THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BRAND EQUITY, PRODUCT ATTRIBUTES AND PURCHASE INTENTION: A STUDY OF SONY DIGITAL CAMERAS IN BANGKOK
Apiluck Thammawimutti and Sirion Chaipoopirutana, Ph.D Graduate School of Business Assumption Universityof Thailand
ABSTRACT This study examined the relationship between brand equity, product attributes and consumers' purchase intention toward Sony Cyber-Shot digital cameras in Bangkok. The researchers used four elements of brand equity (brand awareness, brand association,perceived quality, and brand loyalty) to study the relationship towardpurchase intention. Product aflributesfor this study were durability, CCD resolution, memory card capacity, easy to use, zoom distance, compatibility, size, design, and video recordfunction. Data was collected from 400 respondents in 5 locations throughout Bangkok. Through the Spearman b Rho correlation coefficient analysis, it was found that (I) the relationship between brand equity (brand awareness, brand association, perceived quality, brand loyalty) and purchase intention was signrficant and positive and (2) the relationship between product attributes andpurchase intention was also signrficant and positive.
Today's business competitionis dominatedby its emphasis on brand building. The studyofthe impact of brand name on the perception and attitude of consumers has been a significant issue since competitors are keen on capturinghigher market share. One issue that has emerged, as one ofthe most critical areas of marketing management, is brand equity (Cobb-Walgren, Ruble, & Donthu, 1995). Many researchersidentifybrand equity as the most important asset of a company (Farquhar, 1989;Aaker, 1991; Kapferer, 1997;Keller, 1998).Brand equity has been extensively studied and there is evidence that it can influenceconsumer reco_gnitionand purchase intention (Aaker, 1991; Cobb-Walgren et al., 1995; Lassar, Mittal and Sharma, 1995). More specifically, the elements ofbrand equity (e.g. brand awareness, brand association, brand loyalty, perceived quality)have also been studied in relation to consumers' purchase behavior (Aaker, Stayrnan, & Hagerty, 1986); Anantachart (1998); Grewal, Kavanoor, Fern, Costley, & Barnes (1997); Li, Daugherty & Biocca, (2002) Lin (2001); O'Cass & Lim (2002).
Many aspects of traditional marketing have changed since the brand equity concept emerged. In fact, the emergence ofbrands in firms which pre\iiously had resisted or were foreign to such concepts (industry, banking, the service sector, etc) vouched for the new importance of brands. Consumers do not just buy a brand name, they buy branded products which are a combination of the tangible and intangible benefits created by the efforts of a company. Consumers select a product not just to satis@ their basic needs, they select a product that reflects their image, attitude, and personality. Therefore, consumers often consider a "brand" which is congruent with theirpersona!ity. The brand is not the product but it gives the product meaning and defines its identity (Keller, 1998). Companies convey the value of the brand to consumers through various instruments, such as advertising, channel relationship, marketing campaigns, etc. The perception of the brand, in turn, contributes to the meaning or value that the brand adds which influences consumers in someway. Consumers, then form positive or negative feelings toward the brand, which finally leads to purchase. Purchase
Size . perceived quality and brand loyalty. and nonproduct-related attributes are defined as external aspects of the product or service that often relate to its purchase or consumption in some way.Durability . Product attributes includes durability. 1995) were also used to support the framework for this study.. In this paper.Compatibility .
. the antecedents and consequences of the brand equity Figure 1 :Conceptual Framework Brand Equity
GroupA: Brand Equity and Purchase Intention HI: There is a relationship between brand equity and purchase intention. brand association. Moreover. consumers select a product by considering physical functions.intention is a common effectivenessmeasure and often used to anticipate a response behavior (Li. H3: There is a relationship between brand association and purchase intention.Perceived Quality .Brand Awareness . and video record function. The Thai digital camera market is set to record a high rate of growth this year. CCD resolution. Keller (1998) argued that product-related attributes are defined as the ingredients necessary for performing the product or service function sought by consumers.
In the h e w o r k .000 in 2003 (MCOT. memory card capacity. Daugherty & Biocca.Ease of Use . compared to 800.
model (Cobb-Walgren et al. Sony is the leader in Thailand's digital camera market.Video Record Function Purchase Intention
. Compatibility. which refers to product attributes. H2: There is a relationship between brand awareness and purchase intention. size.Zoom Distance . 2002). H5: There is a relationship between brand loyalty and purchase intention.
The followinghypotheseswere tested in the study
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK The researcher developed a conceptual framework (Figure 1) for this research based on Aaker 's (199 1) brand equity concept. with sales expected to exceed one million units.Brand Loyalty
ProductAttributes . 2005).000 last year and 600. The intention to purchase a product can be defined by the tendency or likelihood to buy a product. easy to use. design. Among the strong players. zoom distance. the researcher examined the elements of Sony's brand equity and product attributes and their relationshipwith Thai consumers' intention.Design .CCD Resolution . Thailand is emerging as one of the leading markets in the world for digital cameras. Beside brand equity. Purchase intention was set as the dependent variable of thls study.Memory Card Capacity .Brand Associations . Group B: Product Attributes and Purchase Intention H6: There is a relationship between durability and purchase intention. H4: There is a relationship between perceived quality and purchase intention. brand equity includes brand
3 179. There is arelationshipbetween compatibility and purchase intention. compatibility (4. There is a relationship between size and purchase intention. of Respondents The Mall. Bangkapi 80 Central Ladprao 80 80 The Mall.( 3. CCD resolution obtained the highest mean score (4.2475). There is a relationship between ease of use and purchase intention. The respondents were both male and female over 18 years old. Table 1 exhibits the mean and standard deviation.3675).8
0. The researcherused the mean of each question to interpret respondents' perception toward Sony Cyber-Shot digital cameras.80412 0. There is a relationshipbetween video record hction and purchase intention. zoom distance and memory card capacity (4.0450 4.0275) and brand awareness (4. ease of use (4. The respondents were interviewed in 5 of Bangkok's largest department stores which had Sony showrooms selling digital cameras. Ngarnwongwan Total 400 Each questionnaireconsisted of 3 parts: (1) Brand Equity (2) Product Attributes and (3) Purchase Intention.which are shown below:
Location No. There is a relationship between design and purchase intention. size (4.All questions were stated in Likert Scales using 5 levels of agreement.4275).84247 0. followed by durability (4.There is a relationship between CCD resolution and purchase intention. In terms of brand equity. Brand loyalty was perceived lowest with a mean score of 3.0000)
Results Table 1 :Summary of Mean and Standard Deviation
Size Design Video Record Function
. Bangkae Maboonkrong Center 80 80 The Mall. Selfadministered questionnaireswere distributed to 400 consumersin Bangkok who were potential purchasers of Sony Cyber-Shot digital cameras. There is a relationshipbetween zoom distance and purchase intention.2575). followed by perceived quality (4.6425. There is a relationshipbetween memory card capacity and purchase intention. Spearman Rank-Order Correlation Coefficient was used to analyze the relationship between the variables in this study. brand association gained the highest mean score (4.0250).0600). design (4. For product attributes. RESEARCH DESIGN The researcher used a survey method for obtaining information from respondents.0450).
while video record function is the least important.Among elements
of Sony Cyber-Shot's brand equity. H6: There is a relationship between durability and purchase intention.322* 0. H3: There is arelationshipbetween brand association and purchase intention.
and video record function (3.449*
* Correlation is significant at the level 0.000
0.254" 0.000 0. H2: There is arelationship between brand awareness and purchase intention.000 0. H5: There is a relationship between brand loyalty and purchase intention.000 0.299* 0. ease of use. Such relationships demonstrate that the intention or likelihood to purchase Sony Cyber-Shot digital cameras will increase when consumers' perception ofbrand equityincreased. The relationshipsbetween product attributes (durability.000 0. especially brand image and trustworthiness.325* 0.000 0.Summary of Hypotheses Testing Table 2: Summary of Hypotheses Testing Results Hypothesis Level of Significance Correlation Coefficient
HI: There is a relationsmp between brand equity and purchase intention.size.3 12* 0. H7: There is a relationship between CCD resolution and purchase intention.8500). therefore.341* 0. H14: There is a relationship between video record function and purchase intention.739* 0. CCD resolution. Thai respondents.
The relationships between elements ofbrand equity and purchase intention are moderatelypositive (H 1-H4). design.000 0. H4: There is a relationship between perceived quality and purchase intention. while the attribute that they considered least was the video record function.741 * 0.000 0. respondents awarded high scores to brand association.000 0.525" 0.000 0. H10: There is a relationship between zoom distance and purchase intention. memory card capacity.
0. H8: There is a relationship between memory card capacity and purchase intention. respectively. H9: There is arelationshipbetween ease of use and purchase intention. ease of use. HI1 : There is a relationship between compatibility and purchase intention.579* 0. compatibility.330* 0.000 0.000 0.308* 0. H12: There is a relationshp between size and purchase intention. H13: There is a relationship between design and purchase intention. zoom distance.000 0. The results of H6-H14 indicate that product attributes slightly affect purchase intention toward Sony Cyber-Shot digital cameras. and video record function) and purchase intention are weak.655* 0.000 0.01 level (2 tailed). Respondents consider CCD resolution as the most important attribute for digital cameras. considered CCD resolution as the most important attribute followed by durability. while brand loyalty obtained the lowest score.
As the results show a relatively lower brand loyalty among consumers. Sony has to find ways in which to increase this factor among its consumers. It offers better insights into Thai consumers' perception of Sony Cyber-Shot cameras which will help them in setting appropriatemarketing strategies. Sony should invest more in R & D to enhancethe innovative attributes that will generate a more positive perception of Sony Cyber-Shot cameras. the findings on product attributes could be important for managers to adapt or improve various features of forthcoming models of Sony Cyber-Shot digital cameras. As a result. Even though the hypothesistesting ofproduct attributes and purchase intention are relativelyweakly
correlated. such as.
Further research could be directed at Sony Cyber-Shot's brand image. advertising that creates the value of the brand should be examined. it is important to know that respondents considered certain features more important than others. Further research should also examine the comparativebrand equity value between Sonvand a market other major plavers in the dig3
. to ensure that consumers receive full information related to product attributes of Sony Cyber-Shot cameras. and the performance of brand as measured by market share.The findings of this research provide useful information for Sony's brand managers and staffs. Moreover. organizational association. consumer expectation and satisfaction. From the results Sony should maintain or increase the level of advertising exposure. price and value perception.Moreover. the sources of generating brand equity.
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