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Brand development and entrepreneur’s role in small businesses

Ashwini Kumar Tewary (St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata, India)
Ritu Mehta (Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 5 May 2021

Issue publication date: 12 July 2021




The purpose of this paper is to frame the guidelines for brand building for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and evaluate the role of the entrepreneur in the brand management process.


A qualitative study comprising in-depth interviews of 20 Indian MSME entrepreneurs who had experience with brand-building was conducted. The entrepreneurs were probed regarding the brand management process and their role in the brand-building efforts in their organization. The guidelines that emerged from the study were compared and contrasted with those proposed in Krake’s model, and a new model for brand-building is proposed.


The improvised new model highlights the importance of “name of the brand”, “managing finance simultaneously” and “exit strategy” as important factors for the creation of a successful brand, amongst other factors revealed in extant literature. The interviews also reveal that an MSME headed by a passionate entrepreneur who accommodates professional expertise witnesses a greater chance of success.


In spite of the growing importance of SMEs, scant attention has been paid to the issue of branding in SMEs. This study contributes to the literature on branding and small business research by examining and advancing the brand-building guidelines developed by Krake. It further looks at the role of the entrepreneur in the entire process of brand building in the increasingly evolving Indian market.



The authors are thankful to the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments which significantly improved the paper.


Tewary, A.K. and Mehta, R. (2021), "Brand development and entrepreneur’s role in small businesses", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 159-174.



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