Self-expressive Consumption and the Effect on Brand Value Co-creation: Focusing on the Children’s Toys and Clothing Industry

Anne Marie Brusendorff & Xandra Jannie Viholt

Student thesis: Master thesis


The objective of this master thesis is to investigate the categories of co-creation, sustainability and selfexpression, by looking at mothers’ buying behaviour of children’s toys and clothing. Additionally, the research is delimited by simply considering activity expressed via a Social Media platform, being that of Instagram. The mentioned categories laid the foundation for the course of this research; however, the focus was expanded through a threefold multi-sequential data collection. In the first step, being a combined netnographic study, the non-participatory netnography first aimed at ensuring a relevance of the categories, followed by a participatory netnography, which tested for relationships between the identified categories. Secondly, a questionnaire was conducted, in order to gain a broader perspective of the discovered relationships. This step of the data collection expanded the focus of the research, by identifying the relevance of Business Model Innovation, drawn from the issues posed by the respondents. Lastly, nine in-depth interviews were conducted, aiming at gaining rich descriptions and greater depth into the minds of the investigated mothers, in order to better understand their buying behaviour and preferences. These interviews opened up the gate to expanding the focus of the research further, by applying the Consumer Decision Journey to the findings, especially investigating the relevance of The Zero Moment of Truth. Thus, in the discussion, it is found that while brands offer a value proposition, which consumers might react positively or negatively towards, each of these reactions lead to varying word-of-mouth messages being communicated through the brand experience, to the broader community. This user-generated content, in the form of word-of-mouth, is discovered to ultimately generate brand meaning, through the brand value cocreation that happens as value proposition meets user-generated content. Thus, serving as inspiration for other mothers. Furthermore, the investigated mothers are found to not only co-create brand value but also to seek inspiration from other mothers’ brand experience. Turning the focus towards sustainability, the option of secondhand appear to be a concept of high importance to the mothers investigated. In relation to this, it is found that non-sufficient brand communication appears to be a reason for the option of secondhand consumption being perceived as an easier choice. However, highly emphasized is also the associated manageable price. Thus, while it becomes evident that sustainability, in the consumption choice of secondhand, is merely a beneficial aspect, it is found that secondhand offers an affordable and sustainable alternative to the perfect balance of price, quality and values. Furthermore, the findings of this master thesis point towards brand value being co-created from mothers’ selfexpression behaviour based on the ability of a brand’s value proposition to reflect an ideal self, i.e. the perfect mother.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final ThesisCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages165