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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Bill Merrilees, Dale Miller and Raisa Yakimova

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the voice of the internal stakeholder in a way that emphasizes the internal stakeholder as an active force and decision…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the voice of the internal stakeholder in a way that emphasizes the internal stakeholder as an active force and decision maker in brand co-creation, as part of the new emerging paradigm of internal branding. The main aim is to understand the active role of volunteers in internal branding that is in the co-creation of value. A subsidiary aim is to understand why some volunteers engage deeply and seriously in a nonprofit organization while other volunteers seem less connected?

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework incorporates several motivators to volunteer-led co-creation. A quantitative, co-variance-based structural equation modelling approach is used on survey data of a sample of 357 volunteers from 14 organizations in the Australian nonprofit sector.

Findings

The research findings contribute to the newly emerging internal branding literature focusing on the active co-creation role of internal stakeholders. The main drivers of volunteer co-creation are volunteer engagement, commitment, altruism, values-congruency and brand reputation. Different explanatory mechanisms/motivators apply to each type of volunteer-led co-creation. In a major initiative, the paper demonstrates linkages across the different types of co-creation, with a foundation/pivotal role for one particular type of co-creation, namely, enhanced client-based solutions.

Research limitations/implications

The research is restricted to the public sector and further research is needed to test applicability to the private sector. Future studies could continue the initiative in the current study to explore the linkages across co-creation types.

Practical implications

Implications depend on which type of co-creation is targeted. Enhancing client-based solutions co-creation requires a very strong role for engaged volunteers. Innovation co-creation requires both engaged volunteers and a propensity to co-create by enhancing client-based solutions. Brand advocacy co-creation is driven by volunteer commitment, altruism and a propensity to co-create innovation.

Social implications

A non-profit context ensures major social implications.

Originality/value

The study operationalizes the Saleem and Iglesias (2016) new internal branding paradigm framework by demonstrating that brands are built organically by interacting and engaging with internal stakeholders (volunteers in this instance), which, in turn, inter alia, motivates co-creation by such internal stakeholders.

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Muhammad Anees-ur-Rehman, Ho Yin Wong, Parves Sultan and Bill Merrilees

This study aims to examine the relationship between brand orientation and financial performance in business-to-business (B2B) small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)…

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2242

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the relationship between brand orientation and financial performance in business-to-business (B2B) small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It examines the impact of brand-oriented strategy on financial performance through four branding constructs, namely, internal branding, brand communication, brand awareness and brand credibility.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire-based survey was conducted to collect data from 250 Finnish B2B SMEs. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to examine the validity of the constructs, whereas structural equation modeling was used to test proposed hypotheses of the study.

Findings

The results suggest that brand orientation improves the effectiveness of brand communication and internal branding in building brand awareness and credibility. Brand awareness emphasizes an external route through brand communication, whereas brand credibility emphasizes an internal route through internal branding. Brand awareness has a positive impact on brand credibility, and brand credibility has a positive impact on financial performance, highlighting the importance of both brand performance components for financial performance.

Originality/value

This study addresses the research gap in the B2B branding literature regarding the role of branding in enhancing financial performance. The results suggest that brand-oriented strategy can contribute to financial performance through brand awareness and brand credibility in the context of B2B SMEs.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Bill Merrilees, Dale Miller and Wei Shao

This paper aims to examine mall consumer brand meaning through understanding consumer brand associations of shopping malls.

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3628

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine mall consumer brand meaning through understanding consumer brand associations of shopping malls.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on the literature, a quantitative methodology is applied. A large sample (n = 755) of an Australian shopping mall is surveyed, and the data are analysed using structural equation modelling.

Findings

The first set of findings is that mall atmosphere and mall merchandise are the main determinants of consumer mall satisfaction. In turn, consumer mall satisfaction and mall merchandise are the main determinants of consumer mall brand attitudes.

Research limitations/implications

The study is the first known study to measure consumer-based mall brand meaning quantitatively. This discovery gives a more holistic understanding of the mall brand. Additionally, the study highlights that mall branding is essentially experiential branding.

Practical implications

The study provides sound guidance for mall managers by suggesting priorities in shaping the mall brand, the emphasis on mall atmosphere and the criticality of tenant mix. Some malls spend hundreds of millions of dollars on refurbishments, enhancing mall atmosphere, consistent with the emphasis of this paper.

Social implications

More effective experiential branding could influence community well-being.

Originality/value

This original research pioneers the discovery of customer-based mall brand meaning. Additionally, the study adds to the experiential branding literature. Sensory experiences are not sufficient to examine brand experiences; additionally, the core product (mall merchandise in our context) enhances the total (mall) brand experience.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2019

Bill Merrilees and Dale Miller

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of a shopping companion on mall brand experience.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of a shopping companion on mall brand experience.

Design/methodology/approach

The quantitative multi-group structural equation model study contrasts three shopper types: those shopping alone; those shopping with friends; and those shopping with family. Two categories are shoppers in a group. Nine hypotheses evaluate the impact of shopping with a companion.

Findings

The results show that companions enhance the emotional brand experience. Further, shoppers with family companions are most able to enhance brand evaluation from mall brand experience. Shopping companions help co-create the shopping brand experience.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to Australian shoppers and contrast with Canadian studies, emphasizing friends. Alone shoppers place priority on price and only the alone shoppers are price-sensitive. The findings help address the gap in the literature, namely, understanding focal retail consumers in a group situation.

Practical implications

Retailers and mall managers in planned shopping centers could consider developing different retail strategies and brand experiences, which address the specific types of customer groups or alone shoppers.

Social implications

The paper is explicitly about social influences.

Originality/value

This original research contributes new perspectives to understanding the role of companion shoppers as co-creators of the focal shopper’s mall brand experience.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2018

Cassandra France, Debra Grace, Bill Merrilees and Dale Miller

The purpose of this paper is to expand on existing co-creation knowledge in order to accurately conceptualize, operationalize and contextualize the customer brand…

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1910

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to expand on existing co-creation knowledge in order to accurately conceptualize, operationalize and contextualize the customer brand co-creation behavior concept from a customer perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach is adopted in this study, using structural equation modeling to verify the co-creation of brand value for those customers who co-create.

Findings

A new four-dimensional co-creation behavior concept is supported, highlighting the role of development, feedback, advocacy and helping, in the co-creation of brand value. Furthermore, a range of customer-level and brand-level antecedents are empirically verified.

Research limitations/implications

The research takes a customer-centric view of co-creation and in doing so provides new insight into the effect on the co-creator. Additionally, the research offers an improved level of specificity in the co-creation domain by conceptualizing, operationalizing and contextualizing customer co-creation in a comprehensive research study.

Practical implications

The findings offer new insight to brand managers, identifying avenues for increasing customer participation in co-creation programs and critically highlighting that co-creation behavior has positive effects on the co-creator’s perception of brand value.

Originality/value

The customer-centric approach offers an original perspective from which to explore co-creation, demonstrating the positive potential of co-creation in brand management strategies.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2017

Bill Merrilees, Dale Miller and Raisa Yakimova

The study extends customer-led co-creation research to the related staff-led value co-creation domain. In particular, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the role…

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2066

Abstract

Purpose

The study extends customer-led co-creation research to the related staff-led value co-creation domain. In particular, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of staff engagement as a facilitator of staff-led value co-creation.

Design/methodology/approach

A new conceptual framework develops a model of staff-led value-creation, using three types of staff-led co-creation. A quantitative approach is used. Survey collection yielded a sample of 1,165 employees in an Australian not-for-profit context across 19 organizations. AMOS structural equation modeling analyzes the data.

Findings

A major finding is the nexus between staff engagement and staff-led value co-creation. The nexus applies for three types of staff-led co-creation and three staff categories. Different explanatory mechanisms apply to each type of staff-led value co-creation.

Research limitations/implications

The not-for-profit context may not generalize to the for-profit sector, but future research could clarify this matter.

Practical implications

The results can inform organizations wishing to create greater service contributions through greater staff participation, which can include a staff-initiating (staff-led) role. Different value co-creation targets require different corporate triggers, reflecting the different explanatory mechanisms of each co-creation type.

Social implications

Not-for-profit context ensures major social implications.

Originality/value

The emphasis on staff-led value co-creation augments the customer-led co-creation literature. Additionally, exploring the (staff) engagement to (staff) value co-creation nexus is a novel contribution.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Dale Miller and Bill Merrilees

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the historical contributions of complex innovations (both creative and tactical components) in a formative period in a major…

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1069

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the historical contributions of complex innovations (both creative and tactical components) in a formative period in a major Australian department store, David Jones Ltd.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a context-specific lens to examine complex retail innovation. The study adopts a longitudinal design with the focus on a single firm, which met the inclusion criteria. Data collection was predominately from company archival materials and publicly available documents, including newspapers.

Findings

An in-depth analysis of two complex innovations demonstrates the retailer’s successful management of both marketing exploration (innovation) and marketing exploitation of that innovation. Effective marketing requires operational, tactical marketing exploitation to dovetail marketing exploration.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to one successful department store. Notwithstanding, there are expectations that the lessons extend to many other retailing organizations.

Practical implications

The practical relevance is clear, with the emphasis on retail innovation (and especially complex innovation) as a basis for both surviving and thriving in an ever-changing marketing environment.

Originality/value

The use of a complex innovation approach is a novel way of examining marketing history. The study concludes that both marketing exploration and marketing exploitation are essential for retail longevity.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2001

Bill Merrilees and Dale Miller

The nature of retail service varies from personal service to the provision of greater ambience. Indeed, anything that adds value to the merchandise itself can be…

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5470

Abstract

The nature of retail service varies from personal service to the provision of greater ambience. Indeed, anything that adds value to the merchandise itself can be considered part of the service provided by the retailer. The focus of this paper is on that part of retail service that involves direct interactivity between the store and the customer. There are two main types of physical interactivity, namely personal service and store design and atmosphere. This paper aims to develop constructs of these two types of interactivity and analyse their impact on store loyalty. An extra dimension is added to this study by contrasting the role of service between superstores and traditional specialist stores in two retail categories. A key finding was that the major difference between the service provided by superstores compared to traditional specialist stores relates to store design and atmosphere. This leads to the suggestion that the recent wave of superstores has ushered in a new paradigm of retail service, one with elevated emphasis on self‐service principles. A further finding was that store design and atmosphere was one of the more important determinants of store loyalty. The paper shows that superstores have revolutionised the nature of retail service, mainly by more effective configuration of self‐service, mediated through store design.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 29 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Bill Merrilees

The paper aims to address a question posed by Ruth Bolton (2011):“What kinds of interactive experiences lead to favourable customer engagement rates”?

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7655

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to address a question posed by Ruth Bolton (2011):“What kinds of interactive experiences lead to favourable customer engagement rates”?

Design/methodology/approach

Building on the literature, the paper develops different interactive experience pathways for both functional and hedonic brands.

Findings

The different pathways are developed formally for both brand types. Different facets of brand experience and different facets of interactivity are entailed for each brand type. The models are illustrated with actual brands.

Research limitations/implications

The study is primarily conceptual and requires empirical testing. The purpose of the paper is to motivate academics to explore the nature of interactive experiences in whatever way they choose.

Practical implications

The different interactive experience pathways between functional and hedonic brands imply different engagement and co-creation strategies by firms. Generally, a richer set of engagement options are relevant to the hedonic brand. However, using the Domino’s Pizza example, the paper suggests that functional brands can extend their repertoire of engagement tools by borrowing inspiration from the hedonic brands.

Social implications

There is a major social or community aspect to interactive experiences. Moreover, some of the brands used as examples in the paper, such as Patagonia, have major social or environmental impacts.

Originality/value

This original research pioneers the discovery and coding of the nature of interactive brand experiences. Hitherto, the domain can be construed as the idiomatic, “elephant in the room”, an important topic but not discussed. The conversation has now begun.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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447

Abstract

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

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