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EXPLORING THE ROLE OF ¿NEGOTIATED BRANDS¿ IN A DIGITALLY-EMPOWERING WORLD

The research proposal is based on the Actor-Network Theory (ANT), a constructivist epistemology for investigating and theorizing the social negotiation of brand meaning and value. This approach is intended to shed more lightb in the understanding on how different actors/actants (e.g., firms, products, individual consumers, groups, social movements, media, etc.) interact and negotiate each other and how firms can re-compose different (even diverging) positions in a novel brand structure resulting from ongoing mediations. Through the lens of actor-network theory (Callon, 1986; Latour, 1988), it is thus argued that brands can be interpreted as an “obligatory passage point” (OPP) (Callon, 1986) that mediates all interactions between other actors (or actants, using ANT terminology) in an “actor-network”, thus determining and allowing the setting up of negotiation spaces for the actors involved in consumption as well as in management practices. In other words, different actors interact between each other, thus defining brand use (or avoidance) as necessary to the resolution of different positions and goals. It is possible to identify distinct moments in the negotiation (problematization, interessement, enrolment, mobilization) which mark a progress in the confrontation of different parts (Callon, 1986). If negotiation is successful, firms should be able to renovate brand structure by ensuring that it properly represents all involved actors. The result is thus a negotiated brand, that is spawned from (and/or continuously adapted to) mediations with different actants in the network. Differently from Pitt (et al., 2006)’s conceptualization of open-source brands, this brand structure represents an opportunity also for “traditional producers”, through the incorporation of stakeholders’ contributions in brand building. In addition, it is also different from other concepts of co-created brands, previously discussed, in which firms always initiated and managed theentire process (Gregory, 2007; Hatch and Schultz, 2010). A multiple case study approach will serve to make clearer and empirically anchor our construct as well as to outline the main implications of this approach for brand management. Firstly, negotiation is appropriate to accommodate the perspectives of different actors thus avoiding the risk of disintegration of the brand’s identity. Negotiation serves moreover as a mechanism to (re)compose different views, thus enhancing brand’s ability to create reciprocal value by representing different positions. Lastly, we contend that a negotiated brand approach can lead to a value that is continuously renovated and co-created by leveraging ongoing conversations and community-based interactions.

StrutturaDipartimento di Scienze Politiche e della Comunicazione/DISPC
Tipo di finanziamentoFondi dell'ateneo
FinanziatoriUniversità  degli Studi di SALERNO
Importo1.681,00 euro
Periodo29 Luglio 2016 - 20 Settembre 2018
Gruppo di RicercaVOLLERO Agostino (Coordinatore Progetto)
AMABILE SARA (Ricercatore)
CONFETTO Maria Giovanna (Ricercatore)
CONTE FRANCESCA (Ricercatore)
PICIOCCHI Paolo (Ricercatore)
SARDANELLI DOMENICO (Ricercatore)
SIANO Alfonso (Ricercatore)