Consumer-Based Brand Equity in the Television Industry: A Study of a Private TV Channel in Turkey

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The study examines the consumer-based brand equity (CBBE) of a private TV channel, Kanal B, in Turkey. Specifically, it investigates 1) which of the brand equity aspects the viewers' perceive that Kanal B performs well; 2) how the programs the viewers like differ based on the viewers' demographic characteristics, and what demographic characteristics of the viewers influence their liking of the programs that Kanal B broadcasts, and 3) how the CBBE aspects that are perceived as being performed well by Kanal B differ based on the viewers' demographic characteristics. The study discusses the managerial implications of the CBBE findings in developing effective marketing and positioning strategies. Drawing from the literature, brand equity was measured with brand awareness, perceived quality, brand loyalty, brand image, brand association, and organizational association. An online questionnaire containing the above brand equity dimensions and several demographic and lifestyle questions were administered to Kanal B's viewers. This process produced a total of 411 usable surveys. The study presents the results of the CBBE survey and discusses the implications of the findings.

Keywords: Branding, Brand equity, Turkey, TV industry, TV programs,

INTRODUCTION

The recent technological advancements and lower financial entry barriers into the media industry have led to changes in practices of mass communication (Oyedeji, 2007). The current media environment is able to deliver specialized content to niche audiences in various formats through a large number of media channels (Goldstein, 2004). Not only the new media vehicles (e.g., blogs, satellite radio, podcasts, online video and news sources, etc.) and traditional media types (radio, television, magazines, and newspapers) presently compete for audiences and advertising revenues, but also the competition among the traditional media vehicles has become more intense. As a result, media organizations found themselves forced to adopt strategic management decisions and practices that had been once commonly used for the marketing of consumer products (Oyedeji, 2007). Television networks (e.g., ABC, CBS, NBC) have long sought to differentiate their products on the basis of functional attributes such as content features and presentation. That is because gaining competitive advantages based on only product attributes (e.g., news, entertainment and sports) has become harder due to the increase in media outlets and fragmentation of audiences. Consequently, the television networks have to find ways of building distinctive and meaningful brand images in the minds of news audiences (ChanOlmsted and Cha, 2008).

IMPORTANCE OF BRANDING IN A DEVELOPING MARKET

While brand consultants emphasize the importance of branding, television networks shift their focus from their earnings per share to long-term shareholder value. Branding has become more important than programming because the value of a successful brand lasts longer and is higher than a program (Ryan, 1999; Chan-Olmsted and Cha, 2007). Yang and Tso (2007, p. 19) affirm that "In the field of media management, understanding consumer acceptance of media products is becoming a central issue in the face of audience fragmentation and media globalization." Prior research concludes that international television programs in general moved from more advanced and culturally dominant countries to developing or less developed countries (Chadha and Kavoori, 2000; Chung 2005; Yang and Tso, 2007).

As one of the developing countries, Turkey is a great example of a market to study because of the rapid growth in the TV network industry. Since the first domestic television transmission signal was received in Turkey in 1968, the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) held its monopoly position without facing any competition until 1990. However, after 1990, the Turkish TV industry experienced a boom of private TV channels in Turkey. …