El valor de una marca y los medios sociales


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El valor de una marca y los medios sociales

  1. 1. forum Submitted 10.05.2012. Approved 08.08.2012 Evaluated in double blind review Scientific Editors: Valter Afonso Vieira, Heitor Takashi Kato, Eliane Pereira Zamith Brito and Lelis Balestrin EspartelSPONSORING, BRAND VALUE AND SOCIAL MEDIAPATROCÍNIO, VALORIZAÇÃO DA MARCA E MÍDIAS SOCIAISPATROCINIO, VALORIZACIÓN DE LA MARCA Y MEDIOS SOCIALESABSTRACTThe increasing involvement of individuals in social me- brity endorser credibility of a top sports team influencedia over the past decade has enabled firms to pursue the perceived brand value of the sponsoring firm in anew avenues in communication and sponsoring acti- social media setting. Moreover, these effects are com-vities. Besides general research on either social media pared between existing customers and non-customersor sponsoring, questions regarding the consequences of the sponsoring firm. Interestingly, perceived celebrityof a joint activity (sponsoring activities in social media) endorser credibility plays no role in forming brand valueremain unexplored. Hence, the present study analyses perceptions in the case of the existing customers. Impli-whether the perceived image of the brand and the cele- cations for marketing theory and practice are derived.KEYWORDS Social media, brand value, sponsoring, heterogeneity, celebrity endorser. Alexander Zauner alexander.zauner@wu.ac.at Professor at Institute for Marketing-Management, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria Monika Koller monika.koller@wu.ac.at Professor at Institute for Marketing-Management, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria Matthias Fink matthias.fink@wu.ac.at Professor for International Small Business Management and Innovation at the Leuphana University Lüneburg (Germany) and Head of the Research Institute for Liberal Professions, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria Resumo O aumento de engajamento dos indivíduos nas mídias sociais, na última década, possibilitou as empresas explorarem novas modalidades de comunicação e projetos de patrocínio. Além de pesquisa geral quanto às mídias sociais ou ao patrocínio, as questões em relação às consequências das ações conjuntas (atividades de patrocínio nas mídias sociais) ficaram poucas exploradas. Por conseguinte, o presente trabalho analisa se a imagem percebida da marca e a credibilidade da celebridade endossante de uma importante equipe esportiva possa influenciar a valorização percebida da marca da empresa patrocinadora (marca de empresa) no cenário das mídias sociais. Além disso, estes resultados comparam-se entre os clientes atuais e os não clientes da empresa patrocinadora. Curiosamente, resultou-se que a credibilidade percebida da celebridade endossante quase não é um fator de construção das percepções em relação aos clientes atuais.  Os nossos achados contribuem para a discussão atual na literatura sobre as vantagens do uso de mídias sociais para promover patrocínios. Palavras-Chave Mídias sociais, valorização da marca, patrocínio, heterogeneidade, celebridade endossante. Resumen El aumento de compromiso y participación de los individuos en los medios sociales, en la última década, posibilitó que las empresas explorasen nuevas modalidades de comunicación y proyectos de patrocinio. Además de investigación general en lo que se refiere a los medios sociales o al patrocinio, las cuestiones en relación a las consecuencias de las acciones conjuntas (actividades de patrocinio en los medios sociales) permanecieron poco exploradas. El presente trabajo analiza si la imagen percibida de la marca y la credibilidad de la celebridad endosante de un importante equipo deportivo podría influenciar la valorización percibida de la marca de la empresa patrocinadora en el escenario de los medios sociales. Además, estos resultados se comparan entre los clientes actuales y los no clientes de la empresa patrocinadora. Curiosamente, resultó que la credibilidad percibida de la celebridad endosante casi no sería un factor en la construcción de las percepciones en relación a los clientes actuales. Nuestros hallazgos contribuyen a la discusión actual en la literatura sobre las ventajas del uso de medias sociales para promover patrocinios. Palabras clave Medios sociales, valorización de la marca, patrocinio, heterogeneidad, celebridad endosante.I S SN 0034-7590 © R AE n Sã o Pa ul o n v. 5 2 n n. 6 n nov. /d ez . 2 0 1 2 n 6 8 1 - 6 9 1 681
  2. 2. forum  SPONSORING, BRAND VALUE AND SOCIAL MEDIAINTRODUCTION Regarding its professional potential, in the second half of 2011, about 2.5 million websites integrated with Facebook, including over 80 of comScore’s top 100 USSocial media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and websites and over half of its top 100 global websitesGoogle+ have advanced to such an extent that they (www.facebook.com, 2011). These numbers underlineare a highly relevant topic in our everyday private and the importance of Facebook as a communication toolbusiness lives. Hence, research on social media has for both end users and firms. For entrepreneurs, socialbecome multidisciplinary. Antropologists, neuroscien- media platforms can be used as a vehicle for commu-tists, sociologists and marketers are researching in the nicating with their targeted customer groups (ANKENY,context of this phenomenon, analysing its consequen- 2011a; FORBES, 2011). The literature reports that up toces for society in general and business initiatives in 60 percent of the Facebook advertising market is madeparticular. The beauty of this field of research is the up of small and mid-sized businesses (ANKENY, 2011b).fact that a large part of the worldwide population is Hence, integrating web 2.0 applications such as socialsomehow connected with, or at least informed about, media platforms into a company’s set of communicationsocial media and its predominance in today’s reali- channels may lead to multiplicative benefits (BUGHINty. ‘Googling’ the term ‘social media’ currently yiel- and CHUI, 2011).ds more than 3.8 billion hits, the term ‘social media The internet has altered the way consumers in-marketing’ more than 1.5 billion. A lot of information teract with products and brands (EDELMAN, 2010).on social media is available online. The emergence For instance, specific brand community sites haveof the topic has opened up a wide variety of research advanced to the stage where they are widely usedquestions to be resolved, including the need to gain by companies to encourage consumers to interacta more detailed understanding of the phenomenon with their products and brands (for an overviewitself. For instance, the extent to which individuals on brand communities, see e.g, COVA and WHITE,engage in social networks varies considerably, due 2010). However, the internet has changed and willto manifold reasons. Very recently, Kanai and others continue to change (CAMPBELL and others, 2011).(2011) published a study addressing this variability in Hence, a company is well-advised to thoroughly mo-individuals’ social web participation based on neuros- nitor the time and money it invests in social mediacientific data. They report that quantitative variation activity. A lot of businesses still do not have enou-in the number of friends an individual declares on a gh comprehensive information about the pros andsocial network site predicted grey matter density in the cons of, for example, adopting Facebook as an extraright superior temporal sulcus, left middle temporal communication channel (ANKENY, 2011b). Fischergyrus and entorhinal cortex (KANAI and others, 2011). and Reuber (2011) note that there is still a lack ofThese results suggest the size of an individual’s onli- knowledge of what can actually be done with socialne social network to be closely linked to focal brain media by entrepreneurs. Moreover, there is virtuallystructures implicated in social cognition (KANAI and no certainty about which activities might be effecti-others, 2011). ve. Although a rapidly expanding body of scholarly Hence, the increasing involvement of individuals work and practitioner literature on social media andin social media has important implications for multiple business practices does exist (FISCHER and REUBER,scientific disciplines. The natural sciences are predomi- 2011), there are still blind spots in terms of the un-nantly interested in searching for biological mechanis- derlying marketing mechanisms in social media andms associated with human online behaviour whereas other forms of communication, such as sponsoring.the social sciences in general and business as well as For instance, if a company decides to engage withmarketing research in particular are more interested in Facebook, it can either create its own Facebook page,the implications such individual online behaviour might run under the company’s name, or collaborate withimpose for managers and policy makers. For instance, a partner and run an independent page on whichit is vital to further analyse the potential social media both partners appear jointly. A sponsoring companyhas for business and entrepreneurial applications. In engaging with the Facebook fansite of a celebrityJanuary 2012, Facebook reports that it already has sports team that it is sponsoring would be a perfectmore than 800 million active users worldwide (www. example of such a joint activity. In this case, socialfacebook.com, 2012). media might help to boost how the company brand is682 © R AE n S ão Paulo n v. 52 n n. 6 n nov./dez. 2012 n 6 8 1 - 6 9 1 I SSN 0 0 3 4 -7 5 9 0
  3. 3. Alexander Zauner Monika Koller Matthias Finkperceived by consumers. A recently published analy- underlying source of competitive advantage (WOO-sis of performance data on 50 top US-based corpora- DRUFF, 1997). It is defined as a customer’s perceivedtions indicates that the corporations that consistently preference for and evaluation of those product attri-invest in sponsorship outperform market averages butes, attribute performances, and consequences ari-(JENSEN and HSU, 2011). Hence, integrating sports sing from use, that facilitate the achievement of thesponsorship and marketing activities via specific fan customer’s goals in usage situations (WOODRUFF,groups on social media platforms might have several 1997). The recognition of the importance of the custo-positive effects for a company. This could be advan- mer value concept as a major antecedent to intentionaltageous, especially regarding the company’s brand post-consumption concepts (e.g, loyalty), as well as toimage and the perceived brand value. actual behaviour, has generated a plethora of research As far as we are aware, there is still little known (see, e.g, KOLLER, FLOH, ZAUNER, 2011). Yet, em-about the mechanisms of sports sponsorship and per- pirical research on customer value is still fragmentedceived brand value within social media. We attempt to and inconclusive (SANCHEZ-FERNANDEZ, INIESTA-close this gap in the previous research by answering -BONILLO, HOLBROOK, 2009), especially regardingthe following two questions: the link between perceived value and brand percep- tions. For example, Parasuraman (1997) emphasizes(1) Do perceived brand image and/or the celebrity the potential relevance of brand perceptions as sources endorser credibility of a sports team that runs a of value from the consumer perspective. In doing so, Facebook fan site positively affect the perceived he identifies the need for sound and empirical rese- brand value of the sponsoring firm? arch on this topic.(2) Do these effects differ on the existing customers and non-customers of the sponsoring firm? Perceived brand value We collected data from 322 members of the Customer value as a general concept can be discus-company-sponsored Facebook fan site of a celebri- sed from both a supply and a demand perspective.ty sports team (a volleyball team). In our case, the From a supply perspective, for example, there is asponsoring firm was one of Europe’s largest mobile strong stream of research on customer lifetime valuetelecommunication service providers. In the present or customer equity (MAAS and GRAF, 2008). From apaper, we empirically investigate the contributions demand persepctive, perceived customer value stan-of brand image and the celebrity endorser credibili- ds for the multidimensional value facets (functional,ty of the sports team on the brand value perceived economic, emotional and social) perceived by an in-by the Facebook group members. We further test dividual consuming the product or service (see, e.g,the moderating effect of being an existing customer SWEENEY and SOUTAR, 2001). In the present paper,versus a non-customer of the service provider (spon- we explicitly focus on the latter, perceived value fromsoring firm). Based on the findings, we derive ample the consumer’s perspective. However, we do not focusmanagerial implications and highlight directions for on the general concept of perceived customer valuefurther research. related to a product or service. We rather address per- ceived brand value from a customer perspective. This concept can be seen as a particular type of perceived customer value.THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK Perceived brand value can be defined as value fa- cets (functional, economic, emotional and social) per-Perceived value ceived by an individual consuming a particular brand.The focal construct in our study is the concept of per- From a more general perspective, akin to customer va-ceived value. Since consumers attempt to maximize lue, brand value can as well be defined from a supplyvalue in their market exchanges, ‘customer value’ is of perspective. From a supply perspective, brand value isfundamental interest for both managers and scholars seen as the value of a product and/or company brand(BHARADWAJ and FLOH, 2008). Hence, it has been in terms of a company’s asset. Hence, brand value maycalled one of the most powerful forces in today’s ma- enter into the sales and the purchase price of a com-rketplace (PATTERSON and SPRENG, 1997) and an pany (GABAY and others, 2009).I S SN 0034-7590 © R AE n Sã o Pa ul o n v. 5 2 n n. 6 n nov. /d ez . 2 0 1 2 n 6 8 1 - 6 9 1 683
