Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Society

Online Corporate Brand Images and Consumer Loyalty

Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Society

Online Corporate Brand Images and Consumer Loyalty

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

It has been suggested that the website of a company should be considered as a means to strengthen the image of the brand. Recent online branding literature (Supphellen and Nysveen, 2001; de Chernatony and Christodoulides, 2004; Stuart and Jones, 2004; de Chernatony et al., 2006) highlights that both the functional and emotional aspects of brand characterisation, such as corporate brand images (CBI), are important to determine online consumer responses. The impact of corporate brands on the Internet has been the object of recent study. Lack of empirical research in this subject has led to the ongoing debate on whether online corporate brand values are similar to an offline context. Recognising the importance of corporate brands in an online context and in the comprehension of consumer responses, the study investigates what the corporate brand images for online context are, and whether or not they play any role in determining the consumer responses (loyalty). Using the personification approach, the research investigates the CBI of a book retailer that sells exclusively online. The findings show that corporate brand images such as Agreeableness, Innovation, Chic, Informality and Competence are significant in determining the corporate brand image of the online e-tailer and are related to consumer loyalty. The practical contribution of the study and its managerial implications are in the provision of strategic directions and positioning the corporate brand in an online context.

Keywords: Online Branding, Online Corporate Brand Images, Consumer Loyalty

I. INTRODUCTION

Much has been written about the impact of the Internet revolution on corporate brands (Ind and Riondino, 2001; Supphellen and Nysveen, 2001; Christodoulides and de Chernatony, 2004) but the empirical studies exploring the effect of this medium on a company's brand image (or corporate brands) are very few (Merrilees and Fry, 2002). Yet, this understanding is vital to marketers because favourable brand images of a company may influence consumer patronage and consumer decision-making, while unfavourable images adversely influence such decisions and behaviours (Porter and Claycomb, 1997). Moreover, de Chertanony and Harris (2000) pointed out that understanding corporate branding is vital because a positive corporate brand will help a company achieve higher levels of performance, for example, by increasing profitability through increased sales, without having to spend enormous amounts of money on advertising. Supphellen and Nysveen (2001) suggested that the website of a company should be considered as a means to strengthen the image of the brand. However, lack of empirical research in this subject limits the understanding of corporate brand images online and whether its values from an offline could be translated into an online context. It is as yet, not clear as to how a corporate brand succeeded in both a brick and a clicks environment. This pressing managerial problem raises questions in terms of the academic understanding of consumer perception of an online corporate brand, in comparison to an offline corporate brand. It is therefore the study's intention to explore the online consumers' perceptions of corporate brand image, specifically, whether the emotional aspect of brand evaluation (through the corporate brand image) could have some influence on the intention to re-visit/re-buy from the website and brick and mortar again in the future. This study reports part of the findings from a study on corporate brand image and consumer behavioural intention in an online context. Specifically, the current study reports the finding from an investigation of corporate brand image and loyalty intention. The expanded version of this study investigates the influence of corporate brand image on consumer satisfaction, and, subsequently, loyalty intention in an online context (the details of the findings are reported in da Silva and Syed Alwi, 2008). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.