Brand equity, which is a central topic in modern marketing, may be assessed from three perspectives: customer mind set, product market outcomes and financial market outcomes. Brand awareness (memory) and brand liking are elements of customer mind set brand equity. The factors determining brand awareness and likeability are also determinants of the change in financial brand equity. In order to understand these factors, Signal Detection Theory is employed for finding the components of brand awareness and likeability. Signal Detection Theory has a strong tradition in psychology, but is under-represented in marketing and consumer behavior. This study extended the concept of brand awareness to 'awareness sensitivity and biases and the concept of 'brand likeability' to 'liking sensitivity and bias' using Signal Detection Theory. The effect of divided attention on the extended components was investigated in three laboratory experiments. It was found that, in the attended mode compared with the unattended mode, consumers perform better in preserving a favorable brand awareness and have a conservative reaction tendency.
This effect of attention occurs in building brand awareness for short presentations, but not for long presentations. These findings may serve as guidelines for a strategy formulation for enhancing customer mind set brand equity.
KEYWORDS: Brand equity; brand awareness; brand liking; Signal Detection Theory; attention; response bias
When shoppers say they don't like Coca-Cola, should the negative brand liking be attributed to the failure of branding campaigns, or to the conservative tendency of consumers to say: 'I don't like the brand'? Further, if they say that they are conservative in responding, do they really report the objective tendency? These questions cannot be answered with conventional measures, but with Signal Detection Theory. A strong brand is a very valuable asset of a firm (Aaker, 1991, 1996; Keller, 1998; Aaker...