Netnography, Facebook, and the Adult Fans of LEGO: Researching Value Creation Processes in an Online Community


Using netnography—an online research approach focused on the interactions between members in a community—as the research method and over a period of several months, the authors explored the adult fans of LEGO Facebook community. Data were collected on the different ways in which value is created by members, where Hope Schau and colleagues brand community model was used as an investigative framework. We drew on their four key value creation themes: social networking, impression management, community engagement, and brand use. In structuring our work around these themes, the subsequent research findings illustrate how LEGO fans and their community groups on social media create value not only for members but for the LEGO brand as a whole. Key parts of the research process involved establishing and applying an ethical framework for the project and executing netnographic procedures related to access, the recording of data, and the analysis of findings. Two journal publications have resulted from the research, where netnography and the same data resource are used first to write about value and then in the second article, about co-creation. Our research case study highlights a range of practical factors encountered in undertaking this relatively new type of research method, including planning the project, deciding the sample, conducting the research, data analysis, and the writing up of the results.

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