This paper presents the results of exploratory research aimed at understanding how firms operating in regional clusters use the clusters' collective identity in their external communication and combine it with the communication of their individual identity. In particular, the paper aims to detect different behaviors among different types of firms.
A quantitative exploratory content analysis is performed on the websites of the wineries of the Franciacorta wine cluster (Italy). A two‐step cluster analysis is used to identify differences in identity communications.
The results suggest the existence of two groups manifesting different patterns of identity communication. Larger firms communicate their individual identity through symbols, but they consistently communicate collective values. The other group (on average smaller firms, but including some of the biggest) seems to exploit collective identity symbols, without giving prominence to collective values.
This study provides an understanding of how companies communicate collective symbols and values promoted by cooperative institutions; this understanding can be beneficial for future developments of collective branding projects.
This research contributes to broadening the debate on cluster identity as a strategic resource by adopting a communication perspective as well as providing empirical data on how different types of clusters' firms actually combine a collective cluster's identity and their firm's identity to shape their external image.
Zamparini, A. and Lurati, F. (2012), "Communicated identities of regional cluster firms: Evidence from the Franciacorta wine cluster", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 498-513. https://doi.org/10.1108/13563281211274220Download as .RIS
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