Innovation from virtual brand community members may only be virtually effective

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This study measures how effective crowdsourcing innovation from a virtual brand community (VBC) is for promoting brand attachment of members and non-members of that VBC. Experimental design is used to survey members and non-members of the website Marvel.com to measure brand attachment and affect toward an innovation of the company in the form of a comic book universe reset, a form of product innovation for this market. Mean difference testing and structural equations indicate that brand attachment is higher at a statistically significant level when measuring the interaction effect of innovation source x community membership; the less consumers know about the source of the innovation the better; knowledge that innovation is sourced from the VBC may be effective for increasing brand attachment of members of the VBC, but not for non-members, indicating that applying characteristics of traditional brand communities to VBCs may not be effective.


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International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising