Leveraging Family-Based Brand Identity to Enhance Firm Competitiveness and Performance in Family Businesses*


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    The authors acknowledge and thank Ramona Heck and the special edition editorial team Don Neubaum, Ken Moores, and Reg Litz for their constructive comments on an earlier draft of this article. Financial support for this project was provided by the Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2005 Babson Kauffman Entrepreneurship Research Conference.

Justin B. Craig, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Business, Faculty of Business, Technology and Sustainable Development, Bond University, Australia. Tel: +61 7 55951161. Fax: +61 7 55951160. E-mail: jcraig@bond.edu.au.


Drawing on the family-embeddedness perspective on entrepreneurship and the resource-based-view of the firm, we investigate how the promotion of family-based brand identity influences competitive orientation (customer versus product) and firm performance in family businesses. Applying structural equation modeling to survey data collected from leaders of 218 family businesses, we demonstrate that developing a family-based brand identity positively contributes to firm performance (growth and profitability) indirectly, via a customer-centric orientation. In contrast, attempts to leverage family-based brand identity via a product-centric orientation do not impact firm performance. Our results suggest that family-based brand identity enhances the family business' ability to persuade customers to make purchasing decisions based on the perceived attributes of the seller. As a result, we contribute to the discussions centered on how to optimize the intricate synergy between family and business.