مدیریت مشارکتی برند: تکمیل ارزشی و فرهنگی در اکوسیستم های چند ذینفعه آنلاین و آفلاین
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1992||2012||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Available online 26 September 2012
The concepts of co-creation and co-communication are emerging concepts in the brand management literature that invoke multiple stakeholder interactions. However, this literature does not consider the impact of the complex ecosystems that lie behind both the brand and its stakeholders in order to create synergistic outcomes. By analyzing LEGO's relations with four stakeholder ecosystems we find that successful co-creation outcomes are dependent on value and cultural complementarities, but that these outcomes can be jeopardized when there are not also complementarities between the cultures in the process of direct firm–stakeholder interaction. To maximize co-creation the firm should remain open to input from all stakeholders, because even opposing stakeholders at the periphery of the ecosystem can contribute with valuable adjustments at the core.
Consumer co-creation is a dominant force in business today (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). Consumer co-creation significantly extends traditional notions of user driven product innovations (Ibid.) to radically refocus the business around customer value creation (Vargo & Lusch, 2004) in a dialogic relationship between the firm and its customers (Ballantyne, Frow, Varey, & Payne, 2011). Our understanding of the consequences for the application of the concept to the branding literature is at an early stage. Merz, He, and Vargo (2009) in suggesting a new collaborative logic for branding propose that “marketing managers might benefit from investing resources in building strong brand relationships with all of their stakeholders and a service-dominant firm philosophy built around brand value co-creation” (p. 328). Whilst the concept of co-creation has been explored within brand communities (Muñiz & O'Guinn, 2001), and in relation to consumer–brand relationship experience (Payne, Storbacka, Frow, & Knox, 2009), the implications for the management of brands remain underexplored. There is broad agreement that this new paradigm challenges the traditional company-centric approach to management generally (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004) and brand management in particular (Hatch and Schultz, 2010 and Potts et al., 2008) A key challenge, as identified by Merz et al. (2009), is how multiple stakeholders are incorporated into a new model of brand management (see also Gregory, 2007 and Hatch and Schultz, 2010). As we move into a new logic of brand management that seeks to encompass new stakeholders into the brand creation process, the successful inclusion of stakeholders in the creative and innovation processes around the brand requires that brand managers understand the challenges, motivations and priorities of these actors to involve themselves in this process: if co-creation is to become just that, and not a process of mutual destruction (Hollenbeck and Zinkhan, 2006, Hollenbeck and Zinkhan, 2010, Klein, 2000, Kozinets and Handelman, 2004, Kucuk, 2008 and Rumbo, 2002). With these ideas in mind, this article introduces the concept of complementarities to address the issue of what motivates firms and stakeholders to engage with one another to create successful multiple stakeholder, co-created outcomes. The outcomes achieved are a result of interactive and reciprocal processes among relationship partners and stakeholders (Ballantyne et al., 2011, Grönroos, 2011 and Tzokas and Saren, 1999), that is, they are co-created. These processes, in principle, ensure all stakeholders can initiate and evaluate value propositions, and that the value created emerges from a broad cycle of communicative interaction (Ballantyne et al., 2011). Whilst some research suggests that successful multiple stakeholder interactions demand each participant understands the motivations and priorities of the other participants (Jones, 2005), little is understood about the nature of these stakeholder motivations. The concept of complementarity points to a wider socio-cultural system than just dyadic stakeholder relationships. This we call the stakeholder ecosystem, encapsulating both the network nature of these relationships and the complex set of subcultures that make up this ecosystem. Ecosystem is normally used to refer to the systemic interactions within biological environments consisting of both physical and biological components. When applied in the organizational context it refers to the system of interactions between the socio-cultural elements among a given set of stakeholders. In the context of this paper these ecosystems are both virtual and non-virtual. The increasing penetration of Internet amongst consumers and the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies are profoundly affecting the ability of consumers to engage in co-creational activities. The consequence of Web 2.0 is however not uniform; it increases the potential for individuals to engage in both formal communities as well as impromptu ones, but it does not result in the wholesale virtualization of stakeholder interactions. The nature of interactions remains differentiated, but the reasons for this remain unclear. The aim of this paper is to explore the effect and interplay of value and cultural complementarities in offline and online multi-stakeholder ecosystems. The article begins by reviewing the literature on stakeholder perspectives within the brand management literature. It argues that social media sites and online communities are important sites for the collective definition of brand meaning. This challenges traditional brand management theories and models to adopt an explicit stakeholder focus, but it is noted that there is little understanding within the existing literature of the motives for stakeholders to engage with focal firms. The paper discusses value and cultural complementarities as evidenced in relation to brand–stakeholder interactions and the role of the virtual aspects of these complementary processes. The empirical part introduces the case of LEGO's relationship with four stakeholders: Architect Adam Reed Tucker, in relation to the creation of LEGO Architecture, LEGO Certified Professionals, LEGO Ambassadors/Adult Friends of LEGO, and LEGO Mindstorm User Group to illustrate how value and cultural complementarities can be understood in relation to brand management. The following section clarifies how value and cultural complementarities mutually influence each other and presents a series of propositions. It identifies how virtual aspects influence value and cultural complementarity, and presents the implications of these findings for branding and brand management theory. Finally topics for further research are discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This article adds to our knowledge of the specific ways in which brands are managed under circumstances where the locus of power and creativity has shifted from the firm to the interaction between the firm and multiple stakeholders. The experience of LEGO, a company that has a long-term commitment to its stakeholders, demonstrates the need to focus on cultural complementarity as a core variable in managing stakeholder interactions. Whilst the existing branding literature does consider culture (e.g. Hatch and Schultz, 2001), it addresses culture as homogenous (i.e. the company culture), contrasting with this study, which focuses on the presence and interaction between multiple subcultures within both the firm and its stakeholders. Concepts such as “living the brand” and “brand citizenship” (Burmann and Zeplin, 2005, de Chernatony, 2001 and Hogan et al., 2005), whilst addressing issues of stakeholder motivation, simplify the complex interactions within the wider ecosystem. This research extends the notion that brand stakeholders are active in co-creation processes around the brand (e.g. Franke & Shah, 2003). The case challenges the traditional model of branding that focuses (almost exclusively) on the brand–consumer relationship (Keller, 2008) and it challenges the idea that brands are created by the firm and consumed by customers; brands are produced and consumed by all stakeholders (Kornberger, 2010). This research demonstrates that successful co-creation outcomes are dependent on value and cultural complementarities. However, these outcomes can be jeopardized when complementarities are not present between the cultures at the point of direct firm–stakeholder interaction. We found that cultural and value complementarities are not entirely negotiable, but rest upon clearly defined core brand values. Whilst this core is more stable than the periphery and provides a common reference point for stakeholders, the enactment of core brand values is dependent on the interplay between the firm and the stakeholder ecosystem. 7.1. Implications for managing a co-created brand The involvement of stakeholders has been an integral part of LEGO's revitalization (McKee, 2009) and has been an important vehicle through which to express their core brand values outside the organization (Interview 09/08/10). We have identified three main implications for managing brands: 1. Brand co-creation strategies are based on the definition of a stable core set of elements of the brand and a negotiable periphery. LEGO's approach exhibits a fundamental duality between protecting a core, non-negotiable set of brand attributes (including the LEGO logo and brand values) and negotiating an outer periphery (encompassing new product development, channel innovation and business processes). This duality allows the firm to remain consistent in relation to its core values whilst remaining flexible enough to respond to market dynamics. 2. Brand co-creation processes are dependent on the maintenance of mutual respect of strong and independent cultural identities of the parties involved. We found that stakeholder interaction that led to co-creational activities occurred in all instances on an arms-length principle that respected the cultural identity of each stakeholder. Where this principle was breached conflict arose (e.g. in the Brand Ambassador case) and the nature of interaction was subsequently corrected. 3. Stakeholder interaction strengthens brand value and identity creation. The involvement of stakeholders, both in relation to the core and peripheral elements of the brand, makes the brand stronger in two main areas: In product development, where the integration of stakeholders has refocused the product development process away from LEGO designers to incorporate the views of a wide range of important mediating stakeholders and core customers. In expressing core brand values of creativity, imagination, learning and entrepreneurship complementarities between LEGO and its stakeholders have allowed the brand to stretch into often radically new areas whilst maintaining expressions of the core values. 7.2. Further research This case study raises a number of interesting research possibilities. The case study's focus has been on interactions between the brand and external stakeholders, but there is reason to believe that many of the same considerations are relevant internally in the organization. Works by Wallpach (2009), Wallpach and Woodside (2009) and Jonas (2010) give some insights into these issues. Further work is needed to understand how subcultures within organizations respond and contribute to interaction with stakeholder ecosystems. Secondly, the research could be extended to look at the role of value and cultural complementarities on the ability to develop incremental or radical innovations. This case has uncovered significant and radical innovations resulting from LEGO's approach to its stakeholders. Further work might look at what organizational structures and processes are desirable in order to harness the creative power of these stakeholder ecosystems. Thirdly, research might look specifically at how brand touchpoints (Hogan et al., 2005) are and should be managed in order to create value and cultural complementarities. This work could be extended to look more explicitly at the motivations of stakeholders and the implications for managing brand discourse and practices. Fourthly, research should examine the governance of the core versus the periphery and requires rethinking the current “rules” of managing brands (Helm & Jones, 2010). Reconfiguring the brand to the new realities of communities in a broad stakeholder ecosystem requires complementarity that spans relation-specific assets and knowledge sharing, but also an effective governance system (Dyer & Singh, 1998). Lastly, the validity of the propositions needs to be tested through application to other case studies so a theory of brand management can emerge that can accommodate value and cultural complementarities in virtual and non-virtual multi-stakeholder systems.