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EMAC 2022 Annual

Integrating branding theory under the novel concepts of Brand Genetics, Brand Genotype and Brand Phenotype.

Published: May 24, 2022


Bernardo Pontes, Carleton University; Aron Darmody, Carleton University


Brands cast meanings seeking consumer engagement. To remain meaningful, brands interact with environments, process inputs, and adapt, resembling a living organism. Branding strategies are ubiquitously centred around the construct of brand identity. This study approaches branding from an organismic metaphor perspective, introducing the notions of Brand Genetics, Brand Genotype and Brand Phenotype. In addition, we amplify brand conceptualization beyond identity, including brands’ inheritance and antecedents as key influencers of intracellular metabolism, the attributes and essence of a brand. Finally, we envision the integration of branding theories under the Genotype-Phenotype framework,favouring cross-pollination, leveraging future research, and integrating brand stakeholders. Our work revisits fundamentals of branding, fostering consistency among strategy, concept, and execution, allowing brand essence, brand elements and business goals to converge and interdependently evolve.