Brand Loyalty on social media - can images make you more loyal? A multiple case study of brand loyalty on social media with focus on online customer experience

Camilla Ina Olsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Executive Summary: Over the years social media has become a new marketing tool for companies in the battle for customers’ loyalty. Companies are searching for the right formula to enhance brand loyalty, which leads to the concept of online customer experience. There is a theoretical foundation for online customer experience to have an effect on brand loyalty. However, it has not yet been investigated in a social media context. This explorative master thesis studies the impact of visual images on brand loyalty and online customer experience in a social media setting. Drawing on relevant literature, the thesis presents a conceptual model illustrating the theoretical connection between online customer experience and brand loyalty. The conceptual model presents servicescape, e-word of mouth, perceived service quality, reliability and brand awareness as influential constructs to online customer experience. Moreover, the conceptual model shows that online customer experience is affecting brand loyalty by constructs brand satisfaction and brand personality. By means of a multiple case study, the conceptual model is investigated in the airport, airline and hotel industries in order to discover any industry differences. In addition, the thesis also looks at gender difference and the difference of brand loyalty perceptions between those who use Instagram and those who do not. The thesis is based on empirical research in terms of qualitative interviews with Instagram users and non-Instagram users. It was clear from the results that brand loyalty is not influenced by visual images on social media, because customers base their loyalty on other factors than a positive online experience. A customer’s overall experience with the brand has a direct influence on their loyalty. However, the findings show that online customer experience would encourage brand loyalty, since online customer experience is a minor part in the overall customer experience. This leads to a revised conceptual model, which can form the basis of further research.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages314