Corporate branding through employees - An ethnographic study on employee brand-supportive behaviors among frontline employees of a Finnish telecommunications company

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
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Date
2011
Major/Subject
Marketing
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Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
87
Series
Abstract
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY The broad aim of this research was to study the role of frontline employees in the context of corporate branding. More specifically, the objective was to examine the intra- and extra-organizational factors affecting and supporting the brand-associated behavior of the case company’s frontline employees. The second objective was to observe and analyze the actual behavior of the employees in the field and to determine the level of their brand knowledge and whether it has a notable effect on their interactions with customers. RESEARCH METHOD Considering the research objective where in-depth information and understanding was needed, qualitative research was chosen as the research method. The actual fieldwork was conducted within a single organization, a Finnish telecommunications company. The data was collected through ethnographic research and interviews in various stores of the case company in the Helsinki area. FINDINGS The empirical findings of this study are in line with prevailing assumptions and evidence which suggest that employee empowerment is a significant factor in eliciting brand-supportive behavior. Furthermore, the findings imply that informal internal sources of messages have a strong impact in facilitating the interpretation and internalization of the corporate brand values among employees. Brand-related training should be introduced to strengthen the brand awareness and commitment in order to bring out the full potential of frontline employees – not just as sales and customer service personnel but as ambassadors of the corporate brand, as well. KEYWORDS Corporate branding, brand-supportive behavior, brand ambassador, employee empowerment, ethnographic research, ethnography
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Keywords
corporate branding, brand-supportive behavior, brand ambassador, employee empowerment, ethnographic research, ethnography
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