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Co-opting Feminism: How brands hijack social movements - A comparative study of the illustrative cases 'Redfit' & 'Ladylike'

Lindholm, Rebecka LU and Håkansson, Emma LU (2017) BUSN39 20171
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Purpose: The purpose and aim with this research was to understand how brands successfully can co-opt a social movement; specifically feminism, as part of their brand building-strategies. The phenomenon was explored by comparing one successful case, Libresse’s ‘RedFit’ campaign, with a relatively the less successful case; that is, H&M’s ‘Ladylike’ campaign.
Methodology: This study takes a relativist stance and adopts a social constructivist position of the research phenomenon. It followed an abductive approach and applied a qualitative research design with a multiple case- study strategy, in which the two cases have been selected based on their representation of two oppositional outcomes. The study further applied a mixed-method approach,... (More)
Purpose: The purpose and aim with this research was to understand how brands successfully can co-opt a social movement; specifically feminism, as part of their brand building-strategies. The phenomenon was explored by comparing one successful case, Libresse’s ‘RedFit’ campaign, with a relatively the less successful case; that is, H&M’s ‘Ladylike’ campaign.
Methodology: This study takes a relativist stance and adopts a social constructivist position of the research phenomenon. It followed an abductive approach and applied a qualitative research design with a multiple case- study strategy, in which the two cases have been selected based on their representation of two oppositional outcomes. The study further applied a mixed-method approach, in which different data collection methods allowed us to gain a multifaceted perspective on the phenomenon.
Theoretical perspective: In accordance with our abductive approach, the study first focused on reviewing the body of literature that was relevant for the research purpose. In terms of theories used we adopted an eclectic approach by combining an existing framework that explores the fit between two entities with a second one derived from Consumer-Company Identification theory, which supplemented with theories on authenticity helped us assess the crucial elements of what constitutes a successful co-option of a social movement.
Empirical data: This study applies a mixed method approach of the data collection, in which we conducted two semi-structured executive interviews and three focus group sessions with customers of both brands. This was supported by secondary data consisting of document studies, which included media material and campaign videos analyzed by a semiotic approach.
Conclusion: By referring to the developed framework for this context, our study has shown validity that a brand can successfully co-opt a social movement based on two main aspects; first, if it is able to demonstrate trustworthiness, altruism and integrity; and second, by resonating with consumers on an identification level by showing upon identity coherence, identity prestige and identity distinctiveness. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Lindholm, Rebecka LU and Håkansson, Emma LU
supervisor
organization
course
BUSN39 20171
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Feminism, Social movement, Co-opt, Cultural branding, RedFit, Ladylike.
language
English
id
8922229
date added to LUP
2018-02-05 15:27:31
date last changed
2018-02-05 15:27:31
@misc{8922229,
  abstract     = {Purpose: The purpose and aim with this research was to understand how brands successfully can co-opt a social movement; specifically feminism, as part of their brand building-strategies. The phenomenon was explored by comparing one successful case, Libresse’s ‘RedFit’ campaign, with a relatively the less successful case; that is, H&M’s ‘Ladylike’ campaign. 
Methodology: This study takes a relativist stance and adopts a social constructivist position of the research phenomenon. It followed an abductive approach and applied a qualitative research design with a multiple case- study strategy, in which the two cases have been selected based on their representation of two oppositional outcomes. The study further applied a mixed-method approach, in which different data collection methods allowed us to gain a multifaceted perspective on the phenomenon.
Theoretical perspective: In accordance with our abductive approach, the study first focused on reviewing the body of literature that was relevant for the research purpose. In terms of theories used we adopted an eclectic approach by combining an existing framework that explores the fit between two entities with a second one derived from Consumer-Company Identification theory, which supplemented with theories on authenticity helped us assess the crucial elements of what constitutes a successful co-option of a social movement.
Empirical data: This study applies a mixed method approach of the data collection, in which we conducted two semi-structured executive interviews and three focus group sessions with customers of both brands. This was supported by secondary data consisting of document studies, which included media material and campaign videos analyzed by a semiotic approach. 
Conclusion: By referring to the developed framework for this context, our study has shown validity that a brand can successfully co-opt a social movement based on two main aspects; first, if it is able to demonstrate trustworthiness, altruism and integrity; and second, by resonating with consumers on an identification level by showing upon identity coherence, identity prestige and identity distinctiveness.},
  author       = {Lindholm, Rebecka and Håkansson, Emma},
  keyword      = {Feminism,Social movement,Co-opt,Cultural branding,RedFit,Ladylike.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Co-opting Feminism: How brands hijack social movements - A comparative study of the illustrative cases 'Redfit' & 'Ladylike'},
  year         = {2017},
}