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Managing the brand-association base: exploring facets of strategic brand management from the imaginary organization perspective : based on a semiotic study on the ASSESS CD-ROM by American Skandia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business.
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present thesis is twofold. The first goal is to contribute to the understanding of collaborative facets of Strategic Brand Management of a brand identity in relation to the partner base from the perspective of a coordinating leader brand in the imaginary organization. The other goal is to further explore the degree of visibility and the separateness of different source associations within a collaborative brand management context. The thesis explores how American Skandia creates brand associations and market presence without being in the possession of strong brand identity and brand recognition in the domestic American market for individual retirement savings through multi manager variable annuities. Drawing on semiotic marketing methodology, a product conceptualization analysis was made based on the contents of ASSESS, a CD-ROM sales-support device launched by the American Skandia insurance corporation. The empirical data analysis followed a three-step procedure: a pragmatic, a semantic and a syntactic analysis. The pragmatic analysis explored the direction of meaning from the American Skandia brand towards its users. The pragmatic analysis was conducted through sign-type categorization of the performing actors in the ASSESS CD-ROM into symbol, icon and index. The semantic analysis explored the relationship between ASSESS (i.e., the signifier) and its contents (i.e., the signified). The signs observed in the ASSESS system contain pictures and presentations of American Skandia employees (i.e., leader brand), partners in money management (i.e., partner brands) and external academic tax and stock experts (i.e., endorsers). Finally, the syntactic analysis focused on the organization of meaning between brands and endorsers in the system (i.e., the relationship among signifiers). The outcome of the pragmatic, semantic and syntactic analysis is presented through a conceptual model of the organization of brand associations at the intersection between a leader brands identity (i.e., own brand associations), the equity of partner brands (i.e., partner brand associations) and the equity of legitimate and culturally embedded meaning structures (i.e., institutionalized associations). The association-based model indicates an alternative order of brand management, beyond monolithic brand identity management. An order where the positioning of leader-brand meaning emerges from the organization and internalization of cultivated meaning through the use of partner brands (icons) and endorsers (index) in relation to the partial externalization of American Skandia's brand identity (symbol).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: School of Business, Stockholm University , 2000. , 263 p.
, School of Business' research report, ISSN 1400-3279 ; 2000:8
Keyword [en]
Imaginary organization perspective, Brand management, signifier, signified connotation, denotation, Brand identity, Brand identity system, Brand image, Brand equity, Brand association base, visibility, endogenous, exogenous
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-65724ISBN: 91-7265-080-XOAI: diva2:464474
Public defence
2000-05-26, 14:00
Available from: 2011-12-13 Created: 2011-12-13 Last updated: 2012-01-04Bibliographically approved

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