More than a decade has passed since the emergence of major social media services such as Twitter and Facebook, and these services have attracted considerable attention from both practitioners and academics. The aim of this special issue is to re-examine the impact of social media in marketing. Consumer engagement behavior on social media was expected to enhance the marketing activities of firms in various areas, including advertising, customer support, and new product development. Along with these high expectations, the negative impacts of social media, such as backlashes against certain people or brands, spread of fake news and fake reviews have also affected firms and consumers. In this special issue, we shed light on various aspects of social media, including consumer enthusiasm and collective behavior, the resulting positive and negative bursts in social media, product reviews and their helpfulness, and usage patterns of social media by user segment.
Loyal customers of power brands often involve “enthusiastic” or “fanatic” fans. To explore the reasons why such behaviors are sustained, we focused on professional baseball since it is a typical area where enthusiastic fans appear. An effective way to grasp social interactions affecting enthusiasm as a collective behavior is to analyze fans’ communication in social media. Accordingly, we collected tweets on each team in Nippon Professional Baseball in 2018 from Twitter and measured the frequency of posting and the level of positive and negative emotions. We examined how these factors are influenced by the performance in each game and the likelihood of success in the season. We also analyzed instantaneous synchronization of tweets and retweets by fans during a game as a burst phenomenon. These analyses allowed an understanding of how fans’ enthusiasm changes on two time scales, short-term and long-term, and offer some suggestions for building and retaining fandom.
When a movement occurs on the Internet, it often affects the real world. For example, “buzz,” as a positive phenomenon, and “flames,” as a negative one. Therefore, it is important to understand social phenomena on the Internet for social marketing. However, large scale diffusion events on the net may not reflect real-world phenomena; that is, there may be segregation between online opinions and actual opinions. Therefore, data analysis is needed to determine whether internet phenomena affect the real world. This paper presents a detailed analysis of the phenomenon of bursts in the Twitter demo over the Public Prosecutor’s Office Act. We found that 50% of tweets and retweets are posted by only 2% of users; that is, the volume of the tweets is overstated. However, the Twitter demo was supported by a diverse community; that is, the Twitter demo was not only a noisy minority phenomenon. The analysis presented in this paper can also be applied to other burst phenomena such as flames and buzz, and may be useful to analyze the effect of social marketing.
Many review sites, such as Amazon.com and TripAdvisor, have a “helpful” button that allows people to cast their votes on the helpfulness of a review. Marketing, consumer behavior, and information systems scholars have extensively examined review, reviewer, and product characteristics that affect review helpfulness, i.e., the number or ratio of helpful votes that a review received. This article provides a narrative review (qualitative review) and a meta-analysis (quantitative review) of the literature on factors affecting review helpfulness. The results show that text length and disclosure of reviewers’ profile photos are positively associated with review helpfulness. In contrast, prior studies had mixed results on the effects of review ratings (number of stars) and disclosure of reviewers’ names and addresses. This study suggests that examining readers’ decision-making about helpful voting can resolve these mixed results.
The aim of this study is to show the value of emergent-nature consumers (ENCs) as a source of next-generation innovation during periods of rapid change such as the COVID-19 outbreak. We collected application startup logs from smartphones and conducted a survey during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We found that ENCs were more adaptable to environmental change due to the COVID-19 outbreak than lead-users (LUs). In addition, ENCs increased or decreased their usage of social media less than LUs and general-users (GUs), and used these media broadly during the COVID-19 crisis. These results suggest that ENCs use their social media more broadly and frequently than other consumers.
Co-creation is becoming more and more important in development of new products by companies, by reflecting the ideas of users (consumers) and improving products based on their opinions. Reflecting the views of users can accurately meet the needs of the market and give a company an edge in the market. The challenge for companies to achieve results in co-creation is to get users to participate and contribute. This paper categorizes existing research on the motivations for user participation in co-creation communities in which companies are involved, based on self-determination theory. As a result of a review, the research is organized into three categories: no time concept, initial participation motives, and continuous participation motives. It is pointed out that motives that take into account the duration of users’ participation are largely unexplored. Identifying motivations that include a time concept will provide hints for planning measures to encourage user participation and will contribute to planning of co-creation by companies and organizations.
With expansion of the e-commerce market, such as online shopping, there is a great deal of practical and academic interest in understanding new consumer behavior in the online environment. This paper focuses on the effects of two changes in this environment on consumer purchasing behavior: (1) product possession type and (2) difference in tactile experience based on usage of digital media involved with haptics (such as the sense of touch when clicking on a mouse). Previous research has shown that these two changes are associated with development of psychological ownership of the product. Moreover, this perception of psychological ownership has been shown to enhance evaluations of products. As future research subjects, this paper will present three issues: re-examination of psychological ownership theory in a digital environment, subdivision of product ownership, and refining the relationship between psychological ownership and product evaluation.
The aim of this paper is to provide a research perspective for understanding omni-channel shopping value (Huré, Picot-Coupey, & Ackermann, 2017) from a customer point of view. As technology blurs the distinction between online and offline retailing, the age of omni-channel retailing (Brynjolfsson, Hu, & Rahman, 2013) has arrived. The omni-channel retailing phenomenon has created several interesting research issues. However, this new research area has mainly gained attention in academia from company perspectives, rather than consumer perspectives. Thus, this paper examines current omni-channel shopper research and the relationship and research gap in research areas such as mobile app adoption; showrooming & webrooming; buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) behavior; and omni-channel shopping values. Finally, future research agendas will be discussed.
This article focuses on Van Jacket (1954–1978), a fashion brand that has had a major impact on the Japanese lifestyle, and Kensuke Ishizu (1911–2005), one of the founders of the company. VAN has created new customers and value with outstanding creativity and has climbed to the top by using various marketing methods. However, its presence is being lost with aging of customers who know VAN. The structure, in which employees and customers change from junior to senior after enrollment in VAN school and become alumni after graduation, fostered a sense of identification with the company and the brand. Former customers and employees still have the experienced value of VAN as their own identity. This paper reassesses the value created by VAN by following this trajectory.
Marketing research has long been concerned with the characteristics of markets in which businesses are conducted. In particular, it has been argued that one should focus on growing markets and avoid entering mature markets. Innovation is difficult in a mature market; therefore, businesses easily get caught in a downfall from a mature to a shrinking market. This is especially true for small and medium-sized businesses with insufficient managerial resources. Crest Holdings K.K. developed mainly by producing signboards for retail stores by bringing innovation to this area. Management efficiency was improved through digitalization and development of “esasy”, a camera that enabled observation of the effectiveness of stores’ signboards and advertisement. In this paper, we focus on the digital innovation strategy taken by Crest Holdings K.K. and their process of digital transformation through innovation by spending revenue generated from increased productivity due to digitalization. This case suggests that even small and medium-sized businesses can be revitalized in a mature market by improvement of management efficiency and innovation, if they can become digitalized.