Most consumers spend an important part of their free time looking for online information about the brands before taking a decision to purchase. The Internet is the main factor which has led to a considerable increase of the time allotted by consumers for search and comparing information about brands, as a step preceding the decision to purchase and also one of the most important factors that influence the interaction between the brand and the consumer. Although the general trend is that the public to become more active and more involved in the choice of the brand, consumer’s responses to its messages obviously depend on cultural, social or economic factors. The work has the purpose to clarify what brand community means and how it appeared – if it was really built from scratch or it has already existed in a latent way and it must only be recognized – the characteristics of successful communities, which of the objectives of the brands can be achieved by means of these groups, what is the role of social media in the development of these communities, what kind of types of members are likely to be encountered inside of the online communities and what is their proportion for each and which are the research methodologies that can give support to companies in monitoring these groups.
Key words: digital strategy, social media, online brand communities.
Date of submission 20.04.16
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