The value and importance of design when branding in social media

Gancho, Sara and Cooper, Rachel and Evans, Martyn (2015) The value and importance of design when branding in social media. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

[thumbnail of 2015GanchoPhD]
Text (2015GanchoPhD)
2015GanchoPhD.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs.

Download (61MB)


This thesis is an investigation into understanding the role of design and designers, when branding in social media. The work presented in this study considers what value design can bring to branding in social media. It identifies design skills necessary to work in branding in social media, and investigates how design strategy and marketing strategy can relate to social media strategy. It also examines what roles designers could play in the future of social media. In order to fully answer these interdisciplinary questions and address this recent phenomenon of social media, the literature review considers three different domains and areas of expertise: marketing, design and social media. With regard to marketing the focus was on the branding literature concerned with strategic brand management and also social marketing management literature. We attempted to connect aspects of brand design that were crucial to the social media field. In the design chapter we focused on its importance to both branding and social media. We addressed the importance of design management in branding today and how it is connected to new research in social media. We analysed social media history and how it has developed into a growing and important platform for brands to connect with consumers and vice versa. We aimed to underline the way these three different areas of expertise connect with one another in an attempt to answer the research questions. We conducted the empirical work with the collaboration of the one hundred and three multidisciplinary individuals (from marketing, design and/or social media areas) who answered the online questionnaire through a quantitative method approach. Qualitative data was also gathered from the twenty-one individuals through semi-structured interviews with experts in marketing, design and social media areas. We included participants from the United Kingdom and Portugal. We developed two models based on the literature review and empirical data analysis. These models were then validated with thirteen of the expert participants in an online mixed method questionnaire. This ultimately led to the remodelling of the previous models into two new models that combined the feedback and analysis and reflected the overall findings of this thesis.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
10 Feb 2020 10:40
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:08