Consumption into how behaviour of communities is shaped

Consumption
communities play an essential role in the life of many consumers. Understanding these communities and the behaviour of
consumers help organisations and

marketers
analyse factors that influence individuals buying decision. Kozinets
(1997), defined consumption community “as
a group of individuals who share an interest in a consumption activity or
ideology”.

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The method of exploratory
netnographic research will be used to analyse the consumption community of Harry
Potter enthusiasts and scrutinize the consumer culture and behaviour of this
group. This report will uncover the insights into how behaviour of communities
is shaped by brand association and how connections through social platforms are
created within a consumer community.

Kozinets defined netnographic as,
“Netnography is a new qualitative method devised specifically to investigate
the consumer behaviour of cultures and communities present on the Internet” (Kozinets,
2002). Netnography is a
crucial technique for marketers to gain a deeper understanding into a community.

This report will answer the
following questions, First, how do community members use consumption to create
their identities? Second, what role does consumption play in the
creation of this consumption community? And finally, what symbolic meanings and
subcultures are associated with this consumption community? These will be
addressed through analysing Facebook posts, Twitter Tweets and hashtags on
Instagram. The sources will provide clarity in understanding the role and
symbolic meanings related to the community. 
These communication methods present new opportunities for research that
can potentially offer a deep investigation of participant behaviour in online
cultures and communities.  

The chosen community has a strong
online presence which co-creates value for themselves and other consumers.

Social media is crucial in creating
an online consumption community as it enables users to create and share content
with individuals who have the same interests. 
Social forums play an important role in connecting fans emotionally to
the brand by creating memories and inspiration through media, “which has become
an essential communication and informative method mediated by social networking
sites” (SNSs). (Muniz & O’Guinn 2001). Travis (2002) explains how brands
can create and lend identities to individuals. For example, the “Fanficton.net”
community is a platform where creative stories of Harry Potter are posted
online members to read. The “fan-merch” is another website offering consumers
Harry Potter merchandise. These Online communities address common interests
that individuals have and discuss opinions on issues that members feel
connected to. 

Brand communities are very focused
on the goods or services they provide, for example, the Harry Potter community
provides members with the opportunity to create and share fan fictions online
where people can view and read stories created by fans who share a common
interest, love and admiration for the brand. (Fanfiction.net, 2017) According
to Kotler, the development of an identity through the form of a brand is
crucial for a firm as it helps position and promote the product in the minds of
the consumer. (Kotler P
2003).

 

Personalisation strongly connects
consumers to the brand. Cova (2006) states how key personalisation is in
forming relationships and creating an identity for the consumers through
engagement. Below is an example of how a consumer has created their personal
merchandise and have posted it online allowing members to be part of a
community where they can like, comment and review products. Posting and sharing
pictures of gifts received on Instagram using popular hashtags such as
#harrypotterforu #HPonly has become a huge trend and is very successful.  Veloutsou
(2007) explained how “78% of consumers felt that brands which create a
personalised and an exclusive product are more likely to build a relationship
with consumers”. To conclude, the
advantages of personalised products can increase brand awareness, customer loyalty, trust and improve sales.