There is No Spoon: Towards a Framework for the Classification of Virtual Brands and Management of Brand Precession
7 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2009
Date Written: May 20, 2009
This paper considers the case of four virtual brands (Duff Beer, Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, Margaritaville and Aimee Weber) and the attachment of these brands to physical products in the real and virtual worlds. The authors contend these cases are not merely manifestations of the 'reverse product placement' process but are representative of a wider phenomenon, labeled 'brand precession.' Brand precession not only assumes that the brand initially exists a priori in the virtual but that commercial translation is not necessarily dependent on a physical existence in the real world. Virtual brands can also exist wholly in virtual worlds for use and commercial translation within these worlds i.e., 'in-world brands.' The authors contend that should such in-world brands be capable of legal protection, the implications for marketing practitioners and researchers may be profound. The paper provides an embryonic classification and framework for the management and the articulation of virtual brands.
Keywords: Reverse Product Placement, Brand Management, Brand Precession, Virtual
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