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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to progress research towards a model of the sustainable corporate brand by conducting a critical review of the research literature on sustainability, including theories and typologies that impact on and/or are relevant to the development of a sustainable corporate brand, that is a corporate brand that has sustainability embedded in its covenant or brand promise.

Design/methodology/approach: A critical review of the research literature is undertaken to investigate the drivers, factors and features that need to be included when developing the sustainable corporate brand.

Findings: The development process for a sustainable corporate brand was examined by reference to the available literature on sustainability in relation to corporate branding. The drivers and factors involved in the development and maintenance of a sustainable corporate brand discussed included the link between corporate identity and corporate brand using Balmer's typology, corporate rebranding, developing a consistent sustainable brand promise, supply chain challenges, signalling and communication issues including the application of discourse theory, the sustainable corporate brand as an innovation credibility, and reputational issues. Finally, the factors to be considered in developing a sustainable corporate brand were presented.

Research limitations/implications: Case study research is needed to confirm which processes and theories offer the most effective way of implementing the sustainable corporate brand in particular industries and countries.

Practical implications: The paper provides a framework for organizations considering implementing a sustainable corporate brand.

Originality/value: The paper provides several insights which emerged from an examination of how an organization might implement a sustainable corporate brand.


Peter Faber Business School

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Journal Article

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