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Corporate Brand Building at Shell-Mex Ltd in the Interwar Period


  • Michael Heller


This paper is an analysis of corporate brand building at Shell-Mex Ltd in the inter-war period in Britain. While there has been some historical analysis of product brand development in the UK, this has not been the case in corporate or institutional brand building which has remained neglected. This paper outlines this process at Shell-Mex, the distributive arm in Britain for the Shell Transport and Trading Company, part of the larger Royal Dutch Shell Group. The paper argues that Shell consistently and coherently built up its corporate brand in the inter-war period through a series of strategies which included publicity, sponsorship of record breaking flights, links with empire, use of prominent artists, documentaries, road guides and association with the British countryside. This development of its corporate brand had multiple benefits for the group, both internally within its organisation, and externally in relation to its product brands and overall competitiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Heller, 2008. "Corporate Brand Building at Shell-Mex Ltd in the Interwar Period," Working Papers 23, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgs:wpaper:23

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roy Church, 1999. "New perspectives on the history of products, firms, marketing, and consumers in Britain and the United States since the mid-nineteenth century 1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 52(3), pages 405-435, August.
    2. Roy Church & Christine Clark, 2003. "Purposive Strategy or Serendipity? Development and Diversification in Three Consumer Product Companies, 1918-39: J. & J. Colman, Reckitt & Sons, and Lever Bros./Unilever," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 23-59.
    3. Roy Church, 2000. "Advertising consumer goods in nineteenth-centuary Britain: reinterpretations[This artic]," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 53(4), pages 621-645, November.
    4. van Zanden, Jan Luiten & Jonker, Joost & Howarth, Stephen & Sluyterman, Keetie, 2007. "A History of Royal Dutch Shell," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199298778.
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    More about this item


    brand building; Shell-Mex;

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • N84 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Europe: 1913-

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