Consumer-based brand equity of luxury car brands in Pietermaritzburg : a gender perspective.
Shayamunda, Cynthia Yemurayi.
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The objectives of the study were to determine the factors that influence consumer perceptions and attitudes in relation to the brand equity of luxury car brands and to ascertain if there were any significant differences between male and female consumers’ perceptions. Luxury car brands were chosen as the focus of the study mainly because consumers typically maintain strong relationships with luxury car brands. An extensive review of literature on the brand equity, luxury brands, gender and consumer behaviour in relation to luxury consumption was carried out. Primary data was collected through a questionnaire based survey done via mall intercepts and at car dealerships in Pietermaritzburg CBD. The questionnaire had been designed using validated measuring scales and had been pre-coded to facilitate easy capturing. The data on the completed questionnaires from 256 consumers of luxury car brands was captured and analysed using SPSS. Descriptive statistics were used in detailing the profiles of the respondents and the factors that influence their perceptions of the value of luxury car brands. Inferential statistics were also used to highlight the most important brand equity factors and to ascertain the correlations between them and the extent to which attitudes and perceptions of male and female consumers differed with regards to the brand equity of luxury car brands The main findings of the research were that across gender, ‘Perceived Brand Quality’, ‘Brand Loyalty’, ‘Brand Awareness’ and ‘Brand Image’ were the key drivers of consumer perceptions in relation to the brand equity of luxury car brands. Although males and females perceived most of the brand equity indicators similarly, significant statistical gender differences were noted in relation to ‘Perceived Brand Quality’, ‘Brand Awareness’ and also other value attitude variables such as ‘Need for Uniqueness’ ‘Self-Expression’ ‘Social Presentation’ and 'Affective’ Attitude. The findings provide guidelines for branding strategy formulation.
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