Unveiling Organizational Visions
Edited by Christina Garsten and Monica Lindh de Montoya
Chapter 3: The Social Life of Brands: On Choosing Values for Visions (and Divisions)
Raoul Galli Whenever a culture is understood to be a collective phenomenon, it needs a sociology. When this sociology is left implicit, the danger is greater that it is a weak sociology. (Hannerz, 1992, p. 10) Just a few minutes outside Stockholm city and alongside the sea approach to the capital lies a small area of buildings in strikingly diﬀerent architectonic styles. These buildings house an unusually high concentration of corporate head oﬃces, one of which belongs to a major Swedish company that also happens to be on ‘my’ advertising agency’s client list.1 Four representatives from the advertising agency are visiting this client today: the account manager, the planner,2 the assistant planner, and I, presented to the client as ‘a researching social anthropologist sanctioned by management to participate today as the agency’s assistant’. We shake hands and greet the client group of middle-range managers3 entering the assembly room. I have been previously informed that there are some managers expected today who are like ‘door-keepers’ concerning organizational changes, especially when it comes to branding – which happens to be the subject for the day – and that we have to be extra careful and convincing to really ‘get everyone on board now’; that is, on board a project intended to reposition this company vis-àvis its growing number of competitors, and to give it a new corporate brand strategy. This chapter deals with brands and branding. It is about social groups, the advertising agency and its clients, in their quality...
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