Chapter published in:Operationalizing Iconicity
Edited by Pamela Perniss, Olga Fischer and Christina Ljungberg
[Iconicity in Language and Literature 17] 2020
► pp. 246–263
Iconicity in branding
A case of Japanese whiskey
This paper demonstrates the complex iconicity of Japanese whiskey by analysing brand identities represented on bottle designs and advertisements. There are, chronologically, four phases in the relationship between the names of products and the languages used on the labels: (1) the application of Japanese names which were not specified on the labels in English; (2) the usage of only English names and logos; (3) the commencement of Japanese names on the labels in Japanese calligraphy and (4) the utilisation of both Japanese and English names and logos depending on the marketing strategies. This study focusses on Phase 3 in order to identify how graphic images of Japanese calligraphy and other design features iconise the brand identities. It is thus argued that iconic effect is a powerful branding device for establishing the convincing image of Japanese whiskey in the global marketing context.
Published online: 13 May 2020
Hiraga, K. M.
Moody, A. and Matsumoto, Y.