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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Elizabeth Jane Wilson, Anders Bengtsson and Catharine Curran

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, propositions in an existing conceptual framework are empirically explored to note whether and how brand meaning gaps exist for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, propositions in an existing conceptual framework are empirically explored to note whether and how brand meaning gaps exist for internal and external stakeholders of a focal brand. Second, a typology of brand meaning gaps, characterised by meaning assonance and valence, offers new insight for brand management strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use case study methods to explore the research propositions about brand meaning gaps among stakeholder groups. The focal firm is The Black Dog Company of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts in the USA. Data from brand owners (internal stakeholders) and consumers (external stakeholders) are collected using in-depth interviews, observation, document analysis, and an online survey that includes a picture association task. Further inductive analysis of secondary data helps develop the typology of brand meaning gaps and dynamics.

Findings

The research propositions are supported. Brand meaning gaps exist between internal and external stakeholders, and they exist among two external stakeholder groups. Brand meaning for owners, primarily defined as family heritage, is largely unknown to consumers. Among consumers, brand meaning for stakeholder group 1 is “coastal New England”; brand meaning for group 2 is “dog lovers.” Although multiple brand meanings exist for stakeholders, the meanings are relatively assonant (harmonious) and positively valenced. The findings regarding the polysemic nature of brand meaning are useful to brand managers seeking to leverage offerings to multiple target markets. These findings, along with additional secondary data, serve as the basis for a typology of brand gaps and dynamics characterized by assonance and valence. Four types of meaning gaps may lead to situations where brands are beloved, on-the-cusp, hijacked, or facing disaster.

Originality/value

This work addresses calls from the literature to empirically explore brand meaning among multiple stakeholder groups.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Kieran D. Tierney, Ingo O. Karpen and Kate Westberg

The purpose of this paper is to consolidate and advance the understanding of brand meaning and the evolving process by which it is determined by introducing and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consolidate and advance the understanding of brand meaning and the evolving process by which it is determined by introducing and explicating the concept of brand meaning cocreation (BMCC).

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth review and integration of literature from branding, cocreation, service systems, and practice theory. To support deep theorizing, the authors also examine the role of institutional logics in the BMCC process in framing interactions and brand meaning outcomes.

Findings

Prior research is limited in that it neither maps the process of cocreation within which meanings emerge nor provides theoretical conceptualizations of brand meaning or the process of BMCC. While the literature acknowledges that brand meaning is influenced by multiple interactions, their nature and how they contribute to BMCC have been overlooked.

Research limitations/implications

This paper reveals a significant gap in knowledge of how brand meaning is cocreated, despite the essential role of brand meaning for firm success and increasing academic interest in the notion of cocreation. Ultimately, this paper builds a conceptual foundation for empirical research in this regard.

Originality/value

This paper proposes that brand meaning is cocreated through the interconnection of different social and service systems, across system levels, time, and geographic space. Marketing theory is advanced by outlining a set of research propositions pertaining to the BMCC process. The authors consider how discrete actor-based brand meanings contribute to an overall brand gestalt and how such a gestalt potentially evolves along a continuum. Additionally, the authors provide a managerially and theoretically relevant research agenda to guide much needed empirical research into BMCC.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Beate Elizabeth Stiehler

The purpose of this paper is to explore consumer meaning-making and brand co-creation and the role of brand value and the consumption context of luxury goods in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore consumer meaning-making and brand co-creation and the role of brand value and the consumption context of luxury goods in the emerging South African market.

Design/methodology/approach

An extant segmentation approach that classifies luxury brand consumers into four different segments was used to guide the identification of a total of 16 luxury consumers with whom in-depth interviews were conducted.

Findings

The findings identify differences between four consumer segments’ levels of brand knowledge and indicate how these differing levels produce interesting meanings assigned to luxury brands which in turn co-create the brands. A framework is also proposed that maps each of the four luxury segments according to the value they derive from luxury brands and the context in which luxury consumption holds the most meaning for each segment.

Practical implications

Managerial recommendations concerning the implications of consumers assigning meaning and value to luxury brands and recommendations pertaining to the managing and positioning of luxury brands to each of the four luxury segments in this market are proposed.

Originality/value

The study provides interesting insights with regards to how consumers assign meaning and value to luxury brands in the emerging South African market. The proposed framework also uniquely demonstrates underlying behaviours within each of the four luxury segments and contributes to a better understanding of how and why these segments consume luxury brands.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2018

Veronika Tarnovskaya and Galina Biedenbach

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the dynamic process of brand meaning creation by multiple stakeholders during corporate rebranding in the digital environment.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the dynamic process of brand meaning creation by multiple stakeholders during corporate rebranding in the digital environment.

Design/methodology/approach

By applying a symbolic interactionist perspective, the case study analyses a failed corporate rebranding of Gap. A variety of narratives by managers, consumers, designers, and marketing professionals were captured by collecting qualitative data on Facebook, Twitter, and professional forums on the internet.

Findings

The study demonstrates that the process of brand meaning creation is affected by the complexity of brand meaning negotiation within and between different stakeholder groups. The findings illustrate that the polarisation of brand meanings, in which both antagonistic and supportive forms co-exist, has a determinable impact on the outcome of corporate rebranding.

Research limitations/implications

The study analyses one case of corporate rebranding failure with the focus being on the four key stakeholder groups. Future studies could examine multiple cases of successful and failed corporate rebranding, including a broader variety of internal and external stakeholders.

Practical implications

Marketing managers should engage multiple stakeholders proactively during the process of brand meaning creation. They are encouraged to learn from antagonistic incidents of brand meaning negotiation as well as to utilise opportunities arising during constructive episodes of brand meaning co-creation.

Originality/value

The study contributes to previous research by exploring how the process of brand meaning creation can trigger the collision of brand meanings, which lead to the failure of corporate rebranding.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Thomas A. Baker III, Kevin K. Byon and Natasha T. Brison

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether negative meanings consumers attribute to a corporation transfer to the endorser and to examine the moderating effects of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether negative meanings consumers attribute to a corporation transfer to the endorser and to examine the moderating effects of corporate-specific and product-specific negative meanings on an endorser’s credibility.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a protocol designed by Till and Shimp (1998), two experiments were conducted to examine if meaning transfer exists (experiment 1) and if meaning type moderates reverse meaning transfer (experiment 2). A doubly repeated multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to investigate changes in the endorser’s credibility and attitudes toward the brand.

Findings

The results revealed that the negative meanings consumers associated with these corporate crises influence consumer perceptions of the endorser as well as attitude toward the brand.

Research limitations/implications

This finding supports the position that meaning type moderates reverse meaning transfer and may explain variances in the literature on the significance of reverse meaning transfer. Based on these findings, brand crises have a negative effect on the endorser’s credibility.

Practical implications

The results lead the authors to suggest that endorsers as well as marketers should closely scrutinize brand partnerships, as the relationship may positively and negatively influence consumer perceptions of the athlete endorser.

Social implications

Based on the findings from this study, brand managers need to appreciate differences in brand crisis type by tailoring brand image remediation strategies to fit the type(s) of meaning(s) associated with a specific controversy.

Originality/value

The results from the current study add, significantly, to the literature by being the first to evidence that different meanings associated with different types of brand crises produce different attitudes toward the brand.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2009

Ilan Alon, Romie F. Littrell and Allan K.K. Chan

This article reviews and discusses issues in the translation of international brand names to Chinese, and provides a framework for international brand managers who want to…

Abstract

This article reviews and discusses issues in the translation of international brand names to Chinese, and provides a framework for international brand managers who want to expand into China. Linguistic differences between Chinese and English are wide and deep, making translation of brand names difficult. Cultural context, pronunciation, written vs. oral language, and the meaning of characters are just a few examples of such difficulties. We discuss four global product‐naming strategic alternatives available to country/brand managers, along with their usage. The four approaches include (1) dual extension, (2) brand meaning extension, (3) brand feeling extension, and (4) dual adaptation. We also provide examples of brands utilizing the different approaches.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Oriol Iglesias and Eduard Bonet

The purpose of this paper is to build a conceptual framework that enables an improved comprehension of how brand meaning is constructed.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to build a conceptual framework that enables an improved comprehension of how brand meaning is constructed.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual implications are drawn from an analysis and discussion of the literature in the fields of brand management, meanings, rhetoric, and narratives.

