Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 279–300

Building brand commitment: A behavioural approach to internal brand management


DOI: 10.1057/

Cite this article as:
Burmann, C. & Zeplin, S. J Brand Manag (2005) 12: 279. doi:10.1057/


In this paper a holistic model for internal brand management is presented. It is based on the identity-based brand management approach according to which a brand—just like a person—needs to have a consistent and continuous identity in order to be trusted. Focusing on the role of employees in ensuring consistency of the brand identity, two new behavioural constructs are developed. The first construct—brand citizenship behaviour—outlines what it means for employees to ‘live the brand’. The second construct—brand commitment—explains the psychological processes that lead employees to show brand citizenship behaviour. Three key levers for generating brand commitment (brand-centred human resources management, brand communication and brand leadership) and four context factors (culture fit, structure fit, employee know-how and disposable resources) are illustrated as building blocks of internal brand management. The theoretical insights are complemented by many real-life examples extracted from in-depth interviews with brand managers and experts.


brandvaluationequityelectronicmanagemente-brandinge-tailingmanagementinternationalInternetmarketingmeasurementpersonalityconsumersadvertisingfast movingconsumer goodsFMCGbrand-buildingstrategy

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Bremen, Chair for Innovative Brand ManagementBremenGermany