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Spry, L; Pich, C; Armannsdottir, G (2016)
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Corporate brands can be seen as an amalgamation of three related yet distinct elements namely internal identity, external image and external reputation (Balmer and Greyser 2003; Harris and de Chernatony 2001; Spry 2014). Existing research has tended to focus on internal identity and external image with very few studies devoted to the exploration of external reputation and how the concept relates to external image. A strong, clear consistent reputation has the potential to offer a competitive advantage and is considered an organisation's most valuable asset (Dowling 1993; Firestein 2006; Spry 2014). Therefore understanding a corporate brand’s reputation is surely crucial in determining consistency with short-term image and coherency with identity and assessing its overall authenticity. This paper will examine the interrelatedness of corporate reputation and image within the context of political branding. However, this also raises the question of how to investigate external brand reputation. A number of authors (Fombrun and van Riel; 2004; Davies et al, 2001) draw on metaphors for reputation such as Davies et al (2001) who use the metaphor "magnet" as reputation helps attract different types of stakeholders. To add to the body of knowledge, this pa'er seeks to generate insight into the UK Conservative Party’s brand reputation prior the 2015 UK General Election, building on the work of Pich et al (2015) who used qualitative projective techniques to understand the Conservative Party's brand's image before the 2010 UK General Election. The paper will offer insight into the political brand’s current reputation and reveal how the external image has influenced its development over the five year electoral cycle. The findings have implications not only for political parties but also for politicians, candidates and other political entities as this study offers a framework that not only supports the understanding of political brand reputation but outlines how the brand image has contributed to the way in which it has developed over the last 5 years. The paper will review and refine the concept of brand reputation and illustrate how to investigate the external orientation of a corporate brand. This study will demonstrate that qualitative projective techniques can be a useful tool to explore more than a brand’s image but also a brand's long-term reputation.
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