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The Influence of Brand Trust, Brand Familiarity and Brand Experience on Brand Attachment: A Case of Consumers in the Gauteng Province of South Africa

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In today’s post-modern era, brands significantly play an important role in consumer behaviour. This paper aimed at examining how brand trust, brand familiarity and brand experience have an influence on brand attachment using a sample of consumers within the Gauteng Province of South Africa. A quantitative method using Smart PLS was employed to test the relationships among the three hypotheses. A structured questionnaire consisting of validated scales for brand trust, brand familiarity, brand experience and brand attachment was administered to a sample of 181 consumers within the Gauteng province of South Africa. The results of this study showed that brand trust, brand familiarity and brand experience positively influences brand attachment in a significant and direct way. The results of this empirical study provided fruitful implications toacademicians, practitioners as well as policy makers from the perspective of academicians.This study makes a significant contribution to the brand management literature by systematically examiningthe influence of brand trust, brand familiarity and brand experience on brand attachment. On the practitioners’ side, this study therefore submits thatbrand managers for companies in the Gauteng province ought to concentrate on strategies that enhance brand experience because it is likely to yield the desired brand attachment when compared to other research constructs. The results which have been obtained from this study may also be used to generate new policies and revision of the existing policies. Precisely,policies or strategies which exist in numerous organizationsare there in order to make consumers remain attached to certain brands.Moreover, this study vastly add new knowledge to the present body of brand management literature in Africa - a context that is neglected by some academicians in developing countries.
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Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies (ISSN: 2220-6140)
Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 69-81, February 2017
69
The Influence of Brand Trust, Brand Familiarity and Brand Experience on Brand Attachment: A Case
of Consumers in the Gauteng Province of South Africa
*Chinomona E1, Maziriri ET2
1Department of Logistics, Vaal University of Technology, South Africa
2School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand
*chakubvae@hotmail.com
Abstract: In today’s post-modern era, brands significantly play an important role in consumer behaviour.
This paper aimed at examining how brand trust, brand familiarity and brand experience have an influence on
brand attachment using a sample of consumers within the Gauteng Province of South Africa. A quantitative
method using Smart PLS was employed to test the relationships among the three hypotheses. A structured
questionnaire consisting of validated scales for brand trust, brand familiarity, brand experience and brand
attachment was administered to a sample of 181 consumers within the Gauteng province of South Africa. The
results of this study showed that brand trust, brand familiarity and brand experience positively influences
brand attachment in a significant and direct way. The results of this empirical study provided fruitful
implications toacademicians, practitioners as well as policy makers from the perspective of
academicians.This study makes a significant contribution to the brand management literature by
systematically examiningthe influence of brand trust, brand familiarity and brand experience on brand
attachment. On the practitioners’ side, this study therefore submits thatbrand managers for companies in the
Gauteng province ought to concentrate on strategies that enhance brand experience because it is likely to
yield the desired brand attachment when compared to other research constructs. The results which have
been obtained from this study may also be used to generate new policies and revision of the existing policies.
Precisely,policies or strategies which exist in numerous organizationsare there in order to make consumers
remain attached to certain brands.Moreover, this study vastly add new knowledge to the present body of
brand management literature in Africa - a context that is neglected by some academicians in developing
countries.
Keywords: Interpersonal Attachment Theory, Brand trust, Brand familiarity, Brand experience, Brand
attachment
1. Introduction
Being able to build a relationship with a consumer through the brand is a vital necessity for marketing
(Rammile, 2015). Magnoni and Roux (2012) concurs that building and maintaining a strong consumer-brand
relationship is of great importance for managers. According to Roustasekehravani and Hamid (2014) having a
successful brand will result in more market share and more profitability. In addition, brand plays an extra
ordinary role in companies related to services because brands which are strong increase the pace of
customer’s trust of the purchase that is invisible (Berry, 2000). From the perspective of a firm, building a
strong brand is essential for gaining and establishing a competitive advantage over one’s business rivals
(Chang & Liu, 2009). Firms implement brands, in order to stand out and to develop loyal customers (Keller,
2013). According to Kotler and Armstrong (2010:242) branding allows businesses to sell their products
distinctively among competitors. Branding also provides the business with distinctive legal protection, such
as patents or trademarks, therefore businesses need to conceptualise their brand meaning for consumers to
form a relationship with the overall brand (Sokhela, 2015:10).
According to Laforet (2010:2), individuals today are undoubtedly a generation that consumes brands, from
the clothes they wear, to the food they eat and even to the toothpaste they use. To consumers buying is a
form of problem solving and it is branding that makes this process significantly easier, as people first search
for information, evaluate this information and then only decide to make a purchase decision (De Chernatony,
McDonald & Wallace, 2011:61). In addition, Ahmed, Rizwan, Ahmad and Haq (2014) are of the view that
loyal customers of specific brand are probably willing to pay any price for the product and this is due to the
communication of the brand, trust of the customer as well as better service quality offered by the brand make
consumer attractive to use it. The major contribution of the paper is that it suggests a framework which will
make a positive input to the body of knowledge and the growing branding literature. Howeverit is not clear in
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the marketing or branding literature in particular, the extent to which brand trust, brand familiarity and
brand experience influences brand attachment.Despite an avalanche of theoretical contributions made by
many international scholars on brand attachment literature, it appears that within the South African context,
there is dearth in research studies that have shed light on the influence of brand trust, brand familiarity and
brand experience on brand attachment. Previous researchers have examined how brands influence consumer
behaviour in various contexts by focusing on consumers' preferences for private and national brand food
products (Wyma, Van der Merwe, Bosman, Erasmus, Strydom, & Steyn, 2012). Brand service quality,
satisfaction, trust and preference as predictors of consumer brand loyalty in the retailing industry
(Chinomona, Mahlangu & Pooe, 2013);Brand recognition in television advertising: The influence of brand
presence and brand introduction (Gerber, Terblanche-Smit, &Crommelin, 2014); Perceived Brand Personality
of Symbolic Brands (Müller, 2014); The impact of packaging, price and brand awareness on brand loyalty
(Dhurup, Mafini &Dumasi, 2014); Consumer intentions of purchasing authentic luxury brands versus
counterfeits in South Africa (Shunmugam, 2015); An empirical investigation into the effectiveness of
consumer generated content on the purchase intention of sports apparel brands (Venter, Chuchu& Pattison,
2016); Celebrity endorsement advertising: brand awareness, brand recall, brand loyalty as antecedence of
South African young consumers’ purchase behaviour (Ndlela&Chuchu, 2016). Therefore, the findings of this
study will contribute a lot as branding techniques or guidelines for marketers as well as brand managers who
desire that consumers should always be attached to their brands. In view of this identified research gap, the
objectives of this study are centred on investigating the influence of brand trust, brand familiarity and brand
experience on brand attachment.
Significance of the Study: This study will be of significance to brand managers of various retail
organizations since most of them aim to maximize profitability. Therefore, this study will help brand
managers and marketing managers to identify the predictors which enhance brand attachment among
consumers within the Gauteng province of South Africa. In addition, this research is of significance domain to
the body of knowledge as it extends the knowledge base that currently exists in thefield of brand
management. Moreover, it is anticipated that the findings will be of value to future researchers and scholars
who may use the research findings of this study to carry out their own studies as well as those academicians
who may also find helpful gaps in research that may spur interest in further research.
2. Literature Review
Theoretical grounding: In order to get a clear understanding of the context of this research, this study will
be anchored in the framework of the Interpersonal Attachment Theory which is deemed to provide an
appropriate theoretical grounding to this study. The conception of brand attachment has its roots in the
Interpersonal Attachment Theory, which was pioneered by Bowlby (1979). The attachment theory describes
the innate human need to form affectionate bonds (Bowlby, 1980). Additionally, this theory propounds that
attachment to figures is an inborn behavioral system (Tsai, 2011). Amin &Malin (2012) points out that
according to the theory; a child shows separation anxiety and distress as soon as a parent or significant other
no longer is present. In this case, it would be on the attachment to brands, and if the consumer shows feelings
of regret and sorrow when the object is no longer available (Amin &Malin, 2012). Conversely, Moussa and
Touzani (2013:339) argue that many of attachment theory’s premises are transferable to consumer-brand
relationship. According to Ismail and Ali (2013:55) the basic underlying premise of attachment theory is
“Separation Distress”, which refers to the extent to which consumers show their emotions when exposed with
real or imagined separation from an object of strong attachment. Applied to the brand attachment paradigm,
the theory subjected that customers have an innate propensity to be attached to some brands (Pawle&
Cooper, 2006; Parish & Holloway, 2010). Thomson (2006) suggests that the attachment theory can make a
contribution to marketing because of the distinctive qualities of an attachment. Therefore, based on the
authors’ explanations it can be noted that if the attachment theory is taken into consideration it can assist
brand managers of various retail organisations in building up consumer to brand relationships.
Brand Trust: Trust can be defined as the extent to which a consumer believes that a certain brand satisfies
his or her desire (Chinomona, 2016). Brand trust is an important mediator factor on the customer behaviors
before and after the purchase of the product; and it causes long term loyalty as well as strengthens the
relations between two parties (Liu, Li, Mizerski, &Soh, 2012). Jin, Line and Merkebu (2015) and Geçti and
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Zengin (2013) are of the view that brand trust is the customer’s willingness to rely on the ability of a brand to
perform its function as expected. Furthermore, brand trust is defined by Chinomona, Mahlangu and Pooe
(2013) as a consumer's confident beliefs that he or she can rely on the brand to deliver promised services or
products. It can be interpreted that brand trust is created and developed by direct experiences of consumers
via brands (Kabadayi & Alan, 2012). According to Cakmak (2016) brand trust is described as a secure feeling
which consumer feels that brand in question will meet their personal expectations. Moreover, trust can
reduce the consumer's uncertainty, because the consumer not only knows that brand can be worth trusting,
but also thinks that dependable, safe and honest consumption scenario is the important link of the brand
trust (Soong, Kao & Juang, 2011). Drawing inference from the above descriptions of brand trust, it is arguable
to elucidate that when customers have a trust to the brand, repeat purchase behaviour will be created, which
leads to commitment to the brand, and the relationship between brand as well as customers can be built up.
Brand Familiarity: Familiarity is defined by Saini (2015) as the number of product -related experiences that
have been accumulated by the consumer. Normally a well-known brand is a source of competitive advantage
as familiar brands are highly salient in the minds of consumers, and the brand has the ability to differentiate
itself in the clutter of competition (Lee, Conroy, & Motion, 2012). When consumers decide to buy products,
they tend to be affected by brand familiarity (Chen, Chen & Wu, 2015). According to Mikhailitchenko, Javalgi,
Mikhailitchenko and Laroche (2009) brand familiarity reflects the ‘share of mind’ of a given consumer
attained to the particular brand and the extent of a consumer's direct and indirect experience with a brand.
Nguyen and Gizaw (2014) points out that brand familiarity is extent of information available about the brand
that makes a consumer confident to buy the product. In addition, brand familiarity deals with a consumer’s
prior knowledge about the brand (Huang, 2016). According to Yang, Zhang and Zou (2015) brand familiarity
is the degree of understanding about the brand accumulated in the consumers’ memory after contacting and
experience the brand. That is, the more contact with brand, the higher the brand familiarity (Buil, De
Chernatony & Martínez, 2013). Furthermore, Mikhailitchenko, Javalgi, Mikhailitchenko&Laroche
(2009)argued that brand familiarity is determined by strength of associations that the brand name evokes in
consumer memory, and in this way it captures the consumer's brand attitude schemata. Moverover, when
consumer choices are not a matter of life or death and consumers do not see large differences among brands,
consumers are unmotivated about the choice process and so will use brand familiarity as a c ue to make the
decision (Keller, 2008:55). Drawing from the above explanations it can be noted that brands with higher
levels of familiarity enjoy higher levels of liking among both consumers and retailers.
Brand Experience: Brand experience can be defined as the perception of the consumers, at every moment of
contact they have with the brand, whether it is in the brand images projected in advertising, during the first
personal contact, or the level of quality concerning the personal treatment they receive (Jouzaryan,
Dehbini&Shekar, 2015:71). Brand experiences are defined as sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioral
responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging,
communications, and environments (Evans, 2011). In addition, Akin (2016) harmonises that brand
experience includes subjective, internal consumer responses (senses, emotions, and cognitions) and
behavioural responses caused by brand-related stimuli that are parts of the brand’s design, identity,
packaging, brand communication and surroundings. Naidoo (2011:30) elucidates that brand experience deals
with an individual audience as it interacts with a brand. Further Naidoo (2011:30) states every time she or he
interacts with that brand bring about either a positive, negative or neutral experience. Brakus, Schmitt, and
Zhang (2008) stresses that brand experience is a personal source of information that can be utilized to form
the basis of future decisions, such as repurchase intention. Brand experience is created when customers use
the brand, talk to others about the brand; seek out brand information, promotions, and events, and so on
(Nadzri, Musa, Muda, & Hassan, 2016).From the above descriptions, it can be noted that brand experience
involves theinvolvements that allow consumers to engage with and experience the true benefits of the brand.
Brand Attachment: Attachment is the emotional and affective bond built by a consumer in respect of a
particular brand (Smaoui&Temessek-Behi, 2011:257). Customers tend to personify a favoured brand and
thus build a close affiliation with it (Halloran, 2014). Brand attachment is a critical construct in describing
the strength of the bond connecting consumers to a brand because it should affect behaviours that foster
brand profitability and consumer lifetime value (Gover, 2011:7). Conceptually, brand attachment is similar to
possession attachment when considering the brand as a source of emotions, self -identity, and shared
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personal history values (Smaoui&Temessek-Behi, 2011:257). According to Storm (2015:24) the theory of
brand attachment stems from consumer behavior research, where the area of interest is in relation to brand
relationships and loyalty. Cristau (2003) describes brand attachment as a strong and long-lasting
psychological and emotional brand relationship resulting from concomitant feelings of friendship and
dependence towards the brand. Furthermore, Park, MacInnis, Priester, Eisingerich and Lacobucci (2010)
define brand attachment as the strength of the bond connecting the brand with the self. In a similar vein,
Mala¨r, Krohmer, Hoyer and Nyffenegger (2011:36) view brand attachment as a construct that reflects the
bond connecting a consumer with a specific brand and involves positive feelings towards the brand. The bond
varies in strength, with some individual exhibiting a weak bond with an attachment object and other
exhibiting strong bond (Raut, 2015:29). Brakus, Schmitt and Zarantonello (2009:54) go on further to states as
with brand attachment, customer delight is characterized by arousal and positive affect; it can be considered
the affective component of satisfaction. In addition, Shestakov (2012:17) mention that brand attachment also
possesses marketing value since it helps consumers choose a brand from a set of available brands in a certain
market as it is based on emotional bond between the consumers’ self and the consumers’ perceived
representations of brand’s personality. This research paper adopts the definition stated by Louis and
Lombart (2010:118) which explains brand attachment as an “emotional link between a consumer and a
brand”.
Conceptual framework and hypothesis development: In order to provide a link between the research
constructs under investigation, the authors embarked on a conceptual framework. Jabareen (2009) defines a
conceptual framework as a network, or “a plan,” of interlinked concepts that together provide a
comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon or phenomena. Furthermore, drawing from the literature
reviewed, the conceptual model in Figure 1 has been developed. Moreover, Maziriri and Chinomona
(2016:130) point out that ‘the conceptual model is a representation of the constructs and their relationships
with one another’.
Figure 1: Proposed Research framework
The relationship between brand trust and brand attachment: Belaid and Temessek (2011) point out that
trust is a perquisite to brand attachment and it plays a main role in enhancing this affective bond. In
marketing literature, trust is regarded as a key ingredient for the development of brand attachment
and has been recognized as a highly significant tool for enhancing brand performance (Chinomona
2013). Among the studies which support the positive relationship between brand trust and brand attachment
is the one conducted bySorayaei and Hasanzadeh (2012) to investigate the impact of brand personality on
three major relational consequences which are trust, attachment, and commitment to the brand. Their study’
results indicated that trust to the brand has significant effect on attachment to the brand. In another study
that was conducted by Fallahi and Nameghi (2013) in order to investigate the effects of brand personality on
three Constructs which are brand trust, brand attachment, and brand commitment in Imam Khomeini Port
City, using the Structural equation modelling. Their study’ results revealed that there is a significant
Brand
Attachment
H1
HH
2
1
H2
H3
Brand Trust
Brand familiarity
Brand Experience
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relationship between customers’ brand trust and customers' brand attachment. Additionally, a study
conducted by Asadollahi and Hanzaee (2011) focused on investigating the effects of brand knowledge and
brand relationships on purchase behaviour of customers. The empirical results of their study revealed that
the effect of brand trust on brand attachment was significant and this effect was also positive. Moreover,
previous studies have found a positive relationship between brand trust and attachment (Louis &Lombart,
2010; Chiu, Huang & Yen, 2010; Kim, Chung, & Lee, 2011; Chinomona, 2013). Therefore, inferring from the
literature and the empirical evidence above mentioned, the study hypothesizes that:
H1: Brand trust has a positive influence on brand attachment
The relationship between brand familiarity and brand attachment: Taghipourian and Bakhsh (2015)
analysed the factors that have an influence on brand attachment and the ones that are influenced by it.
