Edited by Bernd H. Schmitt and David L. Rogers
Susan Fournier, Michael R. Solomon and Basil G. Englis INTRODUCTION Managing brands is, in essence, about managing brand meanings (Allen et al., 2008; McCracken, 2005; Sherry, 2005). Brand managers craft meanings for their brands, attend to their articulation through product design and 4Ps speciﬁcation, leverage claimed brand meanings through line and product extensions, reﬁne meanings through product innovations and repositioning strategies, and organize meanings across product oﬀerings into brand architectures that can guide brand strategies over time. Advertising agencies, package designers, naming consultants, identity ﬁrms, logo developers, brand licensing brokers, placement agencies, and public relations ﬁrms are just some of the collaborators in a global industry devoted to the task of brand meaning management. This complex and synergistic services network is based upon one simple but critical truth: strong brands are built upon strong meanings. The corollary is a straightforward one: brands die when their meanings lose signiﬁcance in consumers’ lives. Feldwick (2002) formalized this implied value creation mechanism in his decompositional model of consumer-based brand equity (see Figure 3.1). Feldwick proposes a causal relationship between the various components of brand equity such that brand meanings (that is, ‘the collective associations and beliefs the consumer has about the brand’) drive brand strength (that is, ‘a measure of the strength of consumers’ attachments to a brand’), which in turn generates monetary value from the brand as a separable asset (that is, brand value) (2002, p. 11). Despite the centrality of brand meaning to brand equity formulations, consumer...
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