Tales of Seduction and Intrigue: Design as Narrative Agent of Brand Revitalization

Sarah J. S. Wilner, Aysar Ghassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
180 Downloads (Pure)


We explore the role of design in market performances (Deighton 1992) by examining a case in which a shift in the zeitgeist threatened a flagship packaged good’s longstanding brand identity. In this instance, the destabilisation of brand identity and threats to brand equity arose when prevailing cultural narratives became significant enough to disrupt existing brand narratives. To investigate the impact of the changing cultural narratives, we present a modified brand genealogy, examining the iconic brand’s positioning in cultural context over time and culminating with the strategic response marketers made to ameliorate the unanticipated shift in their product’s connotations. In particular, we focus on the role of design as a mechanism for facilitating alternate associations and possible attributions about the brand in the face of semantic crisis. We offer an exploratory framework for the role design can play in re-scripting marketplace narratives and propose a typology of possible outcomes that result in the course of marketers’ and consumers’ negotiation of their roles in market performance. Publisher Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Marketing Management on 9th February 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0267257X.2016.1271346
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-202
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number3-4
Early online date9 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Brands
  • Design
  • Market performance
  • Marketing management
  • Seduction


Dive into the research topics of 'Tales of Seduction and Intrigue: Design as Narrative Agent of Brand Revitalization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this