Marcos Henrique Bedendo
Doctorate – Strategic brand management in the context of responsible consumption: proposal of a theoretical model
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Edson Crescitelli
Comission: Profs. Drs. Andres Rodriguez Veloso, Janaina de Moura Engracia Giraldi and Francisco Antônio Serralvo
Class: 217, FEA-5
This study combines two mains themes: responsible consumption and brand management.
The need for companies to adopt practices that are more responsible becomes almost a consensus due to pressure from different stakeholders. Governments, shareholders, customers, consumers, and even company employees seem to privilege and value practices that are more responsible. However, the numbers of studies on how companies adjusted their brand management process due to the responsible consumption trend is limited.
The thesis develops on brand management theory, especially the evolution of the brand concept, its role in the organization, and the brand identity models, which are subject to a critical analysis. The trend of responsible consumption, its evolution and its impact on brands and companies are also discussed. The results of an empirical, qualitative and exploratory research are presented. The data collection was done through in-depth interviews with directors of branding consultancies and brand managers of well-known brands.
The results were analyzed using content analysis technique. The results of the analysis indicate that in order to support their value propositions and to propose relevant differentials for their customers and consumers, brands need to become permeable to trends and influences from internal and external stakeholders, while remaining true to their essence. In a context where brands no longer have complete control over their points of contact, brand managers must act as curators, stimulating or removing certain trends and behaviors from the brands they manage. Contemporary brands must also incorporate a set of broader values, taking advantage of individual benefits, but also emphasizing certain collective benefits, offering a positive impact on society.
The research results were compared to the theoretical framework and a systematization of the brand management processes was proposed based on the needs captured in the empirical phase and in the most recent academic discussions. The proposed model seeks to reconcile the current lack of control with a co-creation process, opening space for a more “permeable” brand. A new set of benefits is also proposed, aiming to incorporate into the brand planning process a group of benefits that have become valued according to the results of empirical research and the most recent academic studies.
In theoretical terms, the contribution of the thesis is the proposal of an updated brand management model, considering the influences of the current consumption context. From a practical point of view, the contribution comes from a better understanding of the difficulties faced by managers when making conceptual changes in their brands, emphasizing processes that contributes to the rapid and correct absorption of the responsible consumption trend, providing a systematization of practices that makes brand management more dynamic and productive for companies.
*Abstract provided by the author