2.1 Brand Management
2.1.4 Contemporary debates in brand management
37 Chang et al. 2004; Chang and Chan-Olmsted 2010; Stipp 2012; Doyle 2015) have given some attention to brand architecture with recent debates challenging the value of the corporate brand as either a driver or strong endorser (Chan-Olmsted and Shay 2015). This contradicts brand research in other contexts which argues for the move away from the house of brands model to a branded house approach (Hatch and Schultz 2001; Greyser and Urde 2019).
220.127.116.11 Strategic brand management
The strategic role of brand management in creating, developing and maintaining a media brand which contributes to financial and market success is well recognised (Chan-Olmsted 2006;Rosenbaum-Elliott, Percy and Pervan 2015). Having the skills required to build and strengthen a brand in the dynamic media industry is key to build and retain competitive advantage (Aris and Bughin 2009). Media organisations with strong brands are typically able to charge more than the competition, are more resilient in times of economic and social crisis, and can recruit and retain a motivated workforce (Ind and Schmidt 2019). In short therefore, the strategic management of media brands is key.
38 formalised brand management system (Gardner and Levy 1955; Dietz 1973; Santos- Vijande et al. 2013). It is evident throughout branding history that those managing brands have faced challenges (Shocker, Srivastava, Ruekert 1994) from the early rise of branding in the turn of the 20th century whereby consumers, retailers,
manufacturers and even employees at the firms at the forefront of branding resisted change and challenged brand management (Low and Fullerton 1994) to the
recognition that consumers actually have relationships with brands (Fournier 1998).
Since the mid1980s academic interest in brand management gained momentum (Skenazy 1987; Kotler 1988; Howley 1988; Kapferer 1997), with the:
“realization that brands are one of the most valuable intangible assets that firms have’’ (Keller and Lehmann 2006, pg. 1).
Taxonomy of recent brand management thinking (Heding et al. 2016; Ind and Schmidt 2019) identifies the evolving viewpoints that have shaped brand management in this era (see appendix 3 for a synthesis of the different brand management viewpoints). Earlier perspectives relate to: the image of the brand and the notion that a brand has the ability to occupy a share in consumers mind. This was deemed to be done by establishing a clear and attractive position for the brand (Ries and Trout 1983); the significance of brand identity (Aaker 1991) and the view that this is the starting point of all brand management activity and a clear and distinctive identity is what leads to brand success; the building of brand equity which is about enhancing the brand offering over time in a way which provides sustainable financial benefit (Keller 1998); the concept of brand architecture, which as has been
discussed, is the way to structure and manage the portfolio of brands (Aaker 1997).
These concepts are anchored in the thinking that brands are owned by managers who have a linear relationship with a largely passive consumer (Keller 1993; Kapferer
39 2012; Heding et al. 2016) and therefore early research on brand management
centred on the management team and the performance of the brand (Veloutsou and Guzman 2017).
Since the 1990s there has been a shift towards an interpretive viewpoint that considers that brands are created by a dyadic interactive relationship between a manager and a consumer (Fournier 1998; Allen, Fournier and Miller 2008) and in many cases a multi-dimensional relationship amongst stakeholders (Merz, He and Vargo 2009; Hatch and Schulz 2010). Contemporary debates argue that brand management has changed from a dyadic process to one that Ind states (2014, p.1)
‘’is highly participative’’. By being engaged, consumers exhibit traits that go beyond traditional market-ascribed consumer behaviours, in accordance with the value co- creation logic (Vargo and Lusch 2004). So, as consumers change and technology continues to enable a forum of interactivity, this has significant implications for brands and the management of them (Payne, Storbacka, Frow and Knox 2009; Gyrd-Jones and Kornum 2012). It can be argued that branding as something to do with
consumers has been recognised for some time with key academics such as De Chernatony (2005) identifying that consumers are not just passive recipients of branding activity but instead that they are much more involved, particularly since the evaluation of a brand is in their minds. While some academics still argue that brand managers have most of the control over the development and management of the brand (Urde 2016), other studies challenge that the branding process has been
transformed with brand management no longer in control (Cova and Paranque 2012).
Consumers have shifted from passive observers to becoming more active
contributors to the development of the brand (Kennedy and Guzmán 2016; Black and Veloutsou and Black 2016 ). Although consumers and users are seen to be the most
40 significant contributors in the development of the brand, it is increasingly recognised that other stakeholders such as business partners, the media, other brands and employees are increasingly involving themselves with the brand (Hatch and Schultz 2003; Vallaster and von Wallpach 2013). It is argued that we are moving towards a more open dialogue of branding, involving many contributors (Veloutsou and
Guzmán 2017). However, Biraghi and Gambetti (2017) identify that many brands are still not embracing this change and the latent potential, with current brand practices still relying on traditional brand management approaches, ignoring or failing to
respond to revising the notion of control and consumer engagement. This co-creative school of thought (Ind and Schmidt 2019) encompasses ideas from image and
identity, considering the internal and external view of the brand. Brand co-creation will be further considered later on in the literature review.