Contextual Factors of Branding in Search Engine Marketing for Small- and Medium Sized Enterprises

Project: Research

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Building brand equity is a significant challenge for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With the rise of e-commerce, SMEs are increasingly using the Internet (e.g., search engines) as a promotional tool. However, the display effect on branding in search engine results has not been given due attention. This research draws on the branding and information processing literature to investigate how relative rankings affect consumer evaluations of brands contained in the search engine results. In particular, it will identify contextual factors that enhance consumers’ evaluations of unfamiliar brands and explore conditions for which such effects may be strengthened or weakened. In doing so, the investigators will quantify the branding benefits of effective search engine marketing and also justify investment in search engine marketing for SMEs. Computer-based experiments will be used to simulate the online shopping experience. The research is important for understanding how search engine marketing can elevate the brand equity for unknown brands, and ultimately affect the performance of SMEs in Hong Kong and China.


Project number7002149
Grant typeSRG
Effective start/end date1/04/0723/04/09