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Internal Brand Management in Swedish Service SMEs
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A strong brand is argued to be the most valuable long-term asset of a company. Building a successful corporate brand that is of long-term strategic value needs careful and continuous management. For small and medium-sized firms, this can pose a challenge due to resource restraints and a short-term planning horizon. Further, a corporate brand is an organisation-wide concern and employees must understand the brand, and what it promises to deliver, in order to create a desired stakeholder perception of the brand.

The purpose of this study is to uncover the internal corporate brand management of small and medium-sized service enterprises in Sweden. The aim is to get an understanding of how brand-related questions are prioritised and what the perceived challenges regarding corporate branding are. Furthermore, we want to gain an understanding of the different constructs that form the corporate brand identity and how companies work to align members of the organisation with the corporate brand. Through qualitative research, we have collected data from eight small and medium-sized professional service firms by conducting semi-structured interviews with one representative from each firm.

The results indicate that all firms have a brand identity, where constructs such as core values play an essential role for the corporate brand. However, some key constructs of the brand identity are less evident in firms that do not prioritise branding. Results also indicate that such firms work with internal branding practices to a lesser extent than firms that prioritise brand-related questions highly. Challenges in regard to corporate branding include time, money, continuity, coherence, expertise, the involvement of employees, finding the right target market and expanding the brand to new markets.

This study contributes to the growing body of research within the field of corporate brand management and internal branding in the context of small and medium-sized firms. The study also provides practical recommendations for brand owners who want to clarify their corporate brand identity and work to align members of the organisation with the corporate brand.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Brand management, Corporate branding, Corporate brand management, Corporate brand identity, Internal branding, SME branding
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150908OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150908DiVA, id: diva2:1239856
Educational program
Study Programme in Business Administration and Economics
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-08-20 Created: 2018-08-18 Last updated: 2018-08-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf