To explore the brand meaning of local food brands

Authors: Quest, J.

Start date: 21 May 2015

This paper introduces the author’s doctoral thesis which explores the tangibility of brand meaning of local food brands. The conceptual framework is derived from Hirschman’s layers of meaning (1980a, 1998) and of specific interest is the tangible (direct sensory and functional) as the intangible (idiosyncratic, subcultural and cultural) has attracted considerable scholarly attention. Brand meaning resides in the minds of consumers (Batey, 2008) so this research will be explored from their perspective. It adopts an interpretivist approach to uncover subjective meanings held by consumers and their connections with brands. Qualitative approaches such as participant observation supported by in-depth interviews are adopted. The research context is local food as there has been a significant groundswell of interest in this category over the last few years around local sourcing, food miles, health and ethical concerns (Grobel, 2013).

This makes an original contribution by giving insights into a more neglected area which explores the tangibility of brand meaning.

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