An Interdisciplinary Conference Sponsored by the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and University College London
October 19, 2012
Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 10th Floor Powers Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, 25 E. Pearson, Chicago, IL 60611
This program has been approved for 5.0 Hours of Illinois Continuing Legal Education Credit
Brands matter. In modern times, brands and brand management have become a central feature of the modern economy and a staple of business theory and business practice. Coca-Cola, Nike, Google, Disney, Apple, Microsoft, BMW, Marlboro, IBM, Kellogg’s, Louis-Vuitton, and Virgin are all large companies, but they are also brands that present powerful, valuable tools for business. Business is fully aware of that power and value.
Contrary to the law’s conception of trademarks, brands are used to indicate far more than source and/or quality. Indeed those functions are far down on the list of what most businesses want for their brands. Brands allow businesses to reach consumers directly with messages regarding emotion, identity, and self-worth such that consumers are no longer buying a product but buying a brand. Businesses pursue that strategy to move beyond price, product, place, and position and create the idea that a consumer should buy a branded good or service at a higher price than the consumer might otherwise pay.
Branding explicitly contemplates reducing or eliminating price competition as the brand personality cannot be duplicated. In addition, this practice can be understood as a product differentiation tactic which allows a branded good to turn a commodity into a special category that sees higher margins compared to the others in that market space. In other words, brands have important effects on competition and the marketplace.
The aim of this conference is to reflect on the legal, business, and economic understanding of brands by explaining what brands are, how they function, and the role brands play in business competition. The conference will also delve into specific issues raised by branding in the 21st century business competition, such as the challenges raised by online business and the increasing role of private labels in distribution.
For more information please access the conference website at: