Special Issue

Special Issue Call for Papers:  Marketing strategies in family firms  - Deadline:  June 30, 2020

Background and Purpose of the Special Issue

Family-owned firms are the most dominant form of business entities in market economies around the world (Poza & Dauguerty, 2013). For example, these firms represent 70% to 90 % of all firms in Europe, 70% of all firms in USA and Australia, and up to 98% of all firms, according to some estimates, in Latin America. In Africa and Middle Eastern countries family firms play an equally important role (Basly, 2017; Llanos-Contreras & Jabri, 2019; Zellweger, 2017).  Family firms are central for many countries not only from an economic perspective but also in terms of their social role in regional development (Basco, 2015; Llanos-Contreras & Alonso-Dos-Santos, 2018).

Prevalent family firm literature attributes their uniqueness to family ownership and family influence, which in turn is a source of differentiation that can be commercially exploited. While research based on socioemotional wealth acknowledge that these organizations are specially focused on protecting their reputation and family name (Alonso-Dos-Santos & Llanos-Contreras, 2019; Berrone, Cruz, Gomez-Mejia, & Larraza-Kintana, 2010), articles utilizing the resource-based view suggest these organizations retain valuable idiosyncratic resources that impact lives of their customers and stakeholders (Craig, Dibrell, & Davis, 2008; Gallucci, Santulli, & Calabrò, 2015; Zellweger, Eddleston, & Kellermanns, 2010). Further, empirical findings confirm the positive benefits of communicating the family control of the firm to firm stakeholders, such customers, employees, and local community (Deephouse & Jaskiewicz, 2013).

The aforementioned economic and social importance of family firms when combined with the significant communication and marketing potential of a firm being acknowledged as a family owned creates a rich area for scholarly exploration. Some progress achieved in the area more recently are: (1) understanding the strategies employed by family firms to communicate their family component/identity through websites (Botero, Thomas, Graves, & Fediuk, 2013; Micelotta & Raynard, 2011), (2) identifying factors impacting firm image and types of strategic actions enhancing their family brand (Binz, Hair, Pieper, & Baldauf, 2013; Marques, Presas, & Simon, 2014), and (3) assessing consumer response to firm communications emphasizing its family nature, such as signals through a firm´s product packaging (Alonso-Dos-Santos, Llanos-Contreras, & Farías, 2019; Beck & Prügl, 2018; Lude & Prügl, 2018). However, research in this field is still incipient with many unanswered questions. In this sense, controversy exists on the advantages and disadvantages of emphasizing the family component of the firm in communications. Also, the effect of being acknowledged as a family firm on customers and others stakeholders, such as labor force and non-family shareholders, remains unclear (Astrachan, Botero, Astrachan, & Prügl, 2018; Sageder, Mitter, & Feldbauer-Durstmüller, 2018).

Family firms’ branding and reputation has attracted family firm scholars’ attention in recent years. However, the application of marketing theories to family firms has witnessed a slow progress in academic journals. We believe the state of literature in marketing journals on this topic is not much better either. Thus, there is an acute scholarly need for understanding the reputation management of family firms and how to make the most of it from a branding, communication, and marketing perspective. We already known that family firms’ decisions on how to leverage their family image and reputation are not based on rigorous marketing planning, but rather on decision-makers’ traditions, beliefs and self-perceptions (Botero & Blombäck, 2010). Thus, suggested topics for the special issue of Journal of Small Business Strategyon family firms are below.


Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Pricing strategies in family firms
  • Integrated marketing communication in family firms
  • Effectiveness of the communication of the family component
  • Communication channels in family firms
  • Product development and marketing
  • Consumers’ perceived image of family firms
  • International marketing strategies
  • The influence of stakeholders on marketing communication
  • Internal marketing communication in family firms
  • The influence of the family component of the firm on consumer behavior
  • Open to other relevant family firms’ topics

Submission Guidelines:

Please submit your article using the "Make a Submission" button, and choose : Marketing strategies in family firms"

Further Information

For questions regarding the content of this special issue, please contact the guest editors:

  • 1. Manuel Alonso Dos Santos, PhD in Marketing and Consumer Behavior
  •      Facultad de Economía y Administración, Calle Alonso Ribera 2850, 4090541 Concepción
  •      Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Chile
  •      malonso@ucsc.cl
  •      ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9681-7231
  •      Phone: +56 (41) 2345513
  • 2. Orlando Antonio Llanos Contreras,  PhD in Management
  •     Facultad de Economía y Administración
  •     Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Chile
  •     ollanos@ucsc.cl
  •     Phone: +56 41 5245800
  • 3. Raj V. Mahto,  PhD in Management
  •     Creative Enterprise Endowed Professo
  •     Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship
  •     Anderson School of Management
  •     The University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, U.S.A
  •     rmahto@unm.edu
  •     Phone: +1 505 277 2423

Short Biography

Manuel Alonso holds a PhD in Marketing and Consumer Behavior. His areas of interest are family entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship in marketing and sponsorship marketing. He currently works at the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción in Chile and his research articles have been published in international journals on the subject of entrepreneurship, family firms, education, digital marketing and sport management. To this day, Alonso has worked on more than 43 papers (e.g. Psychology & Marketing, Engineering Economics, Journal of Business Research, Industrial Management and Data System) and has participated in 50 international conferences (e.g. GIKA, AMS).

