The Influence of Corporate Social Marketing on Perceived Brand Authenticity and Brand Loyalty: An Empirical Case Study

Alexandra Maria Lindhoff Hankers & Ella Maria Ericsson

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

In accordance with the evolving service-dominant logic and the shift from the Relationship-focused to Stakeholder-focused Brand Era, the concepts of Brand Authenticity and Brand Loyalty have received increasing consideration. While Brand Loyalty has been studied for decades, Brand Authenticity has recently gained attention in the field of marketing research and is still underresearched. In addition, there is limited research on the emerging concept Corporate Social Marketing (CSM), however firms are increasingly adopting the concept as a marketing practice. In spite of the ongoing discussion regarding these three subjects, no literature discovered has synthesized the concepts, thus motivating the researchers to explore CSM’s influence on Brand Authenticity and Brand Loyalty. As a result of limited research conducted within this field, this research adopts an exploratory research design with a qualitative approach. The brand Heineken represents the singlecase study for this research and data is collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews and a focus group, coded and analyzed in accordance with the grounded theory approach. The findings display that CSM can positively influence Perceived Brand Authenticity through the dimensions Continuity, Credibility and Symbolism. The study also suggests that CSM influences Brand Loyalty positively, however it is evident that consumers’ level of loyalty towards the brand prior to the exposure of CSM can be an important factor for how Brand Loyalty is influenced. It is further recommended how CSM should be communicated in order to enhance Brand Authenticity and Brand Loyalty. Moreover, limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are presented.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2021
Number of pages266
SupervisorsStefan Markovic