HCBE Faculty Articles

The Behavioral Consequences of Internal Brand Management among Frontline Employees

Rose Du Preez, Royal Institute of Technology
Michael T. Bendixen, Nova Southeastern University
Russell Abratt, Nova Southeastern University

Description

This study presents a comprehensive model for the outcomes of internal brand management (IBM) linking it to brand citizenship behaviour (BCB) among frontline employees and suggests that IBM and BCB influence the brand experience and brand reputation among customers.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop and test a comprehensive model for the outcomes of internal brand management (IBM), linking it to brand citizenship behavior (BCB) and intention to stay (IS) through job satisfaction (JS) and brand commitment (BC).

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive literature review is undertaken to develop the proposed model. The sample consists of three separate cases, a financial services firm, a multinational telecommunications company, both based in South Africa, and a regional grocery chain operating in the USA. Useable samples of 154, 96 and 241 were achieved for the three cases, respectively. In all cases, the majority of the respondents were customer contact employees.

Findings

The structural models showed some surprising results, the major one being that brand proselytization is not a component of BCB. Despite using the same instrument, the levers that drive IBM were different in each of the three cases and different from previous studies.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this research indicate that IBM and BCB are contextual. This implies that a universal instrument to measure these constructs has yet to be developed, representing an interesting avenue for future research.

Practical implications

Regarding employees as internal customers and including them in various marketing initiatives and brand-orientated human resource practices (recruitment, induction and training) are key to a successful IBM program.

Originality/value

A comprehensive model for the outcomes of IBM was developed and tested, linking it to BCB and IS through JS and BC. It is the first time that research has been conducted with customer contact employees only.