Orlando Llanosteaches family business management and business strategy as a professor at Universidad Católica de la Ssma. Concepción in Chile. He holds a Phd in Management from the University of New England, Australia. His research work has been published in international journals such as JBR, Psychology & Marketing, EJIM and ARLA and has also been acknowledged with the Adalberto Biesca Sada award by the University of Monterrey. Orlando led “Catedra familias empresarias de Chile” at his University.

Dr. Raj V. Mahtois an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and a Creative Enterprise Endowed Professor in the Anderson School of Management at University of New Mexico (UNM). He received his BE (Bachelor of Engineering) from Gujarat University (India), an MBA from UNM, and a PhD in Management from the UNM. Raj has published his research in top academic journals, such as Journal of Applied Psychology, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Journal of Small Business Management, andJournal of Business Research. He is an associate editor for Journal of Small Business Managementand Journal of Small Business Strategy. Additionally, he serves on editorial boards of Family Business Review and International Entrepreneurship & Management Journal.


Alonso-Dos-Santos, M., Llanos-Contreras, O., & Farías, P. (2019). Family firms’ identity communication and consumers’ product involvement impact on consumer response. Psychology & Marketing. https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21212

Alonso-Dos-Santos, M., & Llanos-Contreras, O. (2019). Family business performance in a post-disaster scenario: The influence of socioemotional wealth importance and entrepreneurial orientation. Journal of Business Research, 101, 492-498. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.12.057

Astrachan, C. B., Botero, I., Astrachan, J. H., & Prügl, R. (2018). Branding the family firm: A review, integrative framework proposal, and research agenda. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 9(1), 3–15. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfbs.2018.01.002

Basco, R. (2015). Family business and regional development—A theoretical model of regional familiness. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 6(4), 259–271. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfbs.2015.04.004

Basly, S. (2017). Family businesses in the Arab world: Governance, strategy, and financing. New York, NY: Springer.

Beck, S., & Prügl, R. (2018). Family firm reputation and humanization: Consumers and the trust advantage of family firms under different conditions of brand familiarity. Family Business Review,31(4), 460–482. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894486518792692

Berrone, P., Cruz, C., Gomez-Mejia, L. R., & Larraza-Kintana, M. (2010). Socioemotional wealth and corporate responses to institutional pressures: Do family-controlled firms pollute less? Administrative Science Quarterly, 55(1), 82–113. https://doi.org/10.2189/asqu.2010.55.1.82

Binz, C., Hair, J. F., Pieper, T. M., & Baldauf, A. (2013). Exploring the effect of distinct family firm reputation on consumers’ preferences. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 4(1), 3–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfbs.2012.12.004

Botero, I., & Blombäck, A. (2010). Leveraging the family brand: using brand management to highlight the advantages of family firms. 10th Annual IFERA World Family Business Research Conference. Paper presented at the 10th Annual IFERA World Family Business Research Conference. Lancaster, United Kingdom.

Botero, I. C., Thomas, J., Graves, C., & Fediuk, T. A. (2013). Understanding multiple family firm identities: An exploration of the communicated identity in official websites. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 4(1), 12–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfbs.2012.11.004

Craig, J. B., Dibrell, C., & Davis, P. S. (2008). Leveraging family-based brand identity to enhance firm competitiveness and performance in family businesses. Journal of Small Business Management, 46(3), 351–371. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-627X.2008.00248.x

Deephouse, D. L., & Jaskiewicz, P. (2013). Do family firms have better reputations than non‐family firms? An integration of socioemotional wealth and social identity theories. Journal of Management Studies, 50(3), 337–360. https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12015

Gallucci, C., Santulli, R., & Calabrò, A. (2015). Does family involvement foster or hinder firm performance? The missing role of family-based branding strategies. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 6(3), 155–165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfbs.2015.07.003

Llanos-Contreras, O., & Alonso-Dos-Santos, M. (2018). Exploring the asymmetric influence of socioemotional wealth priorities on entrepreneurial behaviour in family businesses. European Journal of International Management, 12(5–6), 576–595. https://doi.org/10.1504/EJIM.2018.094458

Llanos-Contreras, O., & Jabri, M. (2019). Exploring family business decline with socioemotional wealth perspective. Academia Revista Latinoamericana de Administración, 32(1), 63–78. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARLA-02-2018-0042

Lude, M., & Prügl, R. (2018). Why the family business brand matters: Brand authenticity and the family firm trust inference.Journal of Business Research, 89, 121–134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.03.040

Marques, P., Presas, P., & Simon, A. (2014). The heterogeneity of family firms in CSR engagement: The role of values. Family Business Review, 27(3), 206–227. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894486514539004

Micelotta, E. R., & Raynard, M. (2011). Concealing or revealing the family? Corporate brand identity strategies in family firms. Family Business Review, 24(3), 197–216. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894486511407321

Poza, E. J., & Dauguerty, M. (2013). Family business. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning.

Sageder, M., Mitter, C., & Feldbauer-Durstmüller, B. (2018). Image and reputation of family firms: a systematic literature review of the state of research. Review of Managerial Science, 12(1), 335–377. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11846-016-0216-x

Zellweger, T. (2017). Managing the family business: Theory and practice. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Zellweger, T. M., Eddleston, K. A., & Kellermanns, F. W. (2010). Exploring the concept of familiness: Introducing family firm identity. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 1(1), 54–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfbs.2009.12.003