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Final Major Project Paper Example: The Impact of Social Media Marketing on Brand Competitiveness

7 pages
1659 words
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
Dissertation proposal
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All students are required to complete this form finalising your FMP project proposal to help the FMP team assess the viability and academic rigour of your proposal.

Introduction to FMP:

The Final Major Project represents the culmination of your degree. The unit is essentially divided into three sections, each of which has an outcome. The unit begins with the development of an idea for the project which is built up into a project proposal. The proposal then becomes the backbone of the project which is undertaken independently under supervision. You will be able to negotiate with your supervisor an individual research project on any aspect of marketing that inspires you, which may reflect your future career aspirations. The project work is then communicated to a relevant audience via an appropriate medium (for example an employer showcase).


Name: Student ID:.. FMP Supervisor.

Option 1 Dissertation project proposal:

Please complete a rationale for your subject and option choice under the headings below. Include supporting reference to industry, academic and personal sources- with full references and hyperlinks.

Option 1 FMP working title:

An analysis of the impact of social media marketing on brand competitiveness in the footwear industry

Chapter 1 Introduction

The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze the impact of social media marketing on customer behavior and brand competitiveness in the sport footwear companies. It is expected that the global sports footwear market will grow at the CAGR rate of 2.71% during 2017-2021, based on the reports that have been prepared by industry experts (Research Markets, 2017). One of the trends in this market is the application of the digital as well as social media marketing as essential tools to increase the visibility of the products. As a strategy for competing intensely in the market, the brands have been forced to develop, the market as well as promote their products through interaction with the customers in social media, taking advantage of the improved technology, and a large number of audience online (Shank & Lyberger, 2014).

Research question

What is the impact of social media marketing on brand competitiveness in the sports footwear industry?

FMP Aim: to analyze the impact of social media marketing on brand competitiveness in the sports footwear industry

FMP Objectives: the objectives of this study include the following

1. To assess the impact of social media on brand competitiveness in the sports footwear industry

2. To establish the impact of social media on customer behaviors in the sports footwear industries.

3. To examine the extent companies utilize social media to increase brand competitiveness

4. To investigate market trends in sports footwear companies that utilize social media marketing

Chapter 2 Literature Review

Companies have shown a growing interest in utilizing social media marketing among the sports fashion brands. According to Kim and Ko, (2012) the fie construct activities that are perceived by fashion companies include interaction, entertainment, trendiness, customization and word of mouth. The impacts of these activities on relationship equity, value equity, as well as brand equity have been illustrated to be positive. Relationship marketing entails the ability of companies to retain its customers, through the achievement of long-term mutual satisfaction by businesses as well as customers (Ertekin & Atik, 2015). Sports footwear manufacturers have to develop strategies for establishing, maintaining, and enhancing relationships through communication and engagement with the customers. According to Abezza, OReilly, and Reid (2013), the ability for companies to achieve these strategies on an ongoing basis, there is need to employ effective communication platforms. One of such platforms is social media which has become an ideal tool for continuing the 2-way dialogue between the company and the customer. The pattern of adoption of fashion is presented by a bell-shaped curve, which indicates the duration, the rate of adoption and the level of acceptance. Marketing plays a crucial role in determining how steep the curve of the bell is going to be, and it is the reason companies have to adopt the best marketing strategies for their brands.

Companies are also increasing their marketing spending on social media programs, although there is little research regarding how social media use is associated with customer brand relationships according to Hudson, Huang, Roth, and Madden, (2016). According to their study, social media engagement with the customers is associated with high-customer-brand relationships, which has a direct influence on the brand competitiveness. Studies also indicate that social media has a positive contribution to brand performance, retailer performance, as well as customer-retailer loyalty (Rapp, Beitelspacher, Grewal & Hughes, 2013). Also the supplier social media usage on retailer usage as well as customer usage is moderated by the reputation of the brand as well as service ambidexterity (Kesavan, Bernacchi & Mascarenhas, 2013). Studies by Killian and McManus (2016) acknowledge that social media as a source of interaction between the company and the customers regarding their favourite brands, but there is little research on how social media has been established within the firms existing communication strategies. According to the findings of their studies, social media purposes differ, but personality is created across each of the platforms applied including consistency, commitment, caution, and customization. This indicates that branding managers should understand how to position social media within their communication strategy, and how to utilize it in different media platforms to understand and address customer needs (Godey et al., 2016).

Chapter 3: Methodology

The mixed research method will be utilized for this study because it allows the researcher to expand the findings of the topic without relying on one data source (Cameron & Miller, 2010). This method allows the researcher to rely on philosophical assumptions which guide the direction for the collection as well as data analysis and also the mixture of both qualitative and quantitative data in single research. The central premise of this method is that the utilization of both qualitative and quantitative research provides a better understanding of the research problems (Cameron & Miller, 2010).

Case study research design will be applied as it is suitable for emphasizing detailed contextual analysis that has limited events as well as their relationships (Yin, 2013). One of the key strength of this design is that it allows the use of multiple sources and techniques in data gathering, and the researcher determines what evidence to gather and analysis techniques to be used to answer the research questions (Zainal, 2017). The sample population will include brand managers and marketing staff from different sports footwear from the selected companies. The key methods for data collection in this study will be interviews, administration of questionnaires to the participants, review of existing company documents, and existing research on the topic (Zainal, 2017). The collected data will be analyzed using statistical tools such as Microsoft Excel, Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), through modeling and systematic reviews.


Abeza, G., OReilly, N., & Reid, I. (2013). Relationship marketing and social media in sport. International Journal of Sport Communication, 6(2), 120-142.

Cameron, R., & Miller, P. (2010). Introducing mixed methods in applied business research training.

Godey, B., Manthiou, A., Pederzoli, D., Rokka, J., Aiello, G., Donvito, R., & Singh, R. (2016). Social media marketing efforts of luxury brands: Influence on brand equity and consumer behavior. Journal of business research, 69(12), 5833-5841.

Hudson, S., Huang, L., Roth, M. S., & Madden, T. J. (2016). The influence of social media interactions on consumerbrand relationships: A three-country study of brand perceptions and marketing behaviors. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 33(1), 27-41.

Kesavan, R., Bernacchi, M. D., & Mascarenhas, O. A. (2013). Word of mouse: CSR communication and the social media. International Management Review, 9(1), 58.

Killian, G., & McManus, K. (2015). A marketing communications approach for the digital era: Managerial guidelines for social media integration. Business Horizons, 58(5), 539-549.

Kim, A. J., & Ko, E. (2012). Do social media marketing activities enhance customer equity? An empirical study of luxury fashion brand. Journal of Business Research, 65(10), 1480-1486.

Ozdamar Ertekin, Z., & Atik, D. (2015). Sustainable markets: Motivating factors, barriers, and remedies for mobilization of slow fashion. Journal of Macromarketing, 35(1), 53-69.

Rapp, A., Beitelspacher, L. S., Grewal, D., & Hughes, D. E. (2013). Understanding social media effects across seller, retailer, and consumer interactions. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(5), 547-566.

Research Markets. (2017). Global Sports Footwear Market 2017-2021: Digital and Social Media Marketing Essential in this Intensely Competitive Market. Retrieved 10 January 2018, from

Shank, M. D., & Lyberger, M. R. (2014). Sports marketing: A strategic perspective. Routledge.

Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research: Design and methods. Sage publications.

Zainal, Z. (2017). Case study as a research method. Jurnal Kemanusiaan, 5(1).


BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing

Final Major Project January formative assessment: Option 1 project proposal


Name: Student ID:.. FMP Supervisor 1.

Formative Assessor 2...

Working title:

Formative feedback FMP Supervisor comments

Chapter 1 Introduction

Background context: Is this clearly communicated with reference to industry, theory and students personal interest and experience?

Research question: Is it clear, realistic and measurable to ensure secondary and primary research can be collected?

FMP Aim and Objectives: Are the...

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