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How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding by D. B. Holt

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CHAPTER 9

Branding as Cultural Activism

ICONIC BRANDS ARE BUILT by cultural activists. Yet, while many companies would love to create a Nike, a Budweiser, or a Mountain Dew, most are organized to act as cultural reactionaries, whose practices are the opposite of the activism that is required. Managers typically view identity brands through the prism of the mind-share model. Mind share constructs a present-tense snapshot view of the brand, which blinds managers to emerging cultural opportunities. And mind share’s impulse to abstract—to yank the brand out of its cultural context—leaves managers arguing over adjectives that are largely devoid of strategic consequences. Managers routinely ignore the cultural content of the brand’s myth, treating ...

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