Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to focus on one of the main antecedents of consumer behaviour concerning its role in building a retail brand. It addresses how consumer involvement influences perception of retailer attributes, which affects customer‐based retail brand equity when considering retailers as brands. Design/methodology/approach – A model is developed that includes the impact of central dimensions of the perception of retailer attributes, their effects on customer‐based retail brand equity and the moderating role of consumer involvement. The empirical study is based on a sample of 3,000 consumers spread over five retail sectors (grocery, clothing, DIY, electronics and furniture). Findings – Using multiple‐group structural equation modelling, the intersectoral relevance of involvement as a moderator in building a strong retail brand is demonstrated. In retailing, consumer involvement has a moderating effect on the influence of retailer attributes on retail brand equity. The direction of this influence differs, however, from one perceived retailer attribute to the next. Whereas the influence of price, communication and store design is greater on highly involved consumers than on those with low involvement, the influence of service and assortment is greater in consumers with low involvement. Since consumers with a different level of involvement have a different perception of retailer attributes, this factor is relevant to retail branding. Originality/value – Understanding retailers as brands – conceptually – a basic model shows how to build retail brand equity using the dimensions of retailer marketing instruments, and this model is stable enough to test different antecedents, including involvement for the first time in this context. The five sectors surveyed distinguish the study methodologically from those that focus only on one sector. Finally, the results show that the retailer attributes relevant to retail brand equity differ between customers with high involvement and those with low involvement. This aspect must be considered in the preliminary stages of retail brand building.
International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 9, 2009
Keywords: Retailing; Brand equity; Brands; Consumer behaviour
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