  4. 4. forum  SPONSORING, BRAND VALUE AND SOCIAL MEDIA In contrast, for the purpose of this paper, from pany image, employee trust and company trust) havea demand (consumer) perspective, perceived brand a positive influence on value perceptions.value means the multidimensional value facets a con-sumer derives from a product and/or company brand.In other words, a brand delivers a certain set of values Celebrity endorser credibility and perceivedthat determine its brand personality and distinguish it brand valuefrom other brands, which in turn imparts some per- Ohanian (1990) developed the celebrity endorser cre-ceived utility on the customer (CHRISTOPHER, 1996). dibility scale, which informs and reflects the dimen-Whereas, in the history of research on value, it used sions of source valence. This scale comprises threeto be conceptualized as a unidimensional construct dimensions: trustworthiness, expertise and attracti-(e.g, utility in terms of functional value only) (e.g, veness. Combined, these three dimensions descri-BOLTON and DREW, 1991; SINHA and DESARBO, be a communicator’s characteristics that influence a1998), recent research has turned to a multidimensio- receiver’s acceptance of a message. Trustworthinessnal conceptualization of value (e.g, KOLLER, FLOH, “refers to the consumer’s confidence in the sourceZAUNER, 2011; SANCHEZ-FERNANDEZ, INIESTA-BO- for providing information in an objective and honestNILLO, HOLBROOK, 2009; SWEENEY and SOUTAR, manner” (OHANIAN, 1991). Expertise is defined as2001). Following this trend, we adopt a multidimen- “the extent to which a communicator is perceived tosional (functional, economic, emotional and social) be a source of valid assertions” (HOVLAND, JANIS,perspective of perceived brand value in the present KELLEY, 1953). Finally, attractiveness refers to theresearch. Hence, in our empirical study, the construct physical attractiveness of the source to the respondentof the perceived brand value of the sponsoring firm and the consequent influence on message receptivity.comprises multiple value facets. Firms invest large sums of money to align their ma- rket offerings with celebrity endorsers (AGRAWAL and KAMAKURA, 1995). A celebrity endorser can be defi-Perceived brand image and perceived brand ned as “any individual who enjoys public recognitionvalue and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumerAaker (1991) defines brand image as a set of asso- good by appearing with it in an advertisement” (MC-ciations, usually grouped in some meaningful way. CRACKEN, 1989). In this way, it is hoped that specificComparably, Keller (1998) characterizes the concept as characteristics or qualities (e.g, expertise) of celebrities“perceptions about a brand as reflected by the brand will be transferred to products via marketing communi-associations held in consumers’ memory”. A brand’s cations (ERDOGAN, 1999). Although the effectiveness ofimage combines cognitive and affective brand beliefs, a celebrity endorser is dynamic, and dependent on thewhich together form the consumer’s overall impression celebrity, the market offering and societal conditions (e.g,of the brand (BRODIE, WHITTOME, BRUSH, 2009). In time and place) (SILVERA and AUSTAD, 2004), extantother words, brand image is a multidimensional cons- research clearly documents that celebrity endorsers havetruct consisting of various brand associations which positive effects on product evaluations (e.g, DEAN andfirms transfer from the brand to the consumer’s me- BISWAS, 2001), attitudes (e.g, KAHLE and HOMER, 1985;mory through integrated marketing communication KAMINS, 1989) and behavioural intentions (e.g, LIU,channels, such as social media (SMITH, 2004). Al- HUANG, MINGHUA, 2007). However, the relationshipthough research on the influence of customers’ brand with perceived brand value remains disregarded. This isperceptions on perceived brand value is scarce, both surprising, considering that the customer value conceptconceptual and empirical evidence exists indicating a is of paramount importance in current marketing rese-substantial, positive relationship. For example, Erdem arch (see, e.g, KATSIKEAS, ROBSON, HULBERT, 2001).and Swait (1998) demonstrate through signalling the-ory that a brand’s personality positively affects percei-ved service quality and value. Of particular relevanceto this study is the research by Brodie, Whittome and CONCEPTUAL MODEL AND HYPOTHESESBrush (2009), which shows a significant positive effectof brand image on customer value. According to these The theoretical framework discussed suggests thatauthors, all aspects of the brand (brand image, com- the following conceptual model (see Figure 1) and684 © R AE n S ão Paulo n v. 52 n n. 6 n nov./dez. 2012 n 6 8 1 - 6 9 1 I SSN 0 0 3 4 -7 5 9 0
  5. 5. Alexander Zauner Monika Koller Matthias Finkhypotheses should be empirically tested. We for- pronounced among existing customers than amongmulate two core hypotheses regarding the impact non-customers of the sponsoring firm.of perceived brand image and perceived celebrityendorser credibility on how the members of a Face- H1: Perceived brand image has a positive effect onbook fan group assess the perceived brand value of the perceived brand value of the sponsoring firm inthe sponsoring company (H1 and H2). Not all mem- the context of social media.bers of the Facebook fan group being investigated H2: The perceived celebrity endorser credibility ofare necessarily already customers of the sponsoring the sponsored sports team has a positive effect oncompany. Existing customers will be more commit- the perceived brand value of the sponsoring firm inted to the brand in general. This assumption is based the context of social media.on previous literature on general customer loyalty, H3: The effects of perceived brand image and per-brand love and brand loyalty (e.g, BATRA and others, ceived celebrity endorser credibility on the perceived2012). They are already in a commercial relationship brand value of the sponsoring firm in the contextwith the telecommunication service provider (spon- of social media are influenced by whether or notsoring firm). In our particular case, they even make the fan group member is already a customer of thethe effort to engage in a social media platform of a sponsoring firm.celebrity sports team that is sponsored by the serviceprovider. Based on the theoretical reasoning under-lying the phenomenon of brand attachment (PARKand others, 2010), this active involvement leads to METHODOLOGYthe assumption, that these existing customers havealready formed emotional ties with the company and Data collection and sample descriptionthe brand. Hence, it can be assumed that there are Data collection was administered through an onlinetwo sub-groups, depending on whether or not the questionnaire, sent via the Facebook website of anmember is already a customer of the sponsoring com- Austrian celebrity volleyball team. The two memberspany (H3). Within this assumption of heterogeneity of the team always appear in public together. Thus,articulated in H3, we further assume that existing their fans attribute characteristics to the team and notcustomers score higher on perceived brand image, to the individuals. This makes the team an adequatecelebrity endorser credibility and perceived brand unit of analysis. An electronic invitation to take part inimage. Moreover, the explanatory power of percei- the research project was emailed to 1,286 Facebookved brand image and celebrity endorser credibility on ‘friends’ of the celebrity sports team. In the ten daysperceived brand value is also expected to be more during which the survey was run, 322 group members Figure 1 – Conceptual model Perceived Celebrity endorser brand image credibility Moderator (H3): H1 + H2 + customer vs. non-customer Perceived brand valueI S SN 0034-7590 © R AE n Sã o Pa ul o n v. 5 2 n n. 6 n nov. /d ez . 2 0 1 2 n 6 8 1 - 6 9 1 685
  6. 6. forum  SPONSORING, BRAND VALUE AND SOCIAL MEDIAparticipated, yielding a response rate of 25%. Regarding ding of the items was slightly adapted to the currentthe final sample, 31% of our respondents are female application. Each construct was measured using atand 69% male. The over-representation of males can least three items, as recommended by Andersonbe explained by the context of the study. Men tend and Gerbing (1988). The items measuring perceivedto be more interested in sports. Further, 38% (n=121) brand image and perceived brand value were pre-were already customers of the sponsoring firm, and sented with a 7-point rating scale, with end-points62% (n=201) were non-customers. However, the non- verbalized as 1=‘fully disagree’ and 7=‘fully agree’.-customers did have contracts with other service pro- Celebrity endorser credibility was measured with aviders. The gender distribution is fairly similar in both 7-point semantic differential scale.sub-samples: customers (32% female, 68% male) and A series of statistical tests was conducted to testnon-customers (31% female, 69% male). construct validity (see Table 3). Factor analysis was used to determine whether the items could be reduced to the latent constructs under scrutiny. All factor loa-Measures dings were highly significant (p<0.001) and exceededAs previously described, we focus on the respective the suggested threshold of 0.5, demonstrating a highrelationships of perceived brand image and celebrity level of convergent validity (DUNN, SEAKER, WALLER,endorser credibility with perceived brand value. Ce- 1994). The results for discriminant validity, compositelebrity endorser credibility was measured following reliability, AVE and Cronbach’s alpha were also hi-Ohanian (1990). A reduced scale was employed whi- ghly satisfactory, meeting the particular requirementsch was adapted to the requirements of the study and suggested in literature (FORNELL and LARCKER, 1981).comprised three items (one for each dimension ofsource credibility). We measured brand image ba-sed on scales previously used in scientific research(CHAUDHURI and HOLBROOK, 2001; MARTINEZ EMPIRICAL RESULTSSALINAS and PINA PEREZ, 2009; YOO, DONTHU,LEE, 2000). Martínez Salinas and Pina Perez (2009), To empirically test the hypotheses in our conceptu-for example, use similar measures to assess the al model, we employed stepwise linear regressioneffects of brand extensions on brand image. Based analysis. Perceived brand value was modelled as theon Sweeney and Soutar (2001), we conceptualized dependent variable. Perceived brand image and cele-perceived value as a multidimensional concept, brity endorser credibility were used as the indepen-comprising both cognitive and affective factors. We dent variables. We ran two separate models, one formeasured all latent constructs using multiple-item each sub-group, to test H1 and H2. The results arescales derived from already existing scales. The wor- shown in Table 1. Table 1 – Test of hypotheses Customers (n=121) Model β S.E. sig. Brand image 0.730 0.076 0.000*** Celebrity endorser credibility 0.032 0.138 0.618 Adjusted R2 0.56 Non-Customers (n=201) Model β S.E. sig. Brand image 0.719 0.045 0.000*** Celebrity endorser credibility 0.169 0.084 0.000*** Adjusted R2 0.53Standardized regression coefficients are displayed in Table 1 (*** p<0.001)686 © R AE n S ão Paulo n v. 52 n n. 6 n nov./dez. 2012 n 6 8 1 - 6 9 1 I SSN 0 0 3 4 -7 5 9 0
  7. 7. Alexander Zauner Monika Koller Matthias Fink In H1 and H2, we proposed that perceived brand As expected, perceived brand image and perceivedimage and perceived celebrity endorser credibility brand value are both significantly more pronouncedwould have a positive impact on perceived brand value. for the existing customers of the sponsoring firm thanThe results show that H1 and H2 can both be accepted for the non-customers. These results reflect the cus-for non-customers. However, among existing customers, tomers’ commitment to their current mobile serviceonly brand image turned out to enhance perceived provider and are in line with our assumptions derivedbrand value. Celebrity endorser credibility turned out to from previous literature. Interestingly, no significantbe non-significant. Hence, for the sub-sample of existing difference was found between customers and non-customers, only H1 could be accepted, while H2 had -customers for perceived celebrity endorser credibility.to be declined. These results affirm H3 as well, which Both sub-groups rated the perceived celebrity endorserproposed that the circumstance of being a customer credibility of the celebrity sports team equally highly.versus a non-customer would serve as a moderator for A possible explanation for this finding could lie in thethe proposed relationships. mere fact that both groups actually like the sports team; As a second step, we compared the mean levels otherwise they would not have joined the fan site in theof the central constructs of our model for the two sub- first place. Hence, the proposed assumptions articulated-groups. Table 2 shows the results of these comparisons. in H3 are only partly supported by the data. Table 2 – Descriptives of focal constructs (means and standard deviations) Customers (n=121) Non-Customers (n=201) Mean SD Mean SD (1) Brand image 5.82*** 1.07 4.82 1.21 (2) Celebrity endorser credibility 6.35 0.61 6.26 0.64 (3) Perceived brand value 5.55*** 1.30 4.44 1.15Note: *** p<0.001 (t-test for independent samples) Table 3 – Measurement model and questionnaire items Variables Items in the questionnaire FL AVE CR It’s one of the best brands in the sector 0.786 0.64 0.90 The brand is well established in the market 0.877 Brand image (Cronbach’s Alpha I can recognize … among competing brands 0.787 =0.80) I can quickly recall the symbol or logo of …. 0.750 … is an honest brand 0.800 insincere/sincere 0.822 0.70 0.88 Celebrity endorser credibility out/in 0.825 (Cronbach’s Alpha =0.86) not exemplary/exemplary 0.868 … has high quality, compared to the competitors 0.868 0.69 0.90 Perceived brand value …is one that I would enjoy 0.853 (Cronbach’s Alpha =0.85) …offers value for money 0.818 …has a positive reputation 0.781Note: FL=factor loading; AVE=average variance extracted; CR=composite reliabilityI S SN 0034-7590 © R AE n Sã o Pa ul o n v. 5 2 n n. 6 n nov. /d ez . 2 0 1 2 n 6 8 1 - 6 9 1 687
