Promise king and grace 2008 punjaisri and wilson 2007

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promise (King and Grace 2008; Punjaisri and Wilson 2007, 2011; Roper and Davies 2010) and having proper incentives to maintain their on-brand behavior (Gulati 2007). (c) Consistent brand delivery . Implicit in the branding literature are the suggestions that keeping promises facilitates strong relation- ships with customers (Bitner 1995), enhances M’ZUNGU, MERRILEES, AND MILLER 5
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brand credibility and trust (Delgado-Ballester and Munuera-Aleman 2005), and creates a favorable reputation with stakeholders (Argenti and Druckenmiller 2004; Harris and de Chernatony 2001). Ensuring consistent brand delivery requires metrics and proce- dures to monitor brand delivery (Wirtz and Tomlin 2000), including the use of mystery shoppers (Wilson 2001). Stage 4: Brand Performance Assessment This stage is included to assess the corporate brand performance and provide management with feedback on the effectiveness of the corpo- rate brand strategy execution. Delivering supe- rior value to customers and meeting other stakeholders’ expectations leads to customer- based brand equity (Keller 1993, 2013), favor- able corporate brand reputation across stake- holders (de Chernatony 1999), and ultimately positive financial outcomes for the organization (Hooley et al. 2005). Assessing performance employs market-based measures, such as cus- tomer satisfaction, brand awareness, and brand loyalty (Aaker 1992; Keller 1993), financial measures such as sales and profit (Kapferer 2008) or a combination of market-based and financial measures (Feldwick 1996; Noor, Styles, and Cowley 2011). Stage 5: Gathering Environmental Feedback Gathering internal and external stakeholder feedback informs corporate strategy revisions to ensure that the brand stays relevant (Hoeffler and Keller 2002). Monitoring the brand for relevance is one of the important conventions of corporate branding (Knox and Bickerton 2003). Feedback can be gathered through formal means such as brand audits, involving customer, employees, and other stakeholder surveys, and informally through on-the-job manager-employee interactions. Research Methodology A qualitative, multi-case study research design, with the SME firm as the unit of analysis (Yin 2009) is suitable for an under-researched area aiming to generate a new theory (Eisenhardt and Graebner 2007). Case Selection SME cases, with sufficient variation and rich- ness of information, were purposefully selected to facilitate theory-building of SME brand management (Eisenhardt 1989). Cases were selected from a large Eastern Australian city in two stages. Both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) cases were included because our intention is to develop a more generalizable typology, one that spans both types of firms. Including both types of firms facilitates the diversity of brand manage- ment experiences that we are seeking. Ten high and average-performing B2B and B2C SME firms were selected in the first stage to achieve sufficient diversity (Yin 2009). High-per- forming cases were selected to meet criteria based on publicly available information, includ- ing (1) relatively high growth rate, (2) public
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