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Cecilia Cassinger

Place branding, brand communication, communication geography, sustainability, activism, cities

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Sharing brand ideologies : A cultural analysis of startup brand failure

Författare

  • Cecilia Cassinger
  • Mia Larson
  • Szilvia Gyimothy
  • Jane Widtfeldt Meged

Summary, in English

The concept of sharing is commonly employed in brand narratives of platform-based start-ups to recruit users. This paper examines sharing as a brand ideology and how it is enacted by companies in the startup phase of business. As the sharing start-ups’ business model is dependent on transaction fees generated on the platforms, traction (i.e. a high volume of users) is critical for success. By analyzing commonalities in two failed attempts of generating traction for two sharing platforms for adventure tourism in Scandinavia, the study reveals some of the risks of adopting mainstream ideologies for startup brands.
The findings demonstrate how the ideology of sharing startup brands aims at positioning itself opposite to traditional business logic, by emphasizing utopian social ideals of community, whilst at the same time adhering to ideals of a radically free market economy. Contradictory values are used to differentiate sharing businesses and give them a – perhaps - deeper meaning. Ideological components such as community, anti-consumerism, and sustainability are used to reconfigure precarious contract labor as self-fulfillment and individual choice. It is argued that this fuzzy ideology is not transferable to all platform-based startup brands and that the lure of sharing needs to be treated with caution.

Avdelning/ar

  • Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation
  • Institutionen för service management och tjänstevetenskap

Publiceringsår

2019

Språk

Engelska

Dokumenttyp

Konferensbidrag: abstract

Ämne

  • Communication Studies

Nyckelord

  • sharing economy
  • startup
  • branding
  • ideology
  • failure

Conference name

Global Brand Conference

Conference date

2019-05-08 - 2019-05-10

Conference place

Berlin, Germany

Status

Published