Exploring th reciprocal relationship between brand identity and brand image in a context of co-creation: An abstract

Catherine da Silveira, Cláudia Simões

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


From a conventional theoretical perspective, brand identity (BI) and brand image (BIm) are two distinct notions: BI originates from its internal stakeholders (e.g., managers) and is defined as a stable and enduring concept, while BIm focuses on how the brand is perceived by its external stakeholders (e.g., consumers). Arguing that the development of the co-creation paradigm in branding demands a recasting of brand management, this paper revisits the conventional theoretical notions of BI and BIm and their reciprocal relationship. In this research, we take a restricted view of co-creation by assuming that co-creation in branding can only occur under specific conditions supported by previous research: (1) evidence of direct interactions between brand managers and staff and consumers; (2) brand managers should ensure access to information to consumers; (3) consumer active participation in the process of brand management; (4) the co-created brand must be perceived by consumers and managers as affecting their identity and personal life, which implies a collective acceptation by both parts of the risks intrinsic to the brand. Under such context, we propose consumers as internal brand stakeholders. Drawing on a seminal theory on identity in sociology, we present preliminary insights from a longitudinal case study investigating the brand management of a leading brand in the postgraduate higher education sector selected in accordance with the foundational prerequisites of brand co-creation exposed above and from the perspectives of both managers and consumers. The research covered a period of 4 years and included among multiple sources of evidence, 67 in-depth semi-structured interviews with 42 informants, mostly internal brand stakeholders—i.e., managers (e.g., managers, faculty, and staff) and consumers (e.g., students and alumni). Findings suggest that BI management develops as a corrective process that entails managers’ and consumers’ co-engagement in addressing brand issues. A brand issue for consumers becomes an issue for managers, and brand issues are addressed by both parts in order to project a favorable image of the brand to outsiders. Managers and consumers co-engage in BI management because they are concerned with how outsiders will perceive the brand and by implication themselves, as internal brand stakeholders. This leads to the conclusion that, within a context of co-creation, BI and BIm are reciprocally and recursively connected. References Available Upon Request

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173


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