• Brand champion behaviour: Its role in corporate branding

      Yakimova, Raisa; Mavonda, F.; Freeman, S.; Stuart, H. (2017)
      Brand champions are responsible for encouraging employee commitment to the corporate brand strategy. They strongly believe in and identify with the brand concept—the company’s selected brand meaning, which underpins corporate brand strategy implementation. We conducted research to explore why and how brand champion behaviour operates within companies implementing a new corporate brand strategy. Against a backdrop of growing interest in brand champion behaviour in corporate branding research, we grounded our study in social identity theory and rhetorical theory from change management literature. Our findings show that articulating a compelling brand vision, taking responsibility, and getting the right people involved are the most widely used strategies by brand champions. We uncover how rhetorical strategies within brand champion behaviour generate employee commitment to a new corporate brand strategy. The dimension of brand champion behaviour that is effective depends on the type of brand evolution, involving shifts in the brand concept. We make suggestions for further studies underpinned by social identity theory and rhetorical theory to investigate brand champion behaviour processes within companies introducing a new corporate brand strategy.