If you Snooze you lose: : A qulalitative study of how comapnies can use social media to enhance customer-based brand equity
Abstract: The development of technology and Internet has not only impacted the way we live our daily lives; it has also changed how business is conducted. Traditional marketing strategies have transformed according to the new digital area where social media is used as a marketing channel to a greater extent than ever. Social media marketing is particularly efficient in terms of branding and it can make information about brands more accessible to customers and increase brand awareness. The concept of customer-based brand equity has been extensively researched, but the topic of social media marketing and its impact on the dimensions of customer-basedbrand equity has not been researched. Therefore, we sawan opportunity to include other dimensions of customer-based brand equity and examine the impact social media marketing have on them. The main purpose of this study is to develop a deeper knowledge of how managers can use SMM to build up and strengthen CBBE. More specifically, our purpose with this research is to study how the SMM activities entertainment, interaction, trendiness, customization and eWOMeffect the four dimensions of CBBE, brand awareness, brand loyalty, brand associationsandperceived quality. In order to fulfill the purpose of this thesis, a qualitative study has been conducted. We have conducted semi-structured interviews with five representatives of brands and two customers to each brand. By interviewing both the representatives of the brands and their customers enable us to gain a deeper understanding of how social media marketing activities influence customer-based brand equity. The empirical result showed that social media platforms are widely used as a marketing channel amongst the brands and that companies incorporate social media into their marketing strategy. The five social media marketing activities did at least affect one of the aspects of customer-based brand equity each. The main purpose why customers follow brands on social media is to get brand-related information, be inspired and interact with the brands. Influencer marketing was particular efficient when it comes to raising brand awareness and brand associations. When brands interact with their customers on social media, it does enhance brand loyalty and they should have a frequency of 2-3 posts a week. A customized message on social media can make the customer more loyal. The result also showed that loyal customers are likely to spread positive eWOM and recommend the brand to others. In conclusion, the empirical findings from our study have some theoretical implications as well as managerial implications. Our research contributes with a holistic framework on the effect social media marketing have on customer-based brand equity. Finally, the result should guide marketing managers in how they should adjust the process of enhancing customers’ perceptions of the brand to the new, digital Environment.
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