Open-source Branding: How consumers develop a Corporate Brand Image through Instagram- An Exploratory Single-Case Study
Abstract: Title: Open-source Branding: How consumers develop a Corporate Brand Image through Instagram- An Exploratory Single-Case Study. Research problem: The research problem originates from the shifted power balance through the rise of social media. Whereby, organizational control of the brand image is starting to fade. Thus, further research is needed, whether an open-source branding strategy truly affects consumers’ perceptions of a brand. Thesis purpose: The purpose of this research is to analyze how consumers experience a brand through social media and what implications the interaction between consumer-consumers and consumer-brands have on the company's brand image. By mediating and illuminating the importance of involving the consumers into the ‘open-source’ branding process on social media, through the concept of co-creation of value. Theoretical framework: The framework consists of three interrelated concepts, open-source branding, co-creation and brand image. Methodology: The research emphasizes an exploratory single-case study with a qualitative and multisided approach, consisting of semi-structured in-depth interviews with one IKEA representative as key informant and seven consumer interviews. In addition, a virtual observation on the focal channel of Instagram has been conducted. Findings: The main findings gathered underline the evolvement of IKEA’s brand image from a consumer perceptive. From a company perspective, the open-source paradigm has been enhanced, in greater extent.
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