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Sharing brand ideologies : A cultural analysis of startup brand failure

Cassinger, Cecilia LU ; Larson, Mia LU ; Gyimothy, Szilvia LU and Widtfeldt Meged, Jane (2019) Global Brand Conference
Abstract
The concept of sharing is commonly employed in brand narratives of platform-based start-ups to recruit users. This paper examines sharing as a brand ideology and how it is enacted by companies in the startup phase of business. As the sharing start-ups’ business model is dependent on transaction fees generated on the platforms, traction (i.e. a high volume of users) is critical for success. By analyzing commonalities in two failed attempts of generating traction for two sharing platforms for adventure tourism in Scandinavia, the study reveals some of the risks of adopting mainstream ideologies for startup brands.
The findings demonstrate how the ideology of sharing startup brands aims at positioning itself opposite to traditional... (More)
The concept of sharing is commonly employed in brand narratives of platform-based start-ups to recruit users. This paper examines sharing as a brand ideology and how it is enacted by companies in the startup phase of business. As the sharing start-ups’ business model is dependent on transaction fees generated on the platforms, traction (i.e. a high volume of users) is critical for success. By analyzing commonalities in two failed attempts of generating traction for two sharing platforms for adventure tourism in Scandinavia, the study reveals some of the risks of adopting mainstream ideologies for startup brands.
The findings demonstrate how the ideology of sharing startup brands aims at positioning itself opposite to traditional business logic, by emphasizing utopian social ideals of community, whilst at the same time adhering to ideals of a radically free market economy. Contradictory values are used to differentiate sharing businesses and give them a – perhaps - deeper meaning. Ideological components such as community, anti-consumerism, and sustainability are used to reconfigure precarious contract labor as self-fulfillment and individual choice. It is argued that this fuzzy ideology is not transferable to all platform-based startup brands and that the lure of sharing needs to be treated with caution.
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
keywords
sharing economy, startup, branding, ideology, failure
conference name
Global Brand Conference
conference location
Berlin, Germany
conference dates
2019-05-08 - 2019-05-10
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a1da7900-0a82-4111-8723-fc88f35d878d
date added to LUP
2019-05-10 23:29:06
date last changed
2019-05-13 11:13:48
@misc{a1da7900-0a82-4111-8723-fc88f35d878d,
  abstract     = {The concept of sharing is commonly employed in brand narratives of platform-based start-ups to recruit users. This paper examines sharing as a brand ideology and how it is enacted by companies in the startup phase of business. As the sharing start-ups’ business model is dependent on transaction fees generated on the platforms, traction (i.e. a high volume of users) is critical for success. By analyzing commonalities in two failed attempts of generating traction for two sharing platforms for adventure tourism in Scandinavia, the study reveals some of the risks of adopting mainstream ideologies for startup brands. <br/>The findings demonstrate how the ideology of sharing startup brands aims at positioning itself opposite to traditional business logic, by emphasizing utopian social ideals of community, whilst at the same time adhering to ideals of a radically free market economy. Contradictory values are used to differentiate sharing businesses and give them a – perhaps - deeper meaning. Ideological components such as community, anti-consumerism, and sustainability are used to reconfigure precarious contract labor as self-fulfillment and individual choice. It is argued that this fuzzy ideology is not transferable to all platform-based startup brands and that the lure of sharing needs to be treated with caution.<br/>},
  author       = {Cassinger, Cecilia and Larson, Mia and Gyimothy, Szilvia and Widtfeldt Meged, Jane},
  keyword      = {sharing economy,startup,branding,ideology,failure},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Berlin, Germany},
  title        = {Sharing brand ideologies : A cultural analysis of startup brand failure  },
  year         = {2019},
}