Co-creating consistent brand identity with employees in the hotel industry

Chung, Sung-Yun Ashley and Byrom, John ORCID: 0000-0001-9274-5322
(2021) Co-creating consistent brand identity with employees in the hotel industry. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 30 (1). 74 - 89.

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<jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Purpose</jats:title> <jats:p>This paper aims to investigate how brand identity is co-created, with a specific focus on how employees contributed to the process in a five-star hotel setting. The focus of this study is on understanding how two hotels planned and executed their brand identity strategy simultaneously, differentiating one from the other and how employees actively participated in this process.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Design/methodology/approach</jats:title> <jats:p>A longitudinal case study approach was adopted, centred on building the identity of two luxury hotels owned by a single company in Seoul, Korea. Various organizational documents were collected and analyzed to understand the brand identity of the hotels and how brand co-creation has been implemented. In addition, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 42 employees to understand the brand co-creation process from their perspective.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Findings</jats:title> <jats:p>The brand co-creation process of the hotels was conducted simultaneously and evolved over the following four phases, with employees’ roles varying in each phase, namely, establishing a clear brand identity strategy; designing and selecting sensory identity; aligning organizational identity; and delivering brand identity through external communication. Employees that participated in brand co-creation enhanced their brand knowledge, developed emotional bonds with the brand and were motivated to deliver the brand identity. Furthermore, those that immersed themselves in the new brand identities were able to enable positive guest perceptions towards the brand image, which consequently enhanced employees’ pride in their work.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Research limitations/implications</jats:title> <jats:p>This research advances the brand management literature in defining branding and brand identity elements, as well as emphasizing the importance of consistent branding. In addition, the current study expands the scope of internal branding, highlighting the process of brand co-creation and the role of employees as active participants. Moreover, it reveals that employees’ participation enhances not only their brand knowledge but also their emotional bonds with the brand. The proposed conceptual framework demonstrates the flow of branding elements, brand identity elements and the “infinite loop” of employee participation in brand co-creation.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Originality/value</jats:title> <jats:p>The case study approach adopted here enables an in-depth investigation of employee participation in brand co-creation, including their different roles and activities in the process; a phenomenon that has not been adequately explored in previous research.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2020 11:07
Last Modified: 24 Dec 2021 15:10
DOI: 10.1108/jpbm-08-2019-2544