Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 642–657 | Cite as

The role of brand communications on front line service employee beliefs, behaviors, and performance

  • Thomas L. Baker
  • Adam Rapp
  • Tracy Meyer
  • Ryan Mullins
Original Empirical Research


Frontline service employees often vary in their delivery of the brand promise, leaving service firms with less direct control on other stakeholders’ brand perceptions. Internal branding efforts have been suggested as a way to improve employee performance. With this in mind, we develop a two-process model based on identification and internalization theories to explain how internally disseminating brand-relevant information to frontline employees enhances performance. Using multi-source data from the employees, managers, and customers of a business-to-business firm in the hospitality industry, we find that providing brand-specific information directly to frontline employees increases their identification with the brand (as evidenced in perceptions of firm authenticity) and enhances their internalization of brand values. Additional results suggest that firms should make an extra effort to communicate brand-specific information to frontline employees if they desire brand-consistent performance that is observable to managers and customers alike.


Brand knowledge Brand citizenship behavior Brand value congruence Brand authenticity 


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas L. Baker
    • 1
  • Adam Rapp
    • 1
  • Tracy Meyer
    • 2
  • Ryan Mullins
    • 3
  1. 1.University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  2. 2.University of North Carolina WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA
  3. 3.Clemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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