Findings

Brand managers are progressively losing control over the multiple sources of brand meaning. Brand meaning is co‐created during the consumer‐brand relationship and the customer‐perceived brand meaning is re‐interpreted at each touchpoint that a consumer has with a managerially determined brand interface, a brand employee, or an external stakeholder.

Originality/value

“Persuasive brand management” is presented as a new approach to brand management. It considers that the main activities of managers regarding brand strategy decisions involve processes of interpreting and creating meanings; as well as persuading a wide diversity of internal and external stakeholders.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Book part
Publication date: 14 June 2018

Jacek Pogorzelski

Abstract

Details

Managing Brands in 4D
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-102-1

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Book part
Publication date: 2 May 2015

Jennifer Edson Escalas and James R. Bettman

We explore how marketers can manage brand meaning through the use of celebrity endorsements. We theorize that consumers look to celebrity endorsements for brand symbolism…

Abstract

Purpose

We explore how marketers can manage brand meaning through the use of celebrity endorsements. We theorize that consumers look to celebrity endorsements for brand symbolism, which they appropriate to construct and communicate their self-concepts by forming self-brand connections (SBC).

Methodology

This research employs an experimental paradigm, with two empirical studies examining whether marketers can create meaning for their brands through the use of celebrity endorsements.

Findings

Study 1 finds that celebrity endorsement enhances SBC when consumers aspire to be like the celebrity, but harms them when consumers do not; furthermore, this effect is more pronounced when the brand image is congruent with the celebrity’s image. The effect is further moderated by the degree to which a brand communicates something about the user, with more symbolic brands having stronger effects than less symbolic brands. Study 2 finds that the effect of celebrity endorsement on SBC is augmented when consumers’ self-esteem is threatened. Consumers self-enhance by building connections to celebrities with favorable images or distancing themselves from those with unfavorable images.

Practical implications

These findings can help marketers’ decisions regarding when and whom to use as a celebrity endorsers by taking into account how consumers use meaning appropriated from celebrities when constructing the self.

Details

Brand Meaning Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-932-5

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Simona D'Antone and Dwight Merunka

The purpose of this paper is to explore how brand origin (BO) cues affect the consumer’s association of a new brand with BO learning and the subsequent effects on brand

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how brand origin (BO) cues affect the consumer’s association of a new brand with BO learning and the subsequent effects on brand image (BO semiotics). An integrative theoretical framework is proposed that includes both processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed model is based on analogical learning theory and triadic semiotic theory.

Findings

Two types of BO knowledge form BO meanings in consumer minds: country-related categories and exemplar brands, which have a classification and/or inferential role. The brand cues (indexes or icons) used by consumers to identify BO generate one or the other type of BO knowledge. Indexes trigger the classification function of country-related categories while icons trigger the inferential role of country-related categories and exemplar brands. BO knowledge informs the meaning transfer when consumers interpret the meaning of a new brand, leading to either a transfer of relations or a transfer of attributes to the new brand.

Practical implications

Marketers should monitor BO exemplar brands that consumers use as meaning sources and carefully select the signs used in their communications to evoke BO.

Originality/value

The proposed framework contrasts with dominant categorisation perspectives, re-establishing the dual role of categories and emphasising the relevance of brand cues in BO identification and BO exemplar brands in the BO meaning transfer process. A meaning-centred perspective is adopted to integrate BO identification and the related transfer mechanisms.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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