Managing brand consistent employee behaviour: relevance and managerial control of behavioural branding

Sven Henkel (Graduate School of Business, Economics, Law and Social Sciences, University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)
Torsten Tomczak (Graduate School of Business, Economics, Law and Social Sciences, University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)
Mark Heitmann (Graduate School of Business, Economics, Law and Social Sciences, University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)
Andreas Herrmann (Graduate School of Business, Economics, Law and Social Sciences, University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Publication date: 28 August 2007

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to show that brand success can be improved if the brand promise that is communicated through mass media campaigns is lived up to by each employee of a company. The paper terms such brand consistent employee behaviour behavioural branding and identifies managerial instruments for its implementation and management.

Design/methodology/approach

The model in the paper explains the brand's contribution to company success by brand consistent employee behaviour, functional employee performance and brand congruent mass media communication. Brand consistent employee behaviour and functional employee performance in turn are modelled as determined by formal and informal management techniques as well as employee empowerment. The model is tested on a sample of 167 senior managers using partial least squares and finds empirical support. Furthermore, practical implications are provided based on additional top management focus groups.

Findings

The paper finds that behavioural branding determines the brand's contribution to company success. Further, the results show that informal management and employee empowerment have a far stronger impact on the brand consistency of employee behaviour than formal management instruments.

Practical implications

Managers should spend more time explaining and discussing targets of behavioural branding, and they should create an organisational environment that enables employees to find their own individual ways of articulating a brand to customers.

Originality/value

The framework in the paper integrates personal and non‐personal facets of interaction for a holistic explanation of brand performance. It provides a broader understanding of factors affecting the accruement of a customer's brand experience and enables researchers and practitioners to develop more consistent and promising brand management activities.

Keywords

Citation

Henkel, S., Tomczak, T., Heitmann, M. and Herrmann, A. (2007), "Managing brand consistent employee behaviour: relevance and managerial control of behavioural branding", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 310-320. https://doi.org/10.1108/10610420710779609

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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