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Corporate reputation versus corporate branding: the realist debate

David Bickerton (David Bickerton is at the Cranfield School of Management, UK.)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 1 March 2000



Studies in the fields of marketing and corporate identity are at a crossroads. Changes in the structure of organisations and their operating environments have led to the emergence of the concept of corporate branding and possibly even the development of a new domain of management science. This paper traces the development of brand thinking from both a marketing (customer market) perspective and a multi‐disciplinary (organisation) perspective. Argues that the current transitional period is, in fact, caused by a congruence of thinking in these two fields and that much of the current debate has stemmed from their alternative starting points; a “top down” organisational perspective versus a “bottom up” customer market perspective. Adopts a realist perspective to build a conceptual framework that combines elements of both approaches and describes the application of this framework and a new marketing model to an initial pilot study.



Bickerton, D. (2000), "Corporate reputation versus corporate branding: the realist debate", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 42-48.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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