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Young consumer-brand relationship building potential using digital marketing

Nicolla Confos (Discipline of Marketing, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Teresa Davis (Discipline of Marketing, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 14 November 2016




This paper aims to examine branding strategies directed at child consumers, used by six high fat, sugar and salt food brands across three different digital marketing platforms. It identifies brand relationship building potential in this digital context.


This study analyses the contents of branded mobile phone applications, branded websites (including advergames) and branded Facebook sites to understand the nature of young consumer–brand relationship strategies that marketers are developing in this digital media marketing environment.


The use of sophisticated integrated branding strategies in immersive online media creates the potential for marketers to build relationships between young consumers and brands at an interactive, direct and social level not seen in traditional media. Categories of relationships and brand tactics are identified as outcomes of this analysis and linked to brand relationship building potential.

Research limitations/implications

The results suggest that branded communication strategies that food companies use in the online environment are creating conditions that appeal to young consumers, fostering new ways to build brand relationships. As this is a dynamic medium in a fluid state of change, this exploratory study identifies and categorises the marketing strategy, but not the young consumers’ response to such branding strategies (a limitation).


This study details the potential for child–brand relationship building in the context of online branding environments. It identifies the potential for longer-term effects of embedded advertising directly to young consumers, within and across three digital media platforms.



Confos, N. and Davis, T. (2016), "Young consumer-brand relationship building potential using digital marketing", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 50 No. 11, pp. 1993-2017.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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