The Deep Brand: Designs for a new chapter in marketing?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


No brand model has been generally accepted across the industry as adequate, nor is there a comprehensive, theoretically grounded solution to its design, population and use. While creativity and innovation are desirable, this gap diminishes company and marketing coordination, strategies and customer-focused alignment. It has adverse effects on leadership decisions, employee and team morale, projects and processes, corporate health and investor wealth, communication and customer experience. A proper solution will meet real needs, including a full set of identity dimensions, in accord with how companies conserve organisational unity of identity while enabling due diversity of practice.1 A suggested approach to both theory and practice are outlined with their supporting scientific and business logic. ‘Deep brand’ is not confined to ‘marketing’, but includes all identity aspects, including culture and business model. It connotes a way to coherent unity in action. There is special potential for marketers to play an instrumental role in orchestrating and leveraging its management. A case study of application as the IBM Brand System concludes a critical examination of brand practice and presentation of a deeply researched and tested alternative transdisciplinary methodology and its brand laws. Proposed logic and methods draw on insights that transformed and underpin the design industry. The open source novel but proven toolset is called Virtuoso.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-359
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Brand Strategy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Lead Partner, Thinking; Research Fellow, CLEA Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Secretary of the Cybernetics Society, UK


  • brand model, design, leadership, praxis, IBM, integration, cybernetics, self-organization


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