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Brand Society
How Brands Transform Management and Lifestyle


  • Date Published: January 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521726900

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About the Authors
  • Brands are a fait accompli: they represent a mountain range of evidence in search of a theory. They are much exploited, but little explored. In this book, Martin Kornberger sets out to rectify the ratio between exploiting and exploring through sketching out a theory of the Brand Society. Most attempts to explain the role of brands focus on brands either as marketing and management tools (business perspective) or a symptoms of consumerism (sociological perspective). Brand Society combines these perspectives to show how brands have the power to transform both the organizations that develop them and the lifestyles of the individuals who consume them. This holistic approach shows how brands function as a medium between producers and consumers in a way that is rapidly transforming our economy and society. That's the bottom line of the Brand Society: brands are a new way of organizing production and managing consumption. Using an array of practical case studies from a diverse set of organizations, this book provides a fascinating account of the way in which brands influence the lives of individuals and the organizations they work in.

    • A holistic approach to one of the most pervasive phenomena in society
    • Integrates philosophical perspectives and social theory with practical case studies from a diverse set of organizations
    • Uses ideas from management, organization theory, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, marketing and elsewhere
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is a stupendous piece of work. It's both academic and pragmatic. It ranges from forbidding high theory to easy-reading case studies. It's great. Without question, it'll go down as a landmark study of brands and branding.' Stephen Brown, University of Ulster

    'Max Weber argued that modernity was a process of disenchantment; on the contrary, argues Kornberger, in this evocative and important study: modernity is a realm of continuous re-enchantment. At the centre of the enchanted webs spun in modernity is the brand - and the Brand Society - explored through a rich collage of philosophy and social science, a virtual anthropology of the organized seduction of our being, as Jonathan Richman said, in love with the modern world.' Stewart Clegg, University of Technology, Sydney

    'Rethinking brands means rethinking marketing, reconsidering the implications of organizational culture and organizational identity, displacing the usual assumptions about the relationship between production and consumption - in short turning many of your major preconceptions about economic life and society inside out. Kornberger offers a glorious, thought-provoking ride - from branding a city in Scotland to quotations from esoteric philosophers to Cubism and Google's CEO Eric Schmidt. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.' Joanne Martin, Stanford University

    'Martin Kornberger's book provides a thorough and balanced approach to the role of brands in society. It is well-researched and well-reasoned with great examples. Kornberger has done his homework, reading deep and wide, while speaking to an impressive array of practitioners. This book will doubtlessly provoke much-needed debate on the topic.' Albert Muniz, DePaul University, Chicago

    'This book provides fascinating insight [into] the tremendous value of well-managed brand transformation programs. It [leaves] no stone unturned and covers in a very balanced way the diversity of both the internal cultural aspects and the external brand community building. Great food for innovative brand thinking and for concrete brand activation!' Ruud Polet, Global Brand Marketing Manager, ING

    'In Brand Society Martin Kornberger takes you on a compelling ride through the new landscape of branding. From the clothes we wear, to the companies we work for and the society we live in - this exciting book argues the importance of branding and why we should care. From evocative cases and bold conceptual arguments, Kornberger makes the point that consumption and production of brands are intertwined and shows how this transforms the way brands are being consumed and produced. This book leaves food for thought for both brand aficionados and those with a stake in creating or analyzing brands.' Majken Schultz, Copenhagen Business School, and co-author of Taking Brand Initiative

    '… a brand-centred conceptual map for thinking about things like politics, ethics and aesthetics … fascinating … The book is nicely laid out and very modern-looking. … The subject matter is complex and, at times, dense but the reader will be rewarded for embracing this complexity and it is thought provoking stuff.'

    '… this fantastically even-handed paean to the branding process, you're sure to be alternately uplifted and despairing as Kornberger assesses the path post-industrial society has chosen to express its core values.' Cambridge Business

    'What a relief. No dreadful pie charts, no appalling corporate speak, very little pretentious academic jargon. An intelligent, well-informed book from someone who understands that brands and branding are intrinsic to the human condition and didn't float over to Europe from the United States on a sea of Procter and Gamble detergent bubbles sometime in the 1960s.' Market Leader

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521726900
    • length: 330 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 172 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Brands and Branding:
    1. Introduction
    2. Making sense of brands
    3. The making of brands
    Part II. How Brands Transform Management:
    4. Identity
    5. Culture
    6. Innovation
    Part III. How Brands Transform Lifestyle:
    7. Politics
    8. Ethics
    9. Aesthetics

  • Author

    Martin Kornberger, University of Technology, Sydney
    Martin Kornberger holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor in the School of Management and the School of Design at the University of Technology, Sydney. He is also a visiting lecturer in marketing at the University of St Andrews and co-founder of the branding agency PLAY, where he was co-director from 2003 until 2008. He is co-author, with Stewart Clegg and Tyrone Pitsis, of the management textbook Managing and Organizations, 2nd edition (2008).

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