Best Researcher Award acknowledges importance of research at Vlerick

At the New Year's Event of Vlerick Business School, professors Steve Muylle and Deva Rangarajan received the 2012 Vlerick Best Researcher Award for their joint A* article on “B2B Brand Architecture” which was published in the California Management Review. Since 2011, we annually grant this award amongst our faculty and researchers to make exemplary research more visible and stress the importance of research for our school.

The external jury selected their research out of 6 articles published in A* journals in 2012 by our faculty and researchers. Steve: “It feels great to see our research efforts being appreciated in this way.” Deva feels the same way: “But it is more humbling when considering what wonderful talents we have in our school and only makes me want to try and get another one next year (laugh).” Both of them value the concept of the award as well. Deva: “The award is focused not only on having a good publication but also on how this figures into our teaching and other initiatives. This is in line with how our school operates applied research!” Steve joins in: “I always try to kill two or three birds with one stone. I want my research efforts to inform my teaching activities, and contribute to our programmes or research for business in one way or the other. This award values such an approach, and nicely complements the best teacher awards.”

Steve and Deva, both partners of Vlerick, received this award as excellent representatives of our research strategy which aims to stimulate spillovers between academic research, research for business and society and research for pedagogical innovation.

About the research

The article is based on work with dozens of B2B firms and it extracts general principles of brand architecture design based on specific examples. These principles are then tested  by applying them more broadly to a wide sample of brand architectures. There are two key dimensions to B2B brand architecture: the extent to which a firm is centralised or decentralised (in terms of its product range, sales, and marketing) and the extent to which the firm's market offerings are standardised versus customised.

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