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Origination: The Geographies of Brands and Branding by Andy Pike

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Chapter Five‘National’ Origination … Burberry

Introduction

The actors involved in the brand and branding of Burberry have sought to construct a ‘national’ origination, evoking a particular version of the nationally framed and rooted geographical imaginary of ‘Britishness’ in attempts to create and cohere meaning and value in the spatial and temporal market contexts of the fashion business internationally. The particular socio-spatial history of Burberry has afforded its brand owner, managers, marketers, shoppers and regulators pliable sources of discursive, material and symbolic geographical associations that have enabled efforts to construct meaning and value based upon distinctive attributes of authenticity, quality and tradition. Origination reveals how the meaning and value of the particular version of Britishness deployed that propelled Burberry’s steady post-war growth was superseded by economic, social and cultural shifts in its spatial and temporal market settings. The brand was left exposed and reliant upon a narrow array of core products and limited, conservative consumer base. Burberry’s adverse commercial prospects were worsened by uncontrolled international brand extension, distribution and licensing. The new management’s revitalization of the origination of the brand’s Britishness has been integral to its commercially successful modernization. The heritage assets and their geographical associations have been reworked to update Burberry’s image and market positioning, ...

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