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Taking Brand Initiative: How Companies Can Align Strategy, Culture, and Identity Through Corporate Branding by Majken Schultz, Mary Jo Hatch

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WHAT IS CORPORATE BRANDING?

Before British Airways was privatized in 1987, and for some time thereafter, people in Britain joked that “BA,” the company's familiar acronym, really stood for “Bloody Awful.”1 The joke reflected what were then widely shared images of the airline as operationally incompetent and as indifferent to customers. However, by the early 1990s conditions at BA had improved considerably. Through severe downsizing and corporate-wide customer service training, Colin Marshall, who was CEO at the time, turned a stodgy, military-style bureaucracy into a profitable, respected, and highly competitive enterprise.

The change took shape after lengthy preparations that included repositioning the company around the idea of “the world's ...

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