Interact! An explorative study of social media's impact on brand management

Mads Crone Nielsen & Steven Kjeld Christensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In this thesis, the effect of engaging consumer content on social media is explored in relation to brand management as a discipline. The consequences of this effect on brands are discussed and the causal coherence between organizations‟ actions in this arena and the end effect in the minds of those affected by these actions is determined. To do so, the thesis answers an overall research question: How do interactions on Social Media affect brand management? Through research it is rendered probable that interaction and subsequent attachment of brand value takes place with or without the interference of an organization. It is, however, possible for the organization to engage in interaction with the consumers, thereby gaining a voice and potentially affecting the value creation process. Four assumptions that represent the foundation for conceptualizing strategies for brand management on social media are presented: “The brand is a cognitive construal created in the minds of the consumers”, “the characteristics of the individual social media platform (arena) determine the interactional possibilities and how content can be dispersed”, “brand value exists and is created in the interaction between social systems and the brand” and finally; “the brand has personality traits resulting in emotional bonding between the consumer and the brand, and these are affected by the engagement approach by the brand-representative”. The thesis concludes that interactions on social media affect brand management, as they provide consumers with the means to reach a massive audience, under the right circumstances, and thereby influence others with their view on the brand in question. Ultimately this affects brand value and can potentially alter consumer purchasing behavior. Organizations should therefore choose their engagement strategy carefully and make sure it suits the situation at hand. On the basis of this, we present five operational propositions for organizations engaging brand management on social media:  Know your battlefield  Play by their rules  Choose your battles carefully  Be aware of your own history  Your strategy should be made-to-order

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages191