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Corporate heritage, corporate heritage marketing, and total corporate heritage communications: What are they? What of them?

John M.T. Balmer (Brunel Business School, Brunel University, London, UK)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 2 August 2013




The purpose of this paper is to advance the general understanding of the corporate heritage domain. The paper seeks to specify the requisites of corporate heritage and to introduce and explicate the corporate heritage marketing and total corporate heritage communications notions.


As befits an opening article of the first special edition specifically devoted to corporate heritage, this article is largely conceptual in character and draws on the extant literature on corporate heritage brands and identities. In illuminating key points, it also makes reference to extant corporate heritage entities/brands.


A provisional theory of corporate heritage sustainability is articulated, as is the enumeration of key corporate heritage traits. The notions of corporate heritage marketing and total corporate heritage communications are introduced and articulated. Key corporate heritage traits requisites encompass omni‐temporality; institution trait constancy; external/internal tri‐generational hereditary; augmented role identities; ceaseless multigenerational stakeholder utility and unremitting management tenacity. Corporate heritage marketing consists of eight dimensions: corporate heritage character/communications/covenant/conceptualisations/culture/constituencies/custodianship/context. Total corporate heritage communicates consists of primary/secondary/tertiary and legacy communications.

Practical implications

The paper notes the need for assiduous management attention to be accorded to organisations with a bona‐fide corporate heritage. Managers are custodians – as are organisational members guardians – of a corporate heritage. Corporate heritage institutions because they are sui generis require distinct approaches vis‐à‐vis their preservation and management.

Social implications

Corporate heritage identities and corporate heritage brands confer not only corporate but also temporal, territorial, social, cultural and ancestral identities to multi‐generational groups of customers and other stakeholders. As such, they are of importance not only as corporate entities but also as perennial social identities as well. This is of importance to policy makers, managers and owners of corporate heritage identities and corporate heritage brands.


The unveiling of corporate heritage marketing and of total corporate heritage communications perspective and the articulation of key corporate heritage entity traits is original and is of value to corporate communications/corporate marketing scholars and practitioners alike.



Balmer, J.M.T. (2013), "Corporate heritage, corporate heritage marketing, and total corporate heritage communications: What are they? What of them?", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 290-326.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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