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Brand systems: integrating branding research perspectives

Shoaib M. Farooq Padela (Department of Marketing, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
Ben Wooliscroft (Department of Marketing, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
Alexandra Ganglmair-Wooliscroft (School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 23 December 2022

Issue publication date: 17 January 2023




This paper aims to conceptualise and characterise brand systems and outline propositions and research avenues to advance the systems’ view of branding.


A conceptual synthesis approach is adopted to integrate the extant branding research perspectives. The conceptual framework is grounded in the theoretical foundation of marketing systems theory.


The conceptual framework delineates brand inputs, throughputs, outcomes and feedback effects within a brand system. It configures the complexity and dynamics of brand value formation among brand actors within the branding environment.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes to systems thinking in branding and brand value co-creation research. It extends marketing systems theory into the branding context and provides research directions for exploring the structural and functional configurations, cause–consequence processes and outcome concerns of brand value formation.

Practical implications

This conceptual framework informs brand development, management and regulation at a macro level. Managers can apply the brand system concept to identify and manage conflicting expectations of brand actors and alleviate adverse brand outcomes such as negative brand externalities, enhancing overall brand system health and societal value.


This research expands the scope of brand actor agency and identifies the likelihood of disproportionate brand outcomes. It provides methodological guidelines for analysis and intervention in brand systems.



Padela, S.M.F., Wooliscroft, B. and Ganglmair-Wooliscroft, A. (2023), "Brand systems: integrating branding research perspectives", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 57 No. 2, pp. 387-425.



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