Burgh-Woodman, H. de, & Brace-Govan, J. (2007). We do not live to buy: Why subcultures are different from brand communities and the meaning for marketing discourse (Summary)

This conceptual paper describes a literature review and case study that the authors utilized to inform a discussion on the differences between surfing communities and consumption driven subcultures. The article begins with a section on the subculture discourse. Subcultures are assumed to be separate from, or beneath mainstream culture. The authors make the argument that in marketing, subcultures can be better described as brand communities.” A brand community would be one that specifically developed because of a product or brand that is preexisting. A good example of this would be Bronies, a distinct cultural group of adults who love My Little Pony. Their culture would not exist without the brand. Conceptualizing brand communities shows a strong intellectual argument for market segmentation. The desires differ between each type of community, and so marketing language can be targeted toward those needs if they are clearly identified. Bronies are not the intended audience for the product, but they are clearly an audience now. The strength of the paper is the background of literature and discourse, but the weakness is that there is not a strong quantitative reasoning for using different marketing languages for different subcultures. Businesses like to see proof in numbers, and intellectual literature reviews are difficult to sell.

Burgh-Woodman, H. de, & Brace-Govan, J. (2007). We do not live to buy: Why subcultures are different from brand communities and the meaning for marketing discourse. The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy; Bingley, 27(5/6), 193–207. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01443330710757230


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