Chapter 4 Conclusion and future research
The thesis has connected brand loyalty with visual images on social media with the emphasis on online customer experience in order to investigate the research question:
How does the use of images on social media influence brand loyalty?
Firstly, the picture app Instagram was selected as the social media platform in order to investigate the research question. Drawing on customer experience and brand management literature, a conceptual model was composed and presented in section 2.3. The conceptual model presents servicescape, e-word of mouth, perceived service quality, reliability and brand awareness as influential constructs to online customer experience. Moreover, the conceptual model shows that online customer experience is affecting brand loyalty by constructs brand satisfaction and brand personality.
Secondly, a qualitative research composed by eight personal interviews was carried out and revealed that visual images do have an emotional effect and can contribute to a better online customer experience. However, brand loyalty is more difficult to retain by visual images. The key findings show that visual images do not have a significant influence on brand loyalty.
Other criteria like price, product and personal experience have a more significant influence.
This result calls out for a revised conceptual model with key statement attached.
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concluded that when customers tend to be loyal, they stay loyal. The result shows that many customers are very hard to reach either because they are very loyal customer or they are not loyal at all. Customers evaluate their loyalty based on a total experience, where a positive online experience only plays a minor role. Hence it can be discussed why companies bother to interact with customers on Instagram if it does not have a significance effect on their customer experience and brand loyalty. The thesis takes an airport industry, an airline industry and a hotel industry as the starting point, which from the beginning was believed to give some challenges due to the competitiveness in mostly the airline and hotel industry.
The results of the thesis are valid and reliable, but some limitations were discovered through the research.
The analysis of the thesis is based on a data sampling where the majority of the respondents are students, due to the fact that they come from the author’s acquaintances. Students often have a limited disposable income, which is expressed in their buying behavior and loyalty towards brands. Furthermore, the majority of the respondents’ occupation clashes with the price-sensitive industry that framed the multiple case study. This means that the sample is not deemed to be representative for the population’s general view and opinion on visual images and their effect on brand loyalty. However, this segment may very well be representative of the target audience of this particular social media outlet.
During an interview with one of the respondents, it became evident that the respondent had a special knowledge to two of the case companies selected for the research. However, this realization was not believed to have any influence in the reliable answers conducted and the validation of the analyses.
In the end my case analysis is based on three case companies operating in very price sensitive
industries, where price and product are tied closely together. Moreover, for the airport
industry it became evident through the research that customers do not see an airport as a
business and therefore do not consider other alternatives when they are travelling.
In document Brand Loyalty on social media - can images make you more loyal? (Sider 76-79)