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Understanding and Managing the Brand Space

Brands have become increasingly difficult to manage. As many brands become more global, for instance, they are expanding beyond relationships just between manufacturers and customers to relationships that include employees, the investment community, the media, suppliers, governments — even competitors. Thus, the meaning of a brand is not merely the result of a dialogue between buyer and seller; it instead arises from a multilogue.

Indeed, brand management has become a complex undertaking, requiring new approaches and models. To that end, the authors have developed a theoretical framework that companies can use to manage their brands more effectively. Specifically, the authors propose the concept of a brand space, which is based on two dimensions: the degree of abstraction (whether the brand has become independent from its associated product) and the degree of enactment (whether the brand focuses more on the meaning of a product or its functionality). By understanding the various dynamics of the brand space, companies can make wiser branding decisions, particularly as they confront escalating competition and rapidly changing markets.

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