Identifying and Investigating Types of Consumer Relationships with Brand Communities on Instagram

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student in Business Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Prof. in Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Prof. in Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Prof., Faculty of Education and Psychology, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran


Objective: The present study aimed to identify and to investigate different types of favorable and unfavorable relationships between consumers and brand communities on Instagram.
Methods: In this research a multi-case study approach has been adopted in which the cases were 8 participants who followed some brands from restaurant and clothing industries on Instagram.
Results: The findings revealed 15 different types of relationships between consumers and brand communities on Instagram, among which, 9 items including self, love, best friend, casual friend, fling, colleague, emergent, acquaintance, and animosity, were previously introduced in the extant literature. 6 of which (including two-tier, fan, respectable acquaintance, stranger, potential and declining) were the contributions of this research. These 15 types of relationships were ranked and classified based on their favorability for brands.
Conclusion: This research showed that consumers build a variety of relationships with brand communities on Instagram some of which are very positive and some are negative.  


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