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Experiencing Social Marketing Brandscapes: Identity and Tribal Consumption During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

THOMPSON, ZACHARY,BISHOP (2024) Experiencing Social Marketing Brandscapes: Identity and Tribal Consumption During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 24 April 2027.


This research investigates how individuals construct meaning from social marketing campaigns and how this relates to their identity and engagement with sought pro-social behaviours and ideas. Utilising the constructs of identity projects and consumer tribes, an interpretivist methodology is employed to gain insight into the experiences of social marketing campaigns related to the Covid-19 pandemic. This provides in-depth insight into how citizens respond to these campaigns and whether they utilise them within identity work as they do with commercial market resources. It also contributes in-depth understanding as to how meaning is created related to these campaigns and how this meaning then informs the acceptance of ideas and changes in behaviour. An existential-phenomenological perspective, in-depth semi-structured interviews, and thematic analysis are utilised to understand individual experiences. The first of three analysis chapters discusses participants’ cognitive, affective, and behavioural experiences of the social marketing campaigns and suggests that these are similar to those of brands. This leads to the first contribution of this work, which is to provide clarity as to how social marketing brands should be defined. It goes on to suggest however, that while helpful, the brand construct does not fully represent participant experiences and therefore is the first to introduce the notion of the social marketing brandscape. This is the foremost theoretical contribution of this work, which provides deeper understanding as to how consumers experience social marketing efforts. It argues that a multitude of marketplace brands, products, images, and messages create a symbolic environment used by consumers to construct meaning, which then informs their adoption of behaviour and ideas for societal good. The second chapter of analysis considers how the notion of the consumer tribe informs the meaning that consumers create related to these resources. This leads to the third contribution of this research, which is the introduction of social marketing tribes, whereby consumers accept ideas and change behaviours to nurture relationships with other tribe members and emphasise benefits to the tribe and wider society. The third analysis chapter explores how these resources are utilised within participants’ identity projects and leads to the fourth contribution of the work, namely the demonstration that behaviour and ideas can be consumed as temporary expressions of identity. Finally, the work contributes to the wider commercial marketing literature through the introduction of brandscape tribes, which suggests that it is not only individual brands that are utilised to bring meaning and greater connection to other tribal members but that that these brands are interconnected in the meaning that members construct with them.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Economics, Finance and Business, School of
Thesis Date:2024
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 Apr 2024 16:01

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