The social brand

Weston, Samantha Margaret
Young, Alan
Potter, Eden
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Master of Art and Design
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Auckland University of Technology

Social Media is fast becoming an integral component of the marketing strategies for many brands as a means of direct communication with a consumer base. This project will explore how brand strategy can best incorporate and work within social media to develop and enhance a brand. As part of this, it presents the argument that the fundamental concept of what a brand is needs to change to incorporate a social media co-creative potential. A significant factor in the research is this redefining of the concept of branding—as something that is not only more inclusive of audiences, but is actually responsive to them in a direct and organic way. It suggests that brands need to be conceptualized as strategic yet fluid relationships with customers, rather than as ‘top down’ constructions.

The central focus of this investigation will be how community relates to branding. In particular, it explores how social media can be utilized to create better engagement with an audience/consumer base, and develop brand loyalty, and a positive brand perception. The initial argument for this project is that a surrounding community will strengthen a brand, and that the relational nature of social media platforms provides an effective forum for this to occur. Further still, it argues that social media has such a significant social influence that it is essential for organizations to consider social media in the planning stages of branding and marketing strategies in order to thrive in the current marketplace.

Brand , Social media , Brand strategy , Community , Relational marketing , Conversation
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