Does brand origin influence brand equity? A quantitative study of Finnish female consumers’ evaluations of fashion brands

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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The main objective of this research is to build more understanding on a recent phenomenon of increased interest towards Nordic fashion. The aim is to research the topic from consumer’s perspective in order to gain better understanding if the brand origin has an effect on brand evaluations. More specifically, the aim is to research the relationship between brand origin and brand equity. In addition, the impact of age and yearly household income on consumers’ evaluations of fashion brands from various countries is studied. The target population of the study is Finnish females interested in fashion. First, four qualitative background interviews with open-ended questions were made in order to understand different meanings behind researched phenomenon. The topics emerged from qualitative interviews were used when formalizing the final questionnaire. Second, the main data was collected by using a web-based questionnaire, which was published in a two different Finnish fashion related Facebook flea market group: COS & Filippa K kirpputori and Minna Parikka Secondhand. The final amount of analyzed responses was 368. The results of questionnaire were analyzed with the aid of SPSS, involving Pearson correlation, multiple regression and ANOVA test. The correlations between the means of country images and different brand equity dimensions were measured by utilizing the Pearson correlation. While in correlation analysis, the means of country images were used, regression analysis allowed to measure how all the different country image items explain the variation in brand equity score. In regression analysis country image items were used as independent variables and average brand equity score of fashion brands of given country as dependent variable. Finally one-way ANOVA was used to determine mean value differences between different age groups and respondents with different yearly household income. The study suggests that there exists a statistically significant positive correlation between country image and brand equity in the context of fashion. Finnish consumers tend to evaluate Nordic brands higher and thus, the total brand equity scores of Nordic brands were mostly higher than the scores of non-Nordic fashion brands. Overall, Nordic products are seen as timeless, minimalistic and having a good price-quality ratio. Furthermore, the results of study indicate that age influences consumers’ evaluation of the fashion brand depending on the brand origin. However, this research found no evidence to support the relationship between yearly household income and consumers’ evaluations of fashion brands. One suggestion for further research is to find out if the findings from fashion category are applicable for other product categories.
Thesis advisor
Kajalo, Sami
Falk, Tomas
brand origin, country of origin, fashion marketing, brand equity, brand loyalty, brand awareness, brand image, consumer behaviour
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