in: FAMILY BUSINESSES: Business Models and Strategies, YILMAZ,Osman; KARSU,Süreyya, Editor, Gazi Kitabevi, Ankara, pp.271-292, 2021
It could be noted that family-business related research has risen dramatically over the last two decades (Gomez-Mejia et al. 2001; Xi, Kraus, Filser & Kellermanns 2015). Family businesses are distinguishing themselves by creating their own brand that features family in their marketing communication strategy (Zellweger, Eddleston & Kellermanns, 2010). Previous researchers reveal that the degree of ownership affects how family businesses structure their communication strategies while addressing its stakeholder (Memili, Eddleston, Zellweger, Kellermans & Barnett, 2010). It is asserted that firms usually display hints associated with the family in their company like a family related brand name or other family related components in different marketing communication tools such as advertisements (Blombäck, 2011). They are highlighting their family-owned status when promoting their company. One of the examples could be the articulation of “A family company” which is their emphasized promotional slogan. Emphasizing “family business” distinctiveness in the communication tools, help companies to differentiate themselves. Therefore, being family business is one of the corporate brand elements that provides uniqueness to a company (Blombäck, 2011).
Another notion called corporate branding has also an important role in companies’ strategic decisions; which consequently leads drawing attention from many researchers (Balmer & Gray, 2003; Macrae, 1996; Balmer, Harris & de Chernatony, 2001; Kitchen & Laurence, 2003). In addition to commonly known corporate brand elements, there is an emerging subject named as corporate heritage under the corporate brand area. It is argued that corporate heritage could also be exploited by management of certain companies to add extra value and draw a distinct from competitors (Urde, Greyser, & Balmer, 2007; Balmer, 2013). Although, it is known that a corporate brand and corporate heritage brand help companies to get value, competitive advantage, satisfaction and loyalty (Davies, Chun, Da Silva &Roper, 2003; Wiedmann, Hennigs, Schmidt, & Wuestefeld, 2011), very little is known about the corporate branding and corporate brand heritage in family business context. Previous studies relating to corporate branding have mostly focused on large/multinational companies (Krake, 2005; Bocconcelli et al., 2018) and disregard family business context. In regard with corporate heritage, many scholars examined the subject at the corporate level while there are limited studies observing corporate heritage within the context of family businesses (Micelotta & Raynard, 2011).
This chapter therefore aims to explore, investigate, and define corporate brand and corporate heritage brand at family businesses level based on the existing literature. Our goals are to uncover corporate brand and corporate heritage brand, as well as how family businesses implement and create competitive advantage from them. Therefore, first, we discuss the corporate brand that creates values and differentiates the family businesses from competitors.