The past, present, and future of brand research

Abstract

This article discusses the past, present, and future of brand research. We begin by reviewing three historical eras of branding development in the past: the information, attribute, and brand equity eras. Each era is marked by an emphasis on a particular concept of brands and a dominant research methodology during that period. We characterize the present of brand research as the branding era, in which brands have become part of the everyday vocabulary, and the concept of “branding” has been embraced by all types of organizations and people. Finally, we share our perspective on the future of brand research by discussing three major shifts in the brand landscape, mostly influenced by technological advancements such as IoT and their capacity to collect granular data at the individual level. We anticipate that new, exciting opportunities in brand research will continue to open up at the intersection of brands, technologies, and people.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For a detailed review, see Keller and Lehmann (2006) or Avery and Keinan’s (2015) chapter on “Consuming Brands”

  2. 2.

    See https://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/creativity/branding-brief-history

  3. 3.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/overall-rankings

  4. 4.

    For example, obtaining cookies data now requires permission (“opt-in”) from customers in the EU. https://gdpr.eu/cookies/

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Correspondence to Travis Tae Oh.

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Oh, T.T., Keller, K.L., Neslin, S.A. et al. The past, present, and future of brand research. Mark Lett 31, 151–162 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11002-020-09524-w

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Keywords

  • Brands
  • Branding
  • Brand research history
  • Brands and technology