Brand morphing across Wal-Mart customer segments
The premise of segmentation theory is that different segments each have a discrete customer profile and behavioral characteristics. At a conceptual level, the recent branding literature recognizes that different sub-cultures or segments could experience different meanings of an organization's brand. However, few quantitative studies address the issue. The current paper combines branding and segmentation theory and offers a new perspective on whether all segments have the same brand meaning. A leading discount retailer, Wal-Mart, is the focus of this Canadian-based investigation. Two segments of Wal-Mart customers are the basis of the study - one segment preferring Wal-Mart and one less attached. The research quantifies the two networks of brand meaning that the two segments associate with the Wal-Mart (corporate) brand. Empirically, brand morphing of the corporate brand occurs, with different brand meanings across the two segments.
Journal of Business Research
Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations)