Call for Papers: Beyond Tech Gimmicks: Omni-Digital Touchpoints for Products and Brands


Submit your paper here!

Key Dates

Opening: 15 May 2023
Closing: 15 December 2023


Digital technologies have grown in number, scope, and capabilities, offering a wide array of tools for marketers and brands in the rapidly developing digitalisation of the marketplace. From extended reality (e.g., VR, AR) to NFTs and from wearables to fully virtual products, omni-digital holds a lot of potential for marketers, but as yet, marketers may still be viewing these technologies as “gimmicks” to gain attention or capitalize on novelty rather than integrating these technologies into an omni-digital customer journey. As such, instead of viewing digital technologies as “one-offs” or tools to be considered in isolation with potentially limited value, an omni-digital approach would create seamless customer journey across digital touchpoints to transform this journey in relevant and compelling ways. 

Pursuing such an approach is no longer “nice” but “necessary” given that omni-channel is no longer sufficient. Customers expect not only to engage with a brand on any digital channel convenient to them but also to enjoy the same level of experience across these channels. Managing various channels while offering a consistent experience across all of them makes an omni-digital approach necessary. With an omni-digital perspective, “channel” is no longer the focus because customers’ interactions with digital touchpoints become channel agnostic. As such, technological silos/touchpoints are no longer sufficient, and an omni-digital environment should be created with which consumers interact across their customer journey. 

In this vein, omni-digital environments and strategies offer great promise for products and brands, and not surprisingly, consumers and brand managers alike show a lot of interest in omni-digital environments. For example, a late 2021 survey of global internet users found that overcoming obstacles from real life as well as enhancing creativity and imagination were perceived as the biggest benefits of the metaverse (Clement, 2022), yet many marketers fundamentally do not understand the concept of the “metaverse” and the opportunities for their brands it represents (Buecheler, 2022). Further, only 35% of small and medium-sized brands had plans to adopt extended reality technology in their marketing, underscoring lack of strategic guidance for this advanced use of omni-digital technology (Capers, 2020; Kostyk & Sheng, 2022). Vitally, there are many topics on the intersection of brands and omni-digital environments that remain empirically unexplored and are promising from the perspective of theoretical development (Dwivedi et al., 2022b). 

To address these gaps, the current special issue aims to do the following: 

  1. Connect products, brands & branding research with omni-digital research 
  2. Set a research agenda for the newly merged area of products and brands and omni-digital research 
  3. Inform strategic decision-making by product brand managers wishing to implement omni-digital strategies 

We invite submissions from various disciplines, such as branding, marketing, business, management, human-computer interaction, information systems, and related disciplines. Contributions can be conceptual (including critical literature reviews or “state-of-the-art” articles) and/or empirical (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods). 


List of topic areas 

Enhancing product and brand awareness in the omni-digital environment 

  • How can/should marketers utilize omni-digital touchpoints to raise awareness of products and brands?
  • What methods of or approaches to promotion and communications are best suited for omni-digital? 
  • How can products and brands be featured (e.g., product placement) in extended reality (VR, AR, etc.) in compelling ways?
  • How can machine learning be better utilized/optimized to improve product and brand recommendations? 

Enticing brand engagement in the omni-digital environment

  • How is brand engagement impacted by omni-digital? 
  • How can omni-digital technologies facilitate consumer-brand relationships via events? 
  • What is the role of brand involvement in omni-digital technology adoption? 
  • How can sensory inputs (e.g., olfactory or haptic cues) aid omni-digital brand storytelling?
  • What is the role of extended reality technologies (VR, AR, etc.) in creating brand-related sensory cues? 
  • What is the impact of different types of graphics, sounds, and narrative plots on omni-digital brand storytelling?
  • How can reality vs. fantasy brand storytelling aid omni-digital brand building?
  • What is the impact of the digital divide on consumers’ responses to omni-digital brand building efforts? 
  • How can omni-digital technologies affect consumer imagination within holistic brand experiences? 
  • How do omni-digital technologies affect parasocial interactions with brands (e.g., AI in service encounters)? 
  • How is anthropomorphism shaped in the omni-digital environment (i.e., consumer-brand/product interactions in the omni-digital environment)? 

Building product and brand preference in the omni-digital environment

  • How can consumer and/or product/brand co-creation be facilitated effectively via omni-digital? 
  • What are the effects of consumer technology readiness for brands embracing omni-digital? How can these effects be mitigated?
  • What is the impact of omni-digital technology affordances on consumers’ cognitive responses to the brand? 
  • What is the impact of omni-digital technology affordances on consumers’ affective responses to the brand?
  • What is the impact of omni-digital technology affordances on consumers’ behavioural responses to the brand? 

Fostering brand commitment in the omni-digital environment 

  • What is the short-term and the long-term impact of omni-digital technologies on customer-brand relationships? 
  • How are pre-existing customer-brand relationships transformed via omni-digital? 
  • What is the role of AI in building, maintaining, or strengthening customer-brand relationships beyond simple engagement/transactions?
  • What is the role of extended reality (VR, AR, etc.) in customer-brand relationships? 
  • How should brand loyalty be defined/redefined in light of omni-digital touchpoints? 

Managing products and brands in the omni-digital environment 

  • How can omni-digital technologies be strategically incorporated into the overall customer journey? 
  • How should consumer-based brand equity be re-defined in light of omni-digital? 
  • How are brand communities changed in their formation, functioning, etc. via omni-digital? 
  • What are the potential legal and ethical implications and concerns of omni-digital technologies as they relate to consumer-brand relationships and consumer brand responses?
  • What are the opportunities for sustainable omni-digital branding?
  • How can omni-digital technologies be harnessed to aid in brand’s retailing efforts? 
  • How can accessibility of omni-digital content be enhanced to aid in brand building? 
  • What are ways in which virtual products and NFTs can contribute to brand building? 

Submissions Information 

Submit your paper here!

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.
Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see here.
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.