Why Diversity?

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Cecilie Stubkjær Ottosen
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)
This paper seeks to examine what value diversity in branding on social media can create for a fashion brand, such as the Danish fashion brand MUNTHE. The study undertakes two types of semi-structured interviews: Elite and focus. The research therefore builds upon one elite interview with the Global PR and Relations Manager at MUNTHE, Frederikke Schantz, as well as three focus group interviews. It takes basis in my literature review where I have researched the use of diversity in the fashion and media industry as well as diversity related to branding and corporate social responsibility. It, also, is reliant on Edward McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips’ (2010) theory and perspective on Engagement in Branding, Douglas Holt’s (2004) on Cultural Branding, and Monika Hajdas and Ryszard Kłeczek’s (2021) on Purpose Branding. The paper shows that MUNTHE doesn’t get appreciated for its diversity actions, as it is not “extreme” enough for the consumers to acknowledge it. This shows that it matters how a brand chooses to use diversity in its branding. The results also suggested how important identification is for the consumers – this both in a physical way as they seek to be able to identify with the models in fashion advertisements, as well as in an emotional way as they also seek to identify with a brand’s values. It further showed how the fashion industry has affected the female ideal, and how this ideal negatively affects the consumers as it seems unattainable. This creates a contradiction between the consumer and the society which the brand can solve through changing status quo of the female ideal by offering a new more inclusive one. Overall, this paper shows how the use of diversity creates a societal value for a fashion brand such as MUNTHE. A value that can make a change for both consumer and society because of the transformation of status quo practices. The making of this change gets reflected for the brand in the creation of both brand admiration, increased sale, the prevention of any future shitstorms, and the possibility of becoming an iconic brand. It is hereby crucial for the brand to use a more “extreme” diversity approach, such as political statements and repeatedly use of inclusive models, to ensure these outcomes.
Publication date1 Jun 2023
Number of pages59
ID: 532540198