Danske Apps: How smartphone applications influence business communication and branding The purpose of this thesis is to understand how smartphone applications have influenced business communication and company brands. This is accomplished based on a case study on the launch of Danske Bank’s mobile banking application for smartphones. The thesis is divided into four main parts: a presentation of relevant theory to be used in the analysis; an introduction to Danske Bank and an overview of the case; the analysis of the case itself using the theories presented earlier; and lastly a discussion on the findings of the analysis. The theories presented are divided into three categories: Public relations models, theory on how technological advancements have influenced communication, and lastly branding theory. James Grunig and Todd Hunt’s 4 public relations models show a progression in business communications from strictly one-way communication to two-way communication that encourages companies to study and understand the receivers of their messages in order to create a better understanding between company and customer. Theories and research in the field of technological advancements and their influence on communication indicates that companies today have a much wider range of tools to utilize when communicating with customers. The technological advancements also point in the direction of more two-way communication between the company and the customer. Finally, the theory on branding in this thesis is based on Philip Kotler’s definition of a brand as well as Daniel Diermeier’s theory on the importance of brand management when dealing with traditional media and social media. Brand communities are also defined. All three fields of theory indicate that companies are increasingly moving from communication strategies based on monologue to a much more dialogue-oriented approach. After the theories are presented, I make an introduction to Danske Bank, highlighting the company’s recent history as well as important events leading up to the launch of the mobile banking application, specifically the recent financial crisis the impact it had on the bank’s brand. The introduction also includes a description of the process behind the research, development, approval and launch of the application itself. When analyzing the Danske Bank case based on the theories presented it becomes apparent that the bank, with its recent marketing campaigns and communication strategies, is moving towards a two-way-oriented approach where the communication is centered on some form of dialogue with the customers. As mentioned, technological advancements have provided companies with more advanced ways of communicating with the customers, and for Danske Bank the mobile banking application is no different. Technology is making the world smaller and it is bringing companies like Danske Bank closer and closer to the customers. This allows the bank to interact with the customers on a more personal level and it provides convenience for the customers. Finally, brand communities are also bringing companies and customers closer together. When launching the mobile banking application, Danske Bank also introduced a brand community on Facebook called “Idébank” where customers and non-customers can come together and discuss the application, as well as provide suggestions as to how is can be improved. Again, this points to a higher degree of dialogue between customer and company. Ultimately, the analysis of the case has shown that when Danske Bank was faced with increasing distrust from the customers, their brand deteriorated. The bank had to come up with a way to regain the trust and reconstruct their brand. They introduced a number of campaigns, one of which included the mobile banking, that were all based on increased interaction and dialogue with the customers. As customers become increasingly interested in how companies do business, these companies are forced to pay more attention to a higher demand of transparency and active involvement with the brands. It is very telling that researchers and professors in different fields of research all seem to agree that two-way communication is the becoming increasingly important in business and companies have to be very mindful of this if they are to maintain a strong and appealing brand.
|Uddannelser||Cand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Interkulturel Marketing), (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling|