The liminality of branding:interweaving discourses 'making up' a cultural intermediary occupation

Loacker, Bernadette Isabel and Sullivan, Katie (2016) The liminality of branding:interweaving discourses 'making up' a cultural intermediary occupation. Marketing Theory, 16 (3). pp. 361-382. ISSN 1470-5931

PDF (The_liminality_of_branding_Interweaving_discourses_making_up_a_cultural_intermediary_occupation_Resubmission_Marketing_Theory_12_2015)
The_liminality_of_branding_Interweaving_discourses_making_up_a_cultural_intermediary_occupation_Resubmission_Marketing_Theory_12_2015.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (216kB)


This article explores how the occupation of branding and the work it encompasses are discursively constituted and ‘made up’. It starts with the premise that branding is a cultural intermediary occupation about whose norms and practices we cannot assume certainty, stability or homogeneity. The study illustrates how branding is comprised of multiple social and occupational discourses, namely, ‘creativity’, ‘discovery’, ‘business’ and ‘morality’. Rather than stand alone, these discourses dynamically interweave and intersect. Consequently, branding emerges as an occupation with distinct liminal conditions, being simultaneously about art, science, business and social relational work. Instead of moving towards stability, our findings suggest that branding is an intermediary occupation that sustains rather than discontinues liminality and that enduring liminality lends itself to the non-distinctiveness of the occupation. For branders, occupying a liminal occupational position implies various challenges but similarly scopes for flexibility and autonomy.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Marketing Theory
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Marketing Theory, 16 (3), 2016, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Marketing Theory page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
30 Mar 2016 12:24
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 03:04