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A discursive framework of B2B brand legitimacy
Industrial Marketing Management  (IF6.96),  Pub Date : 2021-01-11, DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2020.12.009
Brandon M. Gustafson, Nadia Pomirleanu

In a hyperconnected world, branding is moving away from single, organization-driven ownership to shared ownership. Motivated by the continuous advancements in digital technologies for B2B brands, this research uses a rhetorical and discursive approach to build a framework of B2B brands legitimacy. This conceptual framework integrates multiple levels of social discourse, from brand texts to stories and narratives, to illustrate how the connections between these and brand legitimacy are made through language. We describe how B2B brands can use the rhetorical elements of logos, pathos, and ethos to achieve an advantageous position within their field's discourse. We identify B2B brand reputation, awareness, and credibility among the benefits of having a brand legitimacy within a network of actors and provide propositions and empirical guides to substantiate the proposed framework.