Brands on Facebook: A multiple-case study of companies’ use of Facebook Pages as a source of Brand Equity

Line Holmelund & Katrine Holmegaard Tvistholm

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this thesis is to explore in what way Facebook Pages can be considered as a valuablesource of brand equity. The popularity of Facebook makes it appealing for companies to invest inFacebook Pages, however Danish companies are still struggling with the strategic use. We believe thatFacebook, being a social media that enables consumer interaction, contains the possibility for creatingand maintaining customer-brand relationships. Through an exploratory multiple-case study approachthis thesis investigates the potential of this rather unexplored media. The thesis consists of three levels:1) an investigation of the media - Facebook Pages, 2) an examination of the strategic approach of threecase companies: Star Tour, ELLE, and Baresso Coffee, and 3) the consumer responses towards thecompanies’ Facebook Pages and the effects on brand equity.The thesis commences with a quantitative analysis of the consumers’ view of Facebook Pages andtheir desire to engage with companies on the platform. We define Facebook Pages as a mixture ofthree elements – a corporate site, a brand community, and a social media network, where the latter isthe strongest. The majority of the respondents show to be mainly passive observers without greatdesire to participate in dialogue with companies. This initial understanding of the media is essentialwhen examining how companies use Facebook Pages as a strategic tool to strengthen their brands. Weinvestigate the Facebook strategies of three strong Danish brands and how they seek to create brandknowledge resulting in strong, favourable, and unique brand associations. Each case representsvarying contexts, which makes us able to more broadly determine the potential of Facebook Pages as asource of brand equity. Kevin Lane Keller’s CBBE model functions as the main brand managementperspective, which ultimately requires an investigation of the consumers’ responses to the casecompanies’ strategic approaches. A stringent use of the CBBE model allows this thesis to carefullyevaluate in which way Facebook Pages show to be valuable in terms of affecting brand equity in theminds of the consumers.The findings reveal that Facebook Pages are particularly good at affecting the first step of the CBBEmodel – brand awareness. Furthermore, Facebook Pages appear to affect credibility of the companiesand finally attitudinal attachment by creating a more personal bond between the company and theconsumer. The strength of Facebook Pages’ applicability shows to decrease when moving up the stepsof the model. Concluding upon these findings, Facebook Pages can be a positive source to brandequity as long as companies acknowledge the scope of the media and the consumer behaviour. Theexplorative nature of this thesis requires further research within the field, which is why the followinghypotheses have been developed: H1: Facebook Pages can be a positive source of brand equity, H2:Facebook Pages are particularly strong in terms of affecting brand awareness, H3: The effects ofFacebook Pages decrease moving up the brand building steps.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final ThesisCand.merc. Marketing Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages139