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Title: To explore the tangible attributes contributing to brand meaning : a study of local food brands
Author: Quest, Jill
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 6663
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2019
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Brand Meaning is a central concept in brand management and has been associated with brands offering symbolic intangible associations to consumers beyond their functional benefits. Tangible attributes relating to the senses and a brand's functional performance have been overshadowed by these intangible associations, and this is addressed in this study by exploring these tangible attributes' contribution to brand meaning. By creating a conceptual framework which evolves Hirschman's (1980; 1998) layers of meaning, this research uses quasi-ethnographic research methods to explore the contribution of the sensorial and functional attributes to brand meaning. Furthermore, it gains insight into how the tangible attributes connect with the intangible associations (psychological, subcultural and cultural). Finally, it explores any hierarchical structures evident in brand meaning. The context for this research is local food brands available in the vicinity of Dorset. The findings from this small-scale study reveal that tangible attributes can have meaning both sensorially and functionally. From a sensorial aspect, consumers can accept incongruity across the senses; furthermore, this creates brand distinctiveness when recalled in memory. From a functional perspective, consumers are highly involved with consumption choices in the local food brand category. The connectivity element is strong in that tangible attributes evidence intangible associations. They contribute to a positive self-concept and a shared ethos, through the notion of doing and feeling good. Finally, not only are hierarchical approaches evident but there are also flatter patterned approaches apparent amongst the brand attributes and associations. This research makes an original contribution to knowledge regarding brand meaning structures. Hierarchical connections across tangible attributes and intangible associations should not always be assumed. This study discerns an approach that is flatter and non-hierarchical. Tangible attributes can be interwoven with intangible associations. This pattern approach may contain mainly woven functional attributes, revealing functional connections and meanings. Alternatively, the pattern can have threads of tangible attributes that interweave with intangible associations creating more symbolic meanings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available