The goal of this paper is to understand the relationship between advertising spending and the volume and valence of publicity, and assessments of corporate brands (opinion, value and reputation).
Two studies examine major multi‐national companies as brands by bringing together five unique industry datasets to understand the connection between the assessments of the corporate brand and marketing communication activity. Discriminant analysis is used to study the differential impact of advertising and publicity on corporate brand attitude and value.
Publicity and advertising volume are important drivers in differentiating between firms with lower and higher brand evaluations. Overall, publicity valence, in and of itself, had little effect outside of the volume of positive and negative stories. Further, the role of prior corporate reputation works in conjunction and has unique effects that influence the communication activities of firms with high and low brand attitudes and value. The valence of publicity matters least for firms with strong prior reputations. Instead volume dominates for these firms. For lower reputation firms, the mix of communication that distinguishes stronger and weaker performance is more complex with both publicity valence and publicity and ad volume playing slightly different roles in the two studies.
The findings suggest that companies with different levels of brand evaluation (opinion and value) have distinct marketing communication profiles which can be labelled communication footprints. Further, this relationship is moderated by prior corporate reputation. Firms seeking to change stakeholder evaluations must pay particular attention to both the overall volume of publicity received, as well as the ratio of positive to negative publicity volume. Advertising spending plays an important supportive role in these evaluations.
The study adds to the understanding of the communication signals that influence corporate branding. Specifically, it brings together a unique set of industry data to investigate the influence of marketing communication activities on brand opinion and value. Further, the findings contribute to the discussion of the role that company publicity and volume play in developing the corporate brand.
Spotts, H. and Weinberger, M. (2010), "Marketplace footprints: connecting marketing communication and corporate brands", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 44 No. 5, pp. 591-609. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090561011032289Download as .RIS
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