No man’s brand: brands, institutions, fashion and the economy
2006 (English)Report (Other academic)
Branding has become so intertwined with consumption that today’s consumers have often deeply personal relationships to brands and brand histories. Branding is an attempt to strategically ‘personify’ products and to encapsulate a balance between different economic values: quality, utility, symbolic and cultural worth. In this paper we argue that the relationship between the contemporary consumer and producer is mediated by and governed by a reflexive construction of brands. As such brands are best understood from an institutional perspective. The paper illustrates the institutional role of brand by using the example of the fashion industry. It is argued that in the fashion industry a focus on consumer-producer brandbuilding and brand loyalty now takes pole-position in determining industrial and innovation dynamics. We conclude by suggesting that economic geography has consistently undervalued brands as an area of study. By taking brands as the core product in industrial production, rather than as an interesting aside for sociologists, historians and cultural theorists, economic geography can better understand the institutions governing the economy. In particular better understanding the institution of brand helps us better appreciate the dynamics systems within which commodities and commodity chains are formed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2006. , 26 p.
CIND research paper, 2006:3
economic geography, brand and branding, fashion industry, competitiveness and innovation, commodity chains
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-173726OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-173726DiVA: diva2:524909