The Influence of Online Brand Communities on the Co-creation Process of Gucci's Brand Identity

Agnes Yun Soo Schriver & Frederikke Skov Kristensen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis investigates the influence of online brand communities on the co-creation of Gucci’s brand identity, within a multi-stakeholder perspective. The purpose of the thesis is to investigate how Gucci can benefit from a dynamic brand identity in order to advance their competitive advantage. The thesis proposes an alternative perspective on the Brand identity framework to enhance the understanding of how multiple stakeholders influence the brand identity through online brand communities. The data is collected from Gucci’s online brand community on Facebook, through the qualitative research method netnography. By applying a thematic analysis, the data content is analysed, in order to elaborate on the understanding of the main theme of this research: co-creation of brand identity. The findings indicate that Gucci’s online brand community on Facebook acts as a facilitator for multiple stakeholders to interact with the brand and in this way to contribute to the co-creation of Gucci’s brand identity. Gucci’s online brand community should not be seen as an independent entity, as other encounters also contribute to construction of brand identity. Lastly, stakeholders use Gucci’s online brand community to express their individual identity, and thus, it provides knowledge about stakeholders’ self-images. Given that the thesis is conducted with primary focus on Gucci, which is an existing brand with existing stakeholders in an existing online brand community, the thesis suggests some specific practical applications for Gucci to consider in relation to advancing their competitive advantage. It is shown in the analysis, that Gucci can advance their competitive advantage by reinforcing characteristics of quality and embracement in their brand identity. This thesis contributes to the understanding of how the global spread of online brand communities facilitates the opportunity for multiple stakeholders to influence brand identity. Importantly, this thesis increases the knowledge about a dynamic co-creation of brand identity through online brand communities in a multi-stakeholder perspective.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages118