Understanding Service Brands and Their Meaning For Consumers

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1. Background “The commercial importance of services has been realised in recent times and the importance of research to understand service brands and their meaning for consumers is a growing priority.” (O'Cass and Grace, 2004) It has been suggested by theoretical frameworks that an effective consumer-centred marketing activities and sustainable differentiation relies on the understanding of how consumers perceive and respond to brands (de Chernatony, 1993; Keller, 1993). This is even more important to service brand. Pointed out by Tax and Stuart (1997), the content of service, which is quite different from goods, is more complex and largely comprises processes, people and physical evidences. Consequently, there is also a big different between the evaluation of service brands and physical goods made by consumer. O'Cass and Grace (2004) therefore suggested that it is the heightened importance to see the brand equity as an essential direction of marketing theory studying, as well as the need of the understanding and management of brand associations. Nowadays, along with economic development, it has shown that the focus of branding principle is experiencing a shifting from tangibles toward intangibles (Vargo and Lusch, 2004). Businesses are trying to add emotional attributes to their brand and build deeper relationship with consumers. This may requires more effort made on the tangible aspects of product and service. It has been firstly described by Pine and Gilmore (1999) in their book "The Experience Economy", we are undergoing a shifting to the experience economy following the agrarian economy, the industrial economy and recent service economy. They argued that “businesses must orchestrate memorable events for thei... ... middle of paper ... ...n this part. Design method of questionnaire was detail determined and the direction of SPSS analysis was also settled up. Numbers of tables and graphs was included in quantitative results part and necessary comment was made to better understanding the results. Based on the primary results, further analysis and discuss was presented. It mainly focuses on the relationship and interaction between different variables and not offers any personal opinions. 4.4 Conclusions This part is made to describe the main acknowledge and findings learned from the study. Based on these acknowledge and findings, recommendations are made for restaurant service provider to provide a better brand experience. Conclusions of the research, marketing recommendations and implications of the research, limitations, and potential for further research are presented in this chapter.

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