Gehani, R., 2016. “corporate Brand Value Shifting from Identity to Innovation Capability: from Coca-Cola to Apple”. Journal of Technology Management and Innovation, 11(3), Pp. 11-20

Critical Journal Article ReviewGehani, R., 2016. “Corporate Brand Value Shifting from Identity to Innovation Capability: from Coca-Cola to Apple”. Journal of Technology Management and Innovation, 11(3), pp. 11-20.        The ability to build a robust corporate brand and to sustain it through volatile, fast-paced, and unpredictable global markets has proved to be key to a company’s success. In this article, R. Gehani, Professor of Management at the University of Akron, aims to analyse and decipher the evolution of the corporate brand value of several multinational enterprises, with a view to understanding what makes them rise or plummet. His central argument is that a brand’s value now relies heavily on the company’s capacity to innovate in dynamic digital ages, rather than on the outdated constituents of “heritage, legacy and corporate identity”. The author sets out to use the examples of four major companies that have managed to create and preserve a strong corporate brand value, as well as to draw on the academic literature as his research methods. The author’s main argument, as well as his assumptions, methods, findings and conclusion will be analysed, discussed, and critically reviewed in this essay. It will be attempted to demonstrate that however necessary and practically useful it may be to determine what makes a company’s image attractive and valuable, the methodology utilised and the lack of precise definition or acceptation of what corporate brand value is may have undermined the author’s design.

This critical evaluation will be divided into three components, following the article’s sequence: a discussion on the concepts of “corporate brand value” and “innovation”, around which the paper is centred; an examination of the research methods used and their relevance; and finally, an argumentation on the author’s findings, their practical meanings and limits. Corporate Brand Value and Innovation: An Uncertain DefinitionGehani’s paper intends to redefine what constitutes “corporate brand value” nowadays, but tends to remain unclear about the disputed concept of corporate brand and the way it is valued. A brand is traditionally defined as a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers” (American Marketing Association, 2016). As for a “corporate brand”, it is more than a mere distinctive sign: it is a “brand that spans the entire company (which can also have disparate underlying product brands). It conveys expectations of what the company will deliver in terms of products, services, and customer experience” (Argenti, A., and Druckenmiller, B., 2004). It is therefore close to the concept of “reputation” as the collective representation of a company’s image. Gehani’s presentation sometimes leads to confusion as he makes use interchangeably of brands as distinctive signs (e.g. logos of Budweiser and Anheuser-Busch, p11) and corporate brand as the company’s reputation that transcends its collection of products or services (e.g. Kodak’s brand value, p12). The former belongs to marketing whereas the latter relates to corporate strategy. Although the author acknowledges that “a growing distinction is being made between managing a product brand in the marketing department, and governing a corporate brand by the firm’s strategic leadership”, this dichotomy would have deserved better clarification earlier in the text.

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