The annual Shelby D. Hunt/Harold H. Maynard Award recognizes the Journal of Marketing article published in the last calendar year (2022) that has made the most significant contribution to marketing theory. The winners of the 2022 Hunt/Maynard Award are Julian R.K. Wichmann, Nico Wiegand, and Werner J. Reinartz for their article “The Platformization of Brands” (Volume 86, Issue 1).
The selection committee, composed of John Lynch (MSI Executive Director and Chair), Alok Kumar (University of Miami), and Brian Murtha (University of Kentucky), noted:
“We are delighted to recognize Julian, Nico, and Werner for their paper conceptualizing these new emerging brand platforms. The authors distinguish ‘brand aggregation’ platforms like Amazon Marketplace, Google Shopping, and Alibaba from ‘brand flagship’ platforms like Nike Running Club, Lego Ideas, or Bosch DIY & Garden. The brand aggregation platforms focus on sales transactions and matching customer preference on highly standardized attributes that tend to diminish brand difference, creating a level of commoditization. Brand aggregation platforms prosper as ‘one stop shopping’ destinations that make it hard for brands to compete by their own commerce platforms.
Instead, ‘brand flagship’ platforms create value separate from transactions. Brand flagship platforms create value in relation to a set of goals: commercial exchange, social exchange, self-improvement, epistemic empowerment, and creative empowerment. These latter goals produce differentiation and complementary information to support brand loyalty. The authors provide guidance for firms prioritizing these different goals in the building of their brand flagship platform.”
The other excellent finalists for the award were:
- Fred Miao, Irina V. Kozlenkova, Haizhong Wang, Tao Xie, and Robert W. Palmatier (2022), “An Emerging Theory of Avatar Marketing”
- Remi Daviet, Gideon Nave, and Jerry Wind (2022), “Genetic Data: Potential Uses and Misuses in Marketing”
- Dionne Nickerson, Michael Lowe, Adithya Pattabhiramaiah, and Alina Sorescu (2022), “The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Brand Sales: An Accountability Perspective”
- Abhi Bhattacharya, Neil A. Morgan, and Lopo L. Rego (2022), “Examining Why and When Market Share Drives Firm Profit”
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