This study was designed to test a model examining the influence of brand-related UGC shared via Facebook on consumer response. Specific research objectives were to 1) investigate whether brand-related UGC act as stimuli to activate consumer response in relation to brands, 2) examine the process by which brand-related UGC influences consumer behavior via emotional and cognitive responses, and 3) test whether brand-related UGC source and receiver characteristics moderated the relationships between brand-related UGC and emotional and cognitive responses. The model tested was derived from the S-O-R consumer response model (Mehrabian & Russell, 1974) that depicts the effects of environmental stimuli on consumer responses (i.e., emotional, cognitive, behavioral). Data were collected from individuals participating in consumer panels (n = 533) managed by a marketing research company. Participants were individuals who were at least 18 years old and who had a Facebook account. An online self-administered survey methodology was employed. Mock Facebook fan pages were developed as visual stimuli and presented participants with brand-related UGC. Participants also completed a questionnaire containing measures of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the proposed hypotheses indicated in the model. The study examined brand-related UGC as stimulus, pleasure and arousal as emotional responses and perceived information quality as cognitive response. Information pass-along, impulse buying, future-purchase intention, and brand engagement were treated as behavioral response constructs (i.e., behavioral outcomes in relation to brand) in the S-O-R model. Homophily and brand involvement were tested as moderators in the S-O relationships. Brand-related UGC were informational stimuli that activated consumers' emotional and cognitive responses (i.e., pleasure, perceived information quality). However, arousal as an emotional response was not significantly influenced by brand-related UGC. The eWOM source characteristic (i.e., homophily) moderated the relationships between brand-related UGC and emotional and cognitive responses. Both emotional and cognitive responses examined (i.e., pleasure, arousal, perceived information quality) significantly influenced behavioral responses. Thus, information pass-along, impulse buying, future-purchase intention, and brand engagement were behavioral responses stimulated by brand-related UGC. Discussions of the findings, theoretical and practical implications, and limitations and suggestions for future research were provided based on the findings.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.June 2014. Major: Design, Housing and Apparel. Advisor: Kim Johnson. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 184 pages.
Power of consumers: Examining the influence of brand-related user-generated content on consumer response.
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