Brand mere recognition is the fundamental step in brand awareness and the first hurdle that any brand needs to achieve before brand equity can come into the picture. Thus, consumers’ ability to recognize a brand through its symbol or logo is very crucial and despite its significance, it is considered the lowest order in brand equity assessment but it reveals the initial clue on how well the brand is performing in the market. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to test how well consumers are able to identify the right Halal Malaysia brand (HMB) using Halal semiotic cues.
This study is an exploratory, based on a mixed method approach using qualitative and quasi-experimental design using the implicit association test (IAT) as the instrument. A total of 23 Malay Muslim consumers were involved in the first stage of the study carried out using a semi-structured interview. The second stage of this study was carried out using quasi-experimental design where IAT was used as an instrument. A total of 66 respondents participated in both states of the experiment and the response time was recorded and analysed using D-measure and descriptive.
Findings from qualitative investigation indicate that most of the respondents failed in the mere recognition test. The findings are further supported using IAT where a hesitation in response when facing the current HMB logo has provided a clear indication of lack of mere recognition for this brand. Unfortunately, the proliferation of other Halal logos that have flooded the market, comprising both recognized and unrecognized logos by Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM), which often adopted a similar logo design strategy, only add to the confusion. Clearly, the findings on HMB logo mere recognition also revealed that there are some problems during the transition from the old JAKIM Halal logo to the current logo, where the information related to the new logo has failed to reached targeted audiences.
Despite there are a lot of studies focussing on the positive impact of Halal Malaysia logo on Muslim consumers purchase decision, however there are few publications that suggest otherwise. Thus, this study will investigate the extend of this problem.
Wan Ismail, W.R., Othman, M., Md Nor, N., Badiuzaman, A.F. and Nik Mohd Nor, N.M.S. (2020), "Halal Malaysia brand equity mishap: False recognition of brand mere recognition using mixed method approach", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-04-2019-0073
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