Examining the effects of service brand communications on brand evaluation
Purpose - This study seeks to examine the effects of three communication avenues, namely controlled communication (e.g. advertising/promotions), uncontrolled communications (word-of-mouth (WOM)/publicity), and brand name, on consumer service brand evaluation. Design/methodology/approach - This study employed a quantitative methodology and data were gathered from consumers intercepted in a shopping mall via a self-completed survey. Findings - The results show that controlled communications and brand name have a significant effect on customer satisfaction, brand attitudes and brand reuse intentions. WOM was shown to have a significant influence only on brand reuse intentions. In addition, comparisons made across different retail service types (e.g. stores and banks) showed differences in relationships between the examined variables. Research limitations/implications - The brand stimuli used in the survey instrument limit the findings to retail stores and banks and, thus, may not be applicable in all service situations. On this basis, it is recommended that future research should further explore the key constructs of this study in other service settings. Practical implications - The findings suggest that controlled communications and brand name are pivotal in establishing consumer expectations, thus influencing satisfaction and brand attitudes. Therefore, these types of advertising should be utilised to communicate realistic service experiences, while brand names should reinforce consumer confidence, trust and safety in usage. Positive WOM advocating proven reliability and consistency of the brand should be encouraged and rewarded to encourage new usage and reusage behaviour. Originality/value - The value of this paper lies in the comparison of different brand communications with different consumer responses to the brand not previously examined. The results therefore suggest ways in which marketers can maximise the benefits of their communications.
Journal of Product & Brand Management