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Title: Understanding the influence of entrepreneur personality on product branding, corporate brand image and SME performance
Authors: Sap, Serap
Advisors: Uygur, S
Stoian, C
Keywords: Entrepreneurial branding;Customer satisfaction;Customer loyalty;Emerging market;Mixed-method approach
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: The aim of this thesis is to understand how SMEs’ owners and/or managers interpret the corporate branding, and to examine the impact of the of SME owner/managers personality characteristics on perception of marketing mix and corporate brand image formation which affect customers’ satisfaction and loyalty. Therefore, this thesis firstly discusses the current literature in the SME context together with their marketing and branding activities. Furthermore, the thesis pays particular attention to SME corporate branding with regard to understanding its perception. It also considers how SMEs understand corporate branding as well as the challenges and opportunities through which they are required to implement corporate branding, and also the outcomes of corporate branding in the SME context. This research adopted a mixed-methods approach by using qualitative data from semi-structured in-depth interviews and quantitative data from the survey. The semi-structured interview was conducted with 15 Turkish retail SME managers/owners with snowball sampling. The qualitative findings help to operationalise the principal concepts, to develop a conceptual model, to develop research instruments and to finalise appropriate scales of measurement. Subsequently, the new conceptual model, which is named as the SME corporate brand image model, was validated through the IBM SPSS 23 statistical tool and structural equation modelling (AMOS). This was based on the survey questionnaires collected from 426 SME customers who had bought products or services from the selected SMEs. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and Cronbach alpha and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were conducted to ensure the scales’ robustness in terms of validity and reliability. Following this, the proposed hypotheses between constructs were examined. The theoretical contribution of this research is to develop a conceptual framework and empirically test. The data analysis results show that the personality of the SME managers/owners forms the corporate brand image. The results show that two personality characteristics of managers/owners; openness to experience and agreeableness have an impact on perceived product quality. And perceived product/service quality is the most significant marketing mix elements that shape the corporate brand image and agreeableness personality of entrepreneur have a strong impact on SME corporate brand image. Furthermore, consumers expressed the SME corporate brand image more in terms of agreeableness. The present study has empirically found that the SME corporate brand image and the perceived product/service quality has a positive impact on customer loyalty through customer satisfaction. Furthermore, corporate branding literature ismostly focus on developed countries, thus, an emerging market which is chosen for the purpose of adding new insights to the literature. Also, in the context of corporate branding, the mixed method studies are limited, conducting mixed methods allows to get contribution by two different stakeholders of the SMEs. The managerial implications of this research are that it extends the knowledge of SME corporate branding and provides an insight into SME managers/owners in order to enhance company performance.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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