Brand wars: Consumer-brand engagement beyond client-agency fights

Rossella Gambetti, Silvia Biraghi*, Don Edward Schultz, Guendalina Graffigna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Engaging consumers with their brands has emerged as a priority in marketers’ agenda. Brand decision-makers share a clear representational view of consumer-brand engagement (CBE). Despite this agreement, practitioners are currently finding hard to practically achieve CBE. The clash between an ideal representation of CBE focused on consumer protagonism and its fragile execution urges a rethinking of consumer-brand relationship modes and timeframe. We argue that this clash is nurtured by the longestablished conflicting relational dynamics among brand decision-makers illustrated by client-agency (CA) disputes of which consumers represent the ending-point recipient. This paper reflects on how consumer protagonism as an inherent component of CBE is currently reshaping the relation dynamics among all brand actors. We represent CBE as a relational hub resting upon a co-creation rather than a separation logic. We finally provide a pragmatic reflection on the relationship culture required by CBE among actors beyond the CA dyad.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-103
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Strategic Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 18 2015


  • Client-agency relationship
  • Consumer protagonism
  • Consumer-brand encounter
  • Consumer-brand engagement
  • Relational dynamics
  • Strategic brand management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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