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Title: A research model of consumer identification with a corporate brand for the financial services industry
Author: Sung, Hee Seung
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 5154
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2011
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The importance of consumer identification in research into corporate branding and corporate identity has been highlighted, particularly in the last decade. The issue of consumer identification with a corporate brand is particularly critical in service industries where a good relationship with consumers is crucial and the unique characteristics of services can mean that consumer identification makes an essential contribution to successful brands. However, little research on the service-related antecedents and consequences of consumer identification has been carried out. In fact, because of the inherent features of service brands, different marketing approaches and strategies, compared with manufactured product brands, are required and need to be implemented to achieve success in terms of enhancing consumer identification. Given both the lack of research on consumer identification and demand for different and innovative marketing strategies in the service context, the main purpose of the current study is to identify and test the key service-related determinants (preferential treatment, customer orientation, social relationship and social recognition) and the outcomes of consumer identification (positive word-of-mouth and consumer participation) based on social identity approach and identification theory. Indeed, this study attempts to test several moderator variables (identity salience, brand trust and brand knowledge) and the mediation effect of consumer identification. To achieve the purposes of this study, a quantitative survey was chosen and several analytical techniques were used ranging from simple descriptive analysis, t-test, ANOVA test and correlation analysis to the more complex techniques of confirmatory factor analysis and regression analysis. A total of 390 usable responses were obtained from consumers who are over 20 years old, and who engage with one of three types of financial servicess; banks, insurance companies and securities investment companies in South Korea. The research resulted in several significant findings. Among the four variables proposed as the determinants of consumer identification, the positive impacts of social recognition, preferential treatment and social relationship on consumer identification with a corporate brand is supported, but the impact of customer orientation on consumer identification is not supported. In terms of its consequences, the effect of consumer identification on both positive word-of-mouth and consumer participation are supported. With regard to its mediation effect, the effects of the three antecedent variables (social recognition, preferential treatment, and social relationship) on the two consequence variables (positive word-of-mouth and consumer participation) are significantly mediated by consumer identification. Between the two proposed moderation variables (identity salience and brand trust) on the relationships between consumer identification and its determinants are not supported. Among the three moderation variables (identity salience, brand trust and brand knowledge) on the relationships between consumer identification and its consequences (positive word-of-mouth and consumer participation), consumer knowledge has a significant moderating effect only on the relationship between consumer identification and consumer participation, but other moderation effects on these relationships are not supported. The major contribution of this research is in establishing the critical role of the unique features affecting consumer identification in the financial servicess industry from the service-centred perspective. Its significant outcomes support the role of consumers as co-developers or partners of the services. Furthermore, the results of the study offer valuable directions for enhancing Korean consumers’ identification that can be used by managers in financial services markets to reinforce the relationship with consumers. This study is the first step in developing a research model of consumer identification in the service industry and future research should build on the proposed model and subject it to further examination.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available