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Internal Brand Management in an International Context

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Employees with a sound knowledge of and strong commitments to a brand are likely to display behaviors that conform to a brand’s identity, so called brand citizenship behavior. Organizations have access to various internal branding instruments that support commitment structures but multinational corporations are challenged by a diverse workforce environment. The study analyzes the relevance of these instruments across a German, Chinese and North American sample. This research further analyzes the impact of an individual’s cultural values on brand commitment which is an antecedent to brand citizenship behavior.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Internal brand management conceptualizations in a cross-cultural environment

Frontmatter
1. Relevance of brand commitment in a cross-cultural context
Abstract
A new paradigm in brand management is developing as contemporary brands experience constant pressure to prove relevance and value to stakeholders. New applications in mobile technology allow consumers to compare prices found in retail stores instantly, while the same technologies lead to new transparency levels. Internet platforms such as TheSmokingGun and WikiLeaks provide insight at unprecedented levels, with the rise of social media fueling a new sense of transparency and consumer empowerment. Consumers communicate reactions and voice opinions on Facebook, Twitter, and other Internet social media platforms, challenging brands to respond to the new paradigm.
Christina Ravens
2. Classification of relevant terms and definitions
Abstract
To ensure this dissertation, its theories, and empirical analyses are convincing and comparable, it is important to ensure that primary terms and definitions are circumscribed clearly and agree to their meanings and limitations. Thus, the following terms are discussed further: brand citizenship behavior, brand commitment, culture, and cultural values.
Christina Ravens
3. Placement of the study among relevant research fields
Abstract
Both researchers from various disciplines and practitioners are interested in how to stimulate a target group to respond with specific behaviors. While research into behavioral assessment is largely the domain of sociology and psychology, management-related fields of academic research such as organizational behavior and marketing benefit from cross-fertilization with behavioral sciences. Despite disparate foci, organizational behavior and marketing operate with similar definitions and assumptions on how, for example, to stimulate higher identification. Both organizational behavior and marketing draw on behavioral assessment insights, which stem from research in classical and operant conditioning, describing how individuals learn emotional and behavioral responses.
Christina Ravens
4. Objectives and outline of the study
Abstract
The research objective of this study is to analyze the internal brand management model within a cross-national context and evaluate the effect of cultural value orientation and systemic value associations on brand commitment and brand citizenship behavior. Considering cultural values, this research relies on a behavioral science-oriented, identity-based internal brand management model. This study posits that organizations aware of the cultural diversity of their internal stakeholders and their cultural value orientation should integrate these aspects into internal brand initiatives to raise brand commitment and brand citizenship levels.
Christina Ravens

Theoretical framework and conceptual development of the internal branding model

Frontmatter
1. Status of internal brand management research
Abstract
This section provides an overview of internal branding definitions and evaluates existing internal branding models of direct relevance to the conceptualization of an internal branding model under consideration of cultural values.
Christina Ravens
2. Brand citizenship behavior
Abstract
Coined by Burmann/Zeplin (2004), brand citizenship behavior is a central construct that subsumes a number of generic brand- or industry-independent employee behaviors that enhance brand identity. In the following section, brand citizenship behavior, which describes brand-supporting behaviors as a central outcome of internal branding initiatives, is reviewed. Transferred from organizational citizenship behavior, the origin and conceptualization of brand citizenship behavior is analyzed.
Christina Ravens
3. Brand commitment – A central determinant of internal brand management
Abstract
Constitutive to the identification of brand citizenship behavior as a central outcome of internal branding initiatives, this section evaluates the role of brand commitment as an antecedent, and reviews its definitional, conceptual, and operational foundations. Since internal brand management is a relatively recent field, the findings of organizational commitment as a foundation of brand commitment are transferred to an internal branding context. Analysis proceeds with identification of brand commitment determinants and evaluation of the role of cultural values as brand commitment variables.
Christina Ravens
4. Summary and overview of the research model
Abstract
Former evaluation reveals there are various approaches to internal branding but no holistic theoretical foundations to internal branding models in an international context. Therefore, prior applicable and separate theoretical fields of research are consolidated into a frame of reference on which the model relevant for empirical analysis is grounded. Based on an extensive review of the literature, assumptions followed by hypotheses are developed.
Christina Ravens

Empirical analysis

Frontmatter
1. Structure and methodology of empirical analysis
Abstract
This chapter focuses on empirical foundations of the internal branding model as laid out in the previous section. To validate the theory-based derivation of the hypotheses, the research pursues a two-tiered survey design consisting of preliminary and primary surveys. The purpose of the preliminary survey verifies the relevance of the research question.
Christina Ravens
2. Methods of statistical analysis
Abstract
This chapter analyzes statistical methods appropriate to evaluate the causes and effects of the constructs developed in previous sections. Various methods of analyzing independence and dependence are available, of which structural equation modeling, as an analysis of dependence, is common in marketing science. Structural equation modeling tests the dependent relationships of latent constructs while regression analysis is commonly applied to observable constructs. Due to the non-observable nature of brand commitment as an attitude, structural equation modeling is appropriate for the purpose of this study. While the covariancebased approach to structural equation modeling has specific requirements concerning data and sample conditions, partial least squares (Wold, 1966) offers an alternative if the research is prediction oriented, not assessed extensively, relatively new to its field, complex, and does not meet the data and sample conditions required by a covariance-based approach.
Christina Ravens
3. Data analysis
Abstract
This section identifies the results obtained. The analysis first evaluates the measurement model and proceeds with an evaluation of the structural model.
Christina Ravens

Conclusion and implications

Frontmatter
1. Summary of main results
Abstract
The start of this study includes a discussion of increased internal brand management awareness as a central determinant of strong brands. Strong brands are important more than ever in times when brands must prove relevance and value to stakeholders as a new paradigm in brand management. New transparency and consumer empowerment challenge organizations, but strong brands still possess power to drive market growth in saturated markets. A core requirement of brand management is protecting and increasing brand equity by attaining and maintaining customer relationships. Brand trust is attainable if the brand is communicated consistently across all customer brand touchpoints.
Christina Ravens
2. Managerial implications
Abstract
Based on extensive evaluation of an internal branding model under consideration in a cross-national context, the objective of this section is to transfer theoretical results into a managerial context. Discussed in part A, organizations strive to maintain strong brands by fostering strong customer relationships. Identified in this study, an identity-based brand management approach supports organizations to promote and protect brands.
Christina Ravens
3. Critical consideration of the study results and implications for future research
Abstract
Parts B and C discuss the conceptual foundations and empirical validation of the internal branding approach extensively. At the same time, the research process identifies a number of critical implications. The primary limitations concerning part C of this study are of relevance for future research projects:
  • One of the study’s limitation results from collection of data among employees of the same large global organization, which may influence the representative nature of the study. This study was conducted among employees of a large automobile manufacturer. Future research should be directed toward validating the same model across various industries and industrial sectors. Similarly, the size of the organization and the scope of global presences should vary to substantiate the internal branding model under multiple scenarios.
Christina Ravens
Backmatter
Metadata
Title
Internal Brand Management in an International Context
Author
Christina Ravens
Copyright Year
2014
Electronic ISBN
978-3-658-00754-6
Print ISBN
978-3-658-00753-9
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-00754-6