A brand community has three main characteristics; (1) shared consciousness (i.e. a strong connection to the brand and one another as well as demarcation from users of other brand); (2) common rituals and traditions (i.e. vital social processes around shared product experiences that create and represent the meaning of the community within and beyond the community); and (3) a sense of moral responsibility for the group (i.e. a sense of duty to the community as a whole and to its members). Formation of, and identification with the brand community occur through discussions of consumption activities and brand meanings (Füller, Matzler, and Hoppe 2008).
Members of brand communities are considered an especially valuable source of innovation because they are passionate about the brand and experienced with the product and because the support each other in solving problems and in generating new product ideas. Certain community members – insiders and devotees – seem more qualified for new product development than other and are opinion leaders (Füller, Matzler, and Hoppe 2008). In addition, brand community members renders a high level of innovation and they have a strong interest in new products (Füller, Matzler, and Hoppe 2008).
Füller, J, K Matzler, and M Hoppe. 2008. Brand Community Members as a Source of Innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management 25 (6):608-619.