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Brand Equity Associates With Apparel Industry Marketing Essay

4762 words (19 pages) Essay in Marketing

5/12/16 Marketing Reference this

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There were many scholars who studied on conceptual research of brand equity; trying to find out what are valuable dimensions of building brand equity for both the customer and the company. Aaker (1991) regarded a brand as a name or symbol which derives from the value provided by a product or service to a company and/or the company’s customers, as well as a set of assets and liabilities linked to a brand. He divided brand equity into five categories as brand awareness, brand associations, perceived quality, brand loyalty, and other proprietary brand assets. Consumer perceptions and reactions to the brand are directly pointed out by the last four elements of brand equity; moreover, the existing interrelationship among the dimensions of brand equity should be noted (see Table 1).

Besides, Keller (2003) defined customer-based brand equity as the differential effect that brand knowledge has on consumer response to the marketing of that brand. A brand with positive customer-based brand equity might result in consumers being more accepting of a new brand extension, less sensitive to price increase and withdrawal of advertising support, or more willing to seek the brand in a new distribution channel. In 1993, Keller noted brand knowledge could be divided into two essential components as brand awareness and brand image (associations) to contribute consumer-based brand equity; it is also as well as a necessary premise in terms of consumer-based brand equity, or described as a point which keeps in mind by consumers are pertinent with diversified associations. These theories could be utilized in our research to contribute identification of the hypotheses.

1.2 Brand Equity in Apparel Industry

Some researchers have done the similar tests. Jung and Sung (2008) measure and compare the consumer-based brand equity of apparel products by different consumer groups across cultures. Among the elements of brand equity, the perceived brand quality and brand awareness/association reported by American college students were significantly greater than those reported by South Koreans in the USA and Korea. Brand loyalty was the most important element of brand equity. In the relationship between elements of brand equity and purchase intention, brand loyalty showed positive correlation with purchase intention across all tested consumer groups. The finding supported by Xiao and Hawley (2009) based on Aaker’s well-known conceptual framework of brand equity, they found that brand association and brand loyalty are influential dimensions of brand equity. Weak support was found for the perceived quality and brand awareness dimensions. Moreover, they suggest considering the relative importance of brand equity in their overall brand equity evaluation for better brand management, and concentrate their efforts primarily on building brand loyalty and image. Similarly, Holehonnur, Raymond, Hopkins, and Fine (2009) explored customer equity from a consumer’s perspective, examining the relative impact of the drivers of value equity and brand equity on purchase intention. The results show that quality and price-prestige relationships serve as drivers of value equity, whereas brand awareness and brand attitudes drive perceptions of overall brand equity. Likewise, they support the influence of brand and value equity on consumers’ purchase intentions.

Retailer brand equity is also tested by several researchers, such as Swoboda, Haelsig, Schramm-Klein and Morschett (2009) examined on how consumer involvement influences perception of retailer attributes, which affects customer-based retail brand equity. In retailing, consumer involvement has a moderating effect on retail brand equity; whereas, the influence of price, communication, service and store design is greater on highly involved consumers than on those with low involvement. Since consumers with a different level of involvement have a different perception of retailer attributes, this factor is relevant to retail brand equity. It supported by previous research, Pappu and Quester (2008) examined whether retailer brand equity levels vary between department store and specialty clothing store categories. Retailer brand equity is conceptualized in this paper as a four-dimensional construct comprising retailer awareness, retailer associations, retailer perceived quality and retailer loyalty. Results referred to department store brands yielded significantly higher ratings for all the retailer brand equity dimensions than specialty store brands and providing the guideline for retailers possess brand equity.

2. Consumer Behaviour in Fashion Industry

2.1 Fad Fashion Industry with its Consumers

According to Keynote in 2008, companies turn around new styles from design to shop floor within 2 weeks in the Fast-fashion industry. This successful recipe has allowed retailers to generate large profits selling vast quantities of low-price clothing to shoppers seeking something new to wear every week (Morgan and Birtwistle, 2009). The marketing and apparel literatures are unanimous in reporting that fashion leaders tend in general to be young consumers (Mason and Bellenger, 1974; Gutman and Mills, 1982; Horridge and Richards, 1984; Goldsmith et al., 1991). According to Keynote, a study of young males and females between the ages of 15 and 24 reports that 38% shop at Primark, 35% at Topshop/ Topman, 33% at New Look, 31% at River Island and 24% at H&M; Therefore, forecasts of demographical trends reveal that, while some age groups are in decline, there is to be an expansion in the 15- to 29-year-old group over the next 5 years (Morgan and Birtwistle, 2009).

2.2 Consumer Behaviour of Fashion Industry (add Table)

Based on Keynote information, the consumers are growing tired of the relentless consumerism of buying so much clothing so frequently, but the appeal of ‘cheap chic’ newness remains very alluring to teens and early twenties looking for something different to wear while socializing (Morgan and Birtwistle, 2009). Young consumers are more concerned with trends than probably any other age group (Martin and Bush, 2000). Additionally, Newman and Patel (2004) assert that, compared with other consumer groups, fashion leaders, or ‘innovators’, believe fashion to be of importance to their lifestyles. They have strong opinions about taste, are advocates of new trends and are sources of inspiration for other consumers when adopting and buying the latest styles (Polegato and Wall, 1980; Beaudoin et al., 1998).

Besides, Pentecost and Andrews (2010) found weekly and monthly expenditure, gender and fashion fan ship were significant influences for consumer purchasing behaviour; while for yearly expenditure, gender, and impulse buying were significant. Attitudes towards fashion had no significant influence on expenditure. Females purchase more often and were significantly different from males on yearly expenditure, fashion fan ship, attitudes and impulse buying. Generation Y is higher on purchase frequency, fashion fan ship, attitudes and impulse buying compared with other groups under investigation.

2.3 Consumer Behaviour is impacted by Media

Recent research by Birtwistle and Moore (2006) indicates that fashion innovators and early adopters, compared with followers, are heavily influenced by the fashion media. They shop and purchase fashion items more frequently, are influenced in their purchasing habits by celebrities and are spending more per month than they did previously. These findings are supported by Greene’s (2008) observations about the influence of aspirational lifestyles and ‘must-have’ fashions depicted in current US dramas. Indeed, fashion publicist Kristian Laliberte (cited in Greene 2008) hails the shows’ stars as ‘the new influencers’. In the focus groups, Morgan and Birtwistle (2009) referred to the majority of female respondents were readers of fashion or celebrity magazines. The most popular magazines as Cosmo, Elle, Glamour and Marie Claire, respondents used magazines to identify trends, which they then followed by purchasing lower-priced imitations from high-street stores.

3. IMC to Build Brand Equity (need to modify and check reference )

Belch and Belch (2009) noted IMC plays a main role in the progress which develops sustainable brand identity and equity. Likewise, Keller (1993) also noted brand identity and equity can be built and maintained by creating a well-known brand which has been kept in the mind of the consumer as favorable, strong and specific association. The integrated marketing paradigm focuses on the full set of contacts that affect the consumer’s brand experience (Calder and Malthouse, 2005). Marketers are faced with the questions of how to use multiple touch points to convey their messages in a more profound and engaging way and how to reinforce a message or brand more efficiently with the same advertising budget.

3.1 A model of brand equity for marketing communications

According to the customer-based brand equity model (Keller, 2008), brand equity is fundamentally determined by the brand knowledge created in consumers’ minds by marketing programs and activities. Brand knowledge is all the thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, and experiences etc that become linked to the brand in the minds of consumers; it can be divided by two important components as brand awareness and brand image. Brand awareness is related to the strength of the brand node or trace in memory as reflected by consumers’ ability to recall or recognize the brand under different conditions. Brand image is defined as consumer perceptions of and preferences for a brand, as reflected by the various types of brand associations held in consumers’ memory. Strong, favorable and unique brand associations are essential as points-of-difference that can serve as sources of brand equity to drive the differential effects. These effects include enhanced loyalty; price premiums and more favorable price elasticity responses; greater communication and channel effectiveness; and growth opportunities via extensions or licensing (Hoeffler and Keller 2003; Keller 2008). Thus, the basic premise of the customer-based brand equity (CBBE) model is that the power of a brand lies in the minds of customers and the meaning that the brand has achieved in the broadest sense (Janiszewski and Osselaer 2000).

