Branded service encounters: Strategically aligning employee behavior with the brand positioning

Nancy J. Sirianni, M J Bitner, Stephen W. Brown, Naomi Mandel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

218 Scopus citations


This research examines how branded service encounters, in which frontline service employee behavior is aligned with a firm's brand positioning, may positively affect customer responses to brands. Across two brand personality contexts, Study 1 demonstrates that employee-brand alignment increases overall brand evaluations and customerbased brand equity, with more pronounced results for unfamiliar brands. Study 2 shows that conceptual fluency underlies the effect of employee-brand alignment on overall brand evaluations for unfamiliar brands. Study 3 reveals that employee authenticity enhances the effectiveness of employee-brand alignment. Finally, a critical incident study (Study 4) extends the generalizability of these findings to a wider variety of service contexts. This research is the first to demonstrate how firms can leverage employee behavior as a brand-building advantage, particularly for new or unfamiliar brands as they establish their positioning with customers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-123
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Brand equity
  • Brand familiarity
  • Brand personality
  • Branded service encounters
  • Conceptual fluency
  • Frontline employee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Branded service encounters: Strategically aligning employee behavior with the brand positioning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this