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Meaningful experiences : an embodied cognition perspective on brand meaning co-creation

  • Embodied cognition addresses meaning emergence in abstract concepts through experience, yet has neither been applied to the abstract concept of brand meaning, nor been introduced to brand meaning co-creation research, which also assigns a leading role to brand experiences. The paper closes this gap and argues for an understanding of brand meaning as embodied. Brand meaning in light of co-creation research is discussed, and the need for a new emergent perspective for brand meaning through brand experiences is identified and satisfied by providing an adequate framework. The framework is then illustrated, using a narrative analysis of autobiographical memory stories of three different Nutella user types. The results highlight how meaning varies according to the embodied mental structures that consumers use to comprehend a brand. Consequently, brand meaning is largely influenced through brand experiences early in life and in particular affectively intense ones. The study illustrates how consumers’ experiences shape the way they comprehend the brand and attach meaning to it. The study extends research on brand meaning co-creation, by applying theory of embodied cognition to the concept of brand meaning, and shows how brand experiences, a key element of co-creation theory, shape the meaning of a brand.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Jens Stach
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Marketing Management and Sustainability
Parent Title (English):The Journal of Brand Management : An International Journal
Year of Completion:2019
First Page:317
Last Page:331