The manifestation of brand engagement in self-concept through customer word-of-mouth behavior

Publication Name

Journal of Strategic Marketing


This research investigates brand engagement in self-concept (BESC) and its manifestation on how customers gather, give, and exchange information about a set of brands integral to their self-concept. Despite the importance of word-of-mouth, research has yet to adequately address how customers communicate and exchange their advocacy for these brands across the target actors in their communication ecosystem and modality. We draw on the social network paradigm and social risk and self-enhancement theories and propose a conceptual model tested by data from 471 respondents. Our results suggest that customers are more likely to express the brands related to their self-schema through word-of-mouth equally to both close and distant groups. Specifically, we find that the impact of BESC on close group word-of-mouth is stronger in offline modes, while the effect of BESC on distant group word-of-mouth is stronger in online modes. Strategic marketing implications for offline and online word-of-mouth communication are discussed.

Open Access Status

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Link to publisher version (DOI)