Celebrating the life of Wally Olins (1930–2014): Leading corporate identity exponent and prominent brand proponent

by Professor John Balmer

1994, Wally Olins and Professor John Balmer at the 1st Symposium – Corporate Identity: “Towards the Millennium”

Professor John M.T. Balmer (Professor of Corporate Marketing at Brunel Business School) has penned the first, in-depth, critique on Wallace (Wally) Olins CBE: the legendary British corporate writer and consultant, in an edition of the Journal of Brand Management.

In his analysis Professor Balmer (who is credited with the formal introduction of the corporate brand construct in 1995 in his seminal article in the Journal of General Management) concludes that Olins was not only a towering figure within marketing from the 1970s onwards but was, in his estimation, a leading figure of what Balmer terms “The English Corporate Marketing Revolution”.

Wally Olins not only helped to shape the corporate identities and brands of numerous organisations but also helped to shape an industry. Importantly, his binary insights on corporate identity inspired and influenced the first wave of scholars working in the business identity and corporate marketing domains: many of whom are – or have been – members of the marketing faculty at Brunel Business School, Brunel University London.

Professor Balmer’s full analysis on Wally Olins is available online from the Journal of Brand Management

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