Professor John M.T. Balmer (Professor of Corporate Marketing) accepted an invitation from Professor Klement Podnar (Professor/Chair of Marketing Communications and Public Relations) at the University of Ljubljana, to visit during the week commencing 14th October, 2019.
University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
During his visit, Professors Balmer and Podnar worked on a number of collaborative initiatives. Currently they are both serving as guest editors of a special edition of the Journal of Business Research, which draws on papers presented at the 20th International Corporate Identity Group (ICIG) Symposium. The Symposium was held in Slovenia last year, and hosted by Professor Podnar.
Professor Balmer is the Founder and Chairman of the ICIG.
Andrew Martin, celebrated author of the books “Night Trains”and “Belles and Whistles,” which variously focus on the world’s iconic overnight train sleeper services, delivered a guest lecture to students on the MSc Corporate Brand elective on Corporate Brand Management and Consultancy on February 5th.
Picture shows Andrew Martin (centre) and Dr Sharifah Alwi with MSc Corporate Brand students
The guest lecture was at the suggestion of Professor John M.T. Balmer and was organised by Dr Sharifah Alwi (programme leader). Dr Alwi noted:
“This was a superb lecture which captivated and entranced all of us. Andrew Martin provided an authoritative overview of Night Train sleeper services and gave insightful answers to students who are working on a real-time project on the British Caledonian Sleeper service.”
Professor John Balmer added:
“Andrew was a natural choice to give the guest lecture for this elective given his widely recognised expertise on sleeper services. Having heard him speak about his work on BBC Radio 4 it was readily apparent that here was someone who could provide in-depth insights on the Caledonian Sleeper company with verve and passion which can be found in his writing on railways including his railway detective novels about Jim Stringer. I know the students were thrilled that he read extracts from his books during his guest lecture. This is something, I believe, the students will always remember.”
As part of their three-day project field visit to Scotland, focusing on the iconic Caledonian Sleeper train service, twenty students on the MSc course in Corporate Brand Management were invited by Kim-Thain (Marketing Manager)and Jane-Spencer (Guest Relations Manager) to visit the company’s headquarters in Inverness, on January 30th.
During their visit, the postgraduate students were given presentations by Kim Thain and Jane Spencer, and this was followed by an extensive Q&A session. Earlier that morning, the students had travelled from Fort William to Inverness on a two-hour coach journey through the dramatic, snow-covered, Scottish Highland countryside and passed Loch Ness.
Photo taken in Caledonian Sleepers’ HQ showing Marketing Manager Kim-Thain and Guest Relation Manager, Jane-Spencer at Caledonian Office, Invernessalong with MSc Corporate Brand students and Dr Sharifah Alwi and Professor John M.T Balmer
The field visit was organised by Dr. Sharifah Alwi (programme leader) and Professor John MT Balmer who jointly teach the elective on Corporate Brand Management and Consulting. The organisers would like to express their sincerest appreciation to the Head of Brunel Business School, Professor Jane Hendy and to the Director for Teaching and Learning, Dr. Grigorios Theodosopoulos for their support for this academic trip.
On the evening of Monday, 28th January, 20 postgraduate students on the MSc in Corporate Brand Management boarded the celebrated Caledonian Sleeper service from London’s Euston Station to Fort William. This is ‘the best overnight sleeper journey in the world according’, according to Lonely Planet.
The journey was part of their “live” case study assignment of the Caledonian Sleeper corporate brand, for their elective module on corporate brand consultancy and management. In selecting this iconic train brand for the assignment, Professor Balmer noted:
“The Caledonian Sleeper brand is a perfect case for our postgraduates in that whilst the corporate brand is small in scope it enjoys a global iconic heritage status. Moreover, at a time when most countries are ending their sleeper services, this brand is being reinvigorated with a 150 million pound investment which will see the introduction of new, state of the art, en-suite sleeper carriages which will come into service later on this year. We will be traveling on the 40 year old sleeper carriages before they are withdrawn in order to assess the problems and opportunities faced by the brand during a period of considerable change. The project is very much a dual collaboration between Dr Alwi and Professor Balmer, with Dr Alwi taking care of the logistics for the field visit.”
Brunel University’s Business School’s MSc in Corporate Brand Management was the first of its kind in the world. Launched in 2007, this is the first time a field visit spanning several days was been organised. Students on this year’s course come from the Far East, India, South America, Continental Europe and the UK.
Kariem Ali, an MSc Marketing student at Brunel Business School, participated in the Future of Electric & Hybrid Vehicles conference, which took place at ExCel London, as part of the Battery Technology Show.
Alongside two other experts, Kariem discussed the topic of ‘Driving Sustainability and Efficiency in the next generation electric vehicles’. Kariem’s talk derived from his MSc dissertation, which investigated consumer purchase intentions towards electric vehicles in the UK. Kariem shared some of the results from the survey that he developed for his dissertation, and which looked at consumers’ environmental concerns, their attitudes, the role of social influence and moral obligation, and the perceived benefits and barriers towards purchasing electric vehicles.
Brunel Business School’s MSc Marketing programme is designed for anyone wishing to become a marketing professional or planning to undertake marketing research in an academic or commercial setting. Those with little or no marketing experience will appreciate the breadth of management subjects covered in the degree, specifically how marketing fits within the overall organisation practice. The programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and also offers the option of a placement. Find out more about this programme here.
The recent Royal Wedding has generated renewed international interest in the Monarchy and the “Monarchy as a Corporate Brand” notion co-created by Professor John M.T. Balmer of Brunel Business School (with scholars from Harvard Business School and Lund University, Sweden).
The leading German newspaper “Die Welt” (analogous to the UK’s Economist magazine), in the week leading up to the Royal Wedding, published an in-depth overview of the monarchy which included input from Professor Balmer. Drawing on his published output, the article noted how the Monarchy, as with the Papacy, is unquestionably a global brand. Professor Balmer also reflects how the image of Queen Elizabeth is, arguably, one of the most recognisable images known to mankind.
Professor Balmer along with Professors Greyser (HBS) and Dr Urde (Lund University, Sweden) are celebrated for their ground-breaking study of the Swedish Monarchy where, over a two year period, they were granted unprecedented access to the Royal Family of Sweden along with senior figures within Sweden’s Royal Household. Professor Balmer subsequently published articles specifically on the British Monarchy and on those Commonwealth Realms which share the Queen as their sovereign. Scholarship on the Crown as a corporate brand notion by Balmer, Greyser and Urde led to the aforementioned formally introducing the corporate heritage brand notion in 2006 and, over the last decade, Professor Balmer has been closely associated with developments in the territory.
Professor John M.T. Balmer (Professor of Corporate Marketing and Director of the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group) has passed a significant milestone with the news that his published output has resulted in over 100, 000 downloads on ResearchGate (currently over 110,000 downloads). ResearchGate is an online community for scientists and researchers.
Reflecting on the news Professor Balmer mused: “Whilst, arguably, there are more significant measures apropos published output it does, all the same, give me particular pleasure to know that my published output reaches a sizeable audience at home and abroad. This, I believe is in accordance with our University’s implicit corporate brand promise. The news came as a very pleasant surprise.”