Brand Management: Unveiling the Delusion of Control

Serena Wider, Sylvia von Wallpach, Hans Mühlbacher

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Mainstream brand management literature views brands as products or organisations carrying brand names and brand managers as being in control of brand-related actions and outcomes. By contrast, recent empirical research shows the substantial influence of stakeholders on brands. Together with brand management, stakeholders shape brands by participating in brand-related interaction. European brand research accordingly treats brands as ongoing and complex processes in constant flux. Nevertheless, literature suffers from a significant lack of theoretical underpinnings for understanding brands as complex processes; in this respect, building on European philosophy is a fruitful avenue. This paper introduces the metaphor of the rhizome and draws on European process philosophy to further develop an integrative processual understanding of brands. Brand management claiming control over brands as processes turns out to be a delusion
TidsskriftEuropean Management Journal
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)301-305
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2018


  • Brand
  • Process
  • European philosophy
  • Rhizome
  • Management
  • Control delusion