品牌價格印象的形成因素及其對消費者支付意願的影響研究

Research on the Formation Factors of Brand Price Impression and Its Influence on Consumer's Willingness to Pay

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Award date22 Dec 2021

Abstract

隨著中國互聯網快速發展,中國家電零售行業發生了翻天覆地的變化。京東、天貓等電商平臺崛起,進一步改變了中國消費者的消費習慣,消費者的購買決策行為也在發生著翻天覆地的變化。在產品高度同質化、競爭日趨激烈的今天,許多中國企業都意識到了品牌在市場競爭中的重要性,紛紛投資於品牌形象的建設。在改善品牌形象的諸多行銷方式中,與其他品牌聯合開展行銷的方式被廣泛使用,在塑造消費者的正面品牌聯想、提升品牌溢價方面發揮著積極作用。另一方面,在直播行業迅速崛起的今天,品牌方也開始借助知名的意見領袖(KOL)作為品牌代言人來進行“帶貨”,希望以此來進一步提升品牌的影響力。

基於這些現象,本文試圖研究:品牌聯合與KOL帶貨的行銷方式,會對消費者心智中關於品牌價格印象的聯想帶來怎樣的影響?這種由品牌聯合和代言人而導致的品牌價格印象的變化,是否會進一步改變消費者的產品購買和支付意願?明確這些問題,對於企業開展有效的品牌聯合和KOL代言等行銷活動具有重要的現實指導意義。在這一背景下,本文將品牌聯合和代言人類型作為品牌價格印象的前置影響因素來加以研究,基於品牌延伸文獻、消費者價格認知、品牌-價格聯想等相關理論,以家電行業為研究情境,開展定性與定量研究,試圖為品牌在日趨激烈的市場競爭中塑造高端價格印象提供實踐啟示。

本文在品牌聯合及代言人理論的基礎上展開相關工作。品牌聯合(Brand Alliance, Co-Brand)通常是指兩個或多個品牌之間短期或長期的合作,或者是兩個或兩個以上不同企業的單個品牌、產品或其他特定資產之間的一種長期或短期的合作。它是企業的品牌管理戰略之一,同時也是一種重要的品牌資產提升策略。品牌通常會利用娛樂明星的知名度集聚人氣,使消費者對明星的個人崇拜潛移默化到其代言的品牌上,從而帶來品牌知名度的飆升,對品牌的宣傳起到立竿見影的作用。而代言人具有不同的分類,在社交媒體時代和電商直播的背景下,代言人可以是頭部主播如薇婭、李佳琦等,也可以是社交媒體上的KOL,如李子柒、何同學等,這兩種KOL在知名度和受眾方面存在著較大的差別,前者的市場受眾面更廣,大眾認知度更高,但後者更為小眾,在特定細分人群更受歡迎,相比之下,後者會給人一種更加高端的感受。

本文以家電行業為研究情境,通過定性訪談研究與實驗研究相結合的方法探究品牌聯合和代言人類型這兩個因素,如何影響品牌的價格印象,從而改變消費者的產品購買意願和溢價支付意願等決策行為。具體來說,本文由兩個研究構成。第一項研究聚焦在探究品牌聯合和KOL的作用,以家電行業電氣品牌為研究物件,通過採用線下面對面非結構訪談的方式瞭解消費者對該品牌開展與其他品牌聯合行銷活動的看法,為研究假設的構建提供基礎。之後,本文開展了一項實驗研究,通過操縱“聯合品牌的地位”和“聯合品牌是否和原品牌屬於同一品類(科技類vs. 和非科技類)”,探究了品牌聯合對消費者對品牌價格印象的認知,以及後續的支付意願。

研究一發現,就定價來說,相比於和地位較低的品牌聯合,原品牌和地位較高的品牌聯合時,消費者給出的定價更高;相比于和原品牌來自不同品類的品牌聯合,和原品牌來自同一品類的品牌聯合時,消費者願意接受的定價水準越高;但是,當原品牌和地位較高的品牌聯合時,消費者對和原品牌來自同一品類的品牌聯合時願意接受的定價水準比和原品牌來自不同品類的品牌聯合時願意接受的定價水準要高;但是當原品牌和地位較低的品牌聯合時,聯合品牌是否和原品牌屬於同一品類對消費者願意接受的定價水準的影響沒有顯著差異。

類似的,相比於和地位較低的品牌聯合,原品牌和地位較高的品牌聯合時,消費者認為原品牌具有更高的價格印象;相比于和原品牌來自不同品類的品牌聯合,和原品牌來自同一品類的品牌聯合時,消費者認為原品牌具有更高的價格印象;但是,和地位較高的品牌聯合時,消費者認為和原品牌來自同一品類的品牌聯合的原品牌比和原品牌來自不同品類的品牌聯合的原品牌具有更高的價格印象;但是當和地位較低的品牌聯合時,聯合產品是否和原品牌屬於同一品類對原品牌價格印象的影響沒有顯著差異。

