Closing Corporate Branding Gaps through Authentic Internal Brand Strategies

Michael Beverland, Pinar Cankurtaran

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Corporate branding researchers alert us to the importance of the internal aspects of brand building, in particular, how staff can be mobilized to ensure that the brand delivers on its promises to stakeholders. Internal branding programs help achieve alignment between the brand’s identity, purpose and promise and the behavior of its employees by developing greater brand engagement internally. Research suggests that consumers display greater brand engagement when they can place themselves in the brand’s narrative, that is, experience the brand’s claims as authentic. We propose that what holds for consumers also holds for employees and extend work on authenticity into the internal branding area. We explore the internal branding challenges in regards to three forms of authenticity: consistency, conformity, and connection. Together these three forms of authenticity identify the need for programs that create alignment between external and internal messaging, enable employees to operate as a cultural insider with their target audience (and the context which surrounds them), and build connections between brand narratives and the collective historical identity of the firm and its employees. We conclude with a discussion of managerial implications and issues for future research
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Corporate Branding
EditorsOriol Iglesias, Nicholas Ind, Majken Schultz
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)9780367476632, 9781032252599
ISBN (Electronic)9781003035749, 9781000573589
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesRoutledge Companions in Business, Management and Marketing

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