The important roles of brand

Which factor customers consider most while purchasing branded cloths? 1. 7 Research Hypotheses: Following hypotheses are proposed for this study on the basis of above research Ho-?Brand image have positive effect on customer buying behavior in clothing. HI-?Brand quality has direct relationship with customer buying. H2O=Pricing sensitivity has negative impact on customer preference. 1. 8 Significance of the Research: The importance of this research shows by the selection of a current and interesting research topic and its importance for business organizations. The findings of this study can be utilized by national fashion brands to reach and attract international consumers.

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By this research we can identify the factors which affect the consumer buying behavior. Also, the results of this will be useful for academia, students, and policy makers of the fashion industry. 2. 1 Introduction Consumer behavior refers to the activities in which people gain, consume and organize products and services (Blackwell et al. , 2001). Owing to the creation of brands in the recent decades, there is a growing number of researches perform in the field of consumer buying behavior. In this chapter, the literatures concerning the roles of brand and brand image are to be reviewed so as to provide a theoretical framework for the fore mentioned analysis.

Brand serves a fundamental role for distinguishing goods and services from those of the competitors (Asker, 1991 ; Murphy, 1998). The evolving of brand equity underlies the importance of brand in marketing tactics and hence provides useful insights for managers and further research (Keller, 2003). 2. The important roles of brand Brand is a name in every consumer’s mind (Mooing, 1998) and it is characterized by a noticeable name or symbol which can differentiate the goods and services from the rivals’ (Asker, 1991; Keller, 1998). In addition to a specific brand name, a brand is also collection of products, packaging, promotion, advertising, as well as its overall presentation (Murphy, 1998).

From the consumers’ perception, brand is a guarantor of reliability and quality in consumer products (Roman et al. , 2005). Added to this, consumers would like to buy and use brand-name products with a view to highlight heir personality in different situational framework (Asker, 1999; Fenniest and Prune, 2006). Nowadays, consumers have a wide range of choice to choose from when they enter a shopping mall. It is found that consumers’ emotions are one of the major determinants which affect their buying behavior (Berry, 2000). According to a research conducted by Freddie Media LLC (1998) on shopping habits, nearly one- fourth of the respondents are likely to impulse-buy clothes and accessories.

When deciding which products to purchase, consumers would have their preferences, which are developed in accordance with their perceptions towards the brand. Successful branding could make consumers aware of the presence of the brand and hence could increase the chance of buying the company’s products and services (Doyle, 1999). 2. 3 The characteristics of successful brands A brand can be an endless and profitable asset as long as it is maintained in a good manner that can continue satisfying consumers’ needs (Batcher, 1998; Murphy, 1998). Although successful brands can be totally different in nature, they share something in common, for instances well-priced products and consistent quality (Murphy, 1998).

As mentioned by Levity (1983), there are four elements for building a successful brand, namely tangible product, basic brand, augmented brand and potential brand. Tangible product refers to the commodity which meets the essential needs of the customers. Basic brand, on the other hand, considers the packaging of the tangible product so as to attract the attention from the potential customers. The brand can be further augmented with the provision of credibility, effective after-sales services and the like. Finally and most importantly, a potential brand is established through engendering customer preference and loyalty. By doing so, the image of the brand could be well instilled in the customers’ mind. 4 Brand equity The term ‘brand equity refers to a set of assets and liabilities associated with a effects on the values arising from the products or services (Asker, 1991; Yak’s et al. , 2007). Added to this, Keller (1998) points out that brand equity signifies the unique marketing effects imposed on the brand. Concerning the positive side of brand equity, it happens when consumers are willing to pay more for the same level of quality Just because of the attractiveness of the name attached to the product (Bellow and Holbrook, 1995). However, brand equity could be ruined if it is not properly managed. For instance, poor product quality and customer services could adversely affect the brand image, giving rise too reduction in sales volume.

One of the quintessential examples regarding brand as a kind of equity is the imposition of laws to protect intellectual property (Murphy, 1998). In countries with well-established legal system, the values of brands have been recognized to both the consumers and producers. In order to combat piracy, many countries have set up laws to protect trademarks, patents, designs as well as copyright. In addition, brand is also a treatable product with measurable financial value (Murphy, 1998). For the consumers, brand equity could provide them with information about the brand which influences their confidence during the purchasing process. There is a high tendency for consumers with good perceptions to buy from the same shop again than those with poor perceptions.

Past purchasing experiences and familiarity with the brand could be attributable to the perceptions generated from the consumers (Asker, 1991). As for the firm, brand equity could also be a source for the firm to generate cash flow. Besides, brand equity could also allow higher margins through premium pricing and educed reliance upon promotional activities (Asker, 1991). Owning to the positive image, consumers no longer focus on the short-term promotion but the brand on the whole. Brand equity is a broad concept which can be further subdivided into four main areas, namely brand loyalty, name awareness, perceived quality and brand associations (Asker, 1991; Keller, 1998). 2. 5 Brand awareness Brand awareness is one of major determinants of brand equity.

It refers to the ability of a potential consumer to recall and recognize the brand, linking the brand with its corresponding product class (Asker, 1991). The level of brand awareness lies in a range; with brand identification being the lowest level and the first named brand with independently recall being the highest level. It is important for the potential consumers to be aware of a product so that it can become one of the purchasing choices. This is due to the fact that the product needs to enter the awareness set before it comes to the consideration set (Blackwell et al. , 2001) and an increase in brand awareness is beneficial to a higher chance of entering the later set (Ending, 1990).

In this way, brands with higher level of awareness would be more keel to be purchased (Yak’s et al. , 2007). This could probably explain why consumers tend to buy a recognizable brand rather than an unfamiliar one (Hoer, 1990; Macdonald and Sharp, 2000). Several factors can alter the level of brand awareness. In case of China, its geographical location and politics could affect the consumer brand awareness level seriously. As declare by Keller (1998), brand awareness can be enhanced through repeat exposure to the brand. In order to achieve brand awareness, two tasks are to be accomplished, namely increasing brand name identity and associating it with the product class.

Advertising and celebrity endorsement advertisement attitude is attributable to the influence on brand attitudes, affecting consumer’s intention to purchase (Mackenzie et al. , 1986; Tsar et al. , 2007). In recent decades, there is an increasing number of advertising campaigns around the world. Consumers are hence well-equipped with relative elements to Judge which product or service to purchase (Olivarez and Clavicles, 2005). Moreover, celebrity endorsement can give rise to source credibility and source attractiveness. For source credibility, as pointed out by McGuire (1978), celebrities can disseminate messages to particular nonusers and hence increase the brand awareness.

As for source attractiveness, good endorsement can associate the culture of the celebrity world with the endorsed product (McCracken, 1989). This association can raise the public awareness towards the brand. 2. 6 Brand quality Another important characteristic to brand equity is quality. It is defined as the customer’s perception of the overall quality or superiority of a product or service (Asker, 1991; Keller, 1998; Yak’s, 2007). Since it is a kind of intangible, overall feeling towards a brand, it is subjective in nature and hence the knowledge of actual detailed product specifications could have little correlation with the perceived quality.

Perceived quality of a brand could help generate values by providing a pivotal reason-to-buy, differentiating the position of a brand, charging premium price, motivating channel members to perform well and also introducing extensions into new brand categories (Asker, 1991). In addition, it is found that perceived quality is of utmost importance in determining brand loyalty as well as repeat purchase (Delano et al. , 2004). Nevertheless, it is becoming more difficult to obtain satisfactory bevel of perceived quality owing to the fact that fast and continuous product improvement has already strengthened consumers’ expectations on product quality (Sherman, 1992). Similar to brand awareness, perceived quality is determined by a number of factors.

To be more specific, perceived quality can further be classified into product quality and service quality. Regarding product quality, there are seven dimensions which affect the consumers’ perception, namely performance, features, conformance with specifications, reliability, durability, serviceability as well as fit and knish. Service quality, on the other hand, is Judged by its corresponding tangibles, reliability, competence, responsiveness and empathy (Asker, 1991). In addition to the aforementioned dimensions, the country-of-origin of a product is found to affect its perceived quality (Chattering and Mortgagors, 1990) and also the perceptions towards the purchased value (Aimed and toast’s, 1993).

As mentioned by Christianson and Knott (2002), consumers are tending to develop stereotypical beliefs about the products from particular countries. Hence, consumers could have their king for products made from one country over another (Padlock’s et al. , 1991). Moreover, price is one of the important clues to evaluate perceived quality (Asker, 1991). It is found that price is more relevant in Judging the perceived quality of a product given that a person lacks the ability to evaluate the quality off product. 2. 7 Brand loyalty Brand loyalty is one of the most important components of brand equity and also positively and directly affected brand equity (Italian et al. , 2005). Under the influence of brand loyalty, consumers continue to buy the brand, regardless of the superior