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The Value and Importance of Design When Branding for Social Media: Models for a Framework Analysis

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This article presents an investigation into understanding the role of design and designers when managing creative brand strategies for social media, and was conducted in Portugal and the United Kingdom during 2011–12. It combines results from an online survey (103 participants) and interviews (21 interviews) regarding the role of design in branding for social media. Based on the results, two models were elaborated; these models allow the integration of a social media strategy by adding to the existing design ladder model. Model validation was achieved by an online survey (30 responses) completed by a panel of experts.

Three different research domains were considered for this study: namely branding, design and social media. With regard to branding, we opted to focus on the branding literature that is concerned with strategic brand management, as well as social marketing management literature. Concerning design, we focused on its importance to both branding and social media, while also addressing the importance of design management in branding today and how it is connected to new research in social media. An analysis of how social media has developed into a growing and important platform for brands to connect with consumers (and vice versa) was also conducted. In addition, we analysed how social media generates business and return on investment. The article connects aspects of branding and design that are crucial to the social media field. Our goal is to clarify the importance and impact of design management in social media strategy, branding and business.
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Keywords: branding; design; design management; design strategy; social media

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster University 2: Manchester Metropolitan University

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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  • The Journal of Design, Business & Society is a double-blind peer reviewed scholarly journal that aims to publish high-quality academic papers that examine the role of design in business and/or society, case studies, design critiques, and book reviews of relevant literature. Our aim is to promote cross-disciplinary research in the field of design. Therefore, in addition to design papers we are also interested in receiving manuscripts on research about design that are coming from non-design areas, such as business, marketing, management, health, psychology, social sciences, environmental sciences, and others.
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