User-Generated Brands and Social Media: Couchsurfing and AirBnb

  • Natalia Yannopoulou University of Newcastle
  • Mona Moufahim University of Nottingham
  • Xuemei Bian University of Kent


The aim of this paper is to examine the brand identity construction of user-generated brands (UGBs), using discursive and visual analysis of UGBs’ social media material in an attempt to contribute to a better understanding of this relatively new branding phenomenon. We specifically focused on two such brands: Airbnb and Couchsurfing. Our main findings reveal the emerged themes: the access to the private sphere, the human dimension and meaningful inter-personal discourses, and authenticity. The value of our research lies in identifying the specificities of the identity construction and visual representation of UGBs. Lastly, we offer practical suggestions and ideas for future research. Keywords: User generated brands, User generated content, Social media, Discourse analysis To cite this document: Natalia Yannopoulou, Mona Moufahim, and Xuemei Bian, "User-Generated Brands and Social Media: Couchsurfing and Airbnb", Contemporary Management Research, Vol.9, No.1, pp.85-90, 2013. Permanent link to this document

Author Biographies

Natalia Yannopoulou, University of Newcastle
Marketing Department
Xuemei Bian, University of Kent
Marketing Department
How to Cite
Yannopoulou, N., Moufahim, M., & Bian, X. (2013). User-Generated Brands and Social Media: Couchsurfing and AirBnb. Contemporary Management Research, 9(1).
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