Brand building through social media: How can Pepsi Max leverage the new opportunities?

Sandra Elise Nissen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The social media revolution and the development of digital technologies have caused a new environment. This has challenged marketing managers as well as the traditional mass media since within the last couple of years the social media and Facebook in particular has experienced a significant growth. Facebook changes the conditions of communication by placing the consumer in the center of the communication, why companies present at Facebook should have a clear strategy for their investments. This thesis has been prepared for Pepsi Max and the objective has therefore been to analyze to what extent Facebook can build the Pepsi Max brand, and analyze how Pepsi Max can leverage Facebook in order to strengthen the brand. Despite the new environment, no new branding frameworks for how to measure brand strength has been developed. Instead, a brand equity framework based on Keller and Aaker’s brand equity models have been conceptualized and made applicable for Pepsi Max. Included in this framework is the level of involvement which is used to prioritize between the different brand equity levels. Based on this framework, the level of involvement within the CSD category was identified as being low, which made it possible to weight the different levels (50% awareness, 30% evaluations, 20% relationship). By applying the framework and thus measure the three levels of brand equity, Pepsi Max’ key objectives have been identified as being 1. Increase awareness and 2. Strengthen positive evaluations. In order to analyze the Facebook functions, a framework for categorizing these was conceptualized. First, a link was established between the branding and communication objectives, and next the functions were categorized according to the IMC Mix Model. By using this framework, the functions were analyzed and a significant difference between fans and non-fans was identified since being a fan of Pepsi Max increases awareness with 14.9%, evaluations with 51.6% and relationship with 50.7%. Furthermore the analysis identified the extent to which Facebook can build the Pepsi Max brand since the analysis showed an increase in the brand equity score of 3.88 (scale 1-10). Finally a Facebook strategy was made in order to find out how Pepsi Max should reach their objectives. This showed, that Pepsi Max should use the Facebook functions “sponsored stories” and “advertising” in order to increase awareness and “comment” and “wall post” in order to strengthen evaluations.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages112