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Co-authors of branding processes intertwined with entrepreneurial processes: cases from the digital world
Södertörns högskola, Institutionen för samhällsvetenskaper, Företagsekonomi.
Södertörns högskola, Institutionen för samhällsvetenskaper, Företagsekonomi. Södertörns högskola, Institutionen för samhällsvetenskaper, ENTER forum.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-3316-9825
Södertörns högskola, Institutionen för samhällsvetenskaper, ENTER forum. Södertörns högskola, Institutionen för samhällsvetenskaper, Företagsekonomi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-9781-8276
2019 (engelsk)Konferansepaper, Oral presentation only (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

The technological development in the last decades and the practice of digital consumption are shifting the conditions of contemporary branding (Denegri-Knott and Molesworth 2010; Sanz 2014). The Internet enriches the possibility of communication around brands as it opens an autonomous arena still very accessible in everyday life. The net is not so much about transactions as about offering an arena for dialogue and relations. But as consumption has become a central lotus for community in our society, the conversation often shifts into a dialogue of transactions. 

The Internet offers a ‘third space’ where social relations can be playfully constructed, creating a perfect arena for the shaping of a persona. It offers a space for exchange of information and for constituting an audience as members of a community. So participation in the Internet can be both ‘a formal social enterprise’ and ‘an organized public’ involving various forms of interaction between these two (Fish, Murillo, Nguyen, Panofsky and Kelty, 2011). The Internet opens possibilities for consumers to exchange information and sometimes build their own brands, as for instance bloggers, creating a public arena for their taste, suggestions and knowledge. As a consequence, for being an opportunity to building brands, the arena become a platform for these brand builders to develop their entrepreneurial talents.

Even though many theories and models concerned with strategic branding suggest that brand managers seduce their consumers into consuming products and services, this point of view has been seriously questioned. Instead branding has become understood as a process where several actors contribute imbedded in socio-spatial interactions (Holt, 2004; Lury 2004; Power and Hauge, 2007). When trying to understand how a brand emerges out of the various voices that give meaning and significance to it, Holt (2004) introduces the concept of ‘co-authors’. By this, Holt means that several possible actors influence the symbolic message that is conveyed by a brand. Corporations, consumers, mediators (e.g. critics and agents) and the cultural industry are suggested to be the so-called ‘co-authors of significance’. Following Lury’s (2004, 1) suggestion brand is here understood not as a commodity set but ‘a set of relations between production and services’, emerging out of a network of relationships.

Researchers in marketing and entrepreneurship (Hills & Hultman 2011, Whalen & Akala 2016) have increasingly incorporated the concepts of effectuation(Sarasvathy 2001) to emphasize the role of stakeholders in the processes of co-creating opportunities, values and markets. Sarasvathy’s (2001) critical view of the traditional marketing approach highlight the role of uncertainty and ambiguity in the marketing process of a new venture start-ups (Read et al 2009; Read & Sarasvathy 2012) and have opened up for compelling new research perspectives and questions in the area of marketing and entrepreneurship. However, the role of the brands and the process of branding in effectuation processes are still undeveloped topics. A proposed research contribution is to incorporate the concept of ‘co-authors’ in the effectuation literature.

With a focus on how brands emerge out of a network of relations, the purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to illustrate brands as emerging out of a network of co-authors; and (2) to demonstrate how this process can be integrated into the idea of entrepreneurship as effectuation (Sarasvathy, 2001). The discussion will be illustrated by using two examples of branding processes intertwined with entrepreneurial processes in the digital world.

One example of this is how the Internet can be, and often is, used for creating ‘celebrity’ (Hackley and Hackley, 2015) or in other words using the possibility offered by the web for ordinary consumers to reach a mass audience. The cause of this celebrity are shifting and sometimes only about somebody making themselves visible on the Internet, like for instance on Youtube, or a fashion blogger building a blog that has turned out to attract consumers.The phenomenon of fashion bloggers initially developing personal brands on the ‘labour market’ and later developing their brands into various entrepreneurial ventures has been acknowledged (Phil 2013). Bloggers’ personal brands have a possible competitive advantage, as their names are already known and established with an audience.Also, the visual economy assemble access through a screen, and it needs celebrities to give visual resonance and market definition to images of consumption (Schroeder, 2005). The cases illustrate how a fashion-blogger and a digital media-entrepreneur build and evolve their initial brand to expand into several well-established ventures. 

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2019.
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Politik, ekonomi och samhällets organisering
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39039OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-39039DiVA, id: diva2:1354816
Konferanse
23rd McGill International Entrepreneurship Conference at the University of Southern Denmark, 28-30th August 2019
Forskningsfinansiär
The Foundation for Baltic and East European StudiesTilgjengelig fra: 2019-09-26 Laget: 2019-09-26 Sist oppdatert: 2019-09-27bibliografisk kontrollert

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