The antecedents and consequences of brand equity in the South African running shoe market

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Marketers face the challenge with regard to the manner in which consumers perceive their brand. For the assessment of global brands in emerging markets, such as South Africa, progressive empirical research supports managerial approaches so consumer behaviour can be influenced and predicted in a precise way. Gaining insight into factors that increase a brand's equity, and, which allow marketers to reach their objective of creating a strong and valuable brand, is of utmost importance. Current literature has dealt with the subject of Brand Equity extensively (Branaghan & Hildebrand, 2011; Chang & Liu, 2009; Kapferer, 2012; Myers, 2003; Keller, 2013). Within the context of the South African running shoe market, this study empirically tested an integrated framework of the antecedents (Brand Personality, Brand Attitude, Brand Image) and the consequences (Brand Preference, Purchase Intention) of Brand Equity from a consumer's perspective. Moreover, the moderator Social Acceptance was added to investigate its interaction effect on the relationship between Brand Preference and Purchase Intention. The conceptual model was tested with a variance based partial least squares analysis (PLS--‐SEM), due to its complexity measuring multiple indicators simultaneously (Lowry & Gaskin, 2014; Malhotra, 2010). Data was collected from online questionnaires with the two brands, Nike and Asics, as stimuli. These sports brands were compared by means of their marketing strategies using a total sample size of n=315 respondents. The purpose was to reveal the influence each brand's personality had on the development of Brand Image and Brand Attitude. Besides assessing the antecedents of Brand Equity, the significant influence that each brand's equity had on Brand Preference and Purchase Intention was assessed, taking social circumstances into account (Chang & Liu, 2009). The statistical analysis of causal relations reflected that Brand Personality, Brand Image and the attitude towards the brand were antecedents of Brand Equity. The consumer's perception of the brand's value resulted in an increased probability of Purchase Intention due to his/her Brand Preference. Social Acceptance had a minimal effect at the final stage of brand choice. Derived from the results, this study's research should assist marketers with a number of implications to influence perceived value and increase Brand Preference. Meaningful marketing may add equity to brands and create loyal consumers through emotional attachment (Gilbreath, 2010). With the gained insight knowledge, predictive accuracy of consumer behaviour could be enhanced, with due regard to the influence of the individual's social environment.