Branding in a Hyperconnected World: Refocusing Theories and Rethinking Boundaries

March 2020 | Sorescu, Alina

Technological advances have resulted in a hyperconnected world, requiring a reassessment of branding research from the perspectives of firms, consumers, and society. Brands are shifting away from single ownership to shared ownership, as heightened access to information and people is allowing more stakeholders to cocreate brand meanings and experiences alongside traditional brand owners and managers. Moreover, hyperconnectivity has allowed existing brands to expand their geographic reach and societal roles, while new types of branded entities (ideas, people, places, and organizational brands) are further stretching the branding space. To help establish a new branding paradigm that accounts for these changes, the authors address the following questions: (1) What are the roles and functions of brands? (2) How is brand value (co)created? and (3) How should brands be managed? Throughout the article the authors also identify future research issues that require scholarly attention, with the aim to align branding theory and practice with the realities of a hyperconnected world.



  • Vanitha Swaminathan
  • JB Steenkamp
  • Thomas O'Guinn
  • Bernd Schmitt


Journal of Marketing