To understand the role of all the different types of marketing communications for brand building,

3.2 Marketing communication effects on brand equity

Marketing communications activities contribute to brand equity and drive sales in many ways (Keller 2007): by creating awareness of the brand; linking the right associations to the brand image in consumers’ memory; eliciting positive brand judgments or feelings; and/or facilitating a stronger consumer-brand connection.

But these marketing communications activities must be integrated to deliver a consistent message and achieve the strategic positioning. The starting point in planning marketing communications is an audit of all the potential interactions that customers in the target market may have with the company and all its products and services.

Marketers need to assess which experiences and impressions will have the most influence at each stage of the buying process. This understanding will help them allocate communications dollars more efficiently and design and implement the right communications programs. Armed with these insights, marketers can judge marketing communications according to its ability to affect experiences and impressions, build brand equity and drive brand sales.

3.3 Mixing and matching marketing communications

In developing an integrated marketing communication (IMC) program, a number of factors come into play (Schultz, Tannenbaum, and Lauterborn 1993). Marketers must consider several factors in developing their communications mix, such as the type of product market, consumer readiness to make a purchase, stage in the product life cycle and the brand’s market share and positioning, as well as efficiency considerations. This broad view of brand-building activities is especially relevant when marketers are considering strategies to improve brand awareness.

Anything that causes the consumer to notice and pay attention to the brand – such as sponsorship and out-of-home advertising – can increase brand awareness, at least in terms of brand recognition. To enhance brand recall, however, more intense and elaborate processing may be necessary, so that stronger brand links to the product category or consumer needs are established to improve memory performance. In terms of brand image, the question becomes what effects are created by the communication option, how strongly are they linked to the brand and how do the effects that are created affect, either directly or indirectly, consumers’ propensity to purchase and use brands?

Marketers should ‘mix and match’ communication options to build brand equity – that is, choose a variety of different communication options that share common meaning and content but also offer different, complementary advantages so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts (Naik and Raman 2003; Naik 2007). Different brand associations may be most effectively established by capitalizing on those marketing communication options best suited to eliciting a particular consumer response or establishing a particular type of brand association (Edell and Keller 1989). For example, some media are demonstrably better at generating trial than engendering long-term loyalty.

4. Print Advertising

McCarthy, Michael S. and Fram, Eugene H. (2008) provided measures of brand equity for the new brand, print advertising results in greater levels of brand equity and helps in a greater likelihood of a future visit to the brand’s website.

4.1 Influences on Brand Awareness

The power of visual elements in magazine advertisements frequently has been demonstrated. Images are simple to process and easy to remember, which could result in faster recognition of brand or product (Edell and Staelin, 1983; Moriarty, 1987). On average, magazine advertisements receive 1 or 2 seconds of attention. Visual elements are the primary appeal 90% of magazine readers first look at the graphic element; of that group, 65% process the graphic intent. Text follows imagery; for the readers who wove from image to words, only 2% of the written content is processed (Franzen, 1994). A growing body of literature also demonstrates the ability of pictures to evoke an emotional response (Bradley, Greenwald, Petry and Lang 1992). This attribute of print advertising will be a big advantage to contribute brand awareness and association. The point is also agreed by Batra and Ray 1986; Derbaix 1995; Edell and Burke 1987; Stayman and Aaker 1988. They illustrated emotional response to an advertisement is important with respect to advertising effectiveness, in terms of impacting both attitude toward the advertising and attitude toward the brand. In addition, Callow and Schiffman (2002) defined the complexity of a visual image which refers to the level of implicit versus explicit information that is needed in order to arrive at a meaningful interpretation of the advertisement’s message. This may be why advertisements often resort to simple visual images as a means for creating brand or product awareness. In previous study, Keiser (1975) suggested that brand and slogan awareness are dependent on the age, social class, and amount of print media readership of adolescents. The most consistent relationship was that brand and slogan awareness was greatest among opinion leaders, adolescents in the upper-cla ss, and adolescents who spent the most time reading newspapers and magazines. Brand awareness appeared to increase with age, while the reverse relationship held for slogan awareness.

