Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Brand Architecture from Above: Understanding the Customer Disconnect
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0357-3264
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Global business is transforming. Information technology in general, and the Internet specifically, has globalized business and empowered the consumer with more information and choice than ever before. Consequently, academic research into brand portfolios and brand architecture is faced with new challenges to reflect this changing reality.

Traditional research into brand portfolio management and its structural embodiment using brand architecture has approached these concepts from the perceptive of the brand owner/company. For instance, the portfolio has been mapped based on legal ownership of brands, which has been criticized as being a too narrow approach that exclude key contributors of the portfolio’s collective brand equity. Even in the cases where partner brands are acknowledged as part of the portfolio, their inclusion is often based on the revenue stream they represent or their link in the distribution chain instead of association. Brand architecture research has therefor focused on structural representations based on hierarchical trees created within the walls of the company itself, without necessarily investigating if the intended structure works as expected.

The missing ingredient in this halting logic is the perceptions of the market in which the portfolio and its architecture operates. Associations and transfer of brand equity is dependent on a concept’s mental perception in the minds of consumers. An endorsement that does not get noticed by the target market is a mirage in the minds of marketing managers, and an historical collaboration that was cancelled years ago may still influence the brand portfolio today by means of association in consumer memory.

The research presented in this thesis extends current theory in brand portfolio management and brand architecture to directly include the consumer perspective. This thesis re-classifies the portfolio and architecture concept as perceptual constructs whose efficiency is determined by the mental alignment between company representatives as the creators of the intended meaning and customers as the interpreters, or even co-creators, of the same. Study results presented indicate significant misalignment not only between stakeholder groups as a collective, but also between individuals within each group – even for brand managers working together on the same portfolio day after day. Current hierarchical models for representing brand architecture are extended using the perceptual dimension as well as a layer accounting for the openness of the portfolio, and a new brand portfolio model segregating brands based on the degree of perceptual inclusion in the portfolio is presented.

This introduction of the perceptual dimension into both brand portfolio management and brand architecture represents a new way to view these abstract concepts, a conceptual idea that has ripple effects into areas such as brand equity transfer, brand alliances, and portfolio risk management.

Abstract [sv]

Internationellt företagande håller på att förändras. Informationsteknologi i allmänhet, och Internet i synnerlighet, har bidragit till att globalisera företag och därmed gett konsumenten mer information och fler valmöjligheter än någonsin tidigare. Akademisk forskning kring varumärkesportföljer och varumärkesarkitektur står inför nya utmaningar för att återspegla denna förändrade verklighet.

Traditionell forskning kring varumärkesportföljer och dess strukturella utförande genom varumärkesarkitektur har närmat sig dessa koncept från varumärkesägarens/företagets perspektiv. Exempelvis har portföljen kartlagts baserat på enbart juridiskt ägarskap, vilket kritiserats för att vara ett alltför smalt tillvägagångssätt som utesluter centrala delar av portföljens marknadsvärde. Även i de fall där partnervarumärken erkänns som en del av portföljen så baseras resonemanget ofta på inkomstströmmar eller en länk i distributionskedjan snarare än associationer. Forskning om varumärkesarkitektur har därför fokuserat på strukturella modeller baserade på hierarkiska träd sett ur företagets perspektiv utan att nödvändigtvis undersöka om den planerade strukturen fungerar som förväntat.

Den saknade pusselbiten är istället själva marknaden där portföljen och dess arkitektur verkar. Associativa länkar mellan varumärken är beroende av portföljens mentala representation så som den ser ut i konsumenternas huvud. En koppling som inte uppmärksammas av målgruppen är ett luftslott i marknadsföringschefernas huvuden, och ett historiskt samarbete som avbröts för flera år sedan kan fortsätta att påverka varumärkesportföljen genom kvarvarande associativa länkar i det kollektiva konsumentminnet.

Forskningen som presenteras i denna avhandling utvidgar aktuell teori inom varumärkesportföljer och varumärkesarkitektur genom att aktivt inkludera konsumentperspektivet. Denna avhandling klassificerar portfölj- och arkitekturkonceptet som perceptuella konstruktioner vars effektivitet bestäms av den mentala överensstämmelsen mellan företagets representanter, i egenskap av skapare av den avsedda betydelsen, och kunderna som uttolkare, eller till och med medskapare, av densamma. Forskningsresultaten som presenteras visar på ett betydande associativt glapp mellan olika intressentgrupper men också mellan individer inom respektive grupp. Fenomenet existerar till och med hos kollegor som arbetar tillsammans med samma varumärkesportfölj dag efter dag. Avhandlingen utvidgar nuvarande hierarkiska modeller med hjälp av en perceptuell dimension, och en ny varumärkesportföljsmodell, som segregerar varumärken baserat på graden av perceptuell inkludering i portföljen, presenteras.

Införandet av den perceptuella dimensionen i både varumärkesportföljshantering och varumärkesarkitektur representerar ett nytt sätt att se dessa abstrakta koncept, en konceptuell idé som har implikationer inom områden som associationsöverföring mellan varumärken, varumärkesallianser och portföljriskhantering.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, 2019. , p. 140
Series
TRITA-ITM-AVL ; 28
Keywords [en]
Brand portfolio, Brand architecture, perceptual alignment, consumer perception, Brand Concept Map, Brand Portfolio Star, Conceptual Integrated Multi-dimensional Architecture (CIMA) model
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-259596ISBN: 978-91-7873-304-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-259596DiVA, id: diva2:1352406
Public defence
2019-11-07, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-10-14 Created: 2019-09-18 Last updated: 2019-10-14Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Introducing multi-dimensional brand architecture: taking structure, market orientation and stakeholder alignment into account
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Introducing multi-dimensional brand architecture: taking structure, market orientation and stakeholder alignment into account
2019 (English)In: Journal of Brand Management, ISSN 1350-231X, E-ISSN 1479-1803, Vol. 26, no 5, p. 483-496Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Traditional research in brand architecture has primarily focused on bipolar, structural models describing brand constellations viewed from the brand owner's angle of incidence. This paper further extends previous theorization within strategic brand management by offering the Conceptual Integrated Multi-dimensional Architecture (CIMA) model as an incorporation of existing research in brand architecture, arranged according to hierarchical structure, degree of collaboration with third parties and alignment with consumer perceptions. Traditional brand architecture is broadened using two additional dimensions-the level of intercompany partnerships and perceptional congruency between stakeholders-to produce a model that distinguishes between open and closed brand structures and includes the consumers' perceptions as a mediator of brand strategy efficiency. The CIMA model implies that strategic brand management should consider the possible effects of third-party collaboration, in conjunction with consumer beliefs, on the efficiency of the pursued brand strategy and selected go-to-market approach. By including these two additional dimensions, marketing executives may find a more nuanced view of the potential challenges and obstacles that stand in the way of successful brand strategy execution. The paper is concluded by discussing the implications of this conceptual model and suggests a number of future research directions for brand architecture and brand portfolio management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD, 2019
Keywords
Brand architecture, Brand portfolio, Customer perception, CIMA, Stakeholder alignment
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-257540 (URN)10.1057/s41262-018-00147-1 (DOI)000478755800001 ()2-s2.0-85058946982 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20190918

Available from: 2019-09-18 Created: 2019-09-18 Last updated: 2019-09-18Bibliographically approved
2. A dualistic view of brand portfolios: the company's versus the customers' view
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A dualistic view of brand portfolios: the company's versus the customers' view
2018 (English)In: Journal of Consumer Marketing, ISSN 0736-3761, E-ISSN 2052-1200, Vol. 35, no 3, p. 264-276Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose Brand architecture and brand portfolios have been regarded as absolute entities to be analysed from the company's perspective. The purpose of this study is to question such a uniform view by adding a perceptional dimension to the two concepts. Design/methodology/approach Semi-structured interviews with 58 marketing professionals and customers were used to explore ten propositions and map associations in the perceived brand portfolios, based on the brand concept map methodology. Findings The study reveals systematic differences between the collective view of company representatives, who name fewer brands associated through more sophisticated and highly connected brand systems and customers who include more partners and competitor brands in the portfolio, who also name more brands and connections in total. Research limitations/implications Implications of the results are analysed and future research is suggested to determine the generalizability of the findings and the economic implications of discrepant internal and external views of a brand architecture and brand portfolio. Practical implications Academics should relate to this dualism by compensating for the effects of the associative predisposition of employees versus customers when interpreting results of studies related to brand portfolios and brand architecture. Marketing practitioners must actively acknowledge and manage the role of partners and competitors as part of the company's external brand portfolio. Originality/value This study is the first to problematize the unilateral interpretation of brand portfolios and brand architecture by introducing a dual view of these concepts based on internal (employees) and external (consumers) perceptions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LTD, 2018
Keywords
Perceptions, Brand portfolio, Brand architecture, Brand map, Portfolio strategy
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-232300 (URN)10.1108/JCM-03-2017-2161 (DOI)000436123500003 ()2-s2.0-85049087989 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20180718

Available from: 2018-07-18 Created: 2018-07-18 Last updated: 2019-09-18Bibliographically approved
3. Perceived brand portfolios: how individual views hamper efficiency
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perceived brand portfolios: how individual views hamper efficiency
2015 (English)In: Journal of Product & Brand Management, ISSN 1061-0421, Vol. 24, no 6, p. 610-620Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the perceived content and structure of a brand portfolio, which may differ between individuals, by mapping the brand portfolio of two multi-national companies from the perspective of the marketing team. The discrepant views between individuals are analyzed and an aggregated brand portfolio is presented. Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews with nine marketing professionals were used to map their individual perceived brand portfolios and structure, based on the Brand Concept Map methodology. Findings – The study finds that there is a consistent difference in the individual perceived brand portfolio between marketing professionals. Brands that are not supported by all stakeholders may be suffering from an unclear positioning or undesired associations, and should receive management attention. Research limitations/implications – Explanations for the results are offered and future research is suggested to determine the generalizability of the findings and the economic implications of discrepant views on the company’s brand portfolio. Practical implications – Marketing practitioners should consider the possible effects of conflicting views within their marketing teams on business performance. Identifying brands that are not supported by all stakeholders could be a way to discover under-performing brands with problematic brand positions in need of immediate attention. Originality/value – This study is the first to compare and fully map the differences in perception of a company’s brand portfolio among internal stakeholders and the possible implications of this discrepancy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015
Keywords
Brand architecture, Brand deletion, Brand map, Brand portfolio, Business performance, Marketing strategy, Portfolio strategy
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-175637 (URN)10.1108/JPBM-12-2014-0764 (DOI)000371051200005 ()2-s2.0-84942067691 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20151027

Available from: 2015-10-27 Created: 2015-10-19 Last updated: 2019-09-18Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(688 kB)13 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 688 kBChecksum SHA-512
1f0cf317e0ed6cfd725382b5040c84b0d288c07c40a40bfd47a9cccd2cce961edf4a8bd08548a64c299bd20dee742b113ecf10f45ed2aba7c1a9bf33551b493c
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Åsberg, Per
By organisation
Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.)
Business Administration

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 13 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 150 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf