Framing the Brand

Attila Márkus & Jørgen Fallmyr

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis is a study of two fundamentally different strategic brand management approaches through a perspective known in the social sciences as frames and framing. The project is based on the assumption that framing and branding may very well rest upon the same criteria. It is fundamental and shared across brand management theories that the outcome of a branding effort should result in a desired consumer behavior where the consumer perceives a brand favorably and prefers that brand over other brands. Research on framing has in many ways revolved around the same problematization: How to influence people’s understanding about an issue, event, situation, or object. Social Movement Organizations (SMOs) achieve this through strategic framing efforts, which rest upon criteria of context, credibility and salience as key factors of mobilizing audiences. These uncovered assumptions and criteria of successful framing attempts, and the role context plays are then discussed up against Kevin Lane Keller’s model for building Customer-Based Brand Equity, and Douglas Holt and Douglas Cameron’s Cultural Strategy. From a framing perspective they both deviate to different extents from the assumed criteria for successful framing. Failing to meet all these criteria, the conclusion suggests that these approaches to strategic brand management can learn from framing theory. Lastly, we suggest areas for future research, inspired by the discussion and unanswered questions uncovered through the process.

EducationsMSc in Strategy, Organization and Leadership, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages123