Internet Memes and their Influence on Corporate Reputation: A Case Study of Apple
(2014) Internet Memes and their Influence on Corporate Reputation: A Case Study of Apple, no. 185.
Purpose - The term "meme" is widely used on the Internet. However, the limited literature about this subject does not provide a consistent definition of Internet memes. This study aims to discover how young social media users define Internet memes. It also investigates the reasons why Internet memes go viral and discusses the influence Internet memes have on corporate reputation. Methodological approach - A case study of Apple was chosen for this research. The study applies mixed methods approach by conducting online questionnaires and online interviews. Findings - based on the majority of responses of the online interviews a following definition of Internet memes was discovered. An Internet meme is an image that is used as a template for digital manipulation and/or captioning, presents an idea or opinion in a humorous manner, and is shared on social media. The results from data analysis concluded that Internet memes are more likely to go viral if they are humorous. The study also suggests that an individual is more likely to share an Internet meme if the message of the meme conforms with his/her opinion. Based on respondents' use of social media, understanding of underlying messages of Internet memes, credibility they attach to Internet memes and the messages presented by Internet memes it, was concluded that Internet memes can damage corporate reputation.