Global Segmentation For Holistic Brand Experiences: The Role of Cultural Identity and the Importance of Brand Communities in the Global Experience Economy

Charel Hochmuth & Frederik Glavind

Student thesis: Master thesis


The experience economy is considered to represent a new economic society, wherein consumers can obtain the highest form of value from consuming holistic brand experiences (HBEs). Therefore this Master Thesis investigates primary experience companies’ segmentation opportunities for targeting global segments based on the consumers’ degree of global and glocal cultural identities, and the effects of brand communities for positively influencing this. This study was done, through a deductive approach with a thorough investigating of existing literature within the fields of experience economy and holistic experiential branding, while focusing on consumers perceptions of the convergence or glocalization process through the rising globalization debate. Thereby, this research defines the cultural identity through a preference towards Standardized- or Adapted Brand Communication Mediums, and analyzes whether different global brand identity segments differ in their respective degrees hereof. Additionally, this research is interested in the perception of the brand identity segments on the importance of brand communities, and whether these can influence the cultural identity of the consumer segments. In order to analyze this, the thesis based its research on the analysis of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) corporate brand. Specifically, a Content Analysis of the NBA’s online and offline brand communication mediums was performed, in order to define the underlying brand strategy for each medium in terms of being standardized or adapted to the local market. These results were combined with an Online Survey, asking the NBA’s consumer base about their preferences in regards to the usage of these mediums, as well a their perception of importance towards the brand community. The findings highlight a preference of the hardcore consumer segment for Standardized Brand Communication Mediums, thus indicating a higher degree of global cultural identity. Additionally, this hardcore segment also perceives brand communities as more important than the casual consumer segment, while brand communities have been found to positively influence the cultural identity formation of consumers. Further, it was found that the hardcore consumer segment prefers using mediums characterized as being important for brand community interrelationships. At the same time, their evolution shows that these consumers have increased their preference for the Standardized Brand Communication Mediums over time, while moving from the casual- to the hardcore consumer segment. However, these findings need to be interpreted with caution, as no generalizations to the entire population or other primary experience companies can be made.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages179
SupervisorsSven Junghagen