Brands are mediators. It means that brands intercede the demand and supply of products through the organisation, co-ordination and integration of the use of information. We are said to live in a ‘brand society’ where brands have become a new way of organizing production and managing consumption. There are several possible actors influencing the symbolic message conveyed by a brand. Corporations, consumers as well as mediators (such as critics and agents) and the cultural industry are suggested to be so-called ‘co-authors’ of significance. However the branding process will be intertwined with already existing cultural codes. Thus, it is implicit that culture will influence how the branding process develops and the brand interpretation. Understanding branding as a verb, that is taking interest in the process of branding, the project focus questions such as: How do brands as an interface re-structure interaction between stakeholders? How do co-authoring of importance take place and why? Wishing to include also the resonance of culture, politics and ideology in the analysis, the project design is a comparative methodological approach. The cases are chosen for being geographically close to Sweden but still a contrast culturally, such as Russia and Finland.
The aim of the study is to scrutinize the making of brands by analysing the interactivity of crucial stakeholders that become co-authors, following interpretative and constructivist methodological traditions. The project includes three cases: 1) Internet, as a technology for exploiting and co-authoring a brand (cases Sweden/Russia) 2) popular culture, illustrating literature as interactive in the process of branding (cases Russia/Great Britain), and 3) politics/ideology, revealing how ideals in society reason and resonate with the co-authoring of brands (cases Sweden/Finland).