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Successful brand management in SMEs: a new theory and practical hints

Frank B.G.J.M. Krake (Unimeta Nederland UV, Hengelo, The Netherlands)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 1 June 2005




Brand management in small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) is an area of study in its infancy. Although considerable literature has been published about brand management in general, all theory and case studies are based only on multinationals. This article proposes providing the results and conclusions of exploratory research into this subject, and into SMEs in particular.


To understand the precise role of the entrepreneur and to provide answers to five research questions, a qualitative study based on in‐depth interviews with mainly middle‐sized companies was undertaken. Striking results were obtained from this exploratory research.


The paper shows the reader what the role of brand management in SMEs is and all the variables that influence it. It also presents a new model for brand development in SMEs, one that highlights the importance of the internal role of brand management in such an organization. An important finding is that passion for the brand throughout the company is a very important factor, initiated by an active role of the entrepreneur him/herself to achieving brand recognition. It does not cost anything and the impact appeared to be significant. Of course creativity is indispensable in this process.

Practical implications

The change that directors of a relatively small company should make is to place brand management in a top position in their daily mind set. Achieving brand recognition starts inside the organization itself.


For the first time in history extensive research in brand management in SMEs has been combined with the creation of various new theories, resulting in many practical recommendations. These are recommendations that can be used by the reader in his or her own organization.



Krake, F.B.G.J.M. (2005), "Successful brand management in SMEs: a new theory and practical hints", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 228-238.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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