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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2016
Thesis number: 14612
Brand management system in service context
Author: Tuikka, Sini
Title: Brand management system in service context
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; palvelut; service; brandit; brands; johtaminen; management
Pages: 77
Key terms: brands; service; service brand; brand management
This thesis deals with one of the most underdeveloped topic in branding - the brand management theory and practice. More specifically, it studies the brand management system in a service context, another neglected area of research related to brands and branding.

The theoretical framework of this study is comprised of two streams: the literature on the service brand and the literature on the brand management system (BMS). Service branding is different from product branding for example due to services' intangibility and heterogeneity. Hence, it is argued that the service context might cause different management systems to emerge as opposed to product brand management. Furthermore, since the previous literature on the brand management system has been scarce and there is no established classification of the formal brand management infrastructure, this thesis also aims to contribute to the better understanding of the BMS.

An extensive case study was conducted to study the BMS in a service context and top management representatives from five different service companies were interviewed. In order to find the dominant characteristics of the BMS the case companies represented various service fields. Also, B2B and B2C as well as single- and multi-brand settings were all covered. As a result, brand management system especially appropriate in the service context was illustrated.

The brand management system in a service context seems to consist of five different dimensions: brand orientation, internal branding, consistent brand management, evalua-tion systems, and organization and structure. These dimensions are further divided into two sections: strategic brand management or brand management implementation depending on the nature of the dimension.

Compared to previous studies, a completely new BMS dimension was found that might be particularly relevant in the service sector. Consistent brand management aligns external, internal and interactive marketing and helps the management to develop the brand deliberately towards the strategic goals of the company. Also, as opposed to previous studies, the evaluation systems dimension was confirmed to be part of the service companies' brand management system as well.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.