Performing on the Digital Stage: An Investigation of a Digitally Present Musician’s Construction of Brand Identity and Brand Image on Social Media

Ann Elisabeth Boström

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis aims at investigating how the brand identity and brand image of the digitally present musician are constructed through use of social media. The research performed is constituted by a case study regarding the musician Heidrik a Heygum (HH). A qualitative research method is applied to the case study. Thus, interviews with both key actors in HH’s career and music consumers are conducted, as well as social media observations, in order to gain a well-rounded perspective of brand identity and brand image considerations. The thesis finds that the musician’s brand identity is influenced by a co-creation and negotiation process between the musician, manager and majors. In addition, there are factors indicating that the notion of being a digitally present musician increases entrepreneurial pressures for the unsigned artist. With regards to the brand image, this thesis proposes that the level of authenticity concerning the musician, affects the way music consumers perceive the brand image, due to concepts relating to support and feelings of direct interaction. Another key finding is that music consumers carefully select which artists to follow on social media due to considerations regarding their own social network. Additionally, it is found throughout the research, that the relationship between the brand identity and brand image is an interesting area of investigation. Social media is identified as a digital stage, which enables a link between artist and target groups, as it creates an artistic space. Here, everyone is allowed to have subjective experiences with the art and interact with the musician. Furthermore, the digital stage inherits multi-media characteristics, enabling the artist to use emotional branding as a tool for storytelling and thereby, assist in the construction of the brand experience. However, one problematic notion of the digital stage is identified as the crowded newsfeed, where the musician might experience problems with reaching aimed target groups, due to inflation of other musicians’ presence on social media.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages88