Chapter 8: Sensing Brands, Branding Scents: On Perfume Creation in the Fragrance Industry
8. Sensing brands, branding scents: On perfume creation in the fragrance industry Bodo Kubartz INTRODUCTION Compare also the physical capitalist commodity with the metaphysical brand. Brands also operate in a sea of inequivalence. A brand’s product lines may be tangible, but the brand itself is not. It is abstract. Yet every brand is different from every other. The exchange-value of a commodity is comprised of units of identity. If a brand is not different from another it has no (brand) value. The commodity is divisible into parts consisting of quantities of exchangevalue. A brand is not divisible without changing into something else. (Lash 2008: 7) The development towards a knowledge economy and society has been theorized for the last two decades (Castells 1996; Leadbeater 1999). The end of the industrial economy and the emergence of post-Fordist production and consumption regimes have been examined. Economic geographers have been quite engaged and put their focus on how to conceptualize and understand knowledge (inter alia Amin and Cohendet 2004; Amin and Roberts 2008b; Faulconbridge 2007; Grabher and Ibert 2006; Ibert 2007, 2010; Jones 2008). However, the driving motors of the economy also have to be addressed. To this end, the increasing economic significance of brands has, so far, not been examined in great detail. Two gaps exist. First, an in-depth discussion of brands and branding as crucial socio-economic activities has only recently begun in economic geography (Pike 2009; Power and Hauge 2008). The gap is substantial, since competitive success is increasingly brand-driven in...
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