Brand implementation emphasizes brand deliv ery to

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Brand implementation emphasizes brand deliv- ery to exploit market opportunities quickly, often through the expertise of independent external partners, for example, in both the Training Com- pany and Tuition & Resume Company . These independent “experts” are neither informed about the SME brand values nor trained to deliver the brand. Minimal monitoring of brand delivery is done through simple methods, such as the owner– manager of Tuition and Resume Company perus- ing r ± esum ± es before sending them to customers. In ISO-certified Sustainable Events Consultancy and government-regulated Training Company , inter- nal and external audits are mandated and are also used as the de facto means of monitoring brand delivery. Passive leadership style prevails, where owner–managers are less hands-on and use con- venient opportunistic recruitment and selection methods, such as in Tuition and Resume Com- pany and Sustainable Events Consultancy . Financial criteria, such as sales and profit growth, are primarily used to assess perform- ance. Nonfinancial criteria, when are less clearly defined and seem to pertain to entrepreneurial aspirations, such as achieving a specific training network size in Training Company , hosting a large but unspecified number of green events in Sustainable Events Consultancy , and achieving a high but unspecified number of customer referrals in Tuition and Resume Company . Informal means are predominantly used to obtain external and internal feedback. External M’ZUNGU, MERRILEES, AND MILLER 11
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feedback is gathered through the network activ- ities of the owner–managers, such as in Train- ing Company and Sustainable Events Consultancy . Internal feedback is gathered through informal conversations with employees and brand delivery partners. Table 3 summarizes the findings for two of the four types, which have relatively strong SME brand management types. They are organization brand identity-driven and organization brand image-driven. The other two relatively weak SME brand management types, operations-driven and opportunistic, are summarized in Table 4. Discussion The discussion is divided into three parts. First, we discuss using the typology to guide SME strategy and implementation. Second, we articulate why selected case research SMEs adopt particular brand management types. Third, the discussion also examines the notion of SMEs transitioning from one type to another, and why and how they might do so. Using the Typology to Guide SME Strategy and Implementation The power of the new classificatory model is that firms can leverage it as an analytical tool to guide their strategy and implementation. Table 5 illustrates such a process. Table 5 starts with arguably the most complex SME brand-type, the SME brand identity-driven type. A sophisticated and comprehensive internal-driven approach drives strategy. Internal capabilities are critical to achieve brand reputation and emphasize employees as strategic resources. The brand type is very suitable and relevant for B2B pro- fessional services, such as consultancies. How-
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  • Brand, SME Brand, holistic understanding of brand management

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