Dimensionalising the equity of bricks and clicks brands
This paper approaches the subject of brand equity measurement in a 'bricks-and-clicks' environment. Paper by George Christodoulides Doctoral researcher and Leslie de Chernatony Professor of Brand Marketing at Birmingham Business School.
Existing body of research knowledge on brand equity measurement has derived from classical contexts, however the majority of today’s brands prosper simultaneously online and offline. Since branding on the web needs to address the unique characteristics of computer-mediated environments, it was posited that classical measures of brand equity were inadequate for this category of brands. Aaker’s guidelines for building a brand equity measurement system were thus followed and his Brand Equity Ten was employed as a point of departure.
The main challenge was complementing traditional measures of brand equity with new measures pertinent to the web. Following sixteen semi-structured interviews with experts, ten additional measures were identified.
Today, the web has become an integral part of the contemporary ‘brandscape’ with the majority of brands growing both online and offline. Being the first computer-mediated environment (Hoffman and Novak 1996), the web possesses some unique qualities upon which brands can capitalise. As yet, brand equity measurement has not been re-examined in view of this development.
This paper shows that the ten dimensions Aaker (1996) postulates as characterising brand equity in a ‘bricks’ environment should be augmented by a further ten factors when brands are mastered in a ‘bricks-and-clicks’ environment. The paper opens with a literature review of prior research on brand equity. It then describes the process of interviewing sixteen experts to identify the dimensions of ‘bricks-and-clicks’ brand equity, which go beyond classical contexts and also encompass online branding. This is followed by a discussion of the ten factors, based on our qualitative findings, which are interwoven with extant e-marketing theories. The paper concludes by explicating the implications of this research for brand practitioners, and suggests areas of future research.
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