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Brand Value in Virtual Worlds: An Axiological Approach

TitleBrand Value in Virtual Worlds: An Axiological Approach
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBarnes, S., & Mattsson J.
JournalJournal of Electronic Commerce Research
Keywordsbrand value, marketing, Online game, second life, Virtual world

Online virtual worlds, including Second Life, are rapidly becoming recognized as an important new channel for marketing and brand-building. However, the nature of the channel and its consumers or users is likely to be quite different to other channels, including the Web. Consequently, this may have knock-on effects for traditional multi-channel brand management strategies. In an effort to understand this new channel, this paper details exploratory research aimed at assessing the brand value of real-life brands that have moved to the virtual world of Second Life. Using axiology, we develop a scale to measure brand value and then assess the value of eight real-life brands in Second Life. The results demonstrate both the value of the methodology and the apparent differences in consumer perceptions of brand in the virtual world. The paper rounds off with conclusions and implications for future research and practice in this very new area