American Girl And The Brand Gestalt : Closing The Loop On Sociocultural Branding Research

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focused on the key qualitative research methods. For each article review, a brief description, guided by Myers (2013), and a critique, guided Pratt (2009), is provided. A summary of the five articles identifying the research method, data collection technique, data analysis approach and critique is provided in Table 1. The narrative review of each article coupled with figures and tables to organize and visualize thoughts (Pratt, 2009) follows the summary table.
1. Journal Article - Reference - Diamond, N., Sherry Jr, J. F., Muñiz Jr, A. M., McGrath, M. A., Kozinets, R. V., & Borghini, S. (2009). American Girl and the brand gestalt: Closing the loop on sociocultural branding research. Journal of Marketing, 73(3), 118-134.

1a. Description - The goal of the research was to gain a comprehensive and holistic understanding of the sources and meanings of social cultural branding through ethnographic exploration of the American Girl brand (Diamond et al., 2009). The approach used for each of the building blocks in the qualitative research design model (Myers, 2013) for the American Girl (Diamond et al., 2009) article is shown in Figure 1.

The underlying philosophical paradigm used by Diamond et al. (2009) in the American Girl article is interpretivist research. The authors don’t predefine variables (Myers, 2013) to explain the American Girl brand, but use social activities, costs, facts, images, meanings and differences (Kozinets, 2001) to make sense of the American Girl phenomenon. To gain an in-depth understanding and broader context (Myers, 2013) of the multi-ethic, multi-generational and multi-national (Diamond et al., 2009) nature of the American Girl environment, the research method used was an ethnographic exploration. For three...

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... data (Myers, 2013). To illustrate the application of grounded theory to the tourism and hospitality industry in this article, the two dimensional framework proposed Urquhart, Lehman and Myers (2010) is depicted in Figure 4. Connell and Lowe (1997) demonstrate interpretation on the degree of conceptualization on the x-axis and substantive focus of the theory scope on the y-axis (Myers, 2013). The article notes that data collection interview and fieldwork produced 40,000 words of data and sufficient evidence (Connell and Lowe, 1997), but the article does not show any of the data (Pratt, 2009). As a result, it is not clear how the researcher connects the data to the practical application of the approach in international tourism and hospitality industry. The article does explain the motive and need (Pratt, 2009) for inductive qualitative research using grounded theory.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how connell and lowe provide a comprehensive literature review of grounded theory, inductive qualitative research, and the application of these methods to the internationalization of the hotel industry brands.
  • Describes the qualitative research methods used by diamond et al. to gain a holistic understanding of the sources and meanings of social cultural branding.
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