To read this content please select one of the options below:

Employer brand trust and affect: linking brand personality to employer brand attractiveness

Linn Viktoria Rampl (Corporate Management & Economics, Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany)
Peter Kenning (Corporate Management & Economics, Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 4 February 2014




The importance of employer branding to attract talent in organizations is increasing rapidly. Brand personality traits, particularly, have been shown to explain considerable variance in employer brand attractiveness. Despite such awareness, little is known about the underlying processes of this effect. The purpose of the authors is to close the research gap by drawing on a consumer brand model of brand affect and trust as a means of explaining employer brand attractiveness.


Students interested in working in the consultancy industry completed a survey designed to evaluate consultancy employer brands. Established scales for brand personality, trust, and affect, and employer brand attractiveness were used to test the conceptual model.


The results indicate that employer brand trust and affect are both influenced by the brand personality trait sincerity. Further, employer brand affect was positively affected by the traits excitement and sophistication, while negatively affected by ruggedness. Together, employer brand affect and trust explain 71 per cent of the variance in employer brand attractiveness.

Research limitations/implications

While the results show the importance of branding an organization as a sincere, exciting, and sophisticated employer, future research is needed to identify adequate marketing tools to achieve this goal, also in other industries besides the one investigated here.


This study is the first to apply a model that includes brand personality, trust, and affect to employer branding. By doing so, the variance explained in employer brand attractiveness could be increased substantially.



The authors would like to thank Fabiola Gerpott and Inga Wobker for their very helpful comments and suggestions in developing earlier versions of the paper. Also, they thank Isabell Welpe and Christian Opitz for their comments on designing the questionnaire and for their support – together with Isabella Geis – in collecting the data. The authors appreciate the comments of the reviewers and participants of the European Marketing Academy Conference (EMAC, 2012) as well as the Workshop on Trust within and between Organizations (2012) of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) on earlier versions of the paper. The authors would like to thank the Editor in Chief, Nick Lee, the Associate Editor, Ian Lings, as well as two anonymous reviewers for their comments to improve the paper. Finally, they would like to thank Deborah C. Nester for proofreading.


Viktoria Rampl, L. and Kenning, P. (2014), "Employer brand trust and affect: linking brand personality to employer brand attractiveness", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 48 No. 1/2, pp. 218-236.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles