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Influencers and Brand Partnerships: A Co-Branding Story


Influencers and Brand Partnerships: A Co-Branding Story

da Rocha Melo, Carolina (2019) Influencers and Brand Partnerships: A Co-Branding Story. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis investigates the partnerships between consumer brands and social media influencers. Here, influencers are treated as human brands and the alliance in question is identified as a co-branding partnership. Thus, I rely on the literature of human brands, co-branding and celebrity endorsement to develop the theoretical background of this thesis. Through a qualitative study, 10 in-depth interviews were conducted with social media influencers and Instagram posts were collected and analyzed to address the research questions: how social media influencers develop brand partnerships and what benefits they receive from these alliances? The findings include a framework outlining the influencer-brand partnership, as well as a discussion on the legitimacy issue that emerged from the data. Because influencers lack forms of legitimacy, such as regulative, they attempt to overcome this by using strategies to increase their cognitive legitimacy levels, having brand partnerships as a core part of it. Also, this research brings evidence that financial and non-financial benefits move in a two-way path from influencer to consumer brand and vice-versa, differently than what is most commonly discussed on the celebrity endorsement literature. These benefits include brand equity, visibility, and financial compensation. Both marketing practitioners and social media influencers will find value in this study since it can guide them on future partnerships and clarify some tensions present in this type of alliance.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Marketing
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:da Rocha Melo, Carolina
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Administration (Marketing option)
Date:August 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Arsel, Zeynep
ID Code:985805
Deposited By: Carolina da Rocha Melo
Deposited On:15 Nov 2019 16:34
Last Modified:01 Sep 2021 01:00
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