How brand community practices create value

Hope Jensen Schau, Albert M. Muniz, Jr, Eric J. Arnould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1689 Citations (SciVal)


Using social practice theory, this article reveals the process of collective value creation within brand communities. Moving beyond a single case study, the authors examine previously published research in conjunction with data collected in nine brand communities comprising a variety of product categories, and they identify a common set of value-creating practices. Practices have an “anatomy” consisting of (1) general procedural understandings and rules (explicit, discursive knowledge); (2) skills, abilities, and culturally appropriate consumption projects (tacit, embedded knowledge or how-to); and (3) emotional commitments expressed through actions and representations. The authors find that there are 12 common practices across brand communities, organized by four thematic aggregates, through which consumers realize value beyond that which the firm creates or anticipates. They also find that practices have a physiology, interact with one another, function like apprenticeships, endow participants with cultural capital, produce a repertoire for insider sharing, generate consumption opportunities, evince brand community vitality, and create value. Theoretical and managerial implications are offered with specific suggestions for building and nurturing brand community and enhancing collaborative value creation between and among consumers and firms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-51
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


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