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This paper aims to study the influence of branding on consumers and their purchasing decisions. Branding is also like the reputation of a company¸ which also effects business’ publicity. Often the choice of setting up an industry or a business is often directly linked to this notion of reputation. As a company has a good reputation¸ it may attract new customers¸ which would create ones’ demand and ‘brand loyalty’. Customers tend to purchase products from companies that have a good reputation. This is because as the firm have a good reputation¸ consumers tends to ‘trust’ their products¸ hence¸ consumers will be more willingly in trying their products¸ which would increases the amount of new customers for the business. As the business have more new customers¸ its demand and loyalty would eventually increase. As consumers try the products¸ satisfy with its quality¸ most of them will be used in using the product and are unwilling to change to another brand. The company would also gain more consumers’ recognitions. Thus¸ such consumers will repeat-purchase the product on a regular basis. This way¸ brand loyalty would not only eliminate competition¸ but also increases business’s sales and revenue¸ and presumably its profit would increases as well. According to my findings, from the 100 respondents that were interviewed 57 of them voted that Sony had very high quality. Hence the hypothesis that people because of its high quality prefer Sony T.V is true. From the survey conducted 41% people said that the quality of Panasonic T.V was medium. The results from this study reveal that Sony is the brand which the majority prefers. People prefer Sony because it has а very good reputation in the market since many years. And also that it is а high quality product that is reliable also.

Table of Contents


1.2 Problem definition        

Chapter Three: Research Methodology        

Chapter Five:  Findings        

Chapter Six: Discussion and Analysis        

Chapter Seven: Conclusion        



List of Tables

List of Figures

Chapter One: Introduction

1.1 Introduction

Branding of products has evolved along with the development of mass production and mass branding. However¸ particularly in recent years¸ а remarkable infusion of technologies into businesses¸ schools¸ and even homes has changed the way life is constructed (Temporal and Lee¸ 2000). New technology has become included in every single channel of people's lives¸ resulting in а technology culture (Winkler¸ 1999). The pervasive impact of technology has had an affect on almost everything and everyone in every field of endeavour¸ whether people like it or not. In terms of businesses¸ this development called for strong brands¸ which win people's trust while offering ideal solutions to their consumers. As а matter of fact¸ most companies founded in the past¸ e.g. Ivory or Coca Cola¸ managed to establish their strong brand in the consumer's mind and became one of the market leaders in their own market segment. Brands in the high-technology segment follow the same rule¸ whereas with the increase of companies competing within each segment¸ the image of а strong brand has always provided something that could not be copied easily (Keller¸ 2003). As а result¸ names like Hewlett Packard¸ Sony¸ Toshiba¸ IBM¸ or Apple are well known and the products of those companies have enjoyed а high perception of quality and reliability.

1.2 Problem definition

However¸ as brands within the high-technology sector have enjoyed а high perception¸ the impact of branding on the world distracted from the association between products and companies drawing attention to the things that were associated with the brand image (Lindstorm¸ 2003). The recent campaign used by Apple to introduce their new I-pod can therefore be seen as an example par excellence for the pure branding of а lifestyle embodied by this particular MP3-player. As а result¸ whilst companies nowadays use а brand name to represent them to the outside world¸ an increasing competition within the high-technology sector has led to а nearly saturated market and а high parity of products offered. Therefore¸ it became more difficult for companies to maintain and communicate а “unique selling point” (USP) for their products. In addition¸ economical changes¸ including rising living costs and а lower purchasing power of money¸ have made consumers more conscious when it comes to price. The results of both developments have made it necessary for marketers to adjust their branding strategies in order to meet the expectations of the consumers. In order to do so¸ it is necessary to understand how consumers evaluate their purchasing decisions and what attributes of а high-technology product they value most. This said¸ the objectives for this paper have been identified as follows:

•        Discover consumer's behaviour in terms of adaptation of products in order to improve the design of branding strategies for high-technology brands.

•        Analyse people's buying behaviour and determine the main drivers for adapting high-technology products.

•        Examine а change in the generational perception and involvement regarding high-technology products.

•        Discover and evaluate the perception of branded and non-branded high-technology products.

1.3 Overview of the Study

Branding, is like setting names for products. Nobody would set up in business or launch а new product without giving it а name. Branding is а very important part of promotion. It can help а business to establish an identity to the product. Furthermore¸ ‘Branding’ contributes to the value and financial viability of businesses¸ just like their products¸ fixed assets and input.

Businesses therefore would spend large amounts of money on TV and newspaper advertising campaigns¸ in order to end up with name that foremost in everyone’s mind. Just think of ‘Coca-cola’ and ‘Pepsi’ competition¸ they both spend an obscene amount of money in promoting their brand each year¸ in order to become the dominant brand. We can also notice that many of their ads don’t even contribute to its product¸ but rather¸ selling their brand and try to create “brand awareness” as well as “brand loyalty.” Why? The answer is simply because they want to create а “well-established” brand¸ which would eventually formulate an inseparable link between its product and the provider.

This becomes apparent as we just see how powerful ‘branding’ can be as а selling tool in our multi-media branding environment¸ when looking at areas such as: Computers¸ we would automatically think of IBM; or Software we would automatically think of Microsoft. These companies have established themselves as “the” dominant player in their fields.

Such good job at impressing its brand into consumer’s mind may also gain advantages in competing with other brands/products. Even for businesses that have superior products at superior prices¸ but without а ‘well-established brand’¸ they might still have disadvantages when comparing to one's corporate brand that is well established. From this¸ it can be seen that the power of branding might even be more important tan the quality or price of your product. In addition¸ when competition is global¸ it may also gain advantages¸ as branding is а way to distinguish your product from other competitors’ products as well as differentiate yourself and your business from the competition.

1.4 Scope of the Study

As а company have great amount of brand loyalty¸ the product’s price elastic would eventually be low. This is because consumers are unlikely to be price sensitive. As the price elastic is low¸ it enables company to increase the price level without much effort upon demand; hence¸ the company can create value and а premium price. Such companies would have the benefit in setting their price higher than the prices of similar products¸ such as products from “Burberry.” However¸ such products’ qualities may not necessarily be superior.

 However¸ а ‘well-known brand’ is not easy to build¸ especially for young companies. Also¸ it takes years to build and can be damaged very rapidly. Furthermore¸ “branding” is а very expensive promotion tool. Therefore¸ it requires large amount of financial resources¸ which businesses may not have the ability to pay. For instance¸ businesses would have to pay for registration cost for trademark¸ which avoids other competitors to ‘steal’ your idea¸ as called as ‘legal’ cost. Even for а well-established brand name¸ it can be easily forgotten in consumers’ mind¸ therefore¸ it would be costly for businesses to pay for ‘continuous’ promotion of the brand.

         Nevertheless¸ ‘branding’ is а very powerful tool in promotion and also very important tool for developing businesses. Although it is an expensive tool¸ which some businesses may not be able to afford the amount of money for ‘branding.’ Such businesses might results with some disadvantages when compare with а well-branded business¸ however for some cases/markets¸ branding may not be as important to consumers¸ such as plants. Ultimately business is only as good as the identity that underpins it¸ as ‘branding’ allows businesses attract new customers and make “established” customers return time and again. Thus¸ increases ones’ profit.

According to the Heinemann AVCE in Business¸ ‘brand is а particular product or characteristic that identifies а particular producer’. Branding is one of the common methods of differentiating the product from competitor products in the marketplace.

Business organisations will use branding to build up brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is where consumers are satisfied with their purchase of а specific product¸ and will likely to return to purchase it again in the coming future.

Branding is often classified into three categories: manufacturer brands¸ own-label brands¸ and generic brands. Manufacturer brands are brands which relate the producer with the specific product. Examples of manufacturer brands include Kellogg’s cornflakes¸ Nescafe coffee and Heinz baked beans. Producers will be heavily involved with the promotion of these products.

Own-labelled brands are owned and controlled by retailers. Examples of own-labelled brands include Tesco¸ Farm foods (ASDA)¸ Sainsbury’s own label¸ etc. the disadvantages of own-labelled brands are¸ producers and manufacturers not related with the product¸ or involved in their promotion.

Generic brands have no identifiable name or logo. Examples of generic brands include plain T-shirts or bin-liners. These brands only exist at the lower end of the market¸ with respect to price and quality.

A successful brand can be defined as the following: ‘A successful brand is а name¸ symbol¸ design¸ or some combination¸ which identifies the ‘product’ of а particular organisation as having а sustainable differential advantage’. A differential advantage simply means that¸ customers have а reason for preferring that brand to rivals’ brands.

A strong positive brand can able to be sold at а higher price¸ resulting in а high profit margin for the product. Also¸ it can provide а strong basis for the organisation to launch new products to enter into the market.  Business organisations can use the following to create their brand image: logo /trademark¸ reputation¸ received quality¸ packaging¸ slogans¸ uniqueness¸ product loyalty¸ individuality.

Branding is an old powerful strategy tool used to accelerate market awareness and acceptance of new products entering а market. It has been successful in the past¸ and has evolved as а way to attract and keep customers by promoting standing or image. The traditional role for а brand is to identify the product of an organisation¸ and its differential advantage throughout а name. Some firms have even considered that the brand was more important than the product itself¸ and have preferred spending money into branding more than in product research; but importance of the product is beginning to be emphasized.

The most fundamental problem regarding the issue of branding is what name to use. A name should have four characteristics¸ including distinctiveness¸ relevance¸ memorability¸ and flexibility¸ to ensure success with branding.

Subsequently¸ it is imperative to support it through appropriate advertising and communication¸ as there is а correlation between the level of advertising investment and the level of brand awareness achieved. Even successful brand owners have still to constantly keep their leading brand status.

Corporate¸ industrial¸ and service organizations are becoming the future of marketers¸ using branding strategy. Two of the most utilized applications of branding are ingredient branding¸ meaning extend а famous brand in а new market¸ and brand extensions¸ which means create а new product in an existing brand. Both of these techniques used to add new branding area are effective¸ but can also be dangerous.

The key element in business strategy is the brand management¸ which consists in building and sustaining а positive image to maintain customers loyalty. The branding process itself may be the starting point for product differentiation. In fact many brands are similar and their differences exists just in the consumer’s mind. All organization must support and identify with the branding strategy¸ and must deal with the changing environment.

1.5 Background of the Study

A brand can be likened to а ship in а fleet facing an upcoming battle. This metaphor provides some insight into the brand management problem and the cast of characters. The brand manager is the captain of the ship¸ who must know where his or her ship is going and keep it on course. The other brands in the firm¸ like other ships in а fleet¸ need to be coordinated to achieve the maximum effectiveness. Competitors correspond to enemy ships¸ knowing their location¸ direction¸ and strength is critical to achieving strategic and tactical success. The perceptions and motivations of customers are like the winds: It is important to know their direction¸ their strength¸ and possible changes. (Aaker¸ 1996)

A brand is the name¸ term¸ design¸ symbol¸ or any other feature that identifies the goods¸ service¸ institution¸ or idea sold by а marketer. A brand name is the part of а brand that can be spoken. The brand mark also know as а logo¸ is part of а brand that cannot spoken When а brand name or brand trade mark is legally¸ protected through registration with the Patent and Trademark Office of the Department of commerce it become а trademark. (Wells¸ Burnett and Moriarty¸ 2000¸ P71)

A brand is а bundle of functional¸ economic and psychological benefits for the end user¸ more simply known as quality¸ price¸ and image. (Ambler¸ 1997)

A brand then has both physical and psychological dimensions. The physical dimension consists of the physical characteristics of the product itself and the design of the package or logo: the letters¸ shapes art¸ and colors that advertisers use to define the graphics of image. In contrast¸ the psychological side includes the emotions¸ beliefs¸ values¸ and personalities that people ascribe to the product. (Wells¸ Burnett and Moriarty¸ 2000¸ P164)


1.6 Importance of the study

The process of creating а unique identity for а product makes а product distinctive in marketplace. (Wells¸ Burnett and Moriarty¸ 2000)

Branding is about getting your prospects to see you as the only solution to their problem. (Frankel¸ 2000)

Branding is very important¸ especially for parity products. According to Russell L.Hanlin CEO¸Sunkist Growers “An orange …is an orange …is an orange. Unless¸ or course¸ that orange happens to be а Sunkist¸ а name eighty percent of consumers know and trust.” The products are the same in the marketplace¸ but according to brand image and brand personality¸ customers think they are different.

Branding provides benefits for both buyers and sellers. Brands help buyers identify specific products that they do and do not like¸ а process that in turn facilitates the purchase of items that satisfy their needs and reduce the time required to purchase the product. In addition¸ it may offer the psychological reward that comes from owning а brand that symbolizes status. E.g. Rolex¸ Rolls Royce. Sellers benefit from branding because each company’ brand identify its products¸ which makes repeat purchasing easier for customers. Branding also helps sellers by fostering brand loyalty. (Dibb¸ Simkin¸ Pride and Ferrell¸ 1997)

Take а product¸ give it а distinctive name and attractive packaging and advertise it to emphasis its benefits and then create а personality for it. Then over time¸ build image and awareness for itself.  More and more people buy the products. Product’s name might gain а reputation. Consumers will associate it with certain standards. I have built а brand! The brand has certain values and not only meet customers’ physical needs but also emotional needs. From this¸ we see that brand building is а continuous process.

A name is first and perhaps greatest expression of а brand and important to product’s success. “An effective name is the first signal а brand can use to create а distinctive¸ positive positioning impression.” (Knapp¸ 2000)


Chapter Two: Literature Review

A literature review gives researcher knowledge of the works already conducted on the subject. It will give me guidelines and will help me in conducting the research properly. It helps to understand the topic better.

A brand is а set of mental associations¸ held by the customer¸ which add to the perceived value of а product or service. These associations should be unique (exclusive)¸ strong (salient)¸ and positive (desirable).

In practice¸ brands always provided а competitive advantage to companies¸ which sought to understand the wants of their target market in order to develop а package of attributes to meet these wants (Ind¸ 2003). Furthermore¸ brands have been perceived as providing а greater security and а higher level of performance while eliminating alternatives by providing а better overall customization of perceived preferences (Jiang¸ 2004; Keller¸ 2003; Temporal and Lee¸ 2000; Bahmanziari et al.¸ 2003; The Economist¸ 2005). As а result¸ consumers more often choose branded products when given the choice between products with similar features and benefits¸ fully prepared to pay а premium price (Temporal and Lee¸ 2000; The Economist¸ 2001¸ 2005). But not only that¸ nowadays consumers also started building an emotional bond with brands¸ becoming friends with them¸ and are even said to be seduced to look alike¸ eat alike and be alike (McFadden and Train¸ 1996; Klein¸ 2000). Temporal and Lee (2000) added that not only mass customization became а reality brands have to face¸ but also¸ because of the global village we are living in¸ everything physical can be copied with amazing speed¸ which leaves only а little room for the traditional USP brands that were built on originally.

High technology is defined as synonymous to cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art technology ( Within this paper¸ however¸ it is referred to the “consumer electronics segment” every time the term “technology” or “high-technology” is used. Consumer electronics¸ therein¸ is electronic equipment intended for use by everyday people¸ which usually finds its application in entertainment¸ communications and office productivity

While the high-technology industry increased in the speed of its development and started to focus more and more on particular consumer segments and individual needs¸ people became more open to technological innovations (McDaniel and Gates¸ 2002). For example¸ it took the radio market 38 years after its invention to attract 50 million listeners and television needed 13 years to reach 50 million viewers¸ yet the internet gained 50 million users within just four years (Temporal and Lee¸ 2000) The connection with brands and the already mentioned problem of providing а USP in present-day markets of parity plays an important role in this context too¸ resulting in shorter PLCs¸ which became reduced to а matter of weeks from what was used to be years (Zajas and Crowley¸ 1995; Winkler¸ 1999; Temporal and Lee¸ 2000; The Economist¸ 2005). The most important change¸ however¸ can be seen in the increasing adaptation of а mass-customization strategy (Jiang¸ 2004). The new toys produced by high-technology companies¸ such as the iPod¸ the BlackBerry and the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP)¸ deliver seemingly unique benefits to the consumer¸ based on their image and preference match¸ whereas satiety is an alarming reality (Tomkins¸ 2005; The Economist¸ 2001; Klein¸ 2000; Temporal and Lee¸ 2000). In order to build an effective branding strategy for present-day markets¸ it is therefore necessary to investigate consumers' reasons behind buying high technology.

For this reason¸ and in order to provide а clear understanding of the following sections¸ it is necessary to introduce and define two involved main areas beforehand. First it is important to look at “Buyer behaviour”¸ which was defined by Schiffman and Kanuk (1994¸ p. 7) as “the behaviour that consumers display in searching for¸ purchasing¸ using¸ evaluating¸ and disposing of products and services” that they expect will satisfy their “needs” and “desires” (Solomon et al.¸ 2002¸ p. 583). “Decision making” as the second term is defined as а balanced mixture of rational and emotional elements used to make а buying decision¸ to keep on looking for alternatives¸ or to get off the idea to buy entirely (Schiffman and Kanuk¸ 1994; Witt and Meyer¸ 2004; Hill¸ 2003). The next paragraphs will explore the main areas identified¸ which influence buyer behaviour and decision making in the adaptation process of high technology and branding strategy.

Rising living costs and а general decline in the purchasing power of money have made consumers more price conscious in their shopping behaviour ( The tendency of high technology being increasingly offered at ever-lower prices¸ on the other hand¸ has made people more aware of actual price differences¸ striven to get а mounting value for their money¸ greater functionality and а much greater mass customization (Prendergast and Marr¸ 1997; Temporal and Lee¸ 2000; Tomkins¸ 2005; Haughey¸ 2004; Tse¸ 2001). In this connection¸ Kapur et al. (2003) concluded that the needs of mainstream users will increasingly be satisfied with the performance and quality provided by industry-standard products. On the other hand, Hill (2003) argues that concentrating on price performance¸ no matter if it involves branded or non-branded products¸ has а negative effect on how deeply the emotional assessment engages consumers, which again has а direct impact on people's involvement and loyalty. The traditionally high degree of involvement of purchasing а high-technology product¸ based on the product's high price¸ its complexity, and its infrequent purchase¸ has changed to something more commonly¸ cheap and easy to operate that people perceive as interesting and fun (Dibb et al.¸ 2000; Winkler¸ 1999).

To discuss how people use high technology and what they intend to use it for (¸ it is necessary to reflect on the development of the high-technology industry. During the industrial age¸ inventions such as the light bulb or the motor car provided products¸ created to satisfy real needs of real people (Tomkins¸ 2005). However¸ as life gets busier and more stressful¸ people are forced to adapt the newest features offered by high technology on а continuing basis in all areas of their lives¸ even though they might not have fully understood what it can do to help them (Kallaman and Grillo¸ 1996). This adaptation process is based on the evaluation of meaningful attributes that support а consumer's beliefs¸ whereas¸ the consumer's frame of reference and evaluation criteria shifts due to the constantly changing environment¸ which again¸ makes it impossible to define а general pattern of buying behaviour (Saunders et al.¸ 2003; Hill¸ 2003; The Economist¸ 2005; Jiang¸ 2004). Solomon et al. (2002) argue that people are poor in their estimation of attribute co-variation¸ not only that they tend to see what they are looking for and ignore everything that says anything different¸ but also to the extent that consumers regularly overstate the numbers of attributes they use in а product. Nevertheless¸ nowadays consumers expect convenience¸ quality and service of а product to be available at anytime and at any place (Yelkur¸ 2000; Winkler¸ 1999; Silverhart¸ 2004)¸ and furthermore adopt high-technology in order to continue in а particular social group or to enter one they want to belong to (Kim et al.¸ 2001; Haughey¸ 2004).

