Organisational marketing in the creative industries

Shaun Powell, Sean Ennis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose - The marketing of small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can face many challenges, particularly for those operating within the creative industries. The purpose of this paper is to describe an inductive and exploratory case study approach to empirically investigate the issues and complexities uncovered when taking a mainly internal, organisational perspective to creativity, identity and the brand. Design/methodology/approach - Issues of commitment, identification and alignment were considered and how these relate to the SME brand. Then the relevance and advantages associated with adopting an inductive case study approach, from an interpretative perspective were discussed. This incorporates multi-level interviews and thematic analysis with the aid of various qualitative data analysis software packages (C-I-Said, NVivo and QDA Miner). Findings - The themes uncover and explore some of the subtle complexities involved with organisational marketing for SMEs within the creative industries. These themes also present a number of important implications for the academic and practitioner communities to reflect upon, particularly in relation to the relevance of attempting to achieve a "desired" or "ideal" identity and brand. Issues relating to the evolving nature of SMEs, various forms of employee egos as well as multiple foci of employee commitment have been identified. The authors' research has also uncovered a number of instances of "disidentification" amongst creative employees. Rather than being seen as a threat or risk, some creative organisations see a benefit for encouraging, or at least not suppressing deidentification or disidentification, in relation to their creative brand and image. Originality/value - By taking a rigorous exploratory and inductive approach, a grounded understanding of the problematic nature of organisational creativity and organisational marketing in relation to SMEs in the creative industries have been provided. Practitioners can also benefit from the observations as they are empirically based upon a number of case studies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)375-389
    Number of pages15
    JournalQualitative Market Research: An International Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Corporate branding
    • Corporate identity
    • Corporate image
    • Marketing strategy
    • Small to medium-sized enterprises


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