Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Management

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Robert D. Green

Second Advisor

Eldon Bernstein

Third Advisor

James Miller

Abstract

Brand equity has increased in importance and created the need to develop more complex measures than are now used. Customer-based brand equity (CBBE) evolved from brand equity and was based on customer's perceptions of brands. Using the marketing mix (price, store image, advertising spending, distribution intensity and price deals) to predict CBBE (brand loyalty, brand awareness, perceived quality and brand association) was an essential goal of this study. Comparing customers' perceptions of the marketing mix, and hypermarket stores (Carrefour, RT-Mart, COSTCO and Geant) effect on CBBE in Taiwan was an additional goal. The study's final purpose was to test the relationship among the marketing mix, hypermarket stores and customer characteristics to determine their influence on CBBE.

Two instruments (Marketing Mix Scale and Customer-Based Brand Equity Scale) were combined and used in this study. The Marketing Mix Scale was adapted from Yoo, Donthu, and Lee (2000); and the CBBE Scale was adapted from Pappu and Quester (2006). These two instruments were tested and were found to be reliable and valid measures.

Descriptive analysis, t-tests and one-way ANOVA with post hoc comparisons were used to answer the two research questions in this study. In addition, three major hypotheses, each having four sub-hypotheses, were analyzed using stepwise multiple regression.

Store image, distribution intensity and price deals were the essential variables that affected CBBE. The findings were, consistent with prior literature, that the marketing mix, store image, distribution intensity and price deals significantly influenced CBBE. All (four) of the hypermarkets also significantly influenced CBBE. Of the nine customer characteristics, however, only (prior) purchase experience showed strength in predicting CBBE. Customers of the four hypermarkets were not brand loyal, which was not surprising for price sensitive, mass (general) merchandise stores.

Suggestions were provided as to which marketing mix variables work best to brand equity, and what benefits can be obtained from improving customers' perceptions of hypermarkets through effective marketing strategies. The study concluded with interpretations of the findings and suggestions to hypermarket marketers and managers for increasing CBBE and market share. Limitations of this study and recommendations to scholars for future research were presented.

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