Signs, Strategies, and Brand Value
Laura R. Oswald
Reviews and Awards
"The world of marketing and consumerism has undergone a radical change in the last few decades-the brands that are put out there are perceived to be much more than products. They have morphed into signs, veritable symbols of who we are, what we aspire to be, and how we intend to attain our life goals. This is a radical change, since these signifying processes were in the domain of social institutions and ideologies. Advertising and marketing have become the new beacons in how we search for meaning. Oswald's book is a brilliant examination of how brands have evolved into meaning making structures. She deconstructs the process insightfully offering us a comprehensive purview of what a branded society is all about. This is required reading for everyone, from students in marketing and culture studies to the general public. It offers a cogent perspective on how brands and social processes are now intrinsically intertwined." - Marcel Danesi, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto
"In books on the application of semiotics to marketing, there is probably a 'binary distinction' between those that are written for academics, emphasizing literature and theory, and those written for practitioners, stressing examples and cases. Laura Oswald's text carves out a new portion of this space, drawing rigorously on well-accepted principles and frameworks, and then showing their value in understanding and resolving real-world branding and advertising challenges. Anchoring strongly on her deep knowledge of the literature on meaning production and symbolic consumption, Oswald applies this to several real branding case studies from a variety of industries and cultures. I intend to use many of these principles and case studies in my branding classes: there is clearly much that marketing professionals can learn from them." - Rajeev Batra, S.S. Kresge Professor of Marketing, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
"Oswald has crafted a theoretically cogent and empirically rich account of the making of meaning in the marketplace that is accessible to academics and practitioners alike. Anyone concerned with the cultural construction of value will benefit from her many and varied analyses of the contemporary brandscape. She delivers a sensitive interpretation of the mythologies that underlie contemporary commerce. The book will prove as useful in the boardroom as in the classroom." - John F. Sherry, Jr., Herrick Professor and Department Chair, Mendoza College, University of Notre Dame.
"A breath of fresh air to the confining functional benefit brand view. Its in-depth discussion of how brands provide meaning to customer lives expands our understanding of brands and their roles." - David Aaker, Vice-Chairman, Prophet, and author of Brand Relevance.