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Operationalising brand heritage and cultural heritage

Ulla Hakala (Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Sonja Lätti (Helsinki School of Economics, Aalto University, Aalto, Finland)
Birgitta Sandberg (Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 20 September 2011




Brand heritage is acknowledged as one of the future priorities in branding research. Adopting it in an international context is challenging. In order to maximise its use it is necessary to know how strong it and the target country's cultural heritage are. Accordingly, the aim of the study is to construct a pioneering operationalisation of both brand and cultural heritage.


The study begins with a discussion on the focal concepts. Definitions are proposed and suggestions for operationalisation put forward. Thereafter, the concepts are applied in an analysis of brand heritage in different countries.


It is suggested that brand heritage is a mixture of the history as well as the consistency and continuity of core values, product brands, and visual symbols. A country's cultural heritage could be conceived of as homogeneity and endurance.

Research limitations/implications

The preliminary operationalisation of the concept needs to be further tested. Nevertheless, the clarification and suggestions offered here should open up opportunities for further research.

Practical implications

The exploitation of brand heritage in international markets is likely to be further accentuated. The operationalisations generated are easy for practitioners to apply, enabling companies to better evaluate what brand heritage means for them and to effectively plan its use in an international setting.


To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to suggest operationalisations of brand heritage and cultural heritage.



Hakala, U., Lätti, S. and Sandberg, B. (2011), "Operationalising brand heritage and cultural heritage", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 447-456.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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