University of Oulu

The impact of artificial intelligence on sustainable corporate brand : a netnography study of tesla

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Author: Tsai, Hsin-Ying1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Marketing, Marketing
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
Pages: 97
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : H.-Y. Tsai, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-21
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Tan, Teck
Reviewer: Juga, Jari
Tan, Teck


The global market has become ever more turbulent due to digitalisation and digital transformation. Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a central role in moving forward the advance of technology. AI has become an important research field in marketing while various companies have successfully implemented AI technologies to meet customers’ needs. However, the impacts of AI on brands have not been widely explored in both scientific and managerial aspects. Brands generate values for businesses by providing functional and non-functional benefits that can be contributed by implementing AI technologies. Mainly, developing sustainability is crucial to address stakeholders’ concerns for today’s brands. The sustainable corporate brand can be a solution to this market demand as its promise has sustainability as a core value.

Through exploring this phenomenon, the thesis answers the research question: to what extent does AI contribute positive impacts on sustainable corporate brands in the electric autonomous vehicle (EAVs) sector? The EAVs industry, represented by the case company, Tesla, is chosen for conducting this research because it integrates the variants of electric vehicles that provide environmental benefits and the autonomous cars that use AI technologies. The study is performed using the qualitative research method of netnography. The data are collected from the publicly available information on Twitter and Youtube based on their relevance to the research question. One hundred sixty tweets and thirteen Youtube videos are extracted in textual form and analysed following the guidelines of thematic analysis and triangulated with multiple sources of data.

The key results of the research suggest the unique characteristics of the three AI features, machine learning, natural language processing (NLP) and Big Data analytics, help create the normative emotions and efficacy in the mind of stakeholders. These norms of emotions and efficacy further motivate stakeholders’ normative actions that, in return, enhance the normative emotions and efficacy in a loop. Five elements represent the values AI technologies contribute to brand promise through creating a unique experience for the stakeholders that differentiate the brand from its competitors. The refreshed excitements and trust are brought by machine learning technologies. The fun and human characteristics and safety are brought by NLP technologies. Technology superiority is made possible through Big Data analytics. Four elements act for the values conveyed by AI technologies that enrich and expand the brand identity. NLP features can effectively enhance the connections between the focal brand and the other brand associations: the CEO, the affiliate brands and meaningful cultural references. The shared ownership of the brand is intensified through the co-creation of Big Data analytics. By contributing to brand promise and brand identity, AI implementation helps foster positive impacts in building an authentic, emotionally charged, and behaviourally based sustainable corporate brand.

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Copyright information: © Hsin-Ying Tsai, 2021. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.