The importance of employee brand understanding, brand identification, and brand commitment in realizing brand citizenship behaviour

Rico Piehler (Chair of Innovative Brand Management, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany)
Ceridwyn King (School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Christoph Burmann (Chair of Innovative Brand Management, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany)
Lina Xiong (Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 12 September 2016

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop comprehensive definitions, conceptualizations and measures of four internal brand management (IBM) outcomes, namely, brand understanding, brand identification, brand commitment and brand citizenship behaviour (BCB). In doing so, it also aims to propose a model, which considers the relationships across these outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected via an online survey of 375 employees who work in service organizations, sourced from an Australian, Web-based market research list.

Findings

In addition to the indirect effect of brand understanding on BCB via affective IBM outcomes (i.e. brand identification and brand commitment), the study exposes a direct effect of brand understanding on BCB. Therefore, the study shows that BCB is affected by cognitive and affective antecedents.

Research limitations/implications

Because this study focuses on IBM outcomes, future studies could propose and test relevant antecedents and moderators. As the empirical basis of this study comes primarily from the tourism and hospitality industry in one domestic market, the study should be replicated in other industries and countries to ensure the generalizability of the identified relationships.

Practical implications

This study not only delivers IBM outcome measures but also empirically validates that employees’ understanding of the brand is a foundation for affective and behavioural IBM outcomes. Therefore, managers, especially in service organizations, should provide sufficient IBM practices to enable such brand understanding.

Originality/value

This study contributes to IBM literature by developing comprehensive definitions, conceptualizations and measures of four important IBM outcomes. This study is the first to include brand understanding, brand identification, brand commitment and BCB simultaneously.

Keywords

Citation

Piehler, R., King, C., Burmann, C. and Xiong, L. (2016), "The importance of employee brand understanding, brand identification, and brand commitment in realizing brand citizenship behaviour", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 50 No. 9/10, pp. 1575-1601. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-11-2014-0725

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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