The study views a corporate brand as more than just an outward manifestation of an organisation (its name, logo and visual presentation), or as an organising proposition that helps to shape an organisation’s value and culture and guide the organisation’s processes that generate and support value creation (Bickerton, 2001:43). Corporate brands are adored by stakeholders and organisations alike the world over because they provide enormous value to their organisations by differentiating their organisations from competitors, bestowing added value on products and services and contributing to a firm’s margins. According to Balmer (1995:30) the Catholic Church and ancient universities are regarded as representing “the apotheosis of corporate brand management, because, the two institutions have been astute in knowing what, how and when to change whilst preserving their core identity”. The study focused on these “apotheoses” to use as benchmarks for interrogating the approaches to corporate brand management in South Africa. In so doing, the study examines the nature, characteristics, importance and management practices of corporate brands in the South African market by confirming the meaning of corporate brands, the meaning of corporate brand management and the benefits provided by the adoption of a corporate brand strategy. The study also focused on the relationship between corporate brands and product brands; it identified stakeholder saliency and the process of corporate brand management. There were two reasons for undertaking this study. The first was to add to the body of empirical research in the area of corporate brand management, as empirical studies are few and far in between in thi s area, and the second to examine how organisations in South Africa manage their corporate brands. The study therefore involved a twostage process; the first phase was a detailed review of the literature on corporate brands to establish the current body of knowledge on corporate brand management. The second phase consisted of primary research, used to test the output of the literature review. A total of 41 online questionnaires dealing with the subject matter were completed by individuals responsible for the management of corporate brands in various organisations. The study’s findings cannot be generalised to the population of interest, owing to the size of the sample. Nevertheless, the findings confirmed that corporate brand management consists of a parallel process that requires management of a corporate brand internally while ensuring that it is relevant and meets stakeholders’ expectations, thus creating a positive reputation. Some of the findings contradicted the existing literature, for instance: • Although more respondents confirmed that a corporate brand must consist of a name and logo, the related mean score was relatively low (see Chapter 5 section C). • Secondly, contrary to what the literature suggests, based on the responses a corporate brand is not seen as an explicit formal written agreement between an organisation and its key stakeholders (see Chapter 5 section B). • Furthermore, corporate brands were not seen to offer reduced advertising and marketing costs (see Chapter 5 section B). • There was also a definite response to the responsibi l i t y of a chief executive officer (CEO) in terms of managing a corporate brand. The respondents made it clear that the responsibility of managing a corporate brand does not lie with CEO only (Chapter 5 section C). / Mr. H.B. Kruger
|25 August 2008
|Mahlatji, L. M.
|South African National ETD Portal
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