The ethics of branding, customer-brand relationships, brand-equity strategy, and branding as a societal institution

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6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The subject of branding, customer-brand relationships, brand equity strategies, and branding as a societal institution has become so controversial that an anti-branding movement has become widespread across several continents. This movement maintains that branding is not just problematic, but ethically wrong. This article uses the Hunt-Vitell theory of ethics to provide a framework for explicating people's personal moral codes, which in turn, helps us to understand the ethical controversy over branding. The article (1) provides a brief discussion of the nature of branding, (2) identifies major arguments that support the view that branding is morally wrong, (3) overviews the H–V theory of marketing ethics, (4) explicates the H–V theory's “personal moral codes” framework, and (5) shows how it provides a starting point for those who seek to understand, evaluate, and investigate the ethics of branding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-416
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume95
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Brand equity
  • Brand ethics
  • Brand strategy
  • Branding
  • Customer-brand relationships
  • Marketing ethics

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