Quality¸ generally defined as an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone (¸ of products has to be considered as а fairly new topic in literature (Romanuik and Sharp¸ 2003). Since many American and European electronic companies use factories in Asia¸ the country of origin (COO) and the traditional perceived difference in quality have vanished in consumer's minds (d'Astous and Ahmed¸ 1999; The Economist¸ 2005). As а result¸ an increasing amount of experts are questioning а brand's advantage due to the rising number of similar alternatives available (Zajas and Crowley¸ 1995; Yelkur¸ 2000; Temporal and Lee¸ 2000). The advantages of а brand based on the provided security construct behind as well as the interrelated lower perceived risk has therefore to be rethought (Bahmanziari et al.¸ 2003)¸ considering the findings of previous sections as well as the movement of the high-technology segment towards fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) (Snoj et al.¸ 2004). However¸ taking findings from Temporal and Lee (2000) into account¸ people still award the branded product of being made of high quality components¸ e.g. processors made by Intel Pentium¸ or even whole computers made by Dell or Apple Macintosh. Even though companies in present-day markets still use this strategy¸ e.g. Sony with their Sony Walkman¸ more and more people¸ especially younger ones¸ stated that they will not necessarily pay more for а particular brand name unless they will get а higher benefit from it (Jiang¸ 2004).

When talking about culture¸ it is referred to as “human activity¸ the way а particular group perceives and understands¸ as well as the criteria used by this group to value certain things” ( Considering the already mentioned impact of products and their development on people's lives¸ experts ( argue the existence of а resulting “Consumer frustration”¸ which¸ in their opinion¸ arose from the pace of technological change and the increasing amount of information necessary to make purchasing decisions. It has therefore to be mentioned that the younger generation grew up within this world of rapidly changing innovations while the older generation has experienced increased problems in keeping up and has even started to distrust products in general (Winkler¸ 1999; Temporal and Lee¸ 2000). On the other hand the saturation of most markets plus the increasing demand for new products has led to more and more upcoming innovations¸ which generate new desires for things we never knew we needed¸ such as Jimmy Choo shoes¸ rainforest adventure holidays¸ or pyjamas for dogs (Tomkins¸ 2005). Winkler (1999) therefore designated this society as “Dual-income¸ no-time¸ do-it-now”-culture. As а result¸ consumers are walking around with а “For Sale” sign around their neck always looking for greater fulfillment (Hill¸ 2003). In addition¸ consumers in present-day markets face а much richer information environment than ever before (Lurie¸ 2004; The Economist¸ 2001). Considering that it is impossible for consumers to evaluate all pieces of information available in the environment¸ the quality of purchasing decisions can be questioned (Hill¸ 2003). This said¸ when relevant information is missing¸ or the costs for acquiring relevant information are higher than the expected benefits¸ consumers started to rely on prior information or use off-trade contrasts of attributes¸ instead of depending on brand interpretation (Jiang¸ 2004).

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Over the past couple of decades¸ the big consultancy firms have been growing at а frenetic rate by spreading their empires across the globe. Now they must determine how to sustain that level of growth in an increasingly saturated market. The question remains: How do you differentiate yourself when one consultant can look very much like another?

Given their rapid expansion¸ many consulting firms are finding that their clients and even their own employees don't understand the total capabilities of the company. The answer to that dilemma¸ the big firms have decided¸ is branding. Its allure can be attributed ...

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