Master Thesis No 2000:15
SAAB VERSUS INTERNAL MARKETING
-INTERNAL BRAND ALIGNMENT IN AN MNC OPERATING IN
THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY-
SUSANNE GILLEMO AND MARIEKE RIJKSEN
Graduate Business School
School of Economics and Commercial Law
Printed by Novum Grafiska
The alignment of company goals and strategies throughout an organisation calls for well-developed internal marketing processes. Those processes often seem to lack or function unsatisfactorily, judging from the fact that many companies have trouble communicating corporate values and marketing ideas to the final customer. When the customer’s actual image of the brand does not match the intended brand identity, the marketing activities will not have the desired effect.
The purpose of this thesis is to address the difficulties in communicating corporate plans throughout the whole organisation and make an attempt to generate new knowledge by developing a new model on internal marketing. We have used Saab Automobile AB as our case company, a Swedish car manufacturer operating in the luxury automobile industry.
The development and maintenance of mutually valuable relationships is vital for effective internal marketing. Effort should be made to try to change the basis for relationships from manipulation to motivation. A greater interdependence between the parties would be likely to reduce uncertainty, and result in a more efficient use of resources. The main obstacle towards the building of relations is the lack of transparency in the development and communication of marketing activities. It is vital to create an environment in which information flows without being distorted. The main factors distorting the ultimate exposure of the brand identity to the customer are related to poor execution and communication of marketing activities. A lot of the problems related to execution and communication can be solved with better education of employees with regard to brand identity and its relation to the overall strategic marketing plan.
Keywords: Internal Marketing, Relationship Marketing, Brand Identity, Brand Image, Brand Strategy, Communication, Saab Automobile AB
‘ Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.’
Many people have contributed to the writing of this thesis. We would especially like to thank Lars Hygrell, Manager Conquest Marketing, for providing us with the opportunity to conduct a study on behalf of Saab Automobile AB. Despite his busy schedule he managed to take time to provide guidance throughout the whole process, and to give valuable advice and critical reflections.
We would also like to express our gratitude towards Pär Annvik, the Advertising Manager of Saab Automobile AB, who provided us with expert knowledge, and was of great assistance during our data gathering. Furthermore, we would like to express our appreciation to all other people within the Saab organisation who made this thesis possible. We owe special thanks to all the importers and dealers for taking time to meet us for interviews. Without their participation and co-operation we could not have written this thesis.
We would also like to thank Professor Hans Jansson and Professor ClaesGöran Alvstam for supervising us during our research. Their knowledge and insightful comments have contributed enormously to the result of our study. Beyond doubt, they played an important part in our thesis by forcing us to challenge our perceptions and to tackle the problems from different angles. Finally, we wish to thank our families for their encouragement and support.
SAAB VERSUS INTERNAL MARKETING
-Internal Brand Alignment in an MNC Operating in the
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