Fuzzy promises: explicative definitions of brand promise delivery

Anker, T.B., Kappel, K., Eadie, D. and Sandoe, P. (2012) Fuzzy promises: explicative definitions of brand promise delivery. Marketing Theory, 12(3), pp. 267-287. (doi:10.1177/1470593112451379)

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Abstract

This article clarifies the commonplace assumption that brands make promises by developing definitions of brand promise delivery. Distinguishing between clear and fuzzy brand promises, we develop definitions of what it is for a brand to deliver on fuzzy functional, symbolic, and experiential promises. We argue (a) that brands deliver fuzzy functional promises through encouraging and facilitating courses of actions that are conducive to the promised functionality, whereas (b) brands deliver fuzzy symbolic promises through encouraging and facilitating ways in which consumers can use brands as narrative material to communicate self-identity. Finally, (c) we propose that brands deliver fuzzy experiential promises through effectively motivating consumers to adopt and play a social role implicitly suggested and facilitated by the brand. A promise is an inherently ethical concept and the article finishes off with an in-depth discussion of fuzzy brand promises as two-way ethical commitments that put requirements on both brands and consumers.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Anker, Dr Thomas
Authors: Anker, T.B., Kappel, K., Eadie, D., and Sandoe, P.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Marketing Theory
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:1470-5931
ISSN (Online):1741-301X

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