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Functional Measurement Analysis of Brand Equity: Does Brand Name affect Perceptions of Quality?

Author(s): Heather Hilgenkamp | James Shanteau

Journal: Psicológica
ISSN 1576-8597

Volume: 31;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 561;
Date: 2010;
Original page

This research project used Functional Measurement to examine how the brand name of consumer products impacts intended purchasing decisions. Thirty undergraduate students tested actual products from three different product categories (crayons, tissues, and tortilla chips). Each product category consisted of three different brands; one with high brand value, one with medium, and one with low brand (generic) value. For each brand, there were five conditions: 1) the product with the correct brand name; 2) the product with a switched brand name; 3) the product with another switched brand name; 4) the product alone with no brand name; and 5) the brand name alone with no product. Participants were unaware that products had been switched. After trying each product, participants rated their likelihood to purchase on a 9-point Likert scale: 1 being "definitely would not buy" and 9 being "definitely would buy." Results revealed that perceptions of quality were dependent on both perceived product quality and brand name. Unexpectedly, results also showed that the strength of the brand equity effect is dependent on product type, e.g., chips showed the strongest brand effect. For most product categories, main effects and interactions were significant. Functional measurement analyses revealed that brand name effects were independent of product quality. In conclusion, the brand name associated with a product led people to evaluate quality of that product as either higher or lower depending on the strength of the brand name.
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