Advertisement

Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 304–316 | Cite as

Co-creating polyphony or cacophony? A case study of a public organization’s brand co-creation process and the challenge of orchestrating multiple internal voices

  • Line SchmeltzEmail author
  • Anna Karina Kjeldsen
Original Article

Abstract

Recent developments within branding theory suggest a move towards co-created branding. In theory, this approach holds great promise in terms of engaging stakeholders in dynamic processes of creating the corporate brands, but a brand co-creation process also exposes the organization to, for example, loss of control, dilution of identity and potential disharmony between the multiple voices co-creating the brand. Paradoxically, while brand co-creation has received increased theoretical attention, the role of the internal stakeholders (especially the employees) in this process remains vastly uncharted. Therefore, through an empirical case study of the Danish National Gallery, this paper shows how a public organization, which has engaged in brand co-creation, struggles to orchestrate the many internal voices in the co-creational dialogue. The importance of considering internal stakeholders in the co-creation process is illustrated through the discovery of six diverse brand expressions that surface in the so-called touchpoints of co-creation, i.e. the museum’s communication with external stakeholders. Here, different professional groups of employees communicate their version of the brand, leaving the impression of a brand speaking with several, at times clashing, voices.

Keywords

Brand co-creation Communication Internal stakeholders Employees Branding in public organizations Corporate branding 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Aspara, J., H. Aula, J. Tienari, and H. Tikkanen. 2014. Struggles in organizational attempts to adopt new branding logics: The case of a marketizing university. Consumption Markets & Culture 17(6): 522–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balmer, J., R. Abratt, and N. Kleyn. 2016. Corporate brands and corporate marketing: Emerging trends in the big five eco-system. Journal of Brand Management 23(1): 3–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bakhtin, M.M. 1984. Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Batey, M. 2008. Brand meaning. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Belova, O., I. King, and M. Sliwa. 2008. Introduction: Polyphony and organization studies: Mikhail Bakhtin and beyond. Organization Studies. 29(4): 493–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Black, I., and B. Veloutsou. 2017. Working consumers: Co-creation of brand identity, consumer identity and brand community identity. Journal of Business Research 70: 416–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bryman, A. 2016. Social research methods, 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Christodoulides, G. 2007. Breaking free from the industrial age paradigm of branding. Brand Management 15(4): 291–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cova, B., and V. Cova. 2002. Tribal marketing. The tribilization of society and its impact on the conduct of marketing. European Journal of Marketing 36(5/6): 595–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cova, B., D. Dalli, and D. Zwick. 2011. Critical perspectives on consumers’ role as ‘producers’: Broadening the debate on value co-creation in marketing processes. Marketing Theory 11(3): 231–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fisher, D., and S. Smith. 2011. Cocreation is chaotic: What it means for marketing when no one has control. Marketing Theory 11(3): 325–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Flyvbjerg, B. 2013. Case Study. In Strategies of qualitative inquiry, ed. N.K. Denzin, and Y.S. Lincoln, 169–204. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar
  13. Fournier, S., and J. Avery. 2011. The uninvited brand. Business Horizons 54(3): 193–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fournier, S., and L. Lee. 2009. Getting brand communities right. Harvard Business Review 87(4): 105–111.Google Scholar
  15. Fredriksson, M., and J. Pallas. 2016. Characteristics of public sectors and their consequences for strategic communication. International Journal of Strategic Communication 10(3): 149–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Galvagno, M., and D. Dalli. 2014. Theory of value co-creation: A systematic literature review. Managing Service Quality 24(6): 643–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gouillart, F., and T. Hallett. 2015. Co-creation in government. Stanford Social Innovation Review 13(2): 40–47.Google Scholar
  18. Greer, D.A. 2015. Defective co-creation: Developing a typology of consumer dysfunction in professional services. European Journal of Marketing 49(1/2): 238–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gregory, A. 2007. Involving stakeholders in developing corporate brands: The communication dimension. Journal of Marketing Management 23(1–2): 59–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Halkier, B. 2003. The challenge of qualitative generalisations in communication research. Nordicom Review 24(1): 115–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hatch, M.J., and M. Schultz. 2008. Taking brand initiative. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  22. Hatch, M.J., and M. Schultz. 2010. Toward a theory of brand co-creation with implications for brand governance. Brand Management 17(8): 590–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Iglesias, O., and E. Bonet. 2012. Persuasive brand management: How managers can influence brand meaning when they are losing control over it. Journal of Organizational Change Management 25(2): 251–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Iglesias, O., N. Ind, and M. Alfaro. 2013. The organic view of the brand: A brand value co-creation model. Journal of Brand Management 20(8): 670–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ind, N. 2015. How participation is changing the practice of managing brands. Journal of Brand Management 21(9): 734–742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ind, N., and R. Bjerke. 2007. Branding governance. A participatory approach to the brand building process. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  27. Ind, N., and N. Coates. 2013. The meanings of co-creation. European Business Review 25(1): 86–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ind, N., C. Fuller, and C. Trevail. 2012. Brand together: How co-creation generates innovation and re-energizes brands. London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
  29. Ind, N., O. Iglesias, and M. Schultz. 2013. Building brands together: Emergence and outcomes of co-creation. California Management Review 55(3): 5–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ind, N., and C. Watt. 2004. Inspiration. Capturing the creative potential of your organisation. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  31. Johansen, T.S., and S. Esmann Andersen. 2012. Co-creating ONE: Rethinking integration within communication. Corporate Communication: An International Journal 17(3): 272–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Karmark, E. 2013. Corporate branding and corporate reputation. In The handbook of communication and corporate reputation, ed. C.E. Carroll, 446–459. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Keller, K.L. 2009. Building strong brands in a modern marketing communications environment. Journal of Marketing Communication 15(2–3): 139–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kennedy, E., and F. Guzmán. 2016. Co-creation of brand identities: Consumer and industry influence and motivations. Journal of Consumer Marketing 33(5): 313–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Knudsen, M. 2013. New Visual Communication. In SMK: Come on in, ed. S. Linde, 32–39. Copenhagen: SMK.Google Scholar
  36. Kornberger, M., S.R. Clegg, and C. Carter. 2006. Rethinking polyphonic organization: Managing as discursive practice. Scandinavian Journal of Management 22: 3–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Korsgaard, L. 2013. Museums Welcome You! In SMK: Come on in, ed. S. Linde, 6–11. Copenhagen: SMK.Google Scholar
  38. Melewar, T.C., and B. Nguyen. 2015. Five areas to advance branding theory and practice. Journal of Brand Management 21(9): 758–769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Muniz, A., and T. O’Guinn. 2001. Brand community. Journal of Consumer Research 27(4): 412–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Payne, A., K. Storbacka, P. Frow, and S. Knox. 2009. Co-creating brands: Diagnosing and designing the relationship experience. Journal of Business Research 62(3): 379–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Prahalad, C.K., and V. Ramaswamy. 2000. Co-opting customer competence. Harvard Business Review 78(1): 79–87.Google Scholar
  42. Prahalad, C.K., and V. Ramaswamy. 2004. Co-creation experiences: The next practice in value creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing 18(3): 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ramaswamy, V., and K. Ozcan. 2016. Brand value co-creation in a digitalized world: An integrative framework and research implications. International Journal of Research in Marketing 33(1): 93–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Säve, F., and Å. Thelander. 2014. The role of frames in a co-creation process. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences 7(4): 442–457.Google Scholar
  45. Schrøder, K. and E. Kristiansen. 2013. S.mart M.unter K.unstkampagne børster støvet af SMK. K-forum 20 February. http://www.kommunikationsforum.dk/artikler/statslig-kunst-har-faaet-farve-i-kinderne.
  46. Simon, N. 2010. The participatory museum. Santa Cruz: Museum 2.0. http://www.participatorymuseum.org/read/.
  47. Smith, A.M. 2013. The value co-destruction process: A customer resource perspective. European Journal of Marketing 47(11/12): 1889–1909.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stake, R.E. 1995. The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  49. Thelander, Å., and F. Säwe. 2015. The challenge of internal stakeholder support for co-creational branding strategy. Public Relations Inquiry 4(3): 323–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Van Ruler, B. 2005. Co-creation of meaning theory. In Encyclopedia of public relations, ed. R.L. Heath, 135–138. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  51. Wentworth, J., and J. Marsh. 2013. From institution to Brand. In SMK: Come on in, ed. S. Linde, 20–31. Copenhagen: SMK.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Culture and Global StudiesAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Business Academy AarhusViby JDenmark

Personalised recommendations