Bonding and Spreading: Co-Creative Relationships and Interaction with Consumers in South Korea's Indie Music Industry



Choi H & Burnes B (2017) Bonding and Spreading: Co-Creative Relationships and Interaction with Consumers in South Korea's Indie Music Industry. Management Decision, 55 (9), pp. 1905-1923.

Purpose: Although social media proficiency and use are key business and marketing practices in today's digital environment, research has failed to offer sufficient insights into what drives small firms to use social media and how they vitalise co-creative social media environments with consumers. In response, we conducted a qualitative research study to examine how small firms utilise social media to interact and build bonds with consumers. These bonds become an important tool in the development of successful, profitable businesses and marketing practices in the digital age.  Design/methodology/approach: To examine how small firms use social media to engage with consumers and vice versa, we utilised a case-study approach and collected qualitative data by conducting semi-structured interviews.  Findings: Our results showed that the small firms in this research seek to establish relationships and facilitate interactions with their core consumers in order to co-create value. In particular, our data demonstrate that producers engage in two distinctive practices: bonding (i.e. cultivating emotional ties with music fans) and spreading (i.e. encouraging expressive circulation by fans). Altogether, our findings indicate that the representative firms in this research use social media to develop synergistic relationships with consumers and to tap into the collective energy of consumers in their business environments.  Originality/value: We show that small companies use social media to establish relationships and interact with fans in order to co-create value and vitalise collective consumption, engagement and participation. The case blurs the traditional distinction between production and consumption and suggests that the value of goods is a social creation, not merely a manufactured product.

Co-creation; participatory culture; recording industry; South Korea

Management Decision: Volume 55, Issue 9

Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online16/10/2017
Date accepted by journal17/07/2017