Extant branding literature is dominated by a metaphorical view of value co-creation in which the roles of brand actors remain unspecified. To help provide clarity, the purpose of this paper is to critically appraise how brand professionals understand brand value co-creation and perceive their role in facilitating it, with the aim of questioning its viability in day-to-day brand management practices. Building on brand professionals’ reflexivity, the study develops a qualitative methodological glance via semi-structured interviews based on confrontational techniques with a purposive sample of 28 experienced brand decision-makers. Brand professionals perceive accessibility, reciprocity and citizenship as the gateways provided by the firm for value co-creation to happen. Despite their enthusiastic rhetorical afflatus in making explicit their viewpoints about how firms can facilitate value co-creation, the current translation into practice of the role of the firm does not seem to be able to overcome the sender-biased approach that still resides in brand management. To go beyond the limits of rhetorical representations and make brand value facilitation more actionable, the authors provide guidelines on how firms can create and enhance the circumstances for the co-creation of brand value to occur in interactions with consumers and stakeholders. This study contributes to the critical actionability of the brand value co-creation by elucidating how firms currently perceive their facilitation role. The paper provides strategic recommendations to put co-creation rhetoric into practice by reframing and expanding the scope and the significance of brand management.
- Brand professionals’ reflexivity
- Brand value
- Consumer-brand interactions
- Value co-creation