The aim of this thesis is to explore how the total experience that surrounds a brand may influence the consumer’s loyalty towards the brand, and first and foremost within the context of the consumer electronics business, using especially Sony Electronics as an ‘exemplifying case’. Research on the topics of the experience economy, brand experience and experiential marketing emphasizes the importance of involving consumers in experiences related to the brand in order to create engagement. Consumers should be able to sense, feel, think, act and relate to the brand. This thesis will research the importance of creating such an experience and most importantly if it plays a great role in brand loyalty. The concept of experience has been researched and debated in the literature for quite some time (e.g. Holbrook & Hirschman 1982; Pine II & Gilmore 1998; Schmitt B. 1999; Joseph, 2010). However, little research has attemepted to add academic value to the comments of practioners and consultants who have talked about an ‘experience economy’ (Palmer, 2010). Practioners have therefore identified the theoretical area as important, but there is still need for additional research. This limited research on the topic made the need for an explorative research apparent, with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of the experience concept and its effect on the consumer’s loyalty. The main findings of the study show that it is in fact very beneficial to provide a brand experience. The consumers become more satisfied with the brand and brand commitment occurs. This commitment leads to brand loyalty and it can furthermore be expected that customers are willing to pay a higher price for the brand’s products. Moreover the most important factors when wanting to create a positive brand experience are service, quality, price, and user-friendliness. In addition, factors such as being able to touch and test, type of retailer and also image and reputation plays a great part in the brand experience. The result of this is that managers should not underestimate the effect of providing positive brand experiences and instead give it a high priority. Managers should work on uncovering the elements that are of importance for the customers in the specific industry e.g. consumer electronics industry and thereby make sure that these are met properly. This thesis is considered to have expanded the knowledge on brand experience and its role in brand loyalty and it has thereby contributed to the already existing literature. However, the need for future research is apparent as the result of the study may not apply to all industries. A general approach has been taken, however, most emphasis has been put on the consumer electronics business and the findings are therefore applicable for this industry.
|Educations||Cand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||139|