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How Brand Knowledge, Belief, and Experience Predict Consumer's Perceptions of Product Attributes' Benefits

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021077/00001

Material Information

Title: How Brand Knowledge, Belief, and Experience Predict Consumer's Perceptions of Product Attributes' Benefits An Application in the Auto Industry
Physical Description: 1 online resource (58 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Lee, Hyoungdong
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: auto, belief, benefit, brand, experience, knowledge, product
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Advertising thesis, M.Adv.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This study explores how customers' knowledge contributes to their perception of product benefits and how the perception of product benefits, in turn, builds brand loyalty. This study focuses on the relationship between customer knowledge and benefits of product attributes. In particular, in this study, the car was used as the product. In order to measure the consumer's brand knowledge, this study explores consumer's overall brand knowledge level, brand experience, and brand belief. The knowledge level shows consumer's overall present knowledge about the brand, the brand belief shows customer's expectation and credibility about the brand, and the brand experience shows customer's familiarity and confidence about the brand. The attributes were divided as emotional and rational attributes by the pre test, and those attributes were measured by utilitarian, hedonic, and self-expressive benefits as mentioned by Aaker (1991) in order to see how those attributes are related to the consumers. The data were analyzed using a multiple regression analyses. This study presumed that the functional, emotional, and self-expressive benefits of product attributes can show customers' subjective response about the brand and that the predictions between customer knowledge and benefits of product attributes have implications in the marketing field. The findings show that the brand belief was the best indicator in predicting the benefits of attributes because it predicts all benefits of attributes. The brand experience was also a good predictor for the emotional utilitarianism, rational hedonism, and emotional hedonism. However, the brand knowledge only explains the rational-emotional self-expression. The findings showed that brand belief and brand experience significantly predict brand loyalty, but in the context of brand loyalty, customers' knowledge level of brand is not significant.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Hyoungdong Lee.
Thesis: Thesis (M.Adv.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Villegas, Jorge.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2009-08-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021077:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021077/00001

Material Information

Title: How Brand Knowledge, Belief, and Experience Predict Consumer's Perceptions of Product Attributes' Benefits An Application in the Auto Industry
Physical Description: 1 online resource (58 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Lee, Hyoungdong
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: auto, belief, benefit, brand, experience, knowledge, product
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Advertising thesis, M.Adv.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This study explores how customers' knowledge contributes to their perception of product benefits and how the perception of product benefits, in turn, builds brand loyalty. This study focuses on the relationship between customer knowledge and benefits of product attributes. In particular, in this study, the car was used as the product. In order to measure the consumer's brand knowledge, this study explores consumer's overall brand knowledge level, brand experience, and brand belief. The knowledge level shows consumer's overall present knowledge about the brand, the brand belief shows customer's expectation and credibility about the brand, and the brand experience shows customer's familiarity and confidence about the brand. The attributes were divided as emotional and rational attributes by the pre test, and those attributes were measured by utilitarian, hedonic, and self-expressive benefits as mentioned by Aaker (1991) in order to see how those attributes are related to the consumers. The data were analyzed using a multiple regression analyses. This study presumed that the functional, emotional, and self-expressive benefits of product attributes can show customers' subjective response about the brand and that the predictions between customer knowledge and benefits of product attributes have implications in the marketing field. The findings show that the brand belief was the best indicator in predicting the benefits of attributes because it predicts all benefits of attributes. The brand experience was also a good predictor for the emotional utilitarianism, rational hedonism, and emotional hedonism. However, the brand knowledge only explains the rational-emotional self-expression. The findings showed that brand belief and brand experience significantly predict brand loyalty, but in the context of brand loyalty, customers' knowledge level of brand is not significant.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Hyoungdong Lee.
Thesis: Thesis (M.Adv.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Villegas, Jorge.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2009-08-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021077:00001


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1 HOW BRAND KNOWLEDGE, BELIEF, AND EX PERIENCE PREDICT CONSUMERS PERCEPTIONS OF PRODUCT ATTRIBUTES BENEFITS: AN APPLICATION IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY By HYOUNGDONG LEE A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ADVERTISING UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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2 2007 Hyoungdong Lee

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3 To the students of th e University of Florida

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank God and my parents. I also thank my chair, Dr. Villegas; my committee, Dr. Roberts and Dr. Cho, who helped me develop this thesis. Also, Id like to thank Chongmoo Woo, who helped me in the data analysis. In addi tion, I thank Dr. Park at Dankook University, who helped me to study in America.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7 LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ .........8 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ..............9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................11 Importance of Brand Equity and Mass Production.................................................................11 Importance of Consumer in Brand Equity..............................................................................12 Other Brand Equity Studies....................................................................................................14 A Product is a Prism in the Consumers Mind.......................................................................15 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................17 Product Attributes............................................................................................................. ......17 Car Attributes................................................................................................................. .........18 Brand Image.................................................................................................................... ........19 Theoretical Framework for the Study.....................................................................................20 Consumer Brand Knowledge..................................................................................................21 Functional, Emotional, and Self-Expre ssive Benefits of Product Attributes.........................24 Brand Loyalty.................................................................................................................. .......26 Research Questions............................................................................................................. ....26 3 METHODOLOGY.................................................................................................................28 Explanation of the Study....................................................................................................... .28 Pretest........................................................................................................................ .............28 Measurements................................................................................................................... ......30 Knowledge Level.............................................................................................................30 Brand Experience............................................................................................................30 Brand Belief (Credibility)................................................................................................31 Functional Benefit (Ut ilitarian) and Emotiona l Benefit (Hedonic).................................31 Self-Expressive Benefit...................................................................................................32 Brand Loyalty..................................................................................................................32 Model of Study................................................................................................................36 4 DATA ANALYSIS................................................................................................................37 Preliminary Analyses........................................................................................................... ...37

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6 Analysis of Research Questions.............................................................................................39 5 DISCUSSION..................................................................................................................... ....48 .REFERENCES..................................................................................................................... .........53 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................58

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 General dimensions of product quality..............................................................................27 2-2 Car attributes based on other rese arches and car companies websites.............................27 3-1 Brand loyalty results...................................................................................................... ....35 4-1 Factor Analysis on Utilitarianism......................................................................................42 4-2 Factor Analysis on Hedonisom..........................................................................................43 4-3 Factor Analysis on Self-Expression...................................................................................44 4-4 Multiple regression analysis to identif y which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience pred ict the consumers perception of the functional benefits of Toyot as rational attributes.............................................................44 4-5 Multiple regression analysis to identif y which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience pred ict the consumers perception of the functional benefits of Toyot as emotional attributes.........................................................45 4-6 Multiple regression analysis to identif y which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience predict the consumers perception of the hedonic benefits of Toyotas ra tional attributes..............................................................................45 4-7 Multiple regression analysis to identif y which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience predict the consumers perception of the hedonic benefits of Toyotas emotional attributes..........................................................................46 4-8 Multiple regression analysis to identif y which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience predict the consumers perception of the selfexpressive benefits of Toyotas ra tional and emotional attributes.....................................46 4-9 Multiple regression analysis to identif y which variables among all benefits of attributes predict Toyotas brand loyalty...........................................................................47 4-10 Multiple regression analysis to identif y which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience predict Toyotas brand loyalty...................................47

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 The basic picture of the study............................................................................................16 3-1 How brand knowledge, belief, and experien ce predict consumers perceptions of the benefits of product attributes: An application in th e auto industry....................................36

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9 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Advertising HOW BRAND KNOWLEDGE, BELIEF, AND EX PERIENCE PREDICT CONSUMERS PERCEPTIONS OF PRODUCT ATTRIBUTES BENEFITS: AN APPLICATION IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY By Hyoungdong Lee August 2007 Chair: Jorge Villegas Major: Advertising This study explores how consumers knowledge contributes to their percepti on of product benefits and how the perception of product benefits, in turn, builds brand loyalty. This study focuses on the relationship between consumer know ledge and benefits of product attributes. In particular, in this study, the car was used as th e product. In order to measure the consumers brand knowledge, this study explores consume rs overall brand knowledge level, brand experience, and brand belief. The knowledge le vel shows consumers overall present knowledge about the brand, the brand belief shows consumers expectation and credib ility about the brand, and the brand experience shows consumers fa miliarity and confiden ce about the brand. The attributes were divided as emoti onal and rational attributes by th e pre test, and those attributes were measured by utilitarian, hedonic, and self -expressive benefits as mentioned by Aaker (1991) in order to see how those at tributes are related to the cons umers. The data were analyzed using a multiple regression analyses. This study pr esumed that the functional, emotional, and self-expressive benefits of product attributes can show consumers subjec tive response about the brand and that the predictions between consumer knowledge and benefits of product attributes have implications in the marketing field. The fi ndings show that the brand belief was the best

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10 indicator in predicting the benefits of attributes because it predicts all benefits of attributes. The brand experience was also a good predictor for th e emotional utilitarian ism, rational hedonism, and emotional hedonism. However, the brand kn owledge only explains the rational-emotional self-expression. The findings showed that brand be lief and brand experience significantly predict brand loyalty, but in the contex t of brand loyalty, consumers knowledge level of brand is not significant.

