Hungry for More? An Analysis of Bon Appétit’s Digital Brand Extension Strategies and their Potential Uses and Gratifications

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2017-06-16
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

This thesis examines one magazine's transition from print to digital media in order to shine a spotlight on one successful magazine brand and its attempts to navigate the digital revolution while also maintaining a successful magazine. Through a systematic descriptive analysis of communication strategies, a case analysis of Bon Appétit magazine is the focus of this thesis. Guided by the uses and gratifications theoretical perspective and informed by a systematic descriptive analysis, this thesis offers a rich examination of the Bon Appétit magazine brand and the ways the brand has been extended in the evolving digital media environment. The unique approach implemented in this thesis provides the opportunity to observe uses and gratifications from the organization's standpoint, instead of the consumer's. This unique approach was designed to reveal how Bon Appétit is attempting to fulfill consumer needs and gratifications through the digital media brand extensions, specifically its website, social media, and podcast. Analysis of Bon Appétit brand extensions indicate that six of Parham Santana's ten brand extension strategies are being implemented by Bon Appétit, including shift the form, transfer a component, transfer a benefit, leverage a special expertise, leverage your consumer base, and leverage a lifestyle. Another significant finding indicates that Bon Appétit implemented communication strategies centered on accessibility and convenience, surveillance, diversion, and interaction gratifications on its digital media platforms. Findings from this study suggest that future researchers would benefit from adding convenience and accessibility as gratifications considered in the uses and gratifications theoretical approach when researching digital media. Additionally, replication of the systematic method in this thesis, especially if applied to other magazine brands, could help reveal the types of brand extensions at play in digital platforms and whether other magazines use similar strategies to build and maintain relationships with consumers.

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Keywords
uses and gratifications, relationships, brand extensions, magazines, digital media, traditional media, print media
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