Branding Public Transportation in Sweden
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this thesis it to investigate if and how branding in public transportation can influence sustainable consumer behaviour. It is of interest to analyse the influence of different branding concepts (green, love and technology) on attitude towards public transportation, the intention to use and recommend it. Methodology: The study was of quantitative nature. Three brands for a fictive public transportation company, called Svensk Trafik, were developed. The data collection was carried out by an online web-based survey which investigated how the different branding concept would influence Swedish citizens’ attitude and behavioural intention. This study was based on an experimental design, in which the treatment consisted of three differently manipulated brands (green, love and technology). Findings: The results showed that the brands were all perceived differently by homogenous groups. Moreover, all branding measures contributed in different ways to explaining the attitude towards public transportation, the intention to use and recommend it. In fact, the green brand had the highest impact on attitude, behavioural intention and recommendation, followed by the technology brand and love brand. Moreover, attitude towards the brand accounted for the strongest predictor in explaining attitude towards public transportation, while self-brand connection was the weakest. For intention to use and recommendation of public transportation, self-brand connection was the most important measure, while brand fit accounted for the weakest. Consequently, a green branding strategy seems to be most successful for building a public transportation brand. Research implications/limitations: More research related to the brand building process of public transportation companies is necessary. In particular, core values, mission and vision that drive the service of public transportation needs to be better understood to develop effective branding strategies. The main limitation of this study was that the tested public transportation brands were fictive. Practical implications: A green branding strategy seems to be most successful to persuade people to use public transportation on a regular basis. Furthermore, it is recommended that managers in the public transportation sector take self-brand connection into consideration in the brand building process. Originality/value: This study is the first of its kind to investigate public transportation from a brand building perspective focusing on the internal values, such a vision, mission and core values and its influence on attitude and behavioural intention.
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