4.2 Brand Relationships and Creativity
As for the challenge of relationship building and brand experience, there is the conclusion that creativity is highly contextual. People regard different things as creative, which means that empathy, or understanding what the counter-part sees as creative is an important thing for brand management to know. It does make a difference if one thinks he/she deals with a highly advertising literate audience, able to decode plots and actively interpreting media or if one thinks of people that rationally elaborate on information and messages (Rossiter & Bellman 2005, p.143ff).
In addition, with the lens on the consumer switching from an individualised to a more social perspective, brand management should also reflect on the concept of relationships per se. While this paper can’t go into detail on recent brand relationship theory, Fournier’s (1998) research about the multifaceted relationships people (can) have with brands and Muniz’ (2001) conclusion that people (sometimes) form brand communities could lead to divergent and relevant strategies in that area (keeping in mind that people have relationship foremost with other people and organizations).
Regarding the coupling of an organisation with the environment, an interesting debate has been going on about the co-creation and crowdsourcing of ideas and solutions. Procter & Gamble set their goal to have 50% of their innovations come from outside the company as a part of their overall restructuring initiative (Martin 2009a, p.96), crowdsourcing platforms and agencies bid for and win substantial pieces of business (Klaassen 2011) and academic literature (Malone et al. 2010; Bernoff & Li 2008; Gabor 2009) is making advances in making use of the ‘wisdom’ of the crowds.
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Fournier, S., 1998. Consumers and their brands: Developing relationship theory in consumer research. Journal of consumer research, S. 343–373.
Gabor, A., 2009. The Promise (and Perils) of Open Collaboration. strategy + business, 56(Autumn 2009), S. 1–7.
Klaassen, A., 2011. Harley-Davidson Breaks Consumer-Created Victors & Spoils Ad. Advertising Age. Available at: http://adage.com/article/news/harley-davidson-breaks-consumer-created-victors-spoils-ad/148873/ [Zugegriffen Mai 16, 2011].
Malone, T.W., Laubacher, R. & Dellarocas, C., 2010. The collective intelligence genome. MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring.
Martin, R., 2009. The design of business: why design thinking is the next competitive advantage, Harvard Business Press.
Muniz Jr, A.M. & O’Guinn, T.C., 2001. Brand community. Journal of consumer research, 27(4), S. 412–432.
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