Taghipourian and Bakhsh (2015) identified brand familiarity as a factor that influences brand attachment.
The literature and research on place attachment suggest that familiarity is one of the predictors of the
bonding between people and place (Williams &Vaske, 2003). Several other researchers, developing a
measurement for place attachment, considered familiarity as one of the dimensions (Raymond, Brown, &
Weber, 2010; Hammitt, Backlund&Bixler, 2006, Hammitt, Backlund&Bixler, 2004).
H2: Brand familiarity has a positive influence on brand attachment
The relationship between brand experience and brand attachment: The experience that is able to touch
the consumer emotional side will cause the existence of consumer attachment on the brand or specific
product (Ardyan, Kurnianingsih, Rahmawan, Wibisono&Winata, 2016). According to Kang, Manthiou,
Sumarjan and Tan (2016) as customer interactions with a brand increase, they develop emotional bonds
through their experience; this is known as brand attachment. In addition, Belk (1989) debates to the fact
those consumers are more likely to be attached to things that are significant to their past experiences, places
and background. Moreover, elucidates that this relationship should exist because the positive experience a
consumer has with a particular brand, is a driving factor in a consumer becoming attached to that particular
brand (Mkhize, 2010). Therefore, inferring from the literature and the empirical evidence above mentioned,
the study hypothesizes that:
H3: Brand experience has a positive influence on brand attachment
3. Methodology
The study utilized a quantitative research design using a structured questionnaire. The design was suitable to
solicit the required information relating to brand trust, brand familiarity, brand experience and brand
attachment.The approach enables to examine the causal relationships with the constructs utilised in the
study.
Sample and procedure: The sample of the study comprised consumers with the Gauteng province of South
Africa. A non-probability convenience sampling method was chosen for the purposes of this study since the
characteristics of this method have particular appeal to financial and time constraints. Every attempt was
made to ensure geographical representation of the sample.
Target population and data collection: In this study; the target population were South African
consumerswithin the Gauteng province who purchased any consumer goods. The sampling unit was the
individual consumer. Students from the Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark campus were recruited
and trained to serve as data collectors. A total of 200 questionnaires were collected from respondents. A
covering letter accompanied the questionnaire stipulating the purpose of the study. In addition, the covering
letter ensured respondents anonymity and confidentiality. A total of 181 questionnaires were eventually used
for the analysis as 19 were discarded due to incomplete responses on the questionnaire, resulting to 91% of
the response rate.
The questionnaire layout and questions format: A five-section questionnaire was designed to collect data
from the participants.Section A comprised of multiple choice questions pertaining to the respondents’
demographic factors such as gender; age and marital status.Section B assessed brand trust, section C
measured brand familiarity, Section D of the questionnaire comprised questions on brand experience and
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Section E assessed brand attachment. All theresearch scales were designed on the basis of previous work.
Proper modifications were made in order to fit the current research context and purpose” (Chinomona &
Dhurup, 2016:8). Brand trust was measured using four-item scales adapted from Gecti and Zengin (2013). BT
4 was deleted and remained with 3 measurement items because the factor loadings were less than 0.5. Brand
familiarity’ used a four-item scale measure; all were adapted from Saini (2015). BF 4 was deleted because it
did not meet the threshold. Brand experience used a four-item scale measure; all were adapted from Akin
(2016). BE 1 was deleted because the factor loadings were below the cutoff point of 0.5. Brand attachment
was measured using a five-item scale taken fromGover (2011). BA 4 and BA 5 were deleted because the factor
loadings were below the recommended threshold of 0.5 according to Anderson and Gerbing (1988).
Responses for SectionB, C, D and E were measured by a five-point Likert scale, 1= strongly disagree, 2 =
disagree, 3 = neither disagree nor agree/neutral, 4 = agree and 5 = strongly agree to express the degree of
agreement or disagreement.
4. Data Analysis and Results
A Microsoft Excel spread sheet was used to enter all the data and in order to make inferences of the data
obtained, the Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) and the Smart PLS software for Structural
Equation Modelling (SEM) technique was used to code data and to run the statistical analysis. Smart PLS has
emerged as a powerful approach to study casual models involving multiple constructs with multiple
indicators (Chinomona &Dubihlela, 2014).In addition,Smart PLS supports both exploratory and confirmatory
research, is robust to deviations for multivariate normal distributions and is good for small sample size (Hair,
Ringle, &Sarstedt, 2013). Since the current study sample size is relatively small (181) Smart PLS was found
more appropriate and befitting the purpose of the current study.
Sample description: The study distributed questionnaires to different consumers in the Gauteng province in
South Africa. Out of 210 questionnaires which were distributed, 199 were returned and out of these 199
questionnaires, only 181 were usable. This yielded a valid response rate of about 86%. Descriptive statistics
in Table 1 show the gender, marital status, and age of consumers that participated in the study. Asindicated in
Table 1 below, this study shows that females participated more in the study and constitute 54% of the total
target population. Male consumers who participated in the study were 46% of the total population. The most
active age group in terms of purchasing brands is that below 30 years which constitute 50% of the total
population, followed by those between 31 and 60 years (38%) and last those above 60 years, constituting
12% only. This shows that those who are old and mostly on their pensions do not care about buying brand
products maybe because they are old and have no money. Respondents who are married constitute 38% of
the total population and the remainder is single which constitute 62% of the total population. The reason
might be that those who are single need to attract the opposite sex and have life partners that are why they go
for branded products which are very expensive.
Table 1: Sample demographic characteristics
Gender
Percentage
Male
46%
Female
54%
Total
100%
Age
Percentage
30
50%
31-60
38%
60
12%
Total
100%
Marital status
Percentage
Married
38%
Single
62%
Total
100%
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Path Modeling Results: Reliability and validity of the measurement instruments proves to be good so the
study proceeded to test the proposed hypotheses. In total there are three hypotheses that are tested. In the
path model, Brand Trust (BT), Brand Familiarity (BF) and Brand Experience (BE) are the predictor variables.
Brand Attachment (BA) is the sole outcome/dependent variable. Figure 1, below offers the proposed
hypotheses and the respective path coefficients. The same results of the path coefficients are tabulated in
Table 2 depicting the Item to Total correlations, Average variance extracted (AVE), Composite Reliability (CR)
and Factor Loadings.
Scale accuracy analysis: As clarified above BT 4, BF 4, BE 1, BA 4 and BA 5 were deleted due to the fact that
the factor loadings were below 0.5 which is the recommended threshold according to Anderson and Gerbin
(1988). Table 2, above present the research constructs, Cronbach alpha test, Composite reliability (CR),
Average variance extracted (AVE) and item loadings. The lowest item to total loading is BT 3 with 0.520 and
the highest is BT 1 with 0.938. On Factor loadings the lowest is BT 3 with 0.622 and the highest is 0.942
which is BT 1.This shows that the measurement instruments are valid. The lowest Cronbach alpha is 0.701
and the highest is 0.873 which shows that the constructs are very reliable and are explaining more that 50%
of the variance.
Table 2: Measurement Accuracy Assessment and Descriptive Statistics
Research constructs
Descriptive
statistics*
Cronbach’s test
C.R.
AVE
Measurement
Item Loadings
Mean
SD
Item-
total
α Value
Brand Trust (BT)
BT1
2.50
1.117
0.938
0.873
0.873
0.799
0.942
BT2
0.864
0.911
BT3
0.520
0.622
Brand Familiarity (BF)
BF1
2.02
1.079
0.653
0.850
0.850
0.790
0.785
BF2
0.540
0.632
BF3
0.541
0.679
Brand Experience (BE)
BE2
3.01
1.027
0.707
0.701
0.700
0.666
0.817
BE3
0.723
0.856
BE4
3.07
1.490
0.731
0.835
BE5
0.700
0.807
Brand Attachment
BA1
3.10
1.300
0.801
0.786
0.786
0.735
0.876
BA2
0.888
0.911
BA3
0.716
0.890
BT=Brand Trust; BF= Brand Familiarity; BE=Brand Experience; BA=Brand Attachment
Table 3: Inter-Construct Correlation Matrix
Variables
BA
BE
BF
BT
BA
0.600
BE
0.545
0.555
BF
0.539
0.438
0.509
BT
0.473
0.443
0.565
0.590
BT=Brand Trust; BE= Brand Experience; BF=Brand Familiarity; BA=Brand Attachment
Inter-Construct Correlation Matrix: Nunnally and Bernstein, (1994) proves that one of the methods used to
check on the discriminant validity of the research constructs was the evaluation of whether the correlations
among latent constructs were less than 0.60. “A correlation value of less than 0.60 is recommended in the
empirical literature to confirm the existence of discriminant validity” (Nunnally& Bernstein, 1994:38). As can
be seen all the correlations are below the standard level of 0.60 which indicate the existence of discriminant
validity. The diagonal values in bold stands for the Shared Variances (SV) for the respective research
constructs. The Shared Variance is expected to be greater than the correlation coefficients of the
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corresponding research constructs. Table 3, above shows that the results further validate the existence of
discriminant validity.
Path Model Results and Factor Loadings: Below is Figure 1, showing the path modelling results and as well
as the item loadings for the research constructs.
Figure 1: Path Modeling and Factor Loading Results
BT=Brand Trust; BF= Brand Familiarity; BE=Brand Experience; BA=Brand Attachment
Table 4: Results of structural equation model analysis
Path
Hypothesis
Path
coefficients (β)
T-
Statistics
Decision on
Hypotheses
Brand Trust (BT) Brand
Attachment (BA)
H1
0.112a
2.330
Accept/
Significant
Brand Familiarity (BF) Brand
Attachment (BA)
H2
0.269a
3.570
Accept/
Significant
Brand Experience (BE) Brand
Attachment (BA)
H3
0.473a
5.578
Accept/
Significant
aSignificance Level p<.10; bSignificance Level p<.05; cSignificance Level p<.01.
aSignificance Level p<.10;bSignificance Level p<.05;cSignificance Level p<.01.
Table 4, above present the four hypothesized relationships, path coefficients, the t-statistics and the decision
criteria. The value of the t-statistic will indicate whether the relationship is significant or not. T-statistics
which is above 2 is accepted and shows a significant relationship. Drawing from the results provided in Table
4, four of the hypothesized relationships (H1, H2 & H3) are significant.
Research Findings and Discussions
Hypothesis One (H1): Brand Trust (BT) Brand Attachment (BA): It can be observed in Figure 1 and Table
4 that H1, Brand Trust (BT) Brand Attachment (BA) is supported by the hypothesis result (0.112) and is
significant at t-statistics 2.330. The strength of the relationship is indicated by a path coefficient of 0.112. This
implies that brand trust directly influence brand attachment in a positive significant way. The better the
brand trust the higher the level of brand attachment.These results are in line with the works of Oh, Shin and
Park (2016)who explored on the relationships among brand trust, brand attachment, and purchase
intention.The results of the study reviewed that there is a positive linkage between brand trust and brand
attachment.
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Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 69-81, February 2017
77
Hypothesis Two (H2): Brand Familiarity (BF) Brand Attachment (BA): Figure 1 and Table 4 above,
indicate that H2, Brand Familiarity (BF) Brand Attachment (BA) is supported by the hypothesis finding
(0.269) and is significant at t-statistics 3.570. Again, the strength of the association is indicated by a path
coefficient of 0.269. This implies that brand familiarity (BF) is positively related to brand attachment (BA) in
a significant way. Thus higher levels of brand familiarity will lead to higher levels of brand attachment.These
findings are consistent with the works of Taghipourian and Bakhsh (2015) who revealed that brand
familiaritypositively influences brand attachment.
