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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 12. Social Branding


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When so much of the wealth that underpins personal and family well-being derives from the commercial success of brands, it is curious that brands’ overall social impact is generally regarded in a negative light. —Steve Hilton, 2003, p. 47

Brands have traditionally been associated with commercialism and the concept of selling a product or service. Rarely are they examined for their social benefits. Brands have cultural power, economic clout, and a global reach. Moreover, the concept of branding has been applied to politics, non-profit organizations, and geographic locations. Branding is an integral part of our economic lives, social responsibility, social progress, and culture. This chapter will examine the social benefits of branding.

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