Chapter 9: Constructing Brands from the Outside? Brand Channels, Cyclical Clusters and Global Circuits
Dominic Power and Johan Jansson INTRODUCTION Traditionally, both the business and research worlds have posited direct links between products and place: Sheffield steel, Hollywood films, Paris fashion, Belgian chocolates, Swiss watches and Scandinavian design. It has been thought that regional and industrial success can be at least partly explained by mutually reinforcing effects: a locally embedded industry adds to the brand and vice versa. This view, we suggest, is too one-dimensional to explain the ‘origins’ of products or to explain how origins embed a place. In this chapter we explore the notion that the ‘origins’ of products can be considered to be ‘collective brands’ with considerable power. As such they are built up in a dialectical relationship between the product industries and their places. In particular, we suggest that it is important to understand that what happens outside the place can be as important to ‘place-based brands’ as what happens at home. The suggestion we put forward is that understandings of connections between products and place could benefit from thinking about the role and geographies of the ‘brand channels’ (Jansson and Power 2010) in which brands are constantly worked on. These brand channels are the spaces and conduits for the messages and various iterations that brands rest upon. However, just because the brand is about one place does not mean that the channels are constructed and transmitted locally. Rather we argue that it is important to think that brand channels are rooted in global circuits that are constantly reworked and...
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