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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

How (in)congruity between the consumer brand and the employer brand determines job pursuit intentions

Published: May 27, 2020


Sanne Ghielen, KU Leuven; Rein De Cooman, KU Leuven; Luc Sels, KU Leuven; Luk Warlop, BI Norwegian Business School


consumer brand; employer brand; congruity


To date, many organizations develop an employer brand next to their established consumer brand to distinguish themselves from their competitors on the labor market. This raises the question on whether the two brand concepts need to be coordinated or can be developed independently. Building on social cognition theory and the concept of self-brand connection, we posit that brand incongruity between consumer brand and employer brand hurts employer brand equity, particularly for potential employees experiencing a high degree of self-brand connection. We adopted an experimental vignette methodology (N=191) to test our hypotheses. Our findings illustrate that manipulated brand (in)congruity determines perceived congruity, that consequently influences job pursuit intentions. Moreover, self-brand connection appears to significantly impact job pursuit intentions. These findings provide an enriched understanding of consumer brand-employer brand interactions and generate relevant insights in effective brand management.