What brand associations are

  • Torkild Thellefsen Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen University
  • Bent Sørensen Independent scholar
Keywords: associations, Charles S. Peirce, branding, brands


The American polyhistor Charles Sanders Peirce stated that association is the only active force in the mind; and since any meaning of a brand is created through countless associations among the brand users, branding seems to be a cognitive vis-à-vis semeiotic process. In literature on brands the concept of association is by no means new; however, if we take a look at some of the leading and dominant brand researchers, their definitions of associations seem to lack academic depth. We hope to contribute to this hitherto missing depth by applying Peirce’s understanding of associations.


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How to Cite
Thellefsen, T., & Sørensen, B. (2015). What brand associations are. Sign Systems Studies, 43(2/3), 191-206. https://doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2015.43.2-3.03