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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2017

John M.T. Balmer and Weifeng Chen

The study aims to explore customer satisfaction towards the celebrated Tong Ren Tang (TRT) Chinese corporate heritage brand (established in 1669). This paper examines the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to explore customer satisfaction towards the celebrated Tong Ren Tang (TRT) Chinese corporate heritage brand (established in 1669). This paper examines the multiple role identities of the corporate brand and, in particular, the enduring imperial identity (role identity) of the corporate brand. The study examines whether the corporate heritage brand’s imperial associations are still meaningful.

Design/methodology/approach

A indicative, survey-based case study methodology undertaken with Chinese customers informs this research.

Findings

TRT’s corporate heritage brand identity and, moreover, its imperial role identity were salient in terms of customer satisfaction. TRT’s augmented imperial role identity not only was highly salient but also, moreover, meaningfully enhanced the organisation’s corporate reputation in terms of customer satisfaction.

Research limitations/implication

This study lends further support for the utility of the notion of corporate heritage/corporate heritage brands and in particular the saliency of the theoretical notion of augmented role identity within the corporate heritage marketing field.

Practical implication

Corporate heritage brand managers should be appraised of which corporate role identities are meaningful for customers. At a practical level, senior corporate marketing managers of corporate heritage organisations should accorded importance to the additional P of Provenance apropos the corporate marketing mix.

Social implication

At a time, when China is reappraising its relationship with its past – including its imperial past (of which much has been destroyed) – this paper’s focus on TRT’s unsurpassed augmented role identity is pertinent and propitious. Seemingly, this corporate heritage brand’s imperial association provides a living and tangible link with China’s long and momentous imperial provenance and erstwhile imperial polity. In short, the corporate heritage brand is part of China’s patrimony and enjoys a unique place in this regard.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first empirical studies examining a Chinese corporate heritage brand entity. The study marks new ground in examining customer satisfaction from the theoretical perspectives of corporate heritage brand and augmented role identity. It is believed that this is the first study to consider corporate heritage in the pharmaceutical sector and marks new ground in considering the saliency of China’s imperial legacy on an extant, highly successful and high profile-Chinese corporate heritage brand.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

John Balmer and Weifeng Chen

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477

Abstract

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2020

Ammar Abdellatif Sammour, Weifeng Chen and John M.T. Balmer

This paper aims to study the corporate heritage brand traits and corporate heritage brand identity by concentrating on developing key dimensions for the corporate heritage…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the corporate heritage brand traits and corporate heritage brand identity by concentrating on developing key dimensions for the corporate heritage brand dimensions in the retailing industry in the UK. This study advances the corporate brand heritage theory and introduces the theory of corporate heritage brand identity, which is developed from the case study of John Lewis – one of the most respected and oldest retails in the UK established in 1864.

Design/methodology/approach

This empirical study has adopted a theory-building case study using qualitative data. It uses semi-structured interviews that were organised and managed by John Lewis Heritage Centre in Cookham. A total of 14 participants were involved in this study. We have used Nvivo.11 software to set the main themes and codes for this study framework.

Findings

This study identifies Balmer’s (2013) corporate heritage brand traits that are essential to be considered for the corporate heritage brands in the retailing industry to sustain their innovativeness and competitiveness. The findings of the case study informed the four dimensions of corporate heritage brand identity, which include price, quality, symbol and design. The findings are incorporated into a theoretical framework of corporate heritage brand identity traits.

Practical implications

The discussed traits of this study can help brand senior management to enhance their corporate heritage reputation and sustainability through maintaining these (four) traits over their brand, and inform their brand stakeholders about their brand heritage success.

Originality/value

This is one of the few attempts to develop a research framework of corporate heritage brand identity. This framework suggests four dimensions of corporate heritage brand identity traits including brand price, quality, design and symbol. This is one of the first attempts to study corporate heritage branding management traits in the retailing industry sector.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

John M.T. Balmer and Weifeng Chen

This paper aims to examine the attractiveness of the Tong Ren Tang (TRT) as a Chinese corporate heritage tourism brand and consider the significance of TRT for Chinese…

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3031

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the attractiveness of the Tong Ren Tang (TRT) as a Chinese corporate heritage tourism brand and consider the significance of TRT for Chinese national identity. The study considers the saliency of Balmer’s augmented role identity notion vis-à-vis corporate heritage institutions/corporate brands. Insights are made from and for corporate heritage, heritage tourism and national identity literature.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual model comprising five hypotheses was developed and this informed a survey-based questionnaire administered to domestic tourists/customers visiting Tong Ren Tang’s flagship shop in Beijing.

Findings

The attractiveness to domestic Chinese tourists/customers of the TRT corporate heritage tourism brand was found to be attributable to its multiple role identities: national, corporate, temporal, familial and imperial. As such, this study lends credence to Balmer’s augmented role identity notion. Chinese domestic tourists/customers – as members of an ethnic Chinese community – in visiting TRT not only consume an extant corporate heritage by tangible and intangible means but can also be seen to express, and reaffirm, their sense of Chinese national identity.

Practical implications

For TRT’s managers, there should be an appreciation that the attractiveness of TRT as a corporate heritage tourism brand rests not only on what it sells but also in what it symbolises in national and cultural terms. This finding is applicable to the managers of many other corporate heritage/corporate heritage tourism brands.

Social implications

Adopting a primordial perspective, the TRT pharmacy was found to be of singular significance to China’s national identity. Traditional Chinese Medicine, Confucian and Daoist religious/philosophical and China’s erstwhile Imperial polity are significant and enduring precepts of Chinese national identity. As such the TRT flagship shop/brand is of singular importance, as China has eviscerated much of its cultural heritage – particularly in relation to its corporate heritage brands.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study to focus on corporate heritage tourism brands and one of the first studies to examine a Chinese corporate heritage/corporate heritage tourism brand. Also significant in focussing on the TRT corporate heritage brand. Established in 1669, TRT’s history spans five centuries: a corporate provenance which is exceptional within the People’s Republic of China. The study links the corporate brand notion with the nascent corporate heritage brand domain and the established area of heritage tourism.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Mohammad M. Foroudi, John M.T. Balmer, Weifeng Chen and Pantea Foroudi

How organizations view, value and manage their place architecture in relation to identification and corporate identity has received little research attention. The main…

Abstract

Purpose

How organizations view, value and manage their place architecture in relation to identification and corporate identity has received little research attention. The main goal of this paper is to provide an integrative understanding of the relationships between corporate identity, place architecture, and identification from a multi-disciplinary approach. It is assumed that the characteristics of the organization and of the way a corporate identity and place architecture are managed will affect employees’ and consumers’ identification.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a theory-building case study within the phenomenological/qualitative research tradition. The data were gathered through 15 in-depth interviews with top management who were working at a London-Based Business School. In addition, six focus groups were conducted with a total of 36 academics, and new empirical insights are offered. NVivo software was used to gain insight into the various influences and relationships.

Findings

Drawing on one case study, the findings confirm that firms are using the conceptualizations of corporate identity and place architecture, including the leveraging of tangible and intangible forms of consumers’/employees’ identification, toward a university business school. The insights from a single, exploratory, case study might not be generalizable.

Originality/value

The relationships between corporate identity, place architecture and identification have received little research attention and have hardly been studied at all from the perspective of this paper. This paper has value to researchers in the fields of marketing, corporate identity, place architecture, design, as well as professionals involved in managing a company’s architecture. Drawing on the marketing/management theory of identity and architecture alignment, managers and policy advisors should devote attention to each element of the corporate identity and place architecture and ensure that they are meaningful, as well as in dynamic alignment.

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Book part
Publication date: 22 June 2011

Satwinder Singh, Kirandeep Dhillon, Florian Kaulich and Weifeng Chen

The chapter adopts the international production typology offered by the OLI paradigm whereby firms are classified principally as market seekers, efficiency seekers…

Abstract

The chapter adopts the international production typology offered by the OLI paradigm whereby firms are classified principally as market seekers, efficiency seekers, natural resource seekers or partner seekers. These motives to reach overseas are tested against 26 location factors, categorised under ‘business climate’, ‘market conditions’, ‘local resources’ and ‘incentive packages’, and three sets of control variables: industry, age and entry mode. The empirical analysis based on firm-level data from 15 sub-Saharan countries shows that, for all types of firm, the presence of local markets, regional markets and key clients are the positive determining location factors, followed by business climate factors, such as labour costs, the availability of skilled labour, raw materials and local suppliers. For market-seeking MNEs, the political and economic stability, infrastructure, country's legal framework and the transparency of investment all rate high. Importantly, the implication for host-nation promotion agencies is that once the motive to enter their economies is clear, they can – and should – play a skilful negotiation game with MNEs at the entry point itself. Based on the empirical analysis, a conceptual two-step approach to understanding FDI decisions, intimately linked to the liability of foreignness concept, is suggested.

Details

Dynamics of Globalization: Location-Specific Advantages or Liabilities of Foreignness?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-991-3

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2013

Weifeng Chen, Adrian Woods and Satwinder Singh

This paper aims to investigate the organisational changes (OCs) and the development of Chinese reformed township and village enterprises (RTVEs), their marketing and R&D…

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1516

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the organisational changes (OCs) and the development of Chinese reformed township and village enterprises (RTVEs), their marketing and R&D strategies, and the impact of changes in terms of overall performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study methodology involving semi‐structured interviews is adopted. The unit chosen is the Guotai International Group (GTIG) in Zhangjiagang, Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China, in which the organisational changes over a period of over 40 years are analysed.

Findings

OCs in Chinese RTVEs are found to be driven by a combination of local government plans and market forces. Considering the hybrid nature of the organisation and ownership structures, changes in Chinese RTVEs follow a very much “top‐down” approach.

Research limitations/implications

The findings imply that managers appointed by the state in RTVEs usually lack the necessary skills in marketing and business management, and can be resistant to organisational changes, such as the willingness to undertake risks. As a result, RTVEs may become stuck in a cycle of low‐cost, low‐tech products, inhibiting any breakthrough in developing their own quality brands.

Originality/value

This is one of few papers studying change over a long span of time to arrive at research findings that will be useful to academic researchers in their future work. The qualitative findings from this paper would also enrich the literatures on organisational change in Chinese RTVEs.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2017

John M.T. Balmer

This article introduces the special symposium entitled “Advances in corporate brand, corporate heritage, corporate identity and corporate marketing scholarship” and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This article introduces the special symposium entitled “Advances in corporate brand, corporate heritage, corporate identity and corporate marketing scholarship” and provide a synopsis of the five articles constituting this symposium. By means of context, this article celebrates the anniversaries of four marketing milestones apropos the formal introduction of the corporate brand concept (1995), the formal introduction of the corporate heritage notion (2006), the first special edition (in this journal) devoted to corporate identity (1997) and the formal introduction of the corporate marketing philosophical approach (1998). The latter – corporate marketing – can be viewed as a revolution in marketing thought by noting that mutually beneficial company–stakeholder relationship can be based on corporate identities and corporate brands are not restricted to products and/or services.

Design/methodology/approach

Taking a retrospective, this paper explains the four marketing milestones detailed above and notes the revolutionary notion of corporate marketing. All of the aforementioned have meaningfully advanced marketing scholarship over the last 20 years.

Findings

This study provides 18 reflections of developments with the corporate brand and corporate identity fields. It also shows the seminal importance of European Journal of Marketing (EJM) special editions on the territory dating back to 1997.

Practical implication

This paper discusses how corporate identity, corporate branding, corporate heritage, corporate identity and corporate marketing have, increasingly, become mainstream marketing concerns.

Originality/value

In marking these milestones, this celebratory EJM symposium comprises cutting-edge scholarship on the aforementioned areas, penned by renowned and prominent scholars from Australia, England, Germany and the USA.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 22 June 2011

Ruth V. Aguilera is an associate professor and a Fellow at the Center for Professional Responsibility for Business and Society at the College of Business at the University…

Abstract

Ruth V. Aguilera is an associate professor and a Fellow at the Center for Professional Responsibility for Business and Society at the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds courtesy appointments at the School of Labor and Employment Relations, the College of Law and the Department of Sociology at Illinois. She received MA and PhD degrees in Sociology from Harvard University. Her research interests fall at the intersection of economic sociology and international business, specifically in the fields of comparative corporate governance, foreign location choices and corporate social responsibility. She has published in the leading journals in International Business and Management. Dr. Aguilera currently serves as a member of an associate editor of Corporate Governance: International Review and is a member of the Editorial Boards of the following peer reviewed top tier journals: Academy of Management Perspectives, Global Strategy Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Management International Review, Organization Studies and Strategic Management Journal. She also serves in the board of IMDEA Social Sciences (Madrid) and CSR IMPACT Project (Brussels).

Details

Dynamics of Globalization: Location-Specific Advantages or Liabilities of Foreignness?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-991-3

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 October 2020

Charles Dennis, Pantea Foroudi, T.C. Melewar, Philip Kitchen, Yioula Melanthiou and Ioanna Papasolonou

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194

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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