As the branding process is intertwined with already existing cultural codes, fundamental cultural processes in a society might affect the attraction of a specific brand. This means that trends of ethical or political fashions influence the popularity of brands and how they are realized. This case focuses on how the brand Fjällräven has been acknowledged as having varying political, ethical and fashionable positioning over decades. The case is compared to other related brands, e.g. Haglöfs/Patagonia.
A strain of thought can be coined progressivist. The idea within this thought model is that improvement is possible through knowledge, a kind of optimism when it comes to society and human effort to improve its living conditions, and being in the world. This progressivist stance is linked to brands that thus resonates the progressivist believes and hopes so that the brand of Fjällräven can be said to be an example of progression in this progressivist tradition.
With reference to Umberto Eco, Martin Kornberger points out that an author seldom, if ever, has any control over the interpretations of their work. The meaning creating process becomes an ever ongoing socially contingent process rather than a stable, once and for all, established fact. Transferred to the field of brands, the idea is that brands resonate in society, and they resonate ideas. Marcel Danesi voices a similar idea when he writes that advertising that is in some sense or another successful always resonates with something outside of the brand meaning itself. An intertextual connection to societal factors. If this is true, then brands resonate not just in an individual sense with individual co-creators, but also in a collective sense with ideas rather than individuals, individuals being the carriers, vehicles if you will, of meaning that co-create meaning but the long term intertextual factors needs to be taken into account. If this is so, then Fjällräven would be a case in point and, further, intertextuality does not need to be communicated explicitly, it is still present, like progressivism is present and thus would influence the meaning construct of a brand, and consequently its sense of significance, value, for want of a better word.
The 23rd Nordic Academy of Management Conference, Copenhagen Business School (CBS), August 12-14, 2015