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Type: Journal article
Title: Club Med: Coping with corporate brand evolution
Author: Quester, P.
Fleck, N.
Citation: Journal of Product and Brand Management, 2010; 19(2):94-102
Publisher: Emerald
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 1061-0421
Department: Professions Office
Statement of
Pascale G. Quester, Nathalie Fleck
Abstract: Purpose – This paper aims to identify how community members of a long-established service brand, Club Med, negotiate the strategic decision made by management in 2002 to substantially alter the brand positioning. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed method approach relied on participant observations, interviews with managers and consumers, and a netnography of an independent website used by Club Med members to exchange information, advice and other holiday tips. Findings – Brand community members responded differently to the repositioning of the brand, according to the core benefit or value they first sought by attending the Club, from the functional and practical to the emotional or experiential reward. Responses also differed according to whether consumers valued the collective ideals of the earlier Club Med or the individualism advocated in the latest positioning. Hence, the value match between brand and consumers appeared predictive of their response. Research limitations/implications – Although limited to the case of one iconic service brand, these findings have implications for marketers. In particular, they warn against unilateral decisions made without due consideration of the brand community which may have developed around the traditional meanings associated with the brand. Originality/value – Given the paucity of evidence of service brand community, validating the existence of service brand community represents a first and important contribution of the paper. Brand communities have intrigued researchers and practitioners by their loyalty and resilience. Moreover, little or no research has examined how such communities cope with dramatic changes in the brand strategy.
Keywords: Brand image; Consumers; Internet; User studies
Rights: © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
RMID: 0020097397
DOI: 10.1108/10610421011033449
Appears in Collections:Business School publications

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