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Journal of Product & Brand Management

Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective
Harry A. Taute Jeremy Sierra

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Harry A. Taute Jeremy Sierra , (2014),"Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 23 Iss 1
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USA Abstract Purpose – Companies should move beyond product attribute positioning to fostering affective-laden relationships with customers. a tribe may be defined as a social network of heterogeneous individuals linked by a shared passion or emotion (Dionisio et al. self-fulfillment.. European car clubs (Algesheimer et al. 1997. Thomson et al. Originality/value – The data from the three studies lend insight to the importance of brand tribalism. and shared experiences with the brands. Segmentary lineage theory Paper type Research paper Relationship marketing has become the dominant marketing paradigm (Dimitriadis and Papista. share common and have a number of life cycle variations. 2010). the applicability of brand tribalism on brand-response variables across two technological contexts is examined.emeraldinsight. San Marcos. The word “tribe”. symbols. 2010.g. a fusion of value systems. Ford Bronco. conceptualizing the nature of these relationships has thus become increasingly important (Veloutsou. USA.. Communities have been examined in such disparate settings as Harley-Davidson and Jeep (McAlexander et al. The studies here offer acumen as to why such objectives should be pursued and how they can be met. assume a variety of forms. Keywords Consumer behaviour. brand engagement. structured.. The purpose of this paper is to help fill this research fissure by offering a three-study approach. Consumer brand relationships may also be characterized and measured in terms of brand personality. Cova and Pace. 1997. Strong brand relationships have also been characterized as tribes (Cova and Cova. 2001). Cova and Cova. Muniz and O’Guinn. Many of these relationship descriptions are drawn from comparisons to interpersonal relationships (Fournier and Alvarez. and in extreme cases to dependencies and enslavements. 2005).Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Harry A. it is the “linking value” of the brand that is most cherished rather than utilitarian or hedonic value (Cova and Cova. through kinships. 2001). A singular and important characterization of the consumer brand relationship is linked to the brand community (Cova and Pace. 2001). Also known as consumption subcultures. Brand attitude. products. Utah. Scale development. brand attachment. Brakus et al. 2009. In this sense. Park et al. 67). for example. and the brand experience (e. childhood friendships. courtships. the brand unites ardent consumers in its own unique. 2010. casual friends/buddies. 2002). Saab. Lam et al. 2007). Aaker. Utah Valley University. communities have a social hierarchy. Using survey data in Study 2 and Study 3. 2012). Orem.1108/JPBM-06-2013-0340] 2 . Fournier (1998) characterizes consumer-product relationships as ranging from forced marriages. and Apple computers (Muniz and O’Guinn. and leisure experiences they favor. 2008). brand relationships are salient in the mind of the consumer. 2006)... Repurchase intentions. and have common jargon. refers to an individual’s return to pre-industrial values of religiosity. 2002. what all communities have in common is the creation of and negotiation of meaning (McAlexander et al. 2005) and breakfast confectioneries (Cova and Pace.. As measures of brand engagement continue to evolve. 2002). These brand tribal members share something emotively more than mere brand ownership. Cova and Cova. and a shared ethnocentrism (Cova. 2006... Texas State University. Taute Woodbury School of Business. Research limitations/implications – Moving consumers from occasional brand users to members of their brand tribe should be one of many company objectives. the authors develop and evaluate the measurement properties of a brand tribalism scale. 2006).. 2009. As Fournier (1998) illuminates. proven instruments measuring brand tribalism and studies investigating its explanatory power are limited. Sprott et al. 2002. 1997. Brand community. and Jeremy Sierra Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) McCoy College of Business Administration. Texas. brand love. Much of the literature describing tribal behavior in brands relies on the postmodern or Latin perspective (e. as customers often want to feel engaged with the brand they purchase. brand identification. in the postmodern sense. Brand tribe..htm Journal of Product & Brand Management 23/1 (2014) 2–15 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited [ISSN 1061-0421] [DOI 10. and rituals (Schouten and McAlexander. Communities are best recognized by their commonalities or means of mutual identification. 2012. 2001.g. leaning on Sahlin’s anthropological theory of segmented lineage. Design/methodology/approach – In Study 1. Belk and Tumbat (2005) use the term “cult” to describe the extreme tenor of Macintosh users when describing their The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.. From this point-of-view. and raise issues regarding its effect on key brand-related outcomes. 1995). its measurement properties. 2002). McAlexander et al. 2001). yet non- geographically oriented social relationship (Muniz and O’Guinn. Findings – Data drawn from ordinary brand users confirm scale validity while questioning the efficacy of communal social structures to affect brand attitude and repurchase intentions. Cova. p. Batra et al. consumers seek self-expression. morals or character. a local sense of community.

and more affluent (Acosta and Devasagayam. and 6 sustenance of the collective.. and demonstrate predictive relationships with important brand-response variables. Maffesoli (1996) posits six facets or attributes of tribes: 1 sense of community. and cults are not theoretically differentiable. we develop. and 4 brand use. yet lacking the centralized authority and hierarchical structure of chiefdoms which succeed them. two-way communications and emotional exchange. however. are playful rather than devoted. our studies offer meaningful insight into brand tribalism dimensions. From the post-modern perspective. For example. show significant differences between brands. the constructs may be separable only by the degree of following (Belk and Tumbat. which are themselves composed of related individuals. a state of near-anarchy exists internally until an external threat or opportunity coalesces the group defensively or aggressively (i. using a smartphone context. 2002). or the view that tribes are best described as associations of kin groups. In Study 3. across two brands. Another measure of community uses items indicating the consumer’s relationship to the product.e. 2010). Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 brand. while Cova and White (2010. participation in rituals. Cova and Pace (2006. The brand community literature seems to have delineated well the non-geographical. and 2 the tribe is internally unorganized. . respondents may or may not be highly brand allegiant. 1088) suggest that Western authors “move seamlessly within one and the same text” between the designations and then continue to interchange the two terms in their text. All communities have a social structure or network. and singular devotion to the sport. are transient.. 2010) or may be taken to represent degrees of enthusiasm for the brand. social visibility. and future research directions. Cova and Pace (2006) consider tribes to be distinct societies with their own value systems. We argue. and a pervasive culture (Schouten and McAlexander. Acosta and Devasagayam (2010) suggest that cults are communities with enhanced connections between members and increased levels of brand following. 4 emotional connection. limitations. lifestyle. language. we model. 5 secrecy. Veloutso and Moutinho (2009. 2005). p. Inclusion in our samples requires only that respondents own and/or use the products under study. i. passion in life. and collective memory in addition to adapting two dimensions from Veloutsou (2007) to describe the brand relationship. Collectively. Study 2 employs MANOVA to examine response differences between brands for tribalism dimensions and pertinent attitudinal variables. do not dominate consumers’ lives. we offer the method and results for each study. First. Sahlins’ tribal perspective includes two attributes or dimensions in common with prior literature: 1 sense of community (Algesheimer et al. connectedness (Acosta and Devasagayam. four-dimensional brand tribalism scale grounded in Sahlins’ (1961) anthropological theory of tribal behavior. The purpose of this research is therefore to examine the applicability of Sahlins’ (1961) anthropological theory of tribal behavior to consumers in developing brand relationships.. The exposition proceeds as follows. 2 ethnocentrism. 3 community engagement. 2010). there is a plethora of studies proposing attributes or dimensions of brand communities and tribes in particular. 3 devotion. Consumer tribes. religion. and history. Cova and White. Sahlins (1961) argues that tribes are unique in societal evolution. and confirm robust measurement properties of a 16-item. On the other hand. followed by implications. (2013) suggest that tribes may be distinguished from brand communities in that tribes: . In Study 1. Using data collected over the past two years.. are not as well defined. and . p. that two attributes of Sahlins’ (1961) anthropological description are applicable to tribes as opposed to communities and other social structures: 1 segmentary lineage. test. Goulding et al. in this respect a brand cult may be distinguishable from the tribe or community by the apparent sanctity of the brand and the religious fervor of cult members. 2005). (2009) use a metaanalytic process to delineate four value-creating functions of brand communities: 1 social networking. several of which appear to counter existing research findings regarding brand communities and subcultures. 2006. reference group acceptance. 2 impression management. These results suggest that cult members are younger. tribes. This literature thus suggests that communities. 2009). we differentiate the brand community and brand tribalism concepts. brand. as well as an enforced cultural conformity among members brought on by their collective social identity. p. 2005). defense of the tribe). 314) refer to “brand communities or tribes” in developing a measure of these phenomena. followed by a description of segmentary lineage theory. (2007) differentiate between sports fans and sport cult members by cult members’ recognition of sacred places.Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Journal of Product & Brand Management Harry A. and social identification (Algesheimer et al. Recently. educated. hierarchies. “brands”. and other owners (McAlexander et al. our contribution to the brand relationship literature is made across three studies. are entrepreneurial in nature. in contrast. Using an operating systems context. Then. a shared ethos. and 2 the existence of a social network (Schau et al. For example. company. the dimensions of brand tribalism as determinants of brand attitude and repurchase intention. social structure conceived by Muniz and O’Guinn (2001) as a brand community. The relationships of consumer subcultures to brands have thus been labeled “communities”. .e. Schau et al. they are more adaptive than the roving bands that preceded tribal formation. and “cults”. have one or many common denominators. 1995). these terms are seemingly interchangeable (see Cova and Pace. Veloutsou and Moutinho (2009) develop tribal scale items under dimensional headings of degree of fit with 3 . Ensuing is an overall discussion. Moutinho et al. 257) use all three brand relationship descriptors in the same sentence.

the product itself. 2001). In an extensive delineation of the post-modern tribal paradigm. there is a level of obscurity. even religious aspect to the social network which governs tribal group behaviors without central management. as opposed to modern urban culture. 2011. cars (Algesheimer et al. Star Wars and Harry Potter fans. Muniz and O’Guinn. as are inquiries investigating brand tribalism’s explanatory power (e.. intellectual.g.. more playful. ceremonies. is one of familiarity and respect. social relationships. brands. Veloutsou (2007) develops a factor structure which suggests that a brand 4 . Engaging the brand’s consumers as a community has been shown to positively affect sales (Adjei et al..g. Where the brand relationship was once conceived primarily as interaction-based between the company and its customers. impression management. First. Third. more transitory. there is a collective and tactile understanding of being part of the community. Consumption or brand communities may differ as local. 2008). brand tribes depart from the typical segmentation variables of demographics or product benefits. consumer-brand relationships have distinct cultures. this relationship may however be contingent on a number of factors including the timing of product introduction and overlapping community memberships (Luedicke and Giesler. sharing a common consciousness and kinship.. Maffesoli. Second. 2002). and innovation (Fuller et al. and their rituals with a vow of secrecy. including an ethnocentric mentality. associative value of the tribe is ascertainable only through qualitative approaches. the brand becomes valued for its ability to link or unite consumers in some social order of their own device. Lastly. accepted moral. or global entities. the bulk of tribe-related research has centered on interpretive studies of individual brand communities and tribes. when brands engage in questionable practices or the relationship is broken. attitudes.. 1998. where everybody knows everybody.. consumers may retaliate more because of the intensity of the prior relationship (Johnson et al. As a result. As such. communities are also bonded emotionally through shared values and ideals (Maffesoli. and emotional principles) (Muniz and O’Guinn. More importantly. 2009).g. constitute. 2005). having common traditions. Brand communities are thought to increase loyalty for the espoused brand and engender opposition to competing brands. 2011). their members. and brand use (Schau et al. Maffesoli (1996. brand relationship discussions now include customer interactions with other customers. a material sense of belonging. 2008). and achieving community member commitment to reach goals and uphold values (e. and maintain the group as a whole. 2007). 2008. Fifth. procedures are grounded in culturally accepted rules and procedures). regional. p. Jurisic and Azevedo... common vernacular. 441). brand loyalty and word-of-mouth (Madupu and Cooley. tribes protect themselves. Taute et al. shopping and buyer behavior (Bagozzi and Dholakia. The idea of community. and/or rituals. intimating that the linking. national. O’Guinn and Muniz. and leisure activities are consumed less for their utilitarian or hedonic value and more for their social linking value (Cova and Cova. quantitative research on definitive brand tribalism dimensions and measurement characteristics independent of the context in which they are inductively generated are limited. 2007) or sociological view (Carlson et al. Fourth. Cova and Cova. 2002. 1997. Muniz and O’Guinn. generating a common understanding (e. 1995). and traditions associated with the brand. Recent research suggests that tribes are less singularly devoted. 2010). 2008. People of a community are conscious of a difference between themselves and others. 2001. Muniz and O’Guinn. 2005. 2005). share unique customs and traditions. Henry and Caldwell. they are instead characterized as: . community engagement. the tribe is posited as an elective. In this sense. the brand. Muniz and O’Guinn. 1997.g. community practices that create value may be organized into categories of social networking. 2001). rather than focusing on a physical place as defining the community (McAlexander et al. and vary as to duration (Fournier. Thompson and Sinha. Engagement with the community has also shown both Consumer brand tribes Consumer tribes are defined as “people who are devoted to a particular brand” (Arnould et al.g. involve relatively minor to intense social contexts. lived experiences. .. 2001). 2010). 2004. and sports (Cova and Cova. From the postmodern perspective. However different they may be. 2002).. as such. Cova and Cova (2001) portray the tribe as inestimable through positivistic approaches.. what is most important is the affective effort expended to create. 2010). 2007. 2001. and behavioral characteristics. the tribal social life is established only in relation to the group. Cova and Pace (2006) offer a perspective on consumer tribes and/or communities as being endowed with certain characteristics. 2013). and more entrepreneurial than other consumption subcultures (Goulding et al. entertainment (e. there is a mysterious. 2006). Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) Consumer brand communities favorable and unfavorable results (Algesheimer et al. 2001). and . McAlexander et al. rituals. Mielke. having a felt moral obligation to each other and the brand (Henry and Caldwell. whether you take the postmodern or Latin perspective (Cova. products. 2001). From a quantitative perspective. although tribes may have goals. Much of the literature on brand communities takes a sociological view (Carlson et al. 1996). expressions. 1996).. pp. Brand communities are thought to create value for the brand and among its consumers. 2009). 72-103) offers six characteristics of tribes. being sustained admirers of a specific brand. Dionisio et al. . 2001). computer products (Muniz and O’Guinn. 2008). stories.. and feel a sense of moral responsibility to each other and the community as a whole (Muniz and O’Guinn.. hence a tribe (Cova.. Consumer subcultures have been delineated in such diverse markets as motorcycles (Schouten and McAlexander. affective society where the group is put before individual members. tribes are highly ethnocentric and one must either be for or against the group. and a sense of shared commitment and responsibility to the brand community. An additional distinction can be made between the functionality of an individual in modern society and the more integrated social role of the person in his or her community (Maffesoli. Thus. and the marketing entity (McAlexander et al. all brand communities have unique ways of accomplishing objectives (e. 2008).. 2002. revenue (Kim et al. and modes of operation are standard). 2011).Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Journal of Product & Brand Management Harry A. 2002). Veloutsou and Moutinho. 1996.

Sahlins. marketers may discern segmentary lineage in the Apple brand as users of Apple II. the oneness that tribe members share. 2 members share rituals and traditions. while members of primitive tribes shared a sense of unity there was great social and economic sovereignty among the respective tribe members (Sahlins. The preliminary 35 items consisted of seven items each for segmentary lineage and social structure.. Sahlins (1961) observes that tribes have social and communal aspects in common with their evolutionary predecessors and successors. p. brand tribalism. often the people. exists.Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Journal of Product & Brand Management Harry A. Also. Tribal organizations are a level of societal and cultural development. Sahlins proposed multiple dimensions to capture the tribalism construct. social visibility of the brand. defense of the tribe. Current conceptualizations of brand social networks suggest there is a broad range of applicable social contexts. if ever. given its dynamic nature and importance to brand building. and more recently the iPad. the common bond members feel beyond the use of the product. for example. Sahlins (1961) intimates that. motorcycles (Schouten and McAlexander. 1961). these dimensions are useful in predicting brand relationships in the soft drink market (Veloutsou and Moutinho. however this aspect of brand relationships is empirically untested. 2005). Modern day examples of tribal behavior where any opposition between groups extends automatically to any and all members of other tribes include football fans (Taute et al. 2001. we turned to the literature on brand community. Several brand community theorists suggest that this opposition to other brands is also a crucial aspect of brand communities (Muniz and O’Guinn. Sahlins (1961. The Indians of the American plains. The brand tribe is thus characterized as a close knit.e. suggests that when in competition for resources or under threat. Veloutsou and Moutinho’s (2009) 16-item. Second is social structure. Third is sense of community. we draw from the following four facets in developing a new 16-item instrument to measure brand tribalism. They posit that brand tribalism dimensions include: . as for the most part. however. This dimension is evident in definitions of brand communities where the members exhibit a shared set of beliefs and values with common symbols and modes of expression (Muniz and O’Guinn. primitive tribes were descendants of a few family groups banded together. acceptance by relevant reference groups. the iPhone. . in the 1961 discourse. but a tribe is an association of kin groups which are themselves composed of families”. this association was hereditary. the iPod. argues that the term “tribe” has a unique and determinant place in the evolution of social relationships. affectively joined society that exists without effective central control or government restrictions. Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 relationship has two distinct dimensions: two-way communications. and social identity theory for items indicative of the four tribalism components of our scale. there exists just one scale measuring and testing the strength of brand tribalism. Schouten and McAlexander. Macintosh. reference group acceptance. 2001. and collective memory. Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) Segmentary lineage theory Sahlins (1961) offers a theory of segmented lineage to explain the predatory behavior of tribes. there is a tribal massing effect. i. passion in life. 1995). brand engagement. In the Latin or postmodern view. an orderly system representing and uniting the whole tribe seldom. this discourse is adamant that the segmentary nature of their lineage and the opportunistic/defensive nature of their association set tribes apart from other forms of social relationships. This framework suggests that tribes as social and cultural entities are organized more so by threat or opportunity than by cohesive political or social structure. Although primitive tribes had limited sociability and endured political fragmentation in dealing with normal states of affairs (Sahlins. they would band together to achieve common objectives or celebrate through rituals and ceremonies. O’Guinn and Muniz. where tribal members will band together to oppose a stronger tribe or to take advantage of another weaker tribe (Sahlins. and . This common thread is observed today in collegiate sports where fans may be from different schools. and emotional exchange. colleges. and 12 items for defense of the tribe. Muniz and O’Guinn (2001) suggest that brand communities exhibit at least three attributes of pre-industrialized society: 1 members are conscious of a bond between themselves. the threads that bind tribal segments together. 324) states that “a band is a simple association of families. degree of fit with lifestyle. Our description of the sense of community dimension thus draws from studies defining community. 2005) and tribes (Cova and Pace. 1961). In the study of primitive tribes. they are distinct from the roving bands that preceded tribal formation and distinguishable from the hierarchical chiefdoms and agrarian communal organizations that supplanted them. . 1995) and electronic devices (Muniz and Schau. 1961). or campuses yet unite to defend the university team against traditional foes (Taute et al. Additionally. this discovery was surprising. 2010). collective memory. while tribes may have considered themselves one people. five-dimension scale lays a sturdy foundation by which brand tribalism can be evaluated. First is segmentary lineage. 2009) and observing brand attitude differences in European mobile communications markets (Jurisic and Azevedo. and in the passing of brand loyalty down through generations e. members may be on an intimate basis or share little other than brand ownership (McAlexander et al. 2011). their common binding thread allowed for coexistence without an established permanent social structure. this dimension may capture the linking value of the brand. the ability to coexist in harmony. 2010). social visibility. As outlined in segmented lineage theory. and 5 . Veloutsou and Moutinho (2009) develop a measure of tribalism which contains items indicating the brand’s fit with the consumer’s lifestyle. combined with other segments of the tribe in other seasons. preferences or products passed from grandfather to father to son or grandmother to mother to daughter (Olsen. Further. .g. 2002). 1961)... nine items for sense of community. passion in life. 2006). whole tribe might convene for annual ceremonies (Sahlins. 1995). and the Study 1 Item generation Insofar as a literature search could determine. The fourth aspect. commonly hunted as a family during some seasons.

if abandoned. which provides evidence for discriminant validity (Fornell and Larcker. 1981). even citing Apple as the exemplar of a brand community (p. items from each dimension were deleted until a robust. theoretically sound four factor solution ensued for each reduction method. in turn modeling their attitudes. Prior literature suggests that Apple users have more of an enhanced social and community structure. 2001. comparative fit index (CFI) ¼ 0. and revealed high factor loadings for both the MLE (0. Estimation of the measurement model produced the following goodness-of-fit statistics: x2(98) ¼ 431. and other brand owners (McAlexander et al. 2006. 6 . lifestyles. and feelings which exemplify consumer and brand tribes (Cova and Cova. Results Factor structure Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) and principal components analysis (PCA) were used to assess the factor structure of the 35 items comprising the four-dimensional brand tribalism scale. This line of research suggests that tribes may be defined as any group of people having interests in a specific brand or product through which they create a distinct society with its own “myths. 2005. 2002). In doing so.. consumer tribes essentially reconstitute archaic value systems including a more local sense of group identification.97. Both the brand community and consumer tribalism research streams point to social identity theory as fundamental to the formation and description of these social orders (Algesheimer et al. In this sense. The average variance extracted (AVE) for each dimension exceeds 0. The final 16-item instrument (see the Appendix) (three items each for lineage and social structure. and consumption behaviors (Cova and Cova.505-0. First. Tajfel and Turner. (2005) develop a five-item measure of identification with the brand community. 3 sense of community – COMMUN (nine items). non-normed fit index (NNFI) ¼ 0.. Using this four-dimensional. than Windows users (Muniz and O’Guinn. a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) measurement model was then estimated with LISREL 8. Holbrook and Hirschman. occupation.Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) 3 Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Journal of Product & Brand Management Harry A. root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) ¼ 0. and 4 defense of tribe – DEFENSE (12 items). passion. consumer or brand tribes function as micro. they answered seven-point Likert scale items (anchored from 1 ¼ strongly disagree to 7 ¼ strongly agree) for the brand tribalism instrument we developed. they were selected here. 1978. attitudinal factors. Study 2 and hypotheses The intent of Study 2 was two-fold. indeed tribal nature. 205). Cova and Cova (2002) reject the modern construct of community as denoting a body of people aggregated by residence. vocabulary and hierarchy” (Cova and Pace. 2002). Muniz and Schau (2005) point to the maintenance of the Newton PDA by loyal. values. 1982). The literature on brand community suggests that brand relationships exist between individuals. At the onset of the questionnaire. we wanted to examine response differences for brand tribalism and the previously mentioned attitudinal variables.or subcultures defined through their own shared experiences. participants were asked to indicate their favorite brand. social identity theory (Tajfel and Turner. the company. Thus. Results for both the MLE and PCA techniques revealed severe cross-loadings.. Cova and Pace.847) procedures with no meaningful crossloadings. 1985) suggests that identification with the community will enhance the community’s social engagement and enforce normative structures regarding their conduct (Algesheimer et al. the AVE for each tribal construct is greater than the squared correlations across the constructs (see F and F2 matrices in Table I). While thinking of this brand. we sought to examine the scale validity of our brand tribalism scale when stacked up against other.97.89. or interest.. which captured the following four dimensions: 1 lineage – LINEAGE (bound together) (seven items). brand communities are thought to increase loyalty for the espoused brand and engender Methodology Data collection procedure Undergraduate students (n ¼ 442) at a business school located in the Southwest USA were solicited as respondents. 2001). the modern community construct is devoid of the emotion. morality. which provides evidence for convergent validity (see Table I). and ethnocentrism. In adopting the tribal brand metaphor. emotions. As brand attitude and repurchase intention are replete in the branding literature. and standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) ¼ 0. In this sense. 1985) and an adversarial relationship to other competing brands (Taute et al. Algesheimer et al. 2007). rituals. Also. we posit that Apple users will have a more communal bond and social identity than Windows users. we chose a purchase context where we believed brand tribal behavior would be evident. representations of the brand. 2006. namely type of computer operating system. Collectively. For them. Second. 2001). For example. conceptually distinct. Moutinho et al. 2 social structure – SOCIAL (different from others) (seven items). the product itself..048. 1985). social group members self-identify with the group and hold themselves as representative of the group. 1985). brand followers as indicative of a brand community. Belk and Tumbat (2005) point to the cult-like following of the Macintosh computer. These normative controls solidify group membership and define the group’s unique position in society (Tajfel. these fit statistics provide evidence of good model fit and valid construct measures. Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 there is a shared sense commitment to one another and the brand. 1089). According to social identity theory. Further.55 percent of the variance. Similarly. tribes are held together by shared emotions.50. and realities (Cova and Cova. goodness-of-fit index (GFI) ¼ 0. and behaviors according to group norms (Tajfel and Turner. 2010). 16-item instrument. this construct is consistent with members’ shared social identity (Tajfel and Turner. In the current setting therefore.14 ( p ¼ 0. p. After the Apple brand had moved on. 2005).615-0.72.887) and PCA (0.00). emotions. and five items each for defense and community) explained 70. We thus adopt items from research on the social structure of consumer subcultures such as brand communities or tribes defining themselves as distinct social structures.088.

328 0.43 0. attitudinal response is a tendency to respond either favorably or unfavorably toward an entity (Gardner.60 1.70 0.672 0. (1986) measured ABRAND with four semantic differential items.562 0. Our literature review suggests that sense of the community and enhanced social structures surrounding the brand offer value to the brand and the consumer (Schau et al.608 0.593 0.392 0. respondents were asked to indicate their intentions to 7 . Apple users will display more favorable brand attitude responses toward the Apple brand than Windows users will toward the Windows brand. MacKenzie and Lutz.608 0. Grossbart et al. H2.376 0.578 0. Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) Table I Study 1 confirmatory factor analysis Constructs LINEAGE LINEAGE1 LINEAGE2 LINEAGE3 SOCIAL1 SOCIAL2 SOCIAL3 DEFENSE1 DEFENSE2 DEFENSE3 DEFENSE4 DEFENSE5 COMMUN1 COMMUN2 COMMUN3 COMMUN4 COMMUN5 0.. H1.00 0.49 0.. using this scale. .00 0. these scales are briefly described.260 0.75 0.757 0. 2010. as well as improved buyer behavior (Bagozzi and Dholakia.00 F2 matrix LINEAGE SOCIAL DEFENSE COMMUN 1.74 1.62 0. segmentary lineage (LINEAGE. This value may be demonstrated in brand loyalty and favorable word-of-mouth (Madupu and Cooley.00 0.00 0. Brand tribalism scores for (a) lineage. Methodology Scale descriptions The questionnaire contained items from the developed brand tribalism scales: . 2009). H3. sales quotas and revenues (Adjei et al.38 0.452 0.72 1. and .71 0. 2010).82 0.504 0.740 0.77 0.392 0..54 1.76 0.78 62.76 0.422 0.593 0. 2006). 2008).42 65.706 0. Thus.294 0. . Kim et al. using four items from their scales.84 0. 1985. Hence.422 0. (1986) measured consumers’ intention to purchase using semantic differential scale items.66 0.624 0.Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Journal of Product & Brand Management Harry A. respondents were asked to indicate their attitude toward their computer operating system brand. Repurchase intentions (PurINT) Holmes and Crocker (1987) and MacKenzie et al.11 F matrix LINEAGE SOCIAL DEFENSE COMMUN 1. we expect that Apple users will be more supportive of their brand and actively defend this brand against competitors (Thompson and Sinha.51 1.78 0. Apple users will show stronger repurchase intentions of the Apple brand than Windows users will of the Windows brand.243 0. defense of the tribe (DEFENSE. (c) defense of the tribe. 2008). (b) social structure. our four-dimensional brand tribalism measure should reflect this in higher tribalism scores for the Apple user condition.87 0. sense of community (COMMUN. we also expect more favorable responses toward brand attitude and repurchase intentions for the Apple users.407 0. social structure (SOCIAL.36 1.740 0.86 0. Attitude toward the brand (AB) Viewed as a situation-bound construct.74 Average variance extracted (percent) SOCIAL DEFENSE COMMUN Item reliabilities Delta (d) 0.79 0.77 0.23 64.548 0.407 0.86 0.78 0. 1989). five items).438 0. Our research uses established seven-point scales from prior research for brand attitude (AB) and repurchase intentions (PurINT).00 0.18 59.00 0.608 0.260 0. five items).578 0. three items).00 opposition to competing brands. three items). and (d) sense of community will be higher for Apple users than Windows users.496 0.392 0.

and may be applicable in a variety of additional contexts (Barry. the hierarchy of effects model has been used to describe the progression of consumers from cognitions to the formation of brand attitudes and purchase intentions (Smith et al.60) H2 (AB) M ¼ 6. Whites ¼ 86 percent) at a business school located in the mountain West USA were solicited as respondents. and repurchase intention for the studied constructs about their preferred operating system.53 (SD ¼ 0. we sought to further validate our brand tribalism scale using a different sample and product category than those used in either Study 1 or Study 2. such as impacting brand loyalty (Madupu and Cooley. 0. As brand attitude is at the core of consumer intentions and behaviors (Keller.45 (SD ¼ 1. MAGE ¼ 26. Hence: Study 3 and hypotheses Study 3 objectives were two-fold. h2 ¼ 0. respondents in the Apple group yielded more positive responses toward each of the studied constructs.37. Sierra et al. The sense of community surrounding the brand relates positively to brand attitude.14) M ¼ 5. Specifically.110 0. 2010. 2009).63 ( p . consumers feel good about the brand relationship (Tajfel and Turner. (H1(d)) sense of community. 2005)..949.71 (SD ¼ 1.14) H1(b) (SOCIAL) M ¼ 4. H6. POWER ¼ 1.01) F (1. for each procedure revealed robust factor loadings (i. participants were asked to indicate their preferred operating system.68. (H1(b)) social structure.17 (SD ¼ 1.41. The social structure of the brand relates positively to repurchase intentions.11) H1(a) (LINEAGE) Windows Significance h2 M ¼ 3. The sense of community surrounding the brand relates positively to repurchase intentions.16 ( p .04) F (1. 1968). Wilks’ l ¼ 0.231 Brand attitude relates positively to brand repurchase intentions.0). 173) ¼ 69. As posited. Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 purchase the same brand of computer operating system as they currently used.01) 0. H4(b). H5(a). 2006). males ¼ 71 percent.. service industries (Wang... (H1(c)) defense of the tribe. PCA: 0. H5(b).45 (SD ¼ 1.288 Results MANOVA MANOVA was used to test response differences between the iPhone and Android users collectively. 1987. H5(d). 0.87 ( p .477-0. H4(a). Therefore: Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) Data collection procedure Students (n ¼ 174. which can be attributed to consumers’ thoughts and feelings about the brand.71) H3 (PurINT) M ¼ 6. 2009). Methodology Data collection procedure Smart phone users at a business school located in the mountain West USA. 0.35 ( p . we expect brand attitudes to positively influence repurchase intentions.606. Thus: MANOVA MANOVA was used to test response differences between the Windows and Apple users collectively. Defense of the brand tribe relates positively to brand attitude. 2008). First.94 (SD ¼ 1.68 (SD ¼ 1.623.86) M ¼ 5. here. F(7.50 (SD ¼ 0. Specifically.08) M ¼ 3.641-0. 173) ¼ 51. At the onset of the questionnaire. brand tribalism relates positively with the customer-brand relationship (Jurisic and Azevedo.174 0.01) F (1. Brand community and social identification with the brand are demonstrated as providing value to the brand though a variety of mechanisms (Schau et al. and influencing shopping and buyer behavior (Bagozzi and Dholakia. Results Factor structure Both PCA with Varimax rotation and MLE with direct Oblimin rotation were used to assess the factor structure of the 28 items comprising the seven scales. brand relationship quality and identification with the brand community influences brand attitudes (Algesheimer et al.01.51 (SD ¼ 1. When the brand’s personality is in line with their self-concept. H4(d).76 percent of the variance..853 to 0. accounting for 79. The resulting seven factor solutions. Defense of the brand tribe relates positively to repurchase intentions. 166) ¼ 14. we wanted to examine the explanatory power of the individual dimensions of brand tribalism as direct determinants of brand attitude and repurchase intentions.16) M ¼ 3.42) H1(d) (COMMUN) M ¼ 3.20) M ¼ 2. participants were asked to indicate their smartphone (iPhone and Android were most readily noted). Brand lineage relates positively to brand attitude.91 (SD ¼ 1. respondents answered seven-point rating scale items for the dimensions of brand tribalism. subsequently. 173) ¼ 34. they answered seven-point rating scale items for the same indicators and studied constructs used in Study 2 about their phone. Second. We expect then that the dimensions of brand tribalism will positively impact repurchase intentions for the espoused brand. brand attitude. At the onset of the questionnaire.377.914. (H2) brand attitude. SD ¼ 6. 2003). Such models are demonstrated in advertising (Edell and Burke. 2009). Apple users showed more favorable responses for (H1(a)) lineage.944) with no meaningful crossloadings. and (H3) repurchase intentions.104 8 . 173) ¼ 21. who did not participate in Study 1 or Study 2.167 0. 173) ¼ 36. were solicited as respondents. 2002. Veloutsou and Moutinho. 0. Consumers’ attitudes are robust influencers of their purchase decisions. McGuire. Hotelling’s T2 ¼ 0. 0.40) H1(c) (DEFENSE) M ¼ 4. 0. The MANOVA exhibited a positive overall effect (i. Reliability coefficients ranged from 0.01) F (1.68 ( p . 0. responses varied between Windows (n ¼ 77) and Apple (n ¼ 97). Kim et al. 1985). As seen in mobile communication and soft drink settings. affecting sales (Adjei et al. 2009).. Then. H4(c). Table II Study 2 MANOVA results Hypotheses Apple M ¼ 5. H5(c). MLE: 0. The social structure of the brand relates positively to brand attitude. 173) ¼ 19. 2010). Differences between 0.Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Journal of Product & Brand Management Harry A.68 (SD ¼ 1.01) F (1.e. Brand lineage relates positively to repurchase intentions.91 (SD ¼ 1. supporting H1-H3 (see Table II). 0. p .39 ( p . 2011.01) F (1. 2008).e.

DEFENSE and F2 of COMMUN and D EFENSE ¼ 0.72.76). rejecting the norms imposed by other cultures. The t-statistic associated with four of the nine path coefficients (PC) is significant as posited at the p . 0. p .01. lineage (iPhone: M ¼ 4. and PurINT ¼ 87. t ¼ 4.21. the direction of the paths is inverse. and and F2 of LINEAGE and DEFENSE ¼ 0.6035 and F2 of LINEAGE and SOCIAL ¼ 0.05 level. t ¼ 2 1. However.53. PC ¼ 0. CFI ¼ 0. p . SOCIAL ¼ 70. LINEAGE ¼ 73. the AVE for each construct (i. A covariance matrix and MLE were used in each case to estimate model parameters.16 percent. t ¼ 21. and SRMR ¼ 0.01. are found for the remaining correlations. Here.82. H4(c).52. Lastly. Whites ¼ 83 percent. h2 ¼ 0. as well as the path between sense of community and repurchase intention (H5(d).94. Android: M ¼ 3.15. GFI ¼ 0. SD ¼ 1.01.17) and repurchase intention (H5(c). brand attitude and repurchase intention relate positively (H6. . also. members have their own language.e. yet.0). the path between sense of community and brand attitude (H4(d). SD ¼ 1.02 ( p ¼ percent.74.74. h2 ¼ 0. 459) ¼ 40. 459) ¼ 46.05 level or better. t ¼ 1.00.016. and . H5(c). or paths in the direction opposite of predicted are found for the remaining relationships.46. 0. AB ¼ 87.45. defense of the tribe relates positively to both brand attitude (H4(c). 0. Males ¼ 75 percent. PC ¼ 2 0.04) and repurchase intention (H5(b).56. PC ¼ 0.65 percent. Whites ¼ 83 percent. gatherings. t ¼ 9. t ¼ 22. as such. PC ¼ 0.83) and repurchase intention (H5(a). COMMUN ¼ 70.72. t ¼ 2. SD ¼ 1. PC ¼ 2 0. the direction of the path is inverse. POWER ¼ 1.6889) is greater than the squared correlations between each construct and the other constructs.01 level. t ¼ 3. goodness-of-fit statistics: x2(237df) ¼ 1. social structure (iPhone: M ¼ 4.6561) is greater than the squared correlations between each construct and the other constructs.94. similar non-significant relationships are found for the paths between social and both brand attitude (H4(b).42 ( p ¼ 0. males ¼ 71 percent. SD ¼ 1.054. therefore.7921 and.97.32. sharing a common kinship. brand tribes fuse zealous members through social experiences.08. MAGE ¼ 25. Regarding the iPhone data.96.93. SD ¼ 1. F(1. and PurINT ¼ 87.08 percent) exceeds 50 percent. RMSEA ¼ 0. GFI ¼ 0.31. SD ¼ 5. Estimation of the Android measurement model produced the following goodness-of-fit statistics: x2(237df) ¼ 905.72 (see Figures 1 and 2). and H6(a).08. 0. Specifically. RMSEA ¼ 0.21. PC ¼ 0. the AVE for each construct (aside from DEFENSE ¼ 0. The MANOVA exhibited a positive overall effect (i. similar non-significant findings are apparent for the paths between social and both brand attitude (H4(b).35 percent.38 percent. the paths between sense of community and both brand attitude ((H4d).42 ( p ¼ 0.00). PC ¼ 2 0. supporting H4(a).95.092).87. and customs. F(1. Missing data were handled via pairwise deletion.41) is supported. PC ¼ 0. Also. CFI ¼ 0.44. . CFI ¼ 0.056). or paths in the direction opposite of predicted. Android: M ¼ 2.45.31. h2 ¼ 0.38. GFI ¼ 0. SD ¼ 1.11. Android: M ¼ 3. Hispanics ¼ 8 percent). t ¼ 3. 0.93. Hotelling’s T2 ¼ 0.045. lineage relates positively to brand attitude (H(4a). each tribe is a culture unto itself. defense of the tribe (iPhone: M ¼ 4.42.91 percent) exceeds 50 percent.37. NNFI ¼ 0. The t statistic associated with three of the nine path coefficients (PC) is significant as posited at the p .01.e.29. Specifically. the effect between lineage and both brand attitude (H4(a).90) is not supported at the p . non-significant paths.79).05 level (H5(a).25. CFI ¼ 0. when positive paths were theoretically expected.05. NNFI ¼ 0.02) However.92.51) and repurchase intention ((H5b). and H6.46 percent. RMSEA ¼ 0.12 ( p ¼ 0. PC ¼ 2 0. Model estimation for the Android data produced the following goodness-of-fit statistics: x2 (237df ) ¼ 905. PC ¼ 20. tribal-linked procurement can be ascribed to their social value (Cova and Cova. t ¼ 20. Wilks’ l ¼ 0. PC ¼ 2 0. PC ¼ 0. S OCIAL ¼ 71. iPhone users showed more favorable responses for: . Factor structure Using LISREL 8.7309. a SEM model was evaluated for each user group (iPhone: n ¼ 261.7021.02). yet. that is.6565 SOCIAL ¼ 0.50. t ¼ 0. Model estimation for the iPhone data produced the following 9 . and Structural equation model The studied relationships for both the iPhone and Android data were tested using a structural equation model with LISREL 8.95. t ¼ 2 1.20 percent. 455) ¼ 14. 0. t ¼ 2 0.01. 0. Estimation of the iPhone measurement model produced the following goodness-of-fit statistics: x2(237df) ¼ 1. D EFENSE ¼ 60. 0. NNFI ¼ 0. . also.21 percent. t ¼ ¼ 27. p .884. F(1. PC ¼ 0.74 percent.75. that is. GFI ¼ 0.116.82). h2 ¼ 0. LINEAGE ¼ 72. C OMMUN ¼ 78.19.37. defense of the tribe relates positively to both brand attitude (H(4c). supporting H4(c). p . non-significant paths.11. when a positive effect was theoretically predicted. H5(c). which in turn relates positively to repurchase intention (H6.69) and repurchase intention (H5(c).67.45.02). The data show respondents in the iPhone group yielded more positive responses toward each of the studied brand tribal dimensions. being sustained admirers of a brand.48. and SRMR ¼ 0.89.Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Journal of Product & Brand Management Harry A. the AVE for each construct (i.09 percent. and SRMR ¼ 0. brand tribes can be characterized as: . t ¼ 5. the effect between lineage and repurchase intention is not supported at the p . SD ¼ 6. h2 ¼ 0.54).04. 459) ¼ 22. A B ¼ 88. Hispanics ¼ 9 percent) (Android: n ¼ 220. . t ¼ 2 2. PC ¼ 0.00). sense of community (iPhone: M ¼ 3. and SRMR ¼ 0. Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 these groups on the brand tribal measures would suggest the inaptness of pooling the data for structural equation modeling. the AVE for each construct (aside from LINEAGE ¼ 0. RMSEA ¼ 0. For the Android data. NNFI ¼ 0. DEFENSE ¼ 65. F(1. SD ¼ 1. MAGE ¼ 26.49) and repurchase intention (H5(d). S OCIAL ¼ 0.92. PC ¼ 0.01. also. Specifically. p .e. t ¼ 0.081).046).16. PC ¼ 2 0. t ¼ 23. 2002).75.01.63) are supported.64. In this sense. F(4. PC ¼ 2 0. Lastly.11. Discussion Essential to the development and longevity of customer-brand relationships. Android: M ¼ 3. SD ¼ a CFA measurement model for both the iPhone and Android data was estimated with the 24 items comprising the four scales. experiencing similar traditions.00).00). PC ¼ 0.

LINEAGE relates positively to AB. as brand tribalism scores were significantly higher for Apple than Windows with F-values ranging from 21. at least in relation to brand attitude and repurchase intention. iPhone users feel a bond between themselves. thus. using a smart phone context (i. in Study 1. In Study 3. Second. which can be attributed to the greater tribal following of Apple users. including motorcycles. DEFENSE. and . indicating that general owners of smart phones may not identify uniquely with or form associations with other users of the brand. Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) Figure 1 Study 3 path model (iPhone) . Beguilingly. sports teams. identification or fit with the brand and disassociation from the competing brand are strong determinants of brand attitude and repurchase intention for both iPhones and Androids. LINEAGE. SEM is employed to model each brand tribalism dimension (i. segmentary lineage. each dimension of our brand tribalism scale was able to distinguish between consumers with augmented tribal psyches. users of other Apple products. Both scales put brand management research on a better course to understand the determinants. being actively engaged in defending the brand. social structure. Also. however. brand attitude and Their prominence in society is evidenced in their visibility across diverse markets. our instrument is the only other brand tribal multidimensional metric insofar as a literature search could determine. The COMMUN dimension demonstrates significance. only the DEFENSE aspect of brand tribalism correlates positively with each AB and PurINT. thus. responses for brand attitude and repurchase intention were higher for Apple.e.Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Journal of Product & Brand Management Harry A.e. and technology. Our research contributes to the brand tribalism literature in the following ways.16 to 51. automobiles. we test the applicability of brand tribalism across two diverse studies. and COMMUN) as a determinant of brand attitude and repurchase intention. and the brand itself. For the iPhone specifically. indicating that. sense of community. This scale confirms consumer or brand tribes as being inherently social and communal structures in common with prior literature. SOCIAL. offering insight into its interplay with important brand-response variables among samples of common users. Even for successful brands like 10 . First. dimensions. iPhone and Android). In Study 2. the SOCIAL aspect of brand tribalism is not significantly related to either AB or PurINT in either smart phone condition. Apple and Windows (the two types of systems referenced in this study). having kinship or common lineage. the relationship is inverse.e. For both smart phone conditions.68. and defense of the tribe) of Sahlin’s (1961) anthropological theory of tribal behavior. and effects of consumer brand tribalism. using an operating systems context. we develop and test the measurement properties of a new brand tribalism scale grounded in four dimensions (i. we employ MANOVA to examine response differences for each studied brand tribalism dimension and germane attitudinal variables. yet differentiates tribes as: . Aside from Veloutsou and Moutinho’s (2009) brand tribalism scale. having a moral obligation to the brand community. in these samples.

rather than ethnographic engagement with brand aficionados or attending communal events (brandfests) where rabid fans feel the need to express themselves emotively. Although the task of pinpointing reasons why some brands are able to generate a community-based and tribal-like consumer following seems difficult if not impossible to understand. Managerial implications As a means to feel part of something bigger than themselves. it is apparent that the long line of current and former Apple products contributes to the feeling of kinship of those users with the brand as opposed to Google’s Android technology. these data are contrary to prior findings from primarily interpretive methodologies. First. and advocate brand tribes. which should help consumer behavior and brand management researchers by offering a conterminous rubric for evaluating future and existing brand tribalism-grounded studies. 1961). The data here offer insight to these marketing aspects across multiple technology consumption settings. the respective products. three come from Algesheimer et al.’s (2005) study of European car clubs. anthropological theories enjoy a base of support in marketing (Sherry. In both studies. 1995). our measures are grounded in anthropological theory (Sahlins. Lastly. research and the marketplace both show that consumers may opt to join. To understand these results. AB relates positively to PurINT. our 11 . as expected. Study 2 and Study 3’s findings offer insight to such effects in an operating system and smartphone context. Importantly.Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Journal of Product & Brand Management Harry A. we turn to the measures themselves. our research indicates that more data are needed to fully understand how and when different aspects of the brand relationship influence behavioral-related outcomes. and. with regard to the significant effect of LINEAGE in the iPhone condition versus no effect for Android. 1995). the ability to identify. Second. respectively. Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) Figure 2 Study 3 path model (Android) repurchase intention are formed individually rather than through inclusion in the brand subculture. it is apparent that the contribution of the associative or community aspects of the brand relationship to positive brand attitude and repurchase intentions fall short of expectations. explain. Instruments used to measure brand tribalism. and differentiate effect sizes enables research streams to cultivate and theory to evolve (Peterson and Jolibert. Study 2 demonstrates that tribal tendencies exist in populations of general users. be involved with. of the five items measuring community. as well as its explanatory power on brand and purchase-related outcomes are certainly germane to brand specialists. which suggest that all aspects brand tribalism lead to favorable brand and purchaserelated outcomes for tribal members. As such. and the samples. our results function as benchmarks for explaining the effects of brand tribalism in technology-laden contexts. As such. The measures are consistent with and developed out of prior literature. In general. Study 3 suggests that all tribal dimensions may not be efficacious or necessarily positive. In the context of ordinary users. we sought to survey ordinary users in more casual non-emotive settings.

