An exploratory perspective of service brand associations
Over the past 20 years the commercial importance of services has been realised, highlighting the importance of research to understand service brands and their meaning for consumers. However, to date, the branding models developed lack empirical testing, are derived from the perspective of brand practitioners rather than consumers, and pay little attention to the branding of services. This study seeks consumer-based information via qualitative and quantitative methods regarding brand dimensions that hold meaning to consumers for branded services. The results indicate a number of key dimensions that are important to consumers for both goods and services, such as core product/service, experience with brand and image of user. Dimensions such as feelings and self-image congruence were not found to be important, while word-of-mouth, servicescape, and employees held importance for branded services. The results also indicate significant relationships for brand dimension importance and brand associations, associations and attitudes, and attitudes and intentions. The results suggest important implications for brand managers, in addition to providing a platform on which future research can be built to further understand service branding.
The Journal of Services Marketing