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The Effects of Instagram Marketing Activities on Customer-Based Brand Equity in the Coffee Industry

College of Hotel and Tourism Management, Kyung Hee University, 26, Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1657;
Submission received: 23 December 2021 / Revised: 23 January 2022 / Accepted: 25 January 2022 / Published: 31 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Tourism, Culture, and Heritage)


Instagram is used as an effective and visual marketing channel for building brand equity in the minds of consumers. Therefore, this study aims to classify Instagram marketing activities and analyze the associated effects on customer-based brand equity (brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, brand love, and Instagram re-usage intention) formation through Instagram marketing activities. To this end, data were collected from 358 coffee consumers who had visited any of the five coffee brand Instagram accounts used in this study and analyzed using SPSS and AMOS. The results showed that four sub-dimensions (interaction, entertainment, customization, and trendiness) of Instagram marketing activities affect brand equity (brand awareness, brand image, and perceived quality), which in turn led to attitudinal loyalty (brand love) and behavioral loyalty (Instagram re-usage intention) towards the brand. This research comprehensively illustrates the influences of Instagram marketing activities on customer-based brand equity. The findings of this study will enable coffee brands to more accurately forecast the future purchasing behaviors of their customers through Instagram marketing activities and provide a guide to managing brand equity as well.

1. Introduction

Marketing scholars and practitioners recognize the importance of social media marketing as a strategy to acquire loyal customers [1]. Accordingly, enterprises and brands are embracing social networks as a contemporary means for communicating with potential and actual consumers, as well as to improve corporate performance [2,3]. Instagram is an image-centered social media platform that allows users to easily grasp information through photos and images. Accordingly, it is possible for brands to communicate with others regardless of their language or nation [4]. In October 2020 Instagram had 1 billion users, and this number is expected to grow to 1.2 billion people by 2023 [5]. Due to Instagram’s high user engagement rate and visual-centered nature, 71% of globally known brands use this platform in their advertisement programs [6]. This trend is also true of the foodservice industry. For instance, the leading coffee chain, Starbucks, uses its Instagram account to better engage with consumers on topics such as product development and testing [6]. More generally, food and beverage companies are using Instagram in order to inform customers about their products and remain competitive [7].
Data reveal that the coffee industry is continually growing. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the global coffee shop industry, the market for coffee shops is projected to continue to grow and reach US $237.6 billion by 2025 [8]. In Korea, where coffee consumption has increased steadily over the past years, coffee consumers present an array of polarized behaviors, from choosing budget options in convenience stores to exploring specialty flavors in roasteries. Accordingly, coffee brands vigorously compete across various domains such as their menus and user-friendly services [9]; however, it is difficult to make use of the advantages of store operations due to COVID-19 regulations and guidelines. As such, brands need to invert the consumer experience in brick-and-mortar stores by focusing on online contexts, such as Instagram.
Consumers are more interested in brands that create lovable experiences in terms of both consumption and services [10]. Accordingly, marketers have adopted social media as a key medium of communication with their target audience [11]. Social media can be a space in which users interact, communicate, and have discussions with others [12]. This means that brands on social media are in a special position to provide emotional devotion and entertaining experiences [10].
From the perspective of social media users, social media platforms allow consumers to socialize with others [13], search for or exchange information [14], and express their love or hate for a brand [15]. Furthermore, businesses normally thrive on social media by sharing information and communicating with new and existing customers [16]. The purpose of a business is ultimately to boost sales [17]. Thus, in the context of social media, if brands can create well-designed marketing for their target audience they can generate powerful customer-based brand equity by providing a satisfying customer experience [18]. Despite this, the potential of social media marketing also poses a challenge for marketing managers [19].
Nevertheless, marketing activities stimulate consumers’ experiences, which could impact future behaviors as well as purchase intentions and, eventually, enhance brand equity [19]. Thus, it is an essential factor in building a brand and creating sustainable in addition to long-term brand–customer relationships [20]. Therefore, this study argues that Instagram is a place where customers learn more about brand products, interact with the brand and other users, and are entertained by browsing branded content. In turn, customers’ experiences with a brand’s Instagram presence can ultimately contribute to customer-based brand equity.
This research aimed to investigate the role of Instagram marketing activities in forming brand equity in the minds of customers. Thus, this study first examined and classified SNS marketing activities and then attempted to apply the categories to the Instagram environment. Second, the relationship between Instagram marketing activities and four dimensions of customer-based brand equity (brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, and brand loyalty) were comprehensively examined. More specifically, this study investigated the relationship between Instagram marketing activities and brand awareness, brand image, and perceived quality. Then, this study explored the effect of brand awareness, brand image, and perceived quality on brand loyalty, consisting of attitudinal loyalty (brand love) and behavioral loyalty (brand Instagram re-usage intention). Finally, this study presents theoretical and managerial implications in addition to suggesting limitations and directions for future research.

2. Literature Review

2.1. Instagram Marketing Activities

Social media refers to online platforms, application programs, or media that aim to facilitate interactions or the sharing of content [21]. Today, businesses tend to create, communicate, and deliver a variety of online marketing activities via social media to build and intensify powerful stakeholder relationships. This activity is referred to as social media marketing [22]. It provides enterprises with an opportunity to reach customers [23] and build relationships, which ultimately improve corporate profits [24].
The components of social media activities have been discussed by several researchers in various settings. Kim and Ko [25] divided SNS marketing activities into interaction, entertainment, customization, trendiness, and word-of-mouth (WOM), and applied these categories to luxury fashion brands. These items were applied in follow-up research to different industries, such as airlines, e-commerce, fashion, and food [19,26,27,28]. Based on the aforementioned studies, this study determined that interaction, entertainment, customization, and trendiness are components of Instagram marketing activities in the coffee industry.
Interaction is an important feature that differentiates SNSs from other types of media [29]. A brand’s social media provides customers with a place to communicate honestly and intimately with the brand and other users [30]. Thus, social media is a cyberspace where customers can interact to discuss and exchange opinions about specific brands. Social media users get pleasure, relaxation, and a pastime by consuming brand-related content [31]. Entertainment represents the hedonic aspect of the social media experience [32] and results in users experiencing fun and enjoyment [33]. Customization refers to the degree to which social media provides tailored services to meet customer preferences [34]. Accordingly, customization on social media is a tool that companies can use to convey their brand’s uniqueness and increase customers’ preferences for and loyalty toward the brand [35]. Trendiness refers to the extent that social media provides trendy or current content [24]. Accordingly, trendiness is defined as providing customers with up-to-date information about products and services [36].

2.2. Customer-Based Brand Equity

Brand equity, from both an academic and managerial perspective, is one of the most crucial constructs within the field of brand management [37]. Traditionally, brand equity is defined as the sum of assets and liabilities associated with a particular brand, including its logo and name, and is considered a core asset for maintaining a corporate competitive advantage [38]. Brand equity can also refer to a customer’s subjective and intangible evaluation of a brand [39]. Despite this being the case, scholars have different views of the sub-constructs of brand equity; it is widely accepted that brand equity is a multi-dimensional concept that includes brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, and brand loyalty [38,40,41]. Further, customer-based brand equity can be treated as a hierarchical structure that assumes associative and directional relationships across the four dimensions of the construct, including brand awareness, brand association, perceived quality, and brand loyalty [38,42]. Therefore, in this study, brand awareness, brand image, and perceived quality were set as antecedents to brand loyalty, and the directional relationship between the four dimensions of customer-based brand equity and Instagram marketing activities was investigated as a whole.

2.2.1. Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is considered to be a fundamental component of brand equity [38,43,44]. Aaker (1991) [38] defined brand awareness as a consumer’s ability to identify or recall a brand belonging to a particular product category. Brand awareness builds associations. Therefore, it is to be expected that the higher the brand awareness, the higher the brand preference, purchase intention [42], and brand equity [45] will be. This relationship signifies that brand awareness may enhance brand equity over time [45]. Thus, it can be said that brand awareness is the first step in the creation of brand equity [42].

2.2.2. Brand Image

Aaker (1991) [38] defined brand image as the sum of experiences accumulated from the past to the present, and mentioned that brand image is an influential antecedent factor in customer loyalty [46]. Keller (2009) [47] stated that brand image is a customer’s set of beliefs and impressions regarding a brand. Consumers choose a product or brand due to brand image, which is a kind of brand performance [48]. This means that customers’ attitudes and actions toward a brand are likely to depend on brand image [49]. In other words, when a brand’s image is perceived positively by consumers, it affects perceptions of quality and customer satisfaction. Therefore, brand image management is crucial for business enterprises [50]. Brand image is also identified before a customer even uses a product through marketing activities, such as promotions and advertisements [51]. Brand image provides a business with an identity and helps promote sustainable growth [52]. Brand image can also be considered to be an important factor that leads to trust as well as commitment and, in turn, enhances customer loyalty [53]. Thus, in terms of market competition, creating a powerful brand image can reinforce brand competitiveness [54].

2.2.3. Perceived Quality

Quality has a prominent impact on an enterprise’s profitability [55]. Previous research has emphasized that perceived quality refers to consumers’ overall judgements of a product, and, thus, it may differ for each person even if they receive the same product or service [56]. Therefore, perceived quality can be defined as consumers’ subjective evaluations. If customers’ expectations are greater than a business’s performance, then perceived quality is considered low, which eventually leads to customer dissatisfaction [57]. Customers’ perceptions of quality are a pivotal factor for achieving a competitive advantage and sustainable profits in the foodservice industry [58]. Thus, if perceived quality increases, then brand loyalty can be improved. Accordingly, customers’ perceptions of quality can be a leading factor in a restaurant’s success in the foodservice industry [59].

2.2.4. Brand Loyalty

Researchers have argued that loyalty is a crucial predictor of a user’s continued behavior in respect to a particular service or product [60,61]. A recent study has shown that customer loyalty consists of four constructs, including repurchase intention, positive WOM intention, cross-purchase intention, and price tolerance [62]. Additionally, leveraging customers’ brand identification is vital to increase brand loyalty [63]. Overall, extant research suggests that brand loyalty encompasses both attitudinal and behavioral dimensions [64]. Specifically, the affective component of attitudinal loyalty refers to consumers’ positive or negative emotions toward a brand [65], whereas behavioral loyalty signifies a way of behaving, such as the repeated purchasing of a certain brand over time [66]. As mentioned above, loyalty is the result of a psychological process and includes a behavioral dimension. Therefore, in this study, the notion of brand loyalty focuses on both customers’ attitudinal (brand love) and behavioral loyalty (brand Instagram re-usage intention).

Brand Love

Brand love is defined as the degree of emotional attachment that satisfied consumers feel toward a specific brand [67]. It is based on theories of interpersonal love and encompasses declarations of love, brand attachment, and passion [68], as well as loyalty and favorable word-of-mouth [67]. Consumers may recognize and like a variety of brands. However, they can only experience fierce ‘love-like’ feelings towards a far more restricted number of brands. Love is a metaphor to illustrate consumers’ feelings and behaviors that go beyond mere loyalty [69]. Thus, brand love is a deeper and more enduring emotion than just liking a brand, and is considered irreplaceable [70]. In other words, brand love has a stronger emotional focus. Therefore, brand love conceptually differs from other brand-related constructs, such as ‘brand satisfaction’ [67]. Accordingly, consumers can experience feelings of love for a brand [71] and, accordingly, place a higher value on the brand [72].

Brand Instagram Re-Usage Intention

Usage intention toward a particular service depends on a user’s assessment of the service, which, in turn, influences whether using the service is sustainable [73]. Re-usage intention is a concept that explains a consumer’s plan to continue to use a service or product [74]. It can also be defined as a consumer’s subjective level of preference for using a service again and recommending it to others [75]. That is, re-usage intention is conceptually similar to the customer loyalty construct in marketing [76]. This means that re-usage intention reflects customer loyalty [76]. The extant marketing literature has shown that the success of a product or service depends on consumers’ continuous usage [77]. This study defined brand Instagram re-usage intention as the willingness to use a brand’s Instagram account in the future.

3. Model Development and Hypotheses

When customers perceive social media marketing activities in a positive light, it creates corporate value and, ultimately, improves brand equity [78]. The positive link between social media marketing activities and brand equity has been endorsed by various empirical studies. Seo and Park (2018) [27] researched the effects of social media marketing activities by airlines on brand equity and found that marketing activities positively affect brand awareness and brand image. This finding was consistent with Godey et al.’s (2016) [36] study, which demonstrated an influential relationship between SNS marketing and brand equity. Aji et al. (2020) [26] found that social media marketing efforts by ready-to-drink tea brands significantly affected brand equity, including brand awareness, perceived quality, and brand loyalty. Through social media marketing, a brand’s social communications had a positive impact on brand equity [30]. Based on previous research, the following hypotheses are proposed:
Hypothesis 1 (H1):
Instagram marketing activities have a positive effect on brand awareness.
Hypothesis 2 (H2):
Instagram marketing activities have a positive effect on brand image.
Hypothesis 3 (H3):
Instagram marketing activities have a positive effect on perceived quality.
Lee et al. (2015) [79] discussed the positive relationship between consumers’ emotional responses, such as brand awareness, brand attachment, and trust, and brand love in the consumer–brand relationship. Islam and Rahman (2016) [80] affirmed the effect of brand image on brand love in the context of fashion brands. This is the same result as another study on the positive relationship between brand image and brand love [81,82]. In a study on the antecedents of brand love, brand quality as perceived by customers proved to be an influential factor [83]. Vacas et al. (2020) [84] also found that perceptions of a brand’s quality are central drivers of brand love. This finding is consistent with Huber et al.’s (2015) [85] study, which affirmed the effect of brand ability on brand love. Accordingly, if consumers perceive brand awareness, brand image, and quality positively, they can have a positive effect on attitudinal loyalty towards a brand, including brand love. Thus, the following hypotheses are proposed:
Hypothesis 4 (H4):
Brand awareness has a positive effect on brand love.
Hypothesis 5 (H5):
Brand image has a positive effect on brand love.
Hypothesis 6 (H6):
Perceived quality has a positive effect on brand love.
Loi et al. (2017) [86] pointed out that the image of a tourist destination influences revisit intention. In the context of the coffee industry, brand image has a significant role in brand loyalty [87]. A brand having a positive image has a favorable relationship with loyalty behaviors, such as the decision to purchase a product [88,89]. Hence, a positive brand image could have a favorable impact on brand loyalty. A high-quality product results in positive customer attitudes toward the product, which ultimately leads to loyalty behaviors such as positive word-of-mouth [90]. Kim et al. (2018) [91] found that brand loyalty, including revisit intentions toward a festival destination, could be formed by brand awareness, brand image, and perceived quality. In this way, brand equity is likely to affect brand loyalty, such as customers’ willingness to stay with a brand [92]. Therefore, the following hypotheses are proposed:
Hypothesis 7 (H7):
Brand awareness has a positive effect on brand Instagram re-usage intention.
Hypothesis 8 (H8):
Brand image has a positive effect on brand Instagram re-usage intention.
Hypothesis 9 (H9):
Perceived quality has a positive effect on brand Instagram re-usage intention.
Figure 1 depicts the research model and hypotheses. A proposed model was developed to examine how Instagram marketing activities affect brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, and brand loyalty (brand love and brand Instagram re-usage intention).

4. Methodology

4.1. Data Collection

For data collection, a self-administered online survey was sent out in October 2020 by a famous online research company to users who visit coffee brand Instagram accounts. Participation was limited to those over 20 years old with the economic power to buy high-priced coffee. Before the survey, screening questions based on usage experience were included as follows: ‘Have you visited a brand coffee Instagram account within the past 3 months prior to the survey date?’ If the individual responded ‘yes’, then the instructions directed the respondent to choose the coffee brand Instagram account they visited most recently from the survey’s listed brands. Brands were included in this study based on whether (1) the brand’s assets were deemed valid for the study and (2) the brand was actively conducting Instagram marketing activities. Accordingly, coffee brands were selected using the following criteria: sales and growth rates compared to the previous year, number of followers, and brand reputation index. Before the actual survey, a pilot test was conducted with 40 coffee brand Instagram users who had visited a coffee brand Instagram account within the last 3 months to assess whether the measurement items were clearly worded. Unclear and ambiguous sentences were modified based on feedback from the pilot test.

4.2. Measurement Development

The measurement items for each construct were based on measurement scales validated in prior studies, but the item wording was slightly modified to reflect the context of this research. Table 1 presents the demographic characteristics of the respondents. The research model consisted of 6 constructs measuring the relationship between Instagram marketing activities and customer-based brand equity. Instagram marketing activities consisted of 8 items evaluating information, entertainment, customization, and trendiness. These items were developed based on previous studies by Kim and Ko (2012) [25], Bilgin (2018) [1], and Seo and Park (2018) [27]. Customer-based brand equity was measured using five constructs (e.g., brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, and brand loyalty). Brand awareness was assessed using three items adopted from Kim and Hyun (2011) [93] and Seo and Park (2018) [27]. Brand image was assessed with three items adopted from Severi and Ling (2013) [53], Godey et al. (2016) [36], and Seo and Park (2018) [27]. Perceived quality was measured with three items adopted from Aaker (1996) [46], Yoo et al. (2001) [40], and Schivinski and Dabrowsk (2015) [94]. Brand loyalty was assessed with brand love and brand Instagram re-usage intention. Brand love was measured with four items adopted from Ismail and Spinelli (2012) [95], Leventhal et al. (2014) [96], and Bagozzi et al. (2017) [97]. Brand Instagram re-usage intention was measured with four items adopted from Zeithaml et al. (1996) [98] and Chen and Wells (1999) [99]. All measurement constructs were measured using a 7-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree).

4.3. Data Analysis

A descriptive analysis was conducted to profile the respondents’ demographic characteristics with SPSS 26. The proposed model was based on Anderson and Gerbing’s two-step approach (1988) [100] and estimated using the structural equation modeling software AMOS 22. First, a confirmatory factor analysis was performed to test the measurement model. Then, structural equation modeling was conducted to verify the proposed hypothesis.

5. Results

5.1. Characteristics of the Sample

Of the 358 total respondents, 36.3% (n = 130) were male and 63.7% (n = 228) were female (see Table 1). The majority of the respondents were in their 30s (35.2%), office workers (51.7%), and university graduates (78.8%). In terms of the coffee brand Instagram accounts they recently visited, 76.3% (n = 273) of the respondents indicated Starbucks, and 29.1% (n = 104) of the respondents indicated that they visited coffee brand Instagram accounts one–two times per week.

5.2. Measurement Model

CFA was conducted to assess the validity of the conceptual model, and Cronbach’s α was used to test the reliability of each structure. Instagram marketing activities were theorized as second-order constructs that consist of interaction, entertainment, customization, and trendiness. As shown in Table 2, the overall model fit exceeded the accepted standards (χ2 = 543.410, df = 256, χ2/df = 2.123, CFI = 0.963, NFI = 0.933, TLI = 0.957, IFI = 0.963, RMR = 0.050, and RMSEA = 0.056). To test the internal consistency of the items, a reliability test was conducted using Cronbach’s alpha coefficients, ranging from 0.821 to 0.944, which was over the reference value of 0.7 (Nunnally, 1978) [101]. The average variance extracted (AVE) of all constructs exceeded the minimum acceptable value of 0.50 and ranged from 0.544 to 0.809. In addition, the values of composite reliability were higher than the threshold value of 0.70 and ranged from 0.824 to 0.944. Discriminant validity was tested in two ways (Table 3). First, discriminant validity was tested by comparing the AVE values with the squared correlation between constructs (Fornell and Larcker, 1981) [102]. Additionally, discriminant validity was examined by developing a confidence interval for each pair of constructs. To evaluate discriminant validity this study employed the overlapping confidence intervals method. The high end of the confidence interval between brand image and perceived quality ranged from 0.660 to 0.956 but did not include the value of 1.0, which is evidence of discriminant validity.

5.3. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)

The research model was evaluated by using structural equation modeling, and the fit indices of the SEM were acceptable (χ² = 710.247, df = 262, χ²/df = 2.677, CFI = 0.943, NFI = 0.913, TLI = 0.935, IFI = 0.944, RMR = 0.069, and RMSEA = 0.069) [103]. SEM results with standardized path coefficients and t-values are presented in Table 4. Instagram marketing activities had significant effects on brand awareness (β = 0.687, p < 0.001), brand image (β = 0.928, p < 0.001), and perceived quality (β = 0.868, p < 0.001), which supports hypotheses 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Brand awareness positively affected brand love (β = 0.127, p < 0.05) and brand Instagram re-usage intention (β = 0.179, p < 0.001), which supports hypotheses 4 and 7. Brand image had a positive influence on brand love (β = 0.440, p < 0.001) and brand Instagram re-usage intention (β = 0.465, p < 0.001), which supports hypotheses 5 and 8. Finally, the effects of perceived quality on brand love (β = 0.349, p < 0.001) and brand Instagram re-usage intention (β = 0.256, p < 0.001) support hypotheses 6 and 9.

6. Conclusions

6.1. Discussions

The findings were interpreted and discussed below. First, Instagram marketing activities could be understood as four sub-dimensions: interaction, entertainment, customization, and trendiness, which is consistent with the findings of previous research [19,25,26,27,28]. Second, Instagram marketing activities significantly affected brand awareness, brand image, and perceived quality. These findings are in line with the results of previous studies [26,27,30,36]. In addition, the impacts of Instagram marketing activities on brand image were greater than those of Instagram marketing activities on brand awareness and perceived quality. Finally, brand image, perceived quality, and brand awareness had significant impacts on both attitudinal and behavioral loyalty, such as brand love and brand Instagram re-usage intention. These findings supported previous research that assured significant associations among the elements of customer-based brand equity [79,80,81,82,83,86,87,91]. The research findings suggest that brand image, compared with brand awareness and perceived quality, is a pivotal factor in shaping positive brand loyalty. This research contributes to the Instagram marketing literature and provides theoretical and practical insights for both foodservice marketers and practitioners on how to strategically use Instagram marketing to enhance customer-based brand equity.

6.2. Theoretical Implications

The findings of this research offer four key theoretical implications. First, this study comprehensively examined the causal relationship between Instagram marketing activities and customer-based brand equity by applying the concept of brand equity to the Instagram marketing context. In contrast to previous studies that investigated the relationship between social media marketing and brand equity, this study specifically targeted Instagram because the platform shows a continuous increasing usage trend and has a huge influence on purchases. Furthermore, there is a proven relationship between Instagram marketing and customer-based brand equity. Given that corporate Instagram marketing activities are expected to continue increasing, research on the impact of Instagram marketing provides insights into how food companies should prioritize their limited marketing expenditures.
Second, another important contribution of this research is that it applied the concept of brand love to the foodservice industry. Although the concept of brand love has received increasing attention in academia recently, love between a customer and a brand is still a relatively new concept that has not been investigated much in foodservice research. The strong influence of brand love on customer behavioral intentions has been demonstrated in some prior studies [68,71]. Nevertheless, given that this construct has been under-explored in the context of Instagram marketing, this study provides meaningful initial research that contributes to a better understanding of brand love.
Third, this research showed that brand image had the greatest effect on the formation of customer loyalty. This study’s results differ from many previous studies that verified perceived quality as the most influential factor in customer loyalty [83]. These results show that brand awareness, brand image, and perceived quality are all factors in forming brand loyalty that cannot be ignored, but that brand image in particular should be considered the most crucial construct in shaping brand loyalty.
Finally, prior research has typically dealt with only some of the sub-constructs of customer-based brand equity. In contrast, this study investigated all components of customer-based brand equity (e.g., brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, and brand loyalty) as variables. Customer-based brand equity can be treated as a hierarchical structure. Accordingly, this research assumed that brand awareness, brand image, and perceived quality positively affect brand loyalty, and then formalized as well as scrutinized the associative and directional relationships among customer-based brand equity dimensions in total.

6.3. Managerial Implications

This study suggests several managerial implications for coffee brand marketers and operators. First, the present research indicates that Instagram marketing activities notably contribute to improving brand awareness, brand image, and perceived quality, which is consistent with previous studies [26,27,36,78]. Therefore, coffee brand marketers should mix and match Instagram marketing options to build brand equity. That is, marketers should share similar content utilizing a diverse array marketing options that incorporate interaction, entertainment, personalization, and trendiness, because each strategy offers a different but complementary advantage. For example, marketers can utilize brief videos that clearly illustrate the characteristics of a product to make a strong impression and provide useful information for consumers. Today, consumer attention spans are not long, and thus such short-form videos can be practical tools with which to grasp consumers’ attention by inducing fun and interest. Instagram Live, which is able to broadcast for a maximum of one hour, can also be used to expose consumers to a company’s brand, products, and services. Using dynamic and interesting video content, brands are able to interact with consumers in real time and directly hear their interests and voices about the company through comments. It is also essential to provide up-to-date information about a company’s products and services that meets the needs of individual users on Instagram.
Second, in terms of the provision of information, continuously highlighting products and services via Instagram in order to increase sales and profits could actually be seen as unnecessary and excessive information, creating animosity amongst consumers. However, since consumers do not want to make a wrong purchase decision due to information asymmetry, it is necessary to provide accurate and up-to-date information that can satisfy consumers’ need to know and ultimately help them make wise purchases. For example, nutritional information (e.g., calories, ingredients, and country of origin) can be used as a crucial reference for consumers who want to eat healthy.
Third, the present research indicates that brand awareness is an indispensable dimension that cannot be ignored when building brand loyalty. Instagram feeds should convey a consistent and high-quality corporate image. A consistent message from a brand will differentiate it from its competitors, which eventually could help to improve brand awareness.
Fourth, brand image is the most dominant factor in shaping brand love and predicts brand Instagram re-usage intentions. Thus, brand managers need to invest resources into factors that can enhance a brand’s image. On Instagram, content can create a branded image that depicts not just a product but a lifestyle and culture. Utilizing these methods can help brands form emotional connections with their target audience, which can ultimately enhance their own value. As an example of a brand using images successfully, Apple do not show product features such as the memory or weight of devices in commercials, but instead only focus on creating a product image and stimulating sensory feelings. Coffee brands can use their content to show how other consumers’ lives are changed by their products or services.
Fifth, brands can insert polls into their Instagram stories, which helps drive customers’ engagement and collect VOC (Voice of the Customer). The use of VOC can help to improve brand image and perceived quality because it shows that a brand is listening to customers’ voices and moving forward in collaboration with them to improve brand quality. In addition, in the process of participating in brand activities consumers identify themselves with the brand, which can lead to emotional attachment to the brand and, ultimately, brand love.

