Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 277–290 | Cite as

A brand within a brand: an integrated understanding of internal brand management and brand architecture in the public sector

  • Ulrika LeijerholtEmail author
  • Chris Chapleo
  • Helen O’Sullivan
Original Article


Branding in the public sector is emerging as an interesting area of research, as diverse organisations find themselves using branding principles to promote a consistent, clear brand. However, very little is known how public organisations could, or should, manage their brands. The purpose of this research, therefore, is to explore brand management processes in the public sector, and its implication for brand architecture, from an employee perspective. With a qualitative approach, the study argues that branding is important not only for the organisation, but also for individual departments. Further, unlike branding in the private sector, public organisations may be more concerned with supporting a positive perception and organisational attractiveness rather than a unique and differentiated brand. This may have implications for brand architecture. By allowing individual departments to manage their brand with support from organisational structures that provide alignment and focus, organisations can form a brand architecture that supports a strong organisational brand and employee brand commitment.


Brand management Brand architecture Internal brand management Public organisation Public sector 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Umeå School of Business, Economics, and StatisticsUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Head of Department of MarketingThe Business School, Bournemouth UniversityPooleUK
  3. 3.Head of Education & Professional Practice, Department of Marketing The BusinessSchool Bournemouth UniversityPooleUK

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