Date

6-2014

Degree Name

BA in Communication Studies

Department

Communication Studies Department

Advisor(s)

Julia Woolley

Abstract

This case study explores how the fast-growing software company MINDBODY, Inc. utilizes their virtual brand community on Facebook in order to build brand loyalty. My research primarily explores how Communication Studies researchers have come to understand the effects of virtual communities on brand loyalty from the perspective of Social Capital, Attribution, and Social Identity theories. It discusses what virtual brand communities are, how they are formed, and how marketers and consumers utilize them. Furthermore, I discuss how virtual brand communities facilitate the growth of social capital among users and why this is a key step in their sustainability. I divulge into why people seek to create a social identity through the process of joining groups, and how Attribution Theory can help continue their seeking of social identity in a specific group or deter it. I also discuss what consumer participation is, the different types of consumer participation and how it is correlated to brand loyalty. Then I discuss the results of my case study on the MINDBODY Facebook page and whether I believe it is successful or not at increasing their brand loyalty. Lastly, I make suggestions and discuss implications for how MINDBODY can use their virtual brand community to more effectively increase their brand loyalty.

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