As a result of the content analysis of this literature, we identified twelve main themes which we thought were an accurate categorisation of the broad range of definitions of the “brand” in the literature, i.e. as: i) legal instrument; ii) logo; iii) company; iv) shorthand; v) risk reducer; vi) identity system; vii) image in consumers’ minds; viii) value system; ix) personality; x) relationship; xi) adding value; and xii) evolving entity. The categorisation into the twelve themes was fairly straightforward, since most authors used buzz words such as “personality” or “relationship” either in the definitions themselves, or in the discussion of their view of the brand. As we discuss in more detail in below, there is some overlap among the elements of different definitions, which are therefore not mutually exclusive. However, the twelve themes represent a categorisation of the most important propositions in the branding literature.
This is a quote from de Chernatony, L. & Riley, F.D., 1998. Defining A “Brand”: Beyond The Literature With Experts’ Interpretations. Journal of Marketing Management, 14(4/5), 417-443.
I think it’s valuable to read this kind of stuff and deal a fair share of time with what could be denounced as a pure semantic, abstract and theorectical exercise. Why? Because it could eventually help me to understand the perspective a client, partner, team or boss has on the topic, which in turn allows me to reach a goal easier just by making my thinking – or its packaging – more compatible with the associations people already formed. (That, and finishing my bachelor thesis …)
A sign showing how subjective our business is (as Russell Davies has pointed out before)? Rubbish and useless academia?