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Corporate rebranding failure and brand meanings in the digital environment

Corporate rebranding failure and brand meanings in the digital environment The purpose of this paper is to investigate the dynamic process of brand meaning creation by multiple stakeholders during corporate rebranding in the digital environment.Design/methodology/approachBy applying a symbolic interactionist perspective, the case study analyses a failed corporate rebranding of Gap. A variety of narratives by managers, consumers, designers, and marketing professionals were captured by collecting qualitative data on Facebook, Twitter, and professional forums on the internet.FindingsThe study demonstrates that the process of brand meaning creation is affected by the complexity of brand meaning negotiation within and between different stakeholder groups. The findings illustrate that the polarisation of brand meanings, in which both antagonistic and supportive forms co-exist, has a determinable impact on the outcome of corporate rebranding.Research limitations/implicationsThe study analyses one case of corporate rebranding failure with the focus being on the four key stakeholder groups. Future studies could examine multiple cases of successful and failed corporate rebranding, including a broader variety of internal and external stakeholders.Practical implicationsMarketing managers should engage multiple stakeholders proactively during the process of brand meaning creation. They are encouraged to learn from antagonistic incidents of brand meaning negotiation as well as to utilise opportunities arising during constructive episodes of brand meaning co-creation.Originality/valueThe study contributes to previous research by exploring how the process of brand meaning creation can trigger the collision of brand meanings, which lead to the failure of corporate rebranding. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Marketing Intelligence & Planning Emerald Publishing

Corporate rebranding failure and brand meanings in the digital environment

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0263-4503
DOI
10.1108/mip-09-2017-0192
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the dynamic process of brand meaning creation by multiple stakeholders during corporate rebranding in the digital environment.Design/methodology/approachBy applying a symbolic interactionist perspective, the case study analyses a failed corporate rebranding of Gap. A variety of narratives by managers, consumers, designers, and marketing professionals were captured by collecting qualitative data on Facebook, Twitter, and professional forums on the internet.FindingsThe study demonstrates that the process of brand meaning creation is affected by the complexity of brand meaning negotiation within and between different stakeholder groups. The findings illustrate that the polarisation of brand meanings, in which both antagonistic and supportive forms co-exist, has a determinable impact on the outcome of corporate rebranding.Research limitations/implicationsThe study analyses one case of corporate rebranding failure with the focus being on the four key stakeholder groups. Future studies could examine multiple cases of successful and failed corporate rebranding, including a broader variety of internal and external stakeholders.Practical implicationsMarketing managers should engage multiple stakeholders proactively during the process of brand meaning creation. They are encouraged to learn from antagonistic incidents of brand meaning negotiation as well as to utilise opportunities arising during constructive episodes of brand meaning co-creation.Originality/valueThe study contributes to previous research by exploring how the process of brand meaning creation can trigger the collision of brand meanings, which lead to the failure of corporate rebranding.

Journal

Marketing Intelligence & PlanningEmerald Publishing

Published: May 3, 2018

Keywords: Stakeholder management; Corporate branding; Brand meaning; Rebranding; Digital marketing

References