Bernritter, S. F., Verlegh, P. W. J., & Smit, E. G. (2016). Consumers’ Online Brand Endorsements. In P. De Pelsmacker (Ed.), Advertising in new formats and media: Current research and implications for marketers. (pp. 189-209). Bingley: Emerald.

Purpose: This chapter has three central goals: First, it aims to introduce the concept of consumers’ online brand endorsements, which we define as consumers’ intentional, public, and positive online affiliations with brands (e.g., liking a brand page on Facebook). Second, it provides an overview of the drivers and consequences of this phenomenon. Third, it answers the question whether and when the broadly adopted marketing strategy of consumers’ online brand endorsements is feasible.
Approach: To accomplish these goals, we conducted a general review of the literature.
Findings: We identified three different drivers of consumers’ online brand endorsements: Identity-related drivers, brand-related drivers, and community-related drivers. Based on the literature we suggest that from the perspective of the endorsing consumer, online brand endorsements have the potential to be a two-sided sword.The greater potential of this marketing technique appears to rely on the fact that consumers’ online brand endorsements are broadcasted to a gigantic network of other consumers and their potential to be contagious.
Originality/value: Consumers’ online brand endorsements are a new phenomenon and therefore quite understudied. Still, many brands have social media marketing strategies that aim to acquire huge amounts of endorsements by their consumers. This chapter contributes to our knowledge about the underlying mechanisms of consumers’ online brand endorsements. Moreover, it shows how and when consumers’ online brand endorsements can be a feasible marketing strategy.

Keywords: Online brand endorsements, social media, consumer behavior, self-identity

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