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Professor John Balmer

Professor John Balmer

Eastern Gateway 104a


Professor John M.T. Balmer holds a personal chair as Professor of Corporate Marketing  at Brunel Business School and his research, scholarship, and teaching focusses on the corporate marketing, corporate brand management, corporate identity, and corporate heritage fields. From 2010-2020 he was head of the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group at Brunel Business School. He is Quondam Professor of Corporate Brand/Identity Management at Bradford School of Management and is a Visiting Professor at the same school.He is also a Visiting Professor at the National University of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), and Professor Balmer is also  an External Assessor to the Department of Marketing at the University of Malaya which is viewed as Malaysia's premier university.  He is Chairman of the Board of Senior Consultant Editors of the Journal of Brand Management.

After a first degree from the University of Reading, and after a period of postgraduate study at The University of Durham in Education (University College), he spent a short time as a teacher and then as Assistant Administrator of Lord Menuhin's concert agency (Live Music Now). This was followed by several years as a senior manager of a major arts complex. Subsequently undertook further postgraduate studies, this time focussing on business administration (MBA) at Durham University (Collingwood College). Appointed to give recommendations apropos the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC Scotland)  corporate identity as a research assistant at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the University of Strathclyde and, subsequently, appointed as a  lecturer in marketing at Strathclyde Business School

Professor Balmer took his PhD (Strathclyde University) in 1996, and within three years of his PhD graduation was elected to a personal chair as Professor of Corporate Identity at Bradford University School of Management. He subsequently was conferred the title of Professor of Corporate Brand/Identity Management in the same University in recognition of his seminal scholarship on both territories. In a similar vein, in 2007, he joined the faculty at Brunel University London where he was appointed to a personal chair as Professor of Corporate Marketing.  Thus Professor Balmer has the unique distinction of holding the first full professorships in corporate branding, corporate identity, corporate brand/identity management. and corporate marketing.

Since the early 1990s, he has been a leading proponent, and tireless advocate, of the strategic importance of corporate identity, corporate brand management, corporate marketing and, more recently corporate heritage.  Professor Balmer is known for his seminar articles on the above areas. He is also recognised for his work on the British Monarchy (and monarchies generally); the BBC, British Airways and for his ACID Test of corporate brand/corporate identity management.

As a lecturer at Strathclyde University, in the early 1990s he led the first branding exercise of the University which led to the common use of a heraldic shield along with the naming of the University's city campus "The John Anderson Campus" in honour of the institution's founder. Subsequently, he conceived and oversaw the corporate brand positioning of the University of Strathclyde including having oversight for the process involved in the introduction of a full achievement of arms and motto ("Useful Learning") from the Court of Lord Lyon at the time of the University of Strathclyde's bi-centenary celebrations in 1996. He also had oversight of a special Congregation of the University (including ceremonial arrangements and music) during which the Letters Patent granting a full coat of arms was presented to the University's Chancellor by one of the Queen's heralds.

His collaborative ground-breaking study of the Swedish Monarchy - where access, over several years, was granted to Their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden and members of the Royal Family -  is also notable and led to a series of recommendations. His continued interest in monarchies as corporate brands has resulted in several articles on the territory. Additionally, he has contributed to articles published in The New York Times and the leading German newspaper Die Welt and has been approached by the Australian public service broadcaster ABC for their documentary on the Royal Family.

At Brunel, Bradford, and Strathclyde Universities he conceived and developed courses in the corporate identity, corporate brand management, and corporate marketing fields. At Brunel University he was the Founding Director of the MSc in Corporate Brand Management. He oversaw the design and implementation for the current syllabus for the MSc in Corporate Brand Management.

He is a passionate and consummate teacher and PhD supervisor.  


Recognized as one of the world's top 2% of influential scholars (in a study of more than 100.000 scholars undertaken by  Stanford University), his published work has been cited more than 23,536 times and he has a google h-index of 57 and an i-10 index of 117. Currently, he has in excess of 464,360 reads on ResearchGate. On 27 occasions since March 2020 he achieved the greatest number of reads on Researchgate of any academic working at Brunel University London: (w/e  6 March 2022: 1420 reads). Furthermore, in most weeks, he has the greatest number of reads among Business School faculty.

A long-time partnership with Professor Stephen A Greyser (Harvard Business School) resulted in many publications including the landmark book  "Revealing the Corporation" (Routledge: 2002). 

Professor Balmer has published in many leading journals - often as a sole or as a lead-author  -including  California Management Review, British Journal of Management, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Business Ethics,   Long Range Planning,  Marketing Theory, Information Technology & People, International Studies of Management and Organization,  Journal of Marketing Management. Journal of General Management, Journal of Brand Management etc.

In 2017 Professor Balmer was invited by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (editor: Professor Sir David Cannadine) to pen the authoritative biographical essay of Wally Olins (1930-2014) - doyen of the corporate identity/brand consultancy industry (OUP: 2018).

His books include "Revealing the Corporation" (co-authored with Stephen A. Greyser, Routledge, 2003); "Foundations of Corporate Heritage" (Routledge, 2016);  "Advances in Corporate Branding" (co-edited with Dr Shuan Powell,  Professor  Joachim Kernstock & Professor Tim Brexendorf, Palgrave, 2017); "Advances in Chinese Brand Management" (co-edited with Weifeng Chen, Palgrave, 2017); "Contemporary Perspectives on Corporate Marketing" (co-edited with Professor Laura Illia & Allmudena de Valle Brena, Routledge, 2013); and "Contemplating Corporate Marketing, Identity & Communication" (co-edited with Professor Klement Podnar, Routledge, 2010).

Of the 10 most cited articles in the European Journal of Marketing two are by Professor Balmer (one single and one jointly-authored article) viz: "Corporate identity, corporate branding and corporate marketing: seeing through the fog" and "Corporate brands: What are they? What of them?" Additionally, his single-authored article, "Corporate identity and the advent of corporate marketing" is the 10th most cited article in the Journal of Marketing Management.


  • PhD: Doctor of Philosophy (University of Strathclyde, Scotland)
  • MBA (Dunelm): Master of Business Administration (University of Durham-Collingwood College, England)
  • BA (Hons): Bachelor of Arts with Honours (University of Reading, England)
  • PGCE (Dunelm): Postgraduate Certificate in Education (University of Durham-University College, England)
  • DipM: Diploma in Marketing (Chartered Institute of Marketing-London, England)
  • AMusTCL: Teaching Diploma (Trinity College, London).


  • Founder and Chairman/Conference Organiser of the International Corporate Identity Group "ICIG"( est 1994).      
  • Founder and Chairman/Conference Organiser of the International Corporate Heritage Symposium (est 2012).     
  • Chairman of the Board of Senior Consulting Editors: Journal of Brand Management
  • Senior Advisory Board Member: Journal of Product and Brand Management
  • Module Leader: Corporate Brand Theory (MSc in Corporate Brand Management)
  • Module Leader: Strategic Corporate Marketing (MSc in Corporate Brand Management)
  • Module Leader: Corporate Heritage Brands (MSc in Corporate Brand Management)

Newest selected publications

Alwi, S., Balmer, JMT., Stoian, C. and Kitchen, P. (2022) 'Introducing integrated hybrid communication: The nexus linking marketing communication and corporate communication'. Qualitative Market Research: an international journal, 0 (in press). ISSN: 1352-2752 Open Access Link

Journal article

Balmer, JMT. (2022) 'Managerial corporate brand orientation: explication, significance, and antecedents'. Journal of Brand Management, 29 (1). pp. 1 - 12. ISSN: 1350-231X Open Access Link

Journal article

Balmer, JMT. and Podnar, K. (2021) 'Corporate brand orientation: identity, internal images, and corporate identification matters'. Journal of Business Research, 134. pp. 729 - 737. ISSN: 0148-2963 Open Access Link

Journal article

Podnar, K. and Balmer, JMT. (2021) 'Quo Vadis Corporate Marketing?'. Journal of Business Research, 134. pp. 642 - 646. ISSN: 0148-2963

Journal article

Boukis, A., Punjaisri, P., Balmer, JMT., Kaminakis, K. and Papastathopolous, A. (2021) 'Unveiling front-line employees’ brand construal types during corporate brand promise delivery: A multi-study analysis'. Journal of Business Research, 131 (131). pp. 673 - 685. ISSN: 0148-2963 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(78)