Corporate heritage institutions give successive generations a sense of identity. Professor John Balmer of Brunel Business School has coined the term “corporate heritage marketing” to describe organisations that have a rich history, and ability to link the past to the present. Heritage branding is concerned with the marketing of history with brands that represent a particular period – such as the British Monarchy, London Taxis and Harris Tweed.
Professor Balmer used a case study on the monarchy in Britain and Sweden to investigate key components of heritage brands. He argues that heritage marketing has become a core competency of many brands – capable of generating positive public emotions.
Trust, affinity and authenticity were found to be the competencies which maintain corporate heritage. Trust concerns the level of confidence between the brand and the public. Affinity relates to awareness of the public’s concerns and authenticity suggests the importance of the enduring identity traits. His work has led to a new conceptual model within the field of marketing.
Professor Balmer has been approached by many Royal households, as well as the Japanese and Spanish media, to comment on Royal families across the world in the context of heritage branding. This work allows long standing brands to become more effective– enabling them to grow and develop during changing times. Professor Balmer’s work has given academics and organisations a new way of conceptualising established organisations with a history in order to increase consumer loyalty and satisfaction.