You are on page 1of 104

2

Content
STRESZCZENIE ....................................................................................................................... 4
INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................... 6
Chapter 1. Branding vs competitive advantage ....................................................................... 10
Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 10
1.1. Elemental concepts of brad management ...................................................................... 11
1.2. Brand strategies ............................................................................................................. 25
1.2.1. Corporate branding ................................................................................................ 25
1.2.2. Product branding .................................................................................................... 26
1.3. Sources and measurement of competitive advantage ................................................... 28
Summary .............................................................................................................................. 33
Chapter 2. Brand strategies and concepts in publishing and their impact on competitive
advantage ................................................................................................................................. 34
Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 34
2.1. Specificity of branding in the publishing market .......................................................... 35
2.2. Brand strategies in publishing ....................................................................................... 41
2.2.1. Publisher branding ................................................................................................. 41
2.2.2. Author branding ..................................................................................................... 44
2.2.3. Series and character branding ................................................................................ 46
2.3. Competitive advantage of selected publishers .............................................................. 49
2.3.1. Penguin vs competitors .......................................................................................... 49
2.3.2. Avon vs competitors .............................................................................................. 52
Summary .............................................................................................................................. 55
3. Customer-based brand equity vs competitive advantage ..................................................... 56
Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 56
3.1. Problem identification ................................................................................................... 57
3.2. Research methodology .................................................................................................. 58


3

3.3. Analysis of results ......................................................................................................... 62
3.4. Conclusions ................................................................................................................... 72
Summary ............................................................................................................................... 77
SUMMARY ............................................................................................................................. 79
List of pictures .......................................................................................................................... 83
List of tables ............................................................................................................................. 83
List of charts ............................................................................................................................. 83
Appendix 1. Questionnaire for Penguin ................................................................................... 85
Appendix 2. Questionnaire for Avon ....................................................................................... 90
Appendix 3. Questionnaire for Czarna Owca ........................................................................... 95
Bibliography ........................................................................................................................... 100




4

STRESZCZENIE
Niniejsza praca powicona jest zagadnieniu kapitau marki jako rda przewagi
konkurencyjnej na rynku wydawniczym. Jej gwnym celem jest zbadanie czy kapita marki
moe wpywa na zachowania zakupowe czytelnikw, a tym samym przyczyni si
do wzrostu konkurencyjnoci wydawnictw. Do tej pory wierzono, e konsumenci tego sektora
nie zwracaj uwagi na mark wydawnictwa przy wyborze ksiek, a gwnym czynnikiem
decyzyjnym w tym wypadku jest autor. Z tego powodu firmy wydawnicze nigdy nie
zbudoway silnych marek korporacyjnych skupiajc si raczej na promocji indywidualnych
pisarzy i powieci. Jednake w ostatnim czasie rynek wydawniczy przeywa ogromne
zmiany, ktre zmuszaj wydawcw do poszukiwania nowych rde przewagi
konkurencyjnej i zwrcenia uwagi na branding.
Pierwszy rozdzia pracy ma charakter teoretyczny i jest powicony przedstawieniu
najwaniejszych zagadnie zwizanych z mark jak kapita marki, a take przewag
konkurencyjn. Oprcz zdefiniowania podstawowych terminw z tego zakresu, w czci tej
zostan rwnie przedstawione sposoby pomiary przewagi konkurencyjnej, ze szczeglnym
uwzgldnieniem miernika poziomu kapitau marki opracowanego przez Davida Aakera. Wzr
ten zostanie rwnie wykorzystany w dalszej czci pracy do zmierzenia kapitau marki
analizowanych wydawcw. W rozdziale drugim zaprezentowana zostanie specyfika
zarzdzania mark na rynku wydawniczym. Najwaniejsze strategie marki stosowane przez
wydawcw zostan opisane wraz z przykadami. Poza tym, Penguin i Avon zostan
przeanalizowane pod wzgldem wskanikw efektywnoci na podstawie raportw
prezentujcych i kondycj finansow. Rozdzia trzeci ma charakter analityczny i zostan
w nim przedstawione wyniki badania przeprowadzonego przez autork, w ktrym staraa si
zmierzy wpyw kapitau marki na zachowania zakupowe czytelnikw.
Wyniki badania dowodz, e kapita marki moe by rdem przewagi
konkurencyjnej na rynku wydawniczym. Jak oczekiwano Penguin mia najlepsze wyniki
pod tym wzgldem, a jego kapita marki okaza si prawie trzykrotnie wikszy
od redniej. Co wicej, badanie dowiodo, e istnieje silny zwizek midzy kapitaem marki,
a lojalnoci czytelnikw. Im bardziej pozytywne skojarzenia wzbudza
w konsumentach wydawca, tym bardziej s oni lojalni wobec marki, czego silnie dowodz
przykady Penguina, i Avonu. Wrd czytelnikw wydawnictwa Czarna Owca zauwaono
znacznie mniejsz korelacj midzy kapitaem, a lojalnoci marki. Wynika to w duej mierze


5

z tego, e w Polsce, ze wzgldu na nisze dochody, czciej wypoycza si ksiki
z biblioteki, a nie kupuje nowe.
Podsumowujc, wszystkie hipotezy badawcze opracowane przez autork zostay
potwierdzone i dowodz, e kapita marki wywiera ogromny wpyw na zachowania zakupowe
czytelnikw. Wysoki kapita marki skutkuje zazwyczaj du liczb kupowanych rocznie
ksiek sprzedawanych przez danego wydawc. Ponadto, wikszo czytelnikw przyznaje,
e jest gotowa poleci mark swoim znajomym co korzystnie wpywa na jego
konkurencyjno. Przykady Penguina, Avonu i Czarnej Owcy dowodz,
e zbudowanie silnej i powszechnie rozpoznawalnej marki moe sta si rdem przewagi
konkurencyjnej na rynku wydawniczym. Z tego powodu inni wydawcy powinni rwnie
stworzy swoje marki korporacyjne, ktre pozwoliby im na ustanowienie dugotrwaych
relacji z konsumentami.


6

INTRODUCTION
The following thesis focuses on the concept of customer-based brand equity
as source of competitive advantage in book publishingg market. The author has chosen this
particular topic due to her personal interest in publishing, as well as because
of the growing significance of branding in this business sector. For many years it has been
believed that readers do not pay any attention to the publisher when purchasing books
and therefore vast majority of publishing houses did not build strong corporate brands that
would carry meaning for their customers. Only few imprints managed to establish complex
brand strategies that contributed to their market success and the most notable example of such
organization is Penguin. Most of the publishers however still promote individual books and
authors rather than endeavor to build imprint brands. Nonetheless, recently traditional
publishing is experiencing relevant changes that threaten its further existence thus publishers
are forced to seek new sources of competitive advantage and branding comes to the fore as it
proved to be extremely effective for other business sectors. Corporate branding allows to
generate long-term relationships with customers that provides numerous benefits for both
parties that will be thoroughly examined in this thesis. The growing interest in branding also
derives from the fact that in case of professional books (e.g. business and academic literature),
publishers brand is not only highly recognizable, but it is also one of the most important
deciding factors. With that in mind, more and more scholars argue that the same could be
done for imprints specializing in fiction. The author will examine branding in publishing
on the examples of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca. These particular publishing houses have
been chosen because they managed to build strong corporate brands that are widely
recognized
by customers.
The goal of this thesis is to determine whether customer-based brand equity has
impact on purchase behaviors of readers and could be thus a relevant source of competitive
advantage in the book publishing market. This statement was also the main hypothesis tested
in primary research conducted for the purpose of this study. The whole thesis has been
divided into three chapters. The first and second chapter are theoretical and they are devoted
to definition of the most relevant aspects of branding in general, as well as in the publishing
industry. The third part of the thesis is strictly analytical and it is devoted to presenting results
of the research conducted by the author that examined relationship between customer-based
brand equity and purchase behaviors of readers of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca.


7

The analysis will be done with regard to predefined research hypotheses that are going to be
verified.
Chapter one is devoted to explanation of the most significant concepts related to
branding, with emphasis on brand equity and its components. The term brand will be defined
from a few different perspectives. The most suitable definition of this concept that fits to
current conditions is the one seeing it as mix of physical product, brand name, packaging,
advertising as well as a set of customers ideas, beliefs and opinions about the particular
product or service. Brands play a vital role in contemporary marketing and their basic
functions include information, identification, guarantee and promotion that will be in detail
explained along with other functions fulfilled by brands. Furthermore, the first chapter will
focus on various perspectives of brand equity that is currently a significant source of long-
term competitive advantage. Moreover, brand strategies corporate and product branding
will be explained with emphasis on the main differences between these two. The last part
of chapter one will be devoted the concept of competitive advantage its meaning, sources
and measurement particular. While presenting the latter, the author put emphasis to brand
equity score elaborated by Aaker that will be further used in chapter three to verify one
of the research hypotheses.
The second chapter of the thesis will focus on specificity of branding in the publishing
market. It has already been mentioned that for a long time it was believed that readers do not
pay attention nor take the publisher in their purchase decision regarding book products. In this
part four brand strategies used in publishing will be thoroughly discussed. These include -
publisher branding, author branding, series branding and character branding. The most
relevant assumptions and benefits generated by each of them will be presented along with the
most notable examples of publishing houses using them in practice. Furthermore, interesting
case studies of brand strategies in publishing will be examined including Penguin, Avon,
Czarna Owca and J.K. Rowling who is considered to be one of the strongest author brands
in contemporary literature. Chapter three will also cover comparative analysis of secondary
data on performance indicators of selected publisher and their main competitors which would
allow to examine their competitive advantage. The chosen imprints will be compared
with their main market competitors using Key Performance Indicators and the annual number
of bestselling books which is a particularly relevant indicator of competitive position in book
publishing industry. Publishers that will be analyzed in that method are Penguin and Avon.
Despite the fact that Czarna Owca will also be featured in research conducted by the author


8

for the purpose of this thesis, it will not be presented in the third chapter due to the lack
of available data on its market performance.
As already mentioned, the last chapter will be purely analytical and it will be devoted
to presentation of results of the research examining the impact of customer-based brand equity
on purchase behaviors of readers. The statement that equity does indeed influence customers
of publishing houses in such manner is the main hypothesis of the study. To test it the author
elaborated six supporting hypotheses that were aimed to help verify this basic assumption.
Firstly, brief description of the research problem will be provided with emphasis on the fact
that despite general reluctance towards branding, there are several publishers that have
successfully built brands that are widely recognizable among customers. These include
Penguin, Avon and Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca. Focusing on analysis of the aforementioned
publishers, the author will try to capture their customer-based brand equity and its impact
on purchase behaviors of readers. This will serve as a starting point for verifying whether
publisher is considered in purchase behaviors of readers, and whether it could therefore
become a source of competitive advantage in the publishing market. Before presenting
the research results and main conclusions, the chapter will also cover to detailed description
of applied research methodology with emphasis on research objectives, design, chosen
research methods, as well as research questions and hypotheses that have been tested in this
study. Finally, the results will be thoroughly analyzed with the use of statistical tools in order
to verify whether the predefined hypotheses stated by the author eventually turned out to be
correct. The results will be presented in graphic form of charts comparing the outcome
of the three analyzed publisher and total sample. This will serve as the basis for determining
whether the main research hypothesis stating that customer-based brand equity has impact
on purchase behaviors of readers is indeed accurate.
The thesis has been based on a variety of sources including works of renowned
specialists in the field of brand management, articles on branding in publishing, official
reports on market performance of the analyzed imprints, as well as their websites
and. The literature used in the first chapter is mostly popular books on branding written
by scholars expertising in this particular are like Keller, Kapferer, Riezobos and Aaker.
The have the greatest contribution in development of branding and their works provided the
most thorough analyses of brand management elements. The author also used Polish
elaborations Urbaneks Zarzdzanie mark and Kalls Silna marka in which all the most
important components of brands have been thoroughly studied.


9

The second chapter was more problematic with regard to professional literature
because the sources on branding in publishing are still limited because this discipline is yet to
further develop. This is way more, online forms have been used here. This part of the thesis
was largely based on a series of articles written by Ph.D. Irini Pitsaki from Northumbria
University for International Journal of the Book. Her works served as the basis for describing
brand strategies implemented in publishing, i.e. publisher, author, series and character
branding, as well as specificity of branding in this industry. Furthermore, materials available
on official websites of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca were also used to examine their
branding activities. The last section of the second chapter devoted to analysis of competitive
position of selected publishers was written on the basis financial statements and reports
of publishing houses as well as the annual group report of Publishers Weekly, one of the most
significant professional magazines specializing in publishing market. The third chapter is
strictly analytical and it is based on the research conducted by the author. However,
in the theoretical introduction describing implemented research methodology, a few sources
on marketing research and statistics were quoted.
To sum up, this thesis will be devoted to analyzing customer-based brand equity
in case of competitive advantage in book publishing market. The author will try to verify it
with a research among readers of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca that have very distinctive
brands, highly recognized by customers. The results will serve as a basis to determine whether
other publishers should follow their example and develop complex brand strategies to survive
in the highly competitive and fragmented market.








10

Chapter 1. Branding vs competitive advantage
Introduction
The main goal of this chapter is to acknowledge the reader with the most significant
concepts related to branding (in particular customer-based brand equity) and competitive
advantage. Besides presenting various definitions of the term brand and how it evolved over
time, this part of the thesis will also cover issues such as origins of branding, functions
of brands and differences between brand identity and brand image. It needs to be emphasized
that, despite similar semantics and links with customers perception, the two latter concepts are
not the same one of them is related to the actual environments perception of a specific
brand, while the other is the way in which brand wants to be seen by its stakeholders (Kall,
2006, p. 24-25). Furthermore, the first chapter of the thesis will also concentrate on various
approaches towards brand equity that is currently a crucial source of durable competitive
advantage. Currently, the perspective seeing brand equity as a marketing value constituted
by various assets linked to the brand seems to be dominating therefore it will be thoroughly
studied with the use of various models elaborated by scholars specializing in the field
of branding (Aaker D. , 1991, p. 22). The second section of this chapter will be devoted to
brand strategies, i.e. corporate and product branding. Firstly, the term strategy itself will be
defined from marketing point of view and it will serve as the basis for explaining
the importance of brand strategy for contemporary businesses. The main premises
and assumptions of both corporate and product will be presented, as well as comprehensive
comparison to indicate the most notable differences between these two approaches. The last
section will cover issues describing relationship between branding and competitive advantage.
The latter term, as well as its main sources will be defined along with methods of its
measurement. Branding will be analyzed in terms of its undeniable potential and capabilities
for building a companys beneficial position against its competitors in the market. It will be
emphasized that competitive advantage is a relative value and therefore it should be measured
as comparison of selected performance results or brand equity levels between the company
and other organizations operating in the same market and aiming at the same target group
of customers.



11

1.1. Elemental concepts of brad management
Brands in one form or another have been known to exist for centuries and due to this
fact the scope of meaning of the term brand evolved over time. What is interesting, brands have
been present ever since ancient times (Riezebos, 2003, p. 1). However, it must be stressed that
Romans and Greeks used this term to speak about stone-carved signs showing what could be
bought in certain shops. The practice of branding in the form known nowadays, had developed
in 19th and 20th century, along with concepts such as marketing, advertising and public relations,
giving rise to the so called commercial art that for many years has been at the core
of a companys communication efforts (Healey, 2008, p. 10). In short, branding can be defined
as the overall process of creating superior customer value with the use of all the brand elements
that will be thoroughly studied in this chapter. (Healey, 2008, p. 10).
Nowadays, there are two main approaches to defining brand. The first one is very
general and strictly relates to the identification function of brands. According to this approach
brand is simply a name or symbol (often a combination of both) created in order to identify
products or services, and to distinguish these goods from the offer of competitors (Kall, 2006,
p. 11-12). On the other hand, brand is also defined as a mix of physical product, brand name,
packaging, advertising as well as activities related to distribution and pricing. These are
combined together to distinguish a particular offer in the competitive market, and to provide
customers with significant benefits (both functional and symbolic) that will make them
purchase the product repeatedly (Bennet, P.D. [ed.], 1995, p. 27). The latter approach to
brands is more detailed, however, it concentrates rather on the tangible aspects, omitting the
importance of intangible factors. This is why the American Marketing Associations
definition of brand should be further developed and supplemented. According to T. Blackett
brand can also be seen as a set of customers ideas, beliefs and opinions about the particular
product or service (Blackett, 2003, p. 13) this, merged with the elements of American
Marketing Association explanation of brand, is the most suitable definition of contemporary
concept of brand. It must be noted that nowadays it is not sufficient to just create a brand
name and logo to gain success and advantage over competitors. It requires much more
advanced marketing activities and elaborated process of brand management. Brand is
a promise of high quality and satisfaction from the purchase (Healey, 2008, p. 10).
Brands are extremely multilayered and they consist of a number of elements.
However, there are two crucial groups of components that are the starting point of branding
process visual and verbal identity (Allen & Simmons, 2003, p. 113). The first term refers to
perhaps the most visible aspect of branding that is expressed through a set of graphic elements


12

that merged together constitute a system for brand identification and representation. They
include logos (logotypes), symbols, colors and typefaces that are used to communicate with
customers, and combined with one another build coherent visual identity of a specific brand
(Allen & Simmons, 2003, p. 114).
On the other hand, verbal identity is expressed through words and language that
distinguish a brand from others. The elements of verbal identity include the name, naming
system for products, subbrands and groups, a strapline, tone of voice principles and the use
of stories (Allen & Simmons, 2003, p. 115). However, for branding to be successful it is
crucial to combine both visual and verbal identity that mixed together deliver a strong
message for customers (Allen & Simmons, 2003, p. 115). This is why it is so relevant that all
the brand elements (both visual and verbal) should fulfill a number of non-negotiable criteria
that guarantee effectiveness of branding. These include the following (Keller, Strategic brand
management. Building, measuring and managing brand equity, 2003, p. 175):
Memorability;
Meaningfulness;
Aesthetic appeal;
Transferability across product categories, geographical and cultural borders;
Adaptability and flexibility over time;
Legal and competitive protectability.
In order to provide mutual benefits for customers and organizations, brands and all
their components must be easy to remember permanently, and carry a special meaning that
will evoke desired associations in the minds of buyers. What is more, the brand needs to
provide some form of aesthetical appeal for the customers so that they will appreciate
the products. Brand elements should also be easily transferable into both different product
categories, as well as all geographical, culturally diversified markets. Furthermore,
components of brand must be flexible enough to adjust to conditions changing over time.
And finally, they ought to provide legal and competitive protection for the organization.
Nowadays, branding plays a vital role in organizations communication with its target
customers. A branded product sends a coded message which if deciphered in the correct
manner, can contribute to purchase behaviors desired by the company in question. This is why
it is so important that the customers get precisely the meaning intended by the sender (Schultz
& Barnes, 1999, p. 142). It is generally assumed that there are four main functions of a brand
that are all correlated to one another. These functions are also elements of the aforementioned


13

coded message sent by the organization via branding to its customers. The basic functions
of brands are as follows (Altkorn, 1999, pp. 13-14):
Identification;
Information;
Promotion;
Guarantee.
As already mentioned, the basic role of brands is to identify a particular product
or service in the competitive market. This function is strictly related to informational role
of brands that aim not only to inform the customers about the particular items producer
or distributor, but also to help the potential buyer recognize unique traits of a product, indicate
functional and emotional benefits from the purchase and usage as well as organizational
culture represented by the product. Identification is also linked to promotion. Every
promotional effort of a brands owner must take into account the whole span of information
related to identification function of a brand. It needs to be noted that the brand is a constant
and one of the most important elements of promotion through brands producers promote
their offer thanks to creation of a set of positive associations in the minds of customers.
The last function of a brand is to guarantee the buyers with some level of quality
and satisfaction that would additionally justify higher price of the branded product and reduce
uncertainty (Altkorn, 1999, pp. 13-14).
Branding is a very dynamic discipline, rapidly changing over time. This is why some
scholars suggest that new brand functions should be added to the aforementioned
identification, information, promotion and guarantee. One of the most significant
classifications of new brand functions was provided by J.N. Kapferer and G. Laurent who
distinguished eight functions that have been presented in Table 1.







14

Table 1. The functions of brands
Brand function Benefit for the customer
Identification To be clearly seen, to make sense of the offer, to quickly identify the sought-
after products
Guarantee To be sure of finding the same quality no matter where or when you buy the
product or service
Practicality To allow savings of time and energy through identical repurchasing and
loyalty
Optimization To be sure of buying the best product in its category, the best performer for a
particular purpose
Characterization To have confirmation of your self-image or the image that you present to
others
Continuity Satisfaction brought about through familiarity and intimacy with the brand
that you have been consuming for years
Hedonistic Satisfaction linked to the attractiveness of the brand, to its logo, to its
communication
Ethical Satisfaction linked to the responsible behavior of the brand in its relationship
towards society
Source: adapted from: (Kapferer N. , 2008, pp. 22-23)
As identification and guarantee have been already explained, their characterization
will not be repeated. Moving further, branding is extremely practical from the customers
point of view. Due to the fact that individuals are familiar with a specific brand, they save
both time and energy when looking for a certain product. This is because they become loyal
and tend to repurchase goods sold by the brand in question (Kapferer N. , 2008, pp. 22-23).
Another new function of brands, optimization refers to the fact that branding allows
categorization of products according to certain criteria which significantly simplifies
the process of decision making (Kapferer N. , 2008, pp. 22-23). What is more, branding
enables customer characterization which is related to the fact that buying certain brands can
reflect the users lifestyle and confirm their desired self-image. If an individual wants to
perceived in a specific manner by other, they purchase brands with specific image believing
the traits possessed by the brand will be transferred onto them (Kapferer N. , 2008, pp. 22-23).
Continuity refers to the sense of satisfaction generated by familiarity with the brand
that a person has been using for a long period of time (Kapferer N. , 2008, pp. 22-23).
The next function distinguished by Kapferer, hedonism, is related to the perceived
attractiveness and it is linked to characterization (Kapferer N. , 2008, pp. 22-23). The last
function from the new categorization, ethical is a result of customers satisfaction deriving


15

from the fact that the brand they use behaves in an appropriate manner towards society which
can be expressed through employment policy or environment-friendly operations. This is also
a very important aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility which is currently gaining
on significance. Nowadays, besides providing practical benefits for customers, brands also
need to act in a socially responsible way so that the brand users are proud of their relationship.
Branding plays a vital role in contemporary marketing. The process, if conducted
properly, strengthens the brands positive image and reputation, thus encouraging loyalty
of the clients. It must be noticed, however, that the term brand does not equate
with the symbol nor product, which both are only elements of the brand and they have no
meaning for the customers without the proper context set by the brand. It is generally believed
that most of the consumer behavior is generally driven by emotions which are strongly
exploited by brands. Brands promise the customers high quality and satisfaction from buying
and using the specific branded product, leading to loyalty and constant repetition of purchase
despite the higher price (Healey, 2008, p.10).
These days, there are numerous approaches to defining the concept of brand equity.
The term had been first briefly explained in 1989 by P. Farquhar who identified it as added
value given by the brand to a certain product (Farquhar, 1989, p. 24). High brand equity is
currently considered organizations strategic asset and a significant source of competitive
advantage as it typically leads to better brand performance in the market. However,
the concept of brand equity is a lot more complex and can be studied from a few different
perspectives. The two most common approaches analyze brand equity as value from the point
of view of the company and the customer which are strictly linked to each other. We can
therefore assume that the broad concept of brand equity consists of two elements brand
value, which refers to strictly financial assets and is related to organizations performance,
and genuine brand equity understood as equivalent of non-monetary, marketing value
of the brand (Urbanek, 2002, pp. 33-34). The correlation between these two components has
been presented in the picture 1.



16

Picture 1. Dual nature of brand equity

Source: adapted from: (Urbanek, 2002, p. 34)
Brand value, i.e. brand equity from the organizations perspective is predominantly
seen as financial value of the brand (Urbanek, 2002, p. 30). In this case, equity equals
the incremental cash flows from the sale of branded products over and above cash flows
which would result from the sale of unbranded goods (Simon & Sullivan, 1993, p. 29).
In other words, brand equity is simply brand-related profits from trading branded products
and the brands ability to generate value for the organization through speeding up growth and
enhancing prices (Doyle, 2001, pp. 26-27). Brand equity understood as monetary value can be
thus measured through a variety of strictly financial indicators including the aforementioned
cash flows from selling branded goods. The indicators of financial brand equity can be
as follows (Urbanek, 2002, p. 30):
Brand replacement cost;
Present value of future discounted cash flows related to the brand;
Current incomes from the brand multiplied by Price/Earning ratio reflecting
future risk and profits from the brand.
On the other hand, brand equity from customers perspective is equivalent
of the overall assets linked to the brand that give additional value to the core product
(Urbanek, 2002, p. 30). The most renowned studies suggest that basically there are five
resources that constitute brand equity brand awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality,
brand associations and other (Aaker, 1991, p. 22). Established scholar in the field
of branding, D. Aaker has elaborated a comprehensive model of brand equity describing
detailed relations between its individual components and their impact on the overall brand
performance.
Broad concept of brand
equity
Brand equity:
- marketing value
- non-monetary nature
Brand value:
- financial value
- strictly monetary in its
nature


17

According to Aaker, brand loyalty is and indicator of customers attachment to
the brand and is expressed through intentional repurchase of certain branded products
(Urbanek, 2002, p. 40). Loyal customers are an extremely important assets of company
as they provide regular revenue and can spread their positive opinion on the brand among
their associates thus encouraging new buyers. It must be noted however, that there are several
levels of brand loyalty which can be presented in the form of a pyramid in which the bottom
category is equivalent of lowest loyalty.
Picture 2. Brand loyalty pyramid

Source: (Aaker, 1991, p. 35)
At the bottom of Aakers loyalty pyramid, there are brand switchers, that is, customer
not loyal to the brand in question, who are very price sensitive. The purchase behaviors
of switchers do not take the brand into consideration because such customers tend to buy
the least expensive offer. Habitual buyers, as the name suggests, purchase a particular brand
of products simply out of habit. They are generally satisfied, hence see no reason for looking
for alternatives and switching to another brands. It must be noted however, that when
problems with acquiring the usual brand arise, habitual buyer will relatively easily switch to
another one. Satisfied buyers are generally unwilling to change a brand due to the switching
costs that can be both financial and emotional. Brand likers are true brand enthusiasts
who buy the products of particular brand due to emotional benefits rather than factors such
as price or quality. In this case customers have a very strong positive attitude towards the
brand and such emotional attachment makes them reluctant to switch to another products,
even if they have better price or quality (Aaker D. , 1991, p. 35-37).
commited
buyers
brand likers
satisfied buyers
habitual buyers
brand switchers


18

The last and most desired level of brand loyalty pyramid distinguished by Aaker, is
occupied by committed buyers that strongly identify themselves with the brand and feel proud
of being its users. The purchase of particular branded products is the outcome of the match
between ones personal values and the values prized by the brand in question. In this case
the brand plays a significant role in the committed buyers everyday lives and thus it is
practically impossible for them to switch to another brand, regardless of benefits provided
by substitutes (Aaker D. , 1991, p. 37).
High level brand loyalty provides numerous benefits and is often considered
a relevant source of competitive advantage in the market. Having loyal and committed buyers
allows the brand to reduce marketing costs and makes it less susceptible to unfavorable
actions of competitors. It results from the fact that relying on loyal customers is less expensive
than attracting new groups of buyers as the latter requires costly communication efforts. What is
more, loyal customers provide a stable source of revenue Furthermore, loyal customers generate
constant demand for products thanks to which the company has better position in distribution
channels in which they are sought out. All these elements contribute to establishing
competitive position in the market. Brands with a number of loyal customers usually have
higher market share and can afford higher markups (Urbanek, 2002, pp. 44-45).
Another element of brand equity, brand awareness, is generally perceived
as the extent of customers knowledge of a specific brands existence. However, a more
professional definition of this concept explains awareness as the potential buyers ability to
recognize a specific brand as an inseparable component of a product (Kall, 2006, p. 44). There
are however, several levels of brand awareness, all presented in the picture 3.


19

Picture 3. Levels of brand awareness

Source: (Kall, 2006, pp. 44-47)
At the bottom of the brand awareness pyramid, there is recognition that occurs when
a customer is able to correctly identify a product or service by viewing its logo, tag line,
packaging, etc. It must be noted that brand recognition requires prior knowledge and thus
the organization should constantly provide the audience with experiences enabling learning
about the brand. It is worth mentioning that according to the research carried out in 1982
by Ogilvy & Mather advertising company, the decision about purchase of everyday products
is usually made in store hence the brand recognition is there of particular importance (Kall,
2006, pp. 44). What is interesting, in research practice the concept of brand recognition is
often substituted with the term aided or assisted brand awareness. Assisted brand awareness
occurs when a researched person is presented with a set of various brands and asked to
indicate these they are already familiar with (Kall, 2006, pp. 44-47).
The next level of brand awareness is brand recall, often referred to as unaided brand
awareness. This concept relates to a customers spontaneous recall of a particular brand while
thinking about a specific product category, without other additional incentives (Kall, 2006,
pp. 44-47). Top of mind or brand salience occupies the third position in the pyramid
of awareness. It is perceived as the brand that comes to customers mind while thinking about
a specific product category as first. A brands salience is measured by the percentage
of customers who mentioned the brand as first, when asked about specific type of products
(Kall, 2006, pp. 44-47). At the peak of the brand awareness pyramid, there is brand
dominance. The concept refers to a situation when a specific product category has been
brand
dominance
top of mind
brand recall
brand regocnition


20

domineered by one brand that is the only one recalled by the customers when thinking
of the specific industry (Kall, 2006, pp 44-47).
The third element of brand equity model elaborated by Aaker, brand associations,
refers to everything that is somehow related to the brand in the minds of customers like
product traits, benefits and features differentiating the brand from others (Urbanek, 2002,
p. 59). They are built through integrated brand communication and customers experiences
with the product. The stronger the associations, the better as they usually are the key factor
that establishes some kind of emotional connection between the brand and the users.
The associations are highly affected by brand identity that has been defined as the way
an organization wants to be seen, and they are in fact components of brand image and they are
formed as a result of the decoding messages sent by the brand (Urbanek, 2002, pp. 59-60).
However, we need to clearly define what the term brand image actually means
and emphasize that it is not the same as brand identity. These two terms, though strictly
related to each other, are separate entities concerning different issues. Brand identity is
commonly understood as the brand owners vision of the brand. The identity is the desired
way of customers brand perception, whereas brand image is the actual perception
of a specific brand. (Kall, 2006, p. 25-25). Brand identity is a comprehensive message
of the brand owner that, after having been received and decoded by the audience, contributes
to the brand image shaped by a synthesis of all the signals (e.g. advertising, brand name)
emitted by the brand compare Figure 5. The brand identity defines who the brand is
and what it does, thus helping the brand owner to choose the most suitable tools of effective
communication with the target group, ensure brands individuality and consistence as well
as indicate the boundaries for brand positioning (Kall, 2006, p. 24-25).

Picture 4. Relationship between brand identity and brand image

Source: adapted from: (Kall, 2006, p. 25).



21

According to K.L. Keller there are three main types of brand associations attributes,
benefits and attitudes that all can be divided into various subgroups compare picture 5
(Beech & Chadwick, 2007, p. 191).
Picture 5. Keller's typology of brand associations

Source: adapted from (Beech & Chadwick, 2007, p. 191)
The first category distinguished by Keller, attributes, refers to associations related to
features that characterize the product. These may be strictly internal traits linked to a branded
good (product related attributes) and they are unconditionally necessary for the items
functioning (Urbanek, 2002, p. 63). On the other hand, non-product related attributes refer to
external aspects of the product and they include issues such as price, packaging, user image
and typical usage situations (Keller, 1993, p. 7). Non-product related associations generate
customers appeal for the brand because they can reflect a certain lifestyle and social status
which are nowadays a particularly considerable aspect of branding (Keller, 1998, pp. 93-99).
The second element of Kellers typology, benefits, can be defined as various kinds
of values provided by the brand and they can be categorized into three groups functional,
experiential and symbolic benefits (Urbanek, 2002, p. 65). Functional benefits are the most
basic ones and they are connected to product-related attributes. This type of associations
strictly relates to functions fulfilled by a given branded item e.g. functional benefit provided
by a can of Coca-Cola is quneching thirst. Experiencial benefits, on the other hand, come
from a sense of emoitional satisfaction build over time through repeated usage of the product.
Brand
associations
attributes
product related
non-product
related
benefits
functional
experiential
symbolic
attitudes


22

Again, in case of the aforementioned can of Coke it may be contentedness with the drinks
flavor. The last group of benefits (symbolic) are related to satisfaction deriving from a certain
lifestyle and values represented by the brand. Its usage has a symbolic dimension
and the customer proud of their relationship with the brand (Schultz D. , Barnes, Schultz, &
Azzaro, 2009, p. 320).
The last group of association distinguished by Keller, attitudes refers to people's
beliefs and behaviors towards certain things and they are easily changed under social
influence (Johnson H. , 2011, p. 1). It is generally assumed that there are three ways of
attitudes forming that include: classical conditioning used in commercials that create pleasant
associations with particular product thus affecting the audiences attitude; operant
conditioning in which attitudes are developed on the basis of feedback given by people
around us; and observing the people in case people important to us expose a different
attitude, we are more likely to develop similar opinions (Cherry, 2014).
The fourth component of brand equity distinguished by Aaker, perceived quality can
be defined as customers opinion on a products excellence and superiority (Urbanek, 2002, p.
45). It must be stressed that the concept does not necessarily reflect he real and objective
quality provided by the brand. As the name suggests, perceived quality is buyers individual
perception based on personal experiences with the brand. What is more, perceived quality
in not equivalent of customers satisfaction with the product as a specific buyer may be
satisfied with low quality good because their expectations were low. Furthermore, they can
feel a sense of dissatisfaction with products possessing exceptional quality due to their high
price which can negatively impact customers attitude towards the brand even though quality
is above average.
Perceived quality is then a very abstract and immaterial concept rather than a firm
scientific construct reflecting certain brand attributes. Nonetheless, it is a relevant component
that highly influences brand image among certain groups of publics (Urbanek, 2002, p. 49).
The model shown in Figure 6 takes into account different levels of abstraction and presents
how perceived quality is generated in the minds of customers. Their subjective opinion on
brands quality is shaped by numerous factors that can be grouped in two categories internal
and external signals that can freely interact with each other (Urbanek, 2002, p. 51). The first
one is less abstract and it generally refers directly to product attributes that may indicate its
quality. These include functioning, traits, durability, accordance with specifications
and physical appearance of the product, as well as post-purchase service (Urbanek, 2002, p.


23

51). Whereas, external components of perceived quality comprise of the products price,
brand name and advertising (Urbanek, 2002, p. 51).
Picture 6. The influence of perceived quality on brand image

Source: adapted from: (Urbanek, 2002, p. 49)
As already mentioned, perceived quality may serve as a starting point of forming
brand image and its positioning (Urbanek, 2002, p. 59). The image is also shaped
by customers attitude towards the brand that cannot be identified with perceived quality as it
is a lot more complex and it comprises of both emotional and rational elements. The other
factor influencing brand image is perceived value that can be defined as customers overall
assessment of the products usability that is based on comparison between benefits provided
by the product and the cost (both financial and non-financial) that the buyer has to incur
(Urbanek, 2002, p. 59). Brand equity can also be shaped by other proprietary assets such
as patents, trademarks and intellectual property rights that have a direct effect on competitive
advantage (European Institute for Brand Management, 2014).
K.L. Keller proposed yet another approach towards brand equity that is customer-
based. To fully comprehend the concept, we must first clearly determine what brand
knowledge is. The term refers to a brand node to which a variety of associations are connected
(Keller, 1993, p. 3). The aforementioned brand node consists of two elements that shape
brand knowledge and influence customer response, and they are brand awareness and brand


24

image that is reflected by brand associations held in customers minds. Both components
of brand knowledge have already been explained with regard to Aakers approach towards
brand equity, and so their definitions will not be furthermore multiplied.
Returning to customer-based brand equity, it is defined as the differential effect
of brand knowledge on customer response to the marketing of the brand (Keller, 1993, p. 8).
The first element of this definition, differential effect, refers to the fact that customers
response to a specific brands marketing program is analyzed in comparison to the response to
unbranded product or service. The response itself is seen as customers perceptions, behaviors
and preferences resulting from their contact with marketing mix. Having determined
the aforementioned, high customer-based brand equity occurs when customers express more
favorable reactions to the 4Ps of a given brand than an unnamed version of the same product
(Keller, 1993, p. 8). The central role of this approach towards brand equity, is played
by favorability, strength and uniqueness of brand associations that have the greatest impact
on customer response as they affect brand image and brand awareness. These two are critical
with regard to the brans performance in the market because they rise brand choice
probability, generate greater brand loyalty and decrease potential risk arising from actions
of competition (Keller, 1993, p. 8).
Brand equity is currently a considerable aspect of achieving competitive position
in the market, as it directly affects the companys performance and effectiveness of its
communication strategy. As already stated there are currently two most important approaches
towards this theory. The first one however, sees brand equity as genuinely financial entity
and should be thus referred to as brand value that is one element of the broader concept
of equity that is a more abstract and intangible in its nature. It seems that the other approach,
equating brand equity to marketing value constituted by various assets that generate additional
value for customers is more suitable to current conditions. Questions arose concerning
measurement of equity that largely comprises of abstract, non-tangible elements that are
difficult to capture. This issue will however, be further discussed in detail in the section
devoted to competitive advantage.




25

1.2. Brand strategies
Building a strong, commonly recognized brand is a superior goal for most
organizations nowadays. Branding itself is currently an extremely relevant aspect
of an organizations strategy. The overall strategy of the company can be defined as long-term
plan determining the scope and direction of the firms actions aimed at achieving competitive
position in the market while taking into account the companys objectives and various
stakeholders expectations (Johnson, Whittington, & Scholes, 2010, p. 21). Based on this
definition, it can be assumed that brand strategy can be seen as an element of this plan and it
refers to accomplishing goals through integrated branding of products and services. It must be
emphasized that there are numerous brand strategies but two the most popular are corporate
branding and product branding. The first term refers to a situation when a company applies
its brand name to all traded goods, whereas the latter concerns creating separate brands
for each product manufactured by the company. Both strategies will be thoroughly studied
in the following sections of the thesis.
1.2.1. Corporate branding
Some scholar argue that corporate branding is one of the most significant sources
of establishing brand equity (Uggla, 2006, p. 785). They key aspect of this strategy is
building a strong and distinctive brand of the organization based on features that distinguish it
from other entities. The concept of brand identity (or corporate identity in this case) is crucial
in this approach as it the starting point of creating a corporate brand (Schroeder, Salzer-
Mrling, & Askegaard, 2006, p. 38). Such a brand constitutes a platform on which
organization expresses its identity and uses it to communicate with the environment.
In corporate branding the company itself, rather than certain product attributes, is put
in the center of the firms communication efforts. This allows to create emotional relationship
between the brand and its target customers who may start being attached and loyal (Pitsaki,
2008, pp. 105-106).
The organization is placed at the heart of brand positioning along with its values
and mission that play a vital role in the companys every day functioning. The central idea
behind corporate branding is building a consistent and attractive organizational culture that
would appeal to the general public and would be communicated through all brand elements
and promotion tools. This way the values highlighted and associated with the corporate brand
will be transferred into all the products gathered under the corporate badge (Schroeder,
Salzer-Mrling, & Askegaard, 2006, pp. 15-16). Nowadays, there is a growing tendency


26

towards corporate branding that makes the organization more visible in the environment. One
of the main reasons responsible for this trend is distribution channels which develop business
relationships with companies, not their products. Therefore, having a strong corporate brand
can give the firm a favorable position in the distribution chain which as extremely relevant
in terms of gaining and sustaining competitive advantage in the market (Kapferer N. , 2008, p.
388).
Corporate brands have long been known as an extremely valuable asset
of the organization as they can be an indicator of high quality, as well as they protect
the company from poor performance and financial risk (Schroeder, Salzer-Mrling, &
Askegaard, 2006, p. 38). Corporate branding is very simplistic as it is based on the premise
of applying the same strategy to all of the firms products which results in a more coherent
positioning and communicating with customers. The brand elements and associations are
automatically shifted from the company into goods sold by the organization in question. This
allows to incur lower costs when it comes to introducing new products in the market because
there is no need for expensive branding efforts with regard to the newly marketed item
(Hartman, 2014). To sum up, corporate branding is based on the idea that the company
and values it represents are the key elements of communicated brand identity. This allows to
build a reputation of a reliable producer whose positive perception will extend into all
manufactured goods.
1.2.2. Product branding
The basic premise of product branding is very simple and it can be presented in form
of a short equation: 1 brand=1 product=1 promise (Kapferer J. , 1997, p. 231). In this
strategy, every single product has its own unique brand that is directed towards a certain
market segment (Riezobos & van der Grinten, 2012, p. 19). Here, the organization might not
be clearly visible in the brand communication process as it focuses more on crucial product
attributes, its quality and benefits provided (Young, 2011). Each item has its own specific
identity that is somehow linked to the overall corporate identity and it is managed by middle
level managers, whereas the CEO and top management are responsible for corporate
branding. In this case, marketing communication is strictly about the product and it is
intended for customers rather than other stakeholders like corporate branding. (Dunnion &
Knox, 2004, p. 6). All the differences between these two strategies have been presented
in table 2.


27

Table 2. Product branding versus corporate branding
Product brand Corporate brand
Focus of attention The product The organization
Managed by Middle management Top management
Attract attention and gain
support of
Customers Various stakeholders
Delivered by Marketing Whole organization
Communicated by Marketing communication Multiple communications,
activities, and contacts
Time horizon Short (product life) Long (organization life)
Importance to the organization Tactical for function Strategic for organization
Source: (Dunnion & Knox, 2004, p. 6)
Nowadays however, many organizations apply hybrid brand strategies merging
elements of both corporate and product branding to leverage benefit of both (Riezobos & van
der Grinten, 2012, p. 19). Corporate and product brands are different from one another
but both seem to be equally beneficial from different perspectives. This is why choosing one
of these strategies depends on multiple factors such as organizations goal, its position
in distribution channels, type of business, number of products in portfolio, as well as target
audience. These days however, when reputation and Corporate Social Responsibility
constantly gain on importance it would be highly unwise to focus solely on creating product
brands that do not have such impact on relationship building between the company and its
customers.




28

1.3. Sources and measurement of competitive advantage
The vital goal of each business organization is not only to survive in the highly
competing environment, but also to gain constant advantage over its competitors. In order to
accomplish this, the company must choose the most appropriate strategy and when necessary
implement changes so it can continue to thrive (Urbanek, 2002, p. 68). Organizations have
now for decades endeavored to gain and maintain competitive advantage. As already
indicated, brand is on the most significant assets of company, that represents actual value
for customers. A branded product implies not only higher quality, but also has a deeper, more
emotional meaning for the buyer (Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, 2013). Through
consistent and attractive brand identity based on customers needs, expectations, values and
lifestyles, organizations build strong emotional bonds with the users. Due to such connection
it is unlikely for the customers to switch to another products, even if the latter seem to be
rationally more attractive. A strong, appealing brand encourages the buyer for repeated
purchases and thus is a very important source of competitive advantage.
Competitive advantage can be defined as a companys skill to satisfy the needs
of customers better than its competitors, resulting in higher profitability. In other words, it
means that an organization earns profits that are above average in the whole industry in which
it operates. However, it must be stressed that as much as achieving competitive advantage is
a primary goal of each company, maintaining it in the long-term period seems a lot more
difficult, thus even more significant. The situation in which one organization of a specific
sector has bigger gains than others cannot go unnoticed by the rest of the companies
from the same business that take on actions aimed at overpowering the current leader
of the market (Urbanek, 2002, p. 71).
Competitive advantage derives from an organizations internal resources and activities
directed at efficient use and development of a companys unique skills and key competences
that are crucial to succeeding in a specific industry. Such competences are difficult to copy
and are sources of both gaining and maintaining advantage over competitors. Their examples
include highly qualified employees, unique technology, marketing knowledge and strong
brand. These competences are a basis for designing business strategy that in detail describes
how the company is going to accomplish and preserve competitive advantage (Urbanek, 2002,
p. 71).


29

There are numerous sources of competitive advantage that may result from both
tangible, as well as intangible assets of the organization. These can be grouped into eight
categories including (West, Ford, & Ibrahim, 2010, p. 147):
Superior inputs;
Superior knowledge base;
Superior technology;
Superior operation;
Superior offerings and branding;
Superior access;
Superior segments;
Superior customers.
Competitive advantage is currently an issue of particular relevance. Despite the fact
that there are numerous sources of gaining competitive position in the market, not all of them
allow to sustain it in the long-run. Superior financial assets possessed by the company that
may stimulate its competitiveness can run short particularly in periods of crisis
and unfavorable fluctuations (West, Ford, & Ibrahim, 2010, p. 147). Furthermore, individual
access to innovative technologies is also unstable as in todays transfer of information
and knowledge allows other entities to relatively quickly copy such an asset and use it
for their own advantage (West, Ford, & Ibrahim, 2010, p. 147). It seems that branding is one
of very few things that can not only generate competitive advantage, but also sustain it
for a longer period as it allows to differentiate from competitors. This is particularly relevant
nowadays as most companies from the same business sectors offer basically very similar
products and it is hard to tell which ones deliver superior benefits. Brands can generate
positive associations in the minds of customers and thus affect its better position in against
competitors that will bring tangible profits (West, Ford, & Ibrahim, 2010, p. 147).
As already mentioned, branding is an extremely relevant source of long-term
competitive advantage in contemporary business. Strong brand is a particularly valuable asset
of the organization as it helps to achieve leadership that is seen as one of the most notable
indicators of competitive advantage (Urbanek, 2002, p. 75). Renowned brand allows


30

the company to cut costs related to marketing and distribution, as well as introducing new
product categories because they do not require spending as much financial means
on promotion. Thanks to this, the firm can occupy beneficial position in the market
as compared to its competitors. What is more, the company can afford higher pricing and
markups because the brand to some extent justifies bigger expenses that customer have to
incur on branded items in the opinion of customers as opposed to regular, cheaper products
of competitors (Urbanek, 2002, p. 75). Thanks to this, branding enables the organization to
achieve better performance than other companies operating in the same market.
Therefore competitive advantage can be embodied by financial values such as sales
revenues, adjusted operating profits, ROI (return on investment), market share (Apigee
Institute Survey, 213, pp. 1-8). as well as intangible assets such as brand equity scores.
It must be stressed that competitive advantage is a relative value and this is why in order to
verify it, the aforementioned ratios need to be calculated for both the organization in question,
as well as its main market competitors. This allows to make a complex comparison of Key
Performance Indicators of the most important actors in the business section that would serve
as a basis for determining which companies have competitive advantage in certain aspects
(Apigee Institute Survey, 213, pp. 1-8).
The concept of brand equity has already been thoroughly explained in one
of the previous sections of this thesis. Briefly reminding, the term refers to additional value
given to the product by assets such as brand loyalty, brand awareness, perceived quality
and brand associations that are generated in the minds of customers during their experiences
with the brand. There is no doubt that high level of brand equity can be a relevant source
of gaining advantage over competitors. However, due to the fact that the construct consists
mostly of intangible elements that are difficult to capture, problems arose in terms
of measuring brand equity. One of the most notable methods of calculating brand equity has
been developed by D. Aaker who suggested brand equity score as a way to evaluate brand
equity that can be presented in a simple mathematical equation:
=


According to Aaker brand equity can be captured by multiplying brand awareness,
brand liking and brand perceptions (Aaker & Biel, 2013, p. 36). The first element
of the equation is determined by verifying customers degree of knowledge of the brand that
can be grouped into three categories the brand I use (1,0), the brand I know but never tried


31

(0,5), the brand I do not recognize (0). Each answer is multiplied by value in the bracket
indicating the level of brand awareness, and then added to one another to establish the final
number that will be put in the equation. Using this method, we can also calculate
the standalone average brand awareness:
=
1,0 + 0,5 + 0
n

Measurement of brand liking is a lot easier as it is indicated on a 10-ponit dislike-like
scale, and it can as well be used to evaluate average brand liking.
=
1,0 + 2,0 + 10,0
n

The last component of brand equity score, i.e. brand perceptions is evaluated on a 10-
point scale by the degree to which in the customers opinion selected brands are described by
the following traits: a leading brand; worth the price; excellent quality; suits me well;
a brand I trust. Each answer is multiplied by value from 1 to 10 indicating the strength of
brand perceptions, and then added to one another to figure out the final number that will be
used in the equation.
Aakers brand equity score has been standardized and the average score has been set
at 100 (Aaker & Biel, 2013, p. 36). Thanks to this, it is easy to assess which brands perform
above and below the average. The score can also be used to measure a companys competitive
position against other organizations operating in the same market. It can be easily presented
in form of a comparative chart which will indicate which brand has higher competitive
advantage based on branding. Below, there is an exemplary comparison of brand equity
scores of Evian and its main competitors in selected countries which shows in which cases
the brand in question occupies a competitive position in the market (Aaker & Biel, 2013, p.
38).


32

Chart 1. Exemplary comparison of brand equity scores

Source: (Aaker & Biel, 2013, p. 38)
By the way of conclusion, building and maintaining competitive advantage is
a primary goal of every business organization. Alas, despite multitude of ways a company can
use to gain superior position against competitors, few allow to sustain it in the long-run.
Competitive advantage derives from unique, internal strengths of a firm that can be easily
discovered and copied by competitors. This is why applying a comprehensive brand strategy
is particularly relevant. It has been explained that branding can be an extremely valuable asset
in this issue. Brand expresses exceptional organizational culture and values, as well as builds
reputation of the company in environment which can come in helpful in managing
relationships with various stakeholders. A recognizable brand creates a number
of possibilities for the firm in terms of competitive advantage as it allows higher prices that
are easier to accept by customers who are willing to pay more for branded products that meet
their expectations and have an attractive identity. No doubt, the correlation between branding
and competitive advantage is strong. One can however not forget that building a brand is only
the starting point to achieve competitive advantage. The brand must be properly managed
and send a comprehensive message to the customers who should decode it accordingly to
the organizations intentions.


33

Summary
To sum up, branding is currently a considerable aspect of the overall marketing
activities of numerous organizations. The term brand has significantly evolved over time and
it can be currently studied from a few different perspectives. The most thorough and suitable
definition for present times seems to be the one seeing this concept as a mix of both tangible
(physical product, brand name, packaging, etc.) and intangible components (brand
associations, beliefs and opinions) about a given product or service. As indicate in this
chapter, branding provides numerous benefits for both customers and the company that gains
financial profits from the buyers loyalty towards their brand. Nonetheless, to achieve
competitive position based on branding, it must be emphasized that the brand in question
should qualify to a number of conditions including memorability, meaningfulness, aesthetic
appeal, transferability across various dimensions, adaptability and flexibility over time,
as well as legal and competitive protectability. Only strong brands that fulfill
the aforementioned conditions can have a desirable effect on customers. One of the most
crucial aspects of contemporary branding is brand equity that can be seen as a financial
and marketing value. The latter approach is however more suitable and it refers to all
the assets linked to a particular brand. It is believed that high level of brand equity can boost
companys performance and become a relevant source of competitive advantage. It must be
reminded however that branding is now a significant element of the organizations overall
business strategy. The two most notable brand strategies are corporate branding and product
branding. The first option concerns a situation when a company applies its brand name to all
traded goods, whereas the latter concerns creating separate brands for each product
manufactured by the company. Corporate branding is particularly important in contemporary
marketing as it builds the organizations reputation among stakeholders who pressure
companies to act in a more responsible manner. A strong brand is a crucial source
of competitive advantage as it allows to maintain it for a longer period of time. That is
because it allows higher pricing for customers to not mind to pay more for branded products
of superior quality that meet their expectations.



34

Chapter 2. Brand strategies and concepts in publishing and their
impact on competitive advantage
Introduction
The goal of this chapter is to explain specificity of branding in the publishing market,
and examine its correlation with competitive advantage. The reader will be acknowledged
with the essential brand concepts in this sector which has been traditionally avoiding
engagement in branding processes focusing on the publishers. This inclination derived
from a common assumption that customers do not pay attention nor take the publishing
imprint into consideration in their purchase decision regarding book products. Nonetheless,
this trend has recently started declining as the market fragmentation and growing competition
force the publishers to re-orientate on a more market-driven strategy, and start managing
and positioning publishing houses as brands. Further in this chapter, basic brand components
applied in the publishing market will be presented, based on the example of Penguin
publisher. The chapter will also cover advantages generated by branding for both the readers
and publishing houses which are in analogy with brand benefits in other consumer markets.
What is more, in this part of the thesis various brand strategies (corporate, author, series
and character branding) applied in the publishing sector will be thoroughly described
and examined, along with the most significant opportunities generated by them. The most
notable examples of different brand strategies will be presented with emphasis on those that
have been most successful, and they will include case studies of Penguin, Avon, Stephen
King, J.K. Rowling, and Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca. The last section of the chapter will be
devoted to comparative analysis of performance indicators of selected publishers which would
allow to examine their competitive advantage. The chosen imprints will be compared
with their main market competitors using Key Performance Indicators and the annual number
of bestselling books which is a particularly relevant indicator of competitive position in book
publishing industry.



35

2.1. Specificity of branding in the publishing market
Nowadays brand management has become an increasingly important issue
in the highly fragmented publishing market (Pitsaki, 2010, p. 89). The origins of this trend
date back to the last decade of the twentieth century when publishing houses have first started
pondering about purposeful management of their products as brands (Lis & Berz, 2011, p.
198). As proved in the previous chapter, brands provide numerous benefits for customers
and the company therefore most businesses have already started taking advantage of branding
their products and services many years ago, whereas publishers habitually remained more
inner-directed and product driven. It must be stressed however, that quite recently publishing
houses have applied more market-driven approach and use marketing as an essential part
of their business strategies, but pure branding itself is yet to develop in this sector (Royle,
Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000, p. 9). For many years publishers strongly believed that,
unlike customers of other product types, readers do not take the publishing house brand
into consideration when purchasing books, and they do not have high recognition
of the publishers imprint (Royle, Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000, pp. 4-5). Former research
conducted in this field confirm such a tendency according to the results of a customer
survey conducted by J. Royle, L. Cooper and R. Stockdale in 1998, publishers themselves are
less recognizable as brands than particular authors (Royle, Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000,
pp. 4-5).
Although over a half of the respondents of the aforementioned research to some extent
have expressed recognition of the publishers brands (56 percent), only 4 percent of the
sample stated that the publisher has an impact on their purchases. On the other hand, 18
percent of the questioned said that they do indeed put attention to the imprint in their purchase
decisions regarding books (Royle, Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000, pp. 4-5). Such a low
signification of the publisher contributed to the fact branding in this sector has been primarily
centered around individual books and authors, whereas creating a strong and recognizable
corporate brand of the imprint was perceived as ineffective and unnecessary (Royle, Cooper,
& Stockdale, 1999/2000, pp. 4-5). Nonetheless, the research had been conducted sixteen years
ago and since that situation in the publishing market, and consequently attitude towards
branding, has changed dramatically. Therefore, a more up to date research taking into account
new trends and market needs is required.



36

In publishing brands have the same functions as in any other type of industry, i.e.
identification, information, promotion and guarantee, as well as the new brand functions
distinguished by Kapferer and Laurent (practicality, optimization, characterization, continuity,
hedonistic and ethical). It must be stressed however, that books are very specific products
with non-tangible nature (Royle, Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000) which makes them equally
specific brands. What is interesting, in publishing there is a special term for brands, i.e.
imprints. The term is used to talk about brand name and brand image of a specific publisher
(Forsyth & Birn, 1997). However, it must be noted that an imprint does not necessarily refer
to the whole big publishing corporation such as Pearson PLC, but rather to specific publishing
units (brands) owned by such huge companies (Greco, 2013).
Brand components include the overall set of visual and verbal items that distinguish
one brand from another (Pitsaki, 2008, p. 109). Their functions have already been thoroughly
explained in the previous chapter of this thesis, and since they are analogical for each market,
they will not be repeated here. Brand elements can be simply applied in the publishing sector
where the most common of these are logo, graphic design of books, quality of paper, colors,
etc. Brand components in publishing can be a easily observed on the example of Penguin
one of the most identifiable publishing brands around the world (Guthrie, 2011, p. 93).
The aforementioned publisher is highly recognized through its logo which pictures a penguin,
and orange, black and white colors which are one of the publishers identification marks for
these colors come first to mind when thinking about the publisher in question (see picture 7).
Penguins brand components manage to develop a strong visual identity that contributes to
high brand awareness that is exceptional in the publishing market.



37

Picture 7. Penguin's visual identification - logo (left) and popular cover design
(right)

Source: (Penguin, 2014)
Branding in publishing market provides imprints and readers with numerous benefits
that are analogical to the general advantages of this process in any other business type. First
of all, through branding products risk perceived by customers is decreased. I. Pitsaki draws
attention to the fact that in purchase decisions, readers, like other customers, face multi-
dimensional risk related to apprehension of dissatisfaction from the bought product.
The identification function of brands allows the customers to recognize that a specific book
was issued by a reputable publisher that is synonym with high quality, so that the perceived
risk associated with acquiring such a book will be significantly decreased (Pitsaki, 2010, p.
92). In consequence, publishers brand becomes a marker of quality which is in this particular
market is simply impossible to be estimated before purchase. That is because books, like other
publishing products (e.g. magazines) can be included in either of two groups experience
and credence goods (Lis & Berz, 2011, p. 197).
The first term refers to products whose quality can only be assessed after buying
and experiencing a certain good in the process of its usage, i.e. in case of publishing after
having read the book (Fourie, 2008, p. 123). On the other hand, credence products are a lot
more complex because the quality cannot be determined even after the purchase and using


38

them. The reason of this is customers lack of necessary knowledge and expertise (Scott
Armstrong, 2010, p. 23). This is why reputation and image of the publisher are crucial aspects
of gaining competitive advantage in this market (Fourie, 2008, p. 123). Although the quality
of a single book issued by a specific publishing company cannot be assessed prior reading,
strong and renowned brand of the imprint in question can decrease customers risk. This is
a result of the fact that positive perception and attitude towards the books already familiar
for the reader, is transferred onto other products of the publisher.
As already mentioned, advantages of branding in publishing are mutual. The publisher
also benefits from the quality signaled by the brand, and customers decreased perception
of risk. According to I. Pitsaki publisher branding creates an unspoken pact between readers
and the imprint (Pitsaki, 2010, p. 92). The publisher provides its customers with satisfactory
works so they start to hold such an imprint in high esteem. This is why, in exchange
for products that deliver superior value, readers offer publishing houses their loyalty.
Books originate from creative processes and along with films, theatre plays, music
scores, etc., are included in the group of cultural products (Pitsaki, 2011, p. 106). Such
products are a lot more complex than average consumer goods, and through their
consumption they provide various experiences that are closely related to one another. E. Hill,
C. OSullivan and T. OSullivan elaborated a model describing the four levels of experience
generated by cultural products and tools used to achieve specific stages of experience (Pitsaki,
2011, p. 106). The model was adapted to the publishing market by I. Pitsaki and as you can
see in the picture below, branding is included among the crucial factors constituting
and shaping the central experience of the book product.










39
















Source: Adapted from: (Pitsaki, 2011, p. 106)



Picture 8. Levels of a publishing product with respect to the experience


40

As presented in the picture 8, the core benefit of a book product is reading itself. This
level of experience refers to the overall set of aesthetic benefits, such as emotion, satisfaction
and use of imagination, that the process of reading provides (Pitsaki, 2011, pp. 106-107).
The core benefit is closely connected to central experience which is generated by branding,
ease of access to a specific book, reading circumstances, as well as graphic design and quality
of the product, etc. All these factors merged together in a coherent manner build consistent
brand image, and allow the publisher to gain appreciation of the readers and shape
relationship with them that is based on trust and confidence (Pitsaki, 2011, pp. 106-107).
Moving further, extended experience includes a vast collection of informational efforts made
by publishers that are aimed at creating memory about the book among readers. Such kind
of experience is generally developed through marketing mix and communication programs
(Pitsaki, 2011, pp. 106-107). The last level of the model is occupied by potential experience
which refers to the need of founding a deeper bond between the publisher and the reader,
and is related to the imprints ability to augment the value of its products. The strong
relationship with the readers may encourage them to become collectors, join book clubs
or purchasing books of a specific series, i.e. collection of books with similar physical
appearance, genre or author (Pitsaki, 2011, pp. 106-107).
To conclude, branding in publishing has developed just recently and it is yet to thrive
in this sector. Brands in this market have been traditionally associated with single books
or authors because it was believed that readers do not take the publisher into account in their
purchase decisions concerning book. Nonetheless, growing fragmentation and competition
forced publishing companies to seek new sources of competitive advantage and so branding
has become an increasingly important issue of interest. We have seen that books are either
experience or credence products, whose quality cannot be accurately assessed before reading.
This is why it is so important to build a recognizable publishers brand that will have a certain
meaning for customers, invoke positive associations in their minds that will be transferred
on all the products merchandised under this brand name.



41

2.2. Brand strategies in publishing
Various brand strategies, based on the already existing models and concepts coined
by expert in the field of brand management, can be utilized in the publishing market.
Generally speaking, there are four different types of branding that can be applied in this
sector: 1.) publisher (corporate) brand, 2.) author brand, 3.) series brand, and 4.) character
brand. Although so far author and product branding (content or series) have been the most
frequently used in this case, in this part of the thesis each of the aforementioned strategies
with the most notable examples, as well as opportunities generated by them, will be
thoroughly studied.
2.2.1. Publisher branding
The main premise of the publisher branding strategy is creation of a widely
recognizable brand of a certain imprint that will matter for readers, and serve as a sign
of the companys good reputation as well as high quality of its products. Nowadays,
the concepts of reputation and image have gained on significance in the publishing market.
The latter term prompts the perception of the organization as a corporate brand with ability to
shift the value tied strictly to the brand name into products sold under this imprint. Various
brand elements discussed in this paper, as well as prior experience with works of a specific
publisher foreordain customers attitude towards the publishing company itself, its authors
and books (Pitsaki, 2008, p. 105), so beneficial competitive position can be generated through
corporate branding.
Competitive advantage relies on a collection of resources possessed by a publisher.
These resources are often referred to as capital, and they include: 1.) economic capital
financial assets, 2.) human capital publishing houses employees, as well as their
professional skills and expertise, 3.) social capital system of contacts and relationships
established over time between a selected publisher and its various publics, 4.) intellectual
capital property rights of ownership and control over intellectual content, and most
importantly 5.) symbolic capital related to prestige and status associated with the publisher
and books sold under its imprint (Thompson, 2010, pp. 5-6). The latter type of resources is
particularly worth stressing because the symbolic capital of a publisher is in fact a strong
imprint brand that in time of growing competition becomes one of the most crucial assets
possessed by a publishing company (Thompson, 2010, p. 8).
As already stated in the first chapter, corporate brand is based on unique items that
define the organization and differentiate it from other enterprises operating in the same


42

market. Such specific components should be transferrable into products sold by the firm
in question, and what is more, they ought to be perceived as tools of building and maintaining
long-term relationships with customers, primarily based on trust (Pitsaki, 2008, pp. 105-106).
The basic premise of this kind of strategy is that the corporate brand is an independent entity
that acts as a representative of the company in contacts with its various publics (in case
of publishing market the publics can include: readers, authors, editors, chains of bookshops,
etc.). Such a brand is also a beholder of special meaning for the customers, and source
of value added to the products merchandised by the organization (Pitsaki, 2008, p. 106).
Thanks to this, the imprint evokes positive associations in the minds of its customers
and in consequence becomes an indicator of quality of both books issued by this publisher,
and satisfaction from purchase (Pitsaki, 2008, p. 106).
Although the impact on competitive advantage and benefits of publisher branding are
countless, only few organizations have put efforts to establish a strong imprint brand
Penguin, Avon, Mills & Boon and Virago (Royle, Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000, pp. 4-5).
The most notable example of successful imprint branding is the case of Penguin which
according to an internal survey from 1999 had 90 percent of public recognition of its logo
(Royle, Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000, pp. 4-5). Penguin is a true pioneer in the field
of branding since in 1999 the publishing house has produced the first, and so far the only one,
pure branding campaign in the publishing market (Landa, 2005, p. 25). The publisher
in question has its own brand identity, and it has traditionally focused not just on promoting
single books and authors, but rather the whole experience guaranteed by Penguin books
(Royle, Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000, pp. 4-5).
Penguins advertising campaign mentioned before aimed at establishing the Penguin
brand as a provider and guarantor of best authors and books. What is more, the campaign also
tried to highlight Penguins brand values over those offered by individual books (Media
Week, 1999). The campaign was executed through posters, but its most important aspect was
the use of coherent style of visual identification across all of Penguins corporate
communications and promotional materials like trade stands, Holiday cards, mailers
and delivery vehicles (Landa, 2005, p. 25).
Another publisher that effectively applies imprint branding is Avon that specializes
in the widely perceived womens fiction that covers numerous genres of literature (Avon,
2014). Visual identity of the company centers various shade of pink color that is commonly
associated with femininity, and it is present in the logo and website (see picture 9).
The publishers brand strategy is primarily based on the great professional knowledge


43

of the target market so that the imprint can deliver works fully satisfying the needs of its
customers. On Avons official website there is a special section dedicated to aspiring novelists
providing them with a set of guidelines on the most desirable plot devices and characters to be
featured in their novels (Avon, 2014). These suggestions are based on the current market
needs and refer to the types of books most sought after by Avon readers.

Picture 9. Visual identification of Avon

Source: (Avon, 2014)
Avon managed to build a corporate brand that is equally recognizable as those
of single titles and authors. When researching Goodreads.com (social cataloguing website
dedicated for book-lovers), you can come across a number of posts and booklists made
by the users themselves that seek e.g. Best Avon Historical Romance, Popular Avon Romance
Books, Popular Avon Teen Romance Books, etc. (Goodreads, 2014). What is more, through
branding the imprint Avon succeeded in building close relationships with its readers that can
be observed in terms of brand loyalty. Ever since the 1970s the customers have trusted
the imprint to come up with exactly the kind of book they wanted (Sutherland, 2010, p. 48).
In conclusion, publisher branding is not a very common strategy in this market.
However, since the competition is increasing and reputation of the publishing houses gains
on importance for readers, establishing recognizable corporate brands that will transfer
the value tied to them into products merchandised under the imprint, seems more and more
necessary. Publisher branding can serve as a tool for building lasting relationships
with customers that will result in brand loyalty and therefore competitive advantage. There


44

are several examples of successful corporate branding in the publishing market and they
include case studies of Penguin, which is a true forerunner in this area, Avon, Mills & Boon
and Virago. These publishers managed to build brands that are meaningful for readers
and encourage them to purchase new products issued by them.
2.2.2. Author branding
As already indicated in the customer research executed by J. Royle, L. Cooper and R.
Stockdale, the principal cause of purchasing a specific book is its author and familiarity
with his or her previous works (Royle, Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000, p. 8). It is generally
believed that the reason behind such a trend is the fact that best-selling writers are nowadays
excessively promoted as brands themselves because they are able to gain high awareness
and loyalty of customers that become their dedicated fans. Well-known authors such
as Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts, John Grisham or Tom Clancy can quickly
attract readers to their new works, and they have traditionally mattered more to book-buyers
than the brand of the publisher (Royle, Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000, p. 8).
The tendency described in the previous paragraph can be easily observed when
comparing Facebook fanpages of individual best-selling authors, and corporate fanpages
of publishing houses. For instance, Stephen King, one of the most popular contemporary
writers, has 3 869 283 likes worldwide on the social network (as for 11/02/2014), whereas
Penguin, the pioneer in the field of successful publisher branding, has only 188 273 fans
in United Kingdom, 7 035 in the USA, 132 570 in Australia, and 7881 in New Zeland (as for
11/02/2014). It can be easily seen that even after having summarized Penguins results in all
of its region of operating, the analyzed publisher is significantly less liked among readers than
an individual author such as Stephen King (Facebook fanpages of Penguin Books and S.
King, 2014).
Author branding is based on creation of the brand system whose goal is to conceive
a set of associations in the minds of the readers to a particular author, and then tie these links
with specific works that distinguish them from others (Pitsaki, 2008, p. 111). This, of course,
requires large-scale marketing actions that will establish the writers position of a star, as well
as build and maintain the stars impression for his or her future works (Hesmondhalgh, 2002,
p. 21). The authors brand has a special meaning for customers who can easily become
attached to him or her. Thanks to this, new books written by such renowned author will
quickly become bestsellers for the writer in question is in possession of a large and loyal
fanbase (Pitsaki, 2008, p. 111).


45

The impact of authors brand on customer preferences is truly outstanding and what is
more it quickly translates into profits. Let us examine the quite recent cases of the new books
of J.K. Rowling Casual Vacancy, published under her own name, and The Cuckoos calling,
published under the pseudonym Richard Galbright. Rowling became a true star due to
the huge and unexpected success of her ground-breaking series Harry Potter, and is now one
of the most popular authors worldwide and her name is one of the strongest brands
in publishing that guarantees high sales. This thesis has been proved in case of Casual
Vacancy that had been primarily promoted as the new novel written by the author of the
beloved series. Even though the book had nothing in common with Harry Potter, it became
a bestseller in an instant. Within the first week of its premiere 124 603 copies of Casual
Vacancy were sold and that was a very satisfying outcome (Singh, 2012).
On the other hand, Rowlings second novel The Cuckoos calling that had been
published under the name of an unknown author, did not manage so well at the beginning.
Until it has been p revealed that the book in question was actually the work of Rowling, only
500 copies of it were sold in the US, and about the same number in United Kingdom
(Grossman, 2013). After uncovering the real name of The Cuckoos callings author, the book
became a bestseller in an instant. The two case studies presented above confirm that authors
brand are indeed of great importance readers. Therefore, recruiting well-known writers
by publishers is often the key to their success in the market.
Moving further, in case of author branding a collection of accurate brand elements
associated with the name of selected writer, needs to be elaborated by the publisher (Pitsaki,
2008, p. 111). Unlike publishing houses, novelists do not have their logos in the strict
meaning of this concept. However, in the works of popular authors there are often printed
their handwritten signatures that may serve as some form of brand logo substitute for they can
be clearly regarded as identification marks. Furthermore, visual identity of the authors brand
is also established through popularizing the image of given writer. This is why in new books
of best-selling starts there often is a picture of the writer as well as his or her short bio
in the back-cover.
By the way of conclusion, the central idea behind author branding is to make a star
out of a writer so that he or she will continually attract buyers for their new works. This kind
of strategy has so far been exploited by publishers most frequently because it is generally
believed that a well-known author is the crucial factor in decision making process concerning
purchase of books. This is why in vast majority of cases, publishing houses in their branding


46

efforts prefer to expose the name of a certain novelist and the value provided by his or her
fiction, rather than their corporate brands than carry a lot less meaning than author brand.
2.2.3. Series and character branding
Before delving into explanation of series branding, the term series itself needs to be
defined first. The concept generally refers to a certain collection of books that largely share
some traits such as theme, genre or characteristics of the authors (Pitsaki, 2008, p. 106).
An example of a series of books can be Czarna Seria ( Eng. Black Series) of the Polish
publishing house Czarna Owca ( Eng. Black Sheep) that is a set of contemporary crime
stories, mostly by Swedish authors, including novels such as Stieg Larssons The Girl with the
Dragon Tattoo, Camilla Lckbergs Ice Princess, and many others (Czarna Owca, 2014). This
particular series brand is based on the common genre of the books included in the collection
and it attracts readers that are interested in this particular type of writing.
Picture 10. Selected books of "Czarna Seria"

Source: (Czarna Owca, 2014)
The books in the series usually have a coherent system of visual identification that
most commonly is represented through a certain design (cover look, formatting of chapters,
type of font, etc.), and sometimes even logo that appears on each item of the collection
(Pitsaki, 2008, p. 107). For instance, Penguin Classics, a series featuring the most prominent
and influential books in the history of literature such as Odyssey, Dantes Divine Comedy,
Cervantes Don Quixote, Dickens Oliver Twist or Hardys Tess of the D'Urbervilles, has
established a highly recognizable visual identity based on a specific design of the book


47

(Penguin, 2014). The of Penguin Classics visual identification is based on black cover,
a white stripe below the picture related to the content of the book, and orange lettering. It is
worth mentioning that the series is highly recognized through this consistent style of design
and coloring (Whurr Publishers, 1999).
Picture 11. Selected books of Penguin Classics

Source: (Penguin, 2014)
In case of series branding it is extremely important for the publisher to highlight the
traits of the works that will match interests of the specific customers (Pitsaki, 2008, p. 107).
The strategy, based on thorough market segmentation, is more likely to prompt loyalty,
however only of a particular groups of readers (e.g. fans of historic novels, crime stories,
sensation books, etc.). Nonetheless, it needs to be stressed that series branding engenders
value for the whole publishing house because the latter starts to be associated with traits
and quality possessed by the series, and do the corporate brand is strengthened (Pitsaki, 2008,
p. 107).
Furthermore, the series strategy decreases the customers sensation of risk (Pitsaki,
2008, p. 107) that is particularly high in case of books because as already indicated their
quality cannot be assessed prior reading. Because the fact that the reader is already familiar
with some works included in the series, he or she has developed a certain attitude towards
such collection of books that is then stretched into new novels added to the series. Thanks to
this the customers perception of risk related to dissatisfaction from purchase is significantly
diminished because they presume that the quality of new elements of the series (even
if written by unknown authors) is similar to that of the earlier works.


48

Series branding may be highly beneficial for publishers because it induces loyalty
of certain customer segments to whom the collection is dedicated. Due to the fact that all
the books included in a certain series share some significant traits, like genre or type
of authors, that distinguish them from other works, they acquire a special meaning in the
minds of target readers who form a general attitude towards the collection that is later
stretched into new additions to the set. For this reason, customers sensation of risk associated
with the potential purchase is largely limited because the prior experience with the series had
been positive and satisfactory.
The last form of branding often used in publishing market is character branding.
However, it must be emphasized that it is not as frequent as other known brand strategies
in this sector. The main premise of this strategy is to take character or plot as the basis for
branding (Pitsaki, 2008, p. 112). In other words, it starts from creating a distinctive book
character that will be featured in a number of novels so that it would become a real star and
independent brand on itself (Pitsaki, 2008, p. 112). The most notable example of character
branding is Harry Potter that grew far beyond the original series and is now one
of the strongest brands in the history of literature. It must be noted nonetheless, that it is
extremely hard to repeat such success and character branding seems to be the least common
brand strategy though both tangible and intangible profits of it are remarkable.
To sum up, it is generally assumed that there are four brand strategies used
in publishing publisher, author, series and character branding. The first strategy is basically
about building a strong brand of a certain imprint that will be meaningful for readers
and suggest high quality of its books. The most notable examples of publishers using this type
of branding in practice include Penguin and Avon that are both one of the most competitive
imprints in their markets. The second strategy, author brand is based on the assumption that
the author is the most significant deciding factor in purchase behaviors regarding books. Best-
selling writers are promoted as brands themselves due to their ability to gain high awareness
and loyalty of customers that become their dedicated fans. Series branding is based
on the common genre of the books featured in the collection which allows to attract readers
that are interested in a specific types of books. Character brand is the most difficult to create.
The premise of this strategy is to take character or plot as the basis for branding however it is
not suitable for all kinds of books and therefore its use is relatively limited in practice.



49

2.3. Competitive advantage of selected publishers
The following section of chapter two will be devoted to comparative analysis
of secondary data concerning competitive advantage indicators of selected publishers. Each
imprint will be compared with its main competitors with regard to chosen Key Performance
Indicators as well as a number of acknowledged bestselling books issued in a given period
of time that seems to be a particularly relevant issue in this case. All financial ratios have been
standardized and they will be presented USD currency to allow consistent comparison
of financial position. The sources of gathered data include official financial statements
and reports of publishing houses as well as the annual group report of Publishers Weekly, one
of the most significant professional magazines specializing in publishing market. Imprints that
will be studied in this part will include Penguin and Avon that will also be featured in primary
research conducted for the purpose of this thesis in the third chapter. Due to lack of available
data on Polish market, Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca, that is a part of the aforementioned
research as well, has been excluded from comparative analysis of competitive advantage.
Furthermore, each of the analyzed publishers has more competitors than those presented
in the charts but because of the fact that some of the publishing houses have a rule which
forbids them to make their annual performance indicators public, a more thorough analysis
was impossible.
2.3.1. Penguin vs competitors
Penguin has always been considered to be one of the most recognizable brands
in the publishing sector, praised all over the world for its great quality and consistent pursuit
of innovation (Pearson PLC, 2012, p. 24). It is the unquestionable leader of this industry who
takes substantial steps to maintain its beneficial position over competition. The main market
competitors of this organization include Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins. These three
publishers belong to the so called big six the set of the biggest and most powerful
publishing houses all over the world. However, the remaining three has not been taken
into account in this analysis, as their profile and target customer is rather different than those
of Penguin whose main competitors can only be considered HarperCollins and Simon &
Schuster.




50

As already mentioned, annual number of bestselling book issued by a publisher is
a particularly relevant indicator of competitive advantage in this type of business. This is
because it strictly takes into account the markets specificity and it is relatively easy to
capture. The chart below presents comparison of books featured on bestsellers lists in 2012
issued by Penguin, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins. There is no doubt that Penguin is
the unquestionable leader under this regard. The publisher managed to have an outstanding
number of 345 its books featured on bestselling lists which is a result better by 3,76 percent
as compared to 2011 (Pearson PLC, 2012, p. 24). Out of all Penguins bestsellers most
of them (255) have been ranked in American Top Ten bestseller lists (New York Times),
whereas the remaining 90 entered UK Nielsen Bookscan Top Ten (Pearson PLC, 2012, p. 24).
The result of Simon & Schuster is only slightly worse which makes is the most threatening
for Penguin. On the other hand, HarperCollins number of bestselling books in 2012 had been
nearly two times smaller than Penguins outcome. The analyzed figures prove that the latter
imprint is a true leader under this regard and it has competitive advantage in this area.
Chart 2. Number of books featured on The New York Times bestsellers lists in
2012

Source: based on (Publishers Weekly, 2013)

166
317
345
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
Bestsellers
Penguin Simon & Schuster HarperCollins


51

When it comes to financial indicators, Penguins performance is also outstanding.
The publisher gained the biggest revenue not only than its main competitors but all publishing
houses all over the world. It is worth mentioning, that 17 percent of the publishers total
revenue has been generated by sales of e-books (Pearson PLC, 2012, p. 24). This shows that
Penguin effectively accommodates to current market trends forced by growing digitalization,
and that it manages to use generally unfavorable tendencies to its own advantage. What is
interesting, the second place according to sales revenues belongs to HarperCollins (1,189
USD billions). Despite the fact that the publisher had almost 50 percent bestsellers less than
the market leader, the gap of financial performance between Harper and Penguin is much
more narrow which makes HarperCollins a potential threat. However, for the time being
Penguin has competitive position based on biggest sales revenues.
Chart 3. Sales revenues of Penguin, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster in 2012
in USD billions

Source: based on (Publishers Weekly, 2013)
By the way of conclusion, Penguin is one of the most recognizable publishing brands
all over the world which has a direct impact on its competitive advantage. Analyzed
performance indicators prove that the imprint is the unquestionable market leader. Annually,
Penguin issues the biggest number of bestselling books and it gains the greatest revenues
in the whole industry. Due to the fact that the publishers success is largely based on strong
1,55
1,189
0,79
0
0,2
0,4
0,6
0,8
1
1,2
1,4
1,6
1,8
Revenues
Penguin
HarperCollins
Simon & Schuster


52

branding, Penguin takes up consistent actions to maintain its competitive position and positive
brand image (Pearson PLC, 2012, p. 33). To sustain leadership, Penguin constantly develops
integrated processes to manage relationships with various stakeholders. Their branding
strategy seems to be very successful particularly taking into consideration constant market
observation and adaptation to current trends. Penguin understands that spreading
digitalization is both threat and a chance for publishers and it strongly invests in digital
formats that generate relatively considerable portion of the imprints global revenues (Pearson
PLC, 2012, p. 25).
2.3.2. Avon vs competitors
Avon is currently on of the leading publishers of fiction for women. The imprint
publishes various genres such as paranormal, urban fiction, contemporary and historical
romances which appear on many bestsellers lists (Avon, 2014). Besides traditional paperback
books, Avon strongly invests in digital formats and it has a separate subbrand specializing
in this particular field Avon Impulse which has an even broader scope of publications
because apart from the aforementioned novel types, it also issues mysteries, thrillers and New
Adult fiction (Avon, 2014). The main competitors of Avon include publishers like Harlequin,
Jove, Berkley Sensation, St Martins Press, Zebra and Silhouette that have similar book
profile and target customers.
Chart 4 presents revenue growth of Avon and two if its main competitors (Harlequin
and Jove) in 2012. The figures indicate that the analyzed imprint has an outstanding
competitive advantage as it managed to rise its revenues by nearly three quarters as compared
to the previous clearing period. It is worth mentioning that most of the increased income had
been generated by sales of e-books which makes Avon an unquestionable leader in this field
(Publishers Weekly, 2013). Jove came in second in the ranking but its growth was a lot less
significant (11 percent). What is important, Harlequin that for many years had been
a dominating brand in the area of womens fiction and Avons main competitor, had
dramatically decreased its sales revenues (-6,8 percent) and it can no longer be considered
market leader as this position unquestionably now belongs to Avon.


53

Chart 4. Revenue growth of Avon and main competitors in 2012 (%)

Source: based on (Publishers Weekly, 2013)
When it comes to the number of bestselling books, Avons position is also very good
compare Chart 3. The imprint has taken the third place among publishers with the biggest
number of paperback bestsellers of The New York Times with 16 books hitting the list. It
needs to be stressed that differences between the three leading publishers are very small and
competition between them is relatively strong. It seems that with considerably little effort
Avon could catch up with Jove and Harlequin especially as it has one the most popular writers
in the genres like Eloisa James, Julia Quinn and Stephanie Laurens whose names are
a guarantee of a books success and beating competition (Avon, 2014). In the following years
Avons number of bestselling books should increase as the publisher managed to renew its
agreement with Lisa Kleypas a bestselling author whose 12 out 38 novels have been listed
on the All About Romance reader's poll top 100 all-time favorite romances. It has been
confirmed that Avon will publish seven new books written by Kleypas and thus future
performance of the imprint seems very promising (HarperCollins, 2014). On the other hand,
Avon has clear competitive advantage in digital formats. Forty four e-book titles published
by this imprint achieved status of bestsellers, leaving competition far behind. This makes
Avon a true leader in this area which is particularly relevant considering current market
trends. Just as Penguin analyzed in the previous section, Avon cleverly adjusts to new
tendencies and uses them to gain competitive advantage.
72
11
-6,8
-20
-10
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Kategoria 1
Avon
Jove
Harlequin


54

Chart 5. Number of bestseller of Avon and its main competitors

Source: based on (Publishers Weekly, 2013) and (Maryles, 2013)
To conclude, Avon is one of the leading brands in womens fiction business section.
The strongest area of the imprint seems to be focus on e-books which account for a great part
of its revenues. Thanks to this, it managed to increase its sales nearly three quarters and gain
unquestionable position of a leader in this regard. In 2012 Avon managed to issue nearly
twice as much electronic bestsellers than its main competitor, Harlequin what indicates its
great condition. When it comes to traditional paperback books, Avon also deals very well
although both Jove and Harlequin had had a slightly better outcome. Competitive advantage
of the analyzed publisher largely relies on its digital formats as well as popular authors that
attract readers and contribute to financial success of the publisher. Due to this fact, future
performance of Avon seems very promising.





44
16
23
18
12
20
8
4
2
0 10 20 30 40 50
E-book bestsellers
Paperback New York Times
Bestsellers
Berkley Sensation
Silhouette
Zebra
Jove
Harlequin
Avon


55

Summary
To conclude, branding in publishing is a rather new issue. Traditionally, publishers
avoided building corporate brands as it has been believed that readers do not pay attention to
the imprint at all when buying books. Previous studies on that subject had confirmed that,
as well as indicated that a books author is the most significant deciding factor. However, due
to increasing fragmentation and competition publishing houses need to search for new sources
of competitive advantage and so branding is currently becoming an increasingly substantive
issue of interest as it proved to be extremely beneficial for other types of industries.
As indicated in this chapter, books are either experience or credence products, whose quality
cannot be accurately assessed before reading. This is why it is so important to build
a recognizable publishers brand that will have a certain meaning for customers, invoke
positive associations in their minds that will be transferred on all the products sold under
the brand name. There are four brand strategies used in publishing publisher, author, series
and character branding. The first strategy assumes building a strong brand of a certain
imprint that will be meaningful for readers and suggest high quality of books merchandised
under its badge. Despite the fact that it is generally believed to be ineffective, there are
publishers who use it quite successfully. The most relevant examples of imprints using
publisher branding are Penguin and Avon that are highly recognizable among readers
and occupy leaders positions among their target customers. The second strategy, author
brand is based on the assumption that the author is the most important deciding factor
in purchase behaviors of readers. Popular writers are brands themselves and they are able to
reach high awareness and loyalty of customers that become their dedicated fans rather than
enthusiasts of a certain imprint. Series branding focuses on the common genre of the books
included in the collection which allows to attract readers that are interested in a specific type
of novels. The last form of branding used in publishing, character brand centers around
making a character or plot as the basis for branding. It needs to be stressed however that it is
not suitable for all kinds of books and therefore its use is relatively limited in practice.
The last section of this chapter was devoted to comparative analysis of secondary data
concerning competitive advantage indicators of selected publishers. The data indicated that
both Penguin and Avon are one of the most recognizable publishing brands all over the world
which has a direct impact on its competitive advantage.



56

3. Customer-based brand equity vs competitive advantage
Introduction
Chapter three will be devoted to thorough analysis of primary data gathered
for the purpose of the authors research on the impact that customer-based brand equity has
on purchase behaviors of readers of three selected publishers Penguin, Avon and Czarna
Owca. Due to the fact that is has traditionally been believed that readers do not pay
any attention to the publisher when purchasing books, publishing houses in vast majority
of cases did not develop considerable branding strategies focusing on themselves but they
rather concentrated on the brands of single books and authors. The latter have always been
considered as the most important deciding factors in buying behaviors of readers. This is why
the first section of this chapter will be devoted to brief description of the problem that will be
studied in this thesis. Furthermore, the chapter will also cover to detailed description
of applied research methodology used in the study conducted to verify correlation between
customer-based brand equity and purchase behaviors of customers in the book publishing
market. The author will explain and justify selected research approach with emphasis
on research objectives, design, chosen research methods, as well as research questions
and hypotheses that have been tested in this study. Then, the results will be thoroughly
examined with the use of statistical tools in order to verify whether the predefined hypotheses
stated by the author turned out to be correct. This will serve as the basis for determining
whether to primary research hypothesis according to which customer-based brand equity has
impact on purchase behaviors of readers is indeed accurate.





