ORCID

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9980-4946

Document Type

Article

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Disciplines

Advertising and Promotion Management | Business | Business and Corporate Communications | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Marketing

Publication Details

Business and Economic Research, Vol 6, No. 1, May 2016, PP. 381-402.

Abstract

Branding aids companies in the acquisition of new customers, allows them to build a favourable reputation, leads to increased customer loyalty and, ultimately, is a driver of profitability. Although there is an impressive quantity of academic literature related to both large corporate and product line branding, there has been less focus regarding the research on branding of small businesses, despite their economic importance.

In the specific case of SMEs in Ireland, branding studies are scant. There is little understanding of the branding practices of SME founder-owners in Ireland, and, moreover, a lack of clarity as to their knowledge levels apropos the strategic brand management process. Essentially, many small business owners may not even realise that their business is a brand, partly due to a lack of understanding of what the concepts of a brand and branding actually mean. This paper presents findings from research associated with the brand development practices of Irish micro and small enterprises. A qualitative data collection tool, leveraging semi-structured interviews is employed to collect substantive and relevant data from 10 Irish micro and small business owners. The study extends the knowledge of the brand development process being undertaken by these companies.

The findings in this study reveal an unfavourable picture in terms of branding practices in Irish SME’s and demonstrates a lack of understanding and devotion on behalf of founder-owners towards the process. These conclusions have direct implications for branding literature, specifically in relation to Irish and international SMEs and also for managerial practice within those organisations.

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