Marketing & PR: Brand New Day for Marketing Research; We Are at the Very Beginning of Its Life, but We Already Have Some Very Big Projects under Way Prof Leslie De Chernatony
Byline: Colin Lewis
The University of Birmingham is poised to become a national think-tank for research into branding, one of the most fashionable - and controversial - subjects in the marketing repertoire.
The Centre for Research in Brand Marketing is the brainchild of Prof Leslie de Chernatony, who made his name as a researcher in branding at the Open University, where he set up a similar centre for branding research.
'The centre is going to act as a focal point for people interested in gaining from the value of brand management. It will allow us all to pull together and pool our knowledge,' said Prof de Chernatony, who was appointed to the chair of brand marketing last October.
He said that the centre at Birmingham was founded 'to help advance knowledge about best practice in brand management.' Other major objectives would be to enable researchers and commercial practitioners to exchange ideas, to help provide more direction and to encourage high-quality, well-grounded research which benefits both the practitioner and academic community.
Although very much part of the university's academic life, the centre will be 'very open to the commercial community in the region', according to Prof de Chernatony.
'The commercial people will gain, because they get a lot of pragmatic advice on projects, and we will gain because we advance knowledge of the subject and disseminate that knowledge.'
The new centre already has its own web site and a research and administrative staff of more than 20. 'We are at the very beginning of its life, but we already have some very big projects under way.'
Prof de Chernatony said that talks were being held with a major Birmingham organisation to pursue a joint project on branding research in the product sector and another investigating the way services brands can be built and sustained.
Another project was centred on understanding how managers can achieve better brand performance by managing the gap between brand identity and brand reputation. …