How a fashion company can create higher brand equity - the importance of using social media
Purpose - With the social media's emergence in recent times, the main purpose of this study is to generate knowledge about social media communication’s impact on consumer-based brand equity, in terms of firm-created and user-generated social media communication. In order to make this possible, knowledge about customer’s perception about a specific brand is required. Furthermore, we are interested in explaining issues concerning how fashion companies can efficiently use social media, and the study’s intention is also to present recommendations of how companies can use social media as a marketing communication tool.
Theory and hypothesis – This chapter deals with theory about consumer-based brand equity, where the different components of the model are presented. Also theory about social media, different social media applications and a social media strategy are described. Finally, firm- created and user-generated social media communications impact on brand equity are discussed, which leads to the study’s hypotheses.
Methodology – The study has a triangulation consisting of both a qualitative and a quantitative part and has essentially a deductive approach. The study interviewed one expert in the fashion industry and one expert in the area of social media. An interview with the analysed company’s marketing manager was also made. The quantitative study was made on 624 respondents, which were all members of the company’s customer club. 97 of these 624 respondents were investigated in order to observe the impact of firm-created and user- generated social media communication on brand equity.
Empirical findings and results – The findings in the study indicate that firm-created social media communication positively impact brand equity, while user-generated did not show to be significant. In this study it was shown that the majority of the respondents use social media, especially Facebook, and the content that most valuable was access to discounts and promotions as well as information about the brand and its products.
Conclusion - Our study confirms the importance for companies to use social media as a marketing tool and it should be in all managers’ interest to make use of this channel. Also the importance of having high brand equity is highlighted and how the customer’s perceptions about a brand can be used as guidelines in order to increase brand equity.
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