How stories generate consumer engagement: an exploratory study

Laurence Dessart, Valentina Pitardi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    Understanding how branded storytelling content impacts consumer engagement (CE) is needed to advance research in this topical field and better calibrate story elements. This paper aims to understand the interplay between branded storytelling content and CE, considering the different features of stories and the multidimensional nature of engagement. It takes a netnographic approach to a collection of consumer responses − close to 1,000 rich comments offered in four languages − to digital videos posted on YouTube by the brand Dove. Findings reveal that story plot, characters, and verisimilitude trigger consumer engagement by activating cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses in a certain sequence and with variable intensities and valences. The results, as well, show the important interactive aspect of story-based engagement. The paper contributes to CE research by offering a framework linking branded storytelling with CE, which is applicable by managers to design effective storytelling content.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183-195
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Business Research
    Early online date16 Jul 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


    • consumer engagement
    • storytelling
    • social media
    • brand content


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