Social luxury: An alliance between luxury brands and social media

Pernille Holm Frandsen & Rasmus Philip Jensen

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


Today the Internet is an interactive medium where people are no longer passive observers, but active participants and content co-creators characterized by communicative reciprocity. The global phenomena which is social media with its dramatically increasing degree of social online activities among most consumer segments makes it an inevitable communication force for even luxury brands to consider. Is the democratic and therefore chaotic nature of social media compatible with the exclusive and therefore often reclusive media behaviour of most luxury brands? A strategic standpoint is necessary to carry the luxury brands successfully into the new social media era. The purpose with this thesis has been to find out: “What are the premises for maintaining luxury brands in a social media era?” The problem statement has been approached from a luxury brand management viewpoint and investigates if Facebook can be a favourable platform for luxury brands from three different aspects: the luxury brand identity, brand user relationships, and product awareness. In order to investigate the field of research we have chosen four case studies. We have made use of netnography to collect data eligible for a semiotic analysis of the case studies, with the purpose of providing insight into how various luxury brands communicate on Facebook. The semiotic analysis supported findings in the main analysis. The main analysis shows that Facebook offers a vast amount of tools to convey the online luxury brand identity and can function as a favourable luxury brand extension. The challenge is to create a communication strategy that communicates the luxury brand identity on Facebook. Moreover, Facebook can arguably be a favourable social media platform for creating relationships for luxury brands if they can control its message by creating boundaries, barriers and understand which users add value to the luxury brand identity in terms of e.g. generating WOM. Creating product awareness through Facebook seems to show that success is to a large extent dependent on the communication strategy seeking to convey the luxury brand identity on Facebook and the engagement strategy seeking to create relationships to users on Facebook. Thereby the synergies of activities on Facebook are important for luxury brands to use Facebook as a platform to create product awareness. The analysis have led to the three following premises for maintaining luxury brands on Facebook: • Never compromise or change core values of the luxury brand identity when communicating on Facebook • Convert Facebook users into valuable luxury brand assets by activating them as engaged brand ambassadors • Deepen the users’ understanding of the luxury brand identity through iconic product stories, exposure and experiences, creating a more educated and therefore engaged brand ambassador

UddannelserCand.soc.cbp Management of Creative Business Processes , (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
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