4.2 Influences on Brand Loyalty

Pint advertising is used as an important tool in brand image-creation, and there has been an increase in the volume of campaigns using celebrities to endorse brands both in terms of gaining and keeping attention and in creating favourable associations leading to positive brand knowledge and distinct brand images, with cultural meaning transferred from celebrity to brand to consumer. This process has been enhanced via explicit reference to the meaning of the celebrity in the advertisement and supporting publicity, result in positive brand loyalty (Carroll, 2009). Similarly, Goodyear (1996) referred to differentiation of brands could be achieved over time by some lifestyle advertising. Thus, increasingly there was no information about the product, only the type of people who might be inclined to use the product (Baran and Blasko , 1984 ). Furthermore, Bhat and Reddy ( 1998 ) also commented developing, communicating and maintaining a brand ‘ s image as critical to the long-term loyalty of a brand have been accepted. Leclerc and Little (1997) investigated whether the content of the print advertisement influences consumer attitudes, will depend on the executional cues of the copy, the brand loyalty of the consumers, and the consumer’s involvement with the product category.

4.3 Influences on Brand Association

Kim, Damhorst and Lee. (2002) examines how consumer involvement with apparel influences perceptions of an apparel product presented in a print advertisement. Consumer involvement with apparel was examined in relation to three advertisement response concepts: attitude toward the advertisement, product attribute beliefs, and product brand attitude. A combination of apparel involvement dimensions (fashion, individuality, and comfort) influenced consumer beliefs about product attributes in the advertisement and shaped consumer attitudes for brand. In terms of gender differences, the comfort variable showed to be a stronger component of apparel involvement for men and women tended to be more involved in fashion. Findings also supported relationships among advertisement response variables previously tested by scholars. Product attribute beliefs and ad attitude were significant in product brand attitude formation. Keller (2003) also referred to magazine is particularly effective at building user and usage imagery toward brand. Some brand such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Guess, have also created strong non-product associations through print advertising. Some brands attempt to communicate both product benefits and user or usage imagery in their print advertising. After that, Chowdhury, Olsen and Pracejus (2008) researched that print advertising frequently conducts a single advertisement with multiple images, each of which is capable of generating an effective response. These multiple ad components combine to impact overall emotional response to advertising. This implies a greater number of positive pictures will lead to a more positive response which associates with brand in mixed-valence advertisements. Likewise, research on advertising in print media similarly has shown that the number and size of product shots can have a positive influence on recall (Twedt, 1952).

4.4 Influences on Perceived Quality

Homer (1995) represented that consumers felt the large-sized ad was better designed and devoted more attention to it. The heightened design perceptions and attention, in turn, led to enhanced perceptions of quality and brand, overall attitudes, and behavioral intent. In support of past research, advertising size was found to lead to enhanced memory. Kirmani (1990) analysis suggested that consumers use ad size as an indicator of advertising costs and effort and that consumers make quality-related inferences based on their perceptions of advertising costs when quality-related information is not explicitly shown in advertising. The brand and quality perceptions are positively related to perceived advertising costs except at excessive levels when consumers may feel advertising is manipulative. Prior research has indicated that consumer perceptions as to the globalization of a brand leads to greater confidence in product quality which related with brand and higher intention to purchase (Steenkamp, Batra, and Alden, 2003). The point was supported by Chang in 2008. She revealed that western models were used to promote products and English brands were featured usually in magazine advertisements; and most likely to be used in fashions, cosmetics, and information/telecommunication categories. The use of western models and English brand names enhanced the perceived globalization of the brand and perceived quality of the product; higher on brand friendliness, brand trust, self-brand connections, and brand liking; moreover, encouraged participants to infer that the product originated from a developed western country.

The third objective of this article is to understand the influence of Western models and English brand names on consumer product perceptions. It has been widely documented that products originating from developed countries are evaluated more favorably than products from developing countries (see Bilkey and Nes, 1982, for a review). In addition, an increased global perception of a product is associated with more favorable attitudes as to the product’s quality (Steenkamp, Batra, and Alden, 2003). Therefore, if consumers infer that Western models and English brand names indicate a product’s global qualities or that the product originated from developed Western countries, such inferences will also alter consumers’ product evaluations.

