New media technologies and increased digitalization have resulted in consumers interacting with brands in remarkable new and different ways than before. For entrepreneurships in particular, the digital media presents both opportunities and challenges in regards to the brand building proces. Opportunities lie in the accessibility, economic affordability and global reach; whereas the challenges lie mostly in consumers engaging in brand narratives online, giving the enterpreneurs much less control of their own brands in the digital arena. However, essential branding communication still focuses on creating a brand identity for the purpose of differentiation – a strategic communication part that seem to present particular challenges for enterpreneurs – as a prerequisite for positioning new products on a global, digital market. The purpose of this master thesis, therefore, is to investigate how a deeper knowledge of enterpreneurships´ understanding and use of branding – viewed as a dynamic storytelling – can help them to improve their branding-strategy, especially in the field of online branding. From a social constructivist view, using Norman Faircloughs critical discourse analysis and his three dimensional model as a framework, this thesis delves into the way entrepreneurs perceive and make use of branding. Therefore semistructured interviews (articulation) have been conducted with four different entreprenurships as well as branding material (execution) gathered from each entrepreneur. These have then been examined in order to see if any discrepancies appear between the entrepreneurs articulation and execution of branding. The thesis make use of sociology theories by Anthony Giddens and organizational theories by Karl Weick – as well as supplementing theories of branding and digital branding – as a theoretical backdrop to help explain the entrepreneurs understanding and use of branding. Findings of the combined discourse- and branding analyses showed, that the way entrepreneurs understand and use branding in practice is indeed influenced by a social practice promoting a discursive economic understanding of the communication required, and not a strategic approach. In perspective this is surprising in regards to the importance that strategic communication and branding have in promoting new products, and this may in part explain why enterpreneurs seem to struggle with the strategic communication part of the brand building proces. This thesis therefore contributes to the research field by gaining an in-depth understanding of how enterpreneurs perceive and make use of branding and digital branding in particular. The results offer future entrepreneurships a perspective on the opportunities and challenges involved in a brand building proces online and strategic recommendations on how to overcome them.
|Cand.merc.kom Erhvervsøkonomi og Virksomhedskommunikation, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling