Behavioral Branding Research

An article by Theo Lieven published in the journal "Frontiers in Psychology" talks about the connection between employee personality and brand strength.

Publications on behavioral branding have a long tradition within IMC-HSG research (see the numerous contributions by Tomczak, Kernstock, Wentzel, Herrmann, Henkel and others). Theo Lieven has taken up the topic again. In his article “How Behavioral Branding Affects Brand Equity” published in the journal “Frontiers in Psychology” he establishes the connection between employee personality and experience from the customer conversation on the one hand and the resulting brand strength on the other. This correlation can be explained 66% from the corresponding mediator model.

Schaubild Behavioral Branding

Here, employee personality is operationalized by employee gender appearance, which can be aligned with brand gender (see Lieven, “Brand Gender,” Palgrave Macmillan 2018). The stronger the personality values of the brand representatives, the larger the (positive) total effect on brand strength (b = .60), as measured by the difference between brand strength after and before the consulting experience. The effect from the counseling experience is b = .67. The indirect personality effect of mediation via the counseling experience is b = .39.

Both employee personality and the consulting experience have roughly equal contributions to brand strength, with the consulting experience as a mediator taking over part of the total effect of employee personality. The theoretical contribution of the study lies in supporting the thesis of a quantitative relationship between employee behavior and brand strength, while for the practitioner it opens up ways to achieve positive effects on brand strength beyond controlling the consulting experience by optimizing the brand ambassador’s personality.

The related article was published in the journal «Frontiers in Psychology», and is freely available at:

Porträt Theo Lieven
Prof. Dr. em. Theo Lieven
Associate Professor