The aim of this study is to investigate the effect that the increase of brand acquisitions has on established parasocial relationships of customers. The objective is to understand what role brand identity plays, as well as brand loyalty, on these parasocial relationships and how brand acquisitions influence consumers once these phenomena are developed. The research was conducted using secondary data analysis to inform primary data collection in the form of semi-structured interviews. This data was then thematically analysed and coded into categories for in-depth examination. Secondary data was collected from multiple sources and the interviews were conducted with six individuals.
The research revealed that there is a link between strong brand identity, brand loyalty and parasocial relationships, as well as establishing negative and positive effects of acquisition on these theories. If mis-managed, brand acquisition can cause long term negative effects on brands and affect the relationships developed by consumers. However, depending on the level of established parasocial relationships, these negative effects can be mitigated if it is seen to have benefits for the customers post brand acquisition.
KEYWORDS: Brand Identity, Brand Acquisition, Parasocial relationships, Hierarchy, Loyalty, Cognition, Media, Entertainment, Film, Star Wars, Disney, thematic analysis.
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