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Branding as Communication


Susan B. Barnes

Once only a sign, technologies have helped to transform brands into symbols that we constantly encounter in our natural and mediated environments. Moreover, the branding of culture marks a commercialization of society. Almost everywhere we look, a brand name or logo appears.
By combining a scholarly approach with case studies and examples, this text bridges the worlds of communication and business by providing a single vocabulary in which to discuss branding. It brings these ideas together into a coherent framework to enable discussions on the topic to occur in a variety of disciplines. A number of perspectives are also provided, including brands as signs and symbols, brand personality, history, communication, cognitive factors, loyalty, personal branding, community, and social issues.
Providing a comprehensive overview of the branding process – from the creation of brands to analysis of their messages – readers will begin to understand the communicative impact of branding.
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Chapter 6. Emotional and Relationship Branding


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While propaganda substitutes opinion for facts, pseudo-events are synthetic facts which move people indirectly, by providing the “factual” basis on which they are supposed to make up their minds. Propaganda moves them directly by explicitly making judgments for them. —Daniel J. Boorstin, 1987, p. 34

Consumers become emotionally attached to different brands. This attachment can be described as a consumer-brand bond. One cannot discuss the emotional impact of branding without talking about relationships. One of the extreme cases of emotional branding is Apple Computer. Through advertising, the company positioned its product as countercultural. As business people gravitated to Microsoft versions of the personal computer, Apple went against the mainstream. People became so attached to Apple’s products that they formed conferences, discussion lists, and organizations to discuss the products. The idea of Mac users versus Microsoft users has distinguished people and created a sense of personal identity. Apple is an extreme case of relationship branding.

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