Corporate and cultural branding: Can these theories be combined to create a beneficial platform to be used by companies operating gloca The Carlsberg Group as a case

Stefania Biotti & Anne Charlotte Juel Bendtsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis provides an analysis of the Carlsberg Group in regards to how the company strategizes in relation to its brands, in light of the fact that the company strives to operate both globally and locally. The analysis is backed by an investigation into two main theories on branding, namely corporate and cultural branding. Operating globally in today’s market place in the beer industry, which is culturally embedded, it becomes necessary for a company like the Carlsberg Group to pay attention to the local cultures in which its brands are present. This means that the company has to balance between managing both the corporate Group brand, and the individual product brands, both globally and locally. There are no branding theories today that specifically deal with managing in such glocal circumstances. However, the theory of corporate branding does have aspects relevant for managing a congruent brand and developing it to incorporate all stakeholders. Meanwhile, cultural branding becomes relevant because of the need for companies to adhere to local cultures, in that its main focus is on building a brand around the cultural context of the markets it is present in. The aim of the thesis therefore revolves around combining the relevant aspects of both branding theories, in order to give suggestions on how companies, like the Carlsberg Group, should manage their brands, given the fact that there is a need to be relevant both at a global and local level. While the theories prove to have arguments, that combined should attest useful in strategizing the company’s brands, the conclusion also touches upon the necessity to extend cultural branding to be aware of global markets instead of only national ones. Moreover, it also stresses the case of corporate branding, whose argument for one common brand identity may not prove possible in an industry where consumers’ cultural associations to the product brands are so strong. The aim for companies like the Carlsberg Group should thus be to focus on creating truly local brands, deploying cultural brandings focus on the brands cultural context, while working towards creating global brands that are built around cultural contexts which are not nation specific, but rather are relevant cross-nationally. Finally, a note is put on whether it is possible to create a corporate brand, remarking that, given the very different values put on such a Group brand by the different stakeholder groups, one single brand strategy does not seem possible.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages144