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Factors That Affect Brand Equity

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Brand equity determines the performance, sustainability, and comparative advantage that a brand may enjoy or lack on the market (Kapferer 304). The two terms denote the relative strength of the brand over others. In the competitive corporate world, companies and firms have prioritized brand building as an integral aspect of business strategy. Brand equity is contextualized within the overall structures and framework of total quality management (Kapferer 328). Companies direct significant percentages of their budgetary allocations towards enhancing of their brand equity. Normally, the overall objective is to target the perceptions, sensibilities, opinions, and preferences of the clientele towards the brand.

Competition by firms to enhance the image of their brand equity is considered as the virtual terrain for the battle for the psychological attraction of the clientele (Simovic 56). The process of brand building often works through covert and overt ways. The subliminal psychological impact on the minds of the consumer and appeal across different segments of the market are the fundamental objectives of enhancing brand equity. Various studies have explored the different factors that contribute to brand equity in the corporate world. However, few studies have focused on the actual nature of associations between these factors within the understanding of brand equity.

Some of the factors that have been explored include marketing communication, pricing and price promotion, product category, distribution intensity, and the perceived quality of a product. This study will attempt to explore the various levels of impact that these five variables have in brand equity. The understanding of these associations and levels of impact will assist in contributing or annulling some of the theories and propositions that have been developed with regard to brand equity. These variables will be explored in terms of their efficacy in controlling the minds of customers towards designated business goals and objectives.

The forces of globalization and liberalization of the market economy have made it important for corporate strategists to develop unique systems of brand equity in order to stay ahead in the competition (Simovic 89). The successful completion of the various aspects of brand equity will mostly involve the development of an integrated system that fits within the framework of total quality management. There is a need for studies to explore the fundamental building blocks and the shifting nature of associations that affect the relationships between the variables and brand equity. Such studies would be resourceful for corporate planners and strategists to revise their methods of doing business in line with the shifting market trends. This position draws from the fact that markets are not static. The corporate space is fluid and responds to different kinds of global and local stimuli, macro-economic factors, and micro-economic influences.

Aims and Objectives

  • To determine whether there exists any association between marketing communication and the enhancing of brand equity.
  • To explore the nature of association that exists between pricing and price promotion and the nature of brand equity on the market.
  • To investigate the impact of product category on the nature of brand equity on the corporate market.
  • To examine the effect of distribution intensity on the brand equity of a given product.
  • To relate the kind and nature of perceived quality of product and brand equity of a given product. 


Target Population

This study will target 150 regular consumers of fast foods in New York. The target group will be limited between the ages of 18 to 70. The respondents will be divided into halves across either gender. The selections will observe variations across the demographic categories of race, religion, sexual orientation, educational level, age, income levels, and political concerns. The choice of the sample size, age bracket of the respondents, and the mix in demographic variables will allow the study to capture a representative sample of the American urban population. Only the central parts of New York will be considered in the study. Outlying regions and annexes will be excluded from the study. The population of New York is among the largest in the United States comprising of nearly 18.9 million within an area of 17,400 square kilometers.

Further, the study will particularly target respondents who will have lived within the city of New York for the last five years. The assumption made would be that this period is sufficient for an individual to integrate into the culture of a place and adopt certain aspects of lifestyles that rhyme with the dominant patterns of life. Immigrants, tourists, and businesspeople in the fast-food sector will be excluded from the study systematically. The exclusion of immigrants would be because they have not acclimatized sufficiently in the American urban society to warrant their involvement in the study. Tourists will also be excluded for the same reason. Businesspersons in the fast-food line of service will be excluded due to the high likelihood for bias in the information that they keep.

Participants will be recruited through a personal contact with the city population at their different times of visit into recreational facilities. The researcher will establish contacts with more than 200 clients at the fast food stores in order to provide room for non-compliance. One of the assumptions that will be made regarding this study is that the clients to be found at the restaurants are more likely to be frequent consumers of the fast food than those who may be found in other areas of the city. Two or three graduate assistants will be enlisted in the task of establishing and retaining contacts with the target group. Studies have observed that a target population of 150 respondents and above is the most appropriate in capturing representative information on any given subject of the study (Kumar 78). Such a sample should reflect heterogeneous qualities in terms of demographic factors.

Study Area

This study will take place in New York City. New York is the most populated city in the United States of America. New York is an international destination for business, entertainment, technology, and other areas of modern interest (Lankevich 77). Current statistics puts the population of New York at 8,175,133 (Lankevich 151). New York reflects the world’s cultural diversity being home to about 800 different languages. There are about 4000 mobile vendors in New York. Many of these vendors deal in the fast food industry (Lankevich 45). The city is distinguishable from other cities in the United States because of the peculiar culture and manner of speaking.

New York City is culturally diverse, which makes it convenient for the study of customer preferences and opinions on the matter of brand equity. The concentration of major businesses at the different parts of the city shows that the city has a significant business potential and a research clientele. The corporate culture of the city and the relatively high levels of education in the city would influence the participation of the population.

The choice of New York City as the study area would benefit from the mix of associations and the high volume of international business that affects the way in which consumers respond to forces that determine brand equity. New York has been regarded as a global nexus of business, which responds to the global forces that determine the conventional trends of business and consumer preferences. Some opinions hold it that New York acts as a global pace setter in the world due to the influence it wields across the different segments of the society. This will give the study an increased opportunity for generalization. This study will, therefore, explore the opportunities in order to expose the internal factors and forces that determine brand equity.

Data Collection Methods

Primary data will be collected through written questionnaires and interviews. This is because the study is primarily a quantitative approach. The questionnaires will be issued to the respondents and given sufficient amount of time to enable their cooperation. The information collected from the questionnaires will then be synthesized, organized and analyzed in order to a unified body of knowledge. Linkert scales will be used to explore the degree of opinion or perspectives adopted by the respondents on the various variables that regard brand equity. A mixture of closed-ended question and open-ended question will be used in the questionnaires.

Interviews will be structured in a manner that would in the extraction of relevant information from resource people on the matter of brand equity. Businesspersons, business experts, and researchers will be responding to specific elements of the questions. Each question in the interview will be scheduled to take between 5 to 10 minutes. The information from the interviews will be collected by way of tape recorders and notebooks. The information will then be synthesized in order to align them with the objectives of the study. The responses will be coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).

Secondary information will be obtained from archival records, peer-reviewed journals, business databases, and other sources of published works that explore the matter of brand equity and its influence on consumer trends and preferences. Priority will be given to the most recent publications. Publications that fall within the past ten years will be considered. These publications will be organized according to particular themes that are consistent with the objectives of the study. Information from the secondary sources will be clustered into tables and matched with existing bodies of information as represented in the literature review. According to the studies on approaches in methodology, pairing and matching of information helps in harmonizing of disparate forms of information into a meaningful whole (Goddard and Stuart 91).

Test for Reliability of Research Instruments


Since this is a quantitative research, it will be important for the study to determine the reliability of the instruments. It is usually important to determine whether the selected instruments have the capability to measure, the kind of relationships that they are designed to determine. This enables the researcher to make an early decision on whether to procede with the research instruments of whether to adopt other kinds of instruments. Another important aspect of this test is that it helps the study to determine the possible degree of error that might result from the measurements.

In this study construct validity will be determined the suitability of a given test to a particular construct. The constructs to be measured will include the responses from the respondents regarding their preferences for particular products within the context of brand equity. The test of construct validity in this quantitative research will be used in the task of determining the possible variations in the nature of responses across one particular variable. Usually one group among the subjects will show a higher degree of the construct than the other.


Reliability tests in research are used in the determination of the internal consistency of the test throughout a specified period of time (Kumar 56). It is the test of the stability in the results even if conducted in a different environment if it happens under the same conditions. Reliability and validity tests are understood within the need to provide works of research with the element of space-less and timeless universality. Reliability is usually measured in terms of coefficients such that it can be considered as low reliability or perfect reliability (Kumar 118). The test for reliability is usually considered as one of the internal elements that prove the authentic qualities of any work of research.

It is usually considered that reliability tests will confirm whether a given finding can be relied upon in order to offer a generalized assessment regarding the topic under study. In this study, reliability tests were conducted through the coefficient of stability. The coefficient of stability is usually determined through the test-retest reliability. This study will conduct a pilot study based on a smaller sample of respondents in order to test the reliability of the instruments. Two studies will be conducted under the same conditions across different periods. The correlations between the two studies will be used to determine whether the instruments used in the study are reliable or not.

