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Journal of Marketing Management 1998, 14, 963-996

JohnM. T. Corporate Identity and the Advent of

Balmer1 Corporate Marketing
This paper places corporate identity studies in a
historical context with the writer arguing that there have
been four distinct phases in the area's evolution.
Currently, there is increasing international and
interdisciplinary contact between scholars engaged in
identity research. Recent developments have led the
writer to postulate that the literature on corporate
identity, organisational identity and corporate
communication may be regarded as forming the basic
International Centre
building blocks of a new, cognate area of management
for Corporate Identity
which in time may be known as Corporate Marketing.
However, the marketing mix as applied to
University of
organisations in their totality will need to be rethought
In this paper the 4Ps are extended to 10Ps with
philosophy, personality, people, peiformance, perception
and positioning complementing the existing 4Ps. In
addition, the author identifies nine key inteifaces, which
need to be examined by managers and consultants
when reviewing an organisation's identity. Such
inteifaces represent 'moments of truth' for an
organisation's senior management when evaluating
their organisation's identity.

Key Words: Corporate Brand, Corporate Identity, Corporate Identity

Interfaces, Corporate Image, Corporate Marketing, Corporate Marketing Mix,
Corporate Personality, Corporate Reputation, International Corporate Identity
Group (lCIG),Organisational Identity, Marketing, Strathclyde Statement


This paper traces the evolution of the theory relating to corporate identity
management since the 1950s. The author argues that writers on this broad area
have variously focused their attention on corporate image (during the 1950s),
corporate identity, corporate personality and corporate communication (during
the 1970s and 1980s) and more recently on the concepts of corporate
reputation and corporate brand management The author postulates that the
key to acquiring a favourable image and reputation is the management of an

I Correspondence: Dr John M T Balmer, Director, International Centre for Corporate

Identity Studies, Stenhouse Building, 173 Cathedral Street, Glasgow, G4 ORQ

ISSN0267-257X/98/080963+33 $12.00/0 ©Westburn Publishers Ltd.

964 John M. T. Balmer

organisation's identity and this explains why this paper emphasises the
importance of corporate identity and its management Whilst some writers have
measured the benefits of well managed corporate identity and as such have
concentrated on the concepts of corporate image and reputation, other writers
have focused on the process of acquiring and managing a corporate identity and
personality. This paper takes up the second line of interest Developments over
the last five decades reveal that different disciplines and national groups have
made distinct contributions to this evolving area of management For instance.
North Americans have been particularly influential during the 1950s and 1960s
when the literature focused on the corporate image. In the 1970s and 1980s
British, Commonwealth and European writers have made a distinct contribution
by focusing on the processes involved in the formation of corporate identity,
personality and image. In addition, a start was also made in articulating the
relationship between these different concepts; as such, the British and European
concern with an organisation's internal environment and stakeholders
complimented the work of North Americans on the external environment and
stakeholders. Whilst marketers were influential during the first two periods
(particularly those from a communications background), important contributions
were also made by those from organisational behaviour and psychology. In
recent years, with growing emphasis on corporate reputation, it has been North
Americans who have been the most influential. Looking ahead to a fifth stage of
development it is possible that this broad area will evolve into a distinct, cognate
area of management - an area which will draw on several management and non
management disciplines. One problem which will need to be addressed is the
umbrella title under which this area will operate. As the paper will reveal there
are difficulties associated with the concepts of corporate image and identity. One
serious contender for the title is Corporate Reputation which is enjoying
particular popularity in North America. However, it is just possible that the label
Corporate Marketing might be applied to the area which has the benefit of
drawing on some of the basic tenets of marketing, i.e. that of exchange of
benefits between the organisation and its diverse stakeholders. However, there
will need to be a radical rethinking of the marketing and marketing
communications mix as applied to corporate entities since both are of great
complexity. For instance, the author argues that the basic 4Ps of marketing will
need to be extended to lOPs. The establishment of a cognate area of
management will have major implications for management, consultancy and for
the syllabuses of business schools. Moreover, the current state of knowledge
suggests that further academic empirical research should focus on (a)
explanatory and (b) theory-building research. The writer concludes that
corporate identity consultancies have in the past done a great service by focusing
management attention on the area but now it is up to management academics
to increase their attention on corporate identity which has all the signs of
developing into an important area of management As management academics
it is our task not only to explain the commercial benefits of acquiring a
favourable corporate reputation but also to reveal the processes involved in
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 965

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966 John M. T. Balmer

building and sustaining such reputations.

The Evolution of Corporate Identity Thought from Image to Reality

In examining the literature on corporate identity management over the last
forty years several distinct shifts of emphasis can be detected. See Figure 1.

Stage 1 (1950s to the Early 1970s): A Concern With Image

The first phase of development, from the 1950s to the 1970s, was dominated by
North American writers who focused on the concept and management of
corporate image.
There are three distinct disciplinary approaches to corporate image, the
psychological paradigm, the graphic design paradigm, and the marketing and
public relations paradigm. These are summarised in Figure 2.

Psychology Paradigm
Grunig (1993) notes that this interpretation of corporate image relates to a
mental image or idea that is a visual, sensory or spatial analogy of reality. More
recently, Brown (1998) observed that this paradigm relates to those who see the
company as a picture or portrait or those associations and meanings connected
with an organisation. The following quotation may be seen to reflect this view:

'The corporate image is nothing essentially new. It is in all essentials, merely

the picture which your organisation has created in the minds of your various
publics." (Bristol, 1960, p.l3).

Graphic Design Paradigm

Graphic design has exerted a powerful influence on corporate image with
corporate image being interpreted as how an organisation communicates an
image through a name and/or icon. This view of corporate image received a
fillip through the work of North American graphic design consultancies such as
Landor and Lippincott and Margulies. Balmer (1995) in examining the use of
visual identity by organisations found that organisations and consultancies use
graphiC design for four basic purposes (j) to communicate the organisation's
mission and philosophy, (ij) to encapsulate the organisation's cultural values, (iii)
to underpin the organisation's communications efforts and (iv) as a means of
keeping the visual identity fashionable. Baker et al (1997) illustrates the
importance of the above approaches in a case study which examines the
processes involved in a new visual identity by a major British University.

Marketing Paradigm
The following definition may be seen to encapsulate the main characteristics
of the marketing paradigm.

"(Corporate image is) the net result of the interactions of all the experiences,
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 967

impressions, beliefs, feelings and knowledge that people have about a

company." (Bevis in Bernstein 1984 p125).

Organisation Stakeholders
Paradigm Relationship(s)
Focuses on symbolic
relationship between
an organisation and its
stakeholders (i.e. the
corporate name and
symbol encapsulates
the characteristics of
the organisation
(Bromley, 1993; Grunig,
The use of graphic
design by organisations
in an attem pt to
influence the
perceptions of their
publics, i.e. articulating
in graphic form the
corporate mission and
philosophy, cultural
values, giving
consisten cy to
communications and
making the
organisation appear to
be fashionable (Balmer,
An understanding of
the experiences, beliefs,
and Public
feelings about and
knowledge of an
organisation, as held by
Paradigm an individual, group, or
groups (Bernstein,

Figure 2. The Three Paradigms of Corporate Image

Whilst it is unclear who can be credited with "discovering" the concept of

corporate image, the work of Boulding (I956) and Martineau (I958) was very
968 John M. T. Balmer

influential. Boulding, an eminent American philosopher, noted in his book 'The

Image", that humans have to rely on images. He concluded that there was an a
priori link between an individual's image of an organisation and that person's
behaviour towards the organisation.
Whilst Boulding appears to be the first author to articulate this view with
regard to the importance of image to organisations, his writings may usefully be
placed in the context of Greek classical writers such as Aristotle. Aristotle
regarded images as the basic element of thought and this perspective was taken
up by John Locke, David Hume and John Stuart Mill. As recently as 1998 Lord
Saatchi in The Times Lecture at Worcester College, Oxford University,
commented that

"After 2000 years of human progress it seems that the real nature of things
remains as inaccessible as it was to Aristotle."

Two years after Boulding's text Martineau (1958) tackled the question of
corporate image management and concluded that corporate image was of such
importance that it deserved the attention of senior managers. Martineau's paper
resulted in a spate of articles being written by academics in the 1960s, see Bolger
(1959), Bristol (1960), Budd (1969), Crespi (1961), Swanson (1957), Tyler (1957).
More recently, Bernstein (1984) remarked that managers should be concerned
with image not because they want to manufacture it but because they need to
discern how organisational signals are being received and decoded and how
these perceptions square with the management's own perception of the
Recently, Brown (1998) provided an overview of the literature pertaining to
corporate image. His analysis of the literature revealed that even though
scholars have studied corporate image for decades, there has been little in the
way of advance in our understanding of the antecedents and consequences of
'Corporate Associations' - what an individual knows or feels about a particular
organisation. Brown concluded that the areas of corporate associations and
corporate image were worthy of more intense academic interest
There are a number of difficulties associated with the concept of the
corporate image. Five will be mentioned here.

First, there are a multiplicity of interpretations assigned to the concept For

instance, Budd (1969) noted that the Random House Dictionary includes twenty
definitions of image; Kennedy (1977) identified twenty one definitions of
corporate image. Martineau (1958) in Dickson noted that corporate image is
problematic because it is a diverse concept whilst Crissy (1971 p77) stated that
it is a complex phenomenon; Dowling (1986 p109) found the concept to be
elusive whilst Gates and McDaniel (1972 p22) said it is shrouded in mystery.
Cutlip (1991) notes that the word image is derived from the latin word imitari
(imitation) and is critical of those authors (many of whom write from a marketing
perspective such as Kotler (1991)) who describe image in terms of a set of beliefs,
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 969

ideas and impressions held about an object or organisation.

Grunig (1993), in his thorough analysis of the concept, notes that corporate
image has been used as a synonym for concepts such as message, reputation,
perception, cognition, attitude, credibility, belief, communication and relationship.
Grunig concludes that marketing and public relations practitioners tend to view
the concept from the standpoint of the receiver of messages, i.e. images being
formed by a mixture of fact, belief, attitude and perception, as opposed to
psychologists who view image from an organisational perspective. However,
marketers often fail to differentiate between images produced by the organisation
and an image which is formed as a result, in the mind of an individual. In
articulating the difference in approach between the psychologists (and graphic
design consultants) and those in marketing/public relations Grunig (1993 p126)
states the following:

"All of this confusion about image production and consumption and about
the different ways in which people consume messages (perception, cognition
and attitude) suggests that image is an umbrella term covering all of the
communication activities and their effects that occur between an
organisation and its publics - at least as the concept of image is used in
public relations. In another sense, image defines the symbolic relationships
among organisation and public relationships that occur strictly through
communicative interaction".

The other four difficulties associated with the concept of corporate image may be
outlined as follows.

Second, the concept has negative associations. Bernays (1977) wrote that it
suggested an area of management activity which deals with shadows and
illusions; Bernstein (1984) noted that image, in common parlance, means
falsehood; Grunig (1993) stated that it can mean the opposite of reality (and,
prefers to avoid reference to the concept altogether); Olins (1979) remarked that
it implies the use of sophisticated techniques of manipulation and as such is
both pretentious and sinister; Schathauser (1967 pSI) observed that reference
to image-makers is generally seen as an insult rather than a compliment

Third, the very notion of corporate image management (from a marketing/public

relations perspective) has been challenged: Kennedy (I 977) questioned the
notion that (a) there is such a thing as "image management" and (b) that a
favourable corporate image can be acquired by only drawing on the marketing
communications mix. The findings of Kennedy's empirical research revealed the
limitations of formal marketing communications in "image formation" with
regard to external stakeholders such as customers and suppliers and, more
importantly, her research showed the significance of personnel in influencing
how the organisation is perceived by external groups.
970 John M. T. Balmer

Fourth, a good deal of the literature presupposes that an organisation's

stakeholders will hold similar perceptions of an organisation, (the literature does
not allow for the possibility .that there are significant differences between
different stakeholder groups and between individuals). This point was made in
the recent The Times lecture on perception given by Lord Saatchi (1998, p23).
He observed that sensations produced by the same object can vary with the
circumstances with lukewarm water appearing hot to a cold hand and vice versa.
Lord Saatchi also remarked that on earth we see the sun as it was eight minutes
before. Even more dramatically, we see stars which have long been extinct
Abratt (1989 p74) is one academic writer who does take into account that
individuals have different perceptions of an organisation. He stated that at its
optimum corporate image management would focus on the needs of individual
stakeholders. This would appear to be the case in industrial marketing (one to
one marketing) and in the case of some account holders at exclusive private
bankers such as Hoare & Co., Coutts and Child & Co.

Fifth, writers sometime fail to note that various stakeholder groups are not of
equal importance to an organisation. For a holding company such as Kingfisher
the perception of the company by particular institutional investors as well as
investors generally are of prime importance, whereas to a subsidiary company
such as Comet its customers, and of course the management board of Kingfisher
are of particular importance.

Corporate Reputation
This leads on to a brief examination of (a) the related concept of corporate
reputation which is currently receiving particular attention in the literature, see
Bromley (1993), Brown (1995), Caruana (1996), Fombrun (1996), Fombrun and
Van Riel (1997), Gray and Balmer (1998), Greyser (1995), Kay (1995), Rao
(1994), Weigelt and Camerer (1988), and Voon, Guffey and Kijewski (1993) and
(b) the relationship between the concepts of corporate image and corporate
Fombrun and Van Riel (1997) have identified six distinct academic literatures
in relation to Corporate Reputation. This is shown in Figure 3.
The word reputation is derived from the latin word "reputance" which means
"to reckon". Bromley (1993) points out the word has a variety of meanings.
The author's definition of corporate reputation is that,

"Corporate Identity is formed by the aggregate of messages and experiences

received about an organisation's products and selVices by an individual,
group or groups over a period of time".

Weigelt and Camerer (1988 pI) concluded that,

"a corporate reputation is a set of attributes ascribed to a firm inferred from

Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 971

a firm's past actions."

Discipline Categorisation of Reputation

Accountancy Reputation seen as an intangible asset and
one that can or should be given financial
Economics Reputation viewed as traits or signals.
Perception held of the organisation by an
organisation's external stakeholders.
Marketing Viewed from the customer or end-users
perspective and concentrates on the
manner in which reputations are formed.
Organisational Behaviour Viewed as the sense-making experiences of
employees or the perception of the
organisation held by an organisation's
internal stakeholders.
Sociology Viewed as an aggregate assessment of a
firm's performance relative to expectation
and norms in an institutional context
Strategy Reputation viewed as assets and mobility
Since reputations are based on perception,
they are difficult to manage.

Adapted from Fombrun and Van Riel (1997).

Figure 3. Categorisation of Corporate Reputation According to Various


Thus, a corporate reputation refers to the perception of an organisation which is

built up over a period of time and which focuses on what it does and how it
behaves. In contrast an image focuses on the latest beliefs about an organisation
and may result in the use of metaphors or of anthropomorphism, e.g. Midland
Bank "The Listening Bank" and Access "Your Flexible Friend".
As with a corporate image, a corporate reputation may differ between different
stakeholder groups. Moreover, the attainment of a favourable corporate
reputation among key stakeholders and stakeholder groups should not be seen
as an end in itself. The rationale for the acquisition of a favourable corporate
reputation is that it is likely to mean that an individual is more predisposed to
buy a company's products or selVices, to invest with, to trade with, or to work for
the company. In articulating the benefits of a favourable corporate reputation, it
can be linked to a predisposition to purchase a selVice (Voon, Guffey and
Kijewski 1993), has an impact on the attitude of buyers to sales persons (Brown
1995), and contributes to performance difference between firms (Rao 1994).
Greyser (1998) in his research for ORC identified three major strategic benefits of
972 John M. T. Balmer

a favourable corporate reputation, namely, (a) preference for doing business with
a company when several companies, products or services are similar in quality
and price, (b) support for a company in times of controversy, and (c) enhancing a
company's value in the financial marketplace. However, a favourable corporate
reputation does not on its own guarantee corporate success since the
environment must also be considered, e.g. many naval shipbuilders who enjoy an
enviable reputation are facing difficulties because of the effect of "the peace
A positive reputation may, in some circumstances, act as a control mechanism
within the organisation and act as a standard by which decisions, actions,
communications, behaviour, are evaluated. Operationalising reputation as a
control mechanism can take place in a variety of situations by managers and
personnel asking the question 'Would this decision/action undermine our
reputation?". The basic tenets of reputation as a control mechanism are
illustrated in Figure 4 based on the "D.EAR" principle -


It may, of course, follow that a negative reputation will have the same effect as a
control mechanism and reinforce the organisation's poor reputation.

Before discussing the next stage of development it is worth noting the comment
made by Brown (1998, p215) who noted that managers attach importance to
corporate reputation because it,

"offer(s)a basis of competition that is not easily duplicated by competitors."

This point is also reinforced by the comments of other academics such as Hall
(1993). In the evolution of corporate identity (as shown in Figure 1) it should be
pointed out that even in the early 1960s a shift of emphasis away from the use of
the label "corporate image" was starting to occur. For instance, in 1964 the
graphic design consultants, Lippincott and Margulies realised that their
consultancy work was moving beyond graphic design into what they saw as other
"controllable" aspects of the corporate communications. They coined a new
concept corporate identity.

Stage 2: 19705 & Early 1980 - The Ascendancy of Corporate Identity and
Corporate Personality

North American and British Approaches

The Second Phase, which covers the period roughly from 1970 to the early
1980s saw a number of important developments. In the USA the work of
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 973

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graphic design consultancies continued to grow in influence whilst in Europe,

British graphic design, image research and corporate communications
consultancies played an important r61e in generating interest in the area
through their consultancy work and publications.
Whereas Northern American consultancies had emphasised the r61e of
graphic design in promoting a favourable image to an organisation's external
stakeholders, many British identity consultants emphasised the r61e of graphic
design in communicating to internal stakeholders and, more significantly, its
supposed ability to encapsulate an organisation's values. The emphasis on the
internal environment during this period resulted in reference being made to a
new concept that of "the corporate personality" (Olins 1978).

The Corporate Personality

At this point a brief examination of the concept of the corporate personality
seems appropriate.
The corporate personality refers to the values held by personnel within the
organisation (Balmer, 1991). The shift towards the internal environment was
reinforced by the findings of the empirical research of Kennedy (1977) which
concluded that staff are important in image formation. Olins (1991) emphasised
the crucial r61e of personnel to an understanding of corporate identity when he
stated that,

"The most important audience for any company is its own staff I cannot
understand how people can say that the most important auidence they have
is the consumer. Because if you cannot train your own staff in what you are,
in what you think, in how to behave, and in what your mores and precepts
are, how the hell can you expect to train your customer?"

Without doubt it is Olins who was first to accord the concept the primary
importance in his first book, "The Corporate Personality: An Inquiry into the
Nature of Corporate Identity." The inseparability of corporate personality from
corporate identity is suggested by the title of the text Furthermore, Olins states
that of all the concepts in use in the area, the corporate personality is the most
However, although Olins has been hugely influential both in his initial
recognition of the concept of corporate personality and in championing its
importance, the concept may be traced back much further. Newman (1953,
p211) made an analogy between the corporate and the human personality with
his comment that,

liThe business firm may have no body to be kicked, but it does have

In fact, the analogy between the corporate and the human personality has a
considerable lineage. Two examples, one from jurisprudence and another from
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 975

