A by contact before buying. That is, the

Topics: BusinessDecision Making

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Last updated: September 12, 2019

Abrand can be defined as “a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, orcombination of them which is intended to identify the goods and services of oneseller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those ofcompetitors” (Kotler 1991 p.

442).Brands are among an organization’s mostvaluable assets, and leading organizations (as in the case of Coca Cola) todayrealize that capitalizing on their brands is more important than the tangibleassets. Doing so can help them achieve their growth objectives quicker andmore   profitably (Davis).

Leadingorganizations know that brands are more than just products: brands are also anindication of what the organization does and, more importantly, what theorganization is. Usually brands are why an organization exists; not the otherway around (Davis). However, most organizations are not maximizing theirpotential financial returns because they are not maximizing the power of theirbrands.

With proper brand management, organizations can experience exponentialgrowth, but this will happen only if these organizations take advantage of themost important growth weapon at their disposal: their brand (Davis).Wileman& Jaryquoted that- most organizations within the FMCG market believe thatthey operate in a ‘mature’ industry and therefore use little imagination inmarketing and branding their products. To distinguish its brand, anorganization needs to be innovative. In this way, imaginative organizations canrewrite industry rules and create new futures for them. In the FMCG market,sustainable growth can only be achieved by companies that are successful increating good, trusted brands.

Central in a market economy is a diversity oftaste and preference. Organizations cater for this in differentiating productson both tangible and intangible attributes. This product differentiationprovides an opportunity to consumers to claim their difference, demonstratetheir originality and express their personality through their brand choices. Inthis way, consumers can also communicate their value system (Lambin). BothKeller and Kapferer believe that there are three types of qualities of brandcharacteristics that are important to consumers:  Qualities that are noticed by contact beforebuying. That is, the brand’s attributes can be evaluated by visual inspection(for example size, color, and style and ingredient composition).

Qualitiesnoticed uniquely by experience, thus after buying. Actual brand trial andexperience is necessary (for example service quality, safety, and ease ofhandling). Credence qualities that cannot be verified even after consumptionand which consumers should take on trust. Because of the difficulty inassessing and interpreting product attributes and benefits through experienceand with credence brands, brand names may be particularly important signals ofquality and other characteristics to consumers.

De Chernatony and McDonald goone step further in arguing that a brand is more than just the sum of itscomponent parts. For the purchaser or user, a brand embodies additionalattributes which, while they might be considered by some to be “intangible”,are still very real and in consumers’ minds, are added values. The added valueof a product is created through the marketing mix of the product, packaging,promotion, price and distribution and creates a distinctive position within theconsumer’s mental map.Aakercited that brand awareness means the ability of a consumer can recognize andrecall a brand in different situations. Brand awareness consists of brandrecall and brand recognition. Brand recall means when consumers see a productcategory, they can recall a brand name exactly, and brand recognition meansconsumers has ability to identify a brand when there is a brand cue. That is,consumers can tell a brand correctly if they ever saw or heard it. Moreover,Hoeffler & Keller indicate that brand awareness can be distinguished fromdepth and width.

Depth means how to make consumers to recall or identify brandeasily, and width expresses infers when consumers purchase a product, a brandname will come to their minds at once. If a product owns brand depth and bandwidth at the same time, consumers will think of a specific brand when they wantto buy a product. That is, the product has higher brand awareness.

Moreover, Davis,Golicic & Marquardt cited that brand name is the most essential element inbrand awareness. Therefore, according to Keller brand awareness will affectpurchase decision through brand association, and when a product owns a positivebrand image, it will help in marketing activities. A brand name offers a symbolthat can assist consumers to identify service providers and to predict service results(Herbig & Milewicz; Janiszewski & Van Osselaer; Turley & Moore).Brand awareness plays a key role on purchase intention because consumers tendto buy a familiar and well known product (Keller; Macdonald & Sharp). Accordingto Percy & Rossiter brand awareness can help consumers to recognize a brandfrom a product category and make purchase decision. Brand awareness has aprofound influence on selections and can be a prior consideration base in aproduct category (Hoyer & Brown). Brand awareness also acts as a criticalfactor in the consumer purchase intention, and certain brands will accumulatein consumers’ mind to influence consumer purchase decision.

A product with aprominent level of brand awareness will receive higher consumer preferencesbecause it has higher market share and quality evaluation (Dodds et al.; Grewalet al.).

Brandawareness significantly impacts consumer decision making; consumers generallyuse brand awareness as a decision heuristic. A known brand has a much betterchance of being chosen by consumers over an unknown brand (Hoyer and Brown).This well-known brand likely performs better in the marketplace compared to alesser known brand. A recent study of consumers’ incidental encounter of brandsin their daily life indicates that the frequency of exposure to brandssignificantly enhances the probability of the brand being chosen, even ifconsumers are not aware of such exposure (Ferraro et al.). Firm studiesindicate that familiar brands have better information retrieval in brain areasthan unfamiliar brands (Esch et al.

).Engel,Blackwell and Miniard present the most recognized model of consumer purchasedecision-making. This model divides the consumer purchase decision process intofive stages: (1) problem recognition, (2) information search, (3) alternativeevaluation, (4) purchase decision, and (5) post-purchase behavior. Also, Mowenand Minor maintain that consumer decision making are a series of processingresults from perceiving problems, searching for solutions, evaluatingalternatives, and making decisions.

Engel, et al. further contend that purchaseintention can be divided into unplanned buying, partially planned to buy andfully planned buying. Unplanned buying means that consumers make all decisionsto buy a product category and a brand in a store. It can be regarded as animpulse buying behavior. Partially planned buying means that consumers onlydecide a product category and the specification before buying a product, andbrands and types will decide in the shop later. Fully planned buying means thatconsumers decide which product and brand to buy before entering the shop.

Kotler proposes that individual attitudes and unpredictable situations willinfluence purchase intention. Individual attitudes include personal preferencesto others and obedience to others’ expectation and unpredictable situationssignify that consumers change purchase intention because a situation isappearing, for example, when the price is higher than expected price (Dodds etal). Consumer purchase intention is considered as a subjective inclinationtoward a product and can be an important index to predict consumer behavior(Fishbein & Ajzen). Zeithaml uses possible to buy intended to buy andconsidered to buy as measurement items to measure purchase intention.

Manyresearches also maintain that the higher the brand awareness is, the higher perceivedquality is (Monore; Dodds and Grewal; Wall, Liefeld, ; Lo; Lin). Kanfurther suggests that the higher the brand awareness is, the higher theconsumers’ quality evaluation is. Besides, Aaker and Keller mentioned that abrand with high awareness and good image can promote brand loyalty toconsumers, and the higher the brand awareness is, the higher brand trust andpurchase intention are to consumers. Peng indicates that brand awareness hasthe greatest total effects on brand loyalty. When businesses develop a newproduct or a new market, they should promote their brand awareness in order toreceive the best result because brand awareness is positively related to brandloyalty (Aaker & Keller; Peng; Wu; Chou). Chang and Wildt submit that valuecan facilitate loyalty. Parasuraman and Grewal propose that the more positivecustomer transaction perceptions are, the stronger customer loyalty is.

Sirdeshmukh,Sigh and Sabol also deem that value will bring a positive influence towardcustomers. Wu identifies that the perception of consumers will increase orreduce brand loyalty. Judith and Richard further indicate that perceivedquality and brand loyalty have a highly connection, they will positivelyinfluence purchase intention. Chi, Yeh and Chiou a new view and evidence to thestudy of brand loyalty that customer perceived quality will influence brandtrust and brand affect, and further to influence brand attitude and purchasebehavior. Thus, perceived quality and brand loyalty are positively correlated,and brand loyalty will increase if perceived quality increases.

Consumers willhave a higher purchase intention with a familiar brand (Kamins & Marks).Likewise, if a product has higher brand awareness it will have a higher marketshare and a better-quality evaluation (Dodds, et al.; Grewal, et al.).

Awell-known brand will have a higher purchase intention than a less well-knownbrand (Hsu). Garretson and Clow suggest that perceived quality will influenceconsumer purchase intention, and Monore indicates that perceived quality willpositively influence purchase intention through perceived value. Ho alsoasserts that the higher the perceived quality and perceived value of theprivate brand foods, the higher buying intention to consumers. In addition,Chang and Wu conclude that perceived quality and purchase intention arepositively related. Brand loyalty is a repurchase commitment that promisesconsumers will repurchase their favorable brands in the future, and they willnot change their loyalty under any circumstance (Oliver).

Aaker, Assael, andWang and Kan also mention that consumers must have positive feelings to abrand, and then they will produce purchase intention. 

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