We hereby call for your work: We are looking for your research about brands and brand relationships, and have a preference for innovative, risky, in-development, non-traditional ideas.
There are a number of topics that intrigue us and may inspire others, but the list below could be complemented or replaced by the contents of your own scholarly imaginations:
(1) Much BBR research focuses on generating insights to improve profits or loyalty, but other, more unconventional applications are worthy of exploration too. How can BBR-research be used to improve voter turnout, reduce gun violence, encourage healthy habits… In short, how can BBR theories influence consumer or societal well-being, broadly construed?
(2) In the 90’s, marketers started in earnest to use interpersonal theories to focus on consumer-brand relationships, moving away from satisfaction and trust to the notion of engaging closer relationships. There has been a transformation since then, with marketers explicitly pushing the human-like qualities of the brand (e.g., the anthropomorphized and mindful brand) and the interpersonal nature of the brand relationship (e.g. Pizza Hut asked consumers to “imagine pizza was your boyfriend”). What is the effect of this change? If people are as lonely as reports suggest, will this transformation help or hurt them? Are brand relationships substitutes or complements to interpersonal relationships? What are the consequences of the anthropomorphized brand?
(3) What do we do with hybrid person-brands (e.g. reality-stars, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump) and are there systematic ways to understand or manage them by leveraging BBR ideas? Celebrity branding is a huge business but most of the interesting work is going on in political and communications journals.
(4) There has been a proliferation of metrics to assess CBR’s: BRQ, attachment, brand love, trust, identification, commitment, etc. Each metric is different and contributes something unique, but to a manager, the array is confusing. What is the ‘right answer’? What insight can BBR contribute in terms of systematically documenting the differences/similarities, strengths/weaknesses of each metric in a diagnostic and predictive capacity?