Taking a deliberate approach: The enactment of brand orientation in an SME context

Nicole M. Hodge, Cathi McMullen, Jodie Kleinschafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Brand orientation is a strategic approach observed in business that positions the brand at the centre of organisational processes and has been shown to improve marketing and financial performance. Two fundamental issues in the brand orientation literature are identified and explored in the context of SME’s. Namely (1) the assumption of the ‘presence or absence’ of brand orientation in some conceptualisations and (2) the circular relationship between being brand orientated and the characteristics of extant frameworks of brand orientation. A case study approach followed by abductive analysis was employed to investigate what characterises SME brand orientation enactment in ten small-sized wineries. The key finding of the research is the importance of a deliberate approach when orientating an organisation and its practices around the brand. This approach has been made explicit from the fundamental assumptions of brand orientation theory and is illustrated through three brand practices observed in SMEs: resource investment, communication and brand planning. It is argued that viewing brand orientation through a lens of deliberateness is critical to properly understand how a brand oriented strategy is enacted in organisations. It is also evident that despite the constraints discussed in the literature, SMEs can and do deliberately enact brand orientation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-408
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Brand Management
Issue number4
Early online dateFeb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Taking a deliberate approach: The enactment of brand orientation in an SME context'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this