6.4. Limitations and Future Research

The results of this study should be interpreted in the light of its limitations. First, this study used the verified SNS marketing scale as a measurement item and proved the effect of Instagram marketing on customer-based brand equity. However, the image-centered Instagram platform has different characteristics from profile-based SNSs such as Facebook and Twitter [103]. The use of appropriate measurement items reflecting the unique characteristics of the media platform could affect the research results. Accordingly, future research should apply an instrument developed to more effectively measure the impact of Instagram marketing.
Second, this study employed four sub-dimensions of Instagram marketing activities, but their individual impact on the customer-based brand equity creation process was not examined. Selecting marketing methods suitable to target customers is important to improving the profitability of a company. Therefore, future studies should also examine each dimension’s impact on the brand equity creation process.
Third, in the present research, customer-based brand equity was utilized as a consequence of Instagram marketing activities in the brand loyalty generation process. However, existing studies have indicated that various factors have a significant relationship with SNS marketing activities (e.g., brand trust or brand attachment) [32,104]. Therefore, future research should examine additional factors in order to comprehensively understand the effects of Instagram marketing.
Lastly, future research could extend this study’s model by examining whether actual behavior (coffee shop visit) performs well as a consequence of marketing activities.

Author Contributions

C.-I.P. has worked on the conceptual development of the manuscript, the data collection and analysis, and wrote the manuscript. Y.N. has reviewed, edited, and offered overall guidance for publishing the manuscript. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Figure 1. A proposed model.
Figure 1. A proposed model.
Sustainability 14 01657 g001
Table 1. Demographic characteristics of the respondents (n = 358).
Table 1. Demographic characteristics of the respondents (n = 358).
Demographic and Characteristicsn%Demographic and Characteristicsn%
Gender Marital status
 Male13036.3 Single18652.0
 Female22863.7 Married17248.0
Age Occupation
 20–2911431.8 Student4412.3
 30–3912635.2 Office worker18551.7
 40–497821.8Service worker226.1
 50–59339.2 Public officer92.5
 Above 6072.0 Professional worker3610.1
Education  Housewife267.3
 High school graduate or below349.5 Other113.1
 Graduated school and above4211.7
Monthly Household Income Coffee Brand Instagram access frequency
 ≤1000 thousand won4512.6  ≥2 times a day318.7
 1001–2000 thousand won4011.2  Once a day6217.3
 2001–3000 thousand won8122.6 5–6 times/week164.5
 3001–4000 thousand won6919.3 3–4 times/week6117.0
 4001–5000 thousand won4011.2 1–2 times/week10429.1
 ≥5001 thousand won8323.2 1–3 times/month5114.2
Household Size  Below 1 time/month339.2
 One person (self)4913.7
 Two persons6618.4Most Frequently Viewed Information on Coffee Brand Instagram
 Three persons9426.3Menu11030.7
 Four persons11933.2Event23465.4
 Five persons or more308.4Store143.9
Recently Visited Coffee Brand Instagram Coffee Brand Instagram Usage Period
 Starbucks27376.3 Less than 6 months10830.2
 Twosomeplace6417.9 6 months–less than 1 year9326.0
 Angelinus92.5 Over 1 year–less than 2 years6217.3
 Hollys102.8 Over 2 years–less than 3 years339.2
 Pascucci20.6 More than 3 years6217.3
Table 2. Reliabilities and confirmatory factor analysis.
Table 2. Reliabilities and confirmatory factor analysis.
(Cronbach’s Alpha)
Standardized Factor LoadingsComposite ReliabilitiesAVE
Instagram Marketing Activities (0.876) 0.8240.544
At this coffee brand Instagram,
it’s possible to communicate with other user.
At this coffee brand Instagram,
it’s easy to communicate with other user.
The contents of this coffee brand Instagram is interesting.0.905
It’s fun to use this coffee brand Instagram.0.874
This coffee brand Instagram provides customized information.0.929
This coffee brand Instagram offers a customized service.0.928
The contents on this coffee brand Instagram is up-to-date.0.797
The information shared on this coffee brand Instagram is trendy.0.928
Brand Awareness (0.886) 0.8900.731
I always aware this coffee brand.0.858
I know the characteristics of this coffee brand.0.885
The products of this coffee brand are familiar to me.0.820
Brand Image (0.821) 0.8310.622
This coffee brand is a customer-centered enterprise.0.730
This coffee brand is a high-quality brand enterprise.0.856
This coffee brand has a differentiated image from other brands.0.775
Perceived Quality (0.922) 0.9240.801
Menu quality of this coffee brand is top notch.0.900
Menu quality of this coffee brand is excellent.0.911
Menu quality of this coffee brand is mostly good.0.874
Brand Love (0.926) 0.9270.761
This coffee brand make me happy.0.858
This coffee brand make me feel so good.0.892
I like this coffee brand.0.879
I love this coffee brand.0.860
Brand Instagram Re-Usage Intention (0.944) 0.9440.809
I will reuse this coffee brand Instagram.0.891
I will continue to use this coffee brand Instagram.0.905
I will use this coffee brand Instagram frequently in the future.0.899
If I get a chance, I will reuse this coffee brand Instagram.0.902
Goodness-of-fit statistics: χ2 = 543.410, df = 256, χ2/df = 2.123, p < 0.001, CFI = 0.963, NFI = 0.933, TLI = 0.957, IFI = 0.963, RMR = 0.050, and RMSEA = 0.056.
Table 3. Descriptive statistics and associated measures.
Table 3. Descriptive statistics and associated measures.
ItemsMean (S.D.)AVE(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)
(1) IMA4.91 (0.80)0.5440.824 a0.318 c0.5630.6460.5540.638
(2) BA5.62 (1.01)0.7310.564 b0.8900.6040.3120.3920.408
(3) BI5.37 (0.98)0.6220.7500.7770.8310.6530.5780.520
(4) PQ5.16 (0.97)0.8010.8040.5590.8080.9240.5940.516
(5) BL4.77 (1.02)0.7610.7440.6260.7600.7710.9270.619
(6) BIRI5.02 (0.97)0.8090.7990.6390.7210.7180.7870.944
Note 1: IMA, Instagram marketing activities; BA, brand awareness; BI, brand image; PQ, perceived quality; BL, brand love; and BIRI, Brand Instagram re-usage intention. Note 2: S.D., standard deviation; AVE, average variance extracted. Note 3: a, composite reliabilities are along the diagonal (bold); b, correlations are below the diagonal; and c, squared correlations are above the diagonal.
Table 4. Results of hypothesis test.
Table 4. Results of hypothesis test.
Hypothesized PathStandardized
H1IMA → BA0.6877.5080.000 ***Supported
H2IMA → BI0.9287.7290.000 ***Supported
H3IMA → PQ0.8688.3110.000 ***Supported
H4BA → BL0.1272.4850.013 *Supported
H5BI → BL0.4405.0610.000 ***Supported
H6PQ → BL0.3494.6380.000 ***Supported
H7BA → BIRI0.1793.3940.000 ***Supported
H8BI → BIRI0.4655.1970.000 ***Supported
H9PQ → BIRI0.2563.3310.000 ***Supported
Goodness-of-fit statistics: χ2 = 710.247, df = 262, χ2/df = 2.677, p < 0.001, CFI = 0.943, NFI = 0.913, TLI = 0.935, IFI = 0.944, RMR = 0.069, and RMSEA = 0.069. Note 1: * p < 0.05, *** p < 0.001. Note 2: R2 for BA = 0.472; R2 for BI = 0.862; R2 for PQ = 0.753; R2 for BL = 0.705; and R2 for BIRI = 0.666. Note 3: IMA, Instagram marketing activities; BA, brand awareness; BI, brand image; PQ, perceived quality; BL, brand love; and BIRI, brand Instagram re-usage intention.
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Park, C.-I.; Namkung, Y. The Effects of Instagram Marketing Activities on Customer-Based Brand Equity in the Coffee Industry. Sustainability 2022, 14, 1657.

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Park C-I, Namkung Y. The Effects of Instagram Marketing Activities on Customer-Based Brand Equity in the Coffee Industry. Sustainability. 2022; 14(3):1657.

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Park, Cho-I, and Young Namkung. 2022. "The Effects of Instagram Marketing Activities on Customer-Based Brand Equity in the Coffee Industry" Sustainability 14, no. 3: 1657.

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