Taking Stock in Martha Stewart: a Cultural Critique of the Marketing Practice of Building Person-Brands

Susan Fournier, Boston University, USA
This research examines the rise of the Martha Stewart brand and its fall in the wake of the ImClone crisis for insights into the practice of building productized celebrity person-brands. A developmental model inducted from the historical record details five phases through which the person-brand was managed; stages differ in their relative marketing emphasis on the person versus the productized brand. A cultural critique of this strategy identifies several biases that collectively denied the multivocal, reciprocating, and collaborative processes of person-brand meaning making at play. A revised cultural framework for person-brand building is provided, with metrics for gauging person-brand strength.
[ to cite ]:
Susan Fournier (2010) ,"Taking Stock in Martha Stewart: a Cultural Critique of the Marketing Practice of Building Person-Brands ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 37-40 .