Re-imagining the cultural brand : postmodernism and next wave
Massi, Marta and Harrison, Paul 2008, Re-imagining the cultural brand : postmodernism and next wave, in AM 2008 : Reflective marketing in a material world : Academy of Marketing Annual Conference 2008 Proceedings, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland.
AM 2008 : Reflective marketing in a material world : Academy of Marketing Annual Conference 2008 Proceedings
Academy of Marketing Conference
Robert Gordon University
Place of publication
The traditional interpretation of a brand, and the means by which an organisation communicates its brand, might be considered a product of a modernist managerial paradigm, with its focus on consistency, control, and coherence (Brown 1995, 1999; Firat and Shultz 1997). With the emergence of postmodernism, this logic has been challenged by one of flexibility and openness, since consumers are no longer willing to commit or conform to any unified and consistent idea, system, or narrative. In order to explain this change in the management of brands, this paper will examine the Australian cultural brand, Next Wave, as a paradigmatic example. Next Wave offers an innovative brand management model founded on the interaction between the organisation and the content provider, i.e., the artist. Based on both aesthetic and conceptual experimentations, Next Wave is a dynamic brand in which shape and content are continually redefined in an interactive and mutual relationship between the artist and the organisation. Therefore, it can be argued that paradoxically, the organisation does not own its own brand. In fact, the ownership exists only from a legal point of view (as a trademark); the real artificer of the brand is the artist. Since it is not possessed nor controlled at all by the organisation, but is always subject to continuous evolutions and redefinitions, the Next Wave brand can be considered as a postmodern brand that is not strictly tied to marketing rules, but involves the target as an active participant in the brand creation process.