classical theology are used to explain this point In company law a company has
rights and obligations. An even older example can be seen in Catholic theology
where the church is given a human personality - that of the spouse of Christ In
this context, the famous love poems of the Old Testament, the Canticum
Canticorum (Song of Songs) may be interpreted as an allegory of Christ and the
Church. There are dangers in taking the analogy between the human and
corporate personalities too far. This is because, unlike human personality, the
corporate personality is capable of a greater degree of control over its own make-
up, for example it may initiate a merger or takeover of another corporate
body/personality with elements different to its own. It also may initiate major
internal changes by appointing a new management team. However, like an
individual personality it may still be subject to forces from the external
environment that are beyond its control. There is a further difference in that
organisations can have several personalities, particularly where, as mentioned,
subsidiaries or brands have been acquired through merger or acquisition, where
there is a new management team, or where there has been some re-structuring.
It is also the case that an organisation's identity may be strongly influenced by an
individual's personality. This is particularly so in the formative years of its
existence when the founder of the organisation is likely to imbue the institution
with his or her own personality, examples include Lord Reith of the BBC, Anita
Roddick of the Body Shop, and Richard Branson of the Virgin Group.
For the main, the concept of the corporate personality has not enjoyed wide
use. It receives little attention within the literature and tends to be
overshadowed by other concepts. However, this is not to imply that the concept
is ignored by writers, but that for the main such writers tend to refer to it only in
passing (see: Abratt, 1989; Bernstein, 1984; Bogle, 1960; Gray, 1968; Henrion
and Parkin, 1967; Lux, 1986; Martineau, 1960; Olins, 1978, 1995; Pilditch,
1970p Schladermundt, 1960; Spector, 1961; and Van Riel, 1995). For example,
Abratt (1989) assigns the concept some importance in his conceptual model of
corporate image management; Martineau devotes a chapter to the corporate
personality in Bristol's (ed, 1960) book, whilst Birkigt and Stadler (1986)
conclude that personality traits form the core of a corporate culture - that is
where the corporate values held by personnel reflect that of the organisation's
mission and philosophy. Finally, Lux devised a method which has the objective
of revealing corporate personality.
A comparison with other forms of identity whether national, religious, etc. also
provides clues as to the nature of corporate personality. For example, national
and religious identities are usually underpinned by a variety of norms and values,
i.e. Britain can be sub-divided into broad cultural groups of which two are the
English and Scots. These two can be further sub-divided, e.g. the English into
Cornishmen, Lancastrians, etc and the Scots into Lowlanders, Highlanders,
Hebrediens, Orcadians and Shetlanders. To take another example, the Catholic
Church, although it may appear to be a rigid monolithic structure, is surprisingly
flexible and can be broken down into those belonging to the Latin-Rite and the
Eastern-Rite (Uniate Churches). Furthermore, within the Latin-Rite there are
976 John M. T. Balmer

distinct groupings, such as a whole spectrum of religious orders and societies:

Augustinians, Benedictines, Carmelites, Carthusians, Cistercians, Dominicans,
Franciscans, Hospitallers, Jesuits, Marist and Oratorians. From this it may be
deduced that the corporate personality describes the distinct mix of sub-cultures
present within organisations. As such, there is a prima facie case for examining
the link between corporate culture and corporate personality and this view is
supported by other evidence in the literature.

Culture and Identity

A number of writers make an implicit link between corporate culture and
corporate identity (Anspach, 1983; Balmer and Wilson, 1998; Birkigt and Stadler,
1986; Boylan, 1989; Brew, 1987; Chajet 1984; Downey, 1986, 1987; Golnick,
1985; Hatch and Schultz, 1997; Lumsden in James, 1990; King, 1991; Margulies,
1984; Moingeon and Ramanantsoa, 1997; Moss, 1987; Portugal and Halloran,
1986; Simpson, 1987; Stewart 1991; and Tagiuri, 1982). Culture theory would
appear to have much to offer identity studies. King (1991) postulated that
consumers take into account corporate culture when evaluating organisations.
Lumsden in James (1990) stated that 75% of a consultant's work in creating a
new identity was in understanding an organisation's culture, and Olins remarked
that real corporate identity is about behaviour as much as appearance. Downey
(1986/7) stated that corporate identity is the source of the corporate culture. He
asserted that culture is the "whar' of a company and concluded that identity is
the "why";

"corporate culture - which has been described as a company's shared values,

beliefs and behaviour - in fact flows from and is the consequence of
corporate identity."

There are also clear, and implied, references to corporate identity in the literature
on corporate culture. (Hunt et al 1989, Kilmann 1985, Lebas and Weigenstein
1980, Morgan 1986 and Ouchi 1981). Whilst not proof on their own, the
references to culture within this literature may well add weight to the fact that
the two areas might be linked. For example, Kilmann (1985) suggested that a
culture gives a company a certain style or character (personality); Hunt Wood et
al (1989) spoke of values conveying a se,nse of identity to its members; Morgan
1986 p121) commented that an identity was the result of commonly held values;
Ouchi (1981 p132) concluded that a philosophy formed the image of the
There are other similarities. For instance, during the 1980s there was
heightened interest both in the concept of corporate culture and in the concept
of corporate identity as the following quotes illustrate.

"the concept of culture has become attractive because it offers a new

panacea for corporate ills" (Hassard and Sharif 1989 p4).
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 977

"(corporate identity is) wholly believed in and seemingly endowed with a

mystical ability to deliver the rewards of prosperity in ever increasing
amounts." (Marketing Week February 9,1990 p40).

One notable facet of the literature over recent years has been the interest from
writers whose background is in organisational behaviour and who focus on the
concept of organisational identity rather than corporate identity. Hatch and
Schultz (I997) in describing organisational identity state that it refers to what
employees receive, feel and think about their organisations. It is assumed to be a
collective, commonly shared understanding of the organisation's distinctive
values and characteristics. Albert and Whetton (I 985) in defining the
characteristics of an organisation's identity stated that it should be (i) central, (ii)
enduring and (iii) distinctive. Larcon and Reitter (1979) said that it refers to a set
of interdependent characteristics that give an organisation specifity, stability and
coherence. Hatch et al (I 997) note that whereas organisational identity
emphasises the relationship between employees, the literature on corporate
identity tends to see the area as being driven by senior management who express
the organisation's central idea to external audiences through products;
communications behaviour and the environment Of additional note are those
authors who have made a link between corporate identity and Total Quality
Management (TQM) and management of change (Reger, Gustafon, Mullane,
1994) and it may be argued that marketers and organisational behaviourists can
both be criticised for a degree of naivety in their respective approaches. The
former have failed to place sufficient importance on personnel whereas the latter
have failed to acknowledge the importance of other organisational stakeholders
such as customers and investors.

Stage 3: Late 1980s to Present (Particularly in Europe) Greater Academic


European Interest
The Third Phase, from the late 1980s to the present, saw a heightened
interest in the area In mainland Europe the writings of the German consultants
Birkigt and Stadler (1986) were influential. In addition, British, Australian and
South African as well as French, Dutch, German and Swiss academics began to
pay more attention to the topic. However, one problem with this phase of
development was that a good deal of the literature from mainland Europe was
not translated into English and as such was and is still largely inaccessible to
writers from North America, Britain and the Commonwealth. Another feature of
this phase has been the growing interest in corporate identity's links with
organisational behaviour (Albert and Whetton 1985, Dutton and Dukerich 1991,
Hatch and Schultz 1997).
The most visible development during both the second and third stage was
increasing reference to corporate identity rather than corporate image. This is
978 John M. T. Balmer

not to say that early references to corporate identity did not exist prior to the
1970s: Newman's (1953) reference to the identity of Macy's in New York is a
case in point

Corporate Identity
As with the concept of corporate image there are problems with the concept
of corporate identity. For instance, there is a difference between those who refer
to identity in purely linguistic terms and the way that the concept is used by
leading corporate identity consultants and scholars. The linguistic route places
the emphasis on consistency, highlighting the derivation of 'identity' from the
Latin idem which means "same". There may also be a connection with another
Latin word "identidem" which means repeatedly - the same each time (Bernstein
1984). This might afford one explanation why the concept is often used in
connection with organisational symbolism (i.e. corporate logos and visual
identification systems) where a large degree of consistency can be achieved.
On the other hand a growing number of corporate identity consultants and
scholars increasingly use the word "identity" when referring to the distinct
attributes of an organisation, i.e "what it is". (Balmer 1995).
Taking the second interpretation of identity given above it follows that many
different types of corporate identity are to be found - good, bad, unknown, good
but unwanted and so on. Balmer (1995) speaks of a strategic identity, i.e. one
that reflects an organisation's mission and philosophy. For instance an
unwanted identity might occur when the actual identity is at variance with an
organisation's espoused mission and philosophy. Alternatively, an identity may
no longer be apposite owing to environmental considerations, e.g. a shipbuilder
with an acknowledged expertise in designing and building warships may find
itself vulnerable in the current environment where the defence budgets of many
western nations are being cut In addition, some organisations have multiple
identities which reflect the structure of the business (e.g. the existence of
subsidiaries and their identities). There is also the case of organisations which
have found it difficult to establish a distinct identity against the presence of a
strong generic or industry wide identity as pointed out by Balmer and Wilkinson
(1991), e.g. airlines, building societies and undertakers.
Quite often there are differences between an organisation's identity (or
identities) and its image(s) and reputation(s). For instance, whereas an
organisation's identity (the reality or facts concerning it) might be "good" the
image (perception) held by all or by some of its key stakeholders or stakeholder
groups might be "bad". It is almost certain that there will at best be subtle
differences between the images held of the organisation by individuals. (This
might be attributable to a poor corporate communications policy). It is also
possible to have a favourable image but a poor identity, e.g. the recent criticisms
levelled at the social and environmental policies of "The Body Shop" (Entine
1994). It is also possible that whereas the image of an organisation's subsidiary
or product brand might be favourable the image held of the holding company
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 979

could be negative. as in the case of Jeep with regard to Chrysler or Eagle Star
Insurance with regard to BAT. Likewise. there may be important differences
between the perceptions of individual stakeholders and between different
stakeholder groups. Furthermore. a negative generic (industry) image or
national (country of origin) image could impact unfavourably on what might be
a positive corporate identity. It follows that organisations should strive to achieve
and maintain a positive corporate image among their key stakeholders and
stakeholder groups. They need to take into account changes in the environment
and thus, over time, acquire a favourable corporate reputation which reflects a
positive and strategically advantageous corporate identity. There is little
advantage in an organisation having a favourable corporate identity if the
corporate image and corporate reputation are bad. Furthermore, where
organisations have a favourable corporate image but an unfavourable corporate
identity there is the constant danger that the reality of the organisation may be
discovered. The situation is complicated by the fact that different groups and
individuals are likely to evaluate organisations on different dimensions and may
hold different perceptions (or images) of an organisation. These groups or
individuals may include customers, employees, prospective employees, investors,
suppliers, competitors, the media, local government national government etc.
Further difficulties arise because groups may belong to two stakeholder
categories. For instance, employee and customer. It is even conceivable that an
individual could be an employee. customer, shareholder and legislator (local
Whilst the author has focused on the contribution made by European and
North American writers there is also considerable and growing interest in
corporate identity among Asian nations - particularly in China, Korea and Japan.
See Sakai (1990). It seems probable that scholars and practitioners from Asia
will, over time, bring new insights into the emerging philosophy of corporate
identity. One example of this is what the Japanese call a Keiretsu. This is where
a corporate identity is built around a reputation rather than a product line.
Richard Branson, the Chairman of the Virgin Group, (1996), claims that he has
adopted this quintessentially Asian approach to his own organisation.
In conclusion there is a growing consensus both among academics and
consultants as to the distinguishing features of corporate identity. They are
outlined in the next section.

Distinguishing Features of Corporate Identity

First, the concept of corporate identity is fundamentally concerned with reality,

"what an organisation is," i.e. its strategy, philosophy, history, business scope, the
range and type of products and services offered and its communication both
formal and informal (Balmer. 1995; Schmidt, 1996; Van Riel, 1995; Van Riel and
Balmer. 1997; Moingeon and Ramanantsoa, 1997).
980 John M. T. Balmer

Second, corporate identity is multi-faceted and draws on several disciplines. A

number of writers support this proposition. Birkigt and Stadler (1988) identify
the elements of corporate identity mix as personality traits (a predisposition to
act in a particular way), acts of behaviour, communications and symbols.
Schmidt and Ludlow (1996) state that the mix comprises five elements:
corporate culture, corporate behaviour, products and services, communication
and design as well as market conditions and strategies. It has also been
postulated that corporate identity is eclectic in that it draws on many
management and non-management disciplines and may in fact be regarded as
an emerging philosophy or approach to management (Balmer, 1995).

Third, corporate identity is based on the corporate personality, i.e. it is based on

the values present within the organisation. A number of authors hold this to be
the most important of all the concepts associated with the area (Balmer, 1996;
Olins, 1978, 1995; Hatch and Schultz, 1997).

Moments of Truth: Key Inteifaces in Corporate Identity Managemen t

During the third stage the relationship between corporate identity and
corporate image began to be explored by academics and, more recently, has
been extended to encompass other concepts as well as the important
environmental issues. The corporate identity/image interface has been referred
to by a number of writers. (Abratt 1989, Kennedy 1977 and Stuart 1994).
Stuart notes the importance of this interface by stating that it represents the
"moment of truth" for an organisation for it is at this point that the corporate
identity is externaIised. The author believes that the concept of the interface
has great potential in focusing the minds of academics, consultants and
managers on those areas which have the potential to undermine an
organisation's attempts to secure a strategic advantage. Figure 5 shows these
interfaces and Figure 5a offers an explanation of each of the interfaces identified
by the author. Note that Figure 5 includes a number of environmental interfaces.
Environmental interfaces are of particular importance since the external
environment (demographic, economic, natural, technological, political and
cultural forces) impinge on the various facets of identity management The stark
reality is that a good reputation is not enough on its own to secure business
survival and success unless there is a fit between the reputation and the external
environment A positive corporate reputation which does not suffer any negative
effects from the external environment is likely to lead to a predisposition to buy
an organisation's products and services, purchase shares, work for the company,
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 981



Figure 5. Key Interfaces in

Corporate Identity
982 John M. T. Balmer

Type of Interface Description
r PHILOSOPHY-PERSONALl1Y Shows whether there are inconsistencies
between the espoused corporate ethos, aim
and values (philosophy) and personnel's
identification with the philosophy.
2 IDENTITY-PERSONALIlY Shows whether there are inconsistencies
between what the organisation says, makes
and behaves (identity), and personnel's
identification with the identity.
3 PHILOSOPHY-IDENTI1Y Shows whether there are inconsistencies
between the espoused corporate ethos, aims
and values and with what the organisation
makes, does and behaves.
4 PHILOSOPHY-IMAGE Shows whether there are inconsiste ncies
between the espoused corporate ethos, aims
and values and with the perception(s) held of
the organisation by key stakeholder groups.
5 IDENTl1Y-IMAGE Shows whether there are inconsistencies
between what the organisation makes, does
and behaves and how the organisation is
perceived by key stakeholder groups.
6 PHILOSOPHY-REPUTATION Shows whether there are inconsistencies
between the espoused corporate ethos, aims
and values and how the stakeholder groups
perceive the key attributes of the organisation.
7 IDENTI1Y-REPUTATION Shows whether there are inconsistencies
between what the organisation makes, does
and behaves and how the key stakeholder
groups perceive the key attributes of the
8 PHILOSO PHY-POSITIONING Shows whether there are inconsistencies
between the espoused corporate ethos, aims
and values and how the organisation
positions itself (a) to other organisations, and
(b) in the minds of key stakeholder groups.
9 IDENTI1Y-POSITIONING Shows whether there are inconsistencies
between what the organisation makes, does
and behaves and how the organisation
positions itself (a) to other organisations, and
(b) in the minds of key stakeholder groups.

Figure 5a Explanation of the Importance of Interfaces in Corporate

Identity Management (see Figure 5).

An awareness of the relationship between an organisation's corporate identity

and corporate reputation/environment appears to be of particular importance to
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 983

corporate identity management The model highlights the importance of the

corporate identity and corporate reputation interfaces. Some basic examples of
a few of the various interfaces are given below

(a) Where the corporate reputation reflects the corporate identity but is
negative. (Action - Nurture a new corporate personality and identity
and reconsider the corporate mission ethos).
(b) Where there is a negative corporate reputation which does not reflect a
positive identity (Action - concentrate on more effective Total
Corporate Comm unications).
(c) Where the corporate reputation is favourable but does not reflect the
corporate identity which, if communicated, would result in an
unfavourable reputation. (Action - nurture a new corporate personality
and identity using the reputation as a benchmark).
(d) Where there is a positive corporate reputation which is countered by
detrimental environmental considerations. (Action - Nurture a new
corporate personality and identity which gives the organisation a
strategic advantage vis a vis the environment).

Stage 4: The Present "Corporate Identity Comes Of Age".

The Fourth Phase, covering the present period, has seen a burgeoning of cross
border and cross disciplinary contacts among both academics and practitioners.
The launch of the International Corporate Identity Group at The House of Lords
and the ICIG's "Strathclyde Statement" on corporate identity is symptomatic of
this. (See Figure 6,) Increased communication among these diverse groups has
resulted in a growing consensus on the fundamental tenets of corporate identity
formation and management (corporate brand management) and greater clarity in
relation to the concepts of corporate personality, identity, image and reputation
and the various management and non-management disciplines involved in the
process. This is shown in Figure 7. In addition the subject is starting to be
taught at a number of leading business schools, i.e. the Harvard MBA elective on
"The New Corporate Communications", the Strathclyde BA Honours, MBA and
MSc (marketing electives on corporate identity) and the culture, identity and
image elective at Cranfield Business School and Copenhagen Business School as
well as in Commonwealth Universities such as the Queensland University of
Technology (Australia) and Waikato (New Zealand).
984 John M. T. Balmer
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Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 985

Figure 6. The International Corporate Identity Group's (ICIG) Statement

on Corporate Identity.

"The Strathdyde Statement"

Every organisation has an identity. It articulates the corporate ethos,
aims and values and presents a sense of individuality that can help to
differentiate the organisation within its competitive environment When well
managed, corporate identity can be a powerful means of integrating the
many disciplines and activities essential to an organisation's success. It can
also provide the visual cohesion necessary to ensure that all corporate
communications are coherent with each other and result in an image
consistent with the organisation's defining ethos and character.
By effectively managing its corporate identity an organisation can build
understanding and commitment among its diverse stakeholders. This can
be manifested in an ability to attract and retain customers and employees,
achieve strategic alliances, gain the support of financial markets and
generate a sense of direction and purpose. Corporate identity is a strategic
Corporate identity differs from traditional brand marketing since it is
concerned with all of an organisation's stakeholders and the multi-faceted
way in which an organisation communicates.

The growing interest in the area is indicated by the number of commercial

reports and surveys on the subject which have appeared in recent years. (See
Figure 8.) In a mainly UK context the author has identified eleven reasons why
corporate identity and corporate communications have come to prominence over
the last ten years. (See Figure 9.)

Corporate Branding
One characteristic of the fourth phase has been the increased reference in the
literature to the notion of lithe corporate brand". This concept tends to be used
as an alternative to the concept of the corporate identity (Balmer 1995,
Bernstein 1994, King 199 L Olins 1995, Ind 1997). The use of branding
principles to discuss corporate identity has tended to align the area more closely
with marketing. However, the literature on brand management (Aaker 1991,
Kapferer 1992 and De Chernatony and McDonald 1992), gives little attention to
the corporate brand. Kapferer (1991 p123) does acknowledge the importance of
corporate identity. He notes that more companies are refusing to remain hidden
behind their product brands and cites Unilever as an example. One advantage of
the concept of the corporate brand is that, at least in the British context, it is not
confused with visual identification which can often be the case with regard to the
concept of corporate image and identity. King (1991), describing the differences
between traditional product brands and company brands notes that the
"consumers" of the company brand are different and are more diverse, that there
986 John M. T. Balmer

Figure 8. Commercial Reports and Research Illustrating the Importance

of Corporate Identity/Corporate Image/Corporate Reputation.

1987 Research among European chief executives identified
Insead Business Corporate Identity as a key issue for their com panies in the
School, France future.
Reported that among key marketing services disciplines,
James Capel
Corporate Identity occupied third place.
Research undertaken among 500 chairmen and chief
1990 executives of companies with over £1 OOMturnover found
CBI/Fitch Report that Corporate Identity management yielded benefits in the
marketplace in investor and internal relations.
1991 Research among directors of corporate communications
Smythe Dorward found that 83% relied on Corporate Identity as a technique
Lambert for organisational change.
1991 Found that 90% of companies regarded Corporate Image as
Mintel Special important, its benefits included: (a) making the organisation
Report on more customer orientated, (b) building awareness, (c)
Corporate Image improving perception, and (d) increasing sales.
85% of senior managers saw Corporate Identity as a major
instrument in the intemationalisation of their companies.
Ludlow Schmidt
Published second survey of how Europe's top 160
1993 companies were perceived. Concluded that Corporate
Time Magazine Identity is an invaluable tool for a company hoping to
communicate in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Mintel Special Predicted a boom for the Corporate Identity industry,
Report on particularly among medium-sized companies.
Corporate Image
1993 Revealed that corporate communication managers are
Conference Board increasingly regarded as fully-fledged strategic advisors to
USA senior management
1995 Just under 80% of respondents stated that the management
Burson- of the corporate brand could be more closely linked to the
Marsteller/ marketing strategy and just over 60% stated that products
Landor survey of and services could benefit from a stronger association with
UK Marketers the corporate brand.
Research worldwide found that a corporate reputation can
Opinion Research
be managed and that reputation has a bottom line effect

are more points of contact, that staff are integral to corporate brand building and
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 987

that the personnel director has a role in its management Olins (1995 p16)
observes that the purpose of corporate branding is to differentiate organisations
in the minds of stakeholders and of particular customers.

Figure 9. Contributing Factors to the Growth in Interest in Corporate


(a) The deregulation and privatisation programmes introduced by successive

British Governments.
(b) The increase in internal reorganisation, mergers and acquisitions.
(c) The acceleration of product life cycles which has meant that companies
require a strong and flexible identity, and umbrella brand names.
(d) The need for differentiation in the service industries.
(e) Increasing competitiveness within financial services.
(f) The need for effective corporate positioning within the public sector.
(g) The need for a European identity with the advent of the Single European
(h) Increasing internationalisation of organisations.
(j) The area being seen as more effective and offering better value than
U) Environmental pressures on organisations, e.g. green issues, codes of
business ethics, legislation on corporate governance.
(k) The increasing public interest in organisations including the ownership of
subsidiaries and of product brands.
(I) The need for Asian companies to instil their corporate identities with "added
value" brand values.

Total Corporate Communications

Another important difference between the traditional product brand and the
corporate brand is that the communication mix with regard to the latter is more
complex. Organisations need to consider not only the multifaceted channels by
which they communicate and to take into account that there are other groups
other than customers which are important to them (vertical communication), but
also to take account of the effects of communication over time (horizontal
communication). This has given rise to the concept of Total Corporate
Communications (TCC) (Balmer 1995). Other authors appear to support this
holistic view of comm unications. (Olins (1991) stated that "Everything that the
corporation does in every way communicates", while Bernstein (1986 pU8) for
his part remarked

':.4. company needs to take a holistic view of communications because it is

communicating all the time (even if it doesn't want to or doesn't realise it) to
all of its publics. The comm unication which is taking place even if
unplanned or unconscious, is creating impressions and images are being
988 John M. T. Balmer

What is apparent is that both the marketing mix and the marketing
communications mix as applied to organisations in their totality is inadequate
and needs to be radically reappraised.

Stage 5. 2000. The Advent of Corporate Marketing: Implications for

Researchers, Managers and Consultants.

The literature on corporate image and corporate identity reveals distinct strands
of development since the 1950s: (i) a concern with external perceptions of the
organisation, (ij) the symbolic relationship between an organisation and its
publics, (Hi)the emphasis on visual identification, (iv) concern with the values of
organisational members and their affinity to various sub-cultures (corporate
personality), (v) an emphasis on how organisations wish to relate to the
organisation's mission and philosophy (Organisational Identity), (vi)
understanding what the organisation is (corporate identity), (vii) how the
organisation is perceived by key stakeholders and stakeholder groups over time
(corporate reputation) and (viii) applying the principles of branding to
organisations in their entirety.
A number of factors have hampered the recognition of the importance of
corporate identity management Five have been identified by the author, namely
(a) the lack of dialogue between researchers from various diSCiplinary
backgrounds, (b) the difference in approach between North American and
European writers (the former have been influential with regard to studies of
visual identification, image and reputation whilst the latter have been influential
with regard to the study of corporate and organisational identity), (c) the lack of
consensus as to the precise meaning and relationship between the concepts, (d)
the lack of academic empirical research and (e) the only partial recognition
accorded to the area by management academics. The area offers many
possibilities for empirical and secondary research. Certainly the literature on the
area is worthy of further scrutiny which would complement the existing literature
reviews of Abratt (1989), Grunig (1991), Kennedy (1997) and Van Riel (1995).
For instance comparisons might be made between the various perspectives from
which the material has been written, such as marketing, public relations,
organisational behaviour, human resources, TQM, management of change,
general management business strategy, graphic design, philosophy and
psychology. In addition, an examination of the various contributions made to the
area by writers from North America, the UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands,
Japan and the Far East is likely to be a fruitful line of activity.

Implications for Future Research Methodologies

The current state of knowledge has implications for the research design to be
adopted by writers in the area. From the available literature it appears that (a) a
good deal of the writing is conceptual, (b) that a good deal of the research has
been conceptual within the confines of one management discipline such as
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 989

marketing and organisational behaviour, (c) the nature of corporate identity is

still under researched. The author suggests the use of ethnography since it is
particularly useful in relation to the development of theory (Hammersley and
Atkinson 1983 p23) and the use of case studies. With regard to the latter, Gill
and Johnstone (1991 pll9) comment that

"Theory-building case study research may perhaps be most appropriate when

little is known about a topic and where in consequence there can be little
reliance on the literature or previous empirical evidence".

Returning to Figure 1 and to the fifth stage of the development of corporate

identity the author concludes that the area is likely to enjoy increasing
importance among academics, managers and practitioners. Since the writer is of
the view that the area is eclectic and draws on a number of management and
non management disciplines it is argued that much can be gained through
multidisciplinary research. The writer postulates that hegemony of the area will
return to the USA This is because (a) there is a renewed interest in the area in
the USA, (b) there is a concentration of management scholars in the USA who
have the ability to undertake large scale research projects, (c) the USA has many
of the world's largest corporations and (d) is home to many large corporate
identity consultancies.
It is probable that over time corporate identity will evolve into a distinct,
cognate area of management However, because of the semantic difficulties
associated with the term corporate identity it might possibly be known as
corporate brand management even though corporate identity is concerned with
"what an organisation is" whilst corporate branding is concerned with "what is
expected". It is also conceivable that it might be more closely alligned with
marketing in a way not dissimilar to other cognate areas of business, e.g.
international marketing and the marketing of services. If this is the case then
what we are witnessing at present in the literature on corporate identity and
corporate communications are the building blocks of what may be known in
time as Corporate Marketing.

Rethinking the Basic Tenets of Marketing From 4 to lOPs

Applying the basic tenets of marketing to organisations in their totality means
extending the marketing mix. This can be done by extending the four Ps to ten
Ps so as to encompass

philosophy and ethos (what the organisation does, stands for and the way it
undertakes its work),
personality (the mix of ideologies present within the organisation and which
are necessary to underpin the corporate philosophy and ethos),
people, (a recognition of the importance of personnel as part of the corporate
communication mix, i.e. staff behaviour, internal communications, their r61e in
influencing other stakeholders, a concern with TQM and the importance of
990 John M. T. Balmer

attracting and retaining personnel),

product, (what an organisation makes or does),
price (what it charges for its products and services including the "added
value" and the "goodwill" element in the valuation of its corporate and
product brands, what it pays personnel. share price etc.),
place (distribution channels, a company's relationship with distributors,
franchising arrangements etc),
promotion (branding policy; monolithic, endorsed, branded; visual identity
and organisational symbolism, interior design. A concern with Total
Corporate Communication as explained in this article, i.e. controlled and
uncontrolled corporate communications over time and among an
organisation's stakeholder groups).
performance (how the organisation's performance is rated by its key
stakeholders vis a vis the organisation's espoused philosophy and ethos as
well as that of competition).
perception questions relating to corporate image (the mental picture of an
organisation) and corporate reputation (a value judgement of the
organisation's attributes by stakeholders and stakeholder groups). Also takes
into account the perception of country of origin (national identity), industry
sector (generic identity) and main activity(ies) of employees (professional
positioning (a) in the minds of important stakeholders, (b) in relation to
competition in the market and (c) in relation to the external environment).
In addition the "the communications mix' will need to be extended in order to
encompass the many stakeholder groups which are of importance to
organisations, as well as taking into account the numerous channels of
commun ication.
The above also raises profound questions for management consultants and
scholars and a few of these will be briefly discussed.
Management, Scholars and Consultants: Facing Up to New Challenges
Firstly, Corporate Marketing has major implications for management what is
apparent is that corporate marketing management is too wide a remit for the
traditional Director of Marketing or Head of Public Affairs or Corporate
Communications. It is a position requiring a senior board room position. such
as, Deputy Chief Executive. The person holding the position will need to have
acquired expertise in several management areas including strategic planning,
marketing, organisational behaviour, human resources and communications.
This is because the responsibility for positioning the company, for nurturing and
enhancing the company's reputation and for effecting change to an
organisation's identity is of great strategic importance. Secondly, there are
implications for marketing scholars. The area appears to be too wide and
complicated to be adequately taught in one elective or part of a degree
programme. The writer is of the view that it may legitimately form a cognate
area of study leading to a degree in Corporate Marketing/Corporate Identity
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 991

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Studies. Such a course will require multi-disciplinary input with important

contributions being made from non-management disciplines such as philosophy
and psychology.
Finally there are implications for corporate identity consultancies many of
whom are largely engaged in producing systems of visual identifications for
organisations. The challenge for corporate identity consultancies is to adapt to
the new insights gained into the area and for this to be reflected in the range of
services offered by such consultancies.

This article has benefited greatly from suggestions made by the two anonymous
academic reviewers and from Ann Bradshaw who kindly read through the script
and suggested a number of improvements.

References and Further Reading

Aaker, DA (1991), Managing Brand Equity: Capitalizing on the value of the
brand name, The Free Press, New York.
Abratt, R (1989), "A New Approach to the Corporate Image Management
Process," Journal of Marketing Management 5, 1, pp63-76.
Albert, S. and Whetten, D. (1985), "Organisational Identity," In Cummings, L.C. &;
Staw, B.M. (Eds), Research in Organisational Behaviour, 7, pp263-295, JAI
Press, Greenwich, c.T.
Anspach, R (1983), "Shaping your Bank's Corporate Identity," Bank Marketing,
IS, 10, pp20-30.
Baker, MJ and Balmer, J,M.T. (1997), 'Visual Identity: trappings or substance?",
European Journal of Marketing, 31, 5 & 6, pp366-382.
Balmer, JM.T. and Wilson, A (1998), "Corporate Identity. It is more than meets
the eye," International Studies of Management and Organisations,
Balmer, JM.T. (1996), The Nature of Corporate Identity: An explanatory study
undertaken with BBC Scotland, University of Strathclyde. (Unpublished PhD
Balmer, ].M.T. (1995), "Corporate Branding and Connoisseurship," Journal of
General Management 21,1, Autumn, pp22-46.
Balmer, J,M.T.and Wilkinson, A (1991), "Building Societies: Change, Strategy and
Corporate Identity," Journal of General Management Winter, 17, 2, pp20-33.
Barich, H. and Kotler, P. (1991), "A Framework for Marketing Image
Management," Sloan Managem ent Review, 32, 2, pp94-104.
Bernays, F.I. (1977), "Down with Image, Up with Reality," Public Relations
Quarterly 22, 1, pp12-14.
Bernstein, D. (1984), Company Image and Reality, Reinhart and Winston,
Bevis in Bernstein, D. (1984), ibid.
Birkigt, K & Stadler, M. (1986), Corporate Identity, Grundagen, Funktionen
Corporate Identity and the Advent of Corporate Marketing 993

Fallbeispiele, Verlag, Moderne Industrie, Landsberg an Lech, pp.l9-63.

Bogle, ]. (1960), "The Image of your Stakeholders," in Bristol, L. (1960)
Developing the Corporate Image, Charles Scribner & Sons, New York, pp.70-
Bolger, ].F. (1959), uHow to evaluate your company image," journal of Marketing,
24, October, pp.7-1O.
Boulding, K (1956), The Image, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press.
Boylan, B. (1989), in "Exposed: Tall Talk behind the Company Logo," Daily
Telegraph, February 15.
Branson, R (1996), "Brand New World. The World in 1997," The Economist
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