Franchisee-based brand equity: The role of brand relationship quality and brand citizenship behavior
Despite the evidence that brand management is core to the success of franchising businesses, limited empirical work has focused on branding in such business-to-business (B2B) exchanges. Integrating social exchange theory and the identity-based brand management framework, this study proposes that brand relationship quality is crucial in promoting franchisee brand citizenship behavior that can enhance brand equity attributable to franchisees, thereby advancing a model of 'franchisee-based brand equity' (FBBE). Survey results from 352 franchisees in franchised B2B exchanges suggest that brand relationship quality promotes brand citizenship behavior, thereby enhancing FBBE. Additionally, moderated mediation analysis indicates that the indirect effect of brand relationship quality on FBBE via brand citizenship behavior is stronger when franchisor competence is high. However, franchisor-franchisee relationship duration has no moderating effects on these relationships. The findings of this study have implications for franchising practitioners that are interested in understanding the role of brand relationship management in promoting franchisee brand citizenship behavior and FBBE.