The dynamic, ubiquitous, and often real-time interaction enabled by social media has significantly changed the landscape of brand management (Gensler et al., 2013). While literature about social media’s impact on branding is evolving, there is a lack of literature on consumers’ actual behavior and usage of social media. With the rise of social media and consumer-generated content, we argue that consumers are becoming vital brand authors whom brand managers need to pay attention to. However, in this ever-changing media environment, a deeper understanding of this consumer behavior is needed. Thus, this thesis aims at contributing to a deeper understanding of millennials’ usage of social media in their decision-making process, while arguing that companies should adapt to this behavior by changing their branding approach from bowling to pinball. Based on current literature we initially take a theoretical approach to brand management in a user-dominated social (media) context. We identify key issues that present both possibilities and challenges; The identity-dilemma of engaging with consumers as pivotal brand authors while maintaining one brand voice; The concept of dialogue and the fact that consumers want to be spoken with, not to; And the transition from pull to push where consumers are actively seeking the content they want on their preferred media at their preferred time. Using the Danish fashion brand Vero Moda as a case study, we further conduct a thorough examination of millennials’ decision-making process anno 2015. Through a methodological triangulation of survey, netnography, and focus group interviews we analyze where millennials are (i.e. choice of social platform), what they interact and engage with (i.e. content and technology), and why they use social media (i.e. their motives). By relating our theoretical findings to our empirical studies, we not only gain knowledge about millennials’ decision-making process anno 2015, we also conclude on how branding should be conducted in the social sphere.
|Uddannelser||Cand.merc.kom Erhvervsøkonomi og Virksomhedskommunikation, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling|