0 Background of the study

Technology in the banks is presently catching up with a high level of development around the world. The gaps between the Indian banks and their counterparts in the technologically advanced countries are gradually narrowing down. The world has witnessed an information and technological revolution of late. This revolution has touched every aspect of public life including banking (Siam, 2006). Since two decades, due to an increasingly competitive, saturated and dynamic business environment, retail banks in many countries have adopted customer-driven philosophies to address the rapid and changing needs of their customers (Walker et al., 2008). There is little work in exploring the brand dimension in the perspective of their customer eyes (Alreck & Settle, 1999; Barrett et al., 1999). Supported by modern marketing philosophy; it is important for marketers to understand the customer and offer the best products and services to meet their wants and needs. Becoming customer-centric will give them competitive advantages especially in a market-driven environment which regulated by customers’ demands (Mackay, 2001). The importance in understanding customer’s perception toward the brand is a growing priority in the marketing field. To date, a number of theoretical frameworks introduce by (L. a. D. O. R. de Chernatony, F., 1997) have suggested in an attempt to assist marketers to understand how customers think, and respond to the brands, enable marketers to implement effective customer-centered marketing activities and gain sustainable differentiation advantages in the competition (L. a. D. O. R.

2001). 2005). It will as well provide a basis for further studies/research on the topic. McDonald et al.3 Research hypotheses (at least 5) 1.4 Significance of the study  The study will serve as a guide to policy makers. By trying to identify dimensions of customer’s consciousness.2 Objectives of the study (at least 5) 1. 2004. In an effort to provide impetus to the service brand literature. 1999. This will inform and educate them on the theme of the study. this study investigated the potential branding dimensions from the customer’s perspectives which are applicable to the banking services sector.  It will also serve as a reference to the general public.1 Statement of the problem 1. 1. players of the banking industry. F.. we can gain a greater knowledge of the meaning of brands to customer (McEnally & Chernatony. Chernatony.   The study will contribute to existing literature of the subject of relationship marketing. especially. Martinez & De Chernatony. O’Loughlin & Szmigin.. 1.5 Scope and Limitation of the study .

These banks include ECOBANK. sampling techniques. Moorthi. Chapter four involves data presentation. Grace & O’Cass.6 Organization of the study The details of this work are divided into five chapters. However. limitations and delimitation. the corporate branding is essential (Develin & Mckenchie. the research objectives. population and sample of study. Chapter two. 2003. as well as conclusion and recommendation based on the findings. In the marketing of financial institutions. which includes the background of the study. 2002. which is titled review of related literature.The study was only limited to only four banks out of the many banks in Ghana. Chapter one looks at the introduction of this research. 2008). its analysis and discussions based on the stated methods in chapter three. 1. will examine and analyze researches and literature around the subject matter to present a complimentary background of the subject matter. 2005. the statement of problem. 2008. compared with the tangible product branding. the research questions.1 Theoretical framework Branding financial institutions. Chapter three deals with methodology. . Chapter five covers the summary of the research. ACCESS BANK and HFC. 1991). LITERATURE REVIEW 2. Balmer & Wilkinson. Develin & Mckechnie. GCB. and organization of the study. which includes research design. the research about services branding remains under-developed (de Chernatony & Segal-Horn.0 Introduction 2. procedure and analysis.

. 2003b). It is what separates identical products from each other (Duncan in Pitt et al. 1999b. (McDonald et al. L. Berry. Combined with the identified uniqueness of services and the growing prominence of service marketing. d. slogan. Options for adding value in the bank services may be limited due to customer reliance on experience and credence qualities (Oppewal & Vriens. Moorthi (2002) combined Aaker’s (1996) brand identity framework with the 7Ps of services marketing. 1996a). and extrinsic cues such as brand image and reputation (Turley & Moore. 2005). 2005). in the same line of some recent works (e. 2001) of the bank institutions. place. R. 2000) during the purchase decision (Ashill et al. consumption. or the firm from its competitors.). Brand as an organization (people)..L. Brand as a person. F... The current work deals with the two last components.. 2000a).The branding is considered as the procedure of creating a brand image which keeps consumers. D. a. Zeithaml. delivery. price. impalpable and complex service-based offerings. Gurbüz. 2006). physical evidence). 2003. 1999a). 1995. 1996a).. (Krishnan & Hartline. de Chernatony. C. Grace 2. O. Segal-Horn. Credence attributes include any product characteristics that customers cannot determine or evaluate even after purchase or . (Brady et al. 2001) proposed that brand equity is more important for services that are dominated by experience and credence attributes. 1999). The bank services sector provides excellent examples of highly intangible. a. de Chernatony. 1995). We attempt to verify. Branding a service can help customers by helping to assure them of a uniform level of service performance (L. Degree of customer involvement).. the execution of services brand strategy needs more consideration (L. Brand as a symbol (logo. name. which vary enormously in context. use. Brady et al. 2008. brand equity is applicable as a marketing imperative and the need to manage the brand associations (Alreck & Settle. Therefore... He proposes a branding process model which encompasses five major elements:      Brand as a product (product. duration and significance to the customer (L. (Turley & Moore.2 Review of related studies Brand development is particularly crucial within services where it is difficult to differentiate the services and there is a lack of physical characteristics to evaluate competing service offerings (Zeithaml.g. Brand as a process (process of interaction.S.

Berry. service facilities. Brand awareness is defined as the knowledge of brand in memory and the ability of the person to recall it. 1999). Services that are perceived distinctly and favorably have a much better chance of being purchased then services with unclear or unfavourable image (L. 2004 Perception Perception is the process where an individual selects. on the number of plausible explanations they can envision. 1980a). Perception has strategic implications for marketers because customers make decisions based on what they perceive rather than on the basis of objective reality (Craig-Lees. The perceived image and interpretation of services positioned are important for its ultimate success. The primary source of brand awareness is the company’s presented brand via advertising (Meenaghan. 1998). 2000) (L. on motives and interest at the time of perception (Grace & O’Cass. 2000a) highlighted that there are two components of brand equity – brand awareness and brand image.L. and interprets stimuli into a meaningful and coherent picture of the world (Barrett et al. company name. 1995). Having secondary impact on brand awareness is company’s external brand communications. 1995) The interpretation of stimuli is highly subjective and is based on what the customer expects to see in light of previous experience. L. 1995).. 2000b) Service brand and customer satisfaction . and the appearance of service providers..L. and public relations (L. which refers to information customers receive about the service which is essentially uncontrolled by the company via word of-mouth communications. organizes. strong and unique brand associations (O’Cass & Grace. and logo (Turley & Moore. The proper definition of brand meaning is the customer perceptions about a brand held in customers’ minds such as ideally. Customers’ selection of stimuli from the environment is based on the interaction of their expectations and motives with the stimulus itself. Berry. People usually perceive things they need or want and block unnecessary and unfavorable perception (Deirdre (Debling.consumption (Kathryn et al. Berry. 2002). Brand meaning is said to be mainly influenced by the customer’s experience with the company.

There is no doubt about the importance of achieving high customer satisfaction as the ultimate goal of service companies. employee service and feelings aroused during service consumption. the focus has been on the experience of comparative judgments in the service expectations versus perceived service performance (Kathryn. Defined as an emotive response to service attributes and service information. The intangible brand stimuli such as core service. satisfaction is the immediate reaction to the service experience. 2001). O. Customer satisfaction is considered as a necessary condition for customer retention and loyalty and therefore helps in realizing economic goals like sales turnover and profit revenue (Shaun McQuitty. In terms of service brand stimuli such as brand equity. 2000). 2001). 1999). It is argued that service experience effects the customer’s overall satisfaction with the service brand. environment and feelings aroused during service consumption to have a direct effect on satisfaction (Babin. 2000).It is argued that service experience effects the customer’s overall satisfaction with the service brand (Chen. Grace. employees. 2000).C. a. 2000). 1999). are also argued to have a direct effect on satisfaction and service quality in various service setting (Babin. core service. Several brand equity dimensions such as services cape (Berry. literature reveals that a number of brand dimensions are strongly associated with satisfaction (D. Definition of terms . satisfaction is the customer’s immediate reaction to both tangible and intangible brand stimuli. Defined as an emotive response to service attributes and service information. Satisfaction is claimed as being generally associated with a particular transaction at a particular time as opposed to brand attitudes that take a more global perspective (Cote.. A. In most client evaluations of retail banking services.