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Brands are everywhere: in the air, on the high-street, in the kitchen, on television and, maybe even on your feet. But what are they? The brand, that point of connection between company and consumer, has become one of the key cultural forces of our time and one of the most important vehicles of globalization. This book offers a detailed and innovative analysis of the brand Illustrated with many examples, the book argues that brands: * mediate the supply and demand of products and services in a global economy * frame the activities of the market by functioning as an interface * communicate interactively, selectively promoting and inhibiting communication between producers and consumers * operate as a public currency while being legally protected as private property in law * introduce sensation, qualities and affect into the quantitative calculations of the market * organize the logics of global flows of products, people, images and events. This book will be essential reading for students of sociology, cultural studies and consumption.