Brand equity has received significant academic attention since the mid‐1990s. This has been driven partly by changes in international accounting standards as they relate to the reporting of the financial value of intangible assets. A more prominent driver concerns the impact of marketing, and of marketing communication activity in particular, on brand performance. Much of the academic debate, however, has centered on conflicting definitions of brand equity and on seeking ways of measuring or quantifying the value of equity. Attention is now turning to examining the nature of equity and of factors that may threaten it. This paper examines the potential impact of parallel importing on brand equity and provides a substantive theoretical background. The paper then reports the findings from an exploratory study involving depth interviews with New Zealand brand managers whose brands have been affected by this activity.
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