Exploring brand activism practices of small businesses
: A multiple case study in the craft food industry

  • Marcus Månsson
  • Oscar Stéen

Student thesis: Bachelor


In today’s marketplace, consumers have increased their attention to brands that engage in socio-political issues. Brand activists are purpose- and values-driven companies that direct their efforts to achieve certain socio-political goals. While previous literature has explored brand activism in larger companies, research on brand activism in smaller companies lacks the same theoretical depth. Thus, the purpose of this study is to understand the practices of brand activism within small businesses and to explore what role communication has. The research uses previous literature to create a multiple case study on five small brand activist businesses in the craft food industry. Semi-structured interviews were used as a qualitative method to collect the empirical data. The research resulted in three main insights. First, practices of brand activism in small businesses were prominently driven by co-creation and the local community. Second, communication acts as the synchronization of the practices and bridge the divide between a small brand activist’s corporate practice and their activist marketing message. Third, small brand activists use the circumstances to be a small actor in the socio-political market as an asset to create activist practices that capitalize on the benefit of smallness. The paper contributes with a new theoretical understanding of the practices to build stronger relationships to obtain and retain consumers.
Date of Award2022-Jun
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorChristian Koch (Supervisor), Oskar Christensson (Assessor) & Heléne Tjärnemo (Examiner)

Educational program

  • Degree of Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics

Courses and Subjects

  • Företagsekonomi

University credits

  • 15 HE credits

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Business Administration (50202)


  • Brand Activism
  • branding
  • small businesses
  • craft food
  • community
  • co-creation
  • purpose-driven organizations

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