From the firm point of view, a brand community is defined as a “structured set of relationship among people who are keen of a brand” (Mc Alexander et al. 2002). From the consumers’ perspective, a brand community belongs to the experiential context expressing a network of relations, between the consumers and the brand, in which the individual is immersed. This varied network of experiences could become an important source of influence on consumers perception of the brand. (Franke, Shah, 2003). The central hypothesis of the present research is that the most relevant effect of the information and experiences happening within a brand community should influence the network of informative elements and mental associations that the consumers link to the brand (Keller, 1993). How can the experience within a brand community help to reinforce and stimulate strong, favourable and unique (Keller, 1993) associations related to the brand? A brand community is only a communication channel or it can become a concrete tool to build brand image? The members and the non members of the community have a different perception of the same brand? The aim of the present study is to reveal the Nutella mental band map that is structured in Nutellaville users’ mind and These are the main questions this research project would like to find an answer through the analysis of the image of a brand, such as “Nutella”, which boasts a crowded and animated brand community: “Nutellaville”. The aim of the present study is to reveal the Nutella mental band map that is structured in Nutellaville users’ mind and and compare it with the Nutella map of consumers who do not attend and experienced the community. To reach this goal authors have chosen to adopt the Brand Concept Map (Roedder et al, 2006) methodology because it allows to map the mental associations related to a brand conciliating the depth of the qualitative research with the capability to obtain solid aggregate constructions. The comparison between the two Nutella concept maps shied light on the influences of taking part in Nutellaville on the brand image perception. Results of the present research offer interesting insights on community experiences nature and their role in defining brand associations.
Il ruolo della Brand Community nella definizione dell’immagine di marca / Baghi, Ilaria; Gabrielli, V.. - ELETTRONICO. - (2010), pp. ...-.... (Intervento presentato al convegno IX International Congress Marketing Trends 2010 tenutosi a Venzia, Italy nel January, 2010).