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The interplay between SME owner-managers and the brand as a person.

Centeno, E. and Cambra, F.J. and Vazquez, C.R. and Hart, S. and Dinnie, K. (2019) 'The interplay between SME owner-managers and the brand as a person.', Journal of product & brand management., 28 (4). p. 555.


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the largely unexplored conceptualisation of the brand-as-a-person metaphor in small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by examining its potential relation with the SME owner-manager, the pathways to its creation and development and the intuitive nature of this relationship. Design/methodology/approach: A grounded theory approach was used, and data were collected through a set of 36 semi-structured interviews with 30 SME owner-managers in various sectors in Mexico. Findings: The results indicate that SME owner-managers intuitively humanise their brands. The study revealed four pathways to develop the brand-as-a-person metaphor in the SME context: through personality traits, tastes and preferences, abilities and knowledge and values, all suggesting that SMEs’ brand-as-a-person metaphors are largely an extension of their owner-managers. Research limitations/implications: The paper presents a theoretical framework that illustrates the four pathways to the creation and development of brand-as-a-person that are derived from the brand’s relationship with the SME owner-manager. The results of cross-industry semi-structured interviews are limited to a single culture context. Practical implications: SME owner-managers should first undertake an introspective personal assessment of their intuitive and conscious decision-making, as SME owner-managers often make decisions in an intuitive way. The results suggest that they should act in a more conscious, responsible and rational way when formulating their brand strategies. Originality/value: This is the first study to clarify the profound influence of SME owner-managers’ personal characteristics, including personality traits, tastes and preferences, abilities and knowledge and values, on the brand-as-a-person metaphor. This study also confirms the intuitive learning strategy formulation of SME owner-managers’ branding practices and SMEs’ need for a more rational approach to branding.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Date accepted:15 February 2019
Date deposited:14 May 2019
Date of first online publication:19 June 2019
Date first made open access:19 June 2019

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