Article | Research in Consumer Behavior | 2010

The Strategic Use of Brand Biographies

by Jill Avery, Neeru Paharia, Anat Keinan and Juliet Schor


We introduce the concept of a brand biography to describe an emerging trend in branding in which firms author a dynamic, historical account of the events that have shaped the brand over time. Using a particular type of brand biography, "the underdog," we empirically show how managers can strategically use brand biographies in brand positioning, in this case to mitigate the curse of success. As brands grow and become successful, they are often marked by the negative stigma associated with size and power, which elicits anticorporate sentiment from consumers. An underdog brand biography can be strategically wielded to prevent or offset anticorporate backlash stemming from consumers' negative perceptions of firms' size and/or market power.

Keywords: marketing; Brands; brand management; brand building; brand positioning; competitive positioning; marketing strategy; Brands and Branding; Managerial Roles; Strategy; Product Positioning; Consumer Behavior; Biography; Success; Perception; Markets; Power and Influence; Consumer Products Industry; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Auto Industry; Fashion Industry; Food and Beverage Industry;


Avery, Jill, Neeru Paharia, Anat Keinan, and Juliet Schor. "The Strategic Use of Brand Biographies." Research in Consumer Behavior 12 (2010): 213–230.