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Challenges of corporate brand building and management in a state owned enterprise

Justine Alexandra Cullinan (Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Russell Abratt (School of Business, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)
Michela Mingione (Department of Management and Law, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 24 April 2020

Issue publication date: 24 February 2021




While there is a growing body of literature about corporate branding, studies of corporate branding in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are limited despite the important role they play in many economies. The purpose of this paper is to explore how managers perceive the significance and challenge of corporate brand building and management within a state-owned organisation.


A qualitative and interpretative research paradigm was used in the form of a case study design. This study focusses on the South African Broadcasting Corporation where executives and managers responsible for corporate branding decisions were interviewed.


Findings highlight the specific purposes, decision making factors, stakeholders and brand portfolio of an SOE corporate brand.

Research limitations/implications

Corporate brands help build brand identity and point out that a SOEs' corporate brand identity is dual in nature. The duality of mission, stakeholders and decision making, triggers brand challenges, namely, unclear corporate identity and fragmented corporate brand strategies, which must be carefully orchestrated over time and across stakeholders.


This study highlights the issues state-run enterprises face in building and managing a corporate brand and proposes an original model for SOEs' corporate brand development process.



Cullinan, J.A., Abratt, R. and Mingione, M. (2021), "Challenges of corporate brand building and management in a state owned enterprise", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 293-305.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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