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Unformatted text preview: Key terms brand medium frame image '.' lss ues . What role do brands play , , in organising how we think about the wortd*not onty , the waYs we shoP but the vatue we attach to th'e . commodities we buY? . In what ways can brands be described as'new media obiects'? . Why do brands encourager interactivitY-usuatlYin, the form of shoPPing and ' market research*and Yet discourage i nteraction between customers and the company (esPeciatlY when customers wish to question brand production ethics or product quatitY)? CHAPTER OVERVI EW The argument presented in this chapter wilt be that brands mediate the supply and demand of products and services through the organi- sation, coordination and integration of market information' The chapter therefore puts forward five reasons for arguing that brands resemble 'new media obiects'. . Brands are multi-layered: they involve a mode of production; a technicat or physical support for their activities (a platform); and a set of conventions that articulate or give expression to that support or Platform' . Brands mediate between two spaces: the wortd of the producer or brand owner and the wortd of the consumer, where the brand is tike an interface. . Brands operate as an open-ended production loop, in that the brand is never a finished product (unlike the products it reteases to the consumer market)' Instead, the existence of the brand 'as a brand' is enough to alert the consumer to expect it to exoress itsetf periodicalty in a new or different form-as perhaps a new product range; a new advertising campaign; a new set of consumPtion oPtions. . Brands provide interactivity between two realms (production and consumption) but take absolute control of any interaction associated with the product. They appropriate information.about theircustomersandintegratethatinformationintoplanningfor new products and new information campaigns' o Their market position altows brands to control the time and place of their market interventions to take best advantage of the ftows of the gtobat economy. As the Internet matures as a medium its role in supporting and elaborating this process becomes clearer. cyberculture is emerging as an environment where commerce is organised through the online management of branded consumer communities' 308 Chapter r8: The Brand as New Media Obiect 3O9 Brand In this chapter, the terms 'the brand' or'branding', are not meant to imply a single thing, or even a single set of processes. To assume that 'the brand' is a single thing woutd be to mistake the multiple and sometimes divergent layers of activity that have gone into producing the brand. The assumption here insteao 't ,* 0..*r. the brand is a happening fact (whitehead, 1978), there is a demand-a sociological imperative-for something else to happen yet....
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- Summer '10