Purpose – The paper aims to track the development of service dominant logic (SDL) applied to brand management and highlights its essential elements. The paper attempts to extend the application of SDL to a form that makes the consumer part of the development process, a solution dominant approach. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews the literature and suggests how brand managers can use service concepts, based on service‐dominance logic, to develop their new and differentiated products. The key is the relationship that customers develop with products, not the providers of those products, and how technology contributes to these linkages. This view, termed solution dominant, extends service dominant thinking. The paper also elaborates on the events and developments that have moved product development more firmly in the direction of relationships. Finally, it re‐examines some of the techniques that product developers use from a relationship perspective. Findings – The relationship is the most important element in brand management. Relationships can take many forms based on the partners. While brand managers have traditionally focused on the relationship of the consumer with the brand, other relationships exist and are important. The internet has made it possible for consumer‐to‐consumer relationships to flourish. That presents both a challenge and opportunity for brand managers. Finally, an impending technological change reveals the potential importance of another relationship, consumer to thing (like a software application) which can build a bond, a relationship, between the consumer and a brand. The last logical possibility, thing‐to‐thing relationships already exist and their importance to brand managers is covered. Practical implications – Service dominant logic and a focus on relationships has already been applied to brand management with success. It helps to refine the practice of branding. Consideration of a solution dominant logic, may help refine the practice further. Originality/value – While service dominant logic has been applied to brand management, solution dominant logic, in which the consumer is part of the product/service design process has not been.
Journal of Product & Brand Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 23, 2011
Keywords: Brands; Innovation; Brand management