Working papers


Introducing COBRAs

A holistic exploration of motivations for brand-related social media use

Drs. Daan Muntinga & Dr. Marjolein Moorman & Prof. dr. Edith Smit

Propelled by highly interactive technologies, internet users are increasingly becoming active consumers, contributors and producers of content on brands. Consumer’s Online Brand-Related Activities (“COBRAs”) have significant consequences for firms and brands.

To effectively respond to and steer these consequences, a holistic and empirical understanding of the motivational sources driving brand-related social media use is imperative. However, such understanding to date remains absent. We therefore make a significant and unique contribution to the field by conducting 20 in-depth interviews with people engaged in COBRAs about their motivations to do so. In developing a classification of motivations for a continuum of three COBRA usage types (consuming, contributing, and creating), we provide marketers and brand managers with valuable and practical insights into consumer behavior in a social media dominated era.

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