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Article
Publication date: 8 December 2023

Deryck J. Van Rensburg, Pete Naudé and Izak Fayena

Consumer product firms renowned for marketing appear to be complementing brand creation, extension and acquisition with minority equity investments in entrepreneurial brand…

Abstract

Purpose

Consumer product firms renowned for marketing appear to be complementing brand creation, extension and acquisition with minority equity investments in entrepreneurial brand ventures (EBVs) for strategic purposes. Similarly, EBVs are looking for growth and resources that can be accessed via inter-organizational partnerships. This flourishing industry practice and the paucity of empirical research indicates the potential for new studies. The research objective was to examine why and how large incumbents were implementing strategic brand venturing (SBV), and with this understanding to develop a framework useful for descriptive and normative purposes.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research study comprised in-depth interviews and multiple data sources across seven case studies drawn from US subsidiaries of global firms within the consumer products industry. Grounded in resource theory, the dimensions of strategic brand equity investments are abductively derived.

Findings

The findings delineate 16 process capabilities within four aggregate clusters entailing, the designing of the SBV program, opportunity identification, brand entrepreneur partnerships and venture portfolio management. Prefaced by endogenous and exogenous antecedents, these process capabilities help to contribute strategic and financial value when implemented.

Research limitations/implications

This qualitative research study yielded analytical rather than statistical generalizations. A range of market and economic factors exist in the United States contributing towards a favorable entrepreneurial and brand incubation climate. This may render the SBV concept as contingent and contextual. Furthermore, the view of brand entrepreneurs' regarding the design of the process model were not explicitly sought but inferred from the discourses of the venturing units interviewed.

Practical implications

The article outlines several important implementation imperatives for corporations endeavoring to competitively advantage their brand portfolios via adoption of a minority equity investing strategy in EBVs. Practitioners are cautioned against myopically adopting this process alone as a success heuristic given other factors may impact success such as changes in corporate strategy or upper echelon sponsorship.

Social implications

Mission preservation for social brand ventures being tethered to a large incumbent may need to be taken into account prior to and during SBV relationships.

Originality/value

The research contributes to the call for greater insights into the investment processes used in venturing relationships as well as coverage of new industry sectors beyond technology industries that often characterize corporate venture capital studies. Several novel findings emerged related to the importance of—the industry ecosystem; symbiosis between the founding brand entrepreneur and brand culture; synchronization of investment strategies with an emerging brand life-cycle model and serendipitous corporate entrepreneurial opportunities.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 August 2023

Deryck J. Van Rensburg

This paper aims to outline the role that serendipity can play in providing a complementary and previously unrepresented vector in deliberate and emergent strategies within…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to outline the role that serendipity can play in providing a complementary and previously unrepresented vector in deliberate and emergent strategies within organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual in nature and draws upon the serendipity pattern in sociological theory and serendipitous relations in developmental sciences to provide a framework for executives to consider when examining the process of strategy formation. Two case vignettes are used to illustrate the difference between luck and serendipity and the paper also traces key micro foundations of serendipity by returning to the original serendipity fable and a famed science experiment producing “floppy-eared” rabbits.

Findings

The notion of chance favoring the “prepared firm” is espoused where the prepared organizational mind is positioned as an antecedent of serendipitous strategy formation. This is based on Louis Pasteur’s famous aphorism, “chance favors the prepared mind.” Components of the prepared firm include deep domain knowledge, anticipatory mindset, noticing, abductive reasoning, elaboration and relations development.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is a conceptual articulation of a novel concept that now requires deeper empirical case development and ultimately statistical validation. The paper suggests linkages between serendipity and theories of absorptive capacity and the attention-based view of the firm.

Practical implications

Several mindsets, capabilities and relations for architecting organizational serendipity are suggested for executives using a stylized framework.

Originality/value

From a strategy process perspective, the Mintzberg and Waters seminal article “Of strategies deliberate and emergent” is complemented by considering “floppy-eared” strategy characterized by unexpected, anomalous and strategic datum.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2012

Deryck J. van Rensburg

This paper aims to outline a corporate entrepreneurship growth strategy for large consumer packaged goods (CPG) firms that involves venturing with brand entrepreneurs to access

3615

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to outline a corporate entrepreneurship growth strategy for large consumer packaged goods (CPG) firms that involves venturing with brand entrepreneurs to access innovative or disruptive new brands called “strategic brand venturing” (SBV).

