Balmer, J. and Greyser, S. (2009), "The 10th ICIG Symposium: Corporate marketing and identity: reflections and directions", Management Decision, Vol. 47 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/md.2009.00147daa.001Download as .RIS
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The 10th ICIG Symposium: Corporate marketing and identity: reflections and directions
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Management Decision, Volume 47, Issue 4
In late November 2007, the 10th Symposium of the International Corporate Identity Group (ICIG) was held at Brunel University, London with Corporate Marketing and Corporate Identity as its foci. To mark this milestone John Balmer arranged for keynote presentations to be given by long-time supporters of the ICIG: all are authorities in the corporate marketing field. This special issue of Management Decision includes some of these papers and also includes a keynote presentation delivered at the 11th ICIG Symposium held in Brighton. A case history on the British Monarchy concludes the special issue.
The ICIG was established by John Balmer in 1994 and was formally launched at the House of Lords, Palace of Westminster, London in 1995. The ICIG has the aims of furthering the understanding of corporate identity, along with the disciplines of corporate image, reputation and corporate communication. More recently, corporate branding and corporate marketing have fallen within the purview of the ICIG. The exchange of academic and practitioner insights across the range of topics is a key characteristic of ICIG symposia. Symposia have been held on several occasions in London and Glasgow and have also been held in Oxford, Edinburgh and Brighton. An ICIG taskforce, led by Professors Balmer and Greyser with David Bernstein (a contributor to this issue) and others crafted the influential “Stathclyde Statement” on corporate identity management in 1995.
John Balmer has organised the 11 symposia that have taken place to date, on two occasions with a co-organiser. Papers from previous symposia have formed special issues of International Studies of Management and Organizations, International Journal of Bank Marketing, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, and The Journal of Brand Management. Other papers have found their way into other leading management and marketing journals.
ICIG symposia are characterised by the keynote presentations, which are typically delivered by captains of industry along with leading academics in the field. This symposium at Brunel University, London attracted a stellar roster of speakers, three of whom have graciously agreed to pen contributions to this special issue: Professor Sir Robert Worcester, David Bernstein and Professor Stephen A. Greyser. Professor Mats Urde, who delivered a presentation at the 11th symposium in Brighton, has also kindly authored a paper.
The opening commentary by Professor John M.T. Balmer (Professor of Corporate Marketing at Brunel University, London), co-guest editor of this special issue, offers a personal perspective on advances in the field. Marshalling insights from the literatures on corporate identity, image, reputation, branding and communications, he argues that corporate marketing represents a natural denouement of developments in the territory. Moreover, he concludes that it is an area of strategic importance to management decision-makers.
Professor Sir Robert Worcester (Founder of MORI and Chancellor of The University of Kent, England) in the paper that follows focuses on the strategic importance of corporate reputation and draws on 40 years of experience of working with, and writing about, the corporate images and reputations of major international corporations. It provides an invaluable insight in terms of the strategic importance of perception to managers.
Professor Stephen A. Greyser (Richard P. Chapman Professor (Marketing/Communications) Emeritus at Harvard Business School, USA), co-guest editor of this special issue, in his article continues in a parallel vein and draws from his extensive research relating to corporate reputation and corporate marketing in international contexts. His article also draws on his extensive case research, consultancy and teaching experience (especially with executives) in the field.
The article by David Bernstein (Corporate communications consultant, commentator and author of Company Image and Reality: A Critique of Corporate Communications), details his observations about the progress, or lack of it, in relation to corporate communications, and expounds the phenomenon of what he calls “corporate dissonance”.
The Swedish academic and consultant Professor Mats Urde (Lund University, Sweden), in his article on corporate brand values, provides penetrating insights into his association with the Volvo corporate brand. He draws on his extensive experience of working with leading organisations in nurturing and maintaining corporate brand values.
Finally, Professor John M.T. Balmer provides an insightful case history of the British Monarchy as a corporate brand and relates how the institution has maintained its relevance and saliency as an institutional brand over the ages: it is a brand that has been shaken, stirred and survived as the title states.
As Guest Editors, we wish to thank everyone who has been involved with this special issue. We believe that there is much here for the readers of Management Decision to ponder on and is a fitting tribute to the work of the ICIG along with those who has been associated with the group since its formation. The papers in this special issue have, we believe, considerable breadth and depth and will speak effectively to both practitioners and academics alike. Read on and enjoy!
Professor John M.T. Balmer wishes to thank Professor Zahir Irani (Head of Brunel Business School, London), Professor T.C. Melewar (Head of the Marketing Group), Stuart Sanford (Postgraduate Administrator) along with his faculty colleagues at Brunel University for their support and encouragement à propos the 10th ICIG Symposium. He is grateful to Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge (Chairman of Nomura International and Chairman of Pirelli, UK), Professor Klaus-Peter Wiedmann (Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany), and Professor T.C. Melewar (Brunel University) who graciously accepted his invitation to speak at the Symposium. Professors Balmer and Greyser are appreciative of the assistance provided by the editorial team at Management Decision; they are particularly indebted to John Peters (Editor) and Kim Foster (Publisher).
About the Guest Editors
Professor John M.T. Balmer is the Founder, Chairman and Conference Organiser of the International Corporate Identity Group (ICIG). The first symposium took place in 1994 and the ICIG was formally launched in the House of Lords, Palace of Westminster, in 1995. He has single-handedly organised nine of the ICG symposia and has jointly organised the other two. Speakers at former ICIG symposia have included prominent politicians (Lord Mandelson: current UK Secretary of State for Business and former EU Commissioner for trade), captains of industry including Lord Browne (former Group CEO of BP), Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge (Chairman of Nomura International, Chairman of Pirelli UK and former CEO of British Airways), Andrew Buxton (the Chairman of Barclays Bank), David Anderson (CEO of the Yorkshire Building Society and currently CEO of the Co-operative Bank) and Lord King of Wartnaby (President of British Airways), leading consultants of corporate marketing (Professor Sir Robert Worcester, Wally Olins CBE, David Bernstein, Clive Chajet and Ardian Day) and eminent academics (Professor Stephen A. Greyser, Professor John Kay, Professor Mary Jo Hatch, Professor Maijken Schultz, Professor Cees van Riel, Professor Denis Bromley, etc.). He has been a leading proponent of the strategic importance of corporate identity, corporate branding and corporate marketing to scholars and practitioners alike and has been tireless in his advocacy of these areas over the last two decades. Since 1997 he has served as Guest Editor for some 13 special issues of academic journals on the above areas. He has written many landmark articles on corporate identity, corporate branding and corporate marketing in leading journals including California Management Review, European Journal of Marketing, Long Range Planning, Journal of Business Ethics and the British Journal of Management. Currently, Professor Balmer is Professor of Corporate Marketing at Brunel University, London where he is the Director of the MSc in Corporate Brand Management. He was quondam Professor of Corporate Identity at Bradford School of Management and then Professor of Corporate Identity/Brand Management at the same institution. It is believed the Chairs held by him are the first of their kind. At Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow, he was Founder/Director of the International Centre for Corporate Identity Studies and it was during his time as a member of the faculty at the school that he founded the ICIG. He conceived and developed the MBA, MSc and BA (Honours) electives in corporate identity/corporate branding and corporate marketing at Strathclyde Business School and at Bradford School of Management. The first of these courses ran in 1991: these courses are believed to be the first of their kind. He has also run executive-level MBA electives on these areas for senior managers at the BBC and for Emirates Airways among others. With Professor Stephen A. Greyser he is the author of the seminal text Revealing the Corporation which examines the corporate marketing along with the corporate-level constructs of corporate identity, corporate branding, corporate communications and corporate reputation (Routledge, 2003). He has worked with a variety of organisations on research projects in corporate marketing, including the BBC, WPP Group and, notably, the Swedish Monarchy. Before joining academe he worked in Arts and Theatre Administration and was Assistant Administrator of Lord Menuhin’s Live Music Now Concert Agency in London. He was subsequently appointed a member of the senior management team at the Dome Complex, Royal Pavilion Estate, Brighton. He is a graduate of the Universities of Reading, Durham and Strathclyde.
Stephen A. Greyser is Richard P. Chapman Professor (Marketing/Communications) Emeritus, Harvard Business School, where he specialises in brand marketing, advertising, corporate communications, the business of sports, and nonprofit management. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, he has been active in research and teaching at HBS since 1958. He was also an editor at the Harvard Business Review and later its Editorial Board Secretary and Board Chairman. He is responsible for 16 books, numerous journal articles, and over 300 published HBS case studies; recent publications are Revealing the Corporation with John Balmer (on identity, reputation, corporate branding, etc.) and co-authored articles on “Monarchies as corporate brands”, and “Heritage brands”. He developed the HBS Corporate Communications elective, creating over 40 cases and articles on issues management, corporate sponsorship, relations among business-media-publics, etc. He created and teaches Harvard’s Business of Sports course, has served on the Selection Committee for the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, and has authored numerous Business of Sports cases and articles, including “Winners and Losers in the Olympics” (2006). His comments on the meaning of the Olympics for China were seen by millions in China on CCTV after the 2008 Opening Ceremonies. He is past executive director of the Marketing Science Institute and the charter member of its Hall of Fame, and also a Fellow of the American Academy of Advertising for career contributions to the field. He twice was a public member of the National Advertising Review Board for US advertising self-regulation. He has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards. He was the first academic trustee of the Advertising Research Foundation and the Advertising Educational Foundation. He is a past national vice chairman of PBS and an overseer at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) and WGBH. He served as Alumni Association president of Boston Latin School, America’s oldest school (1635) and received its Distinguished Graduate Award (2005). Known as “the Cal Ripken of HBS”, in almost 40 years of teaching, he has never missed a class.
John M.T. Balmer, Stephen A. Greyser