With the field of branding evolving from static to more dynamic approaches (Merz, He, & Vargo, 2009), and all stakeholders being considered as active participants in the creation of a fluctuating and ever changing brand related discourse (Mühlbacher & Hemetsberger, 2008), storytelling as a way of retaining control and disseminating a firm's intended brand meaning has slowly found its way into the field of strategic branding (Iglesias & Bonet, 2012). However, only limited empirical evidence exists on the effects of storytelling on consumer brand experience (e.g. Lundqvist, Liljander, Gummerus, & van Riel, 2013). Thus, this thesis aimed to provide further insights into this field by exploring how a firm-originated brand story influences brand interest group members' brand experience. Embedded in previous research on branding and storytelling, an exploratory, experimental case study of Jonas Co., a newly founded start-up in the field of interior design, was undertaken. Ten qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted, with half of the respondents exposed to the product, its brand story and different designs, whereas the other half did not receive the story. A critical discourse analysis of the brand story, and a hermeneutic examination of the interviews allowed rich insights into the brand story itself and respondent's experiences with the brand. The results display that the brand story strongly influenced respondents’s perceptions of the price of the product and their willingness to pay for it. The overall attractiveness was furthermore shown to be enhanced in the story group. First impressions of the brand, as well as its perceived core persona were revealed to be less influenced, while the perceived authenticity of the brand was shown to be increased in the story group. This thesis provided additional empirical insights into a previously scarcely studied field and showed that the firm-originated brand story at-hand indeed led to more positive brand experiences in the story group. It thus supports previous literature on the importance of storytelling as a strategic branding tool.
|Uddannelser||Cand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Interkulturel Marketing), (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling|