Revisit: Branding in a Digitally-Empowered World


Special issue of International Journal of Research in Marketing; Deadline 31 Mar 2014


Guest Editors: Tulin Erdem (New York University), Kevin Lane Keller (Dartmouth College), Dmitri Kuksov (University of Texas at Dallas) and Rik Pieters (Tilburg University).

The International Journal of Research in Marketing invites submissions for a special issue on Branding in a Digitally Empowered World. The last decade has seen technological developments that have transformed markets and marketing. Both consumers and companies have new capabilities that they could not have even dreamed of a few short years ago (see below). Empowered consumers are meeting equally empowered companies as both groups have access to increasingly detailed information about just about anything or anyone. Consumers can choose to become as involved as they want with a brand, with their influence ranging from just posting comments and evaluations at one end of a continuum to actually determining the nature and direction of a brand at the other end. Similarly, companies can choose to become as involved as they want with consumers, from hosting a brand web site at one end of the continuum to actively engaging and interacting with consumers in product and brand development at the other end. Many of the rules of branding are changing and many new rules are being introduced in this new digital era. This special issue of IJRM will focus on the latest thinking and research in branding that reflects the enhanced consumer and company capabilities in a digitally-empowering world.

New Consumer Capabilities

  • Can use the Internet as a powerful information and purchasing aid
  • Can collect fuller and richer information on products, services, brands, and companies
  • Can search, communicate, and purchase on the move
  • Can tap into social media to share opinions and express loyalty with others
  • Can actively interact with companies
  • Can digitally receive ads, coupons, and other marketing materials
  • Can easily compare prices and seek discounts

New Company Capabilities

  • Can use the Internet as a powerful information and sales channel
  • Can collect fuller and richer information about markets, customers, prospects, and competitors
  • Can reach consumers on the move with mobile marketing
  • Can tap into social media to amplify their brand message
  • Can facilitate and speed external communication among customers
  • Can send targeted ads, coupons, samples, and information to customers
  • Can dynamically set prices to reflect different levels of supply and demand

This special issue aims to capture and publish the latest thinking on Branding in a Digitally Empowered World. Without limiting the scope of the papers to be submitted, we encourage original empirical, behavioral, analytical, or managerial work studying the following:

  • How much control do firms have over their brands in this environment? How much control should they exert over their brands when consumers may want to redefine the brand?
  • How should firms develop fully integrated channel and communication strategies to best reflect the wide variety of digital options? How to evaluate the consistency of messages across so many touch points in this environment? How to measure the effectiveness of an integrated branding communications campaign?
  • How to capture the dynamics of brand evolution in such an environment?
  • What factors affect consumer’s sense of empowerment and level of engagement with brands in general or for any particular brand?
  • What are the optimal metrics and response strategies that companies should employ with social media?
  • How are ads, promotions and other communications processed by consumers differently digitally as compared to their traditional counterparts?
  • What are the costs and benefits of companies adopting yield pricing strategies to optimize supply and demand?

The deadline for initial submission to this special issue is March 31, 2014. The review process will feature a maximum of two rounds and final decisions will be made before April 2015. Given the limited time-window for revising papers, the editors’ aim in most cases is to make a decision on the first round. It is therefore very important that submissions are as polished as possible. When submitting a paper (, authors should mention that the paper should be considered for this special issue. Inquiries can be sent to


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