Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Human Roles and Communication Strategies of Corporate Identity Performance: Enhancing Global Image, Leadership, and Legacy of a High-Tech Leader

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Human Roles and Communication Strategies of Corporate Identity Performance: Enhancing Global Image, Leadership, and Legacy of a High-Tech Leader

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This paper proposes a notion of corporate identity as strategic management and marketing performance by individuals, specifically one kind of performance that integrates business goals with philanthropic motivations. The integrative model of corporate identity management posited by Cornelissen and Elving (2003) is distinctive for attempting to "relate corporate identity dimensions to the management processes of deciding on a positioning strategy, and of developing codes of conduct and communication programs, as well as shaping organizational and environmental characteristics". We conducted a survey of the literature on corporate identity, corporate identity management, corporate social responsibility, and communication strategy. We then studied information available on the websites of four information and communication technology leaders; and after several iterations of exploring and learning via navigation of the websites, focused on one organization: Microsoft. This case study research is based on a content analysis of Microsoft's Unlimited Potential's website. Four strategies in Microsoft's corporate identity marketing performance become apparent: global intellectual exchange, story-telling and blogging, training, and partnerships.

INTRODUCTION

Corporate identity is an important component of corporate-level marketing, which is itself an under-investigated concept within marketing (Mukherjee and He, 2008). New requirements of business growth and product development have created the need for rethinking known approaches to corporate identity, product design, research, distribution, partnership, and even business models. Earlier, many scholars (e.g. Karaosmanoglu and Melewar, 2006) noted that different ways of creating competitive advantage are needed. In addition to opportunities created by newly-opened markets, mergers and acquisitions, more sophisticated consumers, the increase in competition, and crises such as the unraveling of US giants such as Enron, Arthur Anderson, and Tyson Foods also forced companies and governments in the US and around the world to seek a greater understanding of their business and what corporate and social responsibility (CSR) means. Furthermore, for high-technology leaders, their fortunes depend to a large extent on investments in intangible capital - intellectual and marketing assets - different from other industries. Rao (2005) argued that especially for high-tech firms, marketing capital is complementary to intellectual capital (research and development, human resources, and organizational practices); because it is only by creating and sustaining a distinctive corporate identity through difficult-to-imitate marketing strategies that the successful innovators can protect themselves against imitators and the appropriability problem. The objective of this paper is to explore the pursuit and presentation management of a particular corporate identity and its desired effect on the market and strategic behavior of a high-tech leader.

Corporate identity is strategically related to marketing at the corporate level by connotatively including marketing's concern with corporate entities in their totality, including networks and partnerships ((Mukherjee and He, 2008). Whereas Mukherjee and He (2008) outlined a conceptual framework that proposes corporate identity as an individual-level perception and having multiple routes that translate it from the minds of their beholders to performance, our paper proposes a notion of corporate identity as strategic management and marketing performance by individuals, specifically one kind of performance that integrates business goals with philanthropic motivations. It is the concept behind the work OLPC is doing with their XO computer. It is the philosophy behind Intel's World Ahead program. Similarly, Microsoft is fulfilling corporate and social responsibility through a variety of approaches that are also creating competitive advantage resources. …

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