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Brand skill: linking brand functionality with consumer-based brand equity

Mayoor Mohan (Department of Marketing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA)
Fernando R. Jiménez (Department of Marketing and Management, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA)
Brian P. Brown (Department of Marketing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA)
Caley Cantrell (VCU Brandcenter, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 21 August 2017

3231

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the relationship between brand functionality and consumer-based brand equity.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-methods approach was adopted including a qualitative study and multiple survey-based studies. Mediation and moderated-mediation paths were tested using PROCESS and three-stage least squares simultaneous estimation models.

Findings

Study 1 finds that consumers perceive highly functional brands can enhance their self-competence to perform a task. This phenomenon is labelled brand skill and defined as the extent to which consumers perceive their own performance as emanating from their use of a particular brand. Study 2 finds that brand skill mediates the relationship between brand functionality, brand connection and consumer-based brand equity, while a post hoc study showed that these relationships are robust among private meaning brands. Study 3 demonstrates that these mediated relationships are moderated by the type of dominant benefit the brand provides (i.e. hedonic-versus utilitarian-dominant benefits).

Research limitations/implications

Based on self-determination theory, brand skill is posited as the link between brand functionality, brand connection and consumer-based brand equity.

Practical implications

Brand managers are urged to not overlook the role of brand functionality in favor of other non-functional brand dimensions. Brand functionality enhances consumers’ perceived self-competence and fosters brand connection, especially for brands that offer superior utilitarian benefits.

Originality/value

This is the first study that empirically examines the process by which brand functionality leads to consumer-based brand equity and the role brand skill plays in making that connection.

Keywords

Citation

Mohan, M., Jiménez, F.R., Brown, B.P. and Cantrell, C. (2017), "Brand skill: linking brand functionality with consumer-based brand equity", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 477-491. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-06-2016-1247

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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