Social Constructionism and the Corporate Brand: Semiotic Analyses of Print Adverts
Over the years, brand-building arguments have focused on process models; that is, brand-building and formation processes developed from historical and cultural foundations of the brand visionaries. They are then translated to the vision statements of corporate brands and the internalization of brand values in those who represent it. However, the question of meaning in the brand building process is often left out in the models spread across the extant literature. The authors, therefore, adopt a social constructionist approach as the theoretical basis for building the corporate brand. This attempt culminated in a proposed model embedding in social constructionist tenets and applied to corporate branding. In an attempt to validate the theoretical arguments, the authors carried out field interviews with brand custodians of two Nigerian banks. Semiotic analyses of samples of the banks’ print advertisements were also carried out to understand how the banks’ construction of meaning informs their brand building process. The findings revealed consistencies between the origin and socio-cultural derivations of meanings and brand communication as an important brand-building component. Recommendations on how this process can be adopted and operationalized in industry were therefore made.
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