According consumers have for the brand enables consumers to

According
to Muniz, social media sources provides up to date information about consumers’
purchase and opinions which help researchers evaluate and target popular
products. (Muniz, (2001). Below is an example of Amanda’s post on Facebook
sharing her experience of carving a “Harry Potter themed” pumpkin during
Halloween with her son. This shows the importance of the brand as it is being
celebrated as part of the festival. As well as portraying emotional attachment,
it creates memories which builds a stronger relationship with the brand by
using the word “love” which shows connection between her and the brand (Baldus,
2015). 

A

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Barnes (1994) explained that in
order to develop a loyal brand relationship, consumers need to feel an
emotional connection, which demonstrates emotionality with interpersonal bonds.
A consumer’s commitment to their community will definitely influence their
relationship with the brand in terms of loyalty and engagement in the
community. Here consumption can be regarded as a method
of communication where consumers use Instagram and Facebook to upload
pictures to create an identity and a self-image. For example, below we can see
how a fan is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter by
posting an image on Instagram and leaving a message by the side reminiscing
his/her childhood memories and how thankful they are to J.K Rowling for
producing Harry Potter. Celebrating the occasion gives them the
opportunity to recall their childhood and connect to the brand emotionally. This
nostalgic feeling that consumers have for the brand enables consumers to form a long-lasting
relationship through the emotional and functional utility of offering.  Holbrook and Schindler (2003) explain how
nostalgic products can have a cognitive aspect, meaning that it can refer to
memories associated with key moments about an event or a product. He further
highlighted how people can associate specific objects with events from their
past that were, for some reason, significant in terms of emotions. The use of
the Harry Potter books is a way to reconnect and give individuals the
opportunity to revive the same emotions as to when he/she first watched the
movie. Furthermore, Zaglia (2013) states how important it is for brands to
incorporate tradition which can compel consumers to form a connection with the brand.

                                             

Another form of connection to the brand is trust that
consumers have. It’s the love and devotion that creates the narrative of
the harry potter fan community. This tweet shoes how harry potter is always
going to be part of their lives no matter how old they get.  There is even a term used to describe the
fans, “pottermainia” which defines the enthusiasm people over the series. 

For many consumers of the “the Harry
Potter” brand is part of their life. Lau and Lee
(1999) claim how crucial trust is in building a relationship with a brand.
As shown below appendix 4 displays how Dave is proposing to Diana at Hogwarts. We
can see how much they love and are passionate about Harry Potter. This has the
same meaning in a relationship, as people have that faith and loyalty with the
brand. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 6:  

 

This tweet from a fan shows how
much she considers the brand to be part of her family and how the brand changed
her life. The culture of Harry
Potter does not seem likely to end anytime soon as there are a lot of fans who
share a sense of belonging to the books and remember how they grew up alongside
Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Braun-latour (2007) explained how remembering a
childhood memory from the past can create a happy and a nostalgic moment.

Subcultures are created within the
consumption community due to members associating themselves with specific items
have in identifying themselves with something specific, for example having a
meaningful relationship with Harry
Potter’s two main subculture symbols; first the “deathly hallows mark”,
which is based on the books legend and second is the mark of a death eater
which is considered to be evil.

Cova,
B., & Cova, V. (2002) defines “consumer tribes” as groups of individuals
that are passionately and emotionally associated by consumption morals and
values. Harry potter is a consumer tribe where people have created their “own
world” by sharing the same interest where they have formed their
rituals, values, vocabulary etc. For example, celebrating the brands
anniversary or attending conferences where members of the “tribe” are invited to
celebrate their dedication and love for the brand together. Furthermore, on
FanFiction.net there are more than 280,000 stories written only by the
associates of the “insider” subculture. The members are actively involved in
this subculture and have invented the “Wizard rock” band which is a musical
movement formed by young performers who write songs and compose music about the
Harry Potter series. (Fanfiction.net, 2017) By analysing the data and community
it revealed that inspiration is key for consumers and the motivation comes from
the Harry Potter universe.   Heinonen and
Halonen (2007), explain how consumers are inspired by the brand and how this
can be used to increase online membership of consumption communities.
Furthermore, Harry Potter inspires and motivates consumers to create their own
songs and post them online for other participants of the community.

The “Harry Potter fandom” has a community
subculture which has come together by the authors bestselling novels. For many
enthusiasts their involvement with the brand goes beyond watching the movies
and reading the books. The brand has continued to always be, and remain an
integral part for many individuals growing up. A whole subculture exists based
on the Harry Potter books, for example fans have created their own music called
the “Wizard Rock”, members make food such as cockroach clusters and cauldron
cakes, designing their own clothes such as Hogwarts robes- posting them online
and they have their own sport (quidditch). Research shows associates of this
subculture are of all races, genders and ages however, this subculture is
mainly found on the Eastern coast of the United States. Being part of the Harry
Potter community, I found that most members have read the books and are very
dedicated and loyal to the brand. McAlexander et al (2002) explained how a
community is symbolically constructed and is based on a system of norms, moral
and values. This can be seen with the Harry potter community where the members
have a rule where true fans must pass the IQ test and score at least a 100 in
order to be part of the community. 

Furthermore Maffesoli, M. (1996).
states how symbolic meanings of a community provides individuals the
opportunity to create their own meaning. Having rituals and a social identity
is something that strengthens the communities sense of belonging. For example,
the Harry Potter community believes in imagination and magic where fans have
recreated their own world where they talk in another language and participate
in various activities. Cova (1997) explained how individuals create symbolic
meaning when they consume and how this has become an activity laden in symbolic
meaning in contemporary consumer culture (Belk 1988).   The fans also challenge the mainstream
“Followers” by re-reading the books and having debates and conversation on who
knows “Harry” the most. 

Consumption
supports individuals to participate or be a member of a society in which they
can choose the role they want to play. Customers create their unique identity
through consumption.

Overall, the netnographic research
for the Harry Potter community shows how consumers create identities for
themselves by actively participating in online communities. From the research I
evaluated how “nostalgia” and “love” play a key role in creating memories for
the consumer in which they connect and influence people globally. By sharing fan
fictions online enabled consumers to share their ideas and inspire other
individuals. Furthermore, reading some of the tweets online shows how the brand
has established itself as a community which has traditional values and morals
which children, teenagers and even adults will continue to revive and form
relationship with the brand.  McCracken
(1986) explained how meaning is “socially constructed and always in transit
(fluid)”. He also highlighted how consumers become “active” when they
contest consumption meanings.