"Brand" and Brand Image: Misdefinition, Misuse, Miscommunication, Empirical Amphiboly, and Resolution

By John F. Gaski.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: May 27, 2016 $US5.00

The concept of branding is one of the most important and useful in modern commerce and marketing. Yet problems of definition and conceptualization have chronically plagued the word "brand." Those concerns and some troublesome implications are discussed in the following. The particular focus is to dissect some vexing conceptual and even semantic issues surrounding the venerable word "brand" itself. First revealed is that prevailing usage of the word—probably your prevailing usage—is actually a slang term rather than the official definition. Theoretical and practical concerns resulting from that misuse are exposed and some possibly derived managerial problems are raised. One bonus feature is a fresh look at branding architecture, i.e., alternative brand naming strategies, along with proposals for making brand structuring and interpretation more coherent. Empirical grounding for the article's argument is presented in the form of copious references and cited bibliographies, demonstrating the veracity of the author’s critique. Specifically, one bibliography illustrates and documents the consequences of ambiguous use of "brand," while another cites sources that display correct usage. Ultimately, the comprehensive treatment offers creative alternatives for resolving the extant confusing and even dysfunctional brand nomenclature.

Keywords: Brand, Branding, Brand Image, Philology, Philosophy of Science

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: May 27, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 743.706KB)).

Dr. John F. Gaski

Associate Professor, Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA