Employee behaviours conveying brand values, named brand consistent behaviours, affect the overall brand evaluation. Internal branding literature highlights a knowledge gap in terms of communication practices intended to sustain such behaviours. This study contributes to the development of a non-normative and constitutive approach to internal branding by proposing an enablement-oriented communication approach. The conceptual background presents a holistic model of the inside-out process of brand building. This model adopts a theoretical approach to internal branding as a non-normative practice that facilitates constitutive processes. In particular, the paper places emphasis on the role and kinds of communication practices as a central part of the non-normative and constitutive internal branding process. The paper also discusses an empirical study based on interviews with 32 Italian and American communication managers and 2 focus groups with Italian communication managers. Findings show that, in order to enhance employee brand consistent behaviours, the most effective communication practices are those characterised as enablement-oriented. Such a communication creates the organizational conditions adequate to sustain employee discretionary and extra-role brand consistent behaviours.
Keywords: Internal branding; employee behaviours; brand consistent behaviours; employee enablement; constitutive approach; internal communication.