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The deep brand: Designs for a new chapter in marketing?


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No brand model has been generally accepted across the industry as adequate, nor is there a comprehensive, theoretically grounded solution to its design, population and use. While creativity and innovation are desirable, this gap diminishes company and marketing coordination, strategies and customer-focused alignment. It has adverse effects on leadership decisions, employee and team morale, projects and processes, corporate health and investor wealth, communication and customer experience. A proper solution will meet real needs, including a full set of identity dimensions, in accord with how companies conserve organisational unity of identity while enabling due diversity of practice.1 A suggested approach to both theory and practice are outlined with their supporting scientific and business logic. ‘Deep brand’ is not confined to ‘marketing’, but includes all identity aspects, including culture and business model. It connotes a way to coherent unity in action. There is special potential for marketers to play an instrumental role in orchestrating and leveraging its management. A case study of application as the IBM Brand System concludes a critical examination of brand practice and presentation of a deeply researched and tested alternative transdisciplinary methodology and its brand laws. Proposed logic and methods draw on insights that transformed and underpin the design industry. The open source novel but proven toolset is called Virtuoso.

Keywords: IBM; brand model; cybernetics; design; integration; leadership; praxis; self-organization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Thinking

Publication date: January 1, 2022

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  • Journal of Brand Strategy is the essential professional journal publishing in-depth, peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of brands.

    Guided by a senior Editorial Board, consisting of leading branding experts, each quarterly 100-page issue – published in print and online – provides detailed, practical articles from leading branding professionals on innovative strategies, techniques and trends, together with the latest applied research in branding and detailed analysis of how leading brands are managed around the world. It does not publish advertising and all content is peer-reviewed to ensure that it is of direct, practical relevance to those working in the field.

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