How do you measure a Like: A study of how and why Facebook impacts brand equity

Anne Katrine Andersen & Cecilie Sofie Anker Andersen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis is motivated by the debate surrounding how much Facebook is actually worth. The studies on this topic often look merely at correlation between sales and Facebook fans rather than what causes the actual value. The media agency Mindshare is facing this specific challenge when providing an interactive Facebook strategy for one of their clients, Ford of Europe. This raised the opportunity for this thesis and following research question: Through a deeper understanding of brand equity and its measurements, a new framework is developed that looks at how consumer-brand interactions on Facebook impact brand equity. With the following sub-questions: o How can the impact of Facebook be measured in terms of brand equity? o How can Ford of Europe implement the Interactive Facebook Elements in their Facebook strategy in order to build their brand equity? To answers this, The Social Media Brand Equity Framework has been developed with a point of departure in Aaker‟s (1996) traditional brand equity measurement tool and Christodoulides (2006) online brand equity model. This framework is used to clarify how to measure and analyze brand equity through Facebook. The concepts of omnipresence and U-space have a significant impact on developing interaction and personalization through Facebook. Additionally, it was discovered that the subconscious has a major impact on consumer behavior on Facebook. Consumer interaction with brands on Facebook extends their sense of self and identity. To answer the research question, data is gathered through a focus group and web-based survey, providing the foundation for the analysis and the managerial/strategic implications. Some of the main points concluded from the analysis include that the brand-consumer relationship on Facebook is complex and dynamic in nature, yet there are tendencies in their actions showing that consumers highly value humor, a sense of belonging/community and are deeply motivated by image and personal gains. From the analysis the managerial implications are provided, which focus on general strategic recommendations, including how to convert Facebook brand equity to additional value for a company for example: Enhance brand position, Expand brand propositions and Capitalize on equity. Furthermore more tactical suggestions for how Ford of Europe can optimize their Facebook presence through the different Interactive Facebook Elements are presented.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2011
Number of pages185