The Effect of Purpose Branding on Brand Equity

My Masters thesis focused on the effect of purpose brands (i.e. job-specific brands) on the resulting equity of the brand. The abstract of the thesis and the link to the thesis can be found below.

Abstract:
Purpose brands create powerful means of differentiation in the minds of customers as they are tightly associated to the job for which customers hire them.

Advertising and WoM communication play a vital role in building awareness for the purpose brands and creating positive and strong brand associations, which result in brand equity. Brand equity is the added value a brand name brings to a product or service besides the functional benefits. Brand equity in case of purpose brands is built when the product does the job and people talk about it. High brand equity implies that customers perceive that the brand is of high quality, have positive and strong
associations related to the brand, and are loyal to the brand associations (Aaker,1991, 1996; Keller, 2003).

The in-depth interviews revealed that the purpose brands of Google and Apple iPod were closely tied to the job for which customers hired these brands, and they were primarily built on WoM communication. The findings suggested that the two purpose brands had relatively higher mean scores, and enjoyed significant differences in mean scores in terms of the three core dimensions of brand equity, compared to relatively more generic brands. It was concluded that there is a difference in the influence of purpose brands, compared to relatively more generic brands, on brand equity, and the influence seems to be positive.

The purpose brand approach has significant implications for marketing communications. Job-specific brands create meaningful differentiation in the customers’ minds, which could imply that marketers may need to spend less on
overall advertising, other than the occasions of creating brand awareness when the product is launched and for reminder advertising. This in turn could improve the profitability of the companies. Purpose brands should be able to create a strong ‘pull’ for a brand and in this event, Internet marketing becomes a powerful tool for information diseemination. The limitations of the research are that the brand selection could be refined to enable selection of more combinations of purpose brands and relatively generic brands, and the sample could include more than just
student samples.

The Effect of Purpose Branding on Brand Equity (PDF file)

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