57

3.1. Problem identification
Publishing has always been a very specific type of industry in which business-to-
business relationships dominated over business-to-consumer model. Despite the fact that
imprints can beyond all doubt be considered as brands, only few publishers developed
branding strategies directed to their most significant stakeholders, i.e. readers, concentrating
more on bookshop chains (Publishing Perspectives, 2014). The reason of such situation was
the fact that it is generally believed that publisher does not have any meaning for customers
and it is not considered as a potential deciding factor in purchase behaviors regarding books
(Royle, Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000, pp. 4-5). This is why academic sources on this
subject are scarce. However, limited previous research in this area had confirmed these
hypothesis - publishers have very low brand awareness and the most important issue
impacting selection of a specific book by a reader is generally familiarity with the author
(Royle, Cooper, & Stockdale, 1999/2000, pp. 4-5).
This lead publishing houses to conclusion that it is not worth to invest in creating
a strong customer-oriented corporate brands, and it is far more profitable to concentrate
on branding of individual books and authors, as well as building beneficial relationships
with bookstores which for decades have been the point of first contact between the publisher
and its target segments. Bookshops however did not expose brand identity of the publisher to
customers, focusing more on single books as it was the main premise of traditional sales
model in this market. Because of this customers in most cases were not even aware which
publishers book they purchase and had no emotional connection with the imprint what so
ever (Publishing Perspectives, 2014).
However, nowadays publishing industry is experiencing relevant changes caused
by growing digitalization and ever increasing competition. The threats are so significant that
many foresee an impending doom of traditional printed books. Due to this fact publishing
houses need do search for new ways of not only thriving, but also surviving (Publishing
Perspectives, 2014). This forces them to develop a more customer-oriented strategy
and re-think their conservative attitude towards corporate branding. As already indicated
customer-based brand equity can be a relevant source of competitive advantage as it allows to
create an emotional bond between the brand and the customers which is assumed to have
relevant impact on their purchase decisions. This is why more and more publishers try to
create meaningful imprint brands that would trigger positive associations in the minds
of readers, and contribute to achieving competitive advantage.


58

Despite rather cautious approach towards branding in the publishing market, there are
several publishers that have successfully built brands that are widely recognizable among
customers. These include Penguin, Avon and Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca that have been
featured in the marketing research conducted for the purpose of the thesis. Each imprint
positions itself in a different manner and therefore it would be possible to determine which
type of branding strategy is the most effective in terms of customer-based brand equity.
Focusing on analysis of the aforementioned publishers, they author will endeavor to measure
their brand equity and its impact on purchase behaviors of readers. This will serve
as a starting point for verifying whether publisher is considered in purchase behaviors
of readers, and whether it could therefore become a source of competitive advantage
in the highly fragmented publishing market.
3.2. Research methodology
The following section of the thesis will be devoted to detailed description of applied
research methodology used in the study conducted to verify correlation between customer-
based brand equity and purchase behaviors of customers in the book publishing market.
The author will explain and justify selected research approach with emphasis on research
objectives, design, chosen research methods, as well as research questions and hypotheses that
have been tested in this study. Furthermore, sampling procedure and detailed analysis
of researched sample will also be featured in this part of the thesis. The sample will be studied
on the basis of metrics included in the questionnaires distributed among readers of Penguin,
Avon and Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca.
Research questions
1. Does publisher brand have an impact on purchase behaviors of readers?
2. Do readers pay attention to the publisher when buying books?
3. Is publisher an important deciding factor in purchase decisions regarding books?
4. Does attitude towards publisher have impact on purchase behaviors of readers?
5. Do publishers have high levels of brand awareness?
6. Do publishers have high levels of brand equity?
7. Does high level of brand equity result in brand loyalty and big purchases of books?




59

Hypotheses
1. H0: Publisher brand has impact on purchase behaviors of readers.
2. H1: Readers pay attention to the publisher when buying books.
3. H2: Publisher is an important deciding factor in purchase decisions regarding books.
4. H3: Attitude towards publisher has impact on purchase behaviors of readers.
5. H4: Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca have high levels of brand awareness.
6. H5: Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca have high levels of brand equity.
7. H6: High level of brand equity results in big purchases of books.
Research objective and design
The main goal of the conducted research was to examine whether publishers brand has
impact on purchase behaviors of readers and whether it can therefore be considered
as a relevant source of competitive advantage. The author has presumed that customer-based
brand equity does indeed influence buying behaviors of customers in the publishing market,
and this statement was the main hypothesis of the conducted study. This is why conclusive
research design has been chosen for its objective is to test predefined hypotheses and examine
relationships with specific variables in this case brand equity and purchase behaviors
(Malhotra & Birks, 2002, p. 70). Therefore the research method had quantitative form which
main premise is to investigate a given phenomenon with the use of statistical techniques
(Malhotra & Birks, 2002, p. 152).
The study has been conducted using electronic survey among readers of Penguin,
Avon and Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca. The survey was distributed throughout reading
communities of the aforementioned publishers such as discussion groups at Goodreads,
Shelfari, Facebook profiles, Biblionetka and Lubimy czyta. The questionnaire consisted
of multiple-choice, open-ended, scale and dichotomous questions that have all been presented
in the appendices section. Such a research technique has been chosen due to the fact that it
allowed to easily reach target population, as well as simple analysis of gathered data
with the use of statistical tools. What is more, choosing three publishing houses with different
approaches towards branding will enable to compare them with one another and investigate
which type of brand positioning is the most effective one in terms of customer-based brand
equity and its impact on purchase behaviors of readers.




60

Sample characteristic
The sample consisted of 150 readers of three publishing houses. To gather
representative data, judgmental sampling was applied in which the sample is chosen
on the basis of the researchers judgment or expertise. The chosen elements are included
in the sample because the researcher assumes that they are representative of the target
population (Malhotra & Birks, 2002, p. 412). The questionnaire was distributed throughout
reading communities of the aforementioned publishers such as discussion groups
at Goodreads, Shelfari, Facebook profiles, Biblionetka and Lubimy czyta to make sure that
the target population will be successfully reached. The number of participants representing
specific imprints was similar and each group accounted for about one third of the total amount
of people who took part in the research. To be specific, 38 percent were the customers
of Avon, 32 percent of Czarna Owca and 30 percent of Penguin see chart 5.
Chart 6. Research participants according to imprints (sample=150)

The vast majority of the respondents were women and they accounted for 84 percent
of the whole sample. Similar proportions were also noticed in all the three publishers groups,
however due to the fact that Avon specializes in womens fiction, there were no men at all
among the researched readers. Nonetheless, even if Avon were excluded from the analysis,
the proportions would be similar. Furthermore, most of the research participants were native
English speakers (58 percent). The second largest group constituted people whose mother
tongue was Polish. Only 8 percent of the researched readers spoke different languages such
as German, Tamil, Croatian, Dutch and Hmong but they were only single occurrences
in the whole study. As expected, majority of the respondents had higher education who tend
to read more than less educated people. The age of participants was diversified but the least
populated group were the youngest readers (between 15 and 20 years old).
30%
38%
32%
Penguin Avon Czarna Owca


61

Chart 7. Sample characteristics

It also needs to be stressed that most of the research participants buy books quite often
which makes them particularly important from the statistical point of view. As the chart 7
indicates, only about 5 percent of the total sample said that they purchase books rarely. Vast
majority of the researched persons buys such products either at least once a week (30 percent)
or approximately once a month (42 percent). The most active book buyers are the readers
of Avon 56 percent of this publishers customers purchase books minimum on a weekly
basis and 28 percent do this about once a month. This tendency is not surprising as Avons
readers are the most affluent group and they can afford regular book purchases 50 percent
of them earn above average and 35 percent have average incomes compare chart 8. This is
also the reason why customers of Czarna Owca buy books rarely as compared to Avon
and Penguin. Over one third of this publishers readers has incomes below average, whereas
only 12,5 percent earn more than the national average. Furthermore, due to the fact
that Czarna Owca is a Polish publishing house, and in Poland people do not read as much
as in the western countries, book purchases are significantly smaller.


62

Chart 8. How often do you buy books?

Chart 9. Income

3.3. Analysis of results
The following section of the thesis will be devoted to complex analysis of research
results with regard to hypotheses that were going to be tested in this study that has been
conducted on readers of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca since the 4
th
of May 2014 until
the 1
st
of June 2014. The results will be thoroughly examined taking into account various
sample characteristics. Using statistical analysis, the author will try to verify whether pre-
defined hypotheses are correct and whether customer-based brand equity does indeed have
influence on purchase behaviors of readers. The results will be presented in form
of comparative charts that indicate both total outcomes of the whole sample, as well as three
analyzed publishers that have been studied in this thesis.

5
32
9
46
21
16
27
64
18
8
6
32
4
1
3
8
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Czarna Owca
Avon
Penguin
Total
at least once a week approximately once a month once every few months rarely
6
29
18
53
28
20
15
63
17
8
8
33
Czarna Owca
Avon
Penguin
Total
Above average Average Below average


63

H1: Readers pay attention to the publisher when buying books.
To check whether the first hypothesis was correct, the readers of Penguin, Czarna
Owca and Avon were asked whether they pay any attention to the publishers brand when
buying books. Contrary to what previous research in this field indicated, most of the research
participants does indeed take the publisher into consideration in their purchase decisions
regarding books compare chart 9. The same tendency can be noticed among the three
groups of examined publishers. Nearly 60 percent of all respondents stated that they put
attention to the publishers brand. When it comes to results with regard to selected publishing
hoses, Avon has practically the same proportions as the total sample. The most brand
sensitive readers are customers of Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca 65 percent of research
participants from this publishing house gave positive answer to question. On the other hand,
Penguins readers seem to be the least interested in branding in their purchase decisions
as only 53 percent put attention to the publisher when buying books. Nonetheless, in all three
cases majority of readers indicated that they do indeed give attention the publishers brand
and so the first research hypothesis proved to be correct.
Chart 10. Do you pay any attention to the publisher's brand when buying books?

H2: Publisher is an important deciding factor in purchase decisions regarding
books.
In order to verify whether this hypothesis was true, readers were asked two questions
regarding the most significant deciding factors in purchase decisions. First of all, the readers
were told to indicate up to three issues that have influence on their book buying patterns.
As expected, over three quarters of the readers indicated that publisher is an important
deciding factor. over a half of all research participants is of the opinion that publisher is
indeed one of the most important deciding factors determining their book purchases but it is
not the most significant. The second most popular answer in this question, was that publisher


64

is vaguely important when buying books (24 percent). The only exception here was Avon
where there was almost the same number of readers who have stated that publisher is
important but there are more significant issues and those who thought that publisher is not
important at all. Nonetheless, as already indicated, vast majority of research participants have
included publisher among important deciding factors in purchase decisions regarding books.
Chart 11. What is the degree of the publishers brand importance when making
purchase decision?

In the second question that served to test this hypothesis, participants were asked to
indicate what is their subjective opinion on degree of importance of several deciding factors,
including the publisher. Despite the fact that most of the readers find that other issues such
as a books author, reviews and recommendations from their associates are the most
substantive, in total 40 percent of the participants have stated that publishers brand is
an important deciding factor when purchasing books. This does not seem surprising though
the brand is a relevant issue determining purchase behaviors, in other types of industries it is
also not the most important.
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Total
Czarna Owca
Penguin
Avon
77
26
27
24
37
15
10
12
34
6
7
21
important but there are more
significant factors
vaguely important
not important at all
the most important


65

Chart 12. Indicate the degree of importance of deciding factors when purchasing
a book

The publisher is of greatest importance for the readers of Penguin. In this group, for
42 percent of respondents publisher is an important deciding factor, whereas for nearly
9 percent think that it is an extremely important issue. The least brand sensitive are
the customers of Czarna Owca who largely think that publisher is not important in their
purchase behaviors nearly 55 percent of this publishing houses readers indicated rather low
importance of imprints brand. Nonetheless, taking total results into considerations, as well
as the answers given in the first question, this hypothesis proved to be correct most
of the readers find that publisher is an important deciding factor when buying books.
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
design
quality of paper
author
part of a series
publisher
slogan
blurb
reviews/recommendations
Completely unimportant
Unimportant
Neither important nor
unimportant
Important
Extremely important


66

Chart 13. What is the degree of importance of the following deciding factors:
publisher?

H3: Attitude towards publisher has impact on purchase behaviors of readers.
In all the three researched publishers, readers indicated that they largely have positive
attitude towards Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca. What is interesting, no one has expressed
negative approach towards the aforementioned imprints and neutral attitude was in minority.
This seems rather obvious as all the respondents were simultaneously active customers
of these imprints. To check whether attitude towards publisher has impact on purchase
behaviors of readers, the respondents were asked to indicate their opinion on this matter on 1-
5 scale, where 1 meant that there is completely no relationship between the attitude and
purchase behaviors, and 5 indicates strong correspondence between these two variables.
In total, 34 percent of the sample do not notice any correlation between their attitude towards
a certain publisher and their purchase behaviors. Nonetheless, there is more readers who think
the opposite and similar trend can be noticed among customers of Penguin and Avon.
On the other hand, Czarna Owca is again in huge contrast as compared to total gathered
results and the other two publishers. Here there are more respondents who do not think that
their attitude towards Czarna Owca does in any case affect their purchase behaviors.
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Penguin
Avon
Czarna Owca
Total
Completely unimportant
Unimportant
Neither important nor
unimportant
Important
Extremely important


67

Chart 14. What is your attitude towards...


Chart 15. To what degree does your attitude towards the publisher affect your purchase
behaviors?

H4: Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca have high levels of brand awareness.
As expected, all researched publishers turned out to have high levels of both aided-
and unaided brand awareness. The publisher with the highest awareness is Penguin whose
logo has been correctly recognized by 97 percent of all respondents. What is important, for 63
percent of the readers this particular imprint was top-of-mind brand when asked
about publishers they knew. Avon also achieved high level of brand awareness, though its
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Czarna Owca
Avon
Penguin
positive
neutral
negative
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Penguin
Avon
Czana Owca
Total
1
2
3
4
5


68

results are not as spectacular as those of Penguin. 66 percent of the respondents managed to
identify Avon on the basis of its logo and for 35 percent of the sample this imprint was top-of
mind-brand. However, if we exclude Polish-speaking persons who do not have knowledge
of Avon due to the fact that this publisher is not available in Poland, the awareness is even
higher. Czarna Owca has the lowest level of brand awareness 32 percent of respondents
recognized its logo. It needs to be stressed however, this is a solely Polish imprint, not sold
outside of the country and therefore there was virtually no possibility of it being identified by
other nationals. Considering only Polish-speaking respondents, Czarna Owca has almost
as high level of brand awareness as Penguin worlds most popular publisher.
Chart 16. Brand awareness - brand logo recognition


Chart 17. Brand awareness of Avon and Czarna Owca - with particular groups of
readers excluded


0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Penguin
Avon
Czarna Owca
YES
NO
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Czarna Owca
Avon
YES
NO


69

H5: Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca have high levels of brand equity
This hypothesis was tested with the use of brand equity score elaborated by Aaker that
has been presented in detail in the first chapter of this thesis. To remind this method it needs
to be reinforced that the score is measured by multiplying brand awareness, brand linking
and brand associations. The average is fixed at 100 and publishers that managed to achieve
results above that number have relatively high level of brand equity among their customers.
As presented in the chart 18, all the three analyzed publishers have brand equity much higher
than the average. As expected, Penguin had the highest result out of all three publishers
and its brand equity score was 278,67. Avon also did very well and managed to receive its
score at 237,37. Czarna Owca had the smallest brand equity score out of the three analyzed
publishers however it was still a lot above average. This all leads to conclusion that
the hypothesis stating that Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca have high levels of brand equity
turned out to be correct.
Chart 18. Brand equity scores of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca as compared
to the average

H6: High level of brand equity results in big purchases of books
This hypothesis was tested with the use of Pearson product-moment correlation
coefficient which measures the linear correlation between two variables X brand equity level
and Y annual number of books bought from a specific publisher. The result is a value
between +1 and 1, where 1 is total positive correlation, 0 is no correlation, and 1 is total
negative correlation (Starzyska, 2009, pp. 165-166). To capture it, results of questions from
0 50 100 150 200 250 300
Czarna Owca
Avon
Penguin
Average


70

the survey regarding specific brand equity elements, and annual number of purchased books
from a specific publisher were taken into account. The chart below presents the outcome
of the analysis and as can be seen, there is a relatively strong positive correlation between
the level of brand equity and annual number of purchased books 0,72142. In other words,
the higher the equity was, the more books a person is likely to buy. The tendency can be
noticed in all the three publishers that have similar correlation between brand equity and book
purchases. In conclusion, this hypothesis also turned out to be correct high level of brand
equity does indeed result in big purchases of a publishers books.
Chart 19. Correlation between brand equity and annual book purchases

H0: Publisher brand has impact on purchase behaviors of readers
The main hypothesis of the research was that publisher brand has impact on purchase
behaviors of readers. Despite the fact that it was generally believed that publishers brand
does not play a significant role in decision making process regarding books, the study
indicated that it is no longer the case. All the hypothesis based on research questions turned
out to be correct and lead to conclusion that publisher brand has influence of purchase
behaviors of readers. Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca have relatively high levels
of customer-based brand equity that strongly correlates with big annual purchases of books
published by these imprints. Furthermore, most of the research participants admitted that they
pay attention to the publishers brand when buying books and that it is one of the most
significant deciding factors in that case. This leads to a conclusion that publishing houses
should follow the examples of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca and build relevant brands
-1 -0,8 -0,6 -0,4 -0,2 0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1
Total Penguin Avon Czarna Owca


71

that will help them gain and sustain competitive advantage in the highly fragmented, ever-
changing market.
The main hypothesis is also supported by the fact that there is a relatively strong
positive correlation between the level of customer-based brand equity and brand loyalty.
Pearson ratio, measuring relationship between these two variables was 0,677254877 for
the total sample which means that the higher the brand equity, the more loyal the customers
are. As presented in the chart 19, the strongest correlation occurred among the readers
of Avon, whereas the weakest appeared among customers of Czarna Owca whose result has
significantly decreased this ratio for the total sample. Nonetheless, it confirms the main
hypothesis of this research according to which customer-based brand equity has impact
on purchase behaviors of readers. Those who indicate high level of equity tend to be more
loyal to the publisher which contributes to achieving competitive advantage in the market. It
has already been stressed that loyal customer provide regular sales revenues and gathering big
profits is one of the primary goals of each business organization.
Chart 20. Correlation between brand equity and brand loyalty

