Advanced

The Philanthropic Brand? An exploratory study of consumers’ perceptions of brands communicating moral messages on social media

Kaven, Lisa-Marie LU and Bauer, Lisa Marie LU (2017) BUSN39 20171
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Thesis Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to provide an understanding of how brands relaying moral messages in their communication are perceived by consumers. Therefore, it investigates consumers’ brand meaning resulting from exposure to brands’ moral messages on social media. This thesis thereby enhances knowledge regarding the consumer perspective of moral branding and furthermore contributes to brand meaning literature.
Methodology: Conducting an exploratory qualitative study allows to reveal different facets of consumers’ brand meaning. Applying a netnography on a retail brand’s social network sites grants the collection of unbiased data in the specific context in which the phenomenon occurs.
Findings: The findings include five... (More)
Thesis Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to provide an understanding of how brands relaying moral messages in their communication are perceived by consumers. Therefore, it investigates consumers’ brand meaning resulting from exposure to brands’ moral messages on social media. This thesis thereby enhances knowledge regarding the consumer perspective of moral branding and furthermore contributes to brand meaning literature.
Methodology: Conducting an exploratory qualitative study allows to reveal different facets of consumers’ brand meaning. Applying a netnography on a retail brand’s social network sites grants the collection of unbiased data in the specific context in which the phenomenon occurs.
Findings: The findings include five themes describing positive and four themes implying negative brand meaning. The themes demonstrate the broad variety of contrasting brand meaning consumers derive from the brand’s communication of the moral message. An additional theme sheds light on the role of the social media context of the phenomenon. The study furthermore reveals that the brand’s moral message has the potential to evoke actual behaviour changes of consumers.
Conclusion: This thesis contributes an understanding of the consumer perspective of brands relaying moral values to literature on moral branding. The variety of contrasting brand meaning uncovered contributes to brand meaning literature by supporting that brand meaning is subjectively created by the individual consumer. Furthermore, it is concluded that many consumers grant the brand the right to communicate moral values and appreciate the brand’s action.
Practical implications: This thesis indicates that the communication of morals provides the brand with the potential to offer personal value to consumers and to demonstrate its interest in societal well-being. The relay of morals further constitutes a differentiating factor for the brand. Conversely, this thesis exhibits that consumers on social media draw on various arguments to criticise the brand due to its moral message.
Originality/Value: This thesis combines perspectives from management and consumer research and enhances the understanding of the consumer side of the phenomenon, thus enabling to draw implications for both fields. An important value of this thesis lies in the rich empirical data allowing the researchers to demonstrate diverse and polarising consumer views on the brand’s moral communication. These views range from consumers’ notions of the brand being presumptuous to the impression of a philanthropic brand facet. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Kaven, Lisa-Marie LU and Bauer, Lisa Marie LU
supervisor
organization
course
BUSN39 20171
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
moral branding, moral communication, citizenship, brand meaning, social media
language
English
id
8913918
date added to LUP
2017-06-30 11:31:44
date last changed
2017-06-30 11:31:44
@misc{8913918,
  abstract     = {Thesis Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to provide an understanding of how brands relaying moral messages in their communication are perceived by consumers. Therefore, it investigates consumers’ brand meaning resulting from exposure to brands’ moral messages on social media. This thesis thereby enhances knowledge regarding the consumer perspective of moral branding and furthermore contributes to brand meaning literature.
Methodology: Conducting an exploratory qualitative study allows to reveal different facets of consumers’ brand meaning. Applying a netnography on a retail brand’s social network sites grants the collection of unbiased data in the specific context in which the phenomenon occurs. 
Findings: The findings include five themes describing positive and four themes implying negative brand meaning. The themes demonstrate the broad variety of contrasting brand meaning consumers derive from the brand’s communication of the moral message. An additional theme sheds light on the role of the social media context of the phenomenon. The study furthermore reveals that the brand’s moral message has the potential to evoke actual behaviour changes of consumers.
Conclusion: This thesis contributes an understanding of the consumer perspective of brands relaying moral values to literature on moral branding. The variety of contrasting brand meaning uncovered contributes to brand meaning literature by supporting that brand meaning is subjectively created by the individual consumer. Furthermore, it is concluded that many consumers grant the brand the right to communicate moral values and appreciate the brand’s action.
Practical implications: This thesis indicates that the communication of morals provides the brand with the potential to offer personal value to consumers and to demonstrate its interest in societal well-being. The relay of morals further constitutes a differentiating factor for the brand. Conversely, this thesis exhibits that consumers on social media draw on various arguments to criticise the brand due to its moral message. 
Originality/Value: This thesis combines perspectives from management and consumer research and enhances the understanding of the consumer side of the phenomenon, thus enabling to draw implications for both fields. An important value of this thesis lies in the rich empirical data allowing the researchers to demonstrate diverse and polarising consumer views on the brand’s moral communication. These views range from consumers’ notions of the brand being presumptuous to the impression of a philanthropic brand facet.},
  author       = {Kaven, Lisa-Marie and Bauer, Lisa Marie},
  keyword      = {moral branding,moral communication,citizenship,brand meaning,social media},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Philanthropic Brand? An exploratory study of consumers’ perceptions of brands communicating moral messages on social media},
  year         = {2017},
}