The main book for this course, which you will be required to buy or have access to:

Pine & Gilmore, The Experience Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage. Harvard Business School Press (you can get this for a few dollars on Amazon secondhand very easily. There is only one edition so far.)

These books will be supplemented with other texts, including:

Lury, C. (2004) Brands: The Logos of the Global Economy. Routledge.

Thrift, N. (2005) Knowing Capitalism. Sage.

Belch, Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective, 9th edition, McGraw- Hill, 2011 (we won’t deal with this text directly but it offers a more Communications approach to many ideas covered in the course)



PDFs and other texts for particular weeks:

Thursday January 9th


Thursday January 24th



Thursday January 31st



Questions to direct your reading - make reference to examples from your experience when you answer.

1. What is Salzer-Morling's argument concerning the movement from brands to 'brandscape'? Where is the individual consumer situated in this narrative?
2. What resources from Communication can you apply to thinking about brands, brand identities, and the brandscape in general - are there ways of thinking about this that might be productive?
3. What is the difference between 'brand image' and 'brand identity'? What are the mechanisms involved in each?
4. “Brands are first and foremost providers of experience”, says Schmitt. Salzer-Morling considers the pictorial and imagistic elements of branding along with storytelling. How is such experience actually produced - is it simply narrative (storytelling) or is there more to it?
5. What is the role of the 'aesthetic' in branding and brand recognition throughout this text for Salzer-Morling, exactly? How does this tie in to previous discussions in this class? What is the relationship between 'reflexive modernity' and the aesthetic/ the process of aestheticization?
6. Thrift characterizes the 'new economy' in the 1990s as a shift in power/knowledge and the production of different behaviors. What does he mean by this, and what is the role of technology in this shift?
7. Why do you think Thrift is interested in new organizational paradigms or management techniques? What is the relationship with the production of behaviors and the new economy?
8. Returning to the significance of technologies (ICT), how has a 'new market culture' arisen as a result of technologies, and what developments in recent times are notable, might you suggest?


Thursday February 7th

Williams (1961) ‘Advertising: the magic system’.

Hutson, ‘Advertising is magic’, Psychology Today.

Thursday February 14th




Also Chapter 7 of Thrift, 'Performing Cultures in the New Economy', is available here [the chapter is part of the file uploaded previously for Jan 31st]

Thrift: Performance and management
  • š“Why such a performance?” – a strand in business of making visible the invisible, addressing the body
  • šThe counterculture and experiments in interpersonal dynamics
  • šHeightened practices of interaction
  • šFrom P&G: staging learning through the explicit design of memorable events
  • šUse of dramatic techniques to challenge entrenched learning (bringing in expertise from outside)
  • šAll these make the invisible visible, disclose new spaces of action

Lury: Performativity and the Brand
  • ‘Brand’ as a complex mediation between consumer demand and producer supply – a personification?
  • Broader concern with use of information, image, media in integration, coordination and organization of the economy and everyday life [cf. brandscape]
  • Dis-intermediation (of retailer) and re-intermediation (of brand image) – where does this lead us?
  • Role of the brand in market control: UK vs US, a new role for ‘marketing’ as opposed to ‘selling’
  • Rise of ‘creative advertising’ in 1980s-90s, creation of imaginary lifestyle, emotional and aesthetic role of products
  • Brand becomes not image but “the organization of a set of relations between products and services” (26)
  • Impacts on managers, consumers and the product? New mechanisms for distribution and exchange?

Thursday February 21st





Thursday February 28th




Thursday March 7th



Thursday March 21st


Article on Starbucks owning a coffee farm in Costa Rica, Wall Street Journal

Thursday April 4th