Academic journal article IUP Journal of Brand Management

Measuring Customer-Based Brand Equity through Brand Building Blocks for Durables

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Brand Management

Measuring Customer-Based Brand Equity through Brand Building Blocks for Durables

Article excerpt

This study evaluates global and Indian brands in the Consumer Durables Sector by using Customer-Based Brand Equity Model (Keller, 2001). Six brand building blocks, as referred by Keller (2001), were considered in the study-Brand Salience, Brand Imagery, Brand Performance, Brand Judgment, Brand Feelings and Brand Resonance. The findings reveal that global brand's brand strength is much higher than the Indian brand's. The Indian brand has scored significantly less in 'Brand Preference' and consequently its 'Brand Strength' has been much lesser than that of the global brand. Two other hypotheses were also tested regarding the existence of positive relationship between brand trust and brand affect and attitudinal loyalty and purchase loyalty. The need to test these hypotheses arise because of the importance of the last brand building block, 'Brand Resonance', to marketing managers, as high brand resonance implies high loyalty. The empirical findings show that there exists a positive relationship between brand trust and brand affect and attitudinal and purchase loyalty for both global and Indian brand.

Introduction

The study of brand equity has gained popularity since the 1980s as marketers and researchers got convinced that brands are the most valuable assets of a firm. Aaker (1991), Keller (1993), Feldwick (1996) and many others started defining brand equity from various perspectives. These gave rise to two schools of thoughts, namely, (1) financial performance increases for brands possessing high brand equity; and (2) positive customers' perceptions creating brand equity. However, it is Keller's (1993) Customer-Based Brand Equity model, which has provided a framework of how customers' responses help in building brand equity. Keller (1993) has defined Customer-Based Brand Equity as 'the differential effect of the brand knowledge on the customer response to the marketing of the brand'. Customer-based brand equity occurs when the customer has a high level of awareness and familiarity with the brand and holds some strong, favorable and unique brand associations in memory (Keller, 2007, p. 95).

Building a powerful brand is desired by all marketers. Compared to the big multinationals originating from USA, Japan, Korea, etc., the branding expertise among Indian firms is considered to be low. A typical Indian firm has to compete with powerful global brands as well as its own Indian competitors. Memon (2011, p. 4) puts forward that the Indian customer is very choosy in selecting the brands and the market is obsessed with international brands. Brands that customers find under the same name in multiple countries with generally similar and centrally coordinated marketing strategies are referred to as global brands (Kapferer, 2003, p. 338) and after reviewing the Indian customer durables market, it becomes obvious that many of these global brands are leading in terms of market shares.

Consumer Durables Market: An Overview

Kelvinator, Godrej, Alwyn and Voltas have been dominating the Indian Consumer Durables market before the 1990s, enjoying almost 90% of the market. But after liberalization, big players like LG, Sony, Samsung, Whirlpool, Daewoo and Aiwa entered the market. The market share of these MNCs in the durables sector accounts for approximately 65%. At present, with the rising middle class, which is expected to become 41% of the total Indian population by 2025, India will become the much sought after destination of the successful global brands. Among the durables, refrigeration appliance sales proved the most lucrative for the Indian household appliances, market growing at a rate of 33% in 2010-2011, and the washing machines market growing at a rate of 20% in 2010-2011 (GEPL Capital Research Report). The washing machine market has the product line of semi-automatic and fully automatic washing machines. With the number of working women in India increasing, along with the rise in the numbers of nuclear family, the demand for such durables is increasing rapidly. …

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