Brands using historical references: a consumers’ perspective

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JournalJournal of Brand Management
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Sep 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 6 Oct 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Mar 2018
Issue number2
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)171-184
Early online date6/10/17
Original languageEnglish


While existing literature on brand heritage focuses on corporate perspectives, this paper investigates the gap between intended and perceived heritage. Two sequential qualitative studies were performed: the preliminary study is based on observation and enables the selection of 27 fast moving consumer brands using historical references that are explicit for consumers; the main study is composed of 25 semi-structured interviews of consumers in order to analyse their interpretations. Results show that consumers know little about parent companies behind brands. However, they imagine that companies are seeking a compromise between an ideal tradition and a necessary modernity. Finally, they also distinguish different strategies in the management of temporality. Results outline the critical role of the consumers and enable to distinguish two types of brands – familiar and aristocratic ones – and to formulate two distinct sets of recommendations for them based on the use of historical references.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

    Research areas

  • Band management, Corporate brand heritage, Fast-moving consumer goods, Historical references, Past, Positioning

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