Tegic importance should be placed on human capital

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tegic importance should be placed on human capital and innovativeness. In contrast, owner– managers could develop a strong organization brand image-driven SME brand by adopting an external primary brand positioning focus and comprehensive brand implementation, which emphasizes internal brand communication and ensuring consistent brand delivery, without ignoring brand enabling. To this end, owner– managers develop a customer-oriented corpo- rate culture in which employee-corporate cul- ture fit is critical. Further, the discussion has provided much practical guidance about selecting an appropri- ate brand management type, and about how to consider migrating from one brand type to another. In conclusion, the paper recognizes myriad possible strategic and operational paths for SMEs. To simplify and manage strategic choices, the paper offers a typology, which integrates strategic and operational components. Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research Although the findings of this study provide useful insights into SME brand management, some limitations and directions for future research exist. The first limitation arises from SME brand management knowledge gathered through managerial self-reports, which are potentially influenced by impression manage- ment of the informants (Eisenhardt and Graebner 2007). The second limitation results from contex- tual issues, since all cases except one were in service industries and all were located in a large regional city in South East Queensland, Australia. The third limitation pertains to the inability to generalize the research findings to the popula- tion of SMEs, as this was not the purpose of the study. Future research directions can include multi- case study research in other contexts. Quantita- tive designs could test the theory, enabling a sharper delineation between B2C and B2B firms. Longitudinal studies could track SME brands from entrepreneurial start-up to their growth phase, to gain clearer understanding of the brand management practices as the SME evolves. A longitudinal study could possibly shed light on the vexing question of whether the opportunistic type found in this study is a type in transition. References Aaker, D. A. (1992). “The Value of Brand Equity,” Journal of Business Strategy 13(4), 27–32. Abimbola, T. (2001). “Branding as a Competi- tive Strategy for Demand Management in SMEs,” Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship 3(2), 97–106. Abimbola, T., and A. Kocak (2007). “Brand, Organisation Identity and Reputation: SMEs M’ZUNGU, MERRILEES, AND MILLER 19
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as Expressive Organisations – A Resources- Based Perspective,” Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal 10(4), 416–430. Agostini, L., R. Filippini, and A. Nosella (2015). “Brand-Building Efforts and Their Associa- tion with SME Sales Performance,” Journal of Small Business Management 53(S1), 161–173. Argenti, P. A., and B. Druckenmiller (2004).
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