Energizing the Reseller's Sales Force: The Power of Brand Identification
Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming
50 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2010 Last revised: 26 Apr 2010
Date Written: April 5, 2010
A manufacturer’s success in the marketplace is contingent in part on its ability to energize its downstream channel members in support of its brands. Gaining the focused effort of the reseller’s sales personnel is particularly important, and this has become increasingly challenging as resellers broaden their brand portfolios in the wake of industry consolidation.
This study reveals a motivating influence that potentially can be harnessed by both manufacturer and channel member – identification. Using a multi-level analysis, the authors explore the sometimes conflicting impact of salesperson-brand identification, salesperson-organizational identification, and manufacturer-channel member control system alignment on brand and channel member sales performance. Favorable extra-role consequences of salesperson - brand identification are also examined. The results show that while organizational identification strengthens salesperson adherence to controls, brand identification can increase salesperson effort behind a specific brand, and ultimately improved brand performance, even in the face of control systems to the contrary. This suggests that suppliers may exercise influence over the reseller’s sales force by strengthening the psychological connection between their brands and reseller sales personnel.
Keywords: brand identification, organizational identification, control systems, salesperson
JEL Classification: M3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation