Customer Engagement in Dialogic Co-Creation Activities on Social Media: A Customer-Dominant Study of Chinese Female Fast Fashion Shoppers

  • Xuefeng Huang

Student thesis: Phd


The increasing level of digitisation and rapid digital technology innovation has led to a fundamental revolution in the fashion industry, significantly reflected in the area of social media marketing (SMM). No longer passive receivers of content, customers now seek opportunities to get involved in various (SMM) activities, particularly in the fashion context. For instance, Chinese fashion shoppers spend less than 0.5% of their online time on the official websites of brands or companies, while 80% of online time is accounted by social networks. Thus, customers are increasingly taking on new social roles in the value co-creation processes by interacting and cooperating with brands and other customers on social networking platforms. One form of value co-creation is dialogic co-creation, which refers to customers sharing information and opinions about products or brands via electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM). The aim of this research is to enhance the understanding towards Chinese fast fashion customer engagement behaviours in dialogic co-creation activities relating to international fast fashion brands and other customers on a Chinese social networking site, Sina Weibo. According to the theory of Customer-Dominant Logic (Heinonen and Strandvik, 2015), this research investigates customer logic, customer value formation process and the consequence of customer engagement in dialogic co-creation based on this research context. In the literature review, it identifies the antecedent factors that can reflect customer logic on customer’s engagement behaviours and preferences. Consumer expertise and social expertise are considered as two key drivers to influence customer engagement behaviour. Furthermore, it identifies that organic e-WOM, amplified e-WOM, entertainment and remuneration are the four popular topics of dialogic co-creation activities in which fashion customers to engage. In addition, customer benefits and customer purchase intention are deemed as the positive outcomes from customer engagement in value formation process on social networking sites. A mixed method approach (qualitative netnography and quantitative online survey) is employed to explore and test the conceptual framework that outlines the process of customer engagement in dialogic co-creation activities on a social networking site (SNS). In stage one, a netnographic analysis of 3,000 pieces of both customer-generated and brand-generated comments on Sina Weibo is conducted to confirm the antecedent factors that motivate customer to create and co-create dialogues with international fast fashion brands and other customers on a SNS. Furthermore, through analysing 300 pieces of brand-generated posts, it categorises the different types of social media marketing activities customers engage in for dialogic co-creation on a SNS. In stage two, an online survey is employed to test the conceptual model developed from literature review to validate the relationships among customer logic, customer engagement in dialogic co-creation activities and the consequences. The research findings provide valuable implications for both academia and practice in the field of marketing communication, customer engagement and dialogic co-creation. The tested conceptual model provides a holistic understanding of customer logic, customer engagement in dialogic co-creation activities on a SNS and the consequences of such engagement from a customer perspective. The research findings also hold essential implications for the international fashion marketers to understand Chinese customers’ online social behaviours and preferences, thereby to facilitate appropriate social media marketing strategies on Chinese social networking platform and assist customer engaging in value formation process.
Date of Award1 Aug 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorLiz Barnes (Supervisor) & Patsy Perry (Supervisor)


  • Chinese fast fashion customers.
  • dialogic co-creation
  • marketing communication
  • Customer-Dominant logic
  • customer engagement

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