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Edward F. McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips

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Edward F. McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips

Chapter 8 reviews controversies concerning what color selection can and cannot communicate about the brand. We then focus on absences and disparities in the set of colors used by brands. For instance, the case favoring color is sometimes presented as universally applicable, airtight, and beyond question. Why then do large numbers of brands in certain product categories continue to make their brand marks black and white? Likewise, there are at least half a dozen colors often perceived to have favorable associations suitable for use in branding. Why then do red and blue dominate within our sample of 500 leading brand marks? And why is this dominance spotty, such that brand marks in certain product categories are more or less likely to feature red or blue? We draw on a separate sample of more than 150 national flags to bring perspective on these disparities in the use of color to brand.
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Sandip Basu, Anu Wadhwa and Suresh Kotha

Basu, Wadhwa and Kotha note the importance of corporate venture capital (CVC) as the second largest source of funding for new ventures after independent venture capitalists (VCs), a factor that has stimulated considerable research on the topic. However, this research has been fragmented. To organize the literature, Basu et al. separate existing studies that adopt an investor perspective from those that take the new ventures’ perspective. Next, the authors review the studies under the investor stream, focusing on three themes: motivations and antecedents; financial and strategic outcomes; and the management of CVC. Likewise, the authors examine the literature from new ventures’ perspective along three dimensions: factors influencing acceptance of CVC investments, outcomes gained through CVC and management of the investment. Overall, their review highlights the progress made to date in studying these important issues; identifies gaps to be addressed; and suggests fruitful research avenues for future studies. The review underscores the various financial and non-financial gains for new ventures from CVC and the managerial challenges associated with creating and capturing value from these investments.

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Mathew Hughes, Deniz Ucbasaran and Miranda Lewis

Hughes, Ucbasaran and Lewis observe that, despite a plethora of prior studies, little systematic and careful attention has been given to internal variables in studying corporate entrepreneurship (CE). Rather, most research has focused on external variables, such as the environment. Given the paucity of research on internal variables, the authors focus on the role of human capital in promoting CE. In conceptualizing CE, Hughes et al. emphasize corporate opportunity identification—an issue that has not been well studied in the literature. They propose that companies with better skilled human capital would be better positioned to identify more opportunities than companies with lower quality human capital. Hughes et al. make a distinction between two types of human capital: firm-specific and entrepreneurial-specific. They further observe that the relationship with opportunity identification will be higher (stronger) for firm-specific and entrepreneurial-specific human capital. Moreover, they advance that the relationship between human capital and opportunity identification will be moderated by the firm’s systems and processes. Next, they propose that increases in corporate opportunity recognition can lead to increased and higher skilled human capital, thereby recognizing the importance of CE as an important mechanism for employee engagement that enhances firm capabilities.

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Edward F. McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips

We conclude by examining four conceptual puzzles that confront any attempt to theorize visual branding. The first puzzle concerns the difficulty of pinning down the correct interpretation of a picture, in cases where the meaning of the picture is contested. To give the discussion traction, we interpret a pictorial ad by applying in turn rhetorical, aesthetic, feminist, and psychoanalytic lenses. The second puzzle concerns the difficulty of capturing brand meaning within the linear models that dominate contemporary marketing science. We use Betty Crocker as a case in point. The third puzzle concerns the difficulties posed by intertextuality, that is, the extent to which the meaning of any one brand depends on context, specifically, what other competitor brands are doing. Using Pepsi and Coca-Cola, we discuss the difficulties posed by intertextuality for assessing the meaning of typeface. The fourth puzzle concerns whether consumers, and their behavior toward brands, can be explained by static universals, or whether consumers change their nature over time, or even evolve. To develop these issues, we contrast consumers with readers of literature and viewers of art. Few believe that modern readers have changed, to the extent of being no longer able to understand or appreciate the plays of Shakespeare or Sophocles; but it is less clear that consumers today view and read advertisements in the same way that their grandparents and great grandparents viewed and read ads from around 1900. If consumers have changed, then the laws of branding may not be static or universal, and it may be an error to even speak of laws, as opposed to transient historical conjunctures.
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Thomas Keil, Shaker A. Zahra and Markku Maula

