Gillespie publishes paper on salesperson brand attachment

Erin Gillespie, assistant professor of marketing, co-authored a paper on the impact brand attachment has on the performance of salespeople.

Assistant Professor of Marketing Erin Gillespie published the paper, “Stuck like glue: the formation and consequences of brand attachments among salespeople,” in the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management.

Assistant Professor of Marketing Erin Gillespie
Gillespie co-authored the paper with Stephanie Noble, the Proffitt’s Professor of Marketing at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

The authors researched the impact brand attachment has on the performance of salespeople. This study uncovered information for managers on the importance of identification and psychological ownership for sales people.

The abstract reads as follows:

Although managers and researchers put utmost importance on uncovering factors that affect effort and performance of sales representatives, they have largely overlooked a key factor. This research aims to remedy this neglect by shedding light on salesperson brand attachment. A qualitative study first examines the prevalence of attachment and uncovers several potential antecedents. Two follow-up empirical studies show that identification and psychological ownership are significant predictors of salesperson brand attachment. Informed by this research, managers can encourage brand attachment, with the end goal of increasing salesperson effort and ultimately performance, by increasing feelings of identification and psychological ownership among salespeople. This impact is particularly notable among brands with low market share, which are often a key concern of managers. The findings provide novel insights into how attachment affects sales representatives, as well as potential methods to cultivate such an attachment.

Gillespie joined the Love School of Business faculty in 2013 after completing her doctorate in business administration at the University of Mississippi. She teaches course in marketing principles and professional sales, and serves as the director of the Chandler Family Professional Sales Center. Her primary research interest is in sales, specifically salesperson-product attachment, effort level and team-selling.