ABOUT

MISSION

 

The Brand Heritage Institute (BHI) is devoted to research, scholarship, education, publishing, discussion, and appreciation of theory and practice at the intersection of marketing and history. This encompasses the marketing of history, the history of marketing, business and economic history, consumer culture related to history, and connoisseurship for historic brands. BHI is operated for the benefit of academics in a variety of disciplines, practitioners in a variety of industries and functions, and the public in general.

ORGANIZATION

 

Brand Heritage Institute is an independent non-profit corporation (non-governmental organization) headquartered near Boston in Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA. Funding for basic operations through the end of 2019 has been graciously provided by private donors.

 

BHI publishes academic journals and books, offers course guides and curriculum support materials for university faculty, hosts events including academic research symposia and industry practice conferences, and conducts executive education and corporate training programs. BHI also serves as a focal point for an informal community of academic researchers and industry practitioners who are interested in issues related to brand heritage.

BHI supports and distributes research conducted by academics and universities, but does not provide market research services to companies. BHI does not offer consulting, branding, naming, or graphic design services.

Please see our Legal page for more information.

CONCEPT

"Brand heritage is an emerging concept within the marketing discipline, which suggests that the historical status of older companies is often explicitly linked to their brand identity and consumer appeal. Although brand heritage is activated in the present as a contemporary marketing strategy, it refers inherently to the past. The history of a company and the history of its engagement with consumers are important elements in understanding the appeal of older brands. As such, history is not only embedded in brand heritage as a value proposition, but also constitutes an important research methodology for identifying and analyzing brand heritage." (Hudson, 2011)

The case of Cunard provides a perfect example of the brand heritage concept. Read more

FOCUS AND SCOPE

Brand Heritage Institute extends the brand heritage concept to potentially anything and everything at the intersection of marketing and history. This encompasses the marketing of history, the history of marketing, business and economic history, consumer culture related to history, and connoisseurship for historic brands. We are interested in both academic theory and practical application related to these topics.

 

BHI defines ‘marketing’ broadly to encompass competitive strategy, consumer behavior, positioning, segmentation, branding, brand equity, brand management, market research, new product development, design, pricing, distribution (including retailing and digital distribution), services marketing (including service operations and experiences), and communications (including advertising, promotion, public relations, product placement, events and sponsorships, digital and social media, content marketing, and interpersonal selling). It also encompasses entrepreneurship and the marketing aspects of finance (including forecasting and valuation). The essence of all these elements is the creation of value and wealth derived from the exchange of products and services in the present and future.

 

BHI defines ‘history’ broadly to encompass traditional historical research and narrative, events that occurred or conditions that existed in the past, the process of change over time, temporality, retrospection and nostalgia, personal  and collective memory, genealogy, origination and authenticity, faux heritage and historical fiction, historical fantasy and utopianism, collecting and antiquarianism, archiving and preservation, artifacts and museums, and archaeology. The essence of all these elements is the creation of meaning and identity derived from the cognitive interplay of the past, present and future.

 

BHI is focused on qualitative research and conceptual scholarship, but has secondary interests in quantitative methodologies. BHI is focused on the Americas and Europe, but has secondary interests globally. BHI is focused on consumer brands, but has secondary interests in business-to-business applications and non-profit organizations. BHI is focused on products and services (including entertainment), but has secondary interests in cultural heritage and heritage tourism (including place branding). BHI is focused on brands that have existed for a century or more, but has secondary interests in more recent phenomena with historical aspects. BHI is focused on brands that are currently operational, but has secondary interests in extinct or dormant brands if they retain cultural relevance.