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Key determinants of internal brand management success: An exploratory empirical analysis

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This paper presents explorative, empirical data as a first step towards testing the holistic model of internal brand management previously developed by the authors. Based on the premise of identity-oriented branding, the authors statistically examine the factors behind the three key concepts of their internal brand management model: brand commitment, brand citizenship behaviour and the brand–customer relationship. The empirical analysis builds on three data sets examining six industry sectors. The three samples were generated by means of surveys of customers, employees and marketing professionals responsible for internal brand management. The results of the statistical analysis reveal the extent to which the hypothesised determinants and causal links between brand commitment, brand citizenship behaviour and brand strength (defined as the degree of behavioural relevance of the brand) hold: The hypothesised causal link between brand commitment and brand citizenship behaviour was empirically validated, whereas the purported relationship between brand citizenship behaviour and brand strength could be shown in tendency. Its causal link could not conclusively be proven as the size of the sample proved to be too small. The hypothesised constituents of brand commitment and brand citizenship behaviour, however, required substantial modification on the basis of the empirical evidence and hence require further empirical testing with a new data set.

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Correspondence to Nicola Riley.

Additional information

2works for the Boston Consulting Group in Hamburg, Germany as a senior management consultant. After her Bachelor's and Master's degree at the University of Münster, Germany and Zaragoza, Spain, she completed her doctorate on internal brand management at the Chair for Innovative Brand Management (LiM®), University of Bremen, Germany in 2005.

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Burmann, C., Zeplin, S. & Riley, N. Key determinants of internal brand management success: An exploratory empirical analysis. J Brand Manag 16, 264–284 (2009).

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  • internal branding
  • brand identity
  • brand commitment
  • brand citizenship behaviour
  • brand–customer relationship
  • brand strength