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Virtual Branding: Turning a stone into a Jewel


  • David Ward

    (European School of Economics)

  • Dario Secondi

    (Amway Italia)


This short paper discusses the evolution of branding and its projection in the near and distant future. In particular it examines and suggests why certain brands have become legends and common place e.g. Coca Cola, Mercedes, McDonalds etc. The authors start from Sapir-Whorf’s hypothesis for linguistic determinism to show that he who controls the vocabulary of branding could, in effect, control the world of products and services simply because we are hindered if not incapable of evaluating other options. The paper places emphasis on two aspects of the future of branding: 1. the ultimate limit of branding, that the authors have baptised as V-Branding (Virtual Branding), and 2. the development of a framework, process and assessment tool that allows companies to evaluate and steer their brand(s). The assessment tool, denominated as the RIB matrix-graph (Real-Imaginary Branding matrix- graph) can be used in 2D format (with Awareness and Degree of Diffusion forming the two axes or dimensions) and 3D format i.e. with an additional dimension such as age group, social status, period, time frame etc. Tool applicability stretches from the small business to transnational companies and from products to services. The paper also looks at the transition from lifestyles to mindstyles, the evolution of the consumer and how these link to branding evolution.

Suggested Citation

  • David Ward & Dario Secondi, 2005. "Virtual Branding: Turning a stone into a Jewel," General Economics and Teaching 0507001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpgt:0507001
    Note: Type of Document - doc; pages: 16. This is a working paper and should be considered as an open document. We welcome constructive criticism and future versions of the same paper are open to other co- authors

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ward, David & Chiari, Claudia, 2008. "Keeping Luxury Inaccessible," MPRA Paper 11373, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. David WARD & Marta LASEN, 2009. "An Overview Of Needs Theories Behind Consumerism," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 4(1(7)_ Spr).

    More about this item


    virtual; branding; mindstyles; lifestyles; evolution; matrix; Sapir; Whorf; linguistic determinism;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching

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