Towards a conceptual framework of corporate branding in retailing

Edmund B. O'Callaghan, Dublin Institute of Technology

Document Type Conference Paper

European Institute of Retail and Services Studies (EIRASS) Conference Proceedings


The view that corporate brand building in retailing is different to any other context (Burt and Sparks, 2002) is predicated in the belief that ‘goods’ retailers need to manage a range of corporate components, its multiple relationships with customers and its dependence on employees to personify and deliver much of the corporate identity. These differences in operations are perceived as adding a degree of complexity to an already challenging process of corporate brand development. This paper proposes a conceptual framework for the corporate brand building process within an SME retail context. It develops on the work of Hatch & Schultz’s (2003) proposed alignment of culture, vision and image as critical for corporate brand building and Abratt’s (1989) corporate identity framework which strongly emphasises the key requirement of integrated corporate communications for both internal and external audiences. It proposes that the store experience is not only the result of the alignment of strategic vision and corporate culture, but in itself is the key communications vehicle for corporate image development and the corporate branding process. The model also sees company characteristics as mediating factors in corporate brand development.