Abstract

Purpose - Social media platforms are important channels to create a favourable customer experience. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the types of experiences customers can have with the branded content on social media.Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected from 20 participants using semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data.Findings - The results identify seven types of branded content experience which are evoked when customers interact with branded content on social media. The results also suggest that branded content experience acts as a driver of consumer engagement with branded content which eventually leads to customers' sense of virtual community.Research limitations/implications - The findings provide theoretical implications for content creators. Further research should aim at comparing the branded content experience on different social media platforms and across different product categories.Originality/value - This study contributes to customer engagement and experience literature in social media content by enhancing the understanding of branded content experience concept and its conceptual relationship with customer engagement in the social media context.Peer review - The peer review history for this article is available at:


Authors

Waqas, Muhammad;  Hamzah, Zalfa Laili;  Mohd Salleh, Noor Akma

Publons users who've claimed - I am an author

No Publons users have claimed this paper.

  • pre-publication peer review (FINAL ROUND)
    Decision Letter
    2021/01/31

    31-Jan-2021

    Dear Waqas, Muhammad; Binti Hamzah, Zalfa ; Mohd Salleh, Noor

    It is a pleasure to accept your manuscript OIR-10-2019-0333.R5, entitled "Customer experience with the branded content: A social media perspective" in its current form for publication in Online Information Review. Please note, no further changes can be made to your manuscript.

    Please go to your Author Centre at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/oir (Manuscripts with Decisions for the submitting author or Manuscripts I have co-authored for all listed co-authors) to complete the Copyright Transfer Agreement form (CTA). We cannot publish your paper without this.

    All authors are requested to complete the form and to input their full contact details. If any of the contact information is incorrect you can update it by clicking on your name at the top right of the screen. Please note that this must be done prior to you submitting your CTA.

    If you have an ORCID please check your account details to ensure that your ORCID is validated.

    By publishing in this journal your work will benefit from Emerald EarlyCite. As soon as your CTA is completed your manuscript will pass to Emerald’s Content Management department and be processed for EarlyCite publication. EarlyCite is the author proofed, typeset version of record, fully citable by DOI. The EarlyCite article sits outside of a journal issue and is paginated in isolation. The EarlyCite article will be collated into a journal issue according to the journals’ publication schedule.

    FOR OPEN ACCESS AUTHORS: Please note if you have indicated that you would like to publish your article as Open Access via Emerald’s Gold Open Access route, you are required to complete a Creative Commons Attribution Licence - CCBY 4.0 (in place of the standard copyright assignment form referenced above). You will receive a follow up email within the next 30 days with a link to the CCBY licence and information regarding payment of the Article Processing Charge. If you have indicated that you might be eligible for a prepaid APC voucher, you will also be informed at this point if a voucher is available to you (for more information on APC vouchers please see http://www.emeraldpublishing.com/oapartnerships

    Thank you for your contribution. On behalf of the Editors of Online Information Review, we look forward to your continued contributions to the Journal.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Eugenia Siapera
    Co-Editor
    eugenia.siapera@ucd.ie


    Tell us how we're doing! We’d love to hear your feedback on the submission and review process to help us to continue to support your needs on the publishing journey.

    Simply click this link https://eu.surveymonkey.com/r/F8GZ2XW to complete a short survey and as a thank you for taking part you have the option to be entered into a prize draw to win £100 in Amazon vouchers. To enter the prize draw you will need to provide your email address.

    Decision letter by
    Cite this decision letter
    Reviewer report
    2021/01/31

    You have done a good job in making the corrections based on the recommendations. You have an interesting piece of work.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Reviewer report
    2020/12/19

    N/A

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Author Response
    2020/12/10

    Dear Dr Eugenia Siapera,

    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to submit a revised draft of the manuscript “Customer Experience with Branded Content: A Social Media Perspective” for publication in the Online Information Review. We appreciate the time and effort that you and the reviewers dedicated to providing feedback on our manuscript and are grateful for the insightful comments on and valuable improvements to our paper. The suggestions offered by the reviewers have been immensely helpful.

    We have incorporated all the suggestions made by the reviewers. Those changes are highlighted in red within the manuscript. We have given a point-by-point response to the reviewers’ comments and concerns. The revised manuscript is uploaded to manuscript central along with responses to the reviewers as the SUPPLEMENTARY FILE FOR REVIEW.

    We have dealt with all comments of the reviewer 2 which, overall, were positive. Specifically, we have highlighted the similarity between the data collected from student and non-student respondents. We have also explained that there was no difference between data collected through Skype and face-to-face interviews. The revisions have been approved by all the authors and I have again been chosen as the corresponding author. The changes are marked in red in the paper.

    We hope the revised manuscript will better suit the Online Information Review but are happy to consider further revisions, and we thank you for your continued interest in our research.

    Sincerely,

    Dr Zalfa Laili Binti Hamzah
    Department of Marketing
    University of Malaya



    Cite this author response
  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 5)
    Decision Letter
    2020/12/03

    03-Dec-2020

    Dear Dr. Binti Hamzah,

    Manuscript ID OIR-10-2019-0333.R4 entitled "Customer experience with the branded content: A social media perspective" which you submitted to Online Information Review, has been reviewed. The comments of the reviewer(s) are included at the bottom of this letter.

    The reviewer(s) have recommended publication, but also suggest some minor revisions to your manuscript. Therefore, I invite you to respond to the reviewer(s)' comments and revise your manuscript. Please also ensure that in doing so your paper does not exceed the maximum word length of 10000 words and that it meets all the requirements of the author guidelines at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=oir&PHPSESSID;=ubl727mru90lg3hc8sa5p5qrt2."

    To revise your manuscript, log into https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/oir and enter your Author Centre, where you will find your manuscript title listed under "Manuscripts with Decisions." Under "Actions," click on "Create a Revision." Your manuscript number has been appended to denote a revision.

    You will be unable to make your revisions on the originally submitted version of the manuscript. Instead, revise your manuscript using a word processing program and save it on your computer. Please also highlight the changes to your manuscript within the document by using the track changes mode in MS Word or by using bold or coloured text.

    Once the revised manuscript is prepared, you can upload it and submit it through your Author Centre.

    When submitting your revised manuscript, you will be able to respond to the comments made by the reviewer(s) in the space provided. You can use this space to document any changes you make to the original manuscript. In order to expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in your response to the reviewer(s).

    IMPORTANT: Your original files are available to you when you upload your revised manuscript. Please delete any redundant files before completing the submission.

    Because we are trying to facilitate timely publication of manuscripts submitted to Online Information Review, your revised manuscript should be uploaded as soon as possible. If it is not possible for you to submit your revision in a reasonable amount of time, we may have to consider your paper as a new submission.

    Once again, thank you for submitting your manuscript to Online Information Review and I look forward to receiving your revision.

    Yours sincerely,

    To help support you on your publishing journey we have partnered with Editage, a leading global science communication platform, to offer expert editorial support including language editing and translation.
    If your article has been rejected or revisions have been requested, you may benefit from Editage’s services. For a full list of services, visit: authorservices.emeraldpublishing.com/
    Please note that there is no obligation to use Editage and using this service does not guarantee publication.

    Dr. Eugenia Siapera
    Co-Editor
    eugenia.siapera@ucd.ie

    Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:
    Reviewer: 1

    Recommendation: Accept

    Comments:
    Good job addressing the suggestions. Best of luck with your research.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: yes

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: yes

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: yes

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: yes

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: yes

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: yes

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: yes

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?:

    Reviewer: 2

    Recommendation: Minor Revision

    Comments:
    You have done a good job. It would be helpful if you can address the fact you have 8 post graduates and the fact some were interviewed on Skype and some face to face. It is really interesting.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: It is within the scope of the journal. The seven branded content experience is interesting, however it should be noted this is only exploratory as noted in the limitation.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: Yes it is adequate.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: The concern is having 8 post graduate students from 20 respondents. It would be useful if authors can explain a bit more if these are different from other respondents. Also some were interviewed face to face and some were on Skype. Is there any difference in data collected?

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: It is not empirical.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: It is done well.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: Yes it is well written.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: Very readable and well written.

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?:

    Decision letter by
    Cite this decision letter
    Reviewer report
    2020/12/02

    You have done a good job. It would be helpful if you can address the fact you have 8 post graduates and the fact some were interviewed on Skype and some face to face. It is really interesting.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Reviewer report
    2020/11/16

    Good job addressing the suggestions. Best of luck with your research.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Author Response
    2020/10/06

    ANSWER TO REVIEWER 1

    Reviewer 1 Comments:

    Well done it is interesting.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: The paper makes interesting contribution in terms of the branded content.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: Yes the authors have done comprehensive literature review.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: Data was collected from 20 respondents. The author(s) has adequately explained. However, if it is possible it would be nice to add QDA output in appendix.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: It is not empirical.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: It is done well.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: It is good.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: It is appropriate.

    Authors' Response:
    We thank you for reviewing our paper which has made our manuscript better and has definitely added to our knowledge and understanding.

    We agree that it would be nice to add the output of QDA, which can make readers understand how data analysis was executed. However, we have already reached the maximum number of words for the paper that is permitted by the journal. We cannot add anything without removing the text from the paper. Consequently, we have added Table 2, which presents the output of QDA for self-identity facet of branded content experience.

    Once again, we appreciate your feedback and your judgement about our work.

    ANSWER TO REVIEWER 2

    Reviewer Comments:

    I commend the authors for their attempt to address the comments on my review. A few comments on some of what was addressed in the paper. I hope you find these comments useful.

    Authors' Response:
    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to submit a revised draft of our manuscript. We appreciate the time and effort that you have dedicated to providing your valuable feedback on our manuscript.

    We have considered each of the recommendations and suggestions to incorporate them into our article, including:

    1. Location of the participants
    2. Explaining the cultural narratives of beauty

    You will see a detailed report of the changes below.

    Reviewer's Comments:

    The author (s) included a sentence about how “These cultural narratives convey the meaning of beauty and attractiveness by using adjectives such as slim, tall, sexy, fresh, etc.” It’s still a bit confusing as to how these adjectives indicate specific cultural narratives as provided by the interviewees. It might be helpful to tie it back to the explanation you provide in section 2.1.

    Authors' Response:

    Thank you for pointing this out. As suggested by the reviewer, we have elaborated how adjectives such as slim, tall, etc., indicate specific cultural narratives. We have explained that the meaning of beauty varies with the culture.

    The revised text reads as follows on page 13 (highlighted in red): “These cultural narratives convey the meaning of beauty and attractiveness by using adjectives such as slim, tall, sexy, fresh, etc. These normative beauty ideals and notions of attractiveness are collectively defined by society, and thus are socially constructed. To illustrate, the traditional Indian beauty ideal presumes a well-fed figure with rounded curves whereas Western cultures equate beauty with thinness, a toned body, and flawless skin”.

    Reviewer's Comment:

    Relatedly, In the first review, I asked about the location of the interviewees as this could also give context to our understanding of any cultural narratives they may convey since different cultures have different standards of attractiveness. Unless I missed it, I don’t believe the author (s) provided that information.

    Authors' Response:

    We agree with the reviewer’s assessment. Accordingly, we have highlighted the locations of all participants.

    Please see section 3.1 on page 8 (highlighted in red).

    Additionally, the ethnic background of the participants is also highlighted in Table 1.

    Reviewer's comment:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?
    This research does offer some contribution to the literature by examining an area of continued importance for academics and practitioners.

    Authors' Response:
    We thank you for reviewing our paper which has made our manuscript better and has definitely added to our knowledge and understanding.

    Reviewer's Comment:
    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?
    Yes

    Authors' Response:
    We appreciate your positive feedback.

    Reviewer's Comments:
    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?
    Yes

    Authors' Response:
    We do appreciate your positive feedback and your judgement about our work.

    Reviewer's Comments:
    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?
    Yes

    Authors' Response:
    Thank you very much for your positive feedback.

    Reviewer's Comment:
    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?
    Yes

    Authors' Response:
    We appreciate your positive feedback.

    Reviewer's Comments:
    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?
    There are some implications for research and practice though this can be elaborated on in the discussion section of the paper.

    Authors' Response:
    Thank you for pointing this out. The conclusion section on page 23, 24 and 25 elaborates the theoretical and practical implications of this study.

    Reviewer's Comment:
    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.
    Yes

    Authors' Response:
    Once again, we appreciate your feedback and your judgement about our work.



    Cite this author response
  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 4)
    Decision Letter
    2020/09/23

    23-Sep-2020

    Dear Dr. Binti Hamzah,

    Manuscript ID OIR-10-2019-0333.R3 entitled "Customer experience with the branded content: A social media perspective" which you submitted to Online Information Review, has been reviewed. The comments of the reviewer(s) are included at the bottom of this letter.

    The reviewer(s) have recommended publication, but also suggest some minor revisions to your manuscript. There are still a couple of minor points that the reviewer(s) would like to clarify.

    Therefore, I invite you to respond to the reviewer(s)' comments and revise your manuscript. Please also ensure that in doing so your paper does not exceed the maximum word length of 10000 words and that it meets all the requirements of the author guidelines at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=oir&PHPSESSID;=ubl727mru90lg3hc8sa5p5qrt2."

    To revise your manuscript, log into https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/oir and enter your Author Centre, where you will find your manuscript title listed under "Manuscripts with Decisions." Under "Actions," click on "Create a Revision." Your manuscript number has been appended to denote a revision.

    You will be unable to make your revisions on the originally submitted version of the manuscript. Instead, revise your manuscript using a word processing program and save it on your computer. Please also highlight the changes to your manuscript within the document by using the track changes mode in MS Word or by using bold or coloured text.

    Once the revised manuscript is prepared, you can upload it and submit it through your Author Centre.

    When submitting your revised manuscript, you will be able to respond to the comments made by the reviewer(s) in the space provided. You can use this space to document any changes you make to the original manuscript. In order to expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in your response to the reviewer(s).

    IMPORTANT: Your original files are available to you when you upload your revised manuscript. Please delete any redundant files before completing the submission.

    Because we are trying to facilitate timely publication of manuscripts submitted to Online Information Review, your revised manuscript should be uploaded as soon as possible. If it is not possible for you to submit your revision in a reasonable amount of time, we may have to consider your paper as a new submission.

    Once again, thank you for submitting your manuscript to Online Information Review and I look forward to receiving your revision.

    Yours sincerely,

    To help support you on your publishing journey we have partnered with Editage, a leading global science communication platform, to offer expert editorial support including language editing and translation.
    If your article has been rejected or revisions have been requested, you may benefit from Editage’s services. For a full list of services, visit: authorservices.emeraldpublishing.com/
    Please note that there is no obligation to use Editage and using this service does not guarantee publication.

    Dr. Eugenia Siapera
    Co-Editor
    eugenia.siapera@ucd.ie

    Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:
    Reviewer: 1

    Recommendation: Accept

    Comments:
    Well done it is interesting.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: The paper makes interesting contribution in terms of the branded content.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: Yes the authors have done comprehensive literature review.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: Data was collected from 20 respondents. The author(s) has adequately explained. However, if it is possible it would be nice to add QDA output in appendix.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: It is not empirical.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: It is done well.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: It is good.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: It is appropriate.

    Reviewer: 2

    Recommendation: Minor Revision

    Comments:

    I commend the authors for their attempt to address the comments on my review. A few comments on some of what was addressed in the paper. I hope you find these comments useful.

    The author (s) included a sentence about how “These cultural narratives convey the meaning of beauty and attractiveness by using adjectives such as slim, tall, sexy, fresh, etc.” It’s still a bit confusing as to how these adjectives indicate specific cultural narratives as provided by the interviewees. It might be helpful to tie it back to the explanation you provide in section 2.1.

    Relatedly, In the first review, I asked about the location of the interviewees as this could also give context to our understanding of any cultural narratives they may convey since different cultures have different standards of attractiveness. Unless I missed it, I don’t believe the author (s) provided that information.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: This research does offer some contribution to the literature by examining an area of continued importance for academics and practitioners.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: yes

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: yes

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: yes

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: yes

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: There are some implications for research and practice though this can be elaborated on in the discussion section of the paper.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: yes

    Decision letter by
    Cite this decision letter
    Reviewer report
    2020/09/17

    I commend the authors for their attempt to address the comments on my review. A few comments on some of what was addressed in the paper. I hope you find these comments useful.

    The author (s) included a sentence about how “These cultural narratives convey the meaning of beauty and attractiveness by using adjectives such as slim, tall, sexy, fresh, etc.” It’s still a bit confusing as to how these adjectives indicate specific cultural narratives as provided by the interviewees. It might be helpful to tie it back to the explanation you provide in section 2.1.

    Relatedly, In the first review, I asked about the location of the interviewees as this could also give context to our understanding of any cultural narratives they may convey since different cultures have different standards of attractiveness. Unless I missed it, I don’t believe the author (s) provided that information.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Reviewer report
    2020/09/16

    Well done it is interesting.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Author Response
    2020/08/01

    ANSWER TO REVIEWER´S COMMENTS:
    REVIEWER #1

    We thank you for reviewing our paper which has made our manuscript better and has definitely added to our knowledge and understanding.

    We are planning to test the model quantitatively in the next phase.

    Once again, we appreciate your feedback and your judgement about our work.

    ANSWER TO REVIEWER´S COMMENTS:
    REVIEWER #2

    Reviewer's Comment: Thank you for the opportunity to review the manuscript “Customer experience with the branded content: A social media perspective.” The manuscript presents some insights surrounding nuances that may exist in consumer experiences with branded content on social media. Overall, this paper is well written. The author (s) make a good attempt to demonstrate the significance of this research. I recognize that my review here is after the second revision round and acknowledge the improvements that the author (s) have made. Please see below my comments which will hopefully help the author (s) in strengthening this research.
    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to submit a revised draft of our manuscript. We appreciate the time and effort that you have dedicated to providing your valuable feedback on our manuscript.

    Authors' Response: We have considered each of the recommendations and suggestions to incorporate them into our article, including:

    1. Methodology
    2. Discussion
    3. Mechanics

    You will see a detailed report of the changes below.

    Reviewer's Comments: Introduction
    The paper starts off with a fairly good presentation of the overarching aim of the paper and the gap within literature it seeks to address.

    Although the author (s) note that the study also explores the “outcomes of customer engagement in the social media setting,” it appears that the only potential outcome indicated in the research is a sense of virtual community. My assumption is that it emerged as the predominant theme in terms of the outcome of engagement. However, that theme is not presented as strongly as possible within the discussion session.

    Authors' Response:
    Thank you for pointing this out. Following your suggestion, we have elaborated the emergence of the sense of virtual community as an outcome of consumer engagement in the social media setting.

    With the help of the participants’ quotes, we have highlighted that consumer engagement with branded content leads to the sense of virtual community in the context of social media.

    Please see section 4.3 on page 21 & 22 (highlighted in red) for discussion on the sense of virtual community emerging as an outcome of consumer engagement.

    Reviewer's Comments: Methodology
    Please include the racial makeup of the participants. Where were your participants located? This question is related to one of the findings in the discussion section which states that "consumers use cultural narratives of attractiveness while assessing celebrities." How do the interviewees indicate these cultural narratives?

    How did the CCT inform your generation of the semi-structured interview questions?

    Authors' Response: To incorporate this feedback, we have

    1. Highlighted the ethnic background of the participants in Table 1.
    2. Elaborated how consumers use adjectives to narrate the cultural meaning of abstract concepts such as attractiveness.
      Please see the highlighted text on page 12 to find the brief explanation of how interviewees indicated their cultural narratives of attractive celebrities. A detailed explanation of how consumers develop cultural narratives of a certain phenomenon is given in section 2.1 on page 4 (highlighted in red).
    3. Elaborated how the CCT informed our generation of the semi-structured interview question. Specifically, we mentioned that questions were generated related to each research program of CCT.
      Please see section 3.2 on page 8 (highlighted in red) for our explanation.

    Reviewer's Comment: Discussion

    The author (s) noted in the methodology section that the questions asked included motives for social media use. Please provide a general overview of the findings from your exploration of general social media activities before delving into branded content experience.

    Authors' Response: Following your suggestion, we have provided a general overview of the findings regarding peoples’ motives for using social media platforms on page 10 (highlighted in red text). However, the discussion of motives was kept brief as the goal of our study was not related to the exploration of the motives of the usage of social media.

    Many studies can be found on peoples’ motives of using social media including:
    • Sheldon, P. and Bryant, K., 2016. Instagram: Motives for its use and relationship to narcissism and contextual age. Computers in human Behavior, 58, pp.89-97.
    • Luchman, J.N., Bergstrom, J. and Krulikowski, C., 2014. A motives framework of social media website use: A survey of young Americans. Computers in Human Behavior, 38, pp.136-141.
    • Tosun, L.P., 2012. Motives for Facebook use and expressing “true self” on the Internet. Computers in human behavior, 28(4), pp.1510-1517

    Reviewer's Comments: I’m not sure about the textual aesthetics of the branded content encountered. Maybe there would be more context if there’s an elaboration on the types of branded content that was discussed. Were they images and/or videos? Gifs? Are these kinds of branded content they’ve had experiences with based on brands they follow or those that appear on their timelines?

    This also relates to the first finding of "social bonding" where the participants indicated that it helps them connect to others. Are these branded content delivered to consumers who have expressed some interest in the brand? (e.g. following the brand page)?

    Authors' Response: Thank you for this suggestion. We have highlighted the conceptualisation of branded content for the current study on page 6 (highlighted in red). Most of the participants did not answer our question by mentioning a specific type of branded content.

    In section 3.2 on page 9 (highlighted in red), we have elaborated that before the interview, the participants were informed that the research was about any brand-related posts that they viewed, read, or engaged with by liking, sharing, or commenting on any social media platform. Specifically, the participants were explained that they could answer the interview questions by recalling their experiences with any branded content belonging to any product category.

    Furthermore, it is elaborated that the participants were encouraged to share their views, feelings, and emotions evoked after their interaction with any branded content on social media irrespective of whether they follow the brand or not.

    Reviewer's Comment: Please provide some references to substantiate the argument made of the use of the study’s framework “….branded content which contributes to the literature on online brand communities.”

    Authors' Response: We have added the suggested content to the manuscript in the last paragraph on page 22 (highlighted in red).

    Reviewer's Comment: The conceptual model offered seems a bit out of place since it does not have enough of a setup to warrant the two propositions offered. There needs to be more substantive discussion prior to the propositions being offered.

    Authors' Response: While we appreciate the reviewer’s feedback; however, we believe that the discussion in sections 4.2 and 4.3 is enough to warrant the two propositions offered. In section 4.2, we have highlighted how consumer engagement with branded content emerges as an outcome of branded content experience. This has also been emphasised in Table 3.
    In section 4.3, we have highlighted with the help of the participants’ quotes how the sense of virtual community results from consumer engagement with branded content. Thus, the discussion in sections 4.2 and 4.3 support proposition 1 and 2 respectively.

    Reviewer's Comments: Mechanics

    A few sentences throughout the article need to be edited to include the correct and/or missing article. For example:

    communicate with attractive audience segment

    The current study responds to call for research

    Such conversations on social media allow consumers to integrate their own
    thoughts and meanings into stories shown in branded content (Escalas, 2004), thus coauthor
    the experience of branded content collectively on social media.

    …must be the frequent users of social media

    Specifically, participants were explained that they could….

    At first level…

    “the extent to which social media users’ interaction with branded content allows them to collectively rework the meaning of branded content in humorous way which takes them to an amusing state”

    …them to act as interpretive agent by using their good judgment

    Current study’s framework is based on CCT, thus adopts

    Authors' Response: Thank you for pointing this out. Following your suggestion, we have revised the manuscript and have added the correct/missing article.

    We have also used a copy editor to minimise our typos and grammar problems.

    We thank you for your feedback and your judgement about our work. We have taken care of each one of your comments and we feel that this manuscript version is a strong
    improvement from our earlier submission.



    Cite this author response
  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 3)
    Decision Letter
    2020/07/22

    22-Jul-2020

    Dear Dr. Binti Hamzah,

    Manuscript ID OIR-10-2019-0333.R2 entitled "Customer experience with the branded content: A social media perspective" which you submitted to Online Information Review, has been reviewed. The comments of the reviewer(s) are included at the bottom of this letter.

    As you can see, the reviewers took different positions. While Reviewer 1 is satisfied with the revisions, Reviewer 2 believes that more work is needed. Please read their suggestions and prepare a revised manuscript. Any changes that you make to your manuscript should be highlighted, as well as described in your response to reviewers.

    Please also ensure that in doing so your paper does not exceed the maximum word length of 10000 words and that it meets all the requirements of the author guidelines at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=oir&PHPSESSID;=ubl727mru90lg3hc8sa5p5qrt2."

    To revise your manuscript, log into https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/oir and enter your Author Centre, where you will find your manuscript title listed under "Manuscripts with Decisions." Under "Actions," click on "Create a Revision." Your manuscript number has been appended to denote a revision.

    You will be unable to make your revisions on the originally submitted version of the manuscript. Instead, revise your manuscript using a word processing program and save it on your computer. Please also highlight the changes to your manuscript within the document by using the track changes mode in MS Word or by using bold or coloured text.

    Once the revised manuscript is prepared, you can upload it and submit it through your Author Centre.

    When submitting your revised manuscript, you will be able to respond to the comments made by the reviewer(s) in the space provided. You can use this space to document any changes you make to the original manuscript. In order to expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in your response to the reviewer(s).

    IMPORTANT: Your original files are available to you when you upload your revised manuscript. Please delete any redundant files before completing the submission.

    Because we are trying to facilitate timely publication of manuscripts submitted to Online Information Review, your revised manuscript should be uploaded as soon as possible. If it is not possible for you to submit your revision in a reasonable amount of time, we may have to consider your paper as a new submission.

    Once again, thank you for submitting your manuscript to Online Information Review and I look forward to receiving your revision.

    Yours sincerely,
    To help support you on your publishing journey we have partnered with Editage, a leading global science communication platform, to offer expert editorial support including language editing and translation.
    If your article has been rejected or revisions have been requested, you may benefit from Editage’s services. For a full list of services, visit: authorservices.emeraldpublishing.com/
    Please note that there is no obligation to use Editage and using this service does not guarantee publication.

    Dr. Eugenia Siapera
    Co-Editor
    eugenia.siapera@ucd.ie

    Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:
    Reviewer: 1

    Recommendation: Accept

    Comments:
    This paper makes an interesting point and good contribution. I would be interesting to see how this model could be measured quantitatively.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: The paper makes significant theoretical contribution and is within the scope to the journal.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: The authors have cited sufficient literature to support their point.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: The researcher has explained the methodology well.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: This is a qualitative study.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: The authors have well articulated the results.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: The paper makes a good contribution to customer experience in the context of social media.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: Yes the communication quality is good.

    Reviewer: 2

    Recommendation: Reject

    Comments:

    Thank you for the opportunity to review the manuscript “Customer experience with the branded content: A social media perspective.” The manuscript presents some insights surrounding nuances that may exist in consumer experiences with branded content on social media. Overall, this paper is well written. The author (s) make a good attempt to demonstrate the significance of this research. I recognize that my review here is after the second revision round and acknowledge the improvements that the author (s) have made. Please see below my comments which will hopefully help the author (s) in strengthening this research.

    Introduction
    The paper starts off with a fairly good presentation of the overarching aim of the paper and the gap within literature it seeks to address.

    Although the author (s) note that the study also explores the “outcomes of customer engagement in the social media setting,” it appears that the only potential outcome indicated in the research is a sense of virtual community. My assumption is that it emerged as the predominant theme in terms of the outcome of engagement. However, that theme is not presented as strongly as possible within the discussion session.

    Methodology
    Please include the racial makeup of the participants. Where were your participants located? This question is related to one of the findings in the discussion section which states that "consumers use cultural narratives of attractiveness while assessing celebrities." How do the interviewees indicate these cultural narratives?

    How did the CCT inform your generation of the semi-structured interview questions?

    Discussion

    The author (s) noted in the methodology section that the questions asked included motives for social media use. Please provide a general overview of the findings from your exploration of general social media activities before delving into branded content experience.

    I’m not sure about the textual aesthetics of the branded content encountered. Maybe there would be more context if there’s an elaboration on the types of branded content that was discussed. Were they images and/or videos? Gifs? Are these kinds of branded content they’ve had experiences with based on brands they follow or those that appear on their timelines?

    This also relates to the first finding of "social bonding" where the participants indicated that it helps them connect to others. Are these branded content delivered to consumers who have expressed some interest in the brand? (e.g. following the brand page)?

    Please provide some references to substantiate the argument made of the use of the study’s framework “….branded content which contributes to the literature on online brand communities.”

    The conceptual model offered seems a bit out of place since it does not have enough of a setup to warrant the two propositions offered. There needs to be more substantive discussion prior to the propositions being offered.

    Mechanics

    A few sentences throughout the article need to be edited to include the correct and/or missing article. For example:

    communicate with attractive audience segment

    The current study responds to call for research

    Such conversations on social media allow consumers to integrate their own
    thoughts and meanings into stories shown in branded content (Escalas, 2004), thus coauthor
    the experience of branded content collectively on social media.

    …must be the frequent users of social media

    Specifically, participants were explained that they could….

    At first level…

    “the extent to which social media users’ interaction with branded content allows them to collectively rework the meaning of branded content in humorous way which takes them to an amusing state”

    …them to act as interpretive agent by using their good judgment

    Current study’s framework is based on CCT, thus adopts

    I hope that these comments will be helpful in improving this manuscript.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: This research does offer some contribution to the literature by examining an area of continued importance for academics and practitioners.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: Yes.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: yes

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: Yes

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: yes

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: There are some implications for research and practice though this can be elaborated on in the discussion section of the paper.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: Yes

    Decision letter by
    Cite this decision letter
    Reviewer report
    2020/07/05

    Thank you for the opportunity to review the manuscript “Customer experience with the branded content: A social media perspective.” The manuscript presents some insights surrounding nuances that may exist in consumer experiences with branded content on social media. Overall, this paper is well written. The author (s) make a good attempt to demonstrate the significance of this research. I recognize that my review here is after the second revision round and acknowledge the improvements that the author (s) have made. Please see below my comments which will hopefully help the author (s) in strengthening this research.

    Introduction
    The paper starts off with a fairly good presentation of the overarching aim of the paper and the gap within literature it seeks to address.

    Although the author (s) note that the study also explores the “outcomes of customer engagement in the social media setting,” it appears that the only potential outcome indicated in the research is a sense of virtual community. My assumption is that it emerged as the predominant theme in terms of the outcome of engagement. However, that theme is not presented as strongly as possible within the discussion session.

    Methodology
    Please include the racial makeup of the participants. Where were your participants located? This question is related to one of the findings in the discussion section which states that "consumers use cultural narratives of attractiveness while assessing celebrities." How do the interviewees indicate these cultural narratives?

    How did the CCT inform your generation of the semi-structured interview questions?

    Discussion

    The author (s) noted in the methodology section that the questions asked included motives for social media use. Please provide a general overview of the findings from your exploration of general social media activities before delving into branded content experience.

    I’m not sure about the textual aesthetics of the branded content encountered. Maybe there would be more context if there’s an elaboration on the types of branded content that was discussed. Were they images and/or videos? Gifs? Are these kinds of branded content they’ve had experiences with based on brands they follow or those that appear on their timelines?

    This also relates to the first finding of "social bonding" where the participants indicated that it helps them connect to others. Are these branded content delivered to consumers who have expressed some interest in the brand? (e.g. following the brand page)?

    Please provide some references to substantiate the argument made of the use of the study’s framework “….branded content which contributes to the literature on online brand communities.”

    The conceptual model offered seems a bit out of place since it does not have enough of a setup to warrant the two propositions offered. There needs to be more substantive discussion prior to the propositions being offered.

    Mechanics

    A few sentences throughout the article need to be edited to include the correct and/or missing article. For example:

    communicate with attractive audience segment

    The current study responds to call for research

    Such conversations on social media allow consumers to integrate their own
    thoughts and meanings into stories shown in branded content (Escalas, 2004), thus coauthor
    the experience of branded content collectively on social media.

    …must be the frequent users of social media

    Specifically, participants were explained that they could….

    At first level…

    “the extent to which social media users’ interaction with branded content allows them to collectively rework the meaning of branded content in humorous way which takes them to an amusing state”

    …them to act as interpretive agent by using their good judgment

    Current study’s framework is based on CCT, thus adopts

    I hope that these comments will be helpful in improving this manuscript.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Reviewer report
    2020/05/27

    This paper makes an interesting point and good contribution. I would be interesting to see how this model could be measured quantitatively.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Author Response
    2020/04/26

    Dear Dr Eugenia Siapera,

    Thank you for your letter and the opportunity to revise our paper on ‘Branded Content Experience in Social Media.’ The suggestions offered by the reviewers have been immensely helpful, and we also appreciate your insightful comments on revising the paper.
    I have included the reviewer comments immediately after this letter and responded to them individually, indicating exactly how we addressed each concern or problem and describing the changes we have made. The revisions have been approved by all three authors and I have again been chosen as the corresponding author. The changes are marked in red in the paper, and the revised manuscript is uploaded to manuscript central along with responses to the reviewers as supplementary files.

    Most of the revisions prompted by the reviewers’ comments require no further explanation than what appears in my responses below. All the suggested changes by reviewer 1 have been made such as elaborating the difference between branded content on social media and traditional media, incorporating CCT in analysing the data, etc. Furthermore, reviewer 2 comments were very helpful in improving the paper. We elaborated why did we use CCT rather than communication theories to study the phenomenon of branded content experience. All suggested changes have been incorporated in the paper.

    We hope the revised manuscript will better suit the Online Information Review but are happy to consider further revisions, and we thank you for your continued interest in our research.

    Sincerely,
    Dr Zalfa Laili Binti Hamzah
    Department of Marketing
    University of Malaya

    Response to Reviewer 1's Comments:

    Reviewer 1’s Comment:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?
    The author strengthened the justification for adopting consumer culture theory (CCT). However, the integration of theory and data was not ideal. Moreover, customer experience, which the author has attempted to explore, has matured as a research topic. This study focused on the online branded content experience on social media but overlooked the role of digital technology. The differences between conventional and online branded contents in the information age have yet to be explored in this research. Unfortunately, the author has not clearly described the phenomenon of online branded content experience.

    Authors’ Response:
    First of all, we would like to thank you for your time and dedication to review our work.
    Following your suggestions, we elaborated the role of digital technology by delineating the differences between conventional and social media branded content. This adds to the clarification of online branded content experience especially in the context of social media.
    You can find the discussion on the differences between conventional content and online branded content the on page 7 highlighted in red text.
    Though a lot of research has been conducted on the phenomenon of customer experience, no study exists which explored customer experience with branded content especially in the context of social media. Furthermore, scholars are still investigating the phenomenon of customer experience in the context of social media (cf. Meire et al., 2019) which indicates that social media is still rich and under-investigated context to explore the phenomenon of customer experience.
    Meire, M., Hewett, K., Ballings, M., Kumar, V., & Van den Poel, D. (2019). The Role of Marketer-Generated Content in Customer Engagement Marketing. Journal of Marketing, 83(6), 21-42.

    Reviewer 1’s Comment:
    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?
    CCT is the selling point of this article, but the literature review of this section still needs to be strengthened. The introduction to CCT is not very thorough. Moreover, CCT is a theory with a broad scope. The author failed to specify the theoretical perspective of CCT used in this study.

    Authors’ Response:
    Following your suggestions, we have further strengthened our theoretical framework by elaborating the CCT and specifying its scope.
    You can find the explication of CCT specifically in the context of the current study on page 5 highlighted in red text.
    More specifically, it has been highlighted that the current study followed the CCT from the perspective of Gensler et al. (2013).

    Reviewer 1’s Comment:
    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?
    1. The decision criteria for the number of samples needed in a qualitative study is data saturation, and research data may differ in the number of samples needed for data saturation.
    2. Why did the author consider gender as leading to “skewed findings?”
    3. The authors didn’t put the interview outline. In p. 9, the authors only mentioned that “specific questions related to themes of branded content experience were asked in the later state.”

