Open Conference Systems, ICQQMEAS2009

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BRAND EQUITY REVISITED: AN INSTITUTIONAL THEORY APPROACH TO AIRLINE CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Anna Zarkada

Last modified: 2015-09-18

Abstract


Following the Yoo et al (2000) conceptualisation of brand equity this paper empirically explores its relationship with practical support for the brand, through the opinions of 244 British and Greek easyJet customers. Despite the very high level of practical support the brand equity reported through the attitude scales was mediocre. The reasons for the high practical support consumers show to easyJet were explored using the constructs of performative and social legitimation (Handelman & Arnold, 1999) and the degree to which brand values have been fully espoused by the customers. The paper argues that existing brand equity measures failed to convey what really matters – practical consumer support for the brand. It also demonstrates that brand equity as well as perceptions of brand performance are positively influenced by social legitimation whilst performative legitimation has a stronger impact on brand awareness but none on bran equity. It concludes that successfully communicating and upholding brand values that reflect societal expectations of firm conduct as well as consistently delivering the promised benefits that reflect what customers really need and are prepared to pay for is a strategy that delivers increasing market share and turnover even in a recession

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