Brand, Truthiness and Post-Fact: Managing Brands in a Post-Rational World

Pierre R. Berthon, Leyland Pitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the past US election cycle, and mirrored by similar events in Europe, two trends have come to dominate social discourse: truthiness (the validity of something based on how it feels) and post-fact (taking a position that ignores facts). Human discourse has always contained elements of these, but the nature of the Internet and social media has pushed truthiness and post-facts to new levels. The purpose of this paper is to explore the complicated relationship brands have with fake news and discuss the implications for brand management of a post-truth world. We explore the complicated relationship brands have with fake news: Brands both fuel fake news and are burned by it. Next, we turn to the intellectual and instrumental roots of the post-truth world: postmodernism and its technological enablers, show how marketing became a purveyor of the postmodern worldview, and how brands have increasingly adopted truthiness and post-fact positions. We offer managers a way out of the postmodern cul-de-sac, discussing ways brands can be rethought and managed in a post-rational world.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Macromarketing
Volume38
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)218-227
Number of pages10
ISSN0276-1467
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • brand management
  • fake news
  • brand stories
  • brand duplicity
  • truthiness
  • post-fact
  • post-rational world

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