A Process Perspective of Corporate Rebranding in SMEs : A multiple case study of Restaurants and Bars in Osteragotland

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Linköpings universitet/FöretagsekonomiFilosofiska fakulteten; Linköpings universitet/Linköpings universitet/FöretagsekonomiFilosofiska fakulteten


Background: In recent years, the subject of corporate rebranding has been receiving increasing attention as companies strive to develop new differentiated identities in the minds of their stakeholders. Several studies have been conducted on this subject, however, these studies have been biased towards large companies. Despite small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) being the most common type of businesses, most of the research on corporate rebranding has been focused on large corporations. Owing to the limited research studies on corporate rebranding in SMEs, this study seeks to shed more light on this subject by studying how the corporate rebranding process occurs in SMEs. By doing so, this study seeks to fill part of the research gap identified and contribute to the body of knowledge about corporate rebranding process in SMEs.

Methodology: The empirical approach involves a multiple case study of four SME companies from the restaurant and bar sector. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews with key informants from each company, through observations and also the use of secondary sources.

Results:The findings showed that the corporate rebranding process in SMEs involves few actors and is mostly owner- driven with the owner being at the centre of most of the activities and decision making. Furthermore, the findings show that the reasons for corporate rebranding in SMEs are change in ownership structure, bad reputation and change in market preferences. Based on the findings, we propose a corporate rebranding framework for SMEs that consists of the stages Assurance, Analysis, planning, Realisation and Evaluation.

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