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European Business and Brand Building

Edited By Luciano Segreto, Hubert Bonin, Andrzej K. Kozminski and Carles Manera

A strong brand is a key factor in business success, both in the short-term and in the long-term. Brands help to provide a better understanding of the corporate and commercial culture of different firms. A brand reveals the knowledge capital held by a company, but also often reflects the perception of the firm held by consumers and stake-holders.
The book explores the historical process of building some of the most famous brands among European businesses and examines the extent to which the brands have contributed to the image of the firms and their differentiation against competitors in the industry.

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Preface 9 - Andrzej K. Kozminski

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9 Preface Andrzej K. KOZMINSKI Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland The choice of Warsaw as a venue for the international ICCA workshop on branding might be judged from different perspectives. Firstly, in 2007 Poland was still an emerging economy in its 18th year of transition. The Polish market was being “invaded” by foreign brands seeking to position themselves in the most advantageous way, while local companies were busy building up their brand image on the local market, while rather shyly and cautiously exploring foreign markets on their own, much more often going through intermediaries, acting as subcontractors or contract manufacturers. Lack of branding skills and experience resulted in lower margins and a less prestigious and profitable market positioning. The branding debate was then particularly useful and needed in Warsaw, on the basis that both managers and academics can learn a lot from business history. Secondly, it has to be admitted, unfortunately, that the local body of knowledge and the “intellectually digested” practical experience was in the past rather limited. Since then it has expanded considerably. Thirdly, a new European identity, formed after the “big enlargement” in 2004, is supposedly reflected in the messages carried out by pan European brands. This reflection calls for systematic study and explanation. The present volume provides the readers with a unique historical outlook on European branding presented in a comparative perspective in relation to the American “steamroller” approach to branding. Higher education services are undoubtedly a branded product endangered by “massification” and “commoditization”. To introduce the...

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