Hypothesis Three (H3): Brand Experience (BE) Brand Attachment (BA): It is depicted in Figure 1 and
Table 4 that H3, Brand Experience (BE) Brand Attachment (BA) is supported significantly. The t-statistics is
5.578. The strength of the relationship is indicated by the path coefficient of 0.473. This finding suggests that
brand experiencehas a direct strong positive effect on brand attachment. So the more effective the brand
experience, the more brand attachment.Moreover; these findings are in line with a recent study conducted by
Kang, Manthiou,Sumarjan, and Tang (2016) which focused on an investigation of brand experience on brand
attachment, knowledge, and trust in the lodging industry.The results show the significant, positive
relationship between brand experience and brand attachment.
Academic, practical and policy Iimplications for the study: The present study offers implications for
academicians. An investigation of the research findings indicate that Brand Experience (BE) Brand
Attachment (BA) has the strongest influence on each other asindicated by a path coefficient of (0.473) when
compared to other research constructs. Therefore for academicians in the field of brand management this
finding enhances their understanding of the relationship between brand experienceand brand attachments as
this is a useful contribution to existing literature on these two variables. On the practitioners ‘side, the
important influence of brand trust, brand familiarity and brand experience on brand attachment among
consumers in the Gauteng province of South Africa. This study therefore submits that marketers can benefit
from the implications of these findings. For example, given the robust relationship between brand experience
and brand attachment (0.473), brand managers ought to pay attention and theyshould put more emphasis on
advertisements and promotions such that the customers experience the brands and therefore become
attached to them. Consumers can also spread through word of mouth to families and friends thereby boosting
their production and profits. Moreover; drawing from the results, the findings indicate that brand managers
for companies in the Gauteng province ought to put more focus on strategies that enhance brand experience
because it is likely to yield the desired brand attachment when compared to other research constructs.
Moreover; the present studyoffers implications forpolicy makers who have been developing brand strategies
to improve the performance of brands. Precisely; policies or strategies which exist in their respective
organizations in order to make their consumers remain attached to their brands Thus, the results which
have been obtained from this study may be used to generate new policies and revision of the existing policies.
Limitations and Future Research Suggestions: Limitations were observed during this research. First, the
study was restricted to four factors only; namely brand trust, brand familiarity, brand experience and brand
attachment. Future research could also include factors that influence brand attachment such as brand
innovation and brand love. In addition, the results are based on a sample of 181 respondents which is not a
bigger sample. This makes it difficult to generalize the results to other contexts in South Africa since South
Africa has 9 provinces. Other researchers could make use of large sample sizes in order to get more
representative views. This study focused on a purely quantitative research approach, other researchers could
also try to use a mixed method approach or qualitative research so that in depth views of consumers in the
Gauteng province of South Africa can also be taken into consideration.
5. Conclusion and Managerial Inferences
The study authenticates those factors such as brand trust, brand familiarity and brand experienceare
instrumental in stimulating brand attachment in South Africa. In addition, brand experience has a stronger
impact on brand attachment when compared to brand trust and brand familiarity. Theoretical and
managerial implications are both observed in this study. Theoretically, this study makes a noteworthy
progression in marketing management theory and consumer behavior by methodically examining the
interplay between brand trust, brand familiarity and brand experience on brand attachment. In this manner,
Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies (ISSN: 2220-6140)
Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 69-81, February 2017
78
the study is an important contributor to the existing literature on this subject.On the practical front, brand
trust, brand familiarity and brand experience were exerted as having a strong positive influence on brand
attachment; improvements in each of these three factors could stimulate higher brand attachment to
consumers in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Brand trust can be improved by, making sure that the
brands are genuine and not fake. In addition, brand familiarity could be improved by making sure that the
consumers know that the brand exists and this can be done through promotions. To increase brand
experience managers should invest a lot of money on advertisements. Doing these things in a more articulate
way could certainly result in strong brand attachment.
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... The elaborate description of luxury brands by Keller (2009) broadens the characteristics of classifying a brand as a luxury brand beyond the higher comparative price (Jackson 2004;Kimes, 2002;Wiedman, Hennigs & Siebels, 2007). According to Chinomona and Maziriri (2017), branding allows businesses to sell their products distinctively among competitors. Luxury brands have evolved past being brands created primarily for economically more affluent consumers with desires of exclusive prestige and self-indulgence (Atwal & Williams, 2009;Brun & Castelli, 2013;Florin, Callen, Mullen and Kropp, 2007;Li, Li and Kambele, 2012). ...
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