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Title: Corporate heritage brands, augmented role identity and customer satisfaction
Authors: Balmer, JMT
Chen, WF
Keywords: Corporate brand;Corporate heritage;China;Customer satisfaction
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Emerald
Citation: European Journal of Marketing, pp. 1-13, (2017)
Abstract: Purpose: Adopting a corporate heritage marketing perspective, this indicative study examines the impact of the theoretical notions of a corporate heritage brand and augmented role identity on customer satisfaction. Preliminary research insights are based on Tong Ren Tang (TRT): China’s most celebrated traditional Chinese medicine company (established in Beijing in 1669). Design/Methodology/Approach: An indicative, survey-based case study methodology undertaken with Chinese customers. Findings: It was found that TRT’s corporate heritage brand and its attendant augmented (imperial) role identity were both salient in terms of customer satisfaction. This further suggests the significance of the theoretical notions of corporate heritage brand and augmented role identity. Significantly and interestingly (in the Chinese context), Tong Ren Tang’s augmented imperial role identity was not only highly salient but, moreover, meaningfully enhanced the organisation’s corporate reputation in terms of customer satisfaction. Theoretical implications: Lends further support for the utility of the notion of corporate heritage/corporate heritage brands and in particular the saliency of the theoretical notion of augmented role identity within the broad corporate heritage marketing field. Originality/Value: One of the first empirical studies examining a Chinese corporate heritage brand entity. The study marks new ground in examining customer satisfaction from the theoretical perspectives of corporate heritage brand and augmented role identity. It is believed that this is the first study to consider corporate heritage in the pharmaceutical sector and marks new ground in considering the saliency of China’s imperial legacy on an extant, highly successful and high profile-Chinese corporate heritage brand. Management Implications: a positive corporate heritage brand (and its attendant augmented role identity/ies) represents a salient dimension vis-à-vis customer satisfaction. Corporate marketing managers within corporate heritage institutions need to be apprised of the attractiveness of their organisations’ corporate heritage brands and their roles in burnishing an organisation’s attractiveness. Managers should also determine the natures and saliencies of the attendant augmented role identities of corporate heritage brands. Practically, in the context of corporate heritage organisations, extant marketing management mixes need to be adapted when applied to corporate heritage institutions (to encompass, for example, the additional P of provenance). Limitations and Further Research: commensurate with a preliminary study of this kind, the findings should be considered as provisional. Additional studies could utilise and build on the approach detailed here. More expansive studies could build on the research insights in other national and sectoral contexts.
ISSN: 0309-0566
Appears in Collections:Brunel Business School Research Papers

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