Design/methodology/approach

An emerging development among large CPG firms known for their branding and marketing prowess has been to create dedicated brand/consumer venturing units (e.g. Coca‐Cola; P&G; Nestle; Clorox; General Mills; Unilever) as a means of enlarging their innovation boundaries. As president of an SBV unit for The Coca‐Cola Company, the author notes this recent development and opportunity. He provides a descriptive account of its nature, strategic value, and organizational considerations.

Research implications

Researchers are encouraged to empirically examine this new option in further depth.

Practical implications

The capabilities and organizational considerations involved in establishing an SBV unit are briefly outlined.

Originality/value

External corporate venturing in technology‐intensive industries is an established and growing practice. However, equity investments by large CPG corporations in entrepreneurial brand firms represent a corporate entrepreneurship opportunity that has hitherto received scant/no attention in the literature. A revised typology of brand growth strategies is therefore proposed encompassing venturing.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 July 2014

Deryck J. van Rensburg

The paper aims to postulate as to whether the brand manager function and role is best placed for creating high growth, disruptive brand portfolios. As a potential solution toward…

882

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to postulate as to whether the brand manager function and role is best placed for creating high growth, disruptive brand portfolios. As a potential solution toward resolving this, prescriptions for nurturing brand intrapreneurs are advanced to accelerate corporate entrepreneurial thinking and action based on the empirical case material.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws from seven case studies of six large global consumer packaged goods (CPG) firms involved in strategic brand venturing activity. Interview quotations are used to provide an invocative account of key ideas and arguments in the paper. Data gathering comprised extensive documentation and observation, and 21 semistructured interviews with senior-level executives and entrepreneurs. Interviews ranged in length with a mean interview time of 1 hour 23 minutes. All interviews were recorded with interviewee permission and, subsequently, transcribed and analyzed. Within-case and across-case analyses were performed using the spiral methodology espoused by Creswell (2007).

Findings

Findings are clustered under three themes: galvanic and savvy leaders, entrepreneurial program design and nuanced operating models. In particular, the simultaneous practice of external and internal venturing inside a single venturing unit was noted to generate unique learning and promote corporate entrepreneurial action.

Research limitations/implications

While case studies offer a way of investigating complex real-life phenomena with multiple variables, their ideographic nature suffers from an inability to generalize findings to other populations. This research design is no different. Nevertheless, rigorous within-case and cross-case analyses were performed involving world-class CPG marketing corporations to arrive at the findings presented.

Practical implications

Numerous prescriptions for implementing brand intrapreneurship are advanced in the paper.

Originality/value

Although technology venturing is a well-researched topic, ambidextrous brand venturing groups among CPG corporations renown for their marketing and branding prowess are only beginning to catch-on in practice – this is one of the first empirical paper to enumerate the practices of brand intrapreneurship within a strategic brand venturing framework.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2013

Deryck J. van Rensburg

The purpose of this paper is to outline a growth strategy and a conceptual model for large consumer packaged goods (CPG) firms that involves venturing with brand entrepreneurs to…

3137

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline a growth strategy and a conceptual model for large consumer packaged goods (CPG) firms that involves venturing with brand entrepreneurs to access innovative or disruptive new brands called “strategic brand venturing” (SBV). It aims to ground the model conceptually using the intersection of three domains: entrepreneurship, strategic management, and marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

An emerging development among large CPG firms known for their branding and marketing prowess has been to create dedicated brand/consumer venturing units (e.g. Coca‐Cola, P&G, Nestle, Clorox, General Mills, Unilever) as a means of creating new growth horizons. The paper notes this recent development and opportunity. It offers a conceptual explanation of how to think about this using domain intersection literature and a practice‐based description of the dimensions involved in executing such a strategy.

Findings

The paper is conceptual and practice‐oriented. No fieldwork was conducted. However, the work is based on industry practice and a longitudinal participant observation within a Fortune 100 firm over a five‐year period.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers are encouraged to empirically examine this new option in further depth.

Practical implications

The capability dimensions needed to execute are outlined.

Originality/value

External corporate venturing in technology‐intensive industries is an established and growing practice. However, equity investments by large CPG corporations in entrepreneurial brand firms represents a corporate entrepreneurship opportunity that has hitherto received scant/no attention in the literature. A conceptual model is proposed based on industry practice but grounded in a novel use of domain intersection literature to encourage further action and research.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 51 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 May 2012

219

Abstract

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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