研究二發現,當聯合品牌屬於地位高的品牌的時候,KOL類型對品牌形象的影響存在顯著差異,人們認為高端生活方式KOL代言的原品牌比大眾KOL代言的原品牌的品牌形象更高端;當聯合品牌屬於地位低的品牌的時候,KOL類型對品牌形象的影響沒有顯著差異,人們認為大眾KOL代言的原品牌和高端生活方式KOL代言的原品牌在品牌形象方面沒有顯著差異。

當聯合品牌屬於地位低的品牌的時候,KOL類型對消費者支付意願的影響沒有顯著差異;當聯合品牌屬於地位高的品牌的時候,KOL類型對支付意願的影響存在顯著差異,人們更願意為高端生活方式KOL代言(vs. 大眾KOL代言)的原品牌付更多的錢。

與以往研究相比,本研究的創新點和主要結論主要體現在以下三個方面:第一,本文通過訪談的探索性研究和實驗的定量研究的方法,明確了何種形式的品牌聯合會給家電品牌帶來正面的價格印象認知和積極的溢價支付意願。第二,本文考察了品牌聯合方式與代言人類型之間的交互作用,研究發現對於企業如何整合這兩個行銷方式來獲取協同效應,提供了實驗資料和實踐啟示。第三,本文的研究結論豐富了品牌聯合和代言人的已有研究和相關文獻,所研究的問題緣起和研究情境都來自於對中國家電零售企業的行銷實踐的思考,本文分析的物件和實驗素材,也都改編自中國某家電零售企業的行銷活動,確保了研究結論能夠為家電行業從業管理者日常行銷活動的開展提供直接的指導和借鑒。
With the rapid development of the Internet in China, the Chinese home appliance retail industry has undergone sweeping changes. The rise of e-commerce platforms such as Jingdong and Tmall has further changed Chinese consumers' consumption habits and their purchasing decisions are undergoing radical changes. With the high level of product homogeneity and increasingly fierce competition, many Chinese companies are realizing the importance of branding in the market competition and have invested in brand image building. Among the many marketing approaches to improve brand image, joint marketing with other brands is widely used and plays an active role in shaping positive brand associations with consumers and increasing brand premiums. On the other hand, with the rapid rise of the live streaming industry, brands have also started to use well-known opinion leaders (KOLs) as brand spokespersons to "bring the goods" in the hope of further enhancing the brand's influence.

Based on these phenomena, this paper attempts to investigate: how does the marketing approach of brand association and KOLs bring goods to consumers' minds and how does it affect the association of brand price impressions? Will this change in brand price perception due to brand association and spokesperson further change consumers' willingness to purchase and pay for products? Clarifying these questions is an important practical guide for companies to carry out effective marketing activities such as brand association and KOL endorsement. Based on brand extension literature, consumer price perceptions, brand-price associations and other related theories, this paper conducts qualitative and quantitative research in the home appliance industry as a research context, trying to provide practical insights for brands to shape high-end price impressions in the increasingly competitive market.

This paper is based on brand alliance and spokesperson theories. Brand Alliance (Co-Brand) usually refers to a short-term or long-term cooperation between two or more brands, or a long-term or short-term cooperation between individual brands, products or other specific assets of two or more different companies. It is one of the brand management strategies of a company and also an important brand equity enhancement strategy. Brands usually use the popularity of entertainment stars to gather popularity, so that consumers' personal admiration for the stars is subliminally transferred to the brands they endorse, thus bringing about a spike in brand awareness and an immediate effect on brand promotion. In the context of social media era and live e-commerce, spokespersons can be head anchors such as Weiya and Li Jiaqi, or KOLs on social media, such as Li Ziqi and He, etc. These two types of KOLs differ greatly in terms of popularity and audience, with the former having a wider market audience and higher public recognition, but the latter being more niche and more popular in specific segments of the population. The former has a broader market audience and higher public awareness, but the latter is more niche and more popular among specific segments of the population, compared to the latter, which gives a more high-end feeling.

Using the home appliance industry as a research context, this paper explores how two factors, brand association and type of spokesperson, affect the price perception of a brand and thus change consumers' decision making behaviors such as willingness to purchase products and willingness to pay a premium through a combination of qualitative interview research and experimental research. Specifically, this paper consists of two studies. The first study focuses on exploring the role of brand association and KOL, using an electrical brand in the home appliance industry as the research target, by using offline face-to-face unstructured interviews to understand consumers' perceptions of the brand conducting joint marketing activities with other brands to provide a basis for the construction of the research hypothesis. Afterwards, an experimental study was conducted to investigate the effect of co-branding on consumers' perceptions of the brand's price by manipulating the "status of the co-brand" and "whether the co-brand belongