Stakeholder-oriented Brand Management: A Venn-diagram Approach to Monitor Brand Associations

Oliver Koll*, Sylvia von Wallpach, Boris Uzelac

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Adopting a multi-stakeholder perspective on brand management, this paper discusses different methodological approaches that allow for a cross-stakeholder evaluation of associations the brand triggers. Our main contribution is the proposal and illustration of a Venn-diagram approach as a simple-to-implement, yet insightful methodology to visualize findings from free association questions. This approach helps brand management understand and compare the associations attached to a brand by multiple stakeholders and their degree of match with management-desired brand associations. We illustrate the managerial relevance of this approach with results from an international study comparing brand associations desired by the management of a company with brand associations elicited by customers and employees, with some 1500 respondents respectively. For the particular case investigated, we find that management-desired associations may not (yet) be top-of-mind for customers, employees or both groups, while these groups hold (and partly share) associations not desired by the organization. The findings also show that specific types of associations are more likely to be top-of-mind with multiple stakeholders than others. We discuss how brand management should use the insights gained via this Venn-diagram approach in their brand-building efforts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)437-444
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Brand management
  • Brand monitoring
  • Brand perception
  • Brand associations
  • Stakeholders
  • Venn diagram

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