Academic journal article Competition Forum

Leveraging Brand Heritage's Effects on Consumers' Attitudes and Intentions to Enhance Competitiveness

Academic journal article Competition Forum

Leveraging Brand Heritage's Effects on Consumers' Attitudes and Intentions to Enhance Competitiveness

Article excerpt


Brand Heritage's Role in Increasing Competitiveness

Brand heritage is defined as "a dimension of brand's identity found in its track records, longevity, core values, use of symbols, and particularly in an organisational belief that its history is important" (Urde et al., 2007). Because consumers search for authentic brands with genuine history in an increasingly global and dynamic marketplace, brand heritage has gained growing interest in both marketing research and managerial practice over the past decade (Wiedmann et al., 2011b). As such, it is worthwhile to study the effect of brand heritage on purchase intention, perceived fair price, brand trust and self-brand connection.

As the marketing literature indicates, it is quite common for companies to enhance their competiveness by leveraging their heritage through their branding strategies (Beverland, 2004; Bruce & Kratz, 2007; Fionda & Moore, 2009). Successful heritage brands are able to position themselves based on their past history and to relate that history to current circumstances (Urde et al., 2007) in part because brand heritage represents a value proposition to consumers (Rose et al., 2015). Previous research highlighted the importance of heritage, consistency, and a sense of grounding in consumers' determinations of authenticity and brand positioning (Beverland, 2005a, 2005b, 2006). By invoking brand heritage, firms are able to convey a sense of stability (Hakala et al., 2011; Wiedmann et al., 2011a) and enhance brand equity by linking past performance and a brand's history to a brand's current potential to fulfill its promise (Beverland, 2006).

Brand heritage also serves as an antecedent to authenticity (Alexander, 2009; Atwal &Williams, 2009; Beverland, 2005a, 2005b, 2006; Beverland & Farrelly, 2010; Beverland & Luxton, 2005; Chevalier & Gutsatz, 2012; DeFanti et al., 2014; Fionda & Moore, 2009; Fritz et al., 2014; Kapferer & Bastien, 2009; Moulard et al., 2014; Tungate, 2008; Tynan et al., 2010; Vigneron & Johnson, 1999; Yeoman and McMahon-Beattie, 2006), credibility and reliability (Leigh et al., 2006), which in turn create value and leverage for a brand in a turbulent global market (Aaker, 1996; George, 2004; Wiedmann et al., 2011b).

Brands with strong equity can serve as an important economic resource to companies (Chandrashekhar, 2013). Using an associative network memory model including brand awareness and brand image (i.e., a set of brand associations) to conceptualize brand knowledge, Keller (1993) defines customer-based brand equity as "the differential effect of brand knowledge on consumer response to the marketing of the brand." This effect materializes when the consumer is familiar with the brand and holds some favorable, strong, and unique brand associations in memory. Brand heritage is one of those associations that might affect consumers' attitudes and intentions (Keller, 2001). Brand heritage has also been found to serve as a driver of brand identity that helps increase brand equity (Aaker, 1996; Liebrenz-Hines et al., 2007; Rindell, 2013) and it provides a foundation for trust-building interactions between the company and its stakeholders (Wiedmann et al., 2013). In so doing, brand heritage can favorably influence perceived value to consumers who find heritage to be meaningful and it can augment the firm's corporate reputation among those consumers (Rindell, 2013; Wiedmann et al., 2013).

Previous literature indicates that the multifaceted brand heritage can be comprised of a combination of the following elements (DeFanti et al., 2014):

- country of origin (Danziger, 2005; Kapferer, 2012; Keller, 2009; Okonkwo 2010)

- craftsmanship (Chadha & Husband, 2006; Chevalier & Gutsatz, 2012; Danziger, 2005; Kapferer & Bastien, 2009; Moore & Doherty, 2007; Nueno & Quelch, 1998; Okonkwo, 2010; Tungate, 2008); charismatic founder (Chevalier & Mazzalovo, 2008; Danziger, 2005; Troy, 2002)

- celebrity associations (Beverland, 2006; Bian & Forsythe, 2012; Carroll, 2009; Eng & Bogaert, 2010; Fionda & Moore, 2009; Horwell, 2011; Keller, 2009; Mandel et al. …

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