“We introduce the idea of brand community. A brand community is a specialized, non-geographically bound community, based on a structured set of social relationships among admirers of a brand. It is specialized because at its center is a branded good or service. Like other communities, it is marked by a shared consciousness, rituals and traditions, and a sense of moral responsibility. Each of these qualities is, however, situated within a commercial and mass-mediated ethos, and has its own particular expression. Brand communities are participants in the brand’s larger social construction and play a vital role in the brand’s ultimate legacy.” (Albert M. Muniz, Jr. and Thomas C. O’Guinn, 2001, p.412).
You are required to discuss the above statement in relation to the strategies marketers employ to create an online brand identity and using practical as well as theoretical insight to frame your answer.
Marks will be awarded for:
- Identifying an online Brand community.
- Identifying and critically analyse the issues related to the creation and sustaining the online brand community.
- Identify and critically analyse the narrative surrounding the brand.
- Identify and evaluate the potential inter-brand brand relationships and their impact.
- Identify and illustrate the importance of the shared consciousness, rituals and traditions, and a sense of moral responsibility.
- Critically analyse the interaction of Consumers with the brand name, logo, language, stereotypes and culture perceptions, and any other aspect of the brand in terms of their membership of the online brand community.
- The role of perceived benefits in online marketing communications.
- Systematic, logical approach to the essay.
- Correct use of the Harvard referencing system and at least 15 sound academic references that have not been simply gleaned from lecture material.
Leech (2002)17 is of the view that many institutional shareholders do not seek control of a company for a variety of reasons, which include the fear of obtaining price sensitive information, and that it is more likely that institutional investors seek only influence rather than complete control. Moreover, it has also been argued, in line with the “passive monitoring” view, that institutional investors may not be keen to “exit” on their investments “i.e. sell their equity stakes when the firm is not performing optimally, mainly because they hold large investments and thus selling may lower the price and further increase any potential loss. Woidtke (2002)18 concluded by comparing the relative value of firms held for public versus private pension fund that relative firm value is positively related to private pension fund ownership and negatively related to (activist) public pension fund ownership. These results supported the view that the actions of public pension fund managers might be motivated more by political or social influences than by firm performance. Ashraf and Jayaman (2007)19 examined mutual funds’ trading behavior after the release of voting records. The study found that funds that support shareholder proposals reduce holdings after the release of voting records. Since the time of releasing voting records could be very far from the shareholder meeting date, mutual funds’ trading behavior after the release of voting records may be unrelated to the votes cast in the meeting. Dahlquist et al. (2003)20 analyzed foreign ownership and firm characteristics for the Swedish market. The study found that foreigners have greater presence in large firms, firms paying low dividends and in firms with large cash holdings and explained that firm size is driven by liquidity. It reiterated that foreigners tend to underweight the firms with a dominant owner. Leuz, Nanda and Wysocki (2003)21 asserted that the information problems cause foreigners to hold fewer assets in firms. Firm level characteristics can be expected to contribute to the information asymmetry problems. Concentrated family control makes it more likely that information is communicated via private channels. Informative insiders have incentives to hide the benefits from outside investors by providing opaque financial statements and managing earnings. Haw, Hu, Hwang and Wu (2004)22 found that firm level factors cause information asymmetry problems to FII. It found evidence that US investment is lower in firms where managers do not have effective control. Foreign investment in firms that appear to engage in more earnings management is lower in countries with poor information framework. Choe, Kho, Stulz (2005)23 found that US investors do indeed hold fewer shares in firms with ownership structures that are more conducive to expropriation by controlling insiders. In companies where insiders are dominating information access and availability to the shareholders will be limited. With less information, foreign investors face an adverse selection problem. So they under invest in such stocks. Covirg et al. (2008)24 concluded that foreign fund managers have less information about the domestic stocks than the domestic fund managers. They found that ownership by foreign funds is related to size of foreign sales, index memberships and stocks with foreign listing. Leuz, Lins, and Warnock (2009)25 found that foreign institutional investors prefer to invest in firms with “better” governance practices. This literature assumes that firm level corporate governance mechanisms substitute for weak country level legal protections of minority shareholders. Aggarwal, Klapper and Wysocki (2005)26 found that U.S. mutual funds tend to invest greater amounts in countries with stronger shareholder rights and legal frameworks (controlling for the country’s economic development). In addition, within the countries, the mutual funds also discriminate on the basis of governance in that they allocate more of their assets to firms with better corporate governance structures. Resume After reviewing the literature on the above sub-section, it is concluded that the results are inconclusive regarding the association between institutional holdings and corporate governance as some studies invariably support the hypothesis that institutional holdings and corporate governance are significantly related while the others reject it. But the results are uniform on one issue that there is positive relation between the foreign institutional holdings and corporate governance as foreign institutional investors are relatively more concerned about the governance practices of companies and countries as well. They prefer to invest more in the countries with stronger shareholder rights and legal frameworks. Similarly, they do invest in the companies with good disclosure and transparency measures.>GET ANSWER