ماهیت چند لایه ای دموکراتیزه کردن مبتنی بر اینترنت مدیریت نام تجاری (برند)
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2022||2012||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Available online 12 December 2012
The evolution of the internet, including developments such as Web 2.0, has led to new relationship realities between organizations and their stakeholders. One manifestation of these complex new realities has been the emergence of an internet-based democratization of brand management. Research about this phenomenon has so far mainly focused on investigating just one or more individual themes and thereby disregarded the inherent multi-layered nature of the internet-based democratization of brand management as a holistic, socio-technological phenomenon. The aim of this paper is to address this limitation through an investigation of the various socio-technological democratization developments of the phenomenon. To achieve this aim, a balanced and stakeholder-oriented perspective on brand management has been adopted to conduct an integrative literature review. The review reveals three key developments, which together form the essential parts of the phenomenon: (I) the democratization of internet technology, (II) the democratization of information, and (III) the democratization of social capital. The insights gained help to clarify the basic structures of the multi-layered phenomenon. The findings contribute also to the substantiation of a call for a new brand management paradigm: one that takes not only company-initiated but also stakeholder-initiated brand management activities into account.
The evolution of the internet, including developments such as Web 2.0, has led to new relationship realities between organizations and their stakeholders. One manifestation of these complex new realities has been the emergence of an internet-based democratization of brand management. Research about this recent phenomenon has to date mainly focused on investigating just one or more individual themes, for example, internet-based user innovation, collective intelligence, electronic word-of-mouth or online communities (see Arnhold, 2010 and Burmann and Arnhold, 2008). Minimal attention has been paid to the inherent multi-layered nature of the internet-based democratization of brand management as a holistic, socio-technological phenomenon. The present paper aims to address this limitation by investigating the multi-layered nature of this phenomenon through an exploration of its various socio-technological democratization developments. When investigating the complex democratization processes researchers are confronted with the issue of conflicting conceptualizations. Tuten (2008), for example, defines brand democratization as “the invitation to consumers to participate in creating and then experiencing a brand's meaning” (p. 176). Not only is this definition limited to organization–consumer relationships, and thereby neglecting relationships with other potentially relevant brand stakeholders, but it also implies that an organization has control over who it can invite to participate in the creation of a brand's meaning, which is not always the case. Plunkett (2011) conceptualizes the term brand democratization in a similar narrow, company-control-centric way by defining it as a “practice of allowing” (p. ii) product fans and interested consumers to participate in brand-related activities. This, again, appears to exclude the possibility that some consumers (and other stakeholders) might participate in brand-related activities, without necessarily being invited by the allowing organization. In contrast to these two conceptualizations, Neisser (2006) emphasizes that consumers cannot be controlled, for instance, in their new roles as online critics or reviewers. He defines brand democratization as a development that puts consumers increasingly in control: through the internet, consumers are increasingly enabled to take charge and transform their relationships with brands “from ordinary buyer to reviewer, inventor, designer, ad creator, champion or critic” (p. 40). Nonetheless, Neisser's approach also seems too narrow by focusing just on consumers. All three authors disregard the importance of brand stakeholders other than consumers in their conceptualizations. While these authors focus their considerations on the concept of brand democratization, others suggest more explicitly that not only brands but also branding, in the sense of brand management, is being democratized ( Christodoulides, 2008, Christodoulides, 2009, Fournier and Avery, 2011, Hensel, 2008, Kemming and Humborg, 2010 and Quelch and Jocz, 2007). Kemming and Humborg (2010), for example, conceptualize the democratization of branding as the “Technology-driven empowerment of consumers, such as the production of brand meaning by (micro) blogging, interaction in social networks or producing and disseminating brand advocacy” (p. 193). For Quelch and Jocz (2007), at least some of these internet-based processes have the potential to reduce or even circumvent the role of professional brand managers. Hensel (2008) acknowledges this as a “new era of brand management” by defining the key challenge for organizations now as finding a way to keep the balance between “guiding a brand and being guided as a brand” (p. 62). Burmann and Arnhold (2008) offer their user generated branding approach as a response to this democratization challenge. Based on their research, they developed a managerial framework which conceptualizes user generated branding as “the strategic and operative management of brand related user generated content (UGC) to achieve [an organization's] brand goals” (p. 66). This approach allows the conceptual integration of stakeholders (i.e. users), instead of just consumers, and it also enables the conceptual integration of organization-initiated or organization-sponsored, brand-related UGC within a brand managerial context. But, due to its company-control-centric perspective, it falls short of enabling a conceptual integration of non-organization-initiated or non-sponsored, brand-related UGC (beyond the realm of integrative social media monitoring; see Burmann & Arnhold, 2008). This appears to be a crucial conceptual limitation for the present democratization context, considering that what consumers and other stakeholders hear or read online about brands, in terms of genuine, non-sponsored UGC, is potentially far more important to them than any sponsored or otherwise organization-initiated, brand-related content (Christodoulides, 2008). To overcome this limitation a conceptualization of brand management seems to be needed that breaks free from an industrial age, company-control-centric paradigm ( Christodoulides, 2008 and Christodoulides, 2009) and moves towards a more balanced ( de Chernatony, 2001 and Gummesson, 2002) and also more stakeholder-integrating ( Merz et al., 2009 and O'Guinn and Muñiz, 2010) management perspective. Such