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Title: A study of brand preference: An experiential view
Authors: Ebrahim, Reham Shawky
Advisors: Irani, Z
Keywords: Brand knowledge;Brand experiences;Brand preference;Repurchase intention
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Brunel University Brunel Business School PhD Theses
Abstract: Consumer brand preference is an essential step to understand consumer choice behaviour, and has therefore always received great attention from marketers. Brand preferences reveal the type of attributes a brand possesses, to strengthen its position and increase its market share. Moreover, it forms a critical input in developing a company’s successful brand strategy, and gives insight for product development. However, the shift to experiential marketing broadens the role of the brand from a bundle of attributes to experiences. Experiential marketing also considers both, the rational and irrational assumptions of consumer behaviour. The technological advancement helped increasing the similarities between the brands attributes and product commoditisation. Consequently, consumers cannot shape their preferences among brands using rational attributes only. They seek the brand that creates experience; intrigue them in a sensorial, emotional, and creative way. Companies’ competitiveness in such market has, therefore become increasingly difficult. Their survival requires building their competitive advantage by delivering memorable experiences, which would influence consumers’ brand preferences, and consequently stimulate consumers’ purchase decisions. In the marketing literature, the traditional models are uni-dimensional, and addressing the brand preferences by consumers’ cognitive judgement of brand attributes on a rational basis. The role of experience is limited to the impact of its type on shifting preference level. Most of prior studies are partial and focusing on one or two antecedents of brand preferences. In addition to these drawbacks, the studies also ignore consequences determining the consumer purchase decisions. Based on these limitations in the literature, a lack of understanding of how consumers develop their brand preferences was identified. Accordingly, the aim of this study is to develop a model that provides an understanding of how brand knowledge and brand experiences determine brand preferences and to investigate its impact on brand repurchase intentions. In this model, the brand knowledge is defined by attribute-based beliefs, referring to consumers’ salient beliefs about the brand intrinsic cues, and non-attribute beliefs, reflected in the price, appearance, brand personality, and self-congruity. Therefore, the relative importance of brand knowledge factors contributing to brand preference is determined. Furthermore, the model addresses the interactions between the brand knowledge and brand experience in shaping brand preference. Thus, addressing how the experiences reflect embedded value in the brand offerings influencing consumer preferences. To achieve the aim of this study, a sequential mixed-method methodology combining both qualitative and quantitative research was adopted. The aim of the first qualitative phase is exploratory, using focus groups, to refine the proposed model and generate items for questionnaire development. The second phase, quantitative research, is the survey conducted using self-administrated questionnaires. The structural equation modelling (AMOS) software is used to analyse the data. The findings confirm that brand knowledge and brand experience are key sources of brand preferences. In addition, all the factors of brand knowledge have a direct positive impact on brand preferences. However, the role of brand personality on brand preference is realised through brand experience. The findings also support that the impacts of the general brand attributes and appearance on brand preference are partially mediated by brand experience. Furthermore, brand preference positively impacts repurchase intentions. The ultimate contribution of this study stems from revealing that both cognitive information processing and experiential responses form the bases of developing brand preferences, which form the link to future psychological reactions. Methodologically, the study measures the multi-dimensional constructs, brand experience and brand personality, at the aggregate level. In addition, it validates the “big-five personality” as a measure of brand personality. Pragmatically, the study suggests three levels for building brands of technological products to win consumer preferences. At the first level lies the brand functional attributes, at the second level, are the brand symbolic attributes reflected in the imagery associations and aesthetic appearance while at the third level is the brand experience. Noteworthy, these experiences are private in nature and cannot be commoditised. This model extends the notion of brand experience on preference development and can be extended in future research to build long-term consumer-brand relationship.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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