5. Strengths of Magazine

5.1 Selectivity

In 2005, Duncan regarded as most magazines are subject specific, one of their greatest strengths is their audience selectivity. Although there are a few general-interest magazines which include the vast majority of magazines focus on one area. Magazines offer a wider range of ways to present brand messages than newspapers do, although both are print media. Most magazines focus their content coverage on a particular subject. The subjects discussed are all related in some way to the company’s product. Some of these customer-focused magazines have advertisings only for the company brand. Therefore, brands that advertise in them can benefit from this expertise halo, an added value for a brand message. The theory is supported by Belch and Belch in 2009. They said using magazine as an advertising medium is its selectivity which is an ability to reach a specific target audience. It allows advertisers to target their advertising to segments of the population who buy their products based on interests. New consumer magazine are continually being introduced to meet the changing needs, interest, and passion of the public in areas such as sports/ recreation, entertainment/celebrity, travel, fashion/ apparel, and beauty/ grooming. New business publications are also frequently launched to respond to development in business and industry. Not surprisingly, Fill (2009) also pointed out magazines are able to reach quite specialized audiences and tend to be selective in terms of the messages they carry. The print media are most suitable for messages designed when high involvement is present in the target market.

5.2 Reproduction quality/ Creative Flexibility (change)

Due to many advantages of magazines, making them attractive to the target audiences as a popular advertising medium; especially, the strengths such as reproduction quality and creative flexibility of magazine can provide excellent reproduction on high-quality paper stock, and offer a great deal of flexibility in terms of the type, size, and placement for different needs, thereby, magazines are a visual medium where illustration are often a dominant part of an advertising and enhance the creative appeal of the advertising and increase attention and relationship (Belch and Belch 2009). Magazine advertising can be a strong visual persuasion in retailing industry, in particular, heavily use visuals to get attention (Cutler, Javalgi, and Erramsilli 1992; Bulmer and Buchanan-Oliver 2004) and the use of visuals is becoming a popular method for standardising print advertisements in cross-national markets for a growing number of multinational corporations (Phillips 1997; Cateora and Graham 1999). Visual messages in advertising are found to be more easily and quickly processed, and more effective in getting attention (Rossiter 1982) and stimulating curiosity than verbal messages (Berger 1998; Lester 2000; Wells et al. 2003), regardless of processing condition (McQuarrie & Mick 2003). Visuals in ads are not only the major form of delivering messages, but it tends to be scanned first and considered as an important criterion for making purchase decisions (Smith 1991). Besides, Bu, Kim, and Lee (2009) revealed that ads with direct visual forms were more prevalent in both western and eastern cultures. They tested the effects of culturally matching the visual forms on consumers’ attitude towards the advertising and the brand advertised. The product type and the brand familiarity moderated the effects; when brand familiarity was low, direct visual forms were preferred regardless of culture.

5.3 Permanence

A distinctive advantage offered by magazine is their long life span, comparing to TV and radio which have very short life span by fleeting massages or newspapers which is generally discarded soon after being read. Magazines are usually read over several days and are often kept for reference. According to a study which did by Magazine handbook, it found that reader devote nearly an hour over a period of two or three days to reading an average magazine, moreover, around 75% of consumers retain magazines for future reference. Meanwhile, advertisements which exposed on magazine can use longer and more detailed copy, which is essential for high-involvement and complex products and services; the reader can be exposed to advertisements on multiple occasions and can pass magazines along to other reader (Belch and Belch 2009).

Rest of book

5.4 Prestige

Another positive feature of magazine advertising is the prestige the product or service may gain from advertising in publications with a favorable image. Companies whose products rely heavily on perceived quality, reputation, and/or image often buy space in prestigious publication with high-quality editorial content whose consumers have a high level of interest in the advertising pages. Some kinds of magazines provide an impressive editorial environment that includes high-quality photography and artwork. The magazine’s upscale readers are likely to have a favourable image of the publication that may transfer to the products advertised on its pages. The seal can increase consumer confidence in a particular brand and reduce the amount of perceived risk associated with a purchase since it really is a money-back guarantee (Belch and Belch 2009).