an outlook on brand management will be further discussed and conceptualized in the next section together with the need to adopt a socio-technological perspective on the internet-based democratization phenomenon as the point of departure for the present context. The aim of adopting this approach is to minimize the above mentioned issue of conflicting conceptualizations. The resultant definition is then used as a foundation for the investigation of the multi-layered nature of the internet-based democratization of brand management. The findings of this investigation are presented and discussed in the main section of the paper. Following the consideration of these results, the paper concludes with a discussion of the findings' wider implications but also limitations as well as potential future research directions. The paper's contribution is twofold. Firstly, it helps to clarify the basic structures of the multi-layered, socio-technological phenomenon consisting essentially of (I) the democratization of internet technology, (II) the democratization of information, and (III) the democratization of social capital. Secondly, it contributes to the substantiation of a call for a new brand management paradigm: one that takes not only company-initiated but also stakeholder-initiated brand management activities into account.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The aim of this paper was to develop a deeper understanding of the multi-layered nature of the internet-based democratization of brand management as a holistic, socio-technological phenomenon. The insights gained from the integrated review have clarified the phenomenon's basic structure on three different levels. Firstly, on the most basic level, the literature review shows that the explored phenomenon consists principally of two different kinds of democratization: democratization of technology and democratization through technology. On a second level, the study reveals that the democratization of internet technology has led to two different kinds of democratization through technology: a democratization of information and a democratization of social capital. On a third level, the review provides evidence that each of these democratization developments consists of various internet-based democratization facets. Of particular relevance appear to be the six facets which can be associated with the democratization of information or the democratization of social capital. Each of these six internet-based facets enables a more democratic form of power sharing between an organization and its digitally literate brand stakeholders in the context of the creation of brand manifestations and/or the access provision to them, compared to previous circumstances. Based on a balanced, stakeholder-integrating and brand manifestation-oriented conceptualization of brand management, these findings have considerable managerial consequences. Most notably, brand management has been democratized through the internet as a radical change agent. The power within brand meaning co-creation relationships between organizations on the one hand and their internet-empowered stakeholders on the other, has in many cases increasingly shifted towards the organizations' brand stakeholders. This is due to an unprecedented shift of resource availability on the internet regarding the creation of and access provision to brand manifestations. Internet-based brand meaning co-creation activities can now be stakeholder-initiated as well as organization-initiated at any stage of the process. Empowered by the internet, technically literate brand stakeholders of an organization have – more than ever before – a choice of moving between different levels of activity and involvement regarding brand meaning co-creation. They can (1) in the traditional, rather passive sense, co-create meaning out of the brand manifestations which they experience that are provided to them by the brand's focal organization and/or other stakeholders; (2) become more active through co-creating not only brand meaning but also brand manifestations in collaboration with the brand's focal organization and/or other brand stakeholders; or (3) create brand manifestations on a previously unparalleled magnitude by themselves outside the control of anybody else, including the brand's focal organization. Looking at the wider implications for the brand management discipline, these findings correspond with an emerging call in recent literature (e.g. Fisher & Smith, 2011) for the development of a new brand management paradigm. Our research substantiates the notion that this new approach needs to integrate not only organization-initiated but also stakeholder-initiated brand management activities. In terms of future research directions, the in-depth exploration of power structures within open source communities, such as the Linux operating system project (Hemetsberger, 2006a, Hemetsberger, 2006b, Kozinets et al., 2008, O'Reilly, 2005 and Pitt et al., 2006), appears to have great potential. The difference between Linux and other examples discussed in this paper is that from a democratization perspective we move into the territory of so-called open source brands (Pitt et al., 2006) or community brands (Füller et al., 2008) where power and control over core brand manifestations, such as the development of new products, is radically more decentralized and heterarchical compared to conventional product or corporate brands (Pitt et al., 2006 and Schroll et al., 2011). We expect this area of research to provide valuable insights into the development of a new brand management paradigm that will be applicable not only to open source and community brands but also conventional product and corporate ones. In terms of the limitations of our research, it needs to be acknowledged that the priority has been to clarify the multi-layered nature of the internet-based democratization of brand management as a holistic, socio-technological phenomenon. We subsequently suggest that it is useful to consider the basic structure of this phenomenon in terms of the three key developments and their respective key facets as presented in this paper (Fig. 1). Nonetheless, although we have separated these key developments and facets analytically, and although we have portrayed various influences of key developments as unilateral in the ideal-typical conceptualization of this complex topic, we recognize that many aspects of this phenomenon are in fact interrelated and multilateral. Despite the limitations, overall the paper provides some direction for future research through its contribution towards the clarification of the multi-layered nature of the internet-based democratization of brand management phenomenon. Moving forward towards the development of a new, more balanced and stakeholder-integrating paradigm appears to be essential, since the lack of an adequate framework has implications not only for brand management but marketing as a whole.