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Shaping the research agenda for corporate branding

Special issue call for papers from European Journal of Marketing


Guest Editors

Professor T. C. Melewar, BrunelBusinessSchool, Brunel University, UK

Dr Manto Gotsi, BrunelBusinessSchool, Brunel University, UK

Dr Costas Andriopoulos, BrunelBusinessSchool, Brunel University, UK


Almost three decades ago, Philips noted in their company report that a positive corporate reputation will increasingly influence purchase decisions when there is little differentiation in terms of price, quality, design and product features. Today, with even more intensified competition, lack of differentiation, and a rapid growth of the service economy, the importance of building well-reputed corporate brands has been propelled to unprecedented heights. The subject of corporate branding has therefore, not surprisingly, become a central part of the corporate agenda and, mirroring these developments, a hot topic for academic research.

Interestingly, despite a growing consensus on the unequivocal value of corporate branding, the substance and determinants of corporate branding, its measurement and management remain largely undefined. Scholars have identified several challenges for researchers in this respect. First, a wide range of concepts is influencing the corporate branding process and there is growing debate on their definitions and interrelationships. These include, but are not limited to, corporate and organisational identity, corporate strategy, internal branding, marketing and corporate communications, brand and corporate image, brand and corporate reputation, product and corporate branding, corporate and brand culture; concepts that are interlinked and invariably more complicated when researched at the corporate level than when applied to individual products. Theorising on the interrelationships of these concepts, contemporary writings have criticised early conceptual frameworks of corporate image/identity/reputation formation for not encapsulating the complexity of corporate branding and failing to capture the influence that the aforementioned determinants exert on corporate brand management. A second challenge for researchers in the area of corporate branding is its multidisciplinary foundations. Corporate branding frameworks reflect the disciplinary and research traditions of areas as diverse as business communications and corporate communications, graphic design, corporate identity, corporate image, reputation, marketing, organisational behaviour, public relations, psychology and strategy. Frameworks depict corporate branding as a process which is inextricably linked to issues related to corporate strategy, organisational behaviour, design human resources and, often, organisational change. As such, corporate brand management necessitates a multi-level approach which needs to reflect the multiplicity of stakeholders influencing and influenced by this process.

Taking into consideration the thought-provoking challenges surrounding this field, scholars increasingly call for a radical reappraisal of branding at the corporate level in terms of its conceptualisation, measurement and management. The aim of this Special Issue is to welcome submissions offering innovative insights into shaping the research agenda for corporate branding. All rigorous and thoughtful conceptual papers, literature reviews, case studies, empirical studies and practice papers, using a wide range of methodologies, are encouraged. A wide variety of topics will be suitable for this Special Issue and might include, but is not limited to, the following:


  • Methodologies in corporate branding, corporate identity, corporate image, corporate reputation, corporate communications and corporate rebranding research and advice for those thinking of using these techniques

  • Reviews of existing knowledge in corporate branding and development of research propositions and/or hypotheses

  • Conceptual and empirical frameworks on corporate brand management

  • Theoretical developments in corporate brand management

  • Theoretical and conceptual foundations for the integration of areas such as corporate branding, corporate communications, corporate identity, organisational identity, organisational change, corporate reputation, corporate marketing

  • Conceptualising the relationships between corporate brand identity, corporate culture, corporate communications, corporate image and corporate reputation

  • Theoretical development for internal brand management at the corporate level

  • Case studies developing theory in the areas of corporate branding, corporate identity, corporate communications, corporate reputation

  • Corporate branding in mergers and acquisitions

  • Corporate branding in strategic alliances, start-ups and new ventures

  • Ethics and corporate branding

  • Conceptual and empirical frameworks on corporate rebranding

  • Processes and methodologies for building business-to-business corporate brands

  • Corporate branding and organisational change

  • Theoretical development for corporate brand management in the public sector

  • Conceptualising corporate brand management in charity organisations

  • Corporate brand management in the digital age

  • Global corporate brand management and corporate identity strategies

  • Likely trends and future research directions in corporate branding.

All papers will be subject to the usual double blind review process. Authors should consult the journal's author guidelines. In general, articles should be no more than 5,000 words in length (excluding tables and references). Please consult the journal author guidelines ( for submission details. All submissions must be sent in to the Guest Editors

by 31 January 2009.


Submissions to European Journal of Marketing must be made using Scholar One's Manuscript Central system:


Prospective contributors with questions concerning the potential suitability of topics, Guest Editors' expectations, or additional requirements about this Special Issue are invited to contact directly by e-mail the Guest Editors at:


Professor T. C. Melewar, BrunelBusinessSchool,

Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex,

West London UB8 3PH, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1895 265859; Fax: +44 (0) 1895 269775;

E-mail: [email protected]


Dr Manto Gotsi, BrunelBusinessSchool,

BrunelUniversity, Uxbridge, Middlesex,

West LondonUB8 3PH, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1895 267278; Fax: +44 (0) 1895 269775;

E-mail: [email protected]


Dr Costas Andriopoulos, BrunelBusinessSchool,

Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex,

West London UB8 3PH, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1895 267280; Fax: +44 (0) 1895 269775;

E-mail: [email protected]