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Professor John Balmer

Professor John Balmer

Eastern Gateway 104a


Professor John M.T. Balmer BA (Hons). MBA (Dunelm), PhD, A.Mus.TCL, Dip.M, PGCE holds a personal chair as Professor of Corporate Marketing and is Director of the Marketing and Corporate Brand  Research Group.  He is quondam Professor of Corporate Brand/Identity Management at Bradford School of Management where he is also Visiting Professor. Sometimes regarded as the "Father" of the corporate brand concept (1995), he also pioneered the corporate marketing, corporate heritage identity, total corporate communications and monarchical marketing notions and, penned the first academic articles in these aforementioned areas. Also co-conceived the corporate heritage brand/corporate brand with a heritage notions. Often recognised for his seminal work in making a distinction between corporate image and corporate reputation in his single authored article in Journal of Marketing Management (1998) and in his co-authored Long Range Planning article (1998).

After a first degree from the University of Reading, and after a period of postgraduate study  at The University of Durham  in education (University College), he spent a short time as a teacher and then as Assistant Adminstrator of Lord Menuhin's concert agency (Live Music Now). This was followed by several years as a senior manager of a major arts complex. Subsequently undertook further postgraduate studies, this time focussing on business administration (MBA) at Durham University (Collingwood College). Appointed to give recommendations apropos the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC Scotland)  corporate identity as a research assistant at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) andUniversity of Strathclyde and, subsequently, appointed whilst undertaking research at the University of Strathclyde and was subsequently appointed as a  lecturer in marketing at Strathclyde Business School. Took his PhD (Strathclyde University) in 1996, and within. 3 years of his PhD graduation was  elected to a personal chair as Professor of Corporate Identity at Bradford University School of Management. He subsequently was conferred the title of Professor of Corporate Brand/Identity Management in the same University in recognition of his seminal scholarship on both territories. In a similar vein, in 2007, he joined the faculty at Brunel University London where he was appointed to a personal chair as Professor of Corporate Marketing. All three Professorial positions are understood to be the first Full Professorial appointments of their kind globally.

Since the early 1990s, he has been a leading proponent, and tireless advocate, of the strategic importance of corporate identity, corporate brands and corporate marketing to scholars and practitioners alike. In recent years he has popularised the nascent corporate heritage field. He is known for his seminal articles in these areas. Achieved distinction for this work on corporate brand/identity alignment and evidenced in his ACID Test of corporate brand/corporate identity management frameworks he is also recognised for his  writing on the British Monarchy, BBC, British Airways and British Building Societies. He conceived and helped implement the corporate brand positioning of the University of Strathclyde including the introduction of a new coat of arms and motto ("Useful Learning"). His collaborative ground-breaking study of the Swedish Monarchy - where access was granted to Their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden and members of the Royal Family - is also notable. As such, he has contributed to articles published in The New York Times and the leading German newspaper Die Welt and has been approached by the Australian public service broadcaster ABC for their documentary on the Royal Family. A long-time partnership with Professor Stephen A Greyser (Harvard Business School) resulted in many publications including the landmark book  "Revealing the Corporation" (Routledge: 2002). He has published in many leading journals including  California Management Review, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of General Management,  Long Range Planning, British Journal of Management, Marketing Theory, International Studies of Management and Organization, Information Technology and People etc. In 2017 invited by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (editor: Professor Sir David Cannadine) to pen the authorative biographical essay of Wally Olins (1930-2014) - doyen of the corporate identity/brand consultancy industry (OUP: 2018). His books include "Revealing the Corporation" (co-authored with Stephen A. Greyser, Routledge, 2003); "Foundations of Corporate Heritage" (Routledge, 2016);  "Advances in Corporate Branding" (co-edited with Shuan Powell,  Joachim Kernstock & Tim Brexendorf, Palgrave, 2017); "Advances in Chinese Brand Management" (co-edited with Weifeng Chen, Palgrave, 2017); "Contemporary Perspectives on Corporate Marketing" (co-edited with Laura Illia & Allmudena de Valle Brena, Routledge, 2013); and "Contemplating Corporate Marketing, Identity & Communication" (co-edited with Klement Podnar, Routledge, 2010).

Since the early 1990s, he has an unrivaled provenance  as a guest editor/joint guest editor of over 25 special editions/symposia of academic journals focussed on corporate branding, identity, corporate marketing and corporate heritage themes etc. He also appears to have the distinction of guest editing the first-ever special editions on corporate brands, corporate identity, corporate marketing and corporate heritage. Arguably, these special editions have greatly facilitated the establishment of a distinct canon in the corporate brand, corporate identity, corporate marketing and, more recently, corporate heritage domains. He is the Founder, Chairman, and Conference organiser of the International Corporate Identity Group (ICIG). The ICIG's aim is to advance awareness, scholarship and the dissemination of best practice in the corporate identity, corporate brand and corporate marketing territories. Established in 1994, an ICIG symposium has been held in most years at prominent seats of learning since then in the UK, Asia, Africa and Europe. He is also the Founder, Chairman  and Conference Organiser of the International Symposium on Corporate Heritage, History and Nostalgia (which has analogous aims to the ICIG) and has organised/co-organised an annual symposium which has been held in Finland, France, Sweden as well as the UK.

Professor Balmer is  is a well-known educationalist and PhD supervisor. He conceived and developed the MBA, MSc, and BA (Honours) electives in corporate identity/corporate branding and corporate marketing at Strathclyde Business School (where he was the Director of the International Centre for Corporate Identity Studies) and at Bradford School of Management and has also run executive-level MBA electives for organisations such as the BBC, and Emirates Airways. He was the first Director of the landmark MSc in Corporate Brand Management at Brunel Business School and oversaw the development and introduction of the MSc in Applied Corporate Brand Management at Brunel. He serves as Chairman of the Senior Consulting Editorial Board for Journal of Brand Management and sits on the Senior Advisory Board of the Journal of Product and Brand Management.  He has served as a reviewer for The British Academy and for research proposals of various overseas grant-awarding academic bodies. He is an External Assessor to the Department of Marketing at the University of Malaya which is viewed as Malaysia's premier university.

Of the 10 most cited articles in the European Journal of Marketing: two are by Professor Balmer (one single and one jointly-authored article) viz: "Corporate identity, corporate branding and corporate marketing: seeing through the fog" and "Corporate brands: What are they? What of them?" Additionally, his single-authored article, "Corporate identity and the advent of corporate marketing" is the 10th most cited article in the Journal of Marketing Management.

His published work has been cited more than 23,653 times and he has a goole h-index of 62 and an  i-10 index of 124. Currently he has in excess of 201,200 reads on ResearchGate.


PhD: Doctor of Philosophy (University of Strathclyde, Scotland).

MBA(Dunelm): Master of Business Administation (University of Durham-Collingwood College, England).

BA(Hons): Bachelor of Arts with Honours (University of Reading, England).

PGCE(Dunelm): Postgraduate Certificate in Education (University of Durham-University College, England).

DipM: Diploma in Marketing (Chartered Institute of Marketing-London, England).

AMusTCL: Diploma (Trinity College, London).


Director of the Marketing & Corporate Brand Research Group, Brunel Business School                                            

Founder and Chairman/Conference Organiser of the International Corporate Identity Group "ICIG"( est 1994).      

Founder and Chairman/Conference Organiser of the International Corporate Heritage Symposium (est 2012).     

Chairman of the Board of Senior Consulting Editors: Journal of Brand Management






Newest selected publications

Balmer, JMT., Mahmoud, R. and Chen, W. (2019) 'Impact of multilateral place dimensions on corporate brand attractiveness and identification in higher education: business school insights.'. Journal of Business Research, 98. ISSN: 0148-2963 Open Access Link

Journal article

Balmer, JMT. and Burghausen, M. (2018) 'MARKETING, THE PAST AND CORPORATE HERITAGE'. Marketing Theory, 19 (2). pp. 217 - 227. ISSN: 1470-5931 Open Access Link

Journal article

Dey, BL., Balmer, JMT., Pandit, A. and Saren, M. (2018) 'Selfie appropriation by young British South Asian adults: reifying, endorsing and reinforcing dual cultural identity in social media'. Information Technology and People, 31 (2). pp. 482 - 506. ISSN: 0959-3845 Open Access Link

Journal article

Balmer, JMT. (2018) 'Wally Olins 1930-2014'. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford..Open Access Link

Journal article

Balmer, JMT. (2017) 'Advances in corporate brand, corporate heritage, corporate identity and corporate marketing scholarship.'. European Journal of Marketing, 51 (9-10). pp. 1462 - 1471. ISSN: 0309-0566 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(70)