Les particularités de la marque humaine : application à l'étude de la relation influenceur-abonné dans l'univers des médias socionumériques

Authors: Lévesque, Nataly
Advisor: Pons, Frank
Abstract: Over the past decades, researchers and marketing managers have explored the nature and dynamics of relationships between brands and consumers, emphasizing that they interact as partners. This field of research has positioned the concept of brand engagement at the center of numerous studies arguing that by its social and interactive nature, it contributes to improving the predictive and explanatory power of several models relating to consumer behavior. At the same time, the human brand (HB) is echoing more and more within scientific research. It conveys authenticity and holds a cultural capital that the inanimate brand cannot match. Furthermore, the use of social media is the most popular online activity. They meet many needs (e.g., accessing news and connecting with friends). Considering the mass of information circulating on social media (true or false), users are more sensitive to recommendations from a person they consider reliable than to information disseminated by a company. As a result, a particular type of HB is emerging: the digital influencer. The functionality and emotional values that HB arouses in consumers are like that of a traditional brand. However, due to its distinctiveness (e.g., alive), the founding concepts of the brand are difficult to transfer. Moreover, the low consultation time per visit on social media combined with the ephemeral aspect of the publications on specific platforms confirm a rapid consumption pattern. This suggests a different type of engagement, and behaviors from those described in consumer behavior in an offline context. This observation partly justifies researchers and managers' growing and shared concern to better understand the mechanism promoting engagement to the influencer. From this perspective, the thesis intends to contribute to the scientific literature by answering the following main research questions: 1. What are the main factors favoring the engagement of a follower with a digital influencer? 2. What are the main strategies that managers and influencers can put in place to increase the level of community engagement and optimize the impact of influence marketing? The first chapter of the thesis (article 1) presents a systematic literature review (SLR) on HB, including an agenda for future research. Based on our observations, the influencer prevails as the most analyzed type of HB and the tools to identify him represent the most studied subject. These results are the cornerstone of this thesis, because they demonstrate that both the accessibility of influencers and the two-way nature of social media promote followers' engagement. Thus, the two other chapters are based on the literature gaps identified by this SLR. They are inspired by the research agenda to engage in innovative research avenues and offer creative managerial implications. At first glance, the academic literature shows that the expression of the dimensions varies from one subject and from one context to another. Therefore, the tools measuring the consumer engagement to a traditional brand are difficult to apply to HB. Consequently, the objective of the Chapter 2 is the conceptualization, the development, and the validation of a measurement instrument specific to this digital context, namely the human brand engagement on social media. Finally, starting from the existing knowledge based on relationship marketing and considering the first two studies' results, the third chapter's objective is to increase the validity of the new scale by testing it under two moderating factors. This study is the first to examine engagement with an influencer as a HB instead of engagement with the brands he endorses. It initiates a reflection on the sociological, and not pecuniary, orientation of this human-to-human relationship. In short, the three chapters making up this thesis offer complementary perspectives to the central subject of HB. The results of this document are based on a holistic vision of the phenomenon by contributing to the advancement of knowledge, while equipping managers to align the presence of the influencer with the needs and desires of his followers and promote a higher engagement rate.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2022
Open Access Date: 25 July 2022
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/73927
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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