Service branding is a particular form of emotional management, where employees are regarded as adaptable media, who can be trained to convey corporate values while interacting with customers. This paper examines the identity work of butchers during the brand revitalisation campaign of Kvickly, a Danish supermarket chain. During the implementation of the “Best Butcher in Town”-project, Kvickly’s shop floor becomes an engineered servicescape where the norms of good salesmanship must be performed. By documenting the disloyal behaviour of butchers, we demonstrate that the affective commitment towards corporate brand values is closely related with self-enactment opportunities of occupational communities. Total service-orientation threatens butchers’ perception of autonomy and may therefore result in the emergence of resistant sub-cultures.
Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, 2010, Vol 2, Issue 19, p. 329-345