Coleman, Darren Andrew (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Creating and maintaining brand identity is regarded as a formative brand building step with the benefits contributing to the creation of valuable brands. Consequently, research that provides brand identity management insights has the potential to be of considerable academic and managerial interest. Several brand identity frameworks have been published in the brand marketing literature. However, a reliable, valid and parsimonious brand identity scale has yet to be developed. This has restricted the academic community and practitioners from obtaining an empirically informed understanding of the construct’s dimensionality and influence on brand performance. Furthermore, the generic nature of these frameworks does not account for a specific goods or services context. Informed by these issues, a valid, reliable and parsimonious service brand identity scale was developed to reveal the construct’s dimensionality and assess its influence on brand performance in the UK’s IT service sector. A quantitative research design was employed to gather primary data with 421 senior executive working in the UK’s IT service sector. Following a series of pretests and a pilot study, Cronbach’s α and exploratory factor analysis were used to purify the measure. Confirmatory factor analysis then helped verify the exploratory factor structure and establish the psychometric properties of the scale. These analyses find support for a service brand identity scale comprising of five dimensions: employee and client focus, corporate visual identity, brand personality, consistent communications and human resource initiatives. The service brand identity scale is then incorporated into the full structural model to assess the construct’s influence on brand performance. Across the calibration, validation and full samples service brand identity has a positive and significant (p<0.001) influence on brand performance. The discussion outlines how these findings provide partial support for the dimensionality implied by existing conceptual brand identity frameworks. Furthermore, the data provides encouraging results for those that wish to invest in brand identity given the construct’s positive and significant influence on brand performance. Concluding remarks highlight theoretical and managerial implications with limitations and directions for future also being noted.
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