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Title: Scrutinising the British Monarchy: The corporate brand that was shaken, stirred and survived
Authors: Balmer, JMT
Keywords: British Monarchy;Corporate brands;Heritage brands;Chronicling the corporate brand;Queen Elizabeth
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Emerald
Citation: Management Decision. 47(4): 639-675
Abstract: Purpose – The principal purposes of this article are to provide normative advice in terms of managing the British Monarchy as a Corporate Heritage Brand and to reveal the efficacy of examining a brand’s history for corporate heritage brands generally. Design/methodology/approach – Taking a case history approach, this article examines critical events in the Crown’s history. This article is also informed by the diverse literatures on the British Monarchy and also marshals the identity literatures and the nascent literature relating to corporate brands. Six critical incidents that have shaped the monarchy over the last millennium provide the principal data source for this article. Findings - In scrutinising key events from the institution’s historiography it was found that the management and maintenance of the Crown as a corporate brand entail concern with issues relating to (1) continuity (maintaining heritage and symbolism), (2) visibility (having a meaningful and prominent public profile), (3) strategy (anticipating and enacting change), (4) sensitivity (rapid response to crises), (5) respectability (retaining public favour), and (6) empathy (acknowledging that brand ownership resides with the public). Taking an integrationist perspective, the efficacy of adopting a corporate marketing approach/philosophy is also highlighted. Research limitations – The insights derived from this article are based on the extant literatures on the Monarchy: richer insights would, of course, be derived from undertaking research within the institution. However, the difficulty in gaining access to the Royal Household in undertaking empirical/publishable research renders most methodologies currently used within management research virtually unavailable. Practical implications – There are two. In terms of the Crown a new tripartite dictum is offered which is broader in scope than Bagehot’s and takes account of the Monarchy’s constitutional, societal and symbolic obligations. As such, the Crown should be Dutiful to the tenets of a constitutional monarchy; Devoted to the peoples of the realm and Dedicated to maintaining royal symbolism. In terms of the management of corporate brands/heritage brands a five- faceted approach/modus operandi is introduced which is called: ‚Chronicling the Corporate Brand.‛ These are: (a) chronicling the brand’s history; (b) assembling a cross-section of individuals to set down the corporate brand narrative; (c) documenting and communicating the insights from the aforementioned (d) marshalling the narrative vis a vis corporate brand management/crisis management; (e) revisiting the brand’s history for new insights. Originality/value – This is one of the first articles to examine the British Monarchy through a corporate branding lens. It confirms that the Crown is analogous to a corporate brand and, therefore, ought to be managed as such.
ISSN: 0025-1747
Appears in Collections:Marketing
Brunel Business School Research Papers

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