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The Way Brands Work: Consumers' understanding of the creation and usage of brands

Bertilsson, Jon LU (2009) In Lund Studies in Economics and Managment 114.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Under de senaste åren har det varit möjligt att skönja hur fenomenet eller begreppet varumärken har spridits från den traditionella marknadsföringsdiskursen och marknadsförare till varnliga konsumenter och deras vardagsdiskurs. Konsumenter kan därför förväntas besitta någon form av förståelse för hur märken som fenomen fungerar. Denna studie fokuserar på hur en sådan varumärkesförståelse konstrueras, och vad den innehåller.

Tidigare konsumentforskning har främst konceptualiserat konsumenters förståelsekonstruktion som en vertikal ”topp-down” process där konsumenter antingen lär sig om konsumtionsfenomen genom traditionella socialiseringsagenter, eller genom att de utsätts för och... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Under de senaste åren har det varit möjligt att skönja hur fenomenet eller begreppet varumärken har spridits från den traditionella marknadsföringsdiskursen och marknadsförare till varnliga konsumenter och deras vardagsdiskurs. Konsumenter kan därför förväntas besitta någon form av förståelse för hur märken som fenomen fungerar. Denna studie fokuserar på hur en sådan varumärkesförståelse konstrueras, och vad den innehåller.

Tidigare konsumentforskning har främst konceptualiserat konsumenters förståelsekonstruktion som en vertikal ”topp-down” process där konsumenter antingen lär sig om konsumtionsfenomen genom traditionella socialiseringsagenter, eller genom att de utsätts för och individuellt hanterar en konsumtionskulturs ideologiska infrastruktur. I denna studie argumenteras det dock istället för att en betydande del av konsumenters märkesförståelsekonstruktion är horisontell, att den sker på en mikro nivå, och då i konsumenters ”peer-to-peer” interaktioner.

Genom att använda en ”Netnografisk” metod för att fånga och analysera unga svenska konsumenters online mikro interaktioner, har jag lyckats identifiera tre huvudsakliga typer av interaktioner, ”consultative”, ”disputative”, och ”normative”, varigenom merparten av konsumenters märkesförståelse är konstruerad. Konsumenternas innehåll både cyniskt resonerande och underliggande paradoxer. Cynismen mot märken och hur de fungerar gör det möjligt för konsumenterna att både anta en kritisk och cynisk hållning gentemot märken samtidigt som de erkänner att de fullt ut deltar i och därmed bejakar en konsumentkultur som till stor del är uppbyggd kring varumärken. Konsumentcynismen gällande varumärken och hur de fungerar kan kanske inte frigöra konsumenterna från marknadens strukturer, men genom att visa upp ett cyniskt resonemang kan individer få erkännande av sina gruppmedlemmar och tillskansa sig status positioner i sitt sociala nätverk. (Less)
Abstract
During the recent years the concept or phenomenon of brands and the importance ascribed to them by the traditional marketing discourse seems to have spread to the every day discourse of ordinary consumers. Consumers are therefore thought to posses some kind understanding of how brands as a phenomenon work. This study sets out to investigate how consumers construct such a brand understanding, and what such brand understanding contains.

Prior consumer literature mainly conceptualizes consumers’ understanding construction as a vertical top-down process, where consumers either learn about consumption phenomenon from traditional socialization agents, or when the consumers are subjected to and individually handle the ideological... (More)
During the recent years the concept or phenomenon of brands and the importance ascribed to them by the traditional marketing discourse seems to have spread to the every day discourse of ordinary consumers. Consumers are therefore thought to posses some kind understanding of how brands as a phenomenon work. This study sets out to investigate how consumers construct such a brand understanding, and what such brand understanding contains.

Prior consumer literature mainly conceptualizes consumers’ understanding construction as a vertical top-down process, where consumers either learn about consumption phenomenon from traditional socialization agents, or when the consumers are subjected to and individually handle the ideological infrastructure of a consumer culture. In this study it is however argued that a substantial part of consumers’ brand understanding construction is horizontal and occurs in consumers’ peer-to-peer micro level interactions.

By employing a “Netnographic” method to capture and analyze young Swedish consumers’ online micro level interactions, I have managed to identified three major types of micro interactions, consultative, disputative and normative, in which consumers’ brand understanding is thought to be formed. Their brand understanding contained both cynical reasoning and underlying paradoxes. By being cynical of the workings of brands the consumers creates a cynical distance that enables them to both assume a critical stance towards brands as a phenomenon, simultaneously as they may confess to fully participate in the brand consumption game. Consumer cynicism concerning the workings of brands may not emancipate consumers from the structures of the market, but displaying cynical reason may be important to receive recognition from peers and to gain status positions in ones social group. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Elliot, Richard, University of Bath
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
cynicism, status positions, brands, Consumers, understanding, micro level interactions, construction, social structure, content
in
Lund Studies in Economics and Managment
volume
114
pages
245 pages
publisher
Lund Business Press
defense location
Crafoordsalen, Ekonomi Centrum
defense date
2009-11-13 13:00
ISBN
10 91-85113-40-9
978-91-85113-40-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a79ad828-a199-42bb-bf24-a2e2e559a6aa (old id 1495234)
date added to LUP
2009-10-22 14:19:29
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:07
@phdthesis{a79ad828-a199-42bb-bf24-a2e2e559a6aa,
  abstract     = {During the recent years the concept or phenomenon of brands and the importance ascribed to them by the traditional marketing discourse seems to have spread to the every day discourse of ordinary consumers. Consumers are therefore thought to posses some kind understanding of how brands as a phenomenon work. This study sets out to investigate how consumers construct such a brand understanding, and what such brand understanding contains.<br/><br>
Prior consumer literature mainly conceptualizes consumers’ understanding construction as a vertical top-down process, where consumers either learn about consumption phenomenon from traditional socialization agents, or when the consumers are subjected to and individually handle the ideological infrastructure of a consumer culture. In this study it is however argued that a substantial part of consumers’ brand understanding construction is horizontal and occurs in consumers’ peer-to-peer micro level interactions.<br/><br>
By employing a “Netnographic” method to capture and analyze young Swedish consumers’ online micro level interactions, I have managed to identified three major types of micro interactions, consultative, disputative and normative, in which consumers’ brand understanding is thought to be formed. Their brand understanding contained both cynical reasoning and underlying paradoxes. By being cynical of the workings of brands the consumers creates a cynical distance that enables them to both assume a critical stance towards brands as a phenomenon, simultaneously as they may confess to fully participate in the brand consumption game. Consumer cynicism concerning the workings of brands may not emancipate consumers from the structures of the market, but displaying cynical reason may be important to receive recognition from peers and to gain status positions in ones social group.},
  author       = {Bertilsson, Jon},
  isbn         = {10 91-85113-40-9},
  keyword      = {cynicism,status positions,brands,Consumers,understanding,micro level interactions,construction,social structure,content},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {245},
  publisher    = {Lund Business Press},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Studies in Economics and Managment},
  title        = {The Way Brands Work: Consumers' understanding of the creation and usage of brands},
  volume       = {114},
  year         = {2009},
}