  8. 8. forum  SPONSORING, BRAND VALUE AND SOCIAL MEDIA Taking the results of the two regression analyses on perceived brand value. These results open up the-and the descriptive comparison of the mean levels of oretical and managerial implications. Two major im-the focal constructs (see Table 2) together, brand image plications bridging the gap between the present studyturned out to significantly influence perceived brand and the larger literature are discussed in the following.value, regardless of whether or not the group member First, the study confirms a proposed moderatingwas already a customer of the sponsoring firm. Interes- effect, depending on whether or not the fan grouptingly, celebrity endorser credibility was only relevant member is already a customer of the sponsoring com-for forming brand value perceptions in the case of the pany. This contributes also to a larger theoretical pictu-non-customers. For the existing customers, it turned out re, as knowledge on heterogeneity among consumersto be irrelevant. As reported in Table 2, both sub-groups in this particular context has been scarce. A possiblerated the perceived celebrity endorser credibility of the theoretical explanation for the non-significant pathcelebrity sports team equally highly. However, regar- between celebrity endorser credibility and perceivedding its explanatory value regarding perceived brand brand value in case of existing customers could lie invalue, celebrity endorser credibility is only relevant in the fact that existing customers have already develo-the case of non-customers. Although, with a standardi- ped strong brand value perceptions, regardless of anysed beta-coefficient of 0.169, to a moderate extent only. celebrity endorser credibility evaluations.These results suggest two main implications for theory However, even though it is highly significant, the in-and practice, which are discussed in the concluding fluence of celebrity endorser credibility is also not verysection of the paper. strong among non-customer. This implies the second main conclusion that can be drawn. When people join the fan site of a celebrity sports team that a particular company is sponsoring, the perceived credibility ofCONCLUSION, IMPLICATIONS AND this sports team plays a minor role for forming brandFURTHER RESEARCH value perceptions. This finding contributes to the lar- ger literature on the role of testimonials and celebrityConfronted with exchangeable market offerings and endorsers. The role of celebrity endorser credibility insimilar communication patterns, firms have to break social media seems to follow its very specific rules, whi-with past solutions and exploit new approaches in or- ch need closer attention in further research. Moreover,der to provide additional value to customers. In view the present findings suggest that it is especially vitalof this, this research addresses the issue of how per- to research the underlying psychological mechanismsceived brand value can be enhanced in a social media which might explain the varying role of celebrity en-context. We analyse whether the perceived image of dorser credibility in forming perceived brand value inthe company brand and the celebrity endorser credibi- a social media context.lity of the sports team in question positively influence At the same time, this study is also of value fromthe perceived brand value of the sponsoring firm. The a managerial perspective. If the target for a sponso-results significantly broaden the theoretical knowled- ring company engaging in a joint Facebook fansitege on perceived brand value and its antecedents in a is to boost perceived brand value among the currentsocial media context. The results of our study confirm customers and non-customers, the first step is to keepa significant influence of perceived brand image on the perceived brand image high, as this variable tur-the perceived brand value of the sponsoring firm for ned out to strongly impact perceived brand value inexisting customers as well as for non-customers. Ho- both groups. However, if a firm wants to leveragewever, the mean levels of perceived brand image and perceived brand value among non-customers, it is ad-perceived brand value turned out to be significantly vised to keep also celebrity endorser credibility high.higher for existing customers than for non-customers. It would be well-advised to choose its sports team (orThis turned out to be in line with our assumptions celebrity) carefully. As the positive relation betweenderived from literature: existing customers are already perceived (brand) value and behavioural (purchase ormore committed and attached to their service provider. loyalty) intentions has already been well established,Moreover, for the non-customers, as well as perceived investing in celebrity endorser credibility may evenbrand image, celebrity endorser credibility also turned turn non-customers into potential future customers. Inout to have a significant, albeit only moderate, impact that case, the social media activities of the sponsoring688 © R AE n S ão Paulo n v. 52 n n. 6 n nov./dez. 2012 n 6 8 1 - 6 9 1 I SSN 0 0 3 4 -7 5 9 0
  9. 9. Alexander Zauner Monika Koller Matthias Finkfirm could indirectly translate into enhanced business the conciseness of the questionnaire was of high prio-performance. rity. Thus, we used reduced measurement scales and To sum up, the results of the present study indicate focused on the most important control variables only.that marketing activities via social media (e.g, Face- However, some other characteristics of the context andbook) have a positive effect on customers’ value percep- of the interviewees could have a systematic influencetions of the sponsoring firm. Customers who perceive on the relationships surveyed. This provides an attrac-that they receive superior value tend to become more tive starting point for further research. Future studiescommitted to the organization and recommend others should test our results in terms of their sensitivity toin their reference group to become loyal to the same the survey instrument and additional contextual factors.organization. Perceived brand value can be positively For instance, qualitative methods could help to uncoverinfluenced by encouraging interactions with groups of the objective structure of reasoning behind the onlinelike-minded members on Facebook, and identification discussion within social media communities. Moreover,with the group in a social context; such groups can be future research should also collect data in an offlineoffered by a firm and/or a brand, but primarily run by setting, comparing Facebook fangroup members withthe consumers themselves. As there is a lively commu- fans of the celebrity sports team not engaging in socialnication among the members of social media networks media. This approach could help to filter out the effectsuch as Facebook fan groups, the active members can of the social medium itself, more comprehensively. Inbecome agents for the marketer by actively spreading the present study, perceived brand value was modelledits message within the group and also to new members. as a dependent variable being predicted by perceivedBy identifying and targeting these active users, firms brand image and perceived celebrity endorser credibi-can leverage the impact of their marketing activities and lity. The literature suggests that perceived value has aenhance the cost-effectiveness of such activities within considerable impact on behavioural intentions, such asthe social media network. In fact, these communication purchase, loyalty or word-of-mouth (PARASURAMANagents might become co-creators of the perceived brand and GREWAL, 2000). In view of this, future researchvalue within the group, yet under certain circumstances, should also incorporate loyalty or other purchase-re-their multiplying effect might also turn against the firm. lated variables in an advanced model in which percei- The same applies to the celebrities who are used ved brand value would serve as a mediator betweento catch the attention of the customers and motivate perceived brand image, celebrity endorser credibilitythem to join the social media network. The selection and, for instance, word-of-mouth or loyalty intentionsof celebrities turns out to be crucial since their credi- towards the sponsoring firm. Doing so would enablebility is, at least to a moderate extent, relevant to the us to infer managerial implications directly related tonon-customers. If a company wants to turn these non- boosting economic performance.-customers into potential future customers, celebrityendorser credibility is a focal construct that should bestudied in more detail. This is especially the case as themarketing literature also points out the potential risks of REFERENCEScelebrity endorsements. The effectiveness of celebrityendorsers is, for example, dependent on factors such AAKER, D. A. Managing brand equity: capitalizing on theas their attractiveness and credibility, the product type, value of a brand name. New York: Free Press, 1991.the message and the customer’s level of involvement(ERDOGAN, 1999). AGRAWAL, J; KAMAKURA, W. The economic worth of Despite the strength of this research, it does have celebrity endorsers: an event study analysis. Journal ofsome limitations. Our survey only captures the respon- Marketing, v. 59, n.3, p. 56-62, 1995.dents’ views at one point in time. This does not allowus to empirically investigate the proposed direction of ANDERSON, J. C; GERBING, D.W. Structural equationcausality. As long as we do not have longitudinal data modeling in practice: a review and recommended two-stepat hand, we can only argue about which variable is a approach. Psychological Bulletin, v. 103, n. 3, p.411-423, 1988.cause and which is an effect based on theoretical con-siderations. Moreover, because we administered data ANKENY, J. Facebook on fire. Entrepreneur, August, p.collection using a survey tool embedded in Facebook, 44-45, 2011a.I S SN 0034-7590 © R AE n Sã o Pa ul o n v. 5 2 n n. 6 n nov. /d ez . 2 0 1 2 n 6 8 1 - 6 9 1 689
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