Blogs and Their Impacts on Brands

by Ji-Young Bang

Institution: University of Florida
Department: Mass Communication, Journalism and Communications
Year: 2009
Keywords: blog, brands, credibility, media, online; Journalism and Communications
Record ID: 1854363
Full text PDF: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0025017


The influence of blogs appears to be growing dramatically. According to media reports, there has been a significant increase in the number of blog users. In terms of political and social issues, blogs often play very important roles in highlighting critical issues within the public sphere. Moreover, authoritative bloggers write about brands and products without any censorship and in a very dialogic and conversational way. At the end of the observation, the element that amplifies most effectively the impact made by blogs may be their credibility. This is because blog credibility not only has the ability to enhance and reinforce brand awareness, image, and attitude toward brand but it also facilitates a dialogic and two-way symmetrical relationship between blog users and brands. Thus, the present study aims to elaborate on the important aspects of a blog that influence its credibility and how those ultimately factor into influencing readers? attitudes and behavioral intentions toward brands. Specifically, perceived interactivity, blogger credibility, perceived information quality, an audience?s level of involvement with blogs, reliance on blogs, and blog usage were examined to determine whether they affect blog credibility. Further, this study investigated the relationships between blog credibility and brand attitude/behavioral intention toward a brand. An experimental study was constructed using 6 sets of 3 variables in 2 dimensions among 299 college students. The results of the present study show that 1) different levels of blogger credibility and information quality result in a significant difference in perception of blog credibility, 2) the audience?s level of involvement with blogs is positively related to blog credibility, and 3) blog credibility is positively related to the audience?s attitude and behavioral intention toward the brand addressed in the blog. The findings of the present study suggest that the impact of blogs as a brand information platform can be maximized when their content and relational aspects are established strongly, such as blogger credibility and the degree of involvement with the medium, as opposed to structural factors such as interactivity. Brand managers and public relations practitioners can benefit from the results of the present study by utilizing blogs as an effective brand information source or as a means of gauging marketing strategies.