What is more, loyal buyers can spread their positive opinion on the brand among their
associates thus encouraging new customers and it has also been confirmed by the study.
Over 71 percent of the research participants answered that they would recommend books
of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca to their friends. Similar proportions can be noticed in all
the three groups of readers. This proves that satisfied customers are an extremely relevant
asset of a company in terms of competitive advantage as potential buyers are more likely to be
persuaded by their associates. Thanks to this, the company highly benefits from having loyal
customers that are encouraging their friends to purchase the products of the organization. This
0,521698
0,880918
0,832505
0,677254877
-1 -0,8 -0,6 -0,4 -0,2 0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1
Czarna Owca
Avon
Penguin
Total


72

seems to be particularly relevant in case of publishing because we are more likely to read
a book that has been recommended to us by someone we know.
Chart 21. To what degree do you agree with the following statement: "I would
recommend the books of Penguin/Avon/Czarna Owca to my friends"

By the way of conclusion, all the research hypothesis that were tested in this study,
turned out to be correct and thus it can be said that customer-based brand equity does indeed
have impact on purchase behaviors of readers. It means to that building strong imprint brand,
relevant to the customers can be a source of competitive advantage in the publishing market.
Contrary to popular assumption, readers take the publisher into consideration when buying
books and though it is not the most important deciding factor, it is still meaningful.
The conducted analysis confirmed that high level of brand equity results in considerable
annual book purchases the higher the equity, the more books is a person likely to buy. What
is more, most of the readers say that they would recommend books of Penguin, Avon
and Czarna Owca to their friends which leads to conclusion that building publishers brand
that appeals to readers is very profitable for publishing houses.
3.4. Conclusions
The main conclusion that can be taken out of the conducted research is that publishers
brand has a relatively strong impact on purchase behaviors of readers who contrary to popular
belief, put attention to the imprint when buying books. This leads to an assumption that
customer-based brand equity can be a source of competitive advantage in this market. This is
because high level of equity usually results in considerable purchases that contribute
achieving favorable Key Performance Indicators. Furthermore, according to the research
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Czarna Owca
Avon
Penguin
Total
I strongly disagree
I disagree
I have no opinion
I agree
I strongly agree


73

women tend to pay more attention to the publisher books than men who in majority do not
consider it as an important deciding factor compare chart 22. However, as already
mentioned females are the gender who reads more and the research only confirmed that.
Chart 22. Do you pay any attention to the publisher's brand when buying books?
with regard to participants gender

What is more, affluent individuals tend to put a little more attention to the publisher
that those who earn below national average compare chart. This leads to a conclusion that
people with less financial resources are more focused on tangible aspects of products such
as for example its durability or price. What is important, such persons buy considerably less
books on the annual basis and they rather borrow them from libraries in open-ended
question about the number of books purchased annually, many participants indicated that they
do not procure new books but obtain them from library. This kind of answer was the most
common among readers with relatively low income and it often indicated by the readers
of Czarna Owca who as already mentioned are the least affluent participants of the researched
sample.
Chart 23. Do you pay any attention to the publisher's brand when buying books? - with
regard to participants' income

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Women
Men
Yes
No
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Above average
Average
Below average
Yes
No


74

The conducted research also leads to a conclusion that young people (between 15
and 30) are more brand sensitive see chart. Vast majority of them pay attention to
the publisher when buying books, whereas significantly less of older readers share such
an opinion. This is probably because older people tend to be more rational in their purchase
decisions and they pay more attention to tangible aspects of the products, whereas youth is
more emotional in that matter and put greater regard to branding as it may express a certain
lifestyle. What is more, as chart presents citizens of bigger cities are also more focused
on publishers brand in their purchase decisions that people living in smaller areas, who do
not have such regular contact with literature.
Chart 24. Do you pay any attention to the publisher's brand when buying books?
- with regard to participants' age

Chart 25. Do you pay any attention to the publisher's brand when buying books?
- with regard to participants' place of residence

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
15-20
21-25
26-30
31-35
36-40
40 or more
Yes
No
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
village
city with less than 25 000 citizens
city between 25 000 - 100 000 citizens
city between 100 000 - 500 00 citizens
city above 500 000 citizens
YES
NO


75

To research also leads to conclusion that publishers brand is more important
in purchase decisions of native English speakers 64 percent of them indicated that imprint is
a relevant deciding factor, though in their opinion there are more significant things.
Nonetheless, only 9 percent of persons whose mother tongue is English, think that publisher
bears no importance at all, whereas nearly 40 percent of Poles answered that the imprint is not
relevant at all. This is probably caused by the fact that American (Avon) and British
(Penguin) publishing houses are more experienced at developing brand strategies
and managed to build strong corporate brands that have impact on purchase behaviors of their
readers thus they are more relevant to them.
Chart 26. What is the degree of the publishers brand importance when making
purchase decision? with regard to participants mother tongue

When it comes to attitude towards the publisher, younger people (between 15 and 30)
have a more positive opinion in that matter than older research participants. As the chart
indicates, vast majority of people in that age express positive attitude towards analyzed
publishers, whereas older persons tend to be more balanced on this subject. This is probably
because they are more objective in their judgment and thus they are more likely to express
neutral attitude towards analyzed publishers. Furthermore, their opinion seems to be more
credible as older readers usually have a longer relationship with brands.
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Polish
English
Other important but there are more
significant factors
vaguely important
not important at all
the most important


76

Chart 27. What is your attitude towards Penguin/Avon/Czarna Owca? - with regard to
participants' age

What is more, older readers tend to be more loyal to their brands. This is probably
because such persons are more stable in their purchase decisions than younger audience who
is more likely to switch to another brands. This assumption has been confirmed by open-
ended question asking why do the participants choose Penguin/Avon/Czarna Owca over other
publishers. Many readers, particularly from the older part of the research sample, pointed
on their long-term relationship with the brand in question and to the fact that overtime they
established trust towards the publisher. On the other hand, younger people are more prone to
be influenced by other external factors and try various brands.
Chart 28. To what degree do you agree with the following statement: "I am a loyal
customer of Penguin/Avon/Czarna Owca"


0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
15-20 21-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 40 or more
neutral
positive
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
15-20 21-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 40 or more
I strongly agree
I agree
I have no opinion
I disagree
I strongly disagree


77

To sum up, the research confirmed that publishers brand has a relatively strong
influence on purchase behaviors of readers which leads to conclusion that customer-based
brand equity has impact on purchase behaviors of readers and can therefore be a source
of competitive advantage in the book publishing market. Younger readers tend to be more
brand sensitive, however older customers are more likely to remain loyal to one brand based
on their long-term relationship. Furthermore, affluent individuals pay more attention
to the publisher that those who earn below national average. This leads to a conclusion that
people with less financial resources are more focused on other factors such as for example
price. However, they are not so significant in terms of building competitive advantage as they
rather do not buy new books, but borrow them from libraries.
Summary
The main goal of this chapter was to thoroughly analyze results of the primary
research conducted for the purpose of this thesis. There were seven hypothesis to verify
and the main stated that customer-based brand equity has impact on purchase behaviors
of readers. Contrary to popular misconception, the study indicated that most of the readers
pay attention to the publishers brand and they can successfully identify popular publishing
houses on the basis on their logos. It needs to be stressed that women who accounted
for the vast majority of the research sample, tend to be a little more brand sensitive than men.
The same can also be said about more affluent readers who put a little more attention
to the publisher that those who earn below national average. People with less considerable
finances tend to borrow books from libraries and so they are not so important in terms
of competitive advantage as they do not purchase books from the publisher. Furthermore, the
research indicated that imprint is one of the most important deciding factors determining
purchase behaviors. Even though there are more relevant issues for the readers, publishers
brand seems to occupy a relatively substantive place in their minds. The research also
confirmed Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca have high levels of brand awareness
and customer-based brand equity. Equity of the aforementioned publishers is considerably
above average which leads to conclusion that the readers have a very clear and positive
images of these brands. Thanks to this readers are more likely to purchase greater amounts
of books issued by them, as well as be more loyal. Brand loyalty is of particular importance
in terms of competitive advantage. Not only provides it regular sales revenues, but also allows
the organization to win new customers because loyal readers tend to make recommendations
to their friends. It all leads to conclusion that other publishing houses should follow


78

the example of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca whose branding is very successful. These
publishers prove that establishing relevant corporate brands with high level of customer-based
brand equity has desirable influence on purchase behaviors of readers which contributes to
accomplishing and sustaining competitive advantage in this highly fragmented market.



79

SUMMARY
Branding has recently become an issue of particular interest in book publishing
market. This is because this industry is now experiencing relevant changes and publishers
need to adapt to them to successfully compete with others. For many years it was believed
that readers do not pay any attention to the imprints brand when buying books and that
the most significant deciding factor determining their purchase decisions was author. This had
been confirmed with research conducted on this subject that also indicated that publishers
have marginal brand awareness the only exception was Penguin that has been known to
have an effective brand strategy ever since its establishment. Nonetheless, most of publishing
houses neglected the growing potential of branding and focused on other methods
of achieving competitive advantage. However, in the wake of increasing market
fragmentation and digitalization of publishing, imprints experience relevant problems that
may threaten its further existence and force them to rethink their attitude towards branding.
It has been confirmed that branding plays an important role in contemporary
marketing. Renowned brands that deliver superior value result in loyalty of the clients. It is
generally believed that most of the consumer behavior is generally driven by emotions which
are strongly exploited by brands that aim to build an emotional bond between the organization
and its customers. If the latter are satisfied and have strong relationship with the brand based
using the specific branded product, they are more likely to become loyal and repeat their
purchases even if the price of such good is higher from the offer of competitors. Furthermore,
they can spread their positive opinion about the brand among their friends thus encouraging
new buyers. It is generally believed that there is a relatively high probability that a person
would purchase a product manufactured by a specific brand if it had been recommended to
them by someone of their acquaintances. This leads to conclusion that brands can be
an extremely relevant source of competitive advantage that contrary to others allows to
maintain in in the long run. More and more publishers start to realize that too and this is why
they try to implement a more customer-driven approach by transferring their imprints into
meaningful brands that generate positive associations in the minds of readers. Publishers that
have proved to be successful in that matter include Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca that have
been thoroughly studied in this thesis with regard to the level of their customer-based brand
equity and its impact on purchase behaviors of readers.
The research conducted by the author has confirmed that brand equity is a relevant
source of competitive advantage in publishing. The analyzed publishers turned out to have


80

very high level of customer-based brand equity which means that they rise positive
associations in the minds of readers. As expected, Penguin had the best results in that regard
and its brand equity was almost three times higher than the average. What is more, there is
a very strong correlation between its brand equity and brand loyalty of the customers which
indicates that branding strategy applied by this publishing house is effective. Penguin has the
highest brand awareness not only among the three analyzed publishers, but in the whole
industry. Analysis of reports on financial performance leads to conclusion that the imprint is
the unquestionable market leader. Penguin has the biggest number of bestselling books sold
annually and it gains the greatest revenues in the whole industry. This huge success is largely
based on the strong brand of Penguin that constantly improves integrated processes to manage
relationships with various stakeholders. It needs to emphasized that this publisher manages to
adapt to current market trends, particularly growing digitalization.
Avon also has spectacular results when it comes to brand equity. This merges with big
annual purchases of books manufactured by this publisher. Though its customer-based brand
equity level is a little lower than Penguins, Avons outcome is still a lot above the average.
The imprint is also widely recognized among readers. The only exception in this case were
Polish-speaking persons but they should not be taken into consideration as Avon is not
present in Poland. What is interesting, the readers of Avon tend to be the most loyal to this
brand what is particularly important in case of competitive advantage. Not only provides it
regular income, but also allows the publishing house to win new groups of customers because
loyal readers tend to make recommendations to their friends. Avons brand strategy turned out
to be very effective. This is largely caused by the fact that this imprint has very consistent
brand identity and has broad knowledge of its target group. What is more, Avon specializes
only in womens fiction and it is easier to build a corporate brand in that case. Moreover,
the imprint is also highly associated with its bestselling authors which contributes to its
success and competitive advantage. When it comes to financial performance, Avon is
currently one of the leading brands specializing in womens fiction. Just like Penguin, Avon
manages to adapt to current market trends and use them to its own advantage. Investment
in digital formats was a very good decision as it considerably increased the publishers
revenues, whereas its main competitor, Harlequin noted decline in revenues.
Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca also has high level of customer-based brand equity
though it is not as spectacular as results of Penguin and Avon. Nonetheless, it is still much
higher than the average and it quite strongly influences purchase behaviors of readers. It needs
to be stressed however that despite the fact that there is a positive correlation between the


81

level of brand equity and loyalty of customers, it is lower than in case of the two other
publisher featured in this study. This is because Polish readers, due to their worse incomes,
borrow books from libraries rather than purchase new ones. Nonetheless, Czarna Owca is one
of the most recognizable publishing brands in Poland. However, branding in this country still
not as developed as in the United States and Great Britain where Penguin and Avon come
from.
The research conducted by the author confirmed that brand has impact on purchase
behaviors of readers. Despite the fact that it was traditionally believed that publisher does not
belong to significant deciding factors in buying decisions, most of the readers do indeed pay
attention to the imprint when acquiring books. Even though they largely think that it is not
the most important issue, it plays a significant role in decision making process regarding
books. What is more, publisher with widely recognized brands, have high level of customer-
based brand equity which has a direct effect on buying patterns of readers. Customers who
have strongly positive associations with the imprint, i.e. indicate high level of brand equity,
tend to buy more books on an annual basis. This contributes to achieving competitive
advantage as high sales revenues are one of the most significant indicators of good market
performance. This leads to a conclusion that publishing houses should follow the examples
of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca and build relevant brands that will help them gain
and sustain competitive advantage in this market.
Furthermore, the research proved that customer-based brand equity has a positive
effect on brand loyalty of customers. As already mentioned, the strongest correlation occurred
among the readers of Avon, whereas the weakest appeared among customers of Czarna Owca
whose result has significantly decreased the final ratio for the total sample. Brand loyalty is
a particularly relevant aspect of achieving competitive advantage as it provides two crucial
benefits. Firstly, loyal customers are a stable source of revenues which is vital for every
business organization. Secondly, loyal and satisfied readers are more likely to make
recommendations to their friends. The research indicated that vast majority of readers would
indeed encourage their associates to purchase products of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca
which is particularly important in publishing. Readers tend to buy books recommended
by their friends who share their interests.
To conclude, this thesis confirmed that customer-based brand equity can be a source
of competitive advantage in the book publishing market. High level of brand equity in most
cases guarantees that readers regularly purchase books a given imprint. Furthermore, it also
contributes to greater brand loyalty. Case studies of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca prove


82

that publishers should build strong brands that would generate positive associations
in the minds of readers because it largely influences their purchase behaviors. Therefore
branding can be a great solution to the problems many publishers are currently experiencing.
Furthermore, it needs to be stressed that constantly progressing digitalization is not going to
be reverted and publishing houses should adapt to it because it is as much a threat as a chance.
Penguin and Avon invest in digital formats and they manage to increase their profits by sales
of e-books.




83

List of pictures
Picture 1. Dual nature of brand equity ..................................................................................... 16
Picture 2. Brand loyalty pyramid .............................................................................................. 17
Picture 3. Levels of brand awareness ...................................................................................... 19
Picture 4. Relationship between brand identity and brand image ............................................ 20
Picture 5. Keller's typology of brand associations .................................................................... 21
Picture 6. The influence of perceived quality on brand image ................................................. 23
Picture 7. Penguin's visual identification - logo (left) and popular cover design (right) .......... 37
Picture 8. Levels of a publishing product with respect to the experience ................................ 39
Picture 9. Visual identification of Avon ................................................................................... 43
Picture 10. Selected books of "Czarna Seria" ........................................................................... 46
Picture 11. Selected books of Penguin Classics ....................................................................... 47

List of tables
Table 1. The functions of brands ............................................................................................. 14
Table 2. Product branding versus corporate branding .............................................................. 27
List of charts
Chart 1. Exemplary comparison of brand equity scores ........................................................... 32
Chart 2. Number of books featured on The New York Times bestsellers lists in 2012 ............. 50
Chart 3. Sales revenues of Penguin, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster in 2012 in USD
billions ...................................................................................................................................... 51
Chart 4. Revenue growth of Avon and main competitors in 2012 (%) .................................... 53
Chart 5. Number of bestseller of Avon and its main competitors ............................................ 54
Chart 6. Research participants according to imprints (sample=150) ....................................... 60
Chart 7. Sample characteristics ................................................................................................ 61
Chart 8. How often do you buy books? .................................................................................... 62
Chart 9. Income ........................................................................................................................ 62
Chart 10. Do you pay any attention to the publisher's brand when buying books? ................. 63
Chart 11. What is the degree of the publishers brand importance when making purchase
decision? ................................................................................................................................... 64
Chart 12. Indicate the degree of importance of deciding factors when purchasing a book...... 65


84

Chart 13. What is the degree of importance of the following deciding factors: publisher? .... 66
Chart 14. What is your attitude towards... ............................................................................... 67
Chart 15. To what degree does your attitude towards the publisher affect your purchase
behaviors? ................................................................................................................................ 67
Chart 16. Brand awareness - brand logo recognition ............................................................... 68
Chart 17. Brand awareness of Avon and Czarna Owca - with particular groups of readers
excluded ................................................................................................................................... 68
Chart 18. Brand equity scores of Penguin, Avon and Czarna Owca as compared to the average
.................................................................................................................................................. 69
Chart 19. Correlation between brand equity and annual book purchases ................................ 70
Chart 20. Correlation between brand equity and brand loyalty ............................................... 71
Chart 21. To what degree do you agree with the following statement: "I would recommend the
books of Penguin/Avon/Czarna Owca to my friends" ............................................................. 72
Chart 22. Do you pay any attention to the publisher's brand when buying books? with regard
to participants gender .............................................................................................................. 73
Chart 23. Do you pay any attention to the publisher's brand when buying books? - with regard
to participants' income ............................................................................................................. 73
Chart 24. Do you pay any attention to the publisher's brand when buying books? - with regard
to participants' age .................................................................................................................... 74
Chart 25. Do you pay any attention to the publisher's brand when buying books? - with regard
to participants' place of residence ............................................................................................ 74
Chart 26. What is the degree of the publishers brand importance when making purchase
decision? with regard to participants mother tongue ........................................................... 75
Chart 27. What is your attitude towards Penguin/Avon/Czarna Owca? - with regard to
participants' age ........................................................................................................................ 76
Chart 28. To what degree do you agree with the following statement: "I am a loyal customer
of Penguin/Avon/Czarna Owca" .............................................................................................. 76




85

Appendix 1. Questionnaire for Penguin
PART I
1. Estimate how often do you purchase books.
At least once a week
Approximately once a month
Once every few months
Rarely
2. What is (the most) important deciding factor when purchasing a book? (Choose up to
three answers)
Design/physical appearance of the book;
quality of paper;
author;
part of the series;
Publisher;
Blurb on the cover;
Slogan on the cover;
Reviews/recommendations;
Other (indicate what)
3. On a 1-5 scale, indicate the degree of importance of deciding factors when purchasing
a book product (1 completely unimportant, 2 unimportant, 3 neither important
nor unimportant, 4 important, 5 extremely important).

1 2 3 4 5
Design/physical
appearance of the book

Quality of paper
Author
Part of a series
Publisher
Blurb on the cover
Slogan on the cover
Reviews/recommendations

PART 2
4. Indicate up to 5 book publishers that you know.
a)
b) .
c) .
d) ..
e) .
5. The goal of this question is to test whether the brand logo is associated with the
publishers name. You do not necessarily need to know all of them.
a.) Look at the brand logos below and indicate which ones are familiar to you (even if
you do not know their precise names, just indicate those you have already come
across)


86

b.) Look at the pictures below and try to give the names of the publishers related to
them
c.) Indicate brands you had used
d.) Indicate brands you heard of but never tried









87







6. Do you pay any attention to the publishers brand when purchasing books?
a) Yes
b) No
7. On a 10-point scale dislike-like indicate how much do you like Penguin.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Dislike like
8. To what degree do the following traits describe Penguin?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
A
leading
brand

Worth
the price

Excellent
quality

Suits me
well

A brand


88

I trust

9. How many book of Penguin do you purchase annually?

10. What are the reasons for choosing Penguin over other publishers?


11. To what degree do you agree with the following statement: I would recommend books
of this publisher to my friends
(1 strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neither agree nor disagree, 4 agree, 5
strongly agree)
1 2 3 4 5

12. To what degree do you agree with the following statement: I am a loyal customer of
Penguin
(1 strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neither agree nor disagree, 4 agree, 5
strongly agree)

1 2 3 4 5

13. What is your attitude towards the Penguin?
Positive
Neutral
Negative
14. To what degree does your attitude towards Penguin affect your purchase behaviours?
(1 does not affect at all , 5 strongly affects)
1 2 3 4 5

METRICS
1. Gender:
Woman
Men
2. Age:
15 20
21 25
26 30
31 35
36 40


89

41 and more
3. Mother tongue
4. Location:
Village
City not bigger than 25 000 citizens
City with 25 000 100 000 citizens
City with 100 000 500 000 citizens
City above 500 000 citizens
5. Level of education:
Elementary
Vocational
Secondary
Higher
7. Marital status
Single
In a relationship
Married with children
Single parent
Divorced
Widowed
8. Income
Above average
Average
Below average



90

Appendix 2. Questionnaire for Avon
PART I
1. Estimate how often do you purchase books.
At least once a week
Approximately once a month
Once every few months
Rarely
2. What is (the most) important deciding factor when purchasing a book? (Choose up to
three answers)
Design/physical appearance of the book;
quality of paper;
author;
part of the series;
Publisher;
Blurb on the cover;
Slogan on the cover;
Reviews/recommendations;
Other (indicate what)
3. On a 1-5 scale, indicate the degree of importance of deciding factors when purchasing
a book product (1 completely unimportant, 2 unimportant, 3 neither important
nor unimportant, 4 important, 5 extremely important).

1 2 3 4 5
Design/physical
appearance of the book

Quality of paper
Author
Part of a series
Publisher
Blurb on the cover
Slogan on the cover
Reviews/recommendations

PART 2
4. Indicate up to 5 book publishers that you know.
f)
g) .
h) .
i) ..
j) .
5. The goal of this question is to test whether the brand logo is associated with the
publishers name. You do not necessarily need to know all of them.
e.) Look at the brand logos below and indicate which ones are familiar to you (even if
you do not know their precise names, just indicate those you have already come
across)


91

f.) Look at the pictures below and try to give the names of the publishers related to
them
g.) Indicate brands you had used
h.) Indicate brands you heard of but never tried









92







6. Do you pay any attention to the publishers brand when purchasing books?
c) Yes
d) No
7. On a 10-point scale dislike-like indicate how much do you like Avon.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Dislike like
8. To what degree do the following traits describe Avon?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
A
leading
brand

Worth
the price

Excellent
quality

Suits me
well

A brand


93

I trust

9. How many book of Avon do you purchase annually?

10. What are the reasons for choosing Avon over other publishers?


11. To what degree do you agree with the following statement: I would recommend books
of this publisher to my friends
(1 strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neither agree nor disagree, 4 agree, 5
strongly agree)
1 2 3 4 5

12. To what degree do you agree with the following statement: I am a loyal customer of
Avon
(1 strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neither agree nor disagree, 4 agree, 5
strongly agree)

1 2 3 4 5

13. What is your attitude towards the Avon?
Positive
Neutral
Negative
14. To what degree does your attitude towards Avon affect your purchase behaviours? (1
does not affect at all , 5 strongly affects)
1 2 3 4 5

METRICS
1. Gender:
Woman
Men
2. Age:
15 20
21 25
26 30
31 35
36 40


94

41 and more
3. Mother tongue
4. Location:
Village
City not bigger than 25 000 citizens
City with 25 000 100 000 citizens
City with 100 000 500 000 citizens
City above 500 000 citizens
5. Level of education:
Elementary
Vocational
Secondary
Higher
7. Marital status
Single
In a relationship
Married with children
Single parent
Divorced
Widowed
8. Income
Above average
Average
Below average












95

Appendix 3. Questionnaire for Czarna Owca
PART I
1. Estimate how often do you purchase books.
At least once a week
Approximately once a month
Once every few months
Rarely
2. What is (the most) important deciding factor when purchasing a book? (Choose up to
three answers)
Design/physical appearance of the book;
quality of paper;
author;
part of the series;
Publisher;
Blurb on the cover;
Slogan on the cover;
Reviews/recommendations;
Other (indicate what)
3. On a 1-5 scale, indicate the degree of importance of deciding factors when purchasing
a book product (1 completely unimportant, 2 unimportant, 3 neither important
nor unimportant, 4 important, 5 extremely important).

1 2 3 4 5
Design/physical
appearance of the book

Quality of paper
Author
Part of a series
Publisher
Blurb on the cover
Slogan on the cover
Reviews/recommendations

PART 2
4. Indicate up to 5 book publishers that you know.
k)
l) .
m) .
n) ..
o) .
5. The goal of this question is to test whether the brand logo is associated with the
publishers name. You do not necessarily need to know all of them.
i.) Look at the brand logos below and indicate which ones are familiar to you (even if
you do not know their precise names, just indicate those you have already come
across)


96

j.) Look at the pictures below and try to give the names of the publishers related to
them
k.) Indicate brands you had used
l.) Indicate brands you heard of but never tried









97







6. Do you pay any attention to the publishers brand when purchasing books?
e) Yes
f) No
7. On a 10-point scale dislike-like indicate how much do you like Czarna Owca.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Dislike like
8. To what degree do the following traits describe Czarna Owca?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
A
leading
brand

Worth
the price

Excellent
quality

Suits me
well

A brand


98

I trust

9. How many book of Czarna Owca do you purchase annually?

10. What are the reasons for choosing Czarna Owca over other publishers?


11. To what degree do you agree with the following statement: I would recommend books
of this publisher to my friends
(1 strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neither agree nor disagree, 4 agree, 5
strongly agree)
1 2 3 4 5

12. To what degree do you agree with the following statement: I am a loyal customer of
Czarna Owca
(1 strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neither agree nor disagree, 4 agree, 5
strongly agree)

1 2 3 4 5

13. What is your attitude towards the Czarna Owca?
Positive
Neutral
Negative
14. To what degree does your attitude towards Czarna Owca affect your purchase
behaviours? (1 does not affect at all , 5 strongly affects)
1 2 3 4 5

METRICS
1. Gender:
Woman
Men
2. Age:
15 20
21 25
26 30
31 35
36 40


99

41 and more
3. Mother tongue
4. Location:
Village
City not bigger than 25 000 citizens
City with 25 000 100 000 citizens
City with 100 000 500 000 citizens
City above 500 000 citizens
5. Level of education:
Elementary
Vocational
Secondary
Higher
7. Marital status
Single
In a relationship
Married with children
Single parent
Divorced
Widowed
8. Income
Above average
Average
Below average







100

Bibliography
15. Aaker, D. (1991). Managing brand equity: capitalization on the value of a brand
name. New York: The Free Press.
16. Aaker, D., & Biel, A. (2013). Brand Equity & Advertising: Advertising's Role in
Building Strong Brands. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
17. Allen, T., & Simmons, J. (2003). Visual and verbal identity. In S. J. Clifton R., Brands
and branding. London: The Economist.
18. Altkorn, J. (1999). Strategia marki. Warszawa: Polskie Wydawnictwo Ekonomiczne.
19. Apigee Institute Survey. (213). KPIs, Conviction, and Competitive Advantage . San
Jose, California: Apigee Institute.
20. Avon. (2014). Avon Romance. Retrieved 02 11, 2014, from Avon Romance:
http://www.avonromance.com/
21. Beech, J., & Chadwick, S. (2007). The Marketing of Sport. New Jersey: Pearson
Education.
22. Bennet, P.D. [ed.]. (1995). Dictionary of Marketing terms. Chicago: American
Marketing Association.
23. Blackett, T. (2003). What is a brand? In R. Clifton, & J. Simmons, Brands and
branding (pp. 13-27). London: The Economist.
24. Cherry, K. (2014, 05 17). http://psychology.about.com. Retrieved from How attitudes
form, change and shape our behaviour:
http://psychology.about.com/od/socialpsychology/a/attitudes.htm
25. Czarna Owca. (2014). krymina/thriller/sensacja. Retrieved 02 12, 2014, from Czarna
Owca: http://www.czarnaowca.pl/kryminaly#1
26. Doyle, P. (2001). Shareholder - Value-Based Brand Strategies. Brand Management,
9(1), 20-30.
27. Dunnion, B., & Knox, S. (2004). UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING
CORPORATE BRANDS: A SYSTEM DYNAMICS PERSPECTIVE. Irish Academy


101

of Management Annual Conference 2004 (pp. 1-17). Cranfield: Cranfield University
School of Management.
28. European Institute for Brand Management. (2014, 05 16). Aaker's Brand Equity
model. Retrieved from European Institute for Brand Management:
http://www.eurib.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Documenten/PDF/Merkmeerwaarde_EN
GELS/s_-_Brand_equity_model_by_Aaker_EN_.pdf
29. Farquhar, P. (1989, September). Managing brand equity. Marketing Research, 24-33.
30. Forsyth, P., & Birn, P. (1997). Marketing in publishing. Routledge.
31. Fourie, P. (2008). The role and functions of the media in society. In P. Fourie, Media
studies: media history, media and society. Juta & Co.
32. Goodreads. (2014). Retrieved 02 11, 2014, from Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/
33. Greco, A. (2013). The book publishing industry. Routledge.
34. Grossman, L. (2013, 07 16). The name game: J.K. Rowling and the power of brand.
Retrieved 02 12, 2014, from Time: http://entertainment.time.com/2013/07/16/the-
name-game-j-k-rowling-and-the-power-of-brand/
35. Guthrie, R. (2011). Publishing: Principles and Practice. SAGE Publications Ltd.
36. HarperCollins. (2014, 05 08). AVON BOOKS WELCOMES HOME BESTSELLING
ROMANCE AUTHOR LISA KLEYPAS. Retrieved 05 28, 2014, from HarperCollins:
http://corporate.harpercollins.com/us/press-
releases/65/Avon%20Books%20Welcomes%20Home%20Bestselling%20Romance%
20Author%20Lisa%20Kleypas
37. Hartman, D. (2014, 05 17). The Advantages of Corporate Branding. Retrieved from
eHow: http://www.ehow.com/info_7794167_advantages-corporate-branding.html
38. Healey, M. (2008). What is branding? London: RotoVision.
39. Hesmondhalgh, D. (2002). The cultural industries. London: Sage Publications.


102

40. Johnson, G., Whittington, R., & Scholes, K. (2010). Podstawy strategii. Warszawa:
Polskie Wydawnictwo Ekonomiczne.
41. Johnson, H. (2011). Shaping Beliefs and Attitudes. Miami: University of South
Florida.
42. Kall, K. (2006). Silna marka. Gliwice: Helion.
43. Kapferer, J. (1997). Strategic Brand Management. London: Kogan Page.
44. Kapferer, N. (2008). The new strategic brand management. Creating and sustaining
brand equirt long term. London and Philadelophia: Kogan Page.
45. Keller, K. (1993, 01). Measuring, and Managing Customer-Based Brand Equity.
Journal of Marketing, 57(1), 1-22.
46. Keller, K. (2003). Strategic brand management. Building, measuring and managing
brand equity. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
47. Landa, R. (2005). Designing brand experience: creating powerful integrated brand
solutions. Andover: Cengage Learning.
48. Lis, B., & Berz, J. (2011). Using social media for branding in publishing. Online
Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 4.
49. Malhotra, N., & Birks, D. (2002). Marketing research. London: Prentice Hall.
50. Maryles, D. (2013, 05 17). The Bestselling E-books of 2012. Jaw-dropping numbers in
digital sales. Retrieved 05 28, 2014, from Publishers Weekly:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-
news/bookselling/article/56408-the-e-book-explosion-facts-figures-2012.html
51. Media Week. (1999, 03 31). Mustoes wins pitch produce penguin branding campaign.
Retrieved 02 11, 2014, from Media Week:
uniqhttp://www.mediaweek.co.uk/article/42191/mustoes-wins-pitch-produce-penguin-
branding-campaign?DCMP=ILC-SEARCH
52. Pearson PLC. (2012). Pearson PLC. Annual report and accounts 2012. London:
Pearson PLC.


103

53. Penguin. (2014). Classics. Retrieved 02. 12., 2014, from Penguin Group:
http://www.us.penguingroup.com/static/pages/classics/about.html
54. Pitsaki, I. (2008). Strategic Publishing Brands Management PART2. The International
Journal of the Book, 5(3), 105-113.
55. Pitsaki, I. (2010). Brand concepts in publishing. The International Journal of the
Book, 7(2), pp. 87-95.
56. Pitsaki, I. (2011). Strategic brand management tools in publishing. The International
Journal of the Book, 8(3), pp. 103-111.
57. Publishers Weekly. (2013). Global Publishing Leaders. Retrieved 05 27, 2014, from
Publishers Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-
news/financial-reporting/article/58292-global-publishing-leaders-2013-
harpercollins.html
58. Publishing Perspectives. (2014, 03 17). Why Book Publishers Need to Think Like
Amazon. Retrieved 05 30, 2014, from Publishing Perspectives:
http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/03/why-book-publishers-need-to-think-like-
amazon/
59. Riezebos, R. (2003). Brand Management. A Theoretical and Practical Approach. New
Yorik: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
60. Riezobos, R., & van der Grinten, J. (2012). Positioning the Brand: An Inside-Out
approach.
61. Royle, J., Cooper, L., & Stockdale, R. (1999/2000). The use of branding by trade
publishers: an investigation into marketing the book as a brand name product.
Publishing Research Quarterly, 15(4), pp. 3-13.
62. Schroeder, J., Salzer-Mrling, M., & Askegaard, S. (2006). Brand culture. New York:
Routledge.
63. Schultz, D., Barnes, B., Schultz, H., & Azzaro, M. (2009). Building Customer-Brand
Relationship. New York: M.E. Sharp.


104

64. Schultz, E., & Barnes, B. (1999). Strategic brand communication campaigns.
Chicago: NTC Contemporary.
65. Scott Armstrong, J. (2010). Persuasive advertising: evidence based principles. New
York: Palgrave MacMillan.
66. Simon, C., & Sullivan, M. (1993). The Measurement and Determinants of Brand.
Marketing Science(12), 28-52.
67. Singh, A. (2012, 10 02). The Casual Vacancy: sales figures revealed. Retrieved 02 12,
2014, from The Telegraph:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9582380/The-Casual-Vacancy-
sales-figures-revealed.html
68. Starzyska, W. [. (2009). Podstawy statystyki. Warszawa: Difin.
69. Sutherland, J. (2010). Bestsellers. Routledge Revivals.
70. Thompson, J. (2010). Merchants of culture. Cambridge: Polity.
71. Uggla, H. (2006). The Corporate brand association base: a conceptual model for the
creation of inclusive brand architecture. European Journal of Marketing, 40(7/8), 785-
802.
72. Urbanek, G. (2002). Zarzdzanie mark. Warszawa: Polskie Wydawnictwo
Ekonomiczne.
73. West, D., Ford, J., & Ibrahim, E. (2010). Strategic Marketing: Creating Competitive
Advantage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
74. Whurr Publishers. (1999). Logos. 10.
75. Young, L. (2011). The Marketer's Handbook: Reassessing Marketing Techniques for
Modern Business. New York: John Wiley & Sons.