(2002). and culture”. For example. Journal of Marketing. users. “Antecedents and purchase consequences of customer participation in small group brand communities”.e.D. ultimately hindering new tribe membership and brand development..M. a tribal mindset among targeted consumers may ensue and cultivate. Additionally. Belk.L. and develop long-term robust relationships with customers. Hence. 5. G. appeal to. These data suggest that marketers should pursue promotional-related tactics that further an “us versus them” mindset. Additional psychographic correlates of brand tribalism could be explored including need for uniqueness. For example. Batra. (2009). 1. A. Vol. and are mere facets of members’ lives (more than a dominating feature). and need for social recognition. Companies seeking to assess the tribal tendencies of targeted and existing customers may opt to employ our four-dimensional instrument. R.. Suter. G. Consumers. other variables could be 12 . exploring the effect of brand tribes organized and perpetuated on the internet via social media invites research attention.P. For example.A.E. 20 No. Also.e. and in essence. 44-47. “In defense of the hierarchy of effects: a rejoinder to Weilbacher”. much to marketers’ benefit. “The social influence of brand community: evidence from European car clubs”. perceptions of consumer brand tribalism can differ meaningfully between such brands. gamers versus nongamers). 73 No. Journal of Marketing. and Tumbat. and Noble.W. Vol. For example. and Devasagayam. future research could investigate the influence of demographic factors such as life experience (e. Vol. Also. and Zinkhan. Vol. violence associated with soccer hooliganism). Journal of Marketing Research. riders/owners versus non-riders/ non-owners). Adjei. R. 3. and Herrmann. further research is needed to delineate the affective and cognitive involvement requisite to advancing from mere product use to active brand community involvement. pp. (2010). this tribal-linked ethos is safely evident in a variety of contexts such as food (i. Arnould. 3. results from Study 3 suggest that the defense of the tribe dimension of brand tribalism positively influences brand attitude and repurchase intentions for both smartphone conditions. in doing so effectively. (2005).g.J. McGraw-Hill. B. and sports marketing (i. marketers can begin to spawn avid fans and customers. R. pp. Also. Thus.T.P. C. live their lives as part of the brand community. additional data on differing types of brand tribal-linked purchases from additional regions.J. our research suggests that tribe members are highly allegiant to the brand. 52-68. Journal of Marketing.. For example. and COMMUN components of brand tribalism. A. T. 42 No. Study 2 suggests that although companies competing in the same market can be financially successful and equityresonant. (2012). Noble. motorcycles (i. 8 No. (2013) suggests tribes are playful (more than devoted). these data drawn from common users of prominent technology found instances of non-significant and/or inverse paths for the LINEAGE. J. using non-student respondents. P. (2005). self-esteem. recent research by Goulding et al. 69 No.M. Vol. Brakus. Possibly through the efficient nature of reaching followers through social media. Vol. 76 No. 5. which in rare instances can lead to detrimental societal outcomes (e.. a necessary prerequisite of a tribal following. Acosta. are transient (more than fixated). Vol.M. pp.g. the measurement instruments used to assess the constructs studied may not be equally valid across all product settings. and followers may prove successful in generating a tribal following. pp. (2010). U. inner city versus suburb residence) on brand tribalism tendencies. in contrast to prior research. and Zarantonello. T. these findings should benefit marketers’ brandbuilding efforts. and cultural background (e. in two distinct US regions. J. brand tribalism data were collected using undergraduate student samples. New York. examined. International Journal of Research in Marketing. evaluating two diverse technological devices. SOCIAL. Algesheimer. 23 No. 45-61. Additionally. L. and Dholakia. E. M. “Brand cult: extending the notion of brand communities”. “Dimensions of brand personality”. using IMC to emphasize social structure and defense of the tribe with brand owners. all of which benefit the brand by further strengthening the defense of the tribe perspective and bonding agent among tribe members. Vol. understanding what binds fellow brand consumers together (segmentary lineage). To help further establish the generalizability of the findings. 2. Yet. in contrast. 34 No. Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 data indicate that when certain tribal tendencies are directed toward beloved brands. Ahuvia. “Brand love”. and Brown. References Aaker. Vol. organic versus processed). 19-34.e. and their emotionally-charged perceived opposition of competing brands (defense of the tribe) should put marketers in an opportune position to reach. B. for the iPhone. their ability to coexist in harmony (sense of community).e.M. 347-356. companies should continually strive to develop and position their brand as triballaden and laudable. underdog versus favorite). S. 165-176. Dholakia. (1997). Marketing Management Journal. pp. defend their brand ferociously. Additionally. To provide further perspicacity into consumers’ purchase processes involving brand tribalism. Price. 634-653. Carlson. T. R. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.. (2006). 3. whereas existing interpretive inquiry suggests positive effects between these factors and brand/purchaserelated responses. pp. benefiting all brand constituents.g. their perceived sense of unity (social structure). 38 No. “The influence of C2C communications in online brand communities on customer purchase behavior”. 205-217. family life cycle). degree of brand loyalty. (2004). 1-16. U. we propose and show validation across three studies for a novel brand tribalism scale. R. which could affect the measurement properties of the underlying constructs and their interrelationships. NY. (2008). a positive effect was found between lineage and brand attitude. Journal of Advertising Research. Bagozzi.J. L. 1. and Bagozzi. Schmitt.H..H. pp. Barry. markets.Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Journal of Product & Brand Management Harry A. and followers. fans. video games (i. “Brand experience: what is it? 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Priester. Hyman. Vol. J. Jr and Arnould. MD. D. Vol. H. Journal of Marketing Research. “Brand loyalty and consumption patterns: the lineage factor”. 3.K. Jr (Ed. 883-900. 377-402. Sherry. H. J. (1998). E.S.. C. and Turner. pp. Sense of community (a 5 0. pp. 41-66. “Brandfests: servicescapes for the cultivation of brand equity”. (COMMUN1) The friendships I have with other (brand) owners or users mean a lot to me. C. H. 22 No.W. London..W. J. A. “The importance of a general measure of brand engagement on market behavior: development and validation of a scale”. pp. 1. “Brand attachment and brand attitude strength: conceptual and empirical differentiation of two critical brand equity drivers”. “Displayed emotions to patronage intention: consumer response to contact personnel performance”. * . Thousand Oaks. Journal of Consumer Psychology. 47-61.. I react strongly. (1978). Differentiation between Social Groups: Studies in the Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations.F. 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IL. “Team loving and loathing: emotional determinants of consumption in collegiate football”. Sierra. Vol. (DEFENSE1) Whenever (brand) is put down.. 15 No. (Eds). 72 No. 6. 74 No. I.W. Rowman & Littlefield. Vol. W. Thousand Oaks. . I refer to other owners or users of (brand) as “us” or “we”. (1995). Veloutsou. (DEFENSE3) I won’t own or use any competitor of (brand). Vol. 245-281. (1995). (1995). J. pp.790) . Peterson. . 73 No. S. M. 2. 4. (2009). 6. Smith. 1-17. Jr (1995).. Contemporary Marketing and Consumer Behavior: An Anthropological Sourcebook. Social (a 5 0. “How brand community practices create value”. 3. and Sinha.-T. Servicescapes: The Concept of Place in Contemporary Markets. Taute.J. (DEFENSE2) I often disagree whenever someone prefers a competitive brand to (brand). (COMMUN3) I see myself as part of the (brand) community. J. (2007). pp. 252-272. I’d think of it as something “we” would do. . Journal of Consumer Research. and McAlexander. “Brand communities and new product adoption: the influence and limits of oppositional loyalty”. D. A. Schau. Thomson. 62 No. M. 1. R. D. (COMMUN2) If other (brand) owners or users planned something. Study 1: brand tribalism scale items Lineage (a 5 0. Journal of Marketing. 182-199. 63 No. (SOCIAL2) I identify uniquely with others who own or use (brand). Thompson. B. (2009).890) . and Austin. 1. and Desires. R. D. Journal of Advertising. J.H. Chicago. “Using a model’s apparent ethnicity to influence viewer responses to print ads: a social identity theory perspective”. pp. J. Vol. Vol. R. Academic Press. American Marketing Association. pp. (SOCIAL1) People who own or use (brand) are unique from those owning or using other brands in the same market. and Schouten. C.. (2010). non-owners or non-users not so much. J. 1.J. (Eds). Contemporary Marketing and Consumer Behavior: An Anthropological Sourcebook. Eisingerich. “The ties that bind: measuring emotional attachment to brands”. and Jolibert. pp. E. 29 No.832) . . S. 26 No. J. (2008). X. Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 Mick. Journal of Business Research. “The impact of advertising creativity on the hierarchy of effects”. (2009). pp. Vol.J. 30-51. . (LINEAGE3) (Brand) owners or users are bound together. (Notes: Items measured on a seven-point Likert scale from 1 ¼ strongly disagree to 7 ¼ strongly agree. and Yang. Psychology of Intergroup Relations. “Identifying the dimensions of the product-brand and consumer relationship”. Service Industries Journal. “Brand relationships through brand reputation and brand tribalism”. (2009). 46 No. H. (DEFENSE4) (Brand) fits me personally in a way no other brand will. “The segmentary lineage: an organization of predatory expansion”.. . (2009). 332-345. S. M.J. Wang. and Park. 314-322. Journal of Marketing. (SOCIAL3) People who own or use (brand) differentiate themselves from non-owners or non-users of (brand). 2005) 14 . Sierra.. Sahlins. D. Vol.R.G. (LINEAGE1) Compared with other brands. 23 Nos 1/2. “The social identity theory of group behavior”.). R. (COMMUN5) I feel a sense of co-ownership with (brand).E.P. J. Czellar.J. pp. C. (2008). Vol. 37 No. asterisked items taken from Algesheimer et al. pp. (DEFENSE5) Owners or users of (brand) “get it”. Vol. 3 No. Goals.863) . pp.B. * . L. 92-104. Vol. Chen.A. (LINEAGE2) Owners or users of (brand) have a bond. Tajfel.A.A. 43-61. Muniz. 6-24. Journal of Marketing Management. 7-26. Park. 6.. pp. 31 No. NY. J. Tajfel. (COMMUN4) When the opportunity presents itself. Sage Publications. Veloutsou. Appendix. Journal of Marketing.

Journal of Brand Management. Taute and Jeremy Sierra Volume 23 · Number 1 · 2014 · 2 –15 About the authors and Practice and Journal of Services Marketing. Journal of Marketing Theory To purchase reprints of this article please e-mail: reprints@emeraldinsight. consumer behavior. He has published his scholarly work in such outlets as Journal of Advertising. Journal of Marketing Education. His research interests include advertising Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) Harry A. Journal of Services Marketing. Jeremy Sierra is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: 15 . His scholarly work has been published in Psychology & Marketing. Taute is Associate Professor of Marketing at Utah Valley University. Sport Marketing Quarterly and Journal of Intercollegiate Sport. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising. He serves on six editorial review boards. Jeremy Sierra is Associate Professor of Marketing at Texas State University. sports marketing.Brand tribalism: an anthropological perspective Journal of Product & Brand Management Harry A. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. with Michael R. and services marketing. dual-process theory. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. Journal of Brand Management. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. Sport Marketing Quarterly and Young Consumers. His research interests center on emotions in: consumer behavior. and brand management. including Journal of Advertising. He also has published. Or visit our web site for further details: www. Journal of Advertising. Marketing Research Kit for Dummies. Journal of Marketing Education.emeraldinsight. Journal of Promotion Management.

Stephenson. [CrossRef] 9. DART Scale Development: Diagnosing a Firm’s Readiness for Strategic Value Co-creation. Taute. Computers in Human Behavior 55. Journal of Food Products Marketing 21:5. Yerger. 2016. Jeremy J. 467-484. David B. 2016. 503-520. [CrossRef] 8. Explaining behavior in brand communities: A sequential model of attachment. Determinants of Intentions to Purchase Unhealthy Food and Beverage Options: A Dual-Process Theoretical Perspective. Journal of Product & Brand Management 25:1. 42-58. [Citation] [Full Text] [PDF] 3. [CrossRef] 2. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] 10. Harry A. Determinants and Outcomes of Online Brand Tribalism: Exploring Communities of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs). Journal of Promotion Management 1-21. Taute. Sierra. Marseille. Journal of Product & Brand Management 25:6. [CrossRef] 11. University of Sherbrooke. Canada . [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] 6. 2015. Sherbrooke. Iran . Turri. Vishag A. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal 19:4. Turri. Harry A. Journal of Product & Brand Management 25:1. Albinsson. Sabrina Trudeau H. Does social currency matter in creation of enhanced brand experience?. How Pretrial Expectations and Anticipated Obstacles Impact University Brand Identification. Sandra Maria Correia Loureiro. Editorial. Cogent Business & Management 3:1. Bernard Cova Kedge Business School. 1171192. France . Value slippage in brand transformation: a conceptualization. 98-114. Anna M. Canada Saeed Shobeiri Department of Marketing. 2015. 2016. 2016. Luxury values as drivers for affective commitment: The case of luxury car tribes. [CrossRef] 4. 2014. [CrossRef] . Journal of Foodservice Business Research 18:5. tribalism. Pookie Truly Sautter. The role of functional and symbolic brand associations on brand loyalty. B. Hans Ruediger Kaufmann. 2016. 2015. Badrinarayanan. 3-10. Tehran. 505-506. Harry A. Pia A.Downloaded by UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO At 03:05 10 October 2016 (PT) This article has been cited by: 1. France Bernard Paranque Kedge Business School. Yasanthi Perera. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] 5. Sherbrooke. Fariba Esmaeilpour Department of Business Management. Marseille. Jeremy J. Len Tiu Wright. 853-870. Department of Marketing. Islamic Azad University. Vishag A. [CrossRef] 7. 2016. Jeremy J. and self-esteem. FetscherinMarc Marc Fetscherin CayollaRicardo Roseira Ricardo Roseira Cayolla GuzmánFrancisco Francisco Guzmán VeloutsouCleopatra Cleopatra Veloutsou . Badrinarayanan. 2016. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 24:1. University of Sherbrooke. Jeremy J. Taute. Anna M. Sierra. Sierra. 470-488. Psychology & Marketing 31:10. Unhealthy Food and Beverage Consumption: An Investigative Model. Taute. Amber L. 626-632. Harry A. Sierra.