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Journal Selections from MSI

Do Hashtags Signal a New Brand Entity?

Social-media-based interactions aggregate to form “brand publics.

Using data from Italian Twitter postings on the Louis Vuitton brand, Adam Arvidsson and Alessandro Caliandro identify an alternative concept of brand publics. They suggest that brand publics are “part of a social media–based consumer culture where publicity rather than identity has become a core value.” Rather than members investing time and energy to develop brand-related identity, “brand publics allow for the harvesting of a mass of temporary and small contributions,” the authors write.

They distinguish brand publics from brand communities in three ways.

  1. Brand publics are social formations based not on interaction but on a “continuous focus of interest and mediation.”
  2. Participation in brand publics is structured by individual or collective affect, rather than discussion or deliberation.
  3. In brand publics “the brand is valuable as a medium that can offer publicity to a multitude of diverse situations of identity.”

Download from the Oxford University Press (free until April 30, 2017)
Brand Public by Adam Arvidsson and Alessandro Caliandro, Journal of Consumer Research (February 2016) 

Journal Selections from MSI (October 2016)

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