A theory of brand‐led SME new venture development

Bill Merrilees (Department of Marketing, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Publication date: 11 September 2007



The purpose of this paper is to understand how branding can facilitate small business development of new ventures.


A conceptual approach was used for understanding branding in new ventures. A model with eight propositions has been developed and then validated using ten existing case studies of exceptional entrepreneurs.


The key mechanisms proposed for branding to assist small business create new ventures include opportunity recognition, innovation, business model development, capital acquisition, supplier acquisition, customer acquisition, and success harvesting.


The paper helps redress a relatively lack of research into small business branding. Previous research has mainly focused on small business brand management of existing ventures. The findings are readily translatable to small businesses launching new ventures. The paper extends the existing small business branding literature into a new domain, having a strong entrepreneurial character.



Merrilees, B. (2007), "A theory of brand‐led SME new venture development", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 403-415. https://doi.org/10.1108/13522750710819739

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