Professor Balmer invited to the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

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.

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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.

Professor Balmer reaches milestone with 200,000 reads on Researchgate

Last month, a milestone was reached when Professor Balmer learned that there had been over 200, 000 reads of his work on ResearchGate. ResearchGate is a social networking platform for research professionals, where members can share their papers, read other researchers’ papers, ask and answer questions, or find research collaborators.

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Commenting on the above, Professor Balmer remarked:

“What is so uplifting about this news is to learn that there is interest in my published work from students, scholars and colleagues and its uplifting to discover that published work is being read.”


Research impact is a key measure of success of an academic’s work, and we are delighted to see that Professor Balmer’s publications generate so much interest among other scholars. Congratulations, Professor Balmer.

Professor John Balmer & Dr Sharifah Alwi organise research trip on the iconic Caledonian Night Train to Scotland: “The best sleeper journey in the world”

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.


Dr Michael Heller appointed editor of Palgrave Macmillan Business History Series

It has recently been announced that Dr Michael Heller (Senior Lecturer within the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group) has been appointed editor for Business History of the leading publisher Palgrave Macmillan.

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Dr. Michael Heller is an expert in the history of the office, the history of clerical work, internal communications, the history of public relations and corporate branding and communications. He is also the Programme Leader for the MSc in Marketing, which is one of the leading marketing graduate programmes in London.


Professor John M.T. Balmer reflects:

“Dr Heller enjoys an enviable profile in the business history and marketing fields and this prestigious appointment is a recognition of his reputation and scholarship in these critically important areas .”

Professor John M.T. Balmer achieves milestone with well-over 100,000 downloads on ResearchGate


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.”

Dr. Sharifah Faridah Syed Alwi delivers key-note presentations in Indonesia and Malaysia


Recently, Dr Alwi (Senior Lecturer within the marketing and corporate brand research group) delivered a key note presentation to 30 SMEs at a two day workshop at the Tabung Haji Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, organised by The Cooperation of the cooperative Council of Malaysia (ANGKASA). She also gave a Keynote address at the 1st International Conference on Community and Service Engagement, in Medan, Indonesia.


The presentations were based on the collaborative empirical research on SMEs undertaken by Dr. Sharifah Faridah Syed Alwi; Professor John M.T. Balmer; Dr. Cristina Stoian (all at Brunel Business School) and Professor Philip Kitchen (Salford University). This research investigated how marketing communication (MC) and corporate communication (CC) strategies are developed and conducted within the firm.

PhD Student Workshop for Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group Students

The Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group hosted a workshop for the doctoral students linked to the group, on November 15th 2017.


Seven doctoral students at various stages of their studies attended the morning PhD workshop which focussed on two themes:

  1. Preparing for the Viva Voce Examination
  2. Developing a Publications Portfolio


Speaking to the first theme, Dr Geraldine Cohen drew on her many years’ experience as an external PhD examiner and PhD examination board chair to explain the importance, nature, and problems/opportunites vis-a-vis the PhD viva and advised on how to prepare for the examination.



The second presentation was delivered by Dr Christina Ferreira, who reflected on her recent experience as a young academic apropos the importance of developing a publications portfolio in terms of first academic appointments and scholarly development.


Dr Ana Canhoto, Dr Weifeng Chen and Professor John MT Balmer also made contributions to the above themes.


As part of the workshop, final-year PhD student, Natthida Jareankieatbovor gave a presentation of her research findings, and these were commented upon by marketing faculty.


The PhD workshop was organised by Professor John MT Balmer (Director of the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group), and was part of a programme of activities to support the research culture in the group and to support the development of its doctoral students and early career researchers.

Professor John MT Balmer contributes to Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Professor John M.T. Balmer (Professor of Corporate Marketing, Brunel University London) has written what is arguably the definitive biography of Wally Olins CBE, doyen of the corporate brand/identity consultancy industry, for  the authoritative Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.


Wally-Olins-believed-bran-011Drawing on Professor Balmer’s discussions with Wally Olins dating back to the 1980s, and supplemented by archival and secondary sources, the biography details Olins’ family background; education; early career; his establishment – with Michael Wolff – of the world-famous Wolff Olins corporate identity/brand consultancy; provides an overview of his a consultancy work/published output/ and intellectual contributions; and reflects on his persona and style; and honours and distinctions.


Edited by the eminent historian, Professor Sir David Cannadine, and published by Oxford University Press, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is, arguably, the most authoritative source of key figures in British life from the Romans to the 21st century.


Professor Balmer notes: “It is a particular honour to be invited to write this biography. I first interviewed Wally Olins whist studying for my MBA at Durham University Business School in 1988 and we remained in contact over the last four decades. His reflections on corporate identity exerted a profound impact on my initial thinking on the corporate identity field.” 


Professor Balmer was appointed to a personal chair in corporate identity at Bradford University in 1999; was subsequently appointed to the chair in corporate branding at the same institution, and, in 2007 was appointed as Professor of Corporate Marketing at Brunel University: all are understood to be the first appoinments of their kind.

Organisational Heritage: Publication of Key Cornerstone Article

Birds custard factoryProfessor John M.T. Balmer, Professor of Corporate Marketing  at Brunel University Business School, and Dr Mario Burghausen of The University of Essex (PhD from Brunel Business School) have published a ground-breaking article in the current edition of the Journal of Brand Management where they formally introduce and explain the organisational heritage notion. Drawing on the extant corporate heritage, organisational identity and organisational memory literatures they advance the view that organisational heritage – as a new concept – materially advances heritage studies in marketing, management and organisational behaviour too. They argue that three distinct schools of thought can be applied to the organisational heritage notion. Their cornerstone article develops the initial articulation of the organisational heritage concept in an earlier Journal of Brand Management article by Professor Balmer and Dr Chen (Brunel University Business School). For a limited period the above article, a related article and the article by Balmer and Chen are free to download from the Journal of Brand Management: 
Explicating corporate heritage, corporate heritage brands and organisational heritage Introducing organisational heritage: Linking corporate heritage, organisational identity and organisational memory Corporate heritage brands in China. Consumer engagement with China’s most celebrated corporate heritage brand – Tong Ren Tang: 同仁堂

Rising Corporate Brand Management Scholar, Dr Khanyapuss Punjaisri, Joins Brunel Business School’s Marketing Faculty

punjaisri-pashThe Centre for Research in Marketing welcomes Dr Punjaisri who joins us from the University of Hull. Originally from The Kingdom of Thailand, Dr Punjaisri took her PhD at Strathclyde University and is developing an international research profile for her work in corporate brand/brand management. Professor Balmer (Director of the Centre) commented:

“I join my marketing colleagues in warmly welcoming Dr Punjaisri. Her research and scholarship in the corporate branding/branding field will burnish our group’s international renown in the corporate branding/corporate marketing and general marketing fields.”