The core element in the marketing mix is the company's product because it provides the functional requirements sought by customers. Marketing managers develop their
products into brands which help to create a unique position in the minds of customers.
Brand superiority leads to high sales, the ability to charge price premiums and the power to resist distributor power. The management of products and brands is regarded
a key factor in marketing success.
Before discussing the concept of brand loyalty it is important to explain the term "brand". According to
Aaker (1991a:7) defines a brand as:
A distinguishing name and/or a symbol (such as a logo, trademark or package design) intended to identify the goods or services of either one seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate those goods or services from those of competitors. Thus, a brand identifies the seller or manufacturer of a product which can be consistent in providing a specific set of features, benefits and services to the buyer.
Branding is defined as a process by which companies distinguish their product offerings from the competition. Some brands are supported by logos, for example the
prancing hose of Ferrari. By developing an individual identity, branding permits customers to develop associations with the brand (e.g. prestige, economy) and helps in purchasing decision (Chernatony, 1991). Branding carries an influence on consumers' perceptions since it is well known that consumers fail to distinguish between brands in each product category in blind product testing.
As brand loyalty is a basic part of consumer model behaviour, our area of interest is to explore the nature of brand loyalty and the possible factors determining it.
The importance of brand loyalty has been recognized in marketing literature for the last three decades. It apply to those customers who...