    Authors’ Response:
    We do agree with your comment regarding the number of participants in a qualitative study. Our study achieved saturation at around 20 interviews, therefore we sized to conduct further interviews.
    We recruited an equal number of women and men for our study to avoid the probability of findings to be skewed towards perceptions held by any gender. To illustrate, if we had recruited more women than men then findings could have been skewed towards those perceptions held by women. This was done following the procedure of Naumann et al. (2017).
    • Naumann, K., Bowden, J. and Gabbott, M., 2017. A multi-valenced perspective on consumer engagement within a social service. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 25(2), pp.171-188.

    We do agree that we did not put the interview outline. It is not feasible to put an interview outline containing all questions in the paper as it would take 10% of the number of words we are permitted to include in the paper. Furthermore, this study was based on semi-structured interviews where most of the questions originate during the interview with the participants, i.e., their answer to one question leads to further questioning. It is, for this reason, we included a general outline of the questions asked in the interview. Furthermore, it is not a common practice in the domain of marketing to include the list of all questions in an interview-based research paper.

    Reviewer 1’s Comment:
    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?
    The results section requires the most urgent improvement. The author did not clearly explain the research results using CCT. Although the author attempted to use CCT to explain the branded content experience, most of the variables were taken from prior studies. New findings or definitions regarding online branded content experience (e.g., social bonding) from the perspective of CCT may increase the contribution of the research. With respect to the findings on branded content experience (4.1.1–4.4.7), only one sentence was used in each subsection to explain the connection between CCT and the interview results. Overall, the motivation to explain the interview results using CCT remains unclear. Qualitative research focuses on interpretation rather than verification.

    Authors’ Response:
    We thank you for this comment and agree with you regarding explaining the research results using CCT. Following your suggestion, we substantiated our study by:
    1. Interpreting and explaining the results of this study from the perspective of CCT.
    Please see the highlighted text on page 11-20 where participants’ statements have been interpreted from the viewpoint of CCT.
    2. Defining the branded content experience facets from the perspective of CCT.
    Please see the highlighted text on page 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, and 20.
    All definitions have been slightly modified to fit the viewpoint of CCT.

    Reviewer 1’s Comments:
    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?
    Yes
    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?
    The author has improved upon the contents in this section.
    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.:
    Yes

    Authors’ Response:
    We thank you for your feedback and positive judgement about our work.

    We thank you for your feedback and your judgement about our work. We have taken care of each one of your comments and we feel that this manuscript version is a strong improvement from our first submission.

    Response to Reviewer 2’s Comments:
    Reviewer 2’s Comment:
    I think you did a good job but it would be much stronger if you explained why the focus on branded content was enough to explain the phenomenon of customer experience. You even go so far as to say that this engagement eventually leads to sense of virtual community. Read McCracken and you will better understand that sense of community would be rooted in the brand.
    Authors’ Response:
    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to submit a revised draft of our manuscript. We appreciate the time and effort that you have dedicated to providing your valuable feedback on our manuscript.

    Following your suggestions, we have briefly explained the scope of this study as follows:

    • We have explored the phenomenon of customer experience with branded content as opposed to existing research on customer experience which has been carried out in the context of a brand (Brakus, Schmitt, & Zarantonello, 2009), online shopping ((Rose, Clark, Samouel, & Hair, 2012), or brand page experience (Triantafillidou & Siomkos, 2018), etc. The reason for focusing on branded content is that no research has been conducted on customer experiences with branded content, i.e., branded content experience. We conceptualised branded content experience from the viewpoint of CCT, thus contributing to the literature by exploring this concept from a new perspective.
    • Sense of virtual community is a different construct than a brand community. That is to say, a virtual community can be built around anything such as the debate on issues, poetry, painting etc. Thus, the sense of virtual community can be discussed without addressing any brand. Therefore, the results were not discussed in relation to any brand.

    Brakus, J. J., Schmitt, B. H., & Zarantonello, L. (2009). Brand experience: what is it? How is it measured? Does it affect loyalty? Journal of Marketing, 73(3), 52-68.

    Rose, S., Clark, M., Samouel, P., & Hair, N. (2012). Online customer experience in e-retailing: an empirical model of antecedents and outcomes. Journal of retailing, 88(2), 308-322.

    Triantafillidou, A., & Siomkos, G. (2018). The Impact of Facebook Experience on Consumers’ Behavioral Brand Engagement. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 12(2), 164-192.

    Reviewer 2’s Comment:

    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?

    The author makes a point regarding the use of customer experience and CCT. However, it must be understood that both CCT and Schmitt's Customer Experience attempt to explain the complex processes of the way customers interact with brands. However, the authors choose to study branded content. It can be argued that explanation of the customer experience with the branded content in social media can easily be explained and has been explained using communication theories. As a result, I am not so sure about the strength of the contribution.

    Authors’ Response:
    Thank you for pointing this out. We agree with this comment. Therefore, we have explained the reasons for selecting CCT as a guiding framework rather than communication theories such as U&G; theory or flow theory.

    We have provided the justification of adopting CCT perspective and why it’s a relevant theoretical perspective to study customer experience in the context of social media.

    More specifically, it has been highlighted that communication theories such as flow theory and the uses and gratification theory has been inadequate in explaining how consumers give meanings to their interactions with brands/branded content. We have presented the critique of only two theories as these are the most frequently used frameworks in the context of social media experiences. We have also highlighted that branded content is different from traditional communication messages and thus should be studied from the perspective of CCT.

    Please see highlighted red text on page 3 and 23 for the justification of CCT in the current study’s context. Furthermore, see the highlighted text on page 7 for where we have described the differences between branded content and traditional communication messages.

    Reviewer 2’s Comment:
    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?

    Yes the literature review is up to date.

    Authors’ Response:
    We do appreciate your positive feedback.

    Reviewer 2’s Comment:
    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?

    The use of qualitative research methodology is reasonable. The sample size of 20 although the author has eloquently explained seems small. Because of this weakness, I would like to suggest adding the word "explore". I am not comfortable making conclusive evidence based on 20 respondents in a journal of this caliber.

    After reading line 44 page 9, I am not certain about "a branded content". Was there a specific brand the respondents were exposed to? I think this needs to be clarified because failure to do so weakens the findings. The authors draw their entire conclusion on these interviews so it would be important to frame them in context of the brand. From reading the findings I find that branded content range from cellphones, Victoria secret, and food supplement. So I think clarification is in due order.

    Authors’ Response:
    Thank you for this excellent observation. Following your suggestions, we have improved the manuscript as follows:

    • We have added the word “explore” in the methods section which is highlighted in red colour.

    • We have elaborated that participants were not required to recall any specific brand to answer questions. Participants were explained that they could answer the interview questions by recalling their experiences with any branded content belonging to any product category. You can find the procedure on page 10 highlighted in red text.

    Reviewer 2’s Comment:
    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?

    The authors mentioned the use of Weft QDA but no results of the groupings created by the program were presented. It would be useful to present these figures to strengthen the results from interviewing only 20 respondents.

    Authors’ Response:
    We agree with your comment. We have already included Table 2 which presents how the coding was executed using Weft QDA program.

    We did not consider it important to include a screenshot of the software as our paper reached the required number of words we were permitted to include in the paper.

    We have highlighted this on page 11

    Reviewer 2’s Comment:
    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?

    I commend the authors on their efforts in reporting the verbatim and showing the relationship to the themes developed based on CCT and customer experience. The discussion also talks about flow theories. However, this very same phenomenon can be explained using communications theories such as Uses and Gratifications and Source Factors (Kelman, 1961). It goes to say the gap in research may be present because the phenomenon can be better explained using other theories. This is because without the brand studying the branded content is just like studying any communication message. The article would have been much stronger if the brand was part of the analysis and that would drive the branded content experience.
    Authors’ Response:
    To incorporate this feedback, we have explained how branded content is different from any other communication message such as advertising on TV. Due to the interactive nature of branded content on social media, it was deemed suitable to explore this phenomenon from the perspective of CCT which focused on co-construction of meanings of objects.

    We have highlighted this point on page 7.

    Furthermore, we put less focus on the brand as existing research has found that consumer engagement with branded content evolves into brand engagement (Taiminen & Ranaweera, 2019). Thus, in the context of digital content marketing, branded content experience will precede brand engagement as branded content experience is found to be a driver of consumer engagement with branded content which eventually leads to brand engagement.

    We have highlighted this point on page 25.

    Taiminen, K., & Ranaweera, C. (2019). Fostering brand engagement and value-laden trusted B2B relationships through digital content marketing. European Journal of Marketing.

    Reviewer 2’s Comment:
    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?

    The statement "Furthermore, the current framework considers the sense of virtual community as an outcome of consumer
    engagement with branded content which has not been reported by any existing research." is quite an over statement. I understand the authors are trying to focus on the branded content but I argue one cannot study the content without understanding the bond that the individual has with the brand.

    Authors’ Response:

    To incorporate this feedback, we have modified the statement as “furthermore, the current framework considers the sense of virtual community as an outcome of consumer engagement with branded content which contributes to the literature on online brand communities”.

    Please see the highlighted red text on page 23.

    Reviewer 2’s Comment:
    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.
    Good.

    Authors’ Response:
    We thank you for your feedback and your judgement about our work. We have taken care of each one of your comments and we feel that this manuscript version is a strong improvement from our first submission.



    Cite this author response
  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 2)
    Decision Letter
    2020/03/28

    28-Mar-2020

    Dear Dr. Binti Hamzah,

    Manuscript ID OIR-10-2019-0333.R1 entitled "Customer experience with the branded content: A social media perspective" which you submitted to Online Information Review, has been reviewed. The comments of the reviewer(s) are included at the bottom of this letter.

    As you will see, the reviewers differed in their recommendations for your manuscript. Upon reviewing their comments, we have decided to request that you undertake major revisions to the article, taking into account the comments. Please read their suggestions and prepare a revised manuscript. Any changes that you make to your manuscript should be highlighted, as well as described in your response to reviewers.

    Please also ensure that in doing so your paper does not exceed the maximum word length of 10000 words and that it meets all the requirements of the author guidelines at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=oir&PHPSESSID;=ubl727mru90lg3hc8sa5p5qrt2."

    To revise your manuscript, log into https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/oir and enter your Author Centre, where you will find your manuscript title listed under "Manuscripts with Decisions." Under "Actions," click on "Create a Revision." Your manuscript number has been appended to denote a revision.

    You will be unable to make your revisions on the originally submitted version of the manuscript. Instead, revise your manuscript using a word processing program and save it on your computer. Please also highlight the changes to your manuscript within the document by using the track changes mode in MS Word or by using bold or coloured text.

    Once the revised manuscript is prepared, you can upload it and submit it through your Author Centre.

    When submitting your revised manuscript, you will be able to respond to the comments made by the reviewer(s) in the space provided. You can use this space to document any changes you make to the original manuscript. In order to expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in your response to the reviewer(s).

    IMPORTANT: Your original files are available to you when you upload your revised manuscript. Please delete any redundant files before completing the submission.

    Because we are trying to facilitate timely publication of manuscripts submitted to Online Information Review, your revised manuscript should be uploaded as soon as possible. If it is not possible for you to submit your revision in a reasonable amount of time, we may have to consider your paper as a new submission.

    Once again, thank you for submitting your manuscript to Online Information Review and I look forward to receiving your revision.

    Yours sincerely,
    To help support you on your publishing journey we have partnered with Editage, a leading global science communication platform, to offer expert editorial support including language editing and translation.
    If your article has been rejected or revisions have been requested, you may benefit from Editage’s services. For a full list of services, visit: authorservices.emeraldpublishing.com/
    Please note that there is no obligation to use Editage and using this service does not guarantee publication.

    Dr. Eugenia Siapera
    Co-Editor
    eugenia.siapera@ucd.ie

    Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:
    Reviewer: 1

    Recommendation: Reject

    Comments:
    As mentioned above.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: The author strengthened the justification for adopting consumer culture theory (CCT). However, the integration of theory and data was not ideal. Moreover, customer experience, which the author has attempted to explore, has matured as a research topic. This study focused on the online branded content experience on social media but overlooked the role of digital technology. The differences between conventional and online branded contents in the information age have yet to be explored in this research. Unfortunately, the author has not clearly described the phenomenon of online branded content experience.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: CCT is the selling point of this article, but the literature review of this section still needs to be strengthened. The introduction to CCT is not very thorough. Moreover, CCT is a theory with a broad scope. The author failed to specify the theoretical perspective of CCT used in this study.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: 1. The decision criteria for the number of samples needed in a qualitative study is data saturation, and research data may differ in the number of samples needed for data saturation.
    2. Why did the author consider gender as leading to “skewed findings?”
    3. The authors didn’t put the interview outline. In p. 9, the authors only mentioned that “specific questions related to themes of branded content experience were asked in the later state.”

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: The results section requires the most urgent improvement. The author did not clearly explain the research results using CCT. Although the author attempted to use CCT to explain branded content experience, most of the variables were taken from prior studies. New findings or definitions regarding online branded content experience (e.g., social bonding) from the perspective of CCT may increase the contribution of the research. With respect to the findings on branded content experience (4.1.1–4.4.7), only one sentence was used in each subsection to explain the connection between CCT and the interview results. Overall, the motivation to explain the interview results using CCT remains unclear. Qualitative research focuses on interpretation rather than verification.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: Yes

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: The author has improved upon the contents in this section.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: Yes

    Reviewer: 2

    Recommendation: Minor Revision

    Comments:
    I think you did a good job but it would be much stronger if you explained why the focus on branded content was enough to explain the phenomenon of customer experience. You even go so far as to say that this engagement eventually leads to sense of virtual community. Read McCracken and you will better understand that sense of community would be rooted in the brand.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: The author makes a point regarding the use of customer experience and CCT. However, it must be understood that both CCT and Schmitt's Customer Experience attempt to explain the complex processes of the way customers interact with brands. However, the authors choose to study branded content. It can be argued that explanation of the customer experience with the branded content in social media can easily be explained and has been explained using communication theories. As a result, I am not so sure about the strength of the contribution.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: Yes the literature review is up to date.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: The use of qualitative research methodology is reasonable. The sample size of 20 although the author has eloquently explained seems small. Because of this weakness, I would like to suggest adding the word "explore". I am not comfortable making conclusive evidence based on 20 respondents in a journal of this caliber.

    After reading line 44 page 9, I am not certain about "a branded content". Was there a specific brand the respondents were exposed to? I think this needs to be clarified because failure to do so weakens the findings. The authors draw their entire conclusion on these interviews so it would be important to frame them in context of the brand. From reading the findings I find that branded content range from cellphones, Victoria secret, and food supplement. So I think clarification is in due order.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: The authors mentioned the use of Weft QDA but no results of the groupings created by the program were presented. It would be useful to present these figures to strengthen the results from interviewing only 20 respondents.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: I commend the authors on their efforts in reporting the verbatim and showing the relationship to the themes developed based on CCT and customer experience. The discussion also talks about flow theories. However, this very same phenomenon can be explained using communications theories such as Uses and Gratifications and Source Factors (Kelman, 1961). It goes to say the gap in research may be present because the phenomenon can be better explained using other theories. This is because without the brand studying the branded content is just like studying any communication message. The article would have been much stronger if the brand was part of the analysis and that would drive the branded content experience.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: The statement "Furthermore, the
    current framework considers the sense of virtual community as an outcome of consumer
    engagement with branded content which has not been reported by any existing research." is quite an over statement. I understand the authors are trying to focus on the branded content but I argue one cannot study the content without understanding the bond that the individual has with the brand.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: Good.

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?:

    This journal is participating in Publons Transparent Peer Review. By reviewing for this journal, you agree that your finished report, along with the author’s responses and the Editor’s decision letter, will be linked to from the published article to where they appear on Publons, if the paper is accepted. If you have any concerns about participating in the Transparent Peer Review pilot, please reach out to the journal’s Editorial office. Please indicate below, whether you would like your name to appear with your report on Publons by indicating yes or no.All peer review content displayed here will be covered by a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license.: No, I would not like my name to appear with my report on Publons

    Decision letter by
    Cite this decision letter
    Reviewer report
    2020/03/20

    As mentioned above.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Reviewer report
    2020/03/20

    I think you did a good job but it would be much stronger if you explained why the focus on branded content was enough to explain the phenomenon of customer experience. You even go so far as to say that this engagement eventually leads to sense of virtual community. Read McCracken and you will better understand that sense of community would be rooted in the brand.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Author Response
    2020/01/07

    Dear Angela Lin,
    Thank you for your letter and the opportunity to revise our paper on ‘Branded Content Experience in Social Media.’ The suggestions offered by the reviewers have been immensely helpful, and we also appreciate your insightful comments on revising the paper.
    I have included the reviewer comments immediately after this letter and responded to them individually, indicating exactly how we addressed each concern or problem and describing the changes we have made. The revisions have been approved by all three authors and I have again been chosen as the corresponding author. The changes are marked in red in the paper, and the revised manuscript is uploaded to manuscript central along with responses to the reviewers as supplementary files.
    Most of the revisions prompted by the reviewers’ comments require no further explanation than what appears in my responses below, but I did want to bring research design to your attention. We have elaborated every aspect of our methodology to conduct this study. Most of the things which can be found in a good quality published paper can be found in our paper. Reviewer 1 shown concerns related to methodology which have been taken care of in by describing the procedure to recruit the participants for the interviews. Furthermore, some latest research on CCT has been cited in the paper. In order to respond to reviewer 2 comments, we have highlighted the gaps in literature which current study fills, elaborated the methodology used to conduct the study, and explained the practical implications of the study.
    In response to your comments on the framework, we have elaborated how framework differentiates from existing frameworks and its significance for literature. Furthermore, we have made several additions to the description of research design to make this study more replicable. We hope you agree that the addition made in the research design are much more elaborate, particularly for non-specialist readers, but we are certainly happy to make further changes to the research design.
    Regarding more minor matters, we have now changed the referencing style. I apologise for neglecting that requirement in the author instructions when we originally submitted the manuscript.
    We hope the revised manuscript will better suit the Online Information Review but are happy to consider further revisions, and we thank you for your continued interest in our research.
    Sincerely,
    Dr Zalfa Laili Binti Hamzah
    Department of Marketing
    University of Malaya

    ANSWER TO EDITOR´S COMMENTS:

    Thank you very much for allowing us to further improve our manuscript.

