Citizen-Based Brand Equity: A Model and Experimental Evaluation

Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 28(3): 321-338. DOI: 10.1093/jopart/mux044

47 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2019 Last revised: 13 Apr 2019

See all articles by Manuel P. Teodoro

Manuel P. Teodoro

Texas A&M University

Seung-Ho An

University of Arizona - School of Government and Public Policy

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

Government agencies carry reputations in the public imagination. Agency names, images, and icons help form a brand that conveys information about that agency’s competency in a given area of public policy. This article brings the concept of consumer-based brand equity from business marketing to public administration research on agency reputation. Like their commercial counterparts, public organizations may enjoy positive brand equity that provides political leverage and facilitates effective management, or negative brand equity that weakens an agency politically and frustrates administration. Just as different commercial products appeal to different kinds of consumers, an agency’s brand value might differ with various segments of the public. We adapt a classic model of consumer branding to the public administration context, developing a framework for analyzing citizen-based brand equity for public agencies. A series of experiments embedded in a national survey is then used to gauge brand favorability for four U.S. federal agencies as first-order test of the concept. We find consistent evidence that agencies’ brands positively affect support for federal management, but also that partisanship conditions agencies’ brand favorability.

Suggested Citation

Teodoro, Manuel P. and An, Seung-Ho, Citizen-Based Brand Equity: A Model and Experimental Evaluation (2018). Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 28(3): 321-338. DOI: 10.1093/jopart/mux044. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3354111 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3354111

Manuel P. Teodoro (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University ( email )

College Station, TX 77843-4353
United States

Seung-Ho An

University of Arizona - School of Government and Public Policy

315 Social Science Building
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

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