Brand-to-brand dialogue on social media in a purpose-driven economy
What are the motives for and consequences of brands engaging in a dialogue with other brands on social media networks? How do consumers respond to such brand-to-brand (B2B) dialogue, especially when one brand praises its competitor? Conventional wisdom states that brands typically shy away from praising their competitors because this signals free publicity. Instead, brands engage in behaviours that criticise their competitors through brandjacking (Thota, 2021), brand parodies (Jean, 2011), and brand attacks (Thomas & Fowler, 2021). However, marketing scholars have begun to pay attention to competing brands praising one another (Zhou et al., 2021). This is especially true for broader societal and political issues such as, for instance, Marks & Spencers’ support for Sainsbury’s Christmas advert featuring people of colour and Shelter’s support for Barnardo’s White Privilege blog. Such strategies might be regarded as a form of activism by taking a stand on a divisive issue in a collective manner (Moorman,2020; Vrenderburg et al., 2020). Conversely, this phenomenon can be considered a carefully planned PR strategy to generate desirable customer behaviours and support.
This project aims to investigate different forms of B2B dialogue on social media networks (including praising) and the corresponding emerging activism on social media networks. Such insight will help to understand how these may influence corporate as well as individual outcomes.
We anticipate that this project will involve the use of mixed research methods such as, but not limited to online observational methods, experiments and/or surveys. Desirable characteristics of the candidate are openness to mixed methods research, interest in social media/digital marketing and brand management, and some knowledge of SPSS. Candidates deemed suitable to this research topic will be invited to collaboratively develop the full research proposal with the named PhD supervisors on this project.
Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, or appropriate Master’s degree. The University values diversity and equality at all levels and we encourage applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. In line with our commitment to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and to increase recruitment of currently underrepresented groups, applications from Black British, Asian British, minority ethnicity British and mixed race British candidates are particularly encouraged and welcomed. Study is available as either ‘1+3’ (i.e. one full time year of research training Masters followed by three years of full-time Doctoral study), or ‘+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study), depending on the needs of the applicant.
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Please see references section for further details on how to apply. Applications should be made online, please visit the Business School website and click "apply now" Business Studies - Study - Cardiff University