEA consumers are more concerned with brand interaction (Mean = -2.33)than with extrinsic value (Mean =-3.10). Therefore, consumers who are engaged or notare willing to share their interest with others, to learn about IKEA or even to get funthrough published content. On the opposite, economic rewards or extra service supportare not the main interest for engaging with the brand. Indeed, customer-brandthan rationalones. Consequently, motivations for brand interaction (H5a) contribute more in userengagement than other motivations (H5b). Consumers who are more interested in IKEAintrinsic value are more likely to engage in social media platforms. Additionally, theloyalty (F11) and passion (F14) with IKEA. Indeed, an individual looking for intrinsicand emotional needs will be more satisfied than an individual interested in discountsand free products. This statement emphasizes a potential contribution of passion in userengagement through this motivation variable.Otherwise, results about motivations tend to support previous researches in motivationsfor engaging in social media. For example, social pressure, entertainment as well assense of belonging are among the motivations for connecting with a brand.Nevertheless, a deeper understanding of user motivation might be required to identifyconsumer expectations from the brand. Results show for instance than 17-24 years old6.3 Customer  engagement  and  Passion  seems to be inherent to the model of customer engagement confirmed above.
  • 75    Academics have various considerations concerning passion. Yim et al. (2008) points outits requirements for customer loyalty whereas Park et al (2009) suggest that the level ofinvolvement with a brand does not depend on developed emotional connections.Based on the results, passion can be predicted by offline engagement (F13),design (F17). Product design is the only IKEA-related characteristic that enhances thelevel of consumer passion. It implies that product design might encompass somefeatures of IKEA experience in the mind of customers, such as easiness to assemble,design and quality. This can be corroborated with the fact that most important reasonsfor visiting an IKEA store is to look at furniture and furnishing items.Although there are no predicting each other, passion and user engagement have a smallpositive relationship, meaning that the more passionate individuals are more likely toengage than others. As a consequence, the study assumes a different opinion than ParkFurthermore, the study investigates customer passion platforms in the process ofdefining which types of emotional associations exist among customers. Indeed, IKEAcustomers may refer to the brand when practising a do-it-yourself activity, doing crafts,cooking, speaking about art/design or even when spending time with relatives. Thesecentres of interest are relevant in order to connect with IKEA consumers and raise theinterest in engaging online with the brand. For example, Facebook users will be morelikely to like IKEA in case they know that published content relates to their centres ofinterest and can potentially provide them with valuable content (i.e. information,entertainment).6.4 Customer  engagement  and  Brand  Utility  The notion of brand utility was introduced into the study in order to evaluate the impactof rational bonds on customer engagement, as highlighted in McEwen (2004). The levelof perceived brand utility was used to assess whether the sample considered IKEA as abrand likely to provide extra free services in exchange of stronger interactions.Perceived brand utility is strongly impacting on motivations for engaging in socialmedia with the brand while offline engagement is negatively contributing to this
  • 76    variable. This fact might be supported by assuming that consumers with a low level oftraditional engagement perceive and expect more brand utility from a brand; forexample due to a lack of information on brand offers. Nevertheless, a small relationshipbetween passion and perceived brand utility exists, meaning that people who have apassion for IKEA might perceived more utility than others. To another extent, theexisting relation between those variables may reinforce the proximity of emotional andrational bonds. In other words, brand utility might probably impact on customersthrough the use of passion platforms. For example, a mobile application providingcooking recipes or DIY hints may be perceived more valuable for people than a type ofservices unrelated with IKEA-related passions.Despite its lack of consistency within the model of engagement, the concept of brandutility seems to indirectly impact on user engagement via motivations.6.5 Customer  engagement  and  Consumption  Finally, customer engagement is considered as a process encompassing all behaviouralmanifestations customers are likely to experience with a brand. Visiting a store, readinga catalogue or even being fan of IKEA on Facebook are likely to enhance customer-brand interactions and potentially encourage customers to purchase (Bowden, 2009).Results of this study show that both offline and online forms of engagement werecontributing significantly to the level of consumption. In the study, stores were the mostfrequently used and visited selling points, whereas other IKEA touch-points enableregular interactions with IKEA. User engagement enhances the requirement for regularinteractions in platforms heavily used by customers. However, understanding customerexpectations from the brand is required to strengthen customer-brand relationships.Passion is another construct to identify as it strongly impacts on engagement and itcontains affectionate ties likely to create intimacy through the use of passion points.6.6  Managerial  implications  Social media platforms have offered wide opportunities for companies to connect with-customers interact in order to share their interest, get entertained, benefit from valuableinformation or to express their affiliation to a brand.
  • 77    However, due to the attractiveness of these platforms, customers face a larger number ofchoices and start considering to which level they really love a brand and the value thisbrand can offer to them.This study provides a useful framework to evaluate customer expectations in engagingwith a brand based on their relationship built over time with it. Instead of consideringsocial media as new media, marketers should put an emphasis on the importance ofcontent.Passion is inherent to any customer-brand relationships even though customers used todeny. To inhibit those affectionate ties, a brand needs to use specific platforms to raiseinterest among customers through content. Because passion platforms are related tobrand image and identity in the eyes of customers, it is critical to use these brand-relatedpoints in order to strengthen an existing relationship.In a similar approach to passion, brand utility is a way to enhance customer-brandinteractions by creating proximity between people and a brand. Because engagement isno longer restricted to selling points, a brand must provide utilities in order to keep onoffering value to people in real life.Otherwise, the notion of customer engagement in social media has to be carefullydistinguished from general engagement. Indeed, results show that user engagement wasnot likely to create satisfaction, loyalty and passion for a brand. It only impacts onconsumption and offline engagement. Therefore, the use of social media platforms iscrucial for business and an appropriate use is critical to avoid any counter-effect andlosses of customers.6.7 Limitations  and  further  research  This study has a number of limitations related to customer motivations to engage with abrand. Motivations identified in literature could not be properly used in the process ofthe study therefore two general motivations have been generated.Otherwise, measurement scale for user participation and user engagement was relevantin regards to literature but did not consider differences among platforms. Indeed, socialmedia platforms tend to differ according to media richness theory. Therefore aFacebook fan may be considered more important a follower on Twitter.
  • 78    In the research area of customer engagement, it would be interesting to investigateseveral types of motivations for engaging with a brand on social media. On the otherhand, further research is needed to establish a relevant measurement scale forengagement in order to extend possibilities in data analysis. To another extent,identifying reasons why non-customers engage online would provide interestinginsights about brand passion among these segments.
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  • 85    Appendices