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Cultural Brands/Branding Cultures

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This conceptual paper examines the interface between culture and business, with specific reference to branding. It argues that, while considerable strides have been made in recent years to develop Arts Marketing theory, the subject now needs to take account of wider social and cultural issues. The paper explores the way in which processes of meaning-making have been theorised in consumption and cultural studies. It argues for a view of the symbolic dimensions of branding practices that positions them within the circuit of culture, as a cultural phenomenon. It is argued that brands are symbolic articulators of production and consumption. In this sense, all brands are representational texts, and are socially, not merely managerially, constructed. Different kinds of cultural brands are identified, including cultrepreneurs, cultural corporates and commercial corporates, and their practices in relation to business and culture are discussed. It is suggested that marketing (including branding) is not a neutral analytical repertoire for the study of exchange relationships, but is itself a particular kind of cultural brand, namely an ideological myopia which operates in the service of capital. It is suggested that Arts Marketing practitioners and scholars consider these wider issues in formulating their marketing practices and research strategies.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-06-01

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