Brands as relationship builders in the virtual world: A bibliometric analysis

Veloutsou, C. and Ruiz-Mafe, C. (2020) Brands as relationship builders in the virtual world: A bibliometric analysis. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 39, 100901. (doi: 10.1016/j.elerap.2019.100901)

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Given the growing role of brands as relationship partners and relationship facilitators and the pre-eminence of the online environment for consumers, this article contributes to the understanding of virtual brand-centric relationships by presenting the first bibliometric mapping analysis of the academic research into the topic from its conception until 2018. Using keyword co-occurrence, it examines 585 records and identifies the most productive countries, journals, influential authors and papers, and research clusters. With 96% of the published records appearing between 2010 and 2018, this analysis revealed that the field is emergent. The research primarily originates from authors based in the USA, China and the UK. It also is highly fragmented, with papers being published in information management and marketing/branding journals, with cross-citations lacking. In addition, its foundations rest on a small number of works published in a handful of journals by just a few academics. The analysis also identified three main clusters of keywords: (a) identity, feelings and relationship outcomes; (b) relational elements; and (c) relationship facilitation. This bibliometric analysis brings insights together from different research streams, adds to the categorization of the literature on the topic, and provides promising future research directions in terms of research areas and strategies.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors acknowledge University of Valencia (Grant number UV-INV_EPDI17-548877).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ruiz-Mafe, Dr Carla and Veloutsou, Professor Cleopatra
Authors: Veloutsou, C., and Ruiz-Mafe, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Electronic Commerce Research and Applications
ISSN (Online):1873-7846
Published Online:20 November 2019
Copyright Holders:Crown Copyright © 2019
First Published:First published in Electronic Commerce Research and Applications 39:100901
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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