Doctoral Thesis: How do consumers respond to company-created brand stories?

Doctoral Thesis: How do consumers respond to company-created brand stories?

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Brand stories can influence consumer responses positively. To maximise effectiveness, marketers need to create separate stories for different contexts.

Compelling stories persuade, entertain, and engage their audiences. It is therefore not surprising that marketers have become keen to capitalize on the persuasive effects of stories. Brand stories are told, for instance, on packaging, in promotions, on web sites, in social media, and on price tags with the aim to involve and persuade consumers. However, many questions on the effect of stories on consumers in commercial contexts remain.

In her doctoral dissertation, Let Me Tell You a Story. Consumer Responses to Company-Created Brand Stories, Eeva Solja examines consumer responses to different types of brand stories on packaging, in advertising, and in price promotion messages through several empirical studies.

Many storytelling contexts, such as packaging and price promotions, set severe restrictions to the length of the story. Indeed, very short brand stories are communicated frequently on, for example, beer and ice cream packages. Existing studies have not examined if such short brand stories can have a persuasive effect on consumers.

“My study shows that short brand stories on packaging and in price promotions can influence several significant consumer responses positively”, says Solja.

The emotional charge in brand stories is another focus point in the dissertation. Storytelling research suggests that a brand story should elicit emotions in order to maximally engage and involve consumers. However, in practice, brand stories typically have a rather low emotional charge, especially on packaging.

“The findings demonstrate, that packages and price promotions benefit more from fact-based stories, whereas more emotional stories may be suitable for ads. It is hence advisable to create separate stories for each context in order to reach maximal effect”, summarizes Solja.

Eeva Solja will defend her doctoral thesis in marketing on Friday 15 September 2017 at noon.

Time: 15.9.2017 at 12
Place: Assembly Hall, Hanken School of Economics, Arkadiankatu 22, Helsinki
Opponent: Professor Sara Rosengren, Stockholm School of Economics
Custos: Professor Veronica Liljander, Hanken School of Economics

Further information:
Eeva Solja
phone: +358 50 502 0501
eeva.solja@hanken.fi