Factors Affecting Consumer-Based Brand Equity in a Storytelling Context : A quantitative study demostrating that traditional marketing needs more narrative
Abstract: Corporate storytelling is what happens when brands are telling their stakeholders stories. These stories can carry a vast array of messages, but in many cases, theyare just stories. Stories of founders, stories of people in the history of a company, stories of the heritage that a particular brand carries and has carried for centuries. We have decided to focus this thesis on brand heritage. Additionally, we have includedbrand utility, brand consistency and brand credibility.The main purpose of this thesis is to examine the effects of brandheritage, brand utility, brandconsistency andbrandcredibility on the dimensions of consumer-based brand equity. In order to fulfill this purpose, brand equity is conceptualised by four fundamental dimensions;brand associations, brand awareness, brand loyalty and perceived quality (Aaker, 1991).When reviewing previous research, we discovereda research gap when it comes to storytelling in a corporate marketing context. There havebeen previous studies conducted, but none of them with a quantitative approach. Further, there has never been any research conducted with brand heritage,brand utility, brandconsistency, brand credibility, brand associations, brand awareness, brand loyalty and perceived quality in the same context. And certainly not within the framework of corporate storytelling. The main population of respondents in our study consisted of residents in Umeå Municipality with a majority being female and between 21 and 50 years of age. The respondentswere asked to answer questions measuring their perceptionsof IKEAsbrand equity, brand heritage, brand consistency and brand credibility. The questionnaire was distributed in two groups on Facebook with an aggregated amount of about 15 000 members. The total number of respondents landed on 144 people and these answers were further analysed by using Cronbach’s alpha, descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlationand multiple regression analyses.When assessing the results in our study,we could determinefrom our regression analyses that the constructs brand heritage, brand utility and brand credibility had a positive effect on brand associations. We could also conclude that brand utility had a positive effect on brand loyalty andperceived quality. We further determined that corporate storytelling, anchored in theory, should be emphasising heritage while delivering utility to the intended audience in a credible way. As for our practical recommendations, we advise practitioners of brand management to clearly identify and state their brand heritage by searching for stories internally, conduct surveys to identify the perceived utilities being held by their consumers and finally make efforts for being credible in all promises of quality delivery.
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