One of the first references in the field of branding was presented by Robinson (1933), who argued that it is possible to sell to different target audiences a variety of brands of the same product that are similar to each other. The reason is that they are of different quality, have different names and carry different labels. Since this historical reference, the brand has become an important marketing domain. In recent years, branding has been transformed from a means of identifying merchandise to a main element in the strategy of organizations. Changes in brand perception and recognition of the importance of the new perspective were slow. Until recently, many organizations around the world tended to analyze marketing problems from a broad product perception perspective. However, today the business point of view has changed and is more focused than in the past, and is guided by the perception of the brand. The recognition of the importance of the brand in the field of marketing management has become very significant in recent years.
The objective of this work is to explore the relationships between brand equity and loyalty of young customers at different levels of involvement. The present investigation initiates an integration of the multiple currents of investigation existing in the value of the brand, the loyalty of the consumer and the participation in the purchase of products. It proposes the incorporation of consumer loyalty theories in brand equity measurement models and the analysis of the target group most affected by branding, that is, young people. The goal of the research is to train marketers to better understand the parameters that affect the buyback decision and to assess whether the engagement level factor changes the results of previous research.
The research used a correlation research design. The type of sample used in this research was a convenience sample. The research population consisted of young men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 who were considered the target audience influenced by the strength of the brand. The researcher located the sample population by distributing questionnaires in shopping centers (where there are concentrations of population). The sample was chosen to adequately represent the research population in the different demographic aspects.
The research examined the level of loyalty, engagement and relationship to brand strength in three product categories:
Low level of participation: deodorant, a leading brand in the deodorant category in Israel.
Medium level of participation: Fashion clothing is the strongest fashion brand among Israel’s youth and teenagers.
High level of involvement – Mobile phone brand designed for young people.
This research was added to the information on the different factors that influence the decision-making process of consumers in the young age group, in the purchase of products / brands and on how it is possible to influence young consumers and transform them on loyal brand consumers to understand the influence of brand equity on their willingness to buy.
The research examined the different variables and the degree of influence of the level of consumer participation, the level of loyalty and the relationship with the strength of the brand in the three product categories. The results show that:
1. At low levels of participation, consumer loyalty is not significantly influenced by the perceived quality of the product and the purchase decision process is influenced by other parameters.
2. As the consumer better evaluates the value and strength of the brand, their loyalty increases. This relationship weakens as the level of product participation increases.
3. In brands with a low level of involvement in the purchase, there is a strong influence between the strength of the brand and loyalty and purchase, and in products with a high level of involvement the consumer will not necessarily show loyalty to the brand. In other words, the impact of brand strength on loyalty weakens as the level of engagement increases.
A set of assets that adds to the value provided by a product or service:
1. Brand equity
2. Perceived quality
3. Brand loyalty
4. Product category
The aforementioned aspects of branding are powerful sources for companies to create and maintain competitive advantages.
The more successful a company is when it comes to brand loyalty, the greater the impact on marketing expenses. Since a powerful brand enjoys a high level of consumer brand awareness and loyalty, the business will incur lower marketing costs relative to revenue.