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Dale Miller is senior lecturer in the Department of Marketing at Griffith University. Address correspondence to: B. Merrilees, Department of Marketing, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, QLD 4222, Australia. E-mail: [email protected] M’ZUNGU, MERRILEES, AND MILLER 1 Journal of Small Business Management 2017 00(00), pp. 00–00 doi: 10.1111/jsbm.12387
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management. This study seeks to close this knowledge gap. Taking a holistic perspective can enhance our understanding of SME brand management. Specifically, the typology, which emerged from our case study research, has reflected the strate- gic positioning aspect and operative implemen- tation aspect of SME corporate branding. This structured knowledge can improve the corpo- rate brand management competency of SME managers, to develop and safeguard brand equity in the long term (M’zungu, Merrilees, and Miller 2010), and enhance the economic contri- bution of the SME sector. The research question for this study is: How is the SME brand managed from both strategic and operational perspectives? The study contrib- utes a new typology that extends SME brand management knowledge. Two dimensions struc- ture the typology, representing strategic and operational perspectives, respectively, namely primary strategic orientation (either internal or external) and brand management capability (either strong or weak). Four SME brand man- agement types emerge from data analysis. The findings have practical implications for SME owner–managers, who can use them to make better-informed brand management decisions to develop and sustain SME brand equity. A review of the SME branding literature to canvass the salient themes within the domain leads the paper. This review shows a domain in an emergent phase, where a sound theoretical framework for investigating both strategic and operational perspectives of SME brand manage- ment is still missing. Therefore, developing the conceptual framework for this study is the next task. A multiple case study research design adopted is then outlined, followed by the pre- sentation of the research findings and their dis- cussion. Theoretical contributions and managerial implications are discussed in the concluding sections of the paper. SME Branding Literature Review There is consensus among SME branding researchers that the field is under-researched. Table 1 depicts the emerging research in the field in chronological order, to show its evolu- tion. The review highlights SME brand building approach, role of the founder and discusses the current SME branding typologies. Brand-building efforts have a positive effect on the sales performance of SMEs (Agostini, Filippini, and Nosella 2015). Although SME branding is considered an important strategic entrepreneurial strategy to foster innovativeness and demand for products, it is relatively simple compared to branding in large organizations (Abimbola 2001). SME branding simplicity is attributed to limited financial resources to undertake relevant market research (Merrilees 2007). SME branding is often limited to visual
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  • Brand, SME Brand, holistic understanding of brand management

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