Reputation, Image, and Social Media as Determinants of e-Reputation: The Case of Digital Natives and Luxury Brands

Reputation, Image, and Social Media as Determinants of e-Reputation: The Case of Digital Natives and Luxury Brands

Sylvaine Castellano (Paris School of Business, Paris, France) and Insaf Khelladi (ICN Business School, Nancy, France)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJTHI.2016100104
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Abstract

Although the Internet represents great opportunities for businesses, some firms that are evolving in the luxury industry were initially reluctant to engage in digital activities. However, over the past few years, digital natives represent a main reason for these firms to start adopting online strategies. Specifically, reputation and image are inherent to the luxury industry, and with social media, they are considered the determinants of e-reputation. Using an online survey design, the authors find that the influence of reputation, image and social media on e-reputation differs based on the status of the luxury brand (traditional compared with modern) and that digital natives moderate these links.
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Theoretical Background

Our article is concerned with the stakeholders’ importance in the process of creating and managing reputation both off and online. Some player can influence or even determine the reputation of a company or a brand. If these players were previously limited, they are currently much more numerous. This increase in players has been true even since the initial presence of brands on the Internet. Considering the Web 2.0 era and the advent of social media as new stakeholders of reputation, we focus on the concept of digital reputation or e-reputation and its determinants. In addition, we present digital natives as key stakeholders, who display specific behavior that can influence the way e-reputation is formed.

E-Reputation

E-reputation has often been viewed as an extension of online reputation, although it refers to the “elements of reputation which is derived from electronic contacts” (Chun and Davies, 2001, p.316). E-reputation results from the perception of the evaluating online communities, their intrinsic motivations, and their retention of online content.

E-reputation is multidimensional. Chun (2005) suggests three blocs that form the e-reputation mix: e-character (personality of the company); e-identity (website’s structure and ergonomics); and e-experience (defines the online user experience). Dutot and Castellano (2015) identified the following four dimensions: brand characteristics; quality of website; quality of service; and social media. E-reputation can also have several sources that academic research still must uncover. Hence, further investigation is needed regarding the underlying determinants of e-reputation. We first analyze the perception that audiences hold towards brands and firms – reputation and image – because offline mechanisms may influence e-reputation. Second, social media as online tools also influence e-reputation. Finally, digital natives are investigated because they may influence the way e-reputation is determined.

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