Business Cluster Branding and the Interplay of Cooperation and Competition: A Cross Case Analysis
Ehrmann, Dennis (2021-05-04)
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
The number of business cluster is sharply increasing over the last years and consequently they gained massive attention in research. One central question raised, how to improve the competitiveness of business cluster. An approach was to focus on branding. However, cluster work has always in common the appearance of coopetition. The research on coopetition has increased significantly over the last two decades. Nevertheless, the combination of branding and coopetition research on business cluster remain unexplored. Thus, it is relevant to ana-lyze the branding of business clusters and the influence of coopetition. In this research a qualitative research design is used. The primary data set consists of three semi-structured interviews with two managing directors of business cluster in Finland and Germany with dif-ferent funding structure and with a cluster consultant with broad experiences in both coun-tries. That allowed to investigate similarities and differences among the management struc-ture, branding and its coopetition. The findings show that a corporate branding strategy is suitable to brand a cluster organization to give guidance and structure to the process. The complexity of business cluster demands a separation of the branding focus. The inside focus named cluster identity must be shaped and the outside focus named cluster image has the goal to increase visibility. Those two focuses cause coopetition. The cooperation towards a common branding but also the competition about resources from the cluster management side. The positions within the cluster management are a further area of coopetition, as well as the process to create the cluster identity. The cluster management must be aware of those areas to efficiently manage those tensions. The study provides practical insights on managing cluster branding and helps to anticipates common areas of coopetition.