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«‘Genuine Jersey’: Branding and Authenticity in a Small Island Culture Henry Johnson University of Otago New Zealand henry.johnson ...»

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Extending the topic of the discussion even further, in the context of this paper the branding exercise has focuses entirely on produce and products (i.e. tangible items), but at a time when the global finance industry is dominating so much of the island’s current income, one wonders if the label “genuine” could be applied to intangible outputs too? This is obviously beyond the scope of the current paper, but in a context where branding the island in a public-private partnership has taken on the role of place branding with an aspect of perceived authenticity inherent in membership and sponsorship criteria, questions should be asked regarding not only that criteria but also of tangible and intangible aspects of island culture that are currently not included in the Genuine Jersey brand.

While Jersey is increasingly inventing homogenous and disparate brands for itself, particularly within its three main industries – agriculture, tourism and finance – Genuine Jersey itself has crafted its own way for standing for the island. That is, it has helped to socially construct a perception of authentic goods in a marketing and branding exercise that at the same time creates an island-based value proposition with an othering of the goods of non-members (both locally produced and imported).

Acknowledgements I am particularly grateful to John Garton, Chief Executive Officer of Genuine Jersey (Genuine Jersey Products Association) for making time to be interviewed as part of the research process.

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