Memo to Marketers: Quantitative Evidence for Change — How User-Generated Content Really Affects Brands
Henley Business School
- This is the first study to show the direct influence of UGC involvement on brand equity.
- UGC has a direct and positive impact on customer-based brand equity, particularly when driven by congruence with a consumer's self-concept, development of a brand community, and consumer perceptions of co-creation.
- The stronger a brand's equity, the stronger the positive effect on these drivers, so UGC and brand equity can grow symbiotically together.
- Brand managers in digital marketing communications should incorporate this understanding of UGC in their strategic planning. UGC for the sake of it is not enough: an understanding of how it works is needed to avoid negative effects.
- This adds further weight to the argument that a strict, top-down supervisory brand strategy should be replaced with a more participative and interactive one; brands are not controlled by their owners.