Directing Customer Social Identity Through Influencer Marketing and Brand Co-creationActivities : A NA-KD Case Study
Abstract: Background: Today, for firms to engage with customers, it takes more than traditional advertisements, enticing prices and celebrity endorsements. Customers now rely on and expect to become an active rather than passive participant in the firm’s branding and marketing activities. Due to this change in the marketing environment firms have moved towards utilizing social media influencers and brand co-creation activities to drive the level to which customers connect their self-concepts with the brand. Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to explore the unique ways in which NA-KD uses their influencer marketing strategy and brand co-creation activities to drive the social identities of their customers and to create a model that visualizes this process. Method: An exploratory study has been conducted by the authors to investigate the influencer marketing and brand co-creation activities of the firm as to address the purpose of this paper. A single case study was performed where NA-KD was the primary subject of research. Semi-structured interviews with key employees working within marketing, collaborations and content creation was the primary source of data collection. Conclusion: The empirical findings demonstrated the processes which employees at NA-KD created to develop their influencer marketing and brand co-creation strategies. The findings showed that the social identities of customers in an influencer-born firm are able to be directed through the activities within influencer marketing and brand co-creation. From these findings a conceptual model representing the process and management of social identity direction and producer-consumer relationship formation. This process includes influencer marketing, brand co-creation and brand experience, managed by methods of CRM and circle mapping to allow for self-brand connections and continued firm growth to occur.
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