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(En) act your age! Marketing and the marketization of history in young SMEs

Terrance Weatherbee (FC Manning School of Business, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada)
Donna Sears (FC Manning School of Business, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 8 September 2021

Issue publication date: 26 January 2022

166

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how wineries used history in their marketing communications to overcome the liability of newness in a settled field that valorizes duration and longevity.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple-case study investigated the treatment of history in marketing by young wineries in a new wine region. Data included interviews, site visits and marketing communications.

Findings

Wineries worked to communicate stakeholder legitimacy and authenticity by constructing organizational histories through bricolage, communicating history in symbolic, material and practice forms.

Research limitations/implications

Young organizations can communicate field legitimacy and projections of organizational and product authenticity through constructed histories. Results may not be generalizable to other jurisdictions as wine marketing is normatively subject to government regulation. The importance of history in marketing communications also varies across sectors.

Practical implications

Young businesses in sectors where tradition, place and longevity are venerated can establish authenticity and legitimacy through the marketization of history by following practices that demonstrate adherence to tradition and making thoughtful choices in the construction of the symbolic and material aspects of their organizations.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates that new/young organizations can use bricolage to create their own marketized histories as proxies for age.

Keywords

Citation

Weatherbee, T. and Sears, D. (2022), "(En) act your age! Marketing and the marketization of history in young SMEs", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 66-89. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHRM-10-2020-0051

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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