Abstract: Entrepreneurship and the Evolution of Big Business in Branded Consumer Goods

Teresa da Silva Lopes and Mark Casson


This study provides an account of how entrepreneurs have contributed to the development of successful global brands in consumer goods industries in the twentieth century. The industries analysed are those where the projection of the brands relies principally on brand imagery and intangible assets, rather than on product performance and other tangible assets. Some illustrations are food, drink, comestics, and fashion. Drawing on cross-industry and cross-country comparisons, and on a "stretched" definition of the entrepreneur, the paper shows that the management of the brands often pursued entrepreneurial and innovative strategies that can be distinguished from conventional, exploitative brand management. It also highlights the role of distinct types of entrepreneurs and marketing knowledge in the creation and development of successful global brands.