University of Twente Student Theses


What’s your story? : Designing a descriptive framework for brand stories on social media

Kamp, J. (2015) What’s your story? : Designing a descriptive framework for brand stories on social media.

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Abstract:Brand stories on social media and storytelling as a strategy are often discussed in the practical marketing world. It is not surprising that marketers have adopted stories in their marketing strategies, as stories are found to be a good persuasion communication strategy. They arouse individual’s attention and stimulate them to act. But the advent of social media has changed the game of marketing completely, as brand managers are not the pivotal authors of brand stories anymore. So what is the definition of a brand story on social media? Scientific literature on this topic is limited, in practice it is just applied as a strategy. To fill this gap, this thesis works towards designing an appropriate descriptive framework for brand stories on social media. The framework contributes to both theory and practice in adding knowledge about brand stories and providing a framework to identify them on social media. This framework has combined and integrated both worlds in its design. By starting with a theoretical foundation of literature on stories, a draft version is made. With a two-phased formative evaluation in practice, the appropriateness of the framework is enhanced. First, the framework is applied in practice to identify the stories of Demak’Up, by conducting a case study. Based on the analysis of the case study, some alterations are made to the framework and the revised one is evaluated using semi-structured expert interviews. This last phase results in the final, appropriate descriptive framework for brand stories on social media, consisting of an introduction, a definition, a model (visualisation) and six design guidelines. In textual summary, a brand story on social media can be described as follows. Everyone has a voice on social media to express their selves in many different ways, like (a combination of) a photo, video or textual post. Brand stories on social media are shaped by all the expressions of multiple narrators. A brand story is a sequence of coherent expressions. Coherent because of a common theme and the sequence of expressions is forming the story structure. In general, this sequence follows a bell curve shaped by the intensity of the expressions. The beginning starts with a first expression, the story reaches the middle at the highest point of the intensity, then the intensity will decrease but it remains an endless story. Each individual expression in this sequence, is directly related to the brand, has a valuable sentiment regarding the brand and is shaped by multiple narrators that participate in the story. These narrators depend on who is relevant for the specific brand and can be grouped as for example the brand, the press, bloggers or consumers. The final descriptive framework in this study can be used in both theory and practice, to identify brand stories on social media and to build marketing strategies on. The value of the framework is well appreciated by experts in the field and can be seen as a foundation for future research on brand stories.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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