Business & Management Studies

Corporate brand alignment in business markets: a practice perspective

The key practices concerning brand alignment include practices of identifying and engaging key stakeholders, and narrativization of brand promises, says this study.


Piyush Pranjal, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.

Soumya Sarkar, Indian Institute of Management Ranchi, Jharkhand, India.


The purpose of this paper is to study practices associated with corporate brand alignment enacted by marketing managers in an emerging business to business market.

The “Marketing-as-practice” perspective is used to examine brand alignment-related practices. A five-month fieldwork was undertaken wherein primary data were collected using in-depth interviews of 30 managers representing steel, mining, energy, engineering consulting and Information Technology/Information Technology-Enabled Services’ sectors along with observational data from event sites and industry meets. Secondary data stemmed from marketing plans and events’ rosters. Data were analysed adopting the practice turn.

The constitution of three practices concerning brand alignment is unearthed: (1) practice of identifying key stakeholders, (2) practice of narrativization of brand promises and (3) practice of engaging key stakeholders.

This study highlights the dynamic nature of corporate brand alignment requiring a continuous gap analysis to verify coherency between internal and external brand elements. It also highlights the elicited relation between alignment, authenticity and advocacy. Suggestions for further research are provided.

This study elucidates managers’ role as intrapreneurs in the process of alignment and provides a possible solution to the new marketing myopia which impairs stakeholder management.

This research identifies that brand alignment is not an abstract concept but a set of practices that help convert the symbolic capital held in brands into cultural and social capital.

Published in: Marketing Intelligence & Planning

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