    Following your suggestions, we have elaborated our research design.

    To illustrate,

    1. The qualitative research design, i.e., phenomenology and its relevance to exploring experiences has been elaborated.
      Please see the highlighted text on page 7 and 8.
    2. The process of recruiting the representative sample for the current study have been clearly explained. The procedure of recruiting participants highlights that they were contacted on social media and were invited for an interview. Some interviews were conducted face-to-face while others on Skype.
      The qualification criteria for the selection of participants have also been discussed in detail where it is highlighted that only those social media users were recruited who are 18 years old or above, with an account on at least one social media platform, experience of interaction with a branded content and who have engaged with the branded content.
      You can find the procedure of selection of participants on page 8-9 highlighted in red text.
    3. An overview of the data collection procedure is presented highlighting the questions asked, the language of the interviews, duration, recording, and transcription of interviews.
      Data collection procedure has been justified on page 9 and 10.
    4. The data analysis procedure is explained in detail. The procedure explains the coding used, and how thematic analysis is undertaken to generate the themes.
      Please see Table 2 and the highlighted text on page 10 and 11.

    To incorporate this feedback, we have elaborated the existing frameworks such as flow theory and the uses and gratification theory which have been used in extant literature to study drivers of consumer engagement in a social media context. We also highlighted how our framework of drivers and outcomes of consumer engagement differs from existing frameworks.

    More specifically, it has been emphasised that branded content experience has not been investigated as a driver of consumer engagement in the social media setting. Furthermore, the sense of virtual community has not been explored as an outcome of consumer engagement.

    Specifically, this paper contributes to the theory by adopting the consumer culture theory to better understand branded content experiences. Existing research on social media experiences is driven by the theoretical perspectives of flow theory or uses and gratification theory (e.g., Triantafillidou and Siomkos, 2018; Dolan et al., 2019). These perspectives describe the experience as a function of branded content characteristics which are in control of brands. CCT challenges the view that brands are the sole meaning creators of their messages (Gensler et al., 2013). Instead, CCT describes how consumers proactively co-create the meanings of brands to use in living their own lives (Andreini et al., 2019). Thus, CCT helps in understanding how consumers define their experiences with branded content and what are the key characteristics of their interaction with branded content. By deploying qualitative methodology in the form of semi-structured interviews, this study constructs a refined, seven-part branded content experience typology from the perspective of consumers’ interpretation of branded content interactions on social media. Thus, the current study will answer the question: What are the branded content experiences that may enhance customer engagement with branded content.
    Secondly, this study also investigates the dimensions of branded content experience which can act the driver of customer engagement with branded content.

    Finally, this study offers the outcome of customer engagement with branded content which has not been investigated in extant literature.

    Please see the highlighted text on page 3 and 22.

    ANSWER TO REVIEWER´S COMMENTS:
    REVIEWER #1

    First of all, we would like to thank you for your time and dedication to review our work.

    We have considered each of the recommendations and suggestions to incorporate them into our article, including:
    1. explaining the research design,
    2. reviewing contemporary CCT literature, and
    3. explaining the sampling strategy and procedure.

    You will see a detailed report of the changes below.

    Following your suggestions, we have elaborated the process of recruiting the participants for the current study. You can find the procedure of selection of participants on page 8 highlighted in red text.

    More specifically, it has been highlighted that participants were recruited through cold-calling on social media platforms where they were asked if they will be ready to be interviewed for the study. They were explained about the purpose of the study. Some interviews were conducted face-to-face while others on Skype.
    Furthermore, all the participants had to meet the criteria for inclusion in the study, i.e., must be 18-year-old or above, with an account on at least one social media platform, must have encountered and engaged with the branded content on social media. This procedure is followed by several researchers including Hollebeek (2011), Syrdal and Briggs (2018), and Dessart et al. (2015).

    Finally, a sample size of 20 participants for this study has been justified with the support of extant literature. Researchers such as Syrdal and Briggs (2018), and Dessart et al. (2015) consider a sample 14-20 enough for semi-structured based research.

    • Syrdal, H.A. and Briggs, E. (2018), "Engagement with social media content: a qualitative exploration", Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Vol. 26 No. 1-2, pp. 4-22.

    • Dessart, L., Veloutsou, C. and Morgan-Thomas, A. (2015), "Consumer Engagement in Online Brand Communities: A Social Media Perspective", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 28-42.

    • Hollebeek, L. (2011), “Exploring customer brand engagement: definition and themes”, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Vol. 19 No. 7, pp.555-573.

    Following your suggestion, we updated our literature review in all sections, incorporating more recent publications. Specifically, recent work on CCT has been cited.

    For example:

    • Cova, B. and Cova, V. (2014), "CCT applied research and the limits of consumers’ heroicisation", Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 30 No. 11-12, pp. 1086-1100.

    • Borgerson, J.L. and Schroeder, J.E. (2018), "Making skin visible: How consumer culture imagery commodifies identity", Body & Society, Vol. 24 No. 1-2, pp. 103-136.

    • Andreini, D., Pedeliento, G., Zarantonello, L., Solerio, C. (2019), "A renaissance of brand experience: Advancing the concept through a multi-perspective analysis", Journal of Business Research, Vol. 91, pp. 123-133.
    • Skandalis, A., Byrom, J. and Banister, E. (2019), "Experiential marketing and the changing nature of extraordinary experiences in post-postmodern consumer culture", Journal of Business Research, Vol. 97, pp. 43-50.

    You can find all new additions highlighted in red in the reference section.

    We do agree with your comment regarding adding justification for this qualitative study. We substantiated our study by:

    1. Explaining the qualitative research design, i.e., phenomenology and its relevance to exploring experiences. We have elaborated why phenomenology was selected to conduct this study.
      Please see the highlighted text on page 7 and 8.
    2. Explaining the sampling procedure in detail.
      Please see the highlighted text on page 8 and 9.
      It has been explained how purposive sampling was executed in the study, the demographic profile of participants, and adequacy of the sample size.
    3. Justifying the data collection procedure on page 9 and 10.
      Specifically, it is explained how participants were contacted, interviewed, types of questions asked, the language used to conduct the interviews, and transcription of interviews.
    4. Elaborating data analysis procedure in detail. The procedure explains the coding used, and how thematic analysis is undertaken to generate the themes.
      Please see Table 2 and the highlighted text on page 10 and 11.

    Though there are no empirical results in the form of numerical data, objective conclusions have been drawn by the researchers based on the participants’ quotes.

    Please see the page 11-21 for participants’’ expressions of branded content experiences and researchers’ interpretation of those quotes.
    To incorporate this feedback, we have made significant additions in the explanation of research methodology which can be found on page 7-11 highlighted in red text.

    Specifically, the sampling procedure has been elaborated which indicates how participants were recruited, their demographic profile, and criteria of recruitment.

    Table 2 highlights how themes emerged from the quotations using thematic analysis.
    Furthermore, the process of the emergence of themes from data has been explained on page 10 and 11.

    Specifically, data analysis highlights the type of coding procedure and the way thematic analysis generated themes embedded in the data.

    Findings section also highlights how each theme relates to CCT.
    We have elaborated the significance of the findings of the current study for practitioners.

    To illustrate, it has been explained that:

    1. Branded content which is humorous, helpful in socialising, aesthetically pleasing, and related to the personality characteristics of the target market will enhance consumer engagement in a social media setting.
    2. Consumer engagement with branded content can be enhanced by creating branded content which contains elements that are amazing or wonderful or evoke curiosity and intrigue.
    3. Findings also indicate that allowing consumers to engage with branded content by liking, sharing, or commenting on branded content will eventually enhance the sense of virtual community. This has implications for marketers who wish to create or manage virtual brand communities on social media.

    Please see the highlighted text in red on page 24.

    We do appreciate your feedback about our writing.

    ANSWER TO REVIEWER´S COMMENTS:
    REVIEWER #2

    We thank you for reviewing our paper which has made our manuscript better and has added to our knowledge and understanding.

    Following your suggestions, we have clarified our research gaps as follows:

    We have provided the justification of adopting CCT perspective and why it’s a relevant theoretical perspective to study customer experience in the context of social media.
    More specifically, it has been highlighted that current perspectives such as flow theory and the uses and gratification theory has been inadequate in explaining how consumers give meanings to their interactions with brands/branded content.

    Please see highlighted red text on page 3 and 22 for the justification of CCT in the current study’s context.

    We do agree that there are several studies which explored the relationship between customer experience and engagement; however, none of them is conducted in the context of branded content experience.

    We have highlighted this research gap on page 2.

    More specifically, it has been stated that some studies have investigated the type of social media branded content that may enhance customer engagement (cf. De Vries et al., 2012; Tafesse, 2015); however, they ignore the fact that customers interact with stimuli and jointly ascribe meanings to these stimuli based on their community culture (Arnould and Thompson, 2005). There is a dearth of research on the type of meaning customers ascribe to their experiences in a social media setting. Lack of a guiding framework has made it challenging for marketers to get consumers to engage and participate in brand-related activities on social media (Gvili and Levy, 2018).

