Sociology of Branding: “Just Do It” in the “No Limits” World

Brands are an important element of consumer culture. They represent communication of symbolic meanings, in which they are realised, and confirm critical aspects in social, cultural and psychological life contexts. Not only is the function of brands to explain the world of (im)material values and options and make them accessible but they also aim to reduce feelings of uncertainty with regard to multiple purchase decisions in conditions of expanding consumer options. Historically, trademarks change the traditional personified relationships of trust between local merchants and customers and generate its new impersonal form in the global environment of interactive relationships of manufacturers and consumers. The modern consumer is thus no longer a passive object of pervasive techniques and manipulative strategies used by the retailers, but also an active actor in the processes of production, innovations, product presentation and creation of the brand value. The study aims to show that brands should be communicated as open contexts, inspiring and motivating the consumers to fulfil them, make them complete, adjust and develop them in accordance with who the consumers are and who they would like to become. In the current marketing context, the trustworthiness, meaningfulness and attractiveness of these contexts is reflected via the social environment of the dominant values (individualism and hedonism) represented by advertising slogans such as “Just Do It” or “No Limits”.

brand, consumer culture, hedonism, iconic brand, identity