To what extent the brand equity of high-involvement products influence the consumers’ purchase decision: An empirical study in Umeå, Sweden
In today’s world, consumerism is dominating all the aspects of our life. In society, life follows the pattern of the capitalist culture where the human values have a different measure. We do live in a branded world. There is no doubt about it. We all make product decisions every day. We probably all have certain types of products of which we like only one or two brands, while we buy other things based on what is on sale on a given day. This inclination to buy branded products is rooted in two basic things: recollection and satisfaction. We remember which one we like by brand name.
A survey by the Henley Centre revealed that the public trust brand names such as Kellogg’s, Heinz and Marks & Spencer more than Parliament, the police and the legal system (Sunday Times, “A can of worms is a bad diet”, 5 April 1998). This research highlights the importance of the relationship between consumers and key brands; and shows that it has strengthened to such an extent that it is now healthier than the relationship with our social structures. This is evidence of the power of consumer culture and the liberal free market economics of the westernized world. The Brands not just represent the symbol of the company but also to a greater extant defines lives people in the society. What a person uses can reflect his taste, his or her status in the society, his / her economic background as well. This makes a deep connection between the company and its brand, with the consumer. In this two way relation both the company and consumers are dependent on each other.
The salient of purpose of our study was to find out to what extent brand names influence the consumers’ purchase decisions with regard to high-involvement products. We conducted this study based on theories and survey. We reviewed a good number of relevant theories of brand and consumer decision making process. We also conducted a survey among the students. The respondents of our survey were those students who own a notebook PC, a high involvement product. We used convenience sampling for our survey. We analyzed the data of the survey in order to be able to draw conclusions and find answers to our questions.
On analysis of the collected data, we came to a conclusion that brand names have an influence on the consumer decision not only in case of notebook PC, but also in other product categories. The overall means of brand equity for male and female student are 3.64 and 3.66 respectively. Both the means are considerably higher than the average of 2.5 on the Likert Scale. So, it is reasonable to say that both male and female students’ purchase decisions are influenced by the brand equity to an extent. The consumers are very conscious about branded products because they have the view that well-known brands are more reliable. This study also explains that customers trust the branded products. Before purchasing a notebook PC people do not consider the lesser known brands. Our survey results show that the respondents previously automatically knew which brand of Notebook PC to buy. The mean of the statement “I automatically knew which brands of this product to buy” was much higher than average indicating that respondents had only a few brands in their evoked set and they ended up buying their top-of-the-mind brand. Consumers opined that well-known brand companies maintain quality of their product. Which is why, brand name affects the customer choice while making a purchase decision. Moreover, consumers also tend to trust well-known branded products. The mean of the statement “When I see an advertisement of this brand I believe the information in it is accurate” was much higher than the average which testifies to the fact that consumers usually trust the brands.
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