Building and Managing Strong Human Brands: The Unique Case of Authors as Brands

Michalina Maria Sobol

Student thesis: Master thesis


This study contributes to the research on human brands by analyzing the case of fiction writers. By doing so the paper extends the brand management theory to embrace human brands and their unique and challenging nature. The case of author brands is analyzed against existing human brand management literature as well as that of the traditional brand management. The difference between managing traditional brands and human brands are identified. The unique nature of author brands compared to other human brands is discovered. The study discovers that author brands have the same kind of impact on their consumers as traditional brands, however the ways the two should be built and managed differ. The study suggests multiple adjustments to traditional branding approaches, among which the most important include the modification of brand personality dimensions and brand image dimensions. The modifications are necessary in order to incorporate the unique nature of human brands. The approaches that can be used in their unadjusted form are also presented. Another discovery is that each category of human brands needs to be understood in the context of its own, Unique organizational field that it belongs to. Each field has its own challenges, which dictate the ways the human brand needs to be managed. For fiction publishing industry it is for example the challenge created by the antagonistic relationship between the cultural and economic capital. The study relies on a variety of qualitative and quantitative data gathered directly from publishing houses and consumers. Throughout the study multiple practical implications are found for both publishing houses, as well as for authors who are considering selfpublishing and taking a full responsibility of building their own brand.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages81