Group dynamics in brand communities: An occidental perspective through fitness communities

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Pottier, Agathe
Issue Date
MSc in Marketing
Dublin Business School
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As influence marketing is growing exponentially on social media, we are already seeing a consumer fatigue of its abuses. Yet, it can be a great marketing tool when used properly, with the right codes and intentions. Some brands have already taken advantage of this phenomenon we realized that successful brand communities on social media were actually made up on several communities, built around influencers, with the same process than the all-time communities. Then, a research question has been raised: how marketers can build and draw up qualitative brand communities through a better understanding of group dynamics? We set up three main objectives to be able to answer our problematic. First, we wanted to demonstrate the sociological and psychological processes in the group dynamics genesis, within brand communities. Then, to define how do we recognize an opinion leader and on which criteria we choose him, according to our brand image and business objectives. Finally, to provide a concrete influence marketing plan to brands, in order to reach their target audience in the best and easiest way. We conducted this study through a mixed-method approach, with a survey of brand communities on social media, and individual interviews of influencers. The major contribution of our work has been to prove that influence marketing is about placing the human at the heart of marketing. No matter the business purpose, people are gathering in brand communities to live social interactions, be inspired by others and share their daily lives. The main challenge of influence marketing is to stay true to the brand and the influencer’s values, leading to a loyal and long-term brand community.