The ultimate heritage brand: the British Monarchy
Brunel University London
Principal investigator: Professor John Balmer
Corporate heritage institutions give successive generations a sense of identity.
Professor John Balmer of Brunel University London has coined the terms “corporate heritage identity and corporate marketing” to describe organisations that have constant corporate identity traits which not only meaningfully define an organisation but are valued by customers and stakeholders. Unlike history which is primarily concerned with the past, corporate heritage is concerned with the past, present and future. Prominent UK examples being cases in point and the British Monarchy, London Taxis and Harris Tweed.
Professor Balmer used a case study on the monarchy in Britain and Sweden to investigate key components of heritage brands. He argues that heritage marketing has become a core competency of many brands – capable of generating positive public emotions.
Trust, affinity and authenticity were found to be the competencies which maintain corporate heritage. Trust concerns the level of confidence between the brand and the public. Affinity relates to awareness of the public’s concerns and authenticity suggests the importance of the enduring identity traits. His work has led to a new conceptual model within the field of marketing.
Professor Balmer has been approached by many Royal households, as well as the Japanese and Spanish media, to comment on Royal families across the world in the context of heritage branding. This work allows long standing brands to become more effective– enabling them to grow and develop during changing times. Professor Balmer’s work has given academics and organisations a new way of conceptualising established organisations with a history in order to increase consumer loyalty and satisfaction.
In 2011 Professor Balmer established the international corporate heritage symposium as a forum where scholars could share their scholarship on corporate heritage. The symposium has gone from strength to strength: the 2012 symposium was held, again, at Brunel University London, in 2013 it was held in Sweden and in 2014 in Finland