The effect of internal brand management on brand commitment and brand trust
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The focus of branding is often externally focused, yet it is the employees through their direct interaction with the brand, that can make or break the brand promise. Despite the important role of employees in building the brand, they are often overlooked in brand building strategies. The purpose of the study was to test the effect of internal brand management on brand commitment and brand trust in a government organisation. Front-line employees of the South African Post Office, a state-owned organisation in South Africa was selected to collect the data using convenience sampling. Cronbach Alpha and content validity was used to test the reliability and validity of the measurement instrument. The data was not normally distributed and non-parametric tests were performed during data analysis. Descriptive statistics was used to describe the basic characteristics of the respondents and the correlation coefficient (Rho) was used to test the relationships between variables. All three hypotheses were accepted. The results are consistent with previous research, however, new developments are emerging. For front-line employees to commit to the brand, they must trust the brand, which in turn is created through brand identity. Negative external communication influences the ability of front-line employees to deliver the expected brand promise. Importantly, the role of top management in fostering internal brand management cannot be overlooked.
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