This success is achieved by the development of their brand because they spend a significant part of their energy and time in strategic management of their brand. According to Kapferer (2012) a real brand strategy includes a shared general vision by all stakeholders, internal and external, to the company. This vision focuses on a brand's significant representativeness as value as well as personality (Kapferer, 2012). It also emphasises the definition and clear understanding of the targeted customers’ expectations, the characteristic positioning relative to the competition, the strength of brand image and its distinctive relationship with customers (Kapferer, 2012). This general vision is the base required for building strong brand equity.
9 2.3 Brand Equity The brand equity can be illustrated as the set of consumers' behaviours and attitudes that are associated with brand; this value may be financially based on studies of past investments, the number of customers and the value of customers’purchases (Baldinger, 1991). A recent study by Sheng and Thompson (2012) has emphasised the link and the interplay between product attributes (utilitarian and hedonic), customer experience and mobile brand's equity. The utilitarian attributes are the practical and functional aspects and the hedonic attributes are the playful and joyful aspects. The findings reveal four attributes (i.e. perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, entertainment, and aesthetics); they have clear effects on customer experience and powerful effects on mobile brand equity (Sheng and Thompson, 2012). However, the effects of these four attributes become insignificant if the customer experiences are added into the comparison of research results. By adding customer experiences, Sheng and Thompson (2012) have found further interplay between the attributes; indeed, the results show that these aspects have a real influence on brand mobile equity. The customer experience is an important part in the process because it plays the role of mediator in the assessment of the brand capital value (Sheng and Thompson, 2012). 2.4 Managing Brand Equity According to Aaker (1991), there are five factors contributing to the creation of brand equity: Brand loyalty, Brand awareness, Perceived quality, Brand associationsand Other brand-specific assets, see Figure 2.1.
10 BRANDEQUITYBrandLoyaltyBrand AwarenessPerceivedQualityBrandAssociationsOtherProprietary BrandAssetsReduce Marketing CostsTrade LeverageAttracting New Customers- Create Awareness- ReassuranceTime to Respond to Competitive ThreatsAnchor to WhichOther AssociationsCan Be AttachedFamiliarity-LinkingSignal ofSubstance/CommitmentBrand to Be ConsideredReason-to-BuyDifferentiate/PositionPriceChannel MemberInterestExtensionsHelp Process/Retrieve InformationDifferentiate/PositionReason-to-BuyCreate PositiveAttitude/FeelingsExtensionsCompetitiveAdvantageProvides Value to Customer by Enhancing Customer’s: Interpretation/Processing of Information Confidence in the Purchase Decision Use Satisfaction