Measuring customer-based brand equity of Samsung mobile phones among Generation Y

Diniso, Chumo
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Keywords: brand equity, Samsung mobile phones, Generation Y, brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, brand loyalty, brand satisfaction, brand love and consumption values. Samsung is the leading brand in the mobile phone industry, and is dominant over fierce competitors, such as Apple, Nokia, Huawei and Blackberry. This is evident from the 2016 global market share figures, where Samsung occupies the top position with 21.6%. The Samsung brand is also dominant in South Africa, having captured 46% of the market share. Consumers are also willing to pay a price premium for Samsung mobile phones. For example, as at June 2017, the Samsung S8 smartphone retailed for up to R14,799, with consumers still willing to pay this price. While from an organisation’s perspective the success of Samsung in the mobile phone industry is accredited to the global establishment of production bases, overhaul of quality standards, paradigm shift in management philosophies and substantial investment in marketing and product design, there is a need to understand what drives Samsung’s brand equity from consumers’ perspective. The understanding of Samsung’s brand equity is even more important among Generation Y, due to the fact that they constitute 25% of South Africa’s population, have a high purchasing power for luxury and technological products, and 95% of them own a mobile phone in South Africa. They use their phones to communicate with family and friends, listen to music and watch YouTube videos. For the measurement of brand equity, so that marketers are informed of the performance of their marketing and brand strategies, researchers recommend the examination of its sources. Models devised by Aaker (1996) and Keller (1998) provide various sources of brand equity, but how and which of these sources best influence brand equity has not been determined. Esch, Langner, Schmitt and Geus (2006) recommend that in order to measure brand equity holistically, sources of brand equity, including brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, brand associations and brand loyalty should be measured in conjunction with other important brand relationship factors such as brand trust, brand satisfaction and brand attachment or love. This is particularly so, because consumers who have a strong relationship with a brand are likely to demonstrate positive attitude towards it. Despite this view, most researchers who have adopted the Aaker (1996) and Keller (1998) models to measure CBBE have not considered the explanatory roles of the brand relationship variables. iv Another important factor ignored in the measurement of sources CBBE are the various values (such as functional, monetary, emotional, customisation, and relational), as proposed by Chuah, Marimuthu and Ramayah (2014), consumers enjoy from the consumption of a brand. Recognising the importance of uncovering the value inferences that consumers hold of a brand, Keller (2003) suggests three types of values or benefits (functional, experiential, and symbolic benefits) consumers may enjoy from a brand. The monetary value, according to other authors, can also be important. How these values lead to brand equity, if at all, were, however, not further explored. This study therefore integrated the Aaker and Keller’s brand equity models, Esch et al. and Chuah et al. brand relationship and consumer value models, respectively, to propose an integrated conceptual model with eighteen hypotheses to measure the sources of Samsung’s mobile phones brand equity among Generation Y. Quantitative methodologies were used to collect data from 651 undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at the University of Johannesburg and University of the Witwatersrand to empirically test the proposed model. The hypothesised relationships in the model were empirically tested using structural equation modeling. The results revealed that out of the eighteen hypotheses tested, twelve were accepted. Specifically, brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, monetary value and functional value had a positive effect on brand satisfaction. Brand satisfaction positively drives brand love. Consumers who expressed love for the Samsung mobile phone brand were found to be loyal. Brand loyalty, which was found to have a positive impact on brand equity, was influenced positively by monetary value. In addition to brand loyalty, brand equity was influenced positively by perceived quality, monetary value and symbolic value. Overall, 56% of Samsung mobile phone brand equity was explained by brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, monetary value, functional value, symbolic value, brand satisfaction, brand love and brand loyalty. While it will be important for future studies to identify other factors, which may increase the explanatory power of Samsung’s brand equity among Generation Y in South Africa, this study’s theoretical contribution suggests an integrated conceptual model to holistically measure customer-based brand equity not only in the telecommunication sector, but for other products and sectors. Practically, Samsung and other marketers responsible for managing competing v brands such as iPhone, Nokia, Huawei can use these findings to develop relevant marketing strategies that resonate with this large and lucrative Generation Y market segment.
Thesis (Ph.D. (Marketing))--University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, School of Economic & Business Sciences, 2017
Diniso, Chumo (2017) Measuring customer-based brand equity of Samsung mobile phones among generation Y, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>