The brand core and its management over time

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the brand core and its management over time. The aim is to develop a framework for managing the core of a brand for continuity and change. Design/methodology/approach – A longitudinal case study of the Volvo brand’s core and its management serves as the empirical basis for a qualitative analysis of the “brand core” using rhetorical perspectives. Findings – The management of the brand core for both continuity and change is an unsolved paradox in strategic brand management literature and practice. Existing conceptualisations offer little or no guidance regarding managing a brand’s core over time. The Volvo brand has evolved by adding and shifting mindsets, which has kept its core surprisingly stable. Research limitations/implications – The new framework mitigates a paradox and, by defining the brand core as a point of reference, allows for brand management to address both continuity and change and consider a range of stakeholders while doing so. The integration ofs rhetoric into the framework makes it applicable to product, service and corporate brands, or indeed anything that can be considered a “brand”. The brand core is defined as “an entity of core values and a promise”. Practical implications – By shifting perspectives on a brand’s core over time, change and development are stimulated while preserving its inner values and promise. Originality/value – The brand core framework integrating rhetoric theory was supported by a longitudinal case study to resolve a strategic brand management paradox.


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Sidor (från-till)26-42
Antal sidor17
TidskriftJournal of Product & Brand Management
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2016 mar 21
Peer review utfördJa