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Brand Integrity in Moments of Consumption: Lessons from American Girl

Professor John Sherry, Herrick Professor of Marketing, Notre Dame

3rd Jun 2011  02:00 pm - 03:30 pm Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

In this article, we explore the practices and processes by which a brand is negotiated when it enters a household, crossing from public into private space. Focusing on their material and ideological content, we describe how branded objects can retain their commodity status even as they are singularized by becoming implicated in the day to day lives of household members. From a long-term ethnographic study of the American Girl brand as it is enacted at several moments of consumption in domestic space, we develop the conception of brand integrity to help explain how this dual status is achieved and maintained. In so doing, we contribute to literatures on in-home consumption, the nature of brands and brand relationships, and materiality.