BRANDS ARE MY LIFE, IT'S IN MY BLOOD: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF BRAND CONSUMPTION ON FACEBOOK FOR THE EXPRESSION OF IDENTITY

Yau, Amy Kar-Yee (2009) BRANDS ARE MY LIFE, IT'S IN MY BLOOD: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF BRAND CONSUMPTION ON FACEBOOK FOR THE EXPRESSION OF IDENTITY. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This research predominantly surrounds three crucial tenets of the postmodern consumer: the consumption of brands, identity formation and the use of social networking sites (SNSs). Since these three issues combined present an unexplored area, this empirical two-part study contributing to identity theory and being conducive to industry explores the use of Facebook and brand consumption for the expression of one’s identity. The study is based on the literature in the uses and gratifications theory, identity theory and brand symbolism. In this study, a conceptual framework is proposed to understand the rationales of consuming brands on Facebook and how their views on their congruency of brands determine their construction of identity. The qualitative interpretative research enabled the interrelated issues being explored by thematically analysing 27 interviews, from social networking site (SNS) users perspective and consultancy perspective.

Findings indicated that Facebook is used to serve many user gratifications, which can resonate from cognitive and learning, social, personal or hedonistic reasons. Users associate with brands that are of significance to them, by perceiving high brand congruency with their image of self-concept. The ‘ideal self’ is portrayed more succinctly than the ‘actual self’ and the ‘social self’ holds more saliency than the presentation of the individual within this social platform. All the considerations of the possible selves and the exhibition of identity on such a platform create tensions with the antitheses of users various front and back stage identities. Managerial implications reveal industry experience and recommendations to brands in approaching social media to engage with users.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: brands, facebook, identity
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2010 09:14
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2016 21:47
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/23324

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