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The impact of salesperson-brand personality congruence on salesperson brand identification, motivation and performance outcomes

Bashar S. Gammoh (Department of Marketing and International Business, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)
Michael L. Mallin (The Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales, Department of Marketing and International Business, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)
Ellen Bolman Pullins (Department of Marketing and International Business, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 11 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

This paper focuses on the role of personality congruence, between salespeople’s own personality and the personality of the brand they represent, in driving salesperson identification with the brand and its subsequent effects on important sales force outcomes, including intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, task self-efficacy and both behavioral and outcome performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was collected via an online survey from a cross-sectional sample of salespeople. In all, 246 completed the survey. SmartPLS was used to estimate the measurement model and test the hypothesized path relationships using a (partial least squares) structural model.

Findings

Results indicated support for all proposed hypotheses in our model. In conclusion, we demonstrate, that the congruency of the salesperson personality with his or her perceived brand personality has a significant impact on the brand identification by the salesperson. This identification has important sales force outcomes, including affecting intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, task self-efficacy and both behavioral and outcome performance. This supports the notion of social identity theory as an important theoretical framework for understanding how the salesperson relates to and delivers the brand message.

Originality/value

Previous research has investigated the drivers and implications of customers’ identification with brands and employees’ identification with their organizations. However, less research attention has focused on salesperson identification with the brand. Given the uniqueness of the boundary-spanning role and the importance of the salesperson to the marketing communication of the brand image, investigation of the drivers of salesperson brand identification becomes particularly important.

Keywords

Citation

S. Gammoh, B., L. Mallin, M. and Bolman Pullins, E. (2014), "The impact of salesperson-brand personality congruence on salesperson brand identification, motivation and performance outcomes", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 23 No. 7, pp. 543-553. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-10-2013-0434

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited