Dr. Manuel Teodoro, an ISTPP Research Fellow and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, and Seung-Ho An, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science, recently published a paper titled “Citizen-Based Brand Equity: A Model and Experimental Evaluation” in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. Adapting a model from commercial marketing, Teodoro and An develop an agency branding theory to explain how public perceptions of an agency translate into political and organizational leverage for public managers.
Teodoro and An use data from an experiment embedded within ISTPP’s Water, Energy, Food Nexus Survey to investigate the relationship between agency names and support for federal government management of agricultural, water, and energy resources. They find that support for federal management increases when associated with names of specific agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Energy. They also find that the effects of branding vary according to citizens’ partisanship, with Republicans and Democrats responding differently to agency names.
Teodoro and An recommend additional research on public agency branding, and they hope their methods in this paper can serve as a model for future research related to brand equity in the public sector. Moreover, further research in this field may provide strategies public managers can use to improve public trust and favorability towards their agency.
Teodoro, Manuel P., and Seung-Ho An. 2017. “Citizen-Based Brand Equity: A Model and Experimental Evaluation.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. DOI: 10.1093/jopart/mux044