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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Branding and sustainable growth
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Product & Brand Management, Volume 22, Issue 7
In the past three Journal of Product & Brand Management special issues derived from the Academy of Marketings “Brand, Corporate Identity and Reputation Special Interest Group International Colloquiums, the focus has shifted from “The power of brands as intangible assets (2009, Vol. 18, No. 5) to the “Key changes and challenges for brand in an uncertain environment (2011, Vol. 20, No. 6) to “The multi-sensory and multi-experiential brand challenge (2012, Vol 21, No. 6). In the first special issue papers primarily explored how tangible and intangible aspects of branding affect the brand experience and serve as sources of value for the consumer. In the second special issue the focus shifted towards the corporate brand and how these address the broader interests of multiple stakeholders. In the third special issue, the focus shifted back to the consumer, and explored the challenges brand management faces as customers demand multisensory and multi-experiential brand interactions. This special issue, which derives from the 8th International Colloquium held in Oporto in 2013, focuses on the conference theme on how brands drive sustainable growth.
In “Linking retailer corporate brand and environmental sustainability practices Miller and Merrilees (this volume) explore if retailer corporate brands that follow sustainability practices enhance their reputation. Their findings suggest that the sustainability practices of a retailer influence the consumers brand associations and brand attitudes towards its brand. Their study contributes to the corporate branding literature by empirically testing sustainability as a component of a corporate brand, and provides interesting insight and managerial implications to guide retailers in enhancing their brand reputation through better environmental management practices.
In “Practices in the brand management system: identification and considerations for five business sectors, Dunes and Pras (this volume) explore how brand management systems (BMS) are important to monitor effective brand management and enhance a companys performance. Their research identifies some stable dimensions of BMS and provides configurational patterns of these dimensions according to the companies sector and characteristics. After conducting in-depth interviews with executives from five industrial sectors, they identified a general BMS pattern with three dimensions, and three configurations for each dimension. They suggest that the identified general BMS configurational patterns can serve as a basis to analyse and optimize the effect of a BMS on performance.
Rojas-Méndez (this volume), in “The nation brand molecule, focuses on country brands. He develops a model that explores the dimensions that comprise the nation brand construct at a multinational scope, and that indicates what should be measured in order to assess the strength of a country brand. By means of an extensive exploratory study and the metaphorical use of a molecule, he identifies the nation brand molecule which encompasses seven dimensions with their corresponding facets: economy, tourism, geography and nature, culture and heritage, society, science and technology, and government. By identifying these dimensions, he provides ways for the managers of country brands to increase the efficiency of their brand building efforts.
In “Employer branding: employer attractiveness and the use of social media Sivertzen, Nilsen, and Olafsen (this volume), study which factors employers should focus on to enhance the perceptions of their companies brands for potential employees. Their research tests the employer attractiveness scale (EmpAt) and analyses the relationships between the dimensions of the scale and the use of social media in relation to corporate reputation and potential employees intention to apply for a job. Their results suggest that innovation value, psychological value, application value and the use of social media positively influence corporate reputation which, in turn, positively influences the intention to apply for a job. Their study provides valuable insights and implications for corporate brand building and on how an enhanced corporate reputation creates recruiting efficiencies for a firm.
In “Ethical consumers brand avoidance (this volume) Rindell, Strandvik, and Wilén set to identify what role consumers ethical concerns play in brand avoidance. In an exploratory study they develop in-depth interviews with consumers with a strong value-based on consumption (such as ethical consumers), and discover two different but interrelated ways in which brands are rejected. They classify these two characteristics of brand avoidance in terms of two dimensions:
1. persistency (persistent vs temporary); and
2. explicitness (explicit vs latent).
Their study shows the importance of considering brand avoidance, and the influencing role that value-based consumers can have, as important challenges brand managers face in the current hyper-communicated marketplace.
Spear and Roper (this volume) also explore corporate brands. In their article “Using corporate stories to build the corporate brand: an impression management perspective, they explore the role of corporate stories in shaping the corporate brand. Their findings indicate that there are wide variations in the inclusion of different elements in the corporate stories found on companies web sites; organisations place greater importance on the inclusion of some elements in their corporate stories than others. This seems to indicate that organisations are not sufficiently leveraging their corporate stories to build their corporate brand. The authors conclude that there is a gap between storytelling theory and practice, in that the literature emphasises the importance of including benefits for stakeholders, emotion, and aspects of the corporate strategy in stories, whereas organisations frequently neglect these aspects and instead focus mainly on their accomplishments.
In “Exploring brand masculine patterns: moving beyond monolithic masculinity Azar explores the nature and the structure of brands masculine dimensions and develops a reliable and a valid scale to measure brand masculinity and explores different brand masculine patterns. His results indicate that brand masculinity is a bi-dimensional construct (i.e. “Male chauvinism and “Heroic dimensions) and identify four brand masculine patterns:
3. chivalrous; and
These results provide brand managers with a marketing tool to measure their brands masculinity and allow them to adapt specific, previously developed gendered marketing strategies.
Francisco Guzmán, Stuart Roper and Leonor Vacas de Carvalho