The elite ethic of fiduciarity: The heraldry of the Jack Wills brand
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 14:22 authored by Daniel R. Smith
The Jack Wills brand claims to be Outfitters to the Gentry. This article argues that Jack Wills’ marketing ethos institutes a means to achieve this promise. This promise is investigated as instituting a form of heraldry through its corporate program of Seasonnaires and monopolising the spaces and symbols of elite social standing for their branded products. Heraldry is concerned with making the symbols of the peers of the realm distinctive and within an exclusive set. I call this enterprise ‘fiduciary’ as the heralds are persons trusted to preserve the symbols’ sanctity. Overall I claim that the Jack Wills brand seeks this through its corporate program. Imitation-heraldry is a means to create the value of the brand as ‘fiduciary value’, community trust in the products and its worth. The ethic and politics that accompany the brand-ethos is concerned with making the name ‘Jack Wills’ come to stand as an eponymous character that embodies the social actions and unity of the social group the brand outfits. Jack Wills institutes an ethical economy that allocates the branded goods to those within the Seasonnaire economy of distribution, an economy that centres upon upholding fiduciary value.
Publication titleEphemera: Theory and Politics in Organization
PublisherEphemera Editorial Collective
- Published version