The Artist and the Brand

European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39, No. 11, pp. 1291-1305, 2005

28 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2005


This paper argues that greater awareness of the connections between the traditions and conventions of visual art and the production and consumption of images leads to enhanced ability to understand branding as a strategic signifying practice. It forms part of a larger call for inclusion of art historical issues within the marketing research canon and joins in the contention that art history can provide a necessary contextualizing counterpoint to information processing views of branding's interaction with consumer behavior and visual perception. Artists offer exemplary instances of image creation in the service of building a recognizable look, name, and style - a brand, in other words. Successful artists can be thought of as brand managers, actively engaged in developing, nurturing, and promoting themselves as recognizable products in the competitive cultural sphere. Brands are inherently visual - brand logos, product design, packaging, brand identity, and brand marketing campaigns each draw upon visual materials to create distinctive brand images - yet marketing scholars have seemed reluctant to embrace art history and visual studies as critical fields with potential contributions to branding knowledge. In this paper, several prominent, successful artists serve as case studies to illuminate the potential for insights into the interconnections between art, branding, and consumption. This article places brands firmly within culture to look at the complex underpinnings of the branding, linking perceptual and cognitive processes to larger social and cultural issues that contribute to how brand images work.

Keywords: Brand management, aesthetics, art, imagery, visual communication, marketing strategy

JEL Classification: M30, M31, Z10

Suggested Citation

Schroeder, Jonathan E., The Artist and the Brand. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39, No. 11, pp. 1291-1305, 2005, Available at SSRN:

Jonathan E. Schroeder (Contact Author)

Rochester Institute of Technology ( email )

92 Lomb Memorial Drive
Eastman Building, Room 3006
Rochester, NY 14623
United States
5854752703 (Phone)

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