Brands are everywhere: in the air, on the high-street, in the kitchen, on television and, maybe even on your feet. But what kinds of things are they?
The brand, that point of connection between company and consumer, has become one of the key cultural forces of our time and one of the most important vehicles of globalization. This book offers a detailed and innovative analysis of the brand
Illustrated with many examples, the book argues that brands:
* mediate the supply and demand of products and services in a global economy
* frame the activities of the market by functioning as an interface
* communicate interactively, selectively promoting and inhibiting communication between producers and consumers
* operate as a public currency while being legally protected as private property in law
* introduce sensation, qualities and affect into the quantitative calculations of the market
* organize the logics of global flows of products, people, images and events.
This book will be essential reading for students of sociology, cultural studies and consumption.
Cover -- International library of sociology -- Brands -- Contents -- Acknowledgements -- 1 Just do what? -- A sociology of objects? -- The brand as an object of the economy -- The brand as new media object -- The performativity of the brand -- Flows of disjuncture and difference -- The brand as an object of law -- Just do what? -- Coda -- 2 Marketing as a performative discipline and the emergence of the brand -- Introduction -- Marketing as a performative discipline -- Starbucks: 'There are no heroes.... What we've done is provide a safe harbor' -- The organisation of the production process in terms of the brand -- Brands as events and activities -- Coda -- 3 The interface of the brand -- Introduction -- The interface of the brand -- The interface as the organisation of asymmetrical communication -- Complex objects and partial solutions -- Coda -- 4 Logos -- Introduction -- The logo as sign: a semiotic approach -- Brand image: the logo as symbol -- Brand image: the logo as index and icon -- Brand positioning: differentiation and integration -- Brand positioning: association -- The face, the frame and the flow -- Coda -- 5 The brand as a property form of relationality -- Introduction -- Trade mark: its definition and purpose -- Trade mark as a form of property -- The Trade Marks Act 1994: activity, things and property -- The likelihood of association -- The degree of similarity between the mark and the sign and the goods and the services -- A moving image -- Brands as assets -- The law and things: object trials -- Coda -- 6 Interactivity -- Introduction -- Interactivity: 'you may' -- Loyalty: 'you could and you should' -- Talking back -- Distributed demonstrations -- Coda -- 7 The objectivity of the brand -- Introduction -- An object of the artificial sciences -- An object of the interface -- An object of mediation -- An object of interactivity -- Coda -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Web sites -- Legal cases -- Index