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Leveraging the corporate brand: The importance of corporate brand innovativeness and brand architecture

Tim Oliver Brexendorf (WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Duesseldorf, Germany)
Kevin Lane Keller (Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 12 September 2017




Most research on branding highlights the role of associations for a single brand. Many firms, however, have multiple brands and/or different versions of one brand. The latter is largely the case for many corporate brands. This paper aims to broaden the understanding of corporate brand associations and their transfer within the firm’s brand and product portfolio. In particular, this paper also examines the concept of corporate brand innovativeness and the influence of brand architecture as supportive and restrictive boundary conditions for its transfer.


This conceptual paper explains the nature, benefits and challenges of corporate brand innovativeness within the context of a firm’s brand architecture. On the basis of a literature review, the authors provide an overview of the domain and derive avenues for future research.


Research and practice have not fully realised the importance of corporate brand images for supporting a firms’ product portfolio. In particular, (corporate) marketing managers need to consider the potential value of favourable perceptions of corporate brand innovativeness across products and the moderating role of brand architecture.

Research limitations/implications

More empirical research is needed to understand the reciprocal relationship and transfer between corporate and product brand associations and equity.

Practical implications

A corporate marketing perspective allows firms to use corporate brand associations to support products and services for that brand. This paper discusses perceived corporate brand innovativeness as one particularly important corporate brand association.


The authors discuss the use of corporate brand associations under the consideration of brand architectures and boundaries and draw on several research streams in the brand management literature. Much of the branding and innovation literature centres on the product level; research on corporate brand innovativeness has been relatively neglected.



Brexendorf, T.O. and Keller, K.L. (2017), "Leveraging the corporate brand: The importance of corporate brand innovativeness and brand architecture", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 51 No. 9/10, pp. 1530-1551.



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