Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Major Professor

Alex R. Zablah

Committee Members

Stephanie M. Noble, Daniel J. Flint, Timothy Munyon


Prior research finds that the more attached salespeople are to a brand, the more effort they extend on behalf of the brand, thus improving sales performance. However, salesperson brand attachment may also have undesirable consequences only evident when viewed through the customers’ lens. Specifically, we argue that brand attachment has a “blinding effect” on salespeople, leading them to adopt inappropriate sales strategies that discourage customers from purchasing the brand. We explore these ideas using data collected from 20 exploratory interviews with salesperson-customer dyads and a field study that includes 153 salespeople and 98 matched customers. The data offer support for our ideas and reveal that while brand attachment does increase salesperson effort and sales performance, it also decreases customer future purchase intentions by damaging customer trust in the brand. The data also demonstrate that salesperson authenticity diminishes the negative effect of brand attachment on customers’ future purchase intentions. The study findings thus suggest that while managers should promote salesforce brand attachment to achieve short-term sales goals, doing so may come at the expense of the brand’s long-term health.

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