The Impact of Co-creation in a Social Media Context and Female Empowerment on Brand Authenticity

Benedetta Cammelli & Bianca Maria Barozzi

Student thesis: Master thesis


Following the shift from firm-centric to consumer-centric paradigm, the role of the consumer has changed from passive to active (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2004). Researchers and practitioners have already wondered about consumer co-creation. In particular, the literature regarding value co-creation and brand co-creation is abundant. It is scarce, though, when we refer to co-creation on the most recent social media, as Instagram. In fact, Merz et al. (2009) mention that co-creation, which arises from online platforms through sharing of human experiences, is an under researched topic, though very important in branding (Merz et al., 2009; Venkat Ramaswamy, Kerimcan Ozcan, 2015). Moreover, also social media influencers play an essentialrole in the process of co-creation. Throughout this research several co-creation tools will be analyzed in detail so as to achieve a greater understanding of the phenomena object of study.
Furthermore, there is a gap in the branding literature regarding the effectiveness of female empowerment messaging, also known as “femvertising” from a marketing perspective (Drake, 2017). Female empowerment has, in fact, become a very popular theme in advertising. This research evaluates the role of Instagram in promoting female empowerment among Millennials and Generation Z. As the relationship between co-creation and brand authenticity is under researched, this will be a pivotal element in the thesis.

The ultimate goal is to formulate an appropriate answer to the following research question:
How does co-creation with customers and female empowerment on social media lead to an
increase in brand authenticity?

In order to close the gap in the literature the authors will carry out a qualitative analysis based on 22 semi-structured interviews. A multiple case study will also help in bringing evidence on the theories discussed. The interviews participants belong to a homogenous group, representing female students and workers between 18 and 25 years old. The results will bring some theoretical as well as managerial implications. The discussion that follows the data analysis will be relevantnot only to close the gap in the literature and answer to the research question, but also for future research. Moreover, the authors acknowledge the fact that the thesis has some limitations and
these will be evaluated at the end.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final ThesisMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages319