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Monarchies as corporate brands

Balmer, John M. T.; Greyser, Stephen A and Urde, Mats LU (2004) In Working papers series 05-002.
Abstract
This paper explores monarchies through a corporate branding lens. It is based on extensive field interviewing of individuals with knowledge and experience in what we (not they) term “managing the Crown as a brand,” including senior members of the Swedish Royal Court and the Swedish Royal Family. It also draws from literature regarding monarchies across a range of disciplines beyond management; we found no previous brand-related literature on the topic. The principal questions we examined were:

• What makes the Crown (monarchy) a brand (especially one similar to a corporate brand)?
• How has the positioning of the monarch and monarchy (the Crown) evolved over time in terms of relationships with the nation and the people?
•... (More)
This paper explores monarchies through a corporate branding lens. It is based on extensive field interviewing of individuals with knowledge and experience in what we (not they) term “managing the Crown as a brand,” including senior members of the Swedish Royal Court and the Swedish Royal Family. It also draws from literature regarding monarchies across a range of disciplines beyond management; we found no previous brand-related literature on the topic. The principal questions we examined were:

• What makes the Crown (monarchy) a brand (especially one similar to a corporate brand)?
• How has the positioning of the monarch and monarchy (the Crown) evolved over time in terms of relationships with the nation and the people?
• What are the essential attributes of the Crown as a brand—what we term the “royal 5R’s”?
• What are the core values and the brand promise of a monarchy, its covenant with its people?
• What roles can communications play in supporting/defending the Crown?
• How are concepts from branding employed to build and protect the Crown?
• How does and should a monarchy judge “How are we doing?”
• What can threaten a monarchy as a brand?
• What conclusions emerge from the above regarding understanding and managing monarchies as brands?

Our conclusion is that the monarchy, as a institution, is very much like a corporate brand, including amenability to being managed in a manner analogous to that for a corporate brand, especially one with a heritage. Among the twelve other key conclusions are:

• A monarchy’s strength rests significantly in its symbolic nature and its use of symbols.
• The monarchy as an entity transcends the reigning monarch as a “brandrooted institution.”
• A constitutional monarchy depends upon its people’s and parliament’s approval and willingness to support it. These are the primary criteria for assessing the performance of individual monarchies.
• The Crown can be threatened by reputational trouble leading to erosion of public approval and support for the institution, as is the case for corporate and nonprofit brands.
• Managing a modern monarchy’s “brand image” requires balancing responsiveness to high media interest and the need to maintain respect and relevance in a time when the public seeks a less remote monarchy.
• “Managed visibility” on behalf of the Crown is done without traditional corporate advertising and public relations; however, proactive management of its identity and image can reduce the risk of reputational erosion.
• There is a key difference between branding on behalf of monarchies compared to companies. Companies try to employ branding concepts to leverage their brands in order to improve their financial balance sheets and shareholder value. In contrast, we think a monarchy typically can be seen as trying to employ them to enhance the country’s social balance sheet and core values. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
monarchies, corporate brand management, reputation, communication, history of brands
in
Working papers series
volume
05-002
pages
40 pages
publisher
Harvard Business School
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
25aca1a9-4f7e-479d-8a3d-dbecaa4ae714
date added to LUP
2016-09-05 17:36:31
date last changed
2017-06-29 11:27:00
@misc{25aca1a9-4f7e-479d-8a3d-dbecaa4ae714,
  abstract     = {This paper explores monarchies through a corporate branding lens. It is based on extensive field interviewing of individuals with knowledge and experience in what we (not they) term “managing the Crown as a brand,” including senior members of the Swedish Royal Court and the Swedish Royal Family. It also draws from literature regarding monarchies across a range of disciplines beyond management; we found no previous brand-related literature on the topic. The principal questions we examined were:<br/><br/>• What makes the Crown (monarchy) a brand (especially one similar to a corporate brand)?<br/>• How has the positioning of the monarch and monarchy (the Crown) evolved over time in terms of relationships with the nation and the people?<br/>• What are the essential attributes of the Crown as a brand—what we term the “royal 5R’s”?<br/>• What are the core values and the brand promise of a monarchy, its covenant with its people?<br/>• What roles can communications play in supporting/defending the Crown?<br/>• How are concepts from branding employed to build and protect the Crown?<br/>• How does and should a monarchy judge “How are we doing?”<br/>• What can threaten a monarchy as a brand?<br/>• What conclusions emerge from the above regarding understanding and managing monarchies as brands?<br/><br/>Our conclusion is that the monarchy, as a institution, is very much like a corporate brand, including amenability to being managed in a manner analogous to that for a corporate brand, especially one with a heritage. Among the twelve other key conclusions are:<br/><br/>• A monarchy’s strength rests significantly in its symbolic nature and its use of symbols.<br/>• The monarchy as an entity transcends the reigning monarch as a “brandrooted institution.”<br/>• A constitutional monarchy depends upon its people’s and parliament’s approval and willingness to support it. These are the primary criteria for assessing the performance of individual monarchies.<br/>• The Crown can be threatened by reputational trouble leading to erosion of public approval and support for the institution, as is the case for corporate and nonprofit brands.<br/>• Managing a modern monarchy’s “brand image” requires balancing responsiveness to high media interest and the need to maintain respect and relevance in a time when the public seeks a less remote monarchy.<br/>• “Managed visibility” on behalf of the Crown is done without traditional corporate advertising and public relations; however, proactive management of its identity and image can reduce the risk of reputational erosion.<br/>• There is a key difference between branding on behalf of monarchies compared to companies. Companies try to employ branding concepts to leverage their brands in order to improve their financial balance sheets and shareholder value. In contrast, we think a monarchy typically can be seen as trying to employ them to enhance the country’s social balance sheet and core values.},
  author       = {Balmer, John M. T. and Greyser, Stephen A and Urde, Mats},
  keyword      = {monarchies,corporate brand management,reputation,communication,history of brands},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  pages        = {40},
  publisher    = {Harvard Business School },
  series       = {Working papers series},
  title        = {Monarchies as corporate brands},
  volume       = {05-002},
  year         = {2004},
}