CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A new book co-written by a University of Illinois expert in consumer behavior and global marketing explores strategic brand management in a way that’s scalable from the individual entrepreneur all the way up to the multinational corporation.
“Strategic Brand Management: Lessons for Winning Brands in Globalized Markets,” published by Oxford University Press, is a flexible and modern take on global brand management that’s supported with cutting-edge research, mini-case studies and activities to engage students and professionals alike, said Carlos J. Torelli, a professor of business administration at the Gies College of Business at Illinois and co-author of the book.
“It’s a textbook/professional book that’s intended to be used in the classroom but also can be employed by professionals who wish to learn about brand management in a focused way,” he said “It’s a concise guide, not an encyclopedia.”
The book provides readers with an innovative framework that explains the key aspects of strategic brand management: identifying and measuring brands, building and leveraging brands, and protecting brands.
“It’s a book that covers everything about strategic brand management: from the basic concepts of how to build a brand identity to how to do research to fully understand the brand image that consumers have; how to build and leverage brands into new products; and how to protect brands once you’re established,” Torelli said.
It’s a topic that’s applicable in any industry, Torelli said. It can even be applied to individuals and how to brand oneself as an expert.
“It’s scalable from the individual to the biggest entities, whether it’s a for-profit or a nonprofit like a nongovernmental organization,” he said. “Or it can be an idea. It’s the strategic part of what a brand is, conceptually, and how to build it and nurture and grow it and make it successful.”
The text incorporates the latest academic knowledge and experience teaching students and executives about branding, so “it’s a very robust book in terms of having an academic foundation but also a very large practical, practitioner-oriented approach,” Torelli said.
It also focuses on how brands can thrive in a global economy in which cultural and geographic boundaries are being blurred either by ownership that crosses geographic boundaries or by consumers who are now more mobile “in terms of immigration patterns and travel opportunities,” he said.
“How do marketers navigate building brands that could be global or local? This is what we cover heavily in the book, and it’s something that most texts don’t address,” Torelli said. “We take the perspective that brands are built among culturally diverse audiences. It’s a globalized world, whether we want it to be that way or not. We have specific chapters about how to develop ‘cultural equity,’ which is this idea that a brand builds an image associated with a cultural understanding that then can be leveraged across geographies.”
The book also has “a very strong component” about the rise of multiculturalism in branding, Torelli said.
“It’s the idea that, in that environment, we also see a lot of cultural mixing in brands,” he said. “Is Budweiser an American brand? Yes, of course. But it’s owned by a group from Belgium. Smithfield, the makers of Virginia ham, is owned by a group of Chinese investors. There are numerous examples of this, and like it or not, that’s the world we’re living in. It’s acquisitions across boundaries that consumers might or might not be aware of, and how marketers should deal with it.”
Torelli’s co-author is Deborah Roedder John of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.