Keil, Zahra and Maula discuss the importance of corporate venture capital (CVC) as a learning mechanism, a theme that is consistent with some of the arguments presented by Basu et al. and Jelinek and Day. Specifically, they note that while there is consensus on the importance of learning as a strategic benefit of CVC, evidence is mixed. Existing studies highlight the contingent learning benefits of CVC, whereas others highlight barriers to such learning. Keil et al. use the organizational learning perspective to develop their arguments, adopting a “portfolio” perspective on CVC investment where the firm has a combination of different investments with different motives, goals and time horizons. Keil and colleagues propose that the characteristics of such a portfolio could influence the potential explorative and exploitative learning of incumbents who need to be adept at managing and balancing exploration and exploitation. A key point that the authors propose is that learning through CVC investments differs from other inter-organizational relationships. In managing this portfolio, there is a great need for knowledge integration as a means of making sense of what the firm learns through CVC. Their analysis and model indicate that the volume of CVC investments can significantly influence the explorative and exploitative learning an organization may experience. The extent of this learning depends greatly on the degree of core business relatedness, venture relatedness, dispersion and autonomy and the existence of knowledge transfer and integration mechanisms.

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Edited by Shaker A. Zahra, Donald O. Neubaum and James C. Hayton

Corporate entrepreneurship is about remaking organizations; it affects organizational cultures and systems, which, in turn, influence the magnitude, direction and content of corporate entrepreneurship activities. This Handbook hopes to synthesize what we know and clarify what we need to know about key issues such as strategic renewal, innovation and venturing activities within established companies, giving direction to future research.
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Edward F. McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips

Chapter 4 provides support for the meaningfulness and reality of the rhetorical distinctions that make up the typology of brand marks laid out in Chapter 3. We develop this support by showing that specific types of brand mark design are either preferred or shunned in different categories of product. In turn, the prevalence or scarcity of particular types of design can be tied back to either the dynamics of competition in that category, or the nature of the consumer decision process. Using a supplemental sample of about 300 leading brand marks, added to the 200 marks examined in Chapter 3, we show that financial services, where the good on offer is intangible, are very likely to use colorful brand marks located high up on the gradient of visual stimulation. Conversely, retailers, and particularly clothing and fashion retailers, are prone to using text-dominant brand marks, often black and white, because legibility of the brand name is key in competing for customers. We likewise show that food products bought for taste pleasure are more likely to use colorful marks with colorful backgrounds, suitable for emblazoning on a package, while cleaning and personal care products that solve annoying and bothersome problems are more likely to use simpler text-dominant logotypes in a soothing or neutral color. Finally, we show that business-to-business (B2B) manufacturers, whose expensive products are purchased through a deliberate economic analysis, are less likely to have elaborately designed brand marks and more likely to use a relatively simple text-dominant logotype, relative to B2C products where promotional differentiation is possible. The point of the chapter is to establish that no one type of brand mark is best or optimal in all circumstances; rather, each of the different types of marks is suitable for some product categories and unsuitable for others.
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Edward F. McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips

Chapter 2 examines more than 60 examples of brand advertising sampled from the five time periods profiled in Chapter 1. The basic components of visual branding are tied to specific ad examples across time: the brand logo or trademark, the typeface used, how color is incorporated, whether a spokes-character appears, and the style of picture used. The ad examples show how these elements of visual branding evolved over time. Technological developments in printing and photo reproduction are assessed and tied back to changes in visual branding. The historical discussion in Chapters 1 and 2 lays the foundation for the rhetorical analyses pursued in later chapters.
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Mariann Jelinek and Diana Day

Jelinek and Day examine the growing role of corporate venture capital (CVC) and the hurdles corporations face in managing their CVC programs. They note that traditional venture capitalists (VCs) are more aggressive and willing to take greater risks than CVC investors. They also observe that CVC investments are neither steady nor systematic, a fact that reflects shifts in corporate fortunes and macroeconomic conditions. Jelinek and Day also note that several factors combine to limit CVC units’ access to the best emerging technologies, highlighting the great difficulties encountered in turning CVC into an effective means of corporate strategic transformation. Using Monsanto as an example, the authors develop several interesting insights into ways that can give CVC greater strategic potency and relevance. Their analyses show the importance of having purposeful intelligent actors; emphasize the importance of engagement across multiple levels as the organizational processes unfold at different parts of the organization; and note the need to pay attention to the organizational form and processes associated with CVC. Jelinek and Day’s discussion also underscores the necessity of the CVC’s unit addressing multiple goals of multiple people—a key ingredient in successful collaboration that promotes discovery across the boundaries of organizational units.