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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 10. Branding in a Digital World


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Good public-relations specialists have voluntarily abandoned their most coercive styles in this environment, opting to work as best they can with the truth as it exists or can be altered. Advertising agencies, on the other hand, whose work hasn’t had anything to do with real-world facts for half a century, have proved much more eager to retool their techniques for the interactive age and its interactive audience. —Douglas Rushkoff, 1999, p. 161

The introduction of the Internet as a global communication medium has helped to foster the recognition of global brands, especially computer-oriented brands such as Apple, Google, and Dell. Digital technology has become fully integrated into our movement from one place to another, in our interactions from work to downtime. There is no line, no starting point or ending, between our digital selves and the rest of our lives. This total immersion of our lives into digital technologies creates the perfect outlet for brands to spread their identities. The computer’s interface, along with digital devices, is truly a new digital marketplace.

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