Strong brands and corporate brands

Mark Kay, Montclair State University


Purpose - This paper aims to review the development of branding theory, particularly from the organizational context of building an effective corporate brand. Design/methodology/approach - This paper examines the literature on "strong brands" and the experience of several established brands. Findings - The study finds that no coherent theory defines brand management tasks. Instead, paradigmatic cases of successful brands have come to define branding processes - the logic of the "strong brand" has shaped management branding practices. "Difference" and " consistency" are identified as the primary means of bringing about strong brands, yet these can be difficult to apply, particularly to corporate brands. Originality/value - A new perspective of the social co-production of brands as meaningful representations, each with its own logic, is proposed as a managerially useful framework to research and frame brand development tasks. Given the development of anti-branding attacks, managers need to pay close attention to the new risks of managing corporate brands, and how they tie brands to their corporate social responsibility practices.