Sociocultural brand revitalization: the role of consumer collectives in bringing brands back to life

Elina Narvanen, Christina Goulding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
660 Downloads (Pure)



The purpose of the article is to build a sociocultural perspective of brand revitalization. Maintaining brands and bringing them back to life in the market has received much less interest than their creation. Moreover, the existing literature is dominated by the marketing management paradigm where the company’s role is emphasized. This paper addresses the phenomenon of brand revitalization from a sociocultural perspective and examines the role of consumer collectives in the process.


Using a data-driven approach, the study builds on the case of a consumer brand of footwear that has risen to unprecedented popularity without traditional marketing campaigns. Data were generated using an inductive theory building approach utilizing multiple methods including interviews, participant observation and cultural materials.


The article presents a conceptual model of cultural brand revitalization that has four stages: sleeping brand, spontaneous appropriation, diffusion and convergence.

Practical implications

Implications for companies in consumer markets are discussed, suggesting ways to facilitate the process of sociocultural brand revitalization.


The paper contributes to the literature first by offering a sociocultural brand revitalization scenario that highlights the interplay between the actions of consumers and the company, second, by examining the interaction between the symbolic meanings associated with the brand and the practices employed by consumers and third, by offering insights into the relevance of national identity in creating brand meaning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1521-1546
Number of pages26
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number7/8
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2016


  • brand revitalization
  • collective consumption
  • symbolic meaning
  • practices
  • cultural branding


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