What I want to do:
I intend to look into specific aspects of branding within Graphic Communication, specifically the effect of social media on a business, through branding. Branding is how a brand’s consumers, competitors, owner, employees and community view and perceive them as a company. It should communicate what, how and why you do what you do. It’s a brand identity. Social media is now an essential part of a company’s brand, along with logo, typefaces, artwork, promotional material, etc. I wanted to focus on social media’s effects on a brand, both positive and negative. I am particularly interested in the ethics of how larger brands use branding/marketing strategies like using “influencers” to promote their products – this can happen in both positive and negative ways. For example, a brand like Gymshark could approach a fitness Instagram influencer with 3 million followers, and say please promote my products for x amount of money. I don’t see a problem with this, the influencer loves the clothing so shares her outfit with her followers. However, an unhealthy dieting product company could approach the same influencer, and say please promote my product for x amount for money, and I think that this is wrong, as this is not what the influencer has used to “get fit”, and the product is unsustainable and unhealthy. Influencers’ audiences TRUST the influencers massively, which is why I think it’s so important that only products that the influencers actually use and actually think are a good thing to be advertising, that they should agree tot he partnerships or deals. I would like to explore this area further, and look into the in depth rules and regulations to do with social media “ads” and “brand partnerships”. I’m also interested in how social media pages can make a brand viral, by sharing the right images and content. I’d like to explore how brands target their ideal audience, and also how promotional services like “boosting your post” on Facebook or Instagram work in terms of algorithms and display audiences.
Why I want to do it:
I’m really interested in this field, as I find is so fascinating that if done correctly, you can grow a brand solely by using social media, which is essentially “free advertising”. I would love to have my own business one day, which focuses on creating a strong brand identity and popular social media pages for my clients’ businesses. I’m currently doing work experience in a branding and packaging company, which has inspired me to focus on branding more recently. In addition, a local restaurant to my hometown has become immensely popular over the last 2 years, and has gained nearly 20,000 followers on Instagram, and is always fully booked. This showed me that it can be done, if the content posted is perfect for the target audience.
How I will do it:
I will look at a large quantity of varied case studies (for example, small scale – my local restaurant HILLS, larger scale – fitness influencers like Meggan Grubb). I will also use MetSearch to find as many related books and articles that I can find to this subject. I’m conscious that this subject is very current, but am confident that there is plenty of information for me to absorb in order to complete my research proposal on this matter.
Potentially useful links/case studies:
Met Search of keywords:
After typing in some keywords to MetSearch, I found that there were plenty of relevant articles and videos that I could use in terms of literature for my research proposal.