How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding
Branding today is at a crossroads. The tried-and-true branding formulas of the past decades seem to have lost their potency. Building the identity value of brands through symbolism is one powerful way to rejuvenate branding. But conventional branding strategies--what Holt terms mindshare--aren't helpful because the psychological assumptions underlying this strategy lead necessarily to brand irrelevance rather than brand resonance. Holt draws from cultural theories to conduct extensive historical "genealogies" of six iconic brands. Using these socio-cultural analyses, he builds an alternative model of brand strategy, what he calls cultural branding. Cultural branding is now used worldwide by some of the most sophisticated consumer marketers (e.g., Microsoft, Coca Cola, Bacardi, PepsiCo, Yahoo) and ad agencies. The book has been translated into 7 languages. This seminar will overview cultural branding theory and contrast the theory with the predominant academic approaches (e.g., Aaker, Keller) that undergird mindshare strategy.