The empirical fieldwork chapter presents the conducted interviews with the company and focus groups. The empirical work is conducted based on branding on Instagram, brand identity and brand image, and the Kapferer’s brand identity prism. It was collected through interviews with the company and with focus group discussions.
Branding and visual branding
The empirical findings on branding and visual branding include the competitive advantage that Aim’n believes they possess, and what they have said regarding their brand being com-petitive and strong. It also covers the findings on brand name and logo, from both the company perspective as well as focus group participants’ opinions. The founders consider themselves to have a strong brand due to: Unique design of their products A personal brand Being ahead of their competitors The founders’ opinion is that the trend of being active, showing off and wearing workout clothes now has increased, and the company penetrated the market in a timely manner, al-lowing them to take advantage of this trend. The participants of the focus groups acknowl-edged that the previous trend of black tights has changed into a more colorful and edgy trend, and they stated that Aim’n is in the very front-runner in this area. These findings are in line with what the company, consider as their competitive advantage. The founders of Aim’n wanted to have a name that makes people react and motivates and inspires their customers to take action, be active, and have confidence. Therefore, the foundation is aim and the name they decided upon is Aim’n. The brand wants to deliver a message of that one shall aim high and that reaching personal goals are possible. The par-ticipants of the focus groups main thoughts of the name were; easy to remember, straight-forward, professional and nice. The focus groups understood that the name Aim’n indi-cates to strive for a goal or similar, and aim to reach your ambitions. Furthermore, the fo-cus groups discussed that the tights clearly show the Aim’n logo and that they have simi- larities with other logos from other brands. The participants said that Aim’n has a nice logo but two participants thought that the logo was too large.
Branding on Instagram
The company’s marketing strategy is to aim for word-of-mouth through social media with Instagram being the main focus. In order to raise awareness about the brand, Aim’n is looking into collaborations with famous Instagram accounts and they have used such col-laborations in the past. According to the focus groups it is clear that Aim’n uses Instagram as a marketing channel and the groups discussed that they are trying to target all kinds of followers with different environments in the photos that they post Aim’n declares that one reason behind promoting the brand on Instagram is that it is a cost efficient marketing tool and therefore, they have barely used any finances to market their brand. Another reason is that Instagram enables the brand to spread quickly. Therefore, the founders believe that it is indeed a very powerful marketing channel due to the amount of users one can reach. Aim’n has noticed that when they post a picture of a pair of tights, they are the ones selling the best that day. Furthermore, Aim’n states that what is of im-portance for them is to gain followers and have pictures that generate sales . Aim’n explained their situation as a newly founded startup and thereby they do not have a lot of financial resources. Hence, they always want to go for the low cost or free options, resulting in social media being virtually the only option regarding marketing. Additionally, Aim’n highlighted that a good contact network could be beneficial for a start up. Lately, Aim’n has started to engage in other channels as well, such as blogs, magazines and the lo-cal newspaper. By communicating their brand on Instagram the founders say that they are indeed investing resources in the branding process. They explain that staying updated on Instagram is time consuming, since using Instagram’s tool kit involves different parts such as comments, sharing, shout outs, finding followers and possible collaborations. Aim’n puts both time and effort into their account to have good and relevant pictures that emphasize the brand’s values. Moreover, by evaluating and analyzing the target group the founders try to stay as updated as possible when it comes to movements on Instagram. However, some difficulties that Aim’n has acknowledged with having Instagram as their main marketing channel are: That it is difficult to follow all the comments and give the customer the feedback that is requested. The inability to choose followers and the spread of the brand could be of difficulty to regulate as the targeted users may not be attracted. The existence of cyber bullying that is common. It is something they do not toler-ate nor want to be associated with and thereby they confront it on their account.
The Instagram account of Aim’n
Aim’n explains that there are many similar accounts compared to theirs on Instagram, es-pecially with the focus on inspiration and lifestyle. Initially it was challenging for Aim’n to gain followers because they did not have any products to show. Therefore, Aim’n used photos that had been taken for other occasions when the founders were surfing, kite surf-ing, went running or went to the gym. This was to keep the account updated with different types of lifestyle photos until the samples were ready to be shown. Aim’n is always trying to have colorful pictures where there is something going on or hap-pening. Furthermore, they desire to have something encouraging in every picture and even though it is not always expressed explicitly, they want every picture to convey that. The participants of the focus groups interpreted the account as trying to mediate the feeling of: Being strong Happy Being yourself and being pleased with yourself Creating a “good-feeling” Encouraging Positive Not so much pressure on buying the product. Also the participants noticed the fact that Aim’n posts inspirational quotes and pictures in-dicating that one should be proud of yourself, and this feeling is enhanced by strengthening inspiration in forms of quotes and the design and theme of the pictures. It was also said by the focus groups that even though many of the pictures are on the adventurous side, there is no pressure on actually being adventurous, though Aim’n’s products can contribute to the feeling of being more adventurous. According to Aim’n, the essential guidelines to follow when posting a picture or a short video on Instagram are first and foremost to have good quality and lighting, as well as the right colors and nice backgrounds. Furthermore, the product should be in focus and it should blend in nicely with the background.
The communication of brand identity and the perceived brand image
The researchers have used the concepts of the Kapferer’s brand identity prism when con-structing the questions for the focus groups and the further interviews with Aim’n.
Reflection and Self-image – perception of recipient
The focus groups’ impression was that the typical customer is: Girls and Women Age 15 – 35 Athletic Trend awareness (keeps up with trends) Not very price sensitive Frequent workout person Attention seekers Fashion interested Students Confident The reason why the group thought of women in the ages between 15-35 is due to the col-or, appearance and uniqueness of the products. There was a disagreement during the dis-cussions regarding wearing the tights for fashion purposes or not, and that women could buy the tights to look good outside the gym as well. Furthermore, there was another disa-greement regarding whether or not the tights draw too much attention to them, which could potentially make them uncomfortable to wear. Some participants were a bit con-cerned regarding the sex appeal of the tights and especially mentioned that attention, due to the design, could be drawn to the backside of the pants. Therefore, the group concluded that not every woman is a typical customer.The reasons that the focus groups discussed, regarding why women would buy and wear Aim’n tights were: Contribution to the feeling you have at the gym Looking good due to the nice and happy colors and patterns The feeling of being special Not looking like everyone else Cool pieces of clothing They can contribute to the feeling of confidence They can contribute to the feeling of being adventurous From the company perspective, Aim’n wants the customers that wear the products to per-ceive themselves as, confident, outstanding, active and unstoppable women. Aim’n further explains that their clothing line is developed to make the people wearing their products feel happy while doing the things they love. Additionally, as stated before, the founders want the clothes to make you feel motivated and inspired while it encourage the customer to be active and engage in sporty adventures.
Personality and Physique – the picture of sender
Aim’n summarizes their brand as being just an ordinary girl and they use these following characteristics to describe the brand if it was a human being: Happy Friendly Polite Joyful With high goals and big dreams Aim’n has had a few collaborations with well-known profiles within wakeboarding, such as Janni Delér and Carro Djupsjö. The company however, explains that it is difficult to find one single person that could possibly address their whole target group, as it is indeed very wide. Furthermore, the founders clarify that this is the reason behind them trying to find various collaborations in different areas within their target group. The company provides several different designs and this attracts different customers as well as that they state that the product can be used in many different areas worn by fashion girls, sporty girls or ad-venturous girls. The participants in the focus groups had the overall impression of the brand being: Young Girly Colorful High fashion Appealing Inspiring Nice Comes with a wide and flexible usage span Looking good while working out For many types of girls Feeling good while working out International High health focus Expensive High brand recognition, and when seeing the logo, name or product you would instantly realize that it is Aim’n Many participants had considered buying a pair of Aim’n tights and one participant added that it was because of the good feeling she experienced through the posts on Instagram.
1.3 Research question
2 Frame of reference
2.1 Branding and visual branding
2.2 Branding on Instagram
2.3The communication of brand identity and the perceived brand image
3.1 Research Approach
3.2 Research design
3.3 Data collection
3.4 Research Strategy
3.5 Sampling method
3.6 Data analysis
3.7 Reliability and Validity
4 Empirical presentation
4.1 Branding and visual branding
4.2 Branding on Instagram
4.3 The communication of brand identity and the perceived brand image
5.1 Branding and visual branding
5.2 Branding on Instagram
5.3 The brand identity prism
5.4 The communication of brand identity and brand image
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
Branding via Instagram