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11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Importance of Brand Equity and Mass Production In several studies, brand awareness and image are considered the most important components of brand equity (Keller, 1993). Howeve r, only a few studies delved into how these components are correlated w ith products or services. Kathman (2002) described the importance of brand building based on todays market situation. The author said that as the use of ne w media (e.g., internet), th e rate of transformation in marketplace, and the speed of globalization increase, the role of branding becomes more important than any other season. Kathman added that market fragmentation, product diversity, and short-life-cycle brands also show the impor tance of building brand equity in the present market situation. The author concluded that br and building is the only way to thrive their business in todays market situation. The author also added that, in these days, we have many products and brands and the market is segmented so much that make it difficult for the audience to recognize or recall the brand. Through mass production, many consumers can own similar products in this world. Although they own the same product, consumers can have different perceptions, feelings, benefits, favorability, experiences, beliefs, fam iliarity, and so forth about the products. For instance, consumers still want and enjoy iPods even though there are many others who own the same iPods. The responses of the consumer s to owning similar products are diverse and dependent on the needs or wants of the person. Some people use iPods in their cars for pleasant driving and others use iPods on the mountain to enjoy classical music. In the US automobile industry, similar trends are easy to spot. General Motor sold 1,744 thousands of units (22.7%), Toyota sold 1,289 thousands of units (16.8%), Ford sold 1,039

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12 thousands of units (13.5%), Honda sold 838 thou sands of units (10.9%), and Daimler Chrysler sold 527 (6.9%) thousands of units in 2005. Market share differences between these companies are relatively small so it is ha rd to determine a dominating br and. In addition, there are many models, or brands, manufactured by the main br and. For instance, General Motors offers its consumers brands such as Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Cadillac, Saturn, and Saab. These models were designed to satisfy consumers diverse, needs, wants and tastes. However, the competitive nature of this industry has driven companies to offer models that do not have real competitive advantages over other brands. Importance of Consumer in Brand Equity Bliss and Wildrick (2005) said that there are three steps in brand building, identify a point-of-view, develop a pitch, and identif y your target platform (p. 2). According to Bliss and Wildrick, brand buildi ng seems to be based on the id entification and analysis of consumers; thus, analysis of consumers should be done on the first stage. The motivation for this study is from the movie, Being John Mal kovich (Directed by Spike Jonze, 1999). In the movie, another person can be the famous movie star, John Malkovich for 15 minutes if they pass the mysterious pass age. They can see John Malkovichs point of view, hear what John Malkovich is saying, and feel same as John Malkovich. If others can control John Malkovichs mind, they can speak a nd move with their intention instead of John Malkovichs intention and they can stay being John Malkovich for more than 15 minutes. From this point of view, controlling John Malkovi chs mind resembles brand equity based on consumers. Even though there are many similar pr oducts in the world, the response to the same product can vary depending on the owners or cons umers knowledge and other affecting factors. For example, when a consumer purchases a Porsche sports car, he can be involved in Porsche or Porsche can be involved in his life. When other people see the man in a Porsche car,

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13 they may perceive him as trendy and wealthy ba sed on the factors that affect responses, even though the car owner is actually not that kind of person. The car ow ner may also tend to behave as what the observers want. On the other hand, the same product, Porsche, can be perceived differently by the owners knowledge. If one lady received a Porsche car for her 20th birthday, the Porsche car can be perceived as a gift from he r father or the symbol of his fathers love for her. If a man lost his family by a car accident an d the car which his family drove was Porsche, he tends to perceive the Porsche as a dangerous and unsafe car. Another example is when considering the pr oduct category. When a consumer purchases a Honda SUV car, he can also be involved in Honda SUV car or Honda SUV can be involved in his life. His purchase intention or need will be different from the purchaser of Porsche and his feeling will be different from the purchaser of Porsche. Wh en other people see the man in the Honda SUV, they tend to perceive him as a ma n who loves outdoor activi ties and cares for his family. These examples show us that brand equi ty can affect the consumers and consumers can affect brand equity. Even this study does not explore the product category, but it should be useful study that study about product category. The key word is brand equity based on cons umers. A car has many attributes and these attributes can be perceived di fferently by consumers knowledge. The perceived attributes can contribute to building brand equ ity and their contributions can be differentiated by consumers knowledge. This study suggests better ways to inte ract with and attract consumers to the product brand with knowledge of delicate choice among representative car attributes and their contribution toward brand equity.

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14 Other Brand Equity Studies Aaker (1991) designed the brand equity mode l and suggested five categories of brand assets. These are brand royal, brand awareness, perceived quality, brand associations, and other proprietary brand assets. Brand awareness will be assessed on the first stage (consumers knowledge), the perceived quality and brand associations will be measured on the second stage as benefits of product attributes, and brand roya lty will be observed on the last stage (consumer brand loyalty). Aaker (1991) argue s that brand identity is th e most important concept for building brand equity than brand image or brand perception. The author defined brand identity as a unique set of brand associations that the brand strategist aspires to create or maintain. In other words, brand identity is the most important component of a brand He added that brand identity should help build a relationship between the bran d and consumer and this relationship should be based on functional, emotional, or self-expr essive benefits (Aaker, 1991). Unfortunately, building a strong brand identity is a very co mplex matter because it can be affected by consumers experiences, competitors, trends, soci al situations, and others (Aaker, 1991); thus, marketers need to focus on the static but change able factors by their effort. The static, but changeable factors by their effort is the product or the attributes of the product. The attributes of the product can be the basic and indispensable components for brand iden tity. By understanding the benefits of product attributes deeply, the be st way for attracting cons umers and finding best brand associations for the better brand identity will be predicted. At the same time, with limited and focused attributes, marketers can focus and deve lop on the selected attributes to their aspired goals, instead of considering a ll attributes to each goal. Keller (2003) described building consumer-based brand equity with clear categories. First, he categorized building consumer-based brand id entity with three stages: (1) brand-building tools and objectives, (2) consumer knowledge effects, and (3) bra nd benefits. In the first stage,

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15 brand-building tools and objectiv es include choosing brand elem ents (brand name, logo, symbol, character, package, and slogan); developing ma rketing programs (product, price, distribution channels, communications); and leveraging of secondary associ ations (company, country of origin, channel of distribution, ot her brands, endorser, event). In the second stage, consumer knowledge effects include brand awareness (d epth-recall, recognition, breath-purchase, consumption) and brand associati on (strong, favorable, unique). In the third stage, brand benefits include several possible outcomes like greater loyalty; less vulnerability to competitive marketing actions and crises; larger margins; mo re elastic response to price decreases; more inelastic response to price increases; greater trade cooperation and suppor t; increased marketing communication efficiency and effectiveness; possible licensing oppor tunities; and more favorable brand extension evaluations. A Product is a Prism in the Consumers Mind The product acts like the prism or a transparen t glass that separate s light that passes through it into the colors of the rainbow. The pr oduct attributes can be th e prism, the consumers knowledge can be the light, and their response can be the different colors of the rainbow. Figure 1-1 shows the relationships of consumers know ledge and benefits of product attributes.

