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Branding in social media

A qualitative study of three Swedish municipalities

Written by H. Charkas, A. B. Eltun

Paper category

Master Thesis


Business Administration>Marketing & Sales




Master Thesis: Brand building 2.1.1 Brand image, positioning and identity Brand recognition, brand positioning and brand image are the cornerstones of brand building (Kavaratzis & Ashworth, 2005). Brand identity refers to what the brand is (Carlsson, 2009) and how the organization wants the brand to be perceived. Brand identity is the differentiation of products (Kavaratzis & Ashworth, 2005), including tangible and intangible aspects, such as product design, characteristics and history (Carlsson, 2009). Brand image is "people's perception of the is people's perception of the brand-their thoughts, feelings, expectations" (Kavaratzis & Ashworth, 2005, p. 509). Brand positioning is the relationship between the brand and competing products (Kavaratzis & Ashworth, 2005) and how the brand wants to compare with competitors, such as "exclusive" or "safe choice" (Carlsson, 2009), when it is communicated to the target group. The relationship between these three aspects has been proposed in an article by Kavaratzis and Ashworth (2005), as shown in Figure 1: 2.1.2 Defining the brand Defining brand identity and positioning (advantages) is the first step in the brand process ( Dent, 1990), where the goal of branding is to work strategically to make the brand image consistent with the brand identity, that is, how the organization wants the brand to be perceived (Dahlqvist & Melin, 2010). Dahlqvist and Melin (2010) pointed out that branding can be described as a well-thought-out strategy to establish, enhance or change people’s perceptions. Dolak (2003) described branding as a process of continuous communication with the organization's market. Kavaratzis and Ashworth (2005) also describe branding as a communication process. Dolak (2003) writes that branding creates trust and emotional attachment to a product or company, a sense of participation, and a sense of higher quality. In order to successfully build a brand, an organization needs to communicate its unique attributes and strengths in a short and simple way (Dolak, 2003; Dent, 1990). This has nothing to do with the existence of a brand; it has to do with the degree of management of a brand (Dolak, 2003). A properly established brand with quality, value and reliability can reduce marketing efforts and generate high returns and profit margins over a long period of time (Dent, 1990). As defined by many authors, branding is about communicating with the target market (Dolak, 2003; Kavaratzis & Ashworth, 2005; Dent, 1990) to establish, enhance or change people’s perceptions, so that brand image and brand identity Be consistent (Dahlqvist & Merlin, 2010). 2.1.3 Brands of companies, places, and employees In recent literature, the author describes brands as important and applicable to other aspects, not just consumer products (product brands), three of which are corporate brands, place brands, and employee brands. 2.3 Branding in social media So far, this paper has studied branding and social media separately. The following section focuses on how to use social media in brand promotion. As mentioned in Chapter 1, a brand is a strategy to establish, enhance or change people’s perception (Dahlqvist & Melin, 2010). Therefore, the public’s perception of a brand (brand image) corresponds to the way an organization wants to be perceived (brand identity). Match (Kavalakis and Ashworth, 2005). This is done through an ongoing process of communicating with the public in the market (Dolak, 2003; Dent, 1990) and monitoring the environment to see the perceived image (reputation management) (Byrkjeflot, 2010). Carlsson (2011) developed a model to study how to most effectively promote branding in social media. The model developed by Carlsson (2011) is shown in Figure 2. Each step of the model will be explained, and there are other aspects of branding and social media that will be added to different stages to develop a conceptual framework. 2.3.1 TodayToday is about understanding how the organization is perceived and the current brand image of the organization (Carlsson, 2011). As mentioned in Chapter 2.1.1, the brand image is "people's perception of the brand...this is people's perception of the brand-their thoughts, feelings, expectations" (Kavaratzis & Ashworth, 2005, p.509) ) It is based on this knowledge that organizations can see that they must eventually establish, enhance or change people's perceptions (Dahlqvist & Melin, 2010). Yan (2011) pointed out that when considering the brand image of an organization, there are opportunities to use social media in brand promotion. Social media is valuable for an organization because it has the opportunity to monitor the environment and obtain information about trends, people's overall views, and their specific opinions about the organization. This information is important for formulating strategies and assessing the image of the organization (Carlsson, 2011). If the image is different from the identity that the organization wants to convey, it is necessary to try to change the concept (Byrkjeflot, 2010). 2.3.2 Platform The platform stage can be visualized in Chapter 2.1.1 using the model developed by Kavaratzis and Ashworth (2005), where the red circle represents the goal of the platform stage (Figure 3). As defined by Carlsson (2011), a platform is the stage of setting brand goals. It is at this stage that organizations define how they want to be perceived, brand identity (Kavaratzis & Ashworth, 2005). It is about choosing the position you want to convey (Carlsson, 2011; Kavaratzis and Ashworth, 2005), which is also mentioned in Dent (1990) as the third step in the branding process. Read Less