Larissa Silva Vilela
Master's – Reference structure for building branding equity in innovative service startups
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Edson Crescitelli
Comission: Profas. Dras. Kavita Miadaira Hamza, Janaína de Moura Engracia Giraldi and Rafaela Almeida Cordeiro
Link pelo YouTube: https://youtu.be/BdZt1lvPpwo
There is growing importance of technology companies called startups for the economic development of many countries and, therefore, attract increasing attention from public and private managers. In Brazil, 41.35% of these startups are services (Abstartups, 2019), a sector that corresponds to a significant percentage of GDP, of 72.9%. This makes the importance of companies that provide their innovative services through the internet (EIs) of origin as a startup. And its adoption is associated with a high degree of uncertainty for potential customers, particularly when these companies have a origin as startups, by the asymmetry of information existing between the company and its market, which is unaware of its solution, and because it is incipient, it lacks a history of delivering what promises and faces financials restrictions to disclose its solution and the value it delivers. In addition to these difficulties, the fact that these innovative service companies have distinct characteristics from traditional services: they are tangible, homogeneous, separable and totable. Theoretical studies state that the construction of brand equity plays an important role in the choice and decision-making of the client. Therefore, based on 13 in-depth interviews with founders and directors, this study explores how the construction of their brand heritage took place among the original IEs as startups and with distinct characteristics of the common services. Aligned with keller's (1993) brand equity theory (CBBE), this study identifies the actions carried out for the construction of each brand equity stage in these companies, as proposed by a reference structure for its construction. Actions related to content marketing (DCM), strategic partnerships, sales team, participation in events, community creation, OCR (online customer review), co-creation of solutions, word of mouth and the importance of reflection on the company's culture by the team were identified. The proposed reference structure contributes to theory and practice by suggesting specific phases for brand equity construction according to the particularities mentioned of the companies surveyed and proposes, as a first step, the prominence of the innovative authority and solution, followed by the tangibility of value in the construction of the image, which in turn is legitimized and reinforced by the company's team by being consistent with all internal and external communication and resonance through co-creation of solutions and communities. Moreover, as the empirical part of the study is based on the Brazilian context, the knowledge about the original EIs as startups in Brazil is broadened. Finally, it presents the limitations of the study with the agenda of future research.
*Abstract provided by the author