5.5 Receptivity/ Engagement

Consumers are more receptivity to advertising in magazines than in any other medium. Magazines are generally purchased because the information they contain interests the reader, and advertising provide additional information that may be of the value in making purchasing decision (Belch and Belch 2009). Studies have shown that magazines are consumers’ primary source of information for a variety of products and services, including automobiles, beauty and grooming, clothing and fashion etc (Magazine handbook). Numerous studies have shown that consumers become involved with magazines when they read them and are more likely to find ads acceptable, enjoyable, and even a valuable part of a publication.

Ulrich and Minjae (2009) observed on consumer magazines to measure the extent which consumers are favourable to engage with advertising in Germany. The result represents based on different market segment if advertisements can provide sufficient relevant information, they will be appreciated with regardless of nuisance for readers of adult magazines. Some American scholars support the viewpoint, such as Ferguson (1983) and Lorimor, (1977). They tested on retailing industry and applied to retail advertising which content is purely informational, as a result in the print advertising tends to be received. On the contrary, in Europe, the invasion of the press magazine industry by commercial ads seems to have a rather negative impact on the fans of this press in Europe. Most readers would certainly prefer magazines with less commercial advertising and more entertainment content. Accordingly, Nathalie (2000) analysed consumer reflects to press advertising is country specific. The evidence indicated American readers tend to be ad-lovers; however, most European media consumers seem to be ad-averse; hence, reader’s attitudes toward press advertising are deeply rooted in cultural habits. Although women’s magazines are easy to engage with the target audiences due to included functional information which caters for readers’ need, the journals provided different receptiveness of magazine in specific country. What are the situations which print advertising works for interpreting fashion brand, and what is characteristic of background in Singapore, that still need to be tested on this research.

6. Online Advertising

6.1 Influences on Branding

Ten years of online advertising research has confirmed the importance of the internet as a major source of information on brands (Hollis, 2005). Brand sites are increasingly being used as preferred destination sites for other forms of advertising, such as TV advertisements, banner advertisements, email advertisements, print advertisements, etc. The website of a brand could provide greater contextual information and facilitate higher users’ interactions with the brand; also providing an excellent platform to foster genuine relationships with potential and actual customers based on a continuous dialogue (Christodoulides and Chernatony, 2004). Therefore, designing effective brand websites contributes significantly to firms’ brand equity building efforts (Argyriou, Kitchen, and Melewar, 2006). Similarly, Steenkamp and Geyskens (2006) referred to greater interactivity promotes greater brand learning through better information assimilation and could help companies forge cognitive and emotional bonds with their brand users. Yet, Dou and Krishnamurthy found the present study found that the application of interactive functions in brand websites was still quite limited. Thus, brand sites that boost their levels of interactivity can fulfill their online brand building missions more effectively. The literature (Batra, Myers, and Aaker, 1996) identified the key elements of brand sites that may contribute to their branding effectiveness.

Some companies prefer to establish their own brand site for branding, just like a unique advertising approach for enhancing brand equity in the online environment is the design of dedicated websites for brands (Goldsmith and Lafferty, 2002). After that, evidence on the efficacy of brand websites in building brands is starting to emerge from both academic and industry studies. Ha and Chan-Olmsted (2004) found that users’ visits of brand websites for networks had a significant effect on brand image, as well as the option that gives them the best ability to learn about their favorite brands.

In the following research, Yoo (2008) represented consumers experience priming caused by implicit memory and build a more favorable attitude toward the advertised brand regardless of the levels of attention they paid to the advertisements during exposure of web ads. Furthermore, those who unconsciously processed web ads did not remember seeing the ad explicitly, but they were more likely to include the advertised brand in the consideration set than those who had no exposure. Besides, Okonkwo, Uché (2009) more specifically referred to the fashion industry as internet is a multidimensional channel that serves multiple purposes including communications, branding, services, design, retailing, consumer analysis, clien

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