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Does brand meaning exist in similarity or singularity?

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  • Berthon, Pierre
  • Pitt, Leyland F.
  • Campbell, Colin

Abstract

Drawing on Clark and Marshall's [Clark Herbert H., Marshall Catherine R. Definite Reference and Mutual Knowledge. In: Joshi Aravind K., Webber Bonnie L., Sag Ivan A., editors. Elements Of Discourse Understanding. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1981.] theory of mutual knowledge, this article presents a framework for understanding and managing brand meaning. Specifically, we provide an overarching theory of branding, with associated testable propositions. While traditional brand management theory focuses primarily on brand-related marketing communications, the role that the knowledge base of the recipient plays in interpreting these communications is generally overlooked. This may explain the multiple and sometimes dissonant brand meanings that arise despite consistent, simple and memorable brand communications. The theory of mutual knowledge stresses that assonance of meaning will only arise between the sender and recipient of a set of communications when both parties share a mutual knowledge base. Thus, to co-create brand meaning, organizations must understand the knowledge base of different stakeholder groups. Effective brand co-creation combines the management of both communications and stakeholders' mutual knowledge.

Suggested Citation

  • Berthon, Pierre & Pitt, Leyland F. & Campbell, Colin, 2009. "Does brand meaning exist in similarity or singularity?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 356-361, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:62:y:2009:i:3:p:356-361
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Inwon Kang & Jiwon Lee & Matthew Shin & Geon-Cheol Shin, 2014. "Brand competency as a market segmentation method for brand R&D in the Asian luxury market," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 8(1), pages 113-133, March.
    2. repec:eee:jbrese:v:82:y:2018:i:c:p:79-89 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Wilson, Elizabeth J. & Elliot, Esi A., 2016. "Brand meaning in higher education: Leaving the shallows via deep metaphors," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 3058-3068.
    4. Koll, Oliver & von Wallpach, Sylvia, 2014. "Intended brand associations: Do they really drive consumer response?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1501-1507.
    5. Asmussen, Bjoern & Harridge-March, Sally & Occhiocupo, Nicoletta & Farquhar, Jillian, 2013. "The multi-layered nature of the internet-based democratization of brand management," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(9), pages 1473-1483.
    6. Riley Debra & Charlton Nathalie & Wason Hillary, 2015. "The impact of brand image fit on attitude towards a brand alliance," Management & Marketing, De Gruyter Open, vol. 10(4), pages 270-283, December.
    7. Grohs, Reinhard & Raies, Karine & Koll, Oliver & Mühlbacher, Hans, 2016. "One pie, many recipes: Alternative paths to high brand strength," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 2244-2251.
    8. Merrilees, Bill & Miller, Dale, 2010. "Brand morphing across Wal-Mart customer segments," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(11), pages 1129-1134, November.
    9. repec:eee:ijrema:v:33:y:2016:i:1:p:93-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Voyer, Benjamin G. & Kastanakis, Minas N. & Rhode, Ann Kristin, 2017. "Co-creating stakeholder and brand identities: A cross-cultural consumer perspective," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 399-410.
    11. Enrique Canessa & Sergio Chaigneau, 2014. "The dynamics of social agreement according to Conceptual Agreement Theory," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(6), pages 3289-3309, November.
    12. Högström, Claes & Gustafsson, Anders & Tronvoll, Bård, 2015. "Strategic brand management: Archetypes for managing brands through paradoxes," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 391-404.

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