    To incorporate this feedback, we highlighted the significance of CCT for customer experience research. We elaborated how CCT defines customer experiences and how this definition is different from flow theory and user and gratification perspective. Furthermore, we reviewed some recent studies based on CCT:

    For example:
    - COVA, B. & COVA, V. 2014. CCT applied research and the limits of consumers’ heroicisation. Journal of Marketing Management, 30, 1086-1100.

    • BORGERSON, J. L. & SCHROEDER, J. E. 2018. Making skin visible: How consumer culture imagery commodifies identity. Body & Society, 24, 103-136.

    • ANDREINI, D., PEDELIENTO, G., ZARANTONELLO, L. & SOLERIO, C. 2019. A renaissance of brand experience: Advancing the concept through a multi-perspective analysis. Journal of Business Research, 91, 123-133.

    • SKANDALIS, A., BYROM, J. & BANISTER, E. 2019. Experiential marketing and the changing nature of extraordinary experiences in post-postmodern consumer culture. Journal of Business Research, 97, 43-50.

    You can find all new additions highlighted in red on page 5 and in the reference section
    Following your suggestions, we have elaborated the process of recruiting the representative sample for the current study. The procedure of recruiting participants highlights that they were contacted on social media through cold-calling and were invited for an interview. Some interviews were conducted face-to-face while others on Skype.
    The qualification criteria for the selection of participants have also been discussed in detail where it is highlighted that only those social media users were recruited who are 18 years old or above, with an account on at least one social media platform, experience of interaction with a branded content and who have engaged with the branded content.

    You can find the procedure of selection of participants on page 8-9 highlighted in red text.

    Furthermore, we have defined the customer engagement with branded content as the consumers’ contribution to branded content through interactive and integrative participation in the media previously created by either a brand or another individual (Schivinski et al., 2016), on page 7 which is highlighted in red text.

    We agree with your comment. To justify our Proposition 1, we have added quotes from interviews which hint towards the relationship between experience and engagement.
    You can find the justification of Proposition 1 in Table 3.
    Furthermore, both propositions have been reworded.
    Following your suggestions, we tried to resolve the confusion between mentioned statements by bringing consistency between different arguments.

    More specifically, we removed the statement “discerning experience which has not been discussed in extant literature” to make assertions clearer and more consistent.
    To incorporate this feedback, we have tried to make our practical recommendations more specific by highlighting the types of branded content which can enhance customer engagement in a social media setting.

    To illustrate, it has been explained that:

    1. Branded content which is humorous, helpful in socialising, aesthetically pleasing, and related to the personality characteristics of the target market will enhance consumer engagement in a social media setting.
    2. Consumer engagement with branded content can be enhanced by creating branded content which contains elements that are amazing or wonderful or evoke curiosity and intrigue.
    3. Findings also indicate that allowing consumers to engage with branded content by liking, sharing, or commenting on branded content will eventually enhance the sense of virtual community. This has implications for marketers who wish to create or manage virtual brand communities on social media.

    Please see the highlighted red text on page 24.

    We have changed the referencing style according to the requirements of the journal format.

    We do appreciate your positive feedback and your judgement about our work.



    Cite this author response
  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 1)
    Decision Letter
    2019/12/20

    &PHPSESSID20-Dec-2019;

    Dear Dr. Binti Hamzah,

    Manuscript ID OIR-10-2019-0333 entitled "Customer experience with the branded content: A social media perspective" which you submitted to Online Information Review has been reviewed. The comments of the reviewer(s) are included at the bottom of this letter.

    The reviewers have recommended that you make major revisions to your manuscript prior to it being considered for publication. The main concern is the research design. More details need to be given regarding how the research was design and implemented. This is particularly important since your conceptual framework emerged from the findings. Having said that, I would question the novelty of the conceptual framework itself. You must explain in what ways the framework differs from the existing ones.

    Please read their suggestions and if you choose to prepare a revised manuscript ensure that any changes that you make to your manuscript are highlighted, as well as described in your response to reviewers.

    Please also ensure that in doing so your paper does not exceed the maximum word length of 10000 words and that it meets all the requirements of the author guidelines at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=oir=ubl727mru90lg3hc8sa5p5qrt2."

    To revise your manuscript log into https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/oir and enter your Author Centre, where you will find your manuscript title listed under "Manuscripts with Decisions". Under "Actions" click on "Create a Revision". Your manuscript number has been appended to denote a revision.

    You will be unable to make your revisions on the originally submitted version of the manuscript. Instead, revise your manuscript using a word processing program and save it on your computer. Please also highlight the changes to your manuscript within the document by using the track changes mode in MS Word or by using bold or coloured text.

    Once the revised manuscript is prepared you can upload it and submit it through your Author Centre.

    When submitting your revised manuscript, you will be able to respond to the comments made by the reviewer(s) in the space provided. You can use this space to document any changes you make to the original manuscript. In order to expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in your response to the reviewer(s).

    IMPORTANT: Your original files are available to you when you upload your revised manuscript. Please delete any redundant files before completing the submission.

    Because we are trying to facilitate timely publication of manuscripts submitted to Online Information Review, your revised manuscript should be uploaded as soon as possible. If it is not possible for you to submit your revision in a reasonable amount of time, we may have to consider your paper as a new submission.

    Once again, thank you for submitting your manuscript to Online Information Review. I look forward to receiving your revision.

    Yours sincerely,

    Dr. Angela Lin
    a.lin@sheffield.ac.uk

    Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:
    Reviewer: 1

    Recommendation: Reject

    Comments:
    The researchers need to explain the research methodology to make the work credible. Also there are some works that need to be reviewed for CCT. The work is well written but it really needs sound back up. Interviewing 20 people cannot be considered appropriate research work unless it is well explained.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: It attempts to make some contributions however asking 20 participants without explanation how these people were selected makes the paper very weak.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: The literature on CCT misses some interesting works such as Cova and Cova (2014).

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: It is alright to use qualitative study but it has to be justified. Without justification it is not acceptable.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: There are no empirical results.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: It attempts to make a point but without the proper justification of the research methodology it cannot be considered valid. There is no explanation about the selection of participants. The researchers explained that the themes were defined based on CCT using thematic analysis. However, it is not convincing.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: None.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: Very good.

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?:

    This journal is participating in Publons Transparent Peer Review. By reviewing for this journal, you agree that your finished report, along with the author’s responses and the Editor’s decision letter, will be linked to from the published article to where they appear on Publons, if the paper is accepted. If you have any concerns about participating in the Transparent Peer Review pilot, please reach out to the journal’s Editorial office. Please indicate below, whether you would like your name to appear with your report on Publons by indicating yes or no.: No, I would not like my name to appear with my report on Publons

    Reviewer: 2

    Recommendation: Major Revision

    Comments:
    As mentioned above.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: Yes, this paper (which adopts the CCT to understand branded content experience) is innovative and interesting. However, the authors should clarify the research gaps. For instance, the authors could strengthen the justification for adopting the CCT perspective and the explanation of why it is appropriate for this research context. Besides, the authors mention “there is a lack of research of customer experience that may enhance customer engagement.” (p. 2-3). In fact, quite a few studies have explored the relationship between customer experience and engagement in the past. A critical review of customer experience and engagement is required.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: Consumer culture theory is the selling point of this article, but the literature review concerning this section needs to be strengthened. In particular, the paragraph related to the variables of this study is too heavily descriptive. The authors’ critical point is difficult to identify.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: The methodology seems appropriate. However, there are some concerns regarding the methodology. First, the explanation of the sample representative should be included. In addition, the authors did not clearly define engagement but proceeded to use the concepts of like, share, and comment as the measures of engagement.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: Proposition 1 should be better justified to convince readers.
    Propositions 1 and 2 require rewording. “Strongly influences” does not seem to be an appropriate term.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: The authors mention:
    “discerning experience which as not been discussed in extant literature” (p. 23)
    “constructs based on the theoretical perspective of CCT, such as self-identity……and awe-inspiring have been explored in recent literature” (p. 5)
    The statements are inconsistent, which confuses readers.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: The implications for business practice are too vague and descriptive. Specific recommendations for practical application of the findings are required. References should be modified according to the requirements of the journal format.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: Yes.

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?:

    This journal is participating in Publons Transparent Peer Review. By reviewing for this journal, you agree that your finished report, along with the author’s responses and the Editor’s decision letter, will be linked to from the published article to where they appear on Publons, if the paper is accepted. If you have any concerns about participating in the Transparent Peer Review pilot, please reach out to the journal’s Editorial office. Please indicate below, whether you would like your name to appear with your report on Publons by indicating yes or no.: No, I would not like my name to appear with my report on Publons

    Decision letter by
    Cite this decision letter
    Reviewer report
    2019/12/14

    As mentioned above.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Reviewer report
    2019/12/02

    The researchers need to explain the research methodology to make the work credible. Also there are some works that need to be reviewed for CCT. The work is well written but it really needs sound back up. Interviewing 20 people cannot be considered appropriate research work unless it is well explained.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
All peer review content displayed here is covered by a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license.