Identifying the Dimensions of Social Capital of Online Brand Communities with an Emphasis on Customer-based Brand Equity in Iraqi Telecommunications Companies

Document Type : Research/Original/Regular


1 Department of Marketing Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


An online brand community is a network of people who are interested in and loyal to a brand that comes together. The aim of the current research was to identify the dimensions of social capital in online brand communities with an emphasis on customer-based brand equity in Iraqi telecommunication companies. The research was of a qualitative nature and was carried out using the technique of theme analysis. Twenty-five experts in the fields of e-marketing and social marketing, with an emphasis on social networks and the telecommunications sector, were selected by the targeted non-probability sampling method. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were completed when the criterion of theoretical saturation was reached. The data were analyzed with the five-stage model of Castleberry and Nolen (2018). According to the results, 45 final codes appeared, which were categorized into two categories: functional characteristics of the online brand community and social capital of it. The functional features included information functions, facilitating members' activism, facilitating brand affairs, and creating enjoyable experiences. The social capital of the online brand community also included five components of intra-community interactions: trust, common identity, value, and showing the human aspect of the brand. According to the findings, functional characteristics and social capital have a two-way relationship that can develop. Online brand communities can boost brand image and customer satisfaction.


Main Subjects

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