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«of the AM’s Brand, Corporate Identity and Reputation SIG INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SESSIONS Sessions chairs The main function of a session chair is to ...»

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Overall, customers are found to be more favourable towards the new product when they have participated in the production process (Bendapudi and Leone 2003). They are also more likely to share blame for the outcome when it is worse than expected, but the customers have been provided with a choice in whether to participate. Similarly, Dong et al. (2008), in their research on customer participation in service recovery, indicate that when customers participate in the service recovery process they are more likely to report satisfaction with the service recovery. Whereas, customer attribution of firm level responsibility for failure in coproduced service contexts had a negative effect on customers’ satisfaction of the service

recovery. Thus, it is proposed that:

P5 The level of co-creation of value that the brand entails will moderate the effects of perceived fit on consumers’ evaluations of luxury brand extensions.

Findings This article reassesses the work on brand extensions and integrates it into a conceptual framework, including the moderating effects of relational elements. The latter shows that luxury brand extensions are affected by consumers’ perceptions of fit between the parent brand and the extension. Parent brand quality, online brand communities, consumer to brand relationship and co-creation of value are identified as moderators to the effects of perceived fit on consumer evaluations of luxury brand extensions. The framework is used to create concrete research propositions and guide further research.

Theoretical and Practical Implications This paper aims to contribute to both theory and practice, by creating a conceptual framework that can be used to understand consumer evaluations of luxury brand extensions under the SD logic paradigm. The proposed framework also provides an operational context for the empirical investigation of the propositions advanced.

Originality/value – By proposing a conceptual model incorporating both relational and cocreational elements in luxury fashion brand extension strategy the articles contributes to managers and scholars.

Keywords:

Creative Industries, Luxury Brands, Fashion Brands, Brand Extensions, Brand Relationships, Co-Creation References Aaker, D.A. and Keller, K.L. (1990), "Consumer Evaluations of Brand Extensions," Journal of Marketing, (January), Vol. 54 pp. 27-41.

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Sustainability and internal branding: Investigating perceptions of employees in industrial markets Biedenbach, Galina Manzhynski, Siarhei Purpose The main purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships between employees’ perceptions of sustainability performance and their internal brand commitment in industrial markets. The study examines whether perceptions of employees assigning various degrees of importance to sustainability differ regarding their evaluations of the company’s sustainability performance and different determinants of their internal brand commitment. Furthermore, the study assesses the profiles of alternative clusters of employees characterized by various degrees of importance assigned to sustainability, and by different levels of internal brand commitment. The study was conducted in the context of a transition economy. The respondents held top and middle management positions in industrial companies in the chemical, forestry, construction, printing, food, and cosmetics sectors in Belarus.

Theoretical framework The increasing attention towards sustainability issues arising among different stakeholders in the society facilitates the need to develop sustainability policies, and to achieve successful sustainability performance for companies in different economic sectors. A recent global survey involving executives and managers across a variety of industries shows that 70% of respondents’ companies have added sustainability to their managerial agendas in the past six years (Kiron et al. 2012). The strategic goals and tactical actions of companies need to be aligned with the efforts devoted to achieving sustainability (Kotler 2011). Nevertheless, there is still a certain degree of skepticism among some managers regarding the positive impact of sustainability efforts on the financial performance of companies, including their profitability (Szekely & Knirsch 2005). Previous research demonstrates that the unsuccessful implementation of sustainability in companies can be explained by the internal ethical misalignment between employees’ perceptions, and ethical corporate identities of their organizations, and consequently the insufficient management of internal stakeholder relationships (Powell 2011). Therefore, sustainability performance of companies can be positively affected by the effective implementation of branding strategies promoting sustainability initiatives to different stakeholders including employees (Kumar & Christodoulopoulou 2014).

Internal branding activities focusing on increasing awareness of employees about their corporate brand and enhancing their knowledge of corporate brand values are of critical importance for successfully implementing company’s policies and achieving planned goals (Foster et al. 2010). Prior studies on internal marketing confirm that the involvement of employees, enhanced through effective internal branding activities, can facilitate the performance of companies (Gapp & Merrilees 2006). Although internal marketing including internal branding has been found to have a critical role in implementing sustainability strategies and achieving competitive advantage in industrial markets, there is an evident gap in research integrating the streams of research on sustainability and internal marketing (Sharma et al. 2010). In general, previous literature reviews of sustainability research in marketing confirm the need to explore issues related to the potential impact of marketing activities on sustainability performance (Chabowski et al. 2011; McDonagh & Prothero 2014). This study aims to address the gaps in research on sustainability and marketing by examining the relationships between sustainability performance and internal branding in industrial markets.

Previous studies on internal marketing highlight the importance of employees’ involvement (e.g. Gapp & Merrilees 2006) and their identification with the company’s goals (e.g. Foster et al. 2010) for the successful implementation of company’s policies and performance. Based on these findings, we hypothesize the presence of relationships between employees’ perceptions of sustainability importance for their company, evaluations of the company’s sustainability performance, and their internal brand commitment. We conceptualize internal brand commitment as “an employee's psychological attachment to the brand, the degree of which moderates willingness to behave in a brand-consistent way, and to invest significant effort in attaining goals set by the branding strategy” (Baumgarth & Schmidt 2010, p. 1253).

Furthermore, we consider the key determinants of internal brand commitment such as brand orientation, internal brand knowledge, and internal brand involvement. In this study, the employees’ evaluations of the company’s sustainability performance involving “potential social and environmental impacts of a company’s business activities” (Epstein & Roy 2001) include sustainability objectives, sustainability decision-making, sustainability disclosure, and sustainability policies. Based on the assumptions of potential links between sustainability performance and employees’ commitment (Knox & Maklan 2004; Aggerholm et al. 2011), we utilize the key determinants of internal brand commitment and the main factors of sustainability performance for assessing the differences between the alternative clusters of employees characterized by various degrees of importance assigned to sustainability, and by different levels of internal brand commitment.

Methodology The study was conducted among employees holding top and middle management positions in industrial companies in Belarus. The survey involved employees of industrial companies operating in the chemical, forestry, construction, printing, food, and cosmetics sectors. The companies collaborated in a trainee program developed by the Belarusian State Technological University. The scales from previous studies were used for developing the measures of sustainability performance (GRESB BV 2014) and determinants of internal brand commitment (Baumgarth & Schmidt 2010). 238 responses were analyzed by using the independent samples t-test, and the K-means cluster analysis. ANOVA was utilized for evaluating the differences between the three identified clusters.



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