Stakeholder influence on brand identity co-creation in startups
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this thesis was exploring stakeholder influence on brand identity co-creation in startups, by answering the research question: "How do stakeholders influence brand identity co-creation in startups?". To answer this question, a multiple case study was conducted, consisting of interviews with six B2C (business-to-customer) startups. Furthermore, the startups studied are all tenants of incubators. This context is of interest, since incubators have been suggested to provide extensive resources and knowledge for startups struggling with their businesses' establishment. To analyze the data from the case studies, mainly the Corporate Brand Identity Matrix (Urde, 2013) was used, which helps to provide an overview of how different elements of brand identity are co-created with stakeholders in startups. In addition, to study this subject requires an overview and discussion of brand management research, stakeholder theory and co-creation litertature. The findings show that several of the brand identity elements are co-created with stakeholders in startups. The stakeholders identified in co-creation are several, mainly cusomers, financiers, producers, designers and programmers. Furthermore, an interesting correlation between startups' orientations and co-creation, was discovered. The startups with a mainly market-oriented approach to branding are co-creating the brand identity elements to a much further extent, than brand-oriented startups. Finally, incubators are revealed as co-creators of several of the brand identity elements in startups, but the study also provides further insightsd into their important role in supporting the startups and facilitating networking opportunities.
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