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Special Issue "Co-Creating Sustainable Brands"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Elina Närvänen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland
Interests: branding; consumption communities; sustainable consumption; food waste
Dr. Sonja Lahtinen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland‎
Interests: sustainability transitions; sustainable production and consumption, sustainable branding; circular economy
Ms. Ulla-Maija Sutinen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland
Interests: sustainable consumption; social marketing; food waste

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In today’s world, brands are acting as significant harbingers of a sustainable future. As shown by the recent developments both in research and practice, brands have a pivotal position in society in terms of shaping cultural meanings, values, and norms. We see many brands using their positions to steer the public debate and consumer behavior to more sustainable trajectories. Consider Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Unilever as topical examples of multinational brands taking visible stances on sustainability.

However, the link between branding and sustainability is not always congruent or straightforward. There are several examples of such brands failing to integrate sustainability in their covenant, as stakeholders judge the sustainability efforts misaligned with the brand. Thus, creating sustainable brands must be seen as a joint effort between the brand and its key stakeholders such as customers, employees, and partners. To support brands as contributors to societal and environmental well-being, at a time when this can be considered a worthwhile endeavour, this Special Issue aims to create space for understanding how different stakeholder groups engage in cocreating sustainable brands.

We invite research papers focusing on various types of sustainable brands, such as corporate brands, nonprofit brands, institution brands, personal brands, and country brands, to name a few. Creative, interpretive research approaches are most likely to offer interesting viewpoints on the topic. We invite research using innovative research methods and multidisciplinary materials. Diverse perspectives including consumer and stakeholder perceptions and experiences, marketing communications, and branding strategies with a focus on cocreation with stakeholders, as well as specific dimensions of sustainability, are encouraged. Furthermore, approaches that examine the reasons why brands can fail in their sustainability efforts are within the scope of this Issue.

Dr. Elina Närvänen
Dr. Sonja Lahtinen
Ms. Ulla-Maija Sutinen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • brands
  • branding
  • sustainable brands
  • sustainability brands
  • brand cocreation
  • interpretive approach

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Co-Creating a Sustainable Regional Brand from Multiple Sub-Brands: The Andaman Tourism Cluster of Thailand
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9409; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169409 - 22 Aug 2021
Viewed by 689
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how a regional brand can be co-created among different cities by employing the concept of place branding and brand culture. The Andaman Tourism Cluster of Thailand (ATC) generates the most tourism revenue in Thailand. Developing [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to explore how a regional brand can be co-created among different cities by employing the concept of place branding and brand culture. The Andaman Tourism Cluster of Thailand (ATC) generates the most tourism revenue in Thailand. Developing a regional brand identity can strengthen the competitive advantage of the ATC. Data were collected using multi-method research through questionnaires, projective techniques, and focus group interviews. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, while qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis. This study also shows that multi-method research contributes to brand management by facilitating collaboration, participation, and brand congruence among stakeholders. Quantitative and qualitative data were synthesized in order to develop the brand identity of the ATC. Focus group interviews were also employed to co-create the regional brand identity as ‘Irresistible Andaman’, of which sustainable tourism management is a fundamental aspect. This study demonstrates how multiple sub-brands with different stakeholders can be integrated into a single regional brand. Moreover, stakeholders should focus on internal branding by communicating with all stakeholders to co-create brand congruence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Co-Creating Sustainable Brands)
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Article
A Typology of Winery SME Brand Strategies with Implications for Sustainability Communication and Co-Creation
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020805 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1658
Abstract
The article explores SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) brand strategies as a means to position and successfully engage in competitive markets. A derived typology of brand strategy types deals with social profiling and sheds light on brand strategy internalization of two current [...] Read more.
The article explores SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) brand strategies as a means to position and successfully engage in competitive markets. A derived typology of brand strategy types deals with social profiling and sheds light on brand strategy internalization of two current managerial paradigms—sustainability and co-creation. N = 895 German SME wineries were examined, leaning on a netnographic analysis of predominantly websites and social media interactions. A two-step clustering method thereby identified eight winery SME brand strategy types. The importance of sustainability across the identified eight brand strategy types is significant. Co-creation turned out to be a key profiling trait characterizing one brand strategy type. The typology illustrates strategic richness, with brand strategies leaning predominantly on traditional values, on sustainability, on external reputation, or on more innovative customer centric concepts such as co-creation. Hereby, the typology and the identified brand levers invite to strategically design brand management, governance, and sustainability. Wineries which focus on traditional positioning and legitimacy were found to be cautious in deploying co-creation through social media. Winery brands that are characterized by engagement in digital co-creation apparently either tend to expand their scope or partially combine it with traditional values, making them the most diverse type identified. Sustainability obviously needs to be addressed by all brand strategies. Despite industry and country focus, the analyses illustrate the relevance of socially-oriented profiling and highlights that sustainability has reached a status of a fundamental business approach still allowing to differentiate thereon. Furthermore, the business models of the SMEs need to deliver communicated values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Co-Creating Sustainable Brands)
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