Ethical Considerations

Some of the information to be extracted from the respondents during the interviews and questionnaires may be of high confidential nature. It is for this reason that the study will choose to represent the information in terms of codes in order to conceal the identities of the respondents. Although the respondents will be within the age of consent, it would be appropriate to handle the information obtained in a manner that does not jeopardize some of their private interests. Another ethical consideration to be factored into this study is the search for official permission before the research takes effect. Seeking official permission before the study is one of the preliminary aspects of carrying out a research process. It is often considered as a fundamental factor because it helps to anchor the study within the standard parameters that are acceptable for the research process.

Challenges Likely To Affect the Research Process

Some of the challenges that are likely to affect the research process include non-cooperation by some respondents and time constraints. This research will involve dealing with members of the public whose daily schedules are difficult to follow. The researcher is likely to encounter problems of maintaining correspondence with these respondents because of this factor. The costs of maintaining contact with the respondents may pose significant budgetary constraints on the part of the researcher. However, one of the safeguards taken in anticipation of this challenge was exceeding the supply of questionnaires to the respondents. This move will shield the entire process against the possibility of errors that may arise because of poor compliance on the part of some of the sampled respondents.

Another possible challenge that could be encountered in the course of the study is time constraints. Unforeseeable obstacles to the process may pose practical challenges towards the completion of the process. Some of these challenges may eat into the time schedule allocated for another part of the study. This would imply constant revision of the time schedules and adjust of the periods in order to compensate for the lost time. This would probably imply some element of mismatch between the time of the researcher and the supervisor. The methodologies developed for this study have been designed in such a manner that allows the ease of adjustments of the time factor. However, this threat has been taken care of through the allocation of slightly more time on every stage of the research in order to provide room for adjustment. Studies have pointed out the need to balance between quality and quantity in the execution of a research study.

The study is also likely to experience budgetary challenges because some of the items and tools could exceed the estimated price by the time the study is on course. Acquisition of special software management date is one of the likely challenges that would impact negatively on the financial aspects of the research.

Data Analysis

Studies have pointed out that the process of data analysis must involve the matching of the objectives and the hypothesis of the study in order to promote cohesiveness and harmony in the research body. The analysis of data will be conducted through the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The information obtained from the respondents will first be translated into codes. The codes will then be entered into the software for the purposes of analysis. The process of analysis will involve regression tests, cross tabulations, frequency evaluations, and percentages in order to establish the nature and degree of associations that exist between the variables.

Some of the methods that will be used during the process of data analysis are the chi-square, which will provide the degree of correlation between the various variables. The suitability of the chi-square as an analytical tool is derived from its potential to pair one or more variables in order to determine the degree of association that exists between them. Usually the magnitude of the correlation degree is used to tell whether there exists a significant association between the two variables. Various independent variables will be correlated with the dependent variable and other independent variables with the view of analyzing the way they affect or are affected within these associations. In this study, brand equity will be the dependent variable while the independent variables will include marketing communication, pricing and price promotion, product category, distribution intensity, and the perceived quality of a product.   

The information will be presented in terms of tables, charts, and histograms. The cross tabulation between the variables will be done in order to ascertain whether there exists a significant association between the different variables. The representation of the information obtained will be done in a manner that is consistent with the objectives of the study. The inferences that would be drawn from the study will be matched with the hypotheses in order to validate or invalidate the hypothetical basis of the study. In this manner, the study will contribute towards supporting to existing theories of providing critical evidence that offers competing perspectives regarding the dynamics and aspects of brand equity.

Time Table

Generally, this study is designed to be conducted within four months. The first month will involve the gathering of information from the respondents. This will involve the preparation and administration of questionnaires to the respondents. The second month will involve harmonizing, transcribing, coding of the information obtained from the primary sources. The third month will involve the analyzing the information and writing first draft of the report. The fourth month will involve editing and presenting the report.


Month I

Month II

Month III

Month IV

Gathering of information





Harmonizing, transcribing and coding.





Analyzing and writing first draft





Editing, reviewing draft and presentation





Structure of Final Work

  • Introduction to the concept of brand equity
  • Factors affecting brand equity
  • The impact of marketing communication on brand equity
  • The effect of pricing and price promotion on brand equity
  • The role of product category on brand equity
  • The effect of distribution intensity and brand equity
  • The impact of perceived quality of a product on brand equity
  • Conclusion

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