Professor John M T Balmer and Dr Sharifah Alwi consulted on New York Times article on the monarchy

In May, a London correspondent for the New York Times consulted Brunel Business School’s monarchical marketing authority Professor John M.T. Balmer along with Dr Sharifah Alwiwho is known for her corporate branding work, apropos an article on the positive associations of the Crown on properties/districts.

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Dr Alwi provided background contexts for the article whilst the reporter drew on Professor Balmer’s published and bespoke quotes which were incorporated into the article. As such, Professor Balmer noted that “Even in countries where there is no longer a monarchy, a monarchical or Royal association can still be meaningful,” and went on to reflect, “After all, even in republican France the President still lives in a Palace.” Professor Balmer noted that Queen Elizabeth is,celebrity brand name without parallel,” and also“a global personality marque without compare.”By means of context he noted how, “HM Queen Elizabeth II has the most reproduced brand image of any individual since Jesus Christ  –  a brand profile that adorns currencies and stamps from Australia to Vanuatu, a profile that is truly global and is undeniably ubiquitous.” 


In marketing terms, Professor Balmer reflected, the British Crown’s status as a “top-notchcorporate heritage brand can directly or informally endorse not only products, services and corporations but also places that may confer distinctiveness and prestige.


With particular reference to the article’s focus Professor Balmer noted, “Traditionally the aristocracy and the wealthy wished to be near the center of Royal power so even with the passage of time an area like St James’s in London still has some of the swishest shops and residences in London.”  


The article was published on 26th June, 2019, and can be found here.


Professor John MT Balmer has written a significant number of articles on The Crown/The Monarchy as corporate brands, and aims to publish a small anthology on the territory (published by Routledge), He has also delivered a seminar of the Monarchy at Harvard Business School with Professor Stephen A. Greyser (former visiting Professor at Brunel University). In addition, he has contributed to a major overview of the British Monarchy in the leading quality German newspaper Die Weltas well as a documentary on Australian public service broadcaster ABC, and has also been approached by Sky News, among others. In a landmark study, he worked with the Swedish Monarchy (with colleagues from Harvard Business School and Lund University Sweden) in the early 2000s which resulted in the formal articulation of the Monarchy as a Corporate Brand notion along with the Corporate Heritage Brand concept.


Dr Sharifah Alwi is known for her work on corporate branding, and in particular for her published output in leading journals. Earlier on this year she has led corporate branding workshops for practitioners in Malaysia. She is particularly renowned for her scholarship on the corporate brand image notion. Until recently she was the Director of the MSc in Corporate Brand Management.

Professor Balmer co-organises a major corporate brand identity symposium at the University of Durham Business School

Brunel Business School’s Professor of Corporate Marketing, Professor John M.T. Balmer, was the co-organiser of the 21st International Corporate Identity Group (ICIG) Symposium, held at Durham University Business School, from 4-6 June, 2019. Professor Balmer established the symposium in 1994 and is the Chairman as well as founder of the ICIG. The symposium was hosted by Professor Xinming He (Professor of Marketing) of Durham University.


The symposium attracted leading coporate branding/identity scholars from the US, Continental Europe and from the UK. Professor Balmer remarked:

Holding this year’s symposium at Durham Business School was propitious since it was just over 30 years ago that I was reading for an MBA at Durham and it was during my time there that my interest in corporate identity was nurtured. The rest is history! The symposium always attracts leading scholars from around the world and this year was no exception”


Subsequently, Professor Balmer took his PhD from Strathclyde University and went on to hold personal chairs in corporate identity (Bradford School of Management) and then corporate brand/identity management (Bradford School of Management) followed by a chair in corporate marketing (Brunel University London). All three personal chairs are the first of their kind globally.


Among leading scholars attending the event included Professor Stephen A. Greyser (Harvard Business School); Professor Tim Brexendorf (WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management); Professor Alan Wilson (University of Strathclyde); Professor Angela Bargenda (ESCE Paris);  Professor TC Melewar (Middlesex); Professor Joachim Kernstock (St Gallen, Switzerland) and our own Dr Sharifah Alwi and Dr Weifeng Chen.


Three Brunel PhD alumnus also attended: Dr Mario Burghausen (University of Essex); Dr Pantea Foroudi (Middlesex) and Dr Ammar Sammour (Coventry University).


The conference dinner was held in the Senate Suite, University College where Professor Balmer was a student.

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