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16 Figure 1-1. The basic picture of the study Consumers knowledge -knowledge level, brand belief, brand experience Product attributes -functional and emotional attributes Consumer benefits -functional, emotional, and self-expressive benefits

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17 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Product Attributes Brand association is composed of attributes benefits, and attitude s (Keller, 1998). Keller (1998) contends that attributes co mprise specific characteristics of the product or service. The attributes can be categorized as product-related attributes and non product-related attributes (Keller, 1998). In this study, produc t-related attributes are analy zed in order to determine the relationship between consumers knowledge and benefits of product attributes. Moreover, consumers responses about the benefits of produc t attributes can be inte rpreted as attitudes; thus, if this study identifies the implications of consumers response and benefits of product attributes, then the results will show the relatio nships between brand and consumers as well as between consumers knowledge and benefits of pr oduct attributes. The results will also display the specific characteristic of th e product. Chang (2006) stated th at many authors have studied the effect of product attributes. He revealed that pr oduct-related attributes can change consumers attitude (Cherenev and Carpente r, 2001; Chang, 2006) and consume rs behavior (Pritchard and Howard, 1997; Maxhan, 2001; Chang, 2006). Chang (2006) also mentioned other authors who have talked about non-product-rela ted attributes. He stated that non-product-related attributes can yield indirect attitude and brand loyalty (Wulf, OdekerkenShroder, and Lacobucci, 2001). This study focuses on the product itself towa rd the brand. The reason is based on the premise of this study that the product can be c onsidered as the real and important physical component of the brand and that the product inter acts with consumers. The product is composed of several attributes. Thus, all attributes of a pr oduct comprise the product its elf; the attributes of a product should be distinct to determine the mo re specific implications between consumers knowledge and benefits of attributes.

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18 Car Attributes Cars were selected as the product for this study. Cars have several attr ibutes to satisfy the consumers needs and wants. All the attributes of cars were made to build brand equity in order to attract consumers into the brand. When Keller (2003) discussed the perceived qua lity and value of pr oduct, he commented on the general dimensions of produc t quality listed in Table 2-1. From these criteria, this study could compar e general dimensions of product with other researches. Ito (1967) used severa l representative attributes for cars in a study about differential attitudes of new car buyers. These attributes include good looks comprehensive warranty, holds roads well, good reputation of manufacturer, inco rporates many new features, good car for every drives, trade-in value, appeal to the youth, and pickup and getaway. Itos (1967) study was a good attempt, but it needs to combine several attr ibutes and minimize their number as compared with other studies. Johansson, Douglas, and Nonaka (1985) used several repr esentative attributes for cars in their study about assess ing the impact of country of origin on product evaluations. The attributes used are price, handling, horsepower acceleration, gas mileage, safety, comfort, reliability, durability, styli ng, color selection, and workmanship. Yi (1990) used two representative attributes for car s in a study about cognitive and a ffective priming effects of the context for print advertisements. They are safe ty and fuel economy. Th ese two attributes look simple, but they are important at tributes when we talk about car s attributes. Green and DeSardo (1981) used several representativ e attributes for cars in th eir study about two models for representing unrestricted choice data. The at tributes are economical to maintain, high acceleration, high braking ability, good for city dr iving, easy-to-get parts, good gas mileage, high durability, beautiful lines, high resale value, comfortable on long trips, plush interior, high

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19 reliability, excellent cornering, sleek racy lines, conservati ve styling, well-engineered, good service facilities nearby, luxurious styling, not temper amental, and prestigious. From several studies and web sites of several car companies (http://www.automobiles.honda.com/, http://www.fordvehicles.com/, http://www.bmw.com/, http://www.toyota.com/, and so forth), this study could establish a new dimension of car attributes based on Kellers genera l dimensions of product quality. Fi rst, all attributes from other researches that used car attributes were extrac ted; those attributes made up the representative attributes of the car for this study, namely, ga s mileage, safety, sty ling, price, reputation, horsepower, acceleration, handling, braking, comfor t, color, durability, interior, and repair service. Second, some similar attributes were co mbined and some attributes in the subcategory were involved in the attributes in the upper category based on other researches definition of attributes. Thus, the new category of car attr ibutes based on Kellers (2006) categorization includes economy, safety, styling, performance, se rvice, comfort, and durability Table 2-2 shows the upper category and subcategory for car attrib utes. With these seven attributes, this study explores the relationship between consumers knowledge and benefits of car attributes. Brand Image In this study, brand image is not a measurab le construct, but in order to have some implication for the future studies, the basic c oncepts are summarized in this section. Keller (2003) described that brand image is related to strong, favorable, and unique associations to the brand in memory. Keller described that the stre ngth of brand association depends on how the marketing program and other factor affect consumers brand experi ence. He also added that the strongest attribute is direct e xperience of the brand and the se cond is word of mouth or other noncommercial sources. He also de scribed that when we need to consider the favorability and uniqueness of brand association, we need to analy ze consumer and competition carefully in order

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20 to determine the optimal positioning for the brand. Keller (2003) also described that the favorability of brand association depends on how the marketing programs support the product or how the product satisfies consumers needs a nd wants. Keller (2003) also stated that the uniqueness of brand association de pends on how brand associations may or may not be shared with other compelling brands (p. 73). Keller (2 003) added that the uniqueness of brand comes from sustainable competitive advantage or unique selling proposition (p. 73). Keller (2003) suggested examples for strength, favorability, an d uniqueness such as .What are the strongest associations you have to the brand? What comes to mind when you think of the brand? (Strength) 2. What is good about the brand? What do you like about the brand? What is bad about the brand? What do you dislike about the br and? (Favorability) 3. What is unique about the brand? What characteristics or features does th e brand share with othe r brands? (Uniqueness) (p. 459). Theoretical Framework for the Study Keller (2003) summarized that even though many researchers (Bettman, 1979; Johnson and Russo, 1984; Mitchell, 1982; Olson, 1978) focuse d on tangible, product-related information with regard to brands, researchers should focu s on the intangible aspects of brand knowledge, not the physical product itself. However, from the basic motivation of this study, the product should create intangible brand knowle dge and brand loyalty, because this study presumes that the product still represents the most important connection be tween consumers and brands. The functional, emotional, and self-expressive be nefits of product attrib utes will illustrate consumers subjective brand knowledge, and in tu rn, this subjective brand knowledge can foster brand equity. This indicates that a product needs to address cons umers needs and wants and to interact with consumers as a living entity.

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21 Aaker (1991) created a brand equity model and suggested five categor ies of brand assets, including brand loyalty, brand awareness, perc eived quality, brand a ssociations, and other proprietary brand assets. To satisfy Aakers five categories, brand awareness will be measured on the first stage as consumers knowledge; perceived quality and brand associations will be observed on the second stage as functional, emoti onal, and self-expressive benefits of product attributes; and brand royalty will be studied on the last stage as consumer brand loyalty. Instead of using Aakers traditional de finition of brand awareness and perceived quality, applied and modified definitions and scales from other studies will be used. Consumer Brand Knowledge Keller (1993) commented that brand equity is built by brand awareness and brand image and these two are related to consumer-based br and equity. Keller descri bed that the consumerbased brand equity model is derived from the consumers perspective. In other words, all consumers feelings, beliefs, pe rceptions, opinions, and all othe r thoughts of the consumers can be the crucial component of the brand. Keller (200 3) described that brand awareness consists of brand recognition and brand recall and he defined brand recognition as the consumers ability to confirm prior exposure of the brand when they s ee the brand. He also defined brand recall as consumers ability to remember the brand when they think of the pr oduct category (Keller, 2003). Keller (1993) asserted that brand knowledge consists of brand awareness and brand image. This shows that brand knowledge builds br and equity directly, because brand knowledge consists of brand awareness and brand image; br and awareness builds brand equity from Kellers definitions. He added that recall and recognition constitute brand awareness while brand image is derived from the set of associat ions linked to the brand that c onsumers hold in memory (p. 2). In short, from Kellers definition, brand knowledge is composed of brand awareness and brand image, and brand awareness is composed of recall and recognition.

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22 Bagozzi and Silk (2001) defined recall as th e mental reproduction of some target item experienced or learned earlie r, while recognition as the aw areness of having previously experienced that stimuli (p. 95). This defini tion shows that both re call and recognition are highly related with experience. Kohli and Leuthesser (2001) asserted that if brand awareness a nd brand image do not contribute to brand loyalty, all pr ocesses in building brand equity are useless. In addition, they commented that brand loyalty can be built on positive experience; thus, when we discuss brand equity or loyalty, experience can be said as an in dispensable variable. From these assertions, this research selects experience as an interesting variable for st udying consumers response about product attributes; instead of using Aakers (1991) and Kellers (1993) traditional brand awareness, this study uses experien ce as an alternative variable. Many researchers reported that positive brand image yields positive intention about price premium and higher brand equity (Lassar, Mittal, and Sharma 1995; Faircloth, Capella, and Alford, 2001; Bagozzi and Silk, 2001). In addition, La uer (1995) asserted that brand identity or image can communicate a certain distinctiveness that will have a positive effect on peoples perception of the (nonprofit) organization (p. 51 ). From this definition, brand image can be interpreted as belief or expect ation on the brand or organizati on that consumers have in their mind. From this discussion, this study selects b elief as an interesti ng variable for studying consumers response about product attributes; instead of using Aake rs (1991) and Kellers (1993) traditional brand image, this study uses belief as an alternative variable. Many authors also supported the current idea. They insisted that consumer knowledge has been generally conceptualized as consumer beliefs and familiarity with products and brands (Alba and Hutchinson, 1987; Sujan, 1985; Ruth, 2001, p. 100). Consumers direct or indirect

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23 experiences with a brand are rela ted to their brand familiarity (Alba and Hutchinson, 1987; Kent and Allen, 1994; Keller, 2003); thus, experience can substitute familiarity in Alba and Hutchinson, Sujan, and Ruths comments. When studying brand knowledge, belief and experience can be important and interesting variables. Keller (2003) proposed the multiple dimens ions of brand knowledge awareness, attributes, benefits, images, thoughts, feelings, a nd experiences. He added that all these factors influence consumers memory and, in turn, affect their responses to marketing activities. He also indicated that brand knowledge is the fundamental and essential f actor of brand equity. This study divides Kellers dimensions of brand knowle dge according to the concept of time. These dimensions can be divided into two periods, preceding and follo wing consumers introduction to the product. Thus, prior to consumers first en counters with products, they have preconceived awareness, belief (image), and experiences (awareness); either during or following the introduction to the product, consumers develop pe rsonal responses, including attributes, benefits, thoughts, and feelings. Although the model used in this study does not perfectly match Kellers dimensions, this model covers all the dimensions used by Keller. Based on Kellers and other authors definitions of these dimensions regarding time (i.e., before meeting the product), knowledge level, beli ef, and experience are used as pre-experience variables in this study. Keller ( 1993) asserted that high level of brand knowledge increase the rate of brand choice in the car market. In this study, awareness is meaningless, because most people already know the majority of car brands a nd there are fewer for this industry than there are for other products; thus, instead of measur ing brand awareness, knowledge level will be assessed. Regarding the time which is after m eeting or upon meeting the product, this study explores functional, emotional, and self-expre ssive benefits of product attributes. This study

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24 assesses and measures the thre e components of consumers br and knowledge: knowledge level, experience, and belief. Peter and Olson (2001) stated that consumer brand knowledge is drawn from consumers memory, thus, it is based on consumers eval uative consumer brand knowledge (Keller, 2003). Fournier (1998) insisted that humans could e xpress their own personal ity and image through the brand. This study explores how consumer br and knowledge works and how our consumers express their own personality and image through th e brand, especially on the benefits of product attributes. Functional, Emotional, and Self-Expressi ve Benefits of Product Attributes Aaker (1991) stated that brand identity should help build a relationship between the brand and the consumer and that this relationship should be based on f unctional, emotional, or selfexpressive benefits. Based on consumer-based bra nd equity, brand identity can be identified as the consumers perceived knowledge, thoughts, and feelings (Keller, 1996). To study the relationship between consumer and brand, this study uses the scales of functional, emotional, or self-expressive benefits in observing cons umers responses about product attributes. The functional benefit of the product attribute ca n be substituted with the utilitarian benefit of the product attribute while th e emotional benefit of the product attribute can be substituted with the emotional benefit of th e product attribute based on other researchers definitions below. Furthermore, the self-expressive benefit can remain unchanged or be substituted with social identification. Voss, Spangenberg, and Grohmann (2003) indicated that the hedonic dimension comes from the sensations derived from the e xperience of using a produc t and the utilitarian dimension is related to the functions performed by products ( p. 310). Most consumer benefits are initially derived from the u tilitarian (extrinsic) and hedonic (intrinsic) benefits (Furse and Stewart, 1986; Holbrook, 1994; Chandon, Wansi nk, and Laurent, 2000). Utilitarian benefits

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25 provide consumers with cognitive, functional, and instrumental values, whereas hedonic benefits provide affective, experiential, and noninstrumental values (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982, p.100; Chandon, Wansink, and Laurent, 2000). U tilitarian benefits offer consumer value by being a means to an end, and hedonic benefits are recognized for t heir own sake, without further regard to their practical purpos e (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982, p.100; Chandon, Wansink, and Laurent, 2000). Sloot, Verhoef, a nd Franses (2005) asserted that some products like shampoo offer both utilita rian and hedonic benefits. Shampoo can potentially offer simultaneous utilitarian (clean hair) and hedonic (n ice smell) benefits. This study also considers that cars can offer both utilita rian and hedonic benefits. In this study, the emotional attributes refe r to styling, comfort in the car. The styling explains the color, interior, and lamps. The comf ort explains seats, stee ring, and other convenient equipments. The rational attributes refers to th e economy, safety, durability, serviceability of the car. The economy refers to gas mileage and pric e of the car. The safety includes air back, ABS brakes, seat belts, and warning system. The durabili ty refers to durability of car body and parts. The serviceability includes immediate repair and tec hnology level of company. Such categorization was derived from the pretest. Social identification helps peopl e to be recognized as a memb er of the society he or she occupies (Bhattacharya et al., 1995; Hogg and Abrams, 1998; Lau, 1989; Mael and Ashforth, 1992; Kim, Han, and Park, 2001). When talking a bout the self, Aaker (1999) indicated that people want to act differently, ar e affected by many social affairs, and sometimes need to have self-presentation. Personality traits are usually po sitive, such as pride or pleasure, rather than negative (Swann, De La Ronde, and Hixon, 1994; Aaker, 1999), creating self-esteem and

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26 potentially aiding in the formation of self-pre sentation (Greenwald a nd Breckler, 1985; Aaker, 1999). Brand Loyalty Brand loyalty is derived from consumers ev aluations of a brand or service while brand equity influences consumers to repeatedly purc hase the same product that satisfied consumers needs better than others (Hoyer and MacInnis, 2000). With regard to measuring the final stage of brand equity, Kohli and Leuthesser (2001) selected two important factors, brand loyalty and price premium. Barwise (1993) stated that brand loyalty and attitude toward the brand is the final stage of br and equity. In this case, this study selected brand loyalty as the common fact or on the final stage of brand equity. Thus, research questions are presented. Research Questions This study is exploratory in na ture, thus, exact results cannot be expected. However, this study still establishes its overall expectations. The brand beli ef, brand knowledge level, and brand experience could show th e relationships among the functi onal, emotional, and selfexpressive benefits of product attributes. Brand knowledge is a structure in memory consisting of belief and an attitude, which are associated with differing degrees of strength (Keller, 1993; Broniarczyk and Alba, 1994; Sheinin, 2000 p. 48) ; thus, the interesti ng components knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience should make different associat ions with consumers perception of benefit product attributes. Based on the literature review and model of this study, research questions have been developed: Q1: How does consumers knowledge of a brand (knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience) predicts their perception of the benefits of product attributes?

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27 Q2: How do the perceived benefits of product attributes predict brand loyalty? Q3: How does the consumers knowledge of the brand predict brand loyalty? Table 2-1.General dimensions of product quality Performance Levels at which the primar y characteristics of the product operate (e.g., low, medium, high, or very high) Features Secondary elements of a product that complement the primary characteristics Conformance Quality Degree to which the product meets specifications and has no defects Reliability Consistency of performance over time Durability Expected ec onomic life of the product Serviceability Ease of service of the product Style and Design Appearance or feel of quality Keller, Kevin Lane (2003), Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Table 2-2. Car attributes based on other re searches and car companies websites Performance Horsepower, acceleration, handling, braking Economy (Feature) Gas mileage, price Comfort (Conformance Quality) Comfort Safety (Reliability) Safety, reputation Durability Durability Serviceability Repair service and other services Style and Design Color, interior, styling

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28 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Explanation of the Study A survey was developed to determine the relationships between consumer knowledge (knowledge level, brand belief, a nd brand experience) and the cons umers perception of benefits of product attributes, between the consumers knowledge and brand loyalty, and between the consumers perception of benefits of the pr oduct attributes and bra nd loyalty. Multiple regression analysis was used for data analys is. In order to see how consumers knowledge predicts benefits of product attributes, the surv ey was made for the respondents. The questions raised by this research were answered via a survey since this study needs to gather the data about current aspect of consumers brand knowledge and their subjective perception of product attributes. Pretest As mentioned in the literature review, a brand of the auto i ndustry were chosen for this study because such product could have both utilitarian (functional) benefit and hedonic (emotional) benefit that are needed to examin e the relationship between consumer and brand using Aakers (1991) definition. Additionally, cars ha ve self-expressive benefit which is the third component needed to examine the relationship be tween consumer and brand. Each car attribute was measured using a one-item si x-point scale for the seven repres entative product attributes: (1) very emotional, (2) emotional, (3) a little emotional, (4) a little rational, (5) rational, and (6) very emotional. The brand name that has the highest score in brand loyalty among the re presentative cars in the U.S. was selected as the representative car brand in the U.S., because this study does not focus on comparison between brands. Moreover, si x attributes were labeled as emotional or

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29 rational attributes from the seve n representative attributes of cars. The seven attributes are economy, safety, styling, performance, comfor t, durability, and service. Although this study cannot use the original seven representative at tributes of cars, the emotional and rational dimensions help determine the implications of the relationship between consumers knowledge and emotional and rational attributes. Different consumers demonstrate various degrees of knowledge, thus, choosing the brand with the highes t score in brand loyalty will yield productive implications even though this study choos es only one brand in the car market. According to Standard and Poors data (2007), th ere are four major auto brands in the U.S. market. General Motors, Toyota Motor, Ford Moto r, and Honda Motor have high market share in the U.S.. Brand loyalty was measured using a fiveitem seven-point Likert scale developed by Lichtenstein, Netemeyer, and Burton (1990): I generally buy the same brands I have always bought., Once I have chosen which brand to purchase, I am likely to continue buying it without considering other brands., Once I get us ed to a brand, I hate to switch., If I like a brand, I rarely switch from it just to try some thing different., and E ven though certain products are available in a number of different bra nds, I always tend to buy the same brand. These five items were rated on a seven-point scale with possible responses ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagr ee. All Cronbachs alphas were above 0.70; thus, all brands satisfy the criterion of psychom etrics (Nunnally, 1978). Toyota ha d the highest sum and mean than other brands, so Toyota was se lected for this study (Table 3-1). Another objective of this pretest was to determine the subjects categorization of attributes as emotional or rational. The styli ng and comfort were above the median, 3, and the economy, safety, durability, serviceability were below the median, 3 and performance was on the

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30 median. From the pretest, styli ng and comfort were categorized as the emotional attributes, while economy, safety, durability, and serviceability were categorized as the rati onal attributes based on the score of one-item six-point Likert scale between very emotional and very rational for each brand. In addition, the performance among th e seven representative attributes of the product (Keller, 2006) was not considered in th e study because it did not correspond to the mean and standard deviation of the pret est, so the performance was delete d from the attributes in this study (Table 3-2). Measurements Knowledge Level Knowledge level was measured using a four-i tem seven-point Likert scale developed by Lichtenstein, Netemeyer, and Burton (1990). Co mposed of responses ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree or not knowledgeable to very knowledgeable (for the fourth item only), the statements used to measure knowledge le vel are as follows: I have a lot of knowledge about how to select the best br and within a product class., I have a clear idea about which product characteristics are important and would provide me w ith maximum usage satisfaction., I do not have a clear idea about which product ch aracteristics are really important ones that would provide me with maximum us age satisfaction (Reverse)., a nd Please rate your level of knowledge about the products you buy. In Lichtenstein, Netemeyer, and Burtons (1990) study, coefficient alpha was 0.77 for the scale, and indicated no test of validity. Brand Experience Brand experience was measured using a five-i tem seven-point Likert scale developed by Murray (1985) and Schlacter (1990), with possi ble responses ranging fr om strongly agree to strongly disagree: I have a great deal of expe rience in buying a product like a______., I have

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31 used or been exposed to this type of product in the past., I am familiar with many brands of this product or service., I fr equently shop for this type or similar types of goods and services, and I am very confident in buying a ______. In the statements listed above, Toyota should be placed in the blanks. In Murray (1985) and Schlacters (1990) study, coeffi cient alpha was 0.82 for the scale but the validity of this scale was not discussed in their study. Brand Belief (Credibility) Brand belief was measured using a six-item seven-point Likert scale developed by Keller and Aaker (1992). Potential respon ses range from overall low-quali ty products to overall highquality products, from poor at manufacturing to very good at manuf acturing, from overall inferior products to overall supe rior products, from not at all tr ustworthy to very trustworthy, from not at all dependable to very dependable, an d from not at all concerned about consumers to very concerned about consumers. In Keller and Aakers (1992) study, the reliability of their multi-item scales exceeded 0.70. While Keller and Aaker (1992) did not report any specific examination of the scales validity, they re ported that the correlati on of scores on their trustworthiness and expertise scal es was 0.82, leading them to consider these items as a measure of company credibility. However, more advanced testing is needed to determine if the scale is truly one-dimensional. Functional Benefit (Utilitarian) and Emotional Benefit (Hedonic) Both the functional benefit (u tilitarian) and emotional benefit (hedonic) were measured using four-item seven-point Like rt scale developed by Batra and Ahtola (1991). The utilitarian items included responses ranging from useful to useless, from valuable to worthless, from beneficial to harmful, and from wise to foo lish. For the hedonic items, the responses included pleasant-unpleasant, nice-awful, agreeable-di sagreeable, and happy-sad. In Batra and

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32 Ahtolas (1991) study, coefficient alpha consiste ntly exceeded 0.75 for the utilitarian dimension for 14 of the 18 productor brand-related beha viors, and 0.80 for the hedonic dimension for 15 of the 18 behaviors. Average variance exceed ed 0.52 for both benefit components in all 18 productor brand-re lated behaviors. Self-Expressive Benefit Self-expression was measured using the IPCA (17 items seven-point Likert scale) developed by Bloch (1981). It is composed of three items rated on a seven-point scale with possible responses ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagr ee. The following statements are used for this measure: It is worth the extra cost to drive an attract ive and attention-getting car., I prefer to drive a car with a strong pers onality of its own., and It is natural that young people become interested in cars. In Blochs (1981) study, for the first student sample (n=381), coefficient alpha was 0.83, and for the second student sample (n=57), al pha was 0.79. Test-retest reliability was also assessed for the second student sample following a two-week interval. Test -retest reliability was 0.78. Brand Loyalty Brand loyalty was measured using a fiveitem seven-point Likert scale developed by Lichtenstein, Netemeyer, and Burton (1990) with possible responses rang ing from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The statements used for this measure are as follo ws: I generally buy the same brands I have always bought., Once I have chosen which brand to purchase, I am likely to continue buying it without consid ering other brands., Once I ge t used to a brand, I hate to switch., If I like a brand, I rarely switch from it just to try somethi ng different., and Even though certain products are available in a number of different brands, I always tend to buy the same brand.

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33 In the Lichtenstein, Netemeyer, and Burton s (1990) study, the coefficient alpha was 0.88 for the scale, but the validity of th e scale was not discussed in the study. Based on other authors scales this study was conducted usin g a three-item seven-point Likert summation scale of knowle dge level; the statements include I have a lot of knowledge about how to select the best br and within a product class., I have a clear idea about which product characteristics are rea lly important ones in providing me with maximum usage satisfaction., and Please rate your level of knowledge of the products you buy between not knowledgeable and very knowledgeable. The six-item seven-point Likert measures of brand belief asked to respondents are as follows: Please rate your cr edence about Toyota between over all low-quality products and overall high-quality products. Please rate your credence ab out Toyota between not at all good at manufacturing and very good at manufacturing. Please rate your credence about Toyota between overall inferior products and overall superior products. Please rate your credence about Toyota between not at all trustworthy and very trustwort hy., Please rate your credence about Toyota between not at all dependable and very dependable., and Please rate your credence about Toyota between not at all concer ned about consumers and very concerned about consumers. The five-item seven-point Likert scores of brand experience asked to respondents are I have a great deal of experience in buying a product like Toyota., I have used or been exposed to this type of product in the past., I am familiar with many products or services., I frequently want to shop for this type or simila r types of goods and services., and I am very confident in buying Toyota.

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34 The four-item seven-point Likert scale of functional (utilitarian) benefits asked for respondents are Please rate your utilitarian benefits about Toyota between useless and useful., Please rate your utilitarian bene fits about Toyota between worthle ss and valuable., Please rate your utilitarian benefits about Toyota between harmful and benefi cial., and Please rate your utilitarian benefits about Toyot a between foolish and wise. The four-item seven-point Likert measures of emotional (hedonic) benefits asked for respondents are Please rate your emotional (hedonic) benefits about Toyota between unpleasant and pleasant., Please rate your emotional (hedon ic) benefits about Toyota between awful and nice., Please rate your emotiona l (hedonic) benefits about Toyota between disagreeable and agreeable., Please rate your emotional (hedonic) benefits about Toyota between sad and happy. The three-item seven-point Likert scores of se lf-expressive benefits asked for respondents are It is worth the extra cost to drive an attractive and attention getting car., I prefer to drive a car with strong personality of its own., and It is natural that young people become interested in car. All of those functional, emoti onal, and self-expressive benef its were used as measurement constructs for both emotional and rational attributes of Toyota. As Figure 3-1 illustrates consumer knowledge, there are brand knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience. On the construct of b enefits of car attributes there are functional, emotional, and self-expressive benefits. In the same scale of functional, emotional, and selfexpressive benefits, there are emotional and rationa l attributes for each benefit. In each benefit, the emotional and rational attributes will be analyzed in order to see that they are factorized as

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35 emotional and rational in the same scales, functi onal, emotional, and se lf-expressive benefits. Then, brand loyalty comes on the final stage. Table 3-1. Brand loyalty results Loyalty Sum Mean Std. deviation Variance General Motors 67.40 2.59 1.29 1.67 Toyota 96.80 3.72 1.64 2.68 Ford 62.40 2.40 .94 .88 Honda 88.60 3.32 1.62 2.62 N=26, all Cronbachs alpha were over .70. Table 3-2. Categorization of product attr ibutes in emotional and rational. Attributes Sum Mean Std. Deviation Variance Economy 53.00 2.04 1.22 1.48 Safety 61.00 2.35 1.52 2.32 Styling 133.00 5.12 1.03 1.07 Performance 81.00 3.12 1.24 1.55 Comfort 98.00 3.77 1.42 2.03 Durability 54.00 2.08 1.29 1.67 Serviceability 53.0 0 2.04 1.31 1.72 N=26

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36 Model of Study Figure 3-1. How brand knowledge, belief, and experi ence predict consumers perceptions of the benefits of product attributes: An application in th e auto industry Knowledge level belief experience relate d Brand loyalty relate d Consumers knowledge Brand loyalty Functional benefit Emotional benefit Selfexpressive benefit Emotional attributes Emotional attributes Emotional attributes Rational attributes Rational attributes Rational attributes Benefits of cars

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37 CHAPTER 4 DATA ANALYSIS Preliminary Analyses The method employed in the data analysis of this study was multiple regression. There are three components that constitute the constr uct of consumer knowledge knowledge level, belief, and experience. In this study multiple re gression analysis was used to determine the relationships between consumers knowledge (k nowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience) and consumers percep tion of the benefits of product attributes, between consumers perception of the benefits of product attributes and brand loyalty, and between consumer knowledge and brand loyalty. All data were collected from undergraduate students in the College of Journalism and Communication at University of Florida. Th e total number of the sample was 141. Among the respondents, 99 respondents were female (70 %), 40 respondents were male (28%), and 2 respondents (1%) did not responded about gende r. Among the respondents, 132 respondents (94%) were U.S. Citizen, 7 respondents (5%) we re U.S. resident, and 2 respondents (1%) were international students. Among the respondent s, 65 respondents (46%) owned sedan, 25 respondents (18%) owned SUV, 20 respondents (14%) owned sports car, 11 respondents (8%) owned other type of car, 9 res pondents (6%) owned truck, 9 res pondents (6%) did not own a car, and 2 respondents did not answer about the type of car that they have. Among the respondents, 21 respondents (15%) owned General Motors, 28 respondents (20%) owned other brands, 24 respondents (17%) owned Honda, 14 respondent s (10%) owned Volkswagen, 12 respondents (9%) owned Ford, 10 respondents (7%) owned Nissan, 8 respondents (6%) owned Daimler Chrysler, 4 respondents (3%) owned Hyundai, 4 respondents (3%) owned Mazda, 3 respondents

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38 (2%) owned BMW, 1 respondents (1%) owned Me rcedes, 1 respondents (1%) owned Subaru, 1 respondents (1%) owned Mitsubishi, and 10 re spondents did not answer this question. Factor analysis was performed in all the c onstructs under the functi onal, emotional, and self-expressive benefits of rational and emotiona l attributes to confirm that each construct has both rational and emotional attribut e components in it. Prior to a factor analysis interpretation on the four observed variables of uti litarian benefits of emotional attr ibutes and those of utilitarian benefits of rational attrib utes, several statistical assumptions of the factor analysis were checked. The sampling adequacy test for a sufficient amou nt of sample size, the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure of sampling adequacy, was used and satisfied for the functional benefit construct (KMO = 0.88). The multicollinearity among the eight vari ables of utilitarian benefit were checked via Bartletts test of sphericity and was satisfied as well (Bartletts test statistics p = .00). The table 4-1 shows that utilitarian benefits were divided by two, em otional utilitarianism and rational utilitarianism. This means that the respondents perc eive utilitarian benefit differently followed by the emotional and rational attributes. For the emotional construct (hedonic), the KMO was 0.86 and the Bartletts p-value was .00. The total functional and hedonic variances of the rational and emotiona l attributes were all 77% based on the eigenvalue over one criterion. Table 4-2 shows that hedonic benefits we re divided by two dimensions, emotional hedonism and rational hedonism. This means that the respondents perceive hedonic benefit differently followed by the emotional and rational attributes. In the self-expressive benef it, however, the rational and emotional attributes were converged into one construct of rati onal-emotional self-e xpressive benefit.

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39 The table 4-3 shows that self-expressive bene fits were not divided in two factors, as previous constructs. This means that the respond ents do not have differe nt perception of selfexpressive benefit based on the em otional and rational attributes. Before starting multiple regression analysis, which was preceded by factor analysis, Cronbachs alphas were calculated for all Likert summation scale constructs in the knowledge level, brand belief, brand expe rience, rational-function benefit, emotional-function benefit, rational-hedonic benefit, emotional-hedonic benef it, rational-emotional self-expressive benefits, and consumer brand loyalty ; the internal c onsistencies were 0.76, 0.92, 0.85, 0.90, 0.89, 0.89, 0.90, 0.83, and 0.86, respectively, and were satisfied on a criterion of psychometrics (Nunnally, 1978). Analysis of Research Questions. Based on the literature review and model of this study, research questions have been developed: Q1: How does consumers knowledge of a br and (knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience) predicts their perception of the benefits of product attributes? Q2: How do the perceived benefits of product attributes predict brand loyalty? Q3: How does the consumers knowledge of the brand predict brand loyalty? On the first stage, multiple regression an alyses were performed to determine the relationships between independent variables of knowledge level, belief, and experience and the dependent variables of emotional and rational attri butes factorized by functional, emotional, selfexpressive benefits. The emotional and rational attr ibutes were analyzed us ing factor analysis in order to determine if they are factorized as emotional and rational in the same scales of functional, emotional, and self-expressive benefits.

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40 Tables 4-4 to 4-8 illustrate the results of multiple regression analyses from knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience to each attitude function benefit with the results of its nonstandardized coefficients (B), standardized co efficients (), t-statistic, multiple correlation coefficients (R), and the coefficient of determin ation (R). These results give the answer about the research question 1; How does consumers knowledge of a brand (knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience) predicts their perc eption of the benefits of product attributes? For the functional benefits of rational attr ibutes, brand belief is the only significant indicator variable (t = 5.99, df = 125, p = .00) and explains 43% of variance in the dependent variable (R2=0.43) (Table 4-4). For the functional benefits of emotional attr ibutes brand belief (t = 4.35, df = 125, p = .00) and brand experience (t = 2.23, df = 125, p = 0.03) are significant independent variables that have the determinant coefficients of 0.38 (R2=0.38; F = 2.17, df1numerator = 3, df2denominator = 126, p < 0.05) (Table 4-5). For the hedonic benefits of rational attribut es, brand belief (t = 5.98, df = 125, p = .00) and brand experience (t = 2.41, df = 125, p = 0.02) are si gnificant independent vari ables that have the squared multiple correlations of 0.46 (R2 =0.46; F = 35.21, df1 = 3, df2 = 126, p < 0.05) (Table 4-6). For the hedonic benefits of emotional attri butes, brand belief (t = 5.36, df = 125, p = .00) and brand experience (t = 2.38, df = 125, p = 0.02) ar e also significant indepe ndent variables that have only left unexplained variance of 60% on the dependent variable (R2=0.40; F = 27.87, df1 = 3, df2 = 125, p < 0.05) (Table 4-7). For the self-expressive benefits of rationa l and emotional attributes, there are two significant independent variables, knowledge level (t = 2.96, df = 125, p = .00) and brand belief

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41 (t = 4.22, df = 125, p = .00) for this anew one-f actor-construct. The proportion of explained variance is 39% (R2=0.39; F = 2.17, df1 = 3, df2 = 120, p < 0.05) (Table 4-8). Table 4-9 gives the answer about the research question 2; How do the perceived benefits of product attributes predict brand loyalty? For brand loyalty, all constructs in benefits of attributes (rational-function benefit, emotional-function benefit, rational-hedonic be nefit, emotional-hedon ic benefit, rationalemotional self-expressive benefits), are not significant indicator va riable at .05 level. Table 4-10 gives the answer about resear ch question 2: How does the consumers knowledge of the brand predict brand loyalty? After the multiple regression analysis of benef its of attributes and brand loyalty, this study performed another multiple regression analys is between consumer knowledge and consumer brand loyalty without consider ing the benefits of product attributes (Table 4-10). The respondents were asked to answer the fi ve-item seven-point Like rt summation scale of consumer brand loyalty. For consumer brand loyalty, ther e are two significant independent variables, brand belief (t = -2.29, df = 125, p = 0.02) and brand experience (t = 2.38, df = 125, p = .02). The proportion of explained variance is 6% (R2=.06; F = 2.52, df1 = 3, df2 = 125, p < .05).

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42 Table 4-1. Factor Analysis on Utilitarianism Variables Communalities Factor1 Factor2 UR-Useful .78 .86* .21 UR-Valuable .84 .87 .28 UR-Beneficial .81 .86 .25 UR-Wise .69 .75 .35 UE-Useful .83 .21 .89 UE-Valuable .79 .24 .86 UE-Beneficial .82 .34 .84 UE-Wise .58 .26 .72 Eigen Value 8 3.10 3.04 Total Variance Explained 100.00% 38.73% 38.02% Taxonomy Rational Utilitarianism Emotional Utilitarianism Cronbachs Alpha .90 .89 *Rotated factor loading scores preceded by varimax rotation with kaiser normalization ** Underlined scores in the same co lumn were analyzed as a factor. UE refers utilitarian benefits of emotional attributes UR refers utilitarian benefits of rational attributes

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43 Table 4-2. Factor Analysis on Hedonisom Variables Communalities Factor1 Factor2 HR-Pleasant .78 .84* .26 HR-Nice .81 .86 .28 HR-Agreeable .76 .84 .21 HR-Happy .72 .77 .35 HE-Pleasant .84 .24 .88 HE-Nice .80 .24 .86 HE-Agreeable .83 .27 .87 HE-Happy .68 .46 .68 Eigen Value 8 3.15 3.06 Total Variance Explained 100.00% 39.41% 38.30% Taxonomy Rational Hedonism Emotional Hedonism Cronbachs Alpha .89 .90 *Rotated factor loading scores preceded by varimax rotation with kaiser normalization ** Underlined scores in the same co lumn were analyzed as a factor. HE refers hedonic benefits of emotional attributes HR refers hedonic benefits of rational attributes

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44 Table 4-3. Factor Analysis on Self-Expression Variables Communalities Factor SR-Attractive and attain getting .70 .84* SR-Strong personality .58 .76 SR-young car .46 .68 SEAttractive and attain getting .59 .77 SEStrong personality .57 .76 SEyoung car .35 .59 Eigen Value 6 3.25 Total Variance Explained 100.00% 54.15% Taxonomy Rational-Emotional SelfExpression Cronbachs Alpha .83 *Unrotated component scores preceded by Prin cipal Component Analys is because of one Principal component eigen value over one. SE refers self-expressive benefits of emotional attributes SR refers self-expressive bene fits of rational attributes Table 4-4. Multiple regression analysis to id entify which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience pred ict the consumers perception of the functional benefits of Toyot as rational attributes Consumer knowledge B t Sig. (Constant) 1.03 7.76* 0.00 Knowledge level -0.01 -0.02 -0.21 0.83 Brand belief 0.53 0.56 5.99* 0.00 Brand experience 0.10 0.14 1.55 0.12 R=0.65, R 2 =0.43, F(3,125)=30.96, N=141, *P 0.05

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45 Table 4-5. Multiple regression analysis to id entify which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience pred ict the consumers perception of the functional benefits of Toyot as emotional attributes Consumer knowledge B t Sig. (Constant) 0.69 4.87 0.00 Knowledge level 0.04 0.05 0.54 0.59 Brand belief 0.41 0.43 4.35* 0.00 Brand experience 0.15 0.21 2.23* 0.03 R=0.62, R 2 =0.38, F(3,126)=2.17, N=141, *P 0.05 Table 4-6. Multiple regression analysis to id entify which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience predict the consumers perception of the hedonic benefits of Toyotas rational attributes. Consumer knowledge B t Sig. (Constant) 0.80 5.94* 0.00 Knowledge level -0.04 -0.05 -0.58 0.57 Brand belief 0.54 0.55 5.98* 0.00 Brand experience 0.15 0.22 2.41* 0.02 R=0.67, R 2 =0.46, F(3,125)=35.21, N=141, *P 0.05

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46 Table 4-7. Multiple regression analysis to id entify which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience predict the consumers perception of the hedonic benefits of Toyotas em otional attributes. Consumer knowledge B t Sig. (Constant) 0.67 4.57* 0.00 Knowledge level -0.07 -0.10 -1.08 0.28 Brand belief 0.51 0.52 5.36* 0.00 Brand experience 0.16 0.23 2.38* 0.02 R=0.63, R 2 =0.40, F(3,125)=27.87, N=141, *P 0.05 Table 4-8. Multiple regression analysis to id entify which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience predict the consumers perception of the selfexpressive benefits of Toyotas ra tional and emotional attributes. Consumer knowledge B T Sig. (Constant) 0.41 3.05* 0.00 Knowledge level 0.18 0.27 2.96* 0.00 Brand belief 0.38 0.43 4.22* 0.00 Brand experience -0.01 -0.01 -0.12 0.91 R=0.63, R 2 =0.39, F(3,120)=2.17, N=141, *P 0.05

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47 Table 4-9. Multiple regression analysis to iden tify which variables among all benefits of attributes predict T oyotas brand loyalty. Consumer knowledge B T Sig. (Constant) .18 6.62 .51 Utilitarian_rational -.03 -.02 -.12 .91 Utilitarian_emotional .10 .07 .41 .69 Hedonic_rational .16 .12 .76 .45 Hedonic_emotional -.05 -.04 -.22 .83 Selfexpressive_rational & emotional -.15 -.10 -.83 .41 R=.12, R 2 =.01, F(5,110)=.32, N=141, *P 0.05 Table 4-10. Multiple regression analysis to id entify which variables among knowledge level, brand belief, and brand experience predict Toyotas brand loyalty. Consumer knowledge B t Sig. (Constant) .80 .33 .00 Knowledge level -.01 -.01 -.06 .95 Brand belief -.37 -.281 -2.29* .02 Brand experience .27 .283 2.38* .02 R=.24, R 2 =.06, F(3,125)=2.52, N=141, *P .05

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48 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The results of the analysis that answered question 1, how does the consumers knowledge of the brand forecast the consumers perception of the benefits of product attributes, has some interesting implications. First, th e findings show that brand belie f was the best indicator in predicting the benefits of attributes because it predicts all benefits of attributes such as rational utilitarianism, emotio nal utilitarianism, rational he donism, emotional hedonism, and rational-emotional self-expression in the regression analysis. Th is means that when consumers feel the benefits of product attr ibutes, brand belief affects th eir judgment of each benefit of product attribute more than others. Secondly, brand experience was also a good pred ictor for the emotional utilitarianism, rational hedonism, and emotional hedonism. Except for self-expressive benefits (because it was not divided into two dimensionsrational and emotional attributes), all compounds that have affective factors such as emotional utili tarianism, rational hedonism, and emotional hedonism are affected by both brand experien ce and brand belief, but the pure cognitive configuration of rational utilit arianism was dominated by brand be lief. This shows that if their perception is related to the emotional factors or responses, consumers based their judgments on their rational experiences. However, brand knowledge exclusively explains the rational-emotional selfexpression. For the self-expres sive value, the study respondents show brand knowledge as an important agent in addition to brand belief. This shows that the consumer who has a higher level of brand knowledge has high brand belief and feels the self-expre ssive benefits based on high brand knowledge and brand belief.

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49 For the functional benefits of rational attr ibutes, brand belief is the only significant indicator variable. Thus, cogni tive, functional, and instrume ntal values (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982, p.100; Chandon, Wansink, and Lauren t, 2000) of Toyotas economy, safety, durability, and serviceability can be built by consum ers brand belief. In this case, consumers do not depend on their knowledge level of brand and their previous experien ce of brand. Consumers depend on the credence of brand than other factor when they perceive the benefits of Toyotas economy, safety, durability, and serviceability. For the functional benefits of emotional attr ibutes, brand belief and brand experience are significant independent variables. Thus, cogni tive, functional, and instrumental values (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982, p.100; Chandon, Wansink, and Laurent, 2000) of Toyotas styling and comfort can be built by consumers brand belief and br and experience. In this case, consumers do not depend on their knowledge le vel of brand. Consumers depend on the credence of the brand and their previous experience of th e brand than knowledge le vel of the brand when they perceive the benefits of Toyotas styling and comfort. For the hedonic benefits of rational and emotional attribut es, brand belief and brand experience are significant inde pendent variables. Thus, a ffective, experiential, and noninstrumental values (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982, p.100; Chandon, Wansink, and Laurent, 2000) of Toyotas economy, safety, durability, and serviceability can be built by consumers brand belief and brand experien ce. Moreover, affective, experiential, and noninstrumental values of Toyotas styling and co mfort can be built by consumers brand belief and brand experience. In this case, consumers do not depend on their kno wledge level of brand. Consumers depend on the credence of the brand and their previous experience of the brand than

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50 on the knowledge level of the brand when they perceive the benefits of Toyotas economy, safety, durability, serviceabil ity, styling, and comfort. For the self-expressive benefits of rationa l and emotional attributes, there are two significant independent variable s, knowledge level and brand belief. The degree of selfexpressive benefits on Toyotas economy, safety, durability, serviceability, styling, and comfort can be built by consumers knowledge level and bra nd belief. For the rational and emotional selfexpressive benefit, brand knowledge and brand belie f act as good explanatory variables. In this case, consumers do not depend on their previous experience of the brand. Consumers depend on the credence of the brand and their knowledge le vel than on the previous experience of the brand when they perceive the benefits of Toyotas ec onomy, safety, durability, serviceability, styling, and comfort. In sum, the more respondents who have higher brand belief, the more they perceive higher functional benefits of Toyotas rational attributes. The more respondents who have higher brand belief and experience, the more they perceive higher functional benefits of Toyotas emotional attributes. The more respondents who have highe r brand belief and experience, the more they perceive higher hedonic benefits of Toyotas rational attributes The more respondents who have higher brand belief and experience, the more they perceive higher hedonic benefits of Toyotas emotional attributes. The more respondents w ho have higher brand knowledge level and belief, the more they perceive higher self-expressive benefits of Toyotas rational and emotional attributes. The more respondents who have highe r brand experience, the more they perceive higher Toyotas brand loyalty. The more responden ts who have higher bra nd belief, the less they perceive higher T oyotas brand loyalty.

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51 The results of the analysis that answered question 2, how do the pe rceived benefits of product attributes predict brand loyalty, has some in teresting implications. First, there are no significant predictions in multiple regression analysis when the benefits of product attributes predict brand loyalty. Since th e product lifecycle of cars is relatively longer, and the price of such product is higher than ot her products, it may be difficult to determine the result of repeat purchase or of brand switching. Thus, brand loyalty is of secondary importance to this study. This also supports that even these are rational attributes or functional benefits, consumers do not trust their own perception about the brand. Thus, brand loyalty cannot be built by product itself, even though consumer knowledge predicts benefits of brands product attributes. The results of the analysis that answered question 3, how does the consumers knowledge of the brand predict brand loyalty, has some interesting implications. First, the findings showed that brand belie f and brand experience predict brand loyalty. Thus, in the context of brand loyalty, consumers knowledge level of brand is not significant. The consumers knowledge about the brand does not build brand loyalty. Although brand belief was a good predictor for all benefits of product attr ibutes, such variable predicts brand loyalty negatively. In the context of br and loyalty, this implies that c onsumers do not trust their own belief on the brand. When evaluating brand loya lty, consumers do not depend on their perception of the brand. On the other hand, the brand e xperience predicts cons umers brand loyalty positively. This indicates that consumers depend on the patent clues to evaluate brand loyalty. In order to build strong brand loyalty, highe r repeated purchase a nd/or lesser brand switching, marketers need to increase the direct or indirect experience of the brand, because consumers knowledge level does not affect bran d loyalty, and consumers brand belief affects

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52 the consumers brand loyalty negatively. This also shows that consumers do not trust their knowledge as much as their experience with the product when evaluating brands loyalty Limitation and Future Research This study categorized two constructs of attri butes, rational and emotional attributes, based on Kellers (2003) original attribut e category. In order to have mo re significant implications, the future research needs to consider each benef it of product attributes based on Kellers (2003) original category. This study choos es only one brand, Toyota, as the best ranked car brand by the undergraduate students in the College of Journa lism and Communication at the University of Florida. For further results, future research can use several car brands followed by several criteria such as high and low price, high and low invol vement, emotional and rational product, top five brands in United States, and so forth. In this st udy, brand loyalty was sele cted as the final stage of brand equity, but for the brand knowledge, purchas e intention or brand attitude will be a more appropriate final stage for this study based on other studies. Moreover, car ownership is the important affective factor in this study; however, based on the findings of this study, car ownership is very diverse and has a very small percentage for each brand, thus, the implication of car ownership and brand is not significant. Fu rther, the data was collected from a sample of undergraduate students, thus, a low brand loyalty was expected because they usually have short period to own their car and cannot pa y lots of money to purchase cars. In future studies, in order to identify the impact of car ownership, the data should be collected from a diverse sample of respondents and its number should be enough in orde r to have adequate numbers for each brand.

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58 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH The author, Hyoungdong Lee, majored in advert ising and English literature at Dankook University, Seoul, South Korea. Th e author did some researches on advertising and marketing at Dankook Institute of Social Science (DISS). The aut hor majored in advertising at the University of Florida.