Exploring the impact of employees’ self-concept, brand identification and brand pride on brand citizenship behaviors

Sabrina Verena Helm, Uwe Renk, Anubha Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify how employees’ perceived congruity of their employers’ corporate brand with their own actual and ideal self may affect their brand identification (BI), brand pride (BP) and brand citizenship behavior (BCB). Design/methodology/approach – This cross-sectional paper involved 283 employees in Germany who completed an online survey. Findings – Congruity of the brand with employees’ actual self and with their ideal self has similar effects on employees’ BI. However, effects differ with respect to the other outcome variables. BP is only affected by congruity of the brand with the ideal self, whereas BCB is only affected by congruity of the brand with the actual self. Brand identity is positively related to BP and BCB; BP also affects BCB. Research limitations/implications – Future studies could include different sources for evaluation of BI, BP and BCB; for temporally separate measurement of identification, pride and BCB; and for use of fictitious brands or experimental manipulations of pride to increase internal validity. The discrepant impacts of congruity of the brand with the actual self and the ideal self as detected in the paper could spark research interest in addressing motivations to increase self-esteem and self-consistency in a work context or in investigating specific mediators or moderators in the relationship between self-concept, (brand) identification and pride, as well as behaviors. Finally, research could address different kinds of pride, such as individual and collective forms of pride, as well as their interplay. Practical implications – Managers should be aware of the different effects of a corporate brand’s fit with employees’ actual and ideal self, and also should note that BI seems essential in augmenting BP and brand-related behaviors. The paper develops implications for internal branding and HRM strategies regarding employee selection, promotion and retention. Findings also indicate that BP motivates BCB in line with current assumptions in research and practice on individual forms of pride. Originality/value – This paper investigates employees’ perceptions of “their” brand’s fit with their actual and ideal self separately, and determines the differences in impact on BP and BCB, extending existing knowledge on drivers of brand-building behaviors. It also develops the concept of BP in the context of social identity theory and the need for distinction; it further provides initial empirical insights into the role of employees’ BP, including the development of a measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-77
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 8 2016


  • Brand management
  • Branding
  • Corporate branding
  • Employees
  • Internal marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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