Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research


Charities are increasingly adopting commercial branding strategies to capture consumer hearts and minds for competitive gain, with little attention on the internal organisational battle for hearts and minds within a not-for-profit context. This paper explores the internal brand of a charity that currently operates 227 charity shops on the island of Ireland, using Hankinson’s 2004 framework that focuses on functional, symbolic, behavioural and experiential components. An exploratory case study was developed based on a survey of organisational members (n = 138), interviews with six regional shopmanagers, observation in retail stores and supplemented by organisation documentation. Findings indicate a clarity of perception on mission, purpose and core values for the charity, but more ambiguity around perception of the charity shop brand and identified issues relating to communication of policies and procedures, managerial practice and the workplace environment. The study also reveals a gap between the charity’s organisational identity and the brand identity for the charity store network, a clarity in the perception of core values that does not underwrite the store brand and resistance to the implementation of commercial practice within a volunteer-led charity. Trust may be the key in the internal battle for hearts and minds within the charity and may be crucial for the charity to realise its’ potential and successfully meet its mission for maximum societal gain.