Investigation of online branding in B2B context in China

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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Degree programme
Corporate Communication
Purpose -The purpose of this Master’s thesis is to shed lights on online branding practices in B2B sectors in China. A significant research gap has emerged during literature review that B2B branding has not received adequate attention as customer-goods brands do. In particular, the empirical resear-ches in Chinese context are insufficient. Therefore, this paper aims to present propositions of guidan-ce on managing B2B online branding in China through identifying, collecting and comparing online branding communication content from Chinese and foreign B2B companies. Methods – This thesis is an intercultural study through research on empirical online branding practices in China. It begins with an in-depth literature review covering relevant conceptualization, framework of online brand management and brand communication. The data collection method is content ana-lysis and semiotics analysis. Findings – The first highlight is that B2B top brands have well integrated social media and corporate website into their branding strategies. In the context of China, foreign B2B brands adopt popular Chi-nese social media and Chinese corporate website. The second proposition is content strategy on web-site branding and social media branding in China. Specifically, the thesis provides analysis on how content has helped accomplish different branding goals such as brand identity construction, brand promotion and brand offline behavior communication.
Thesis advisor
Ventola, Eija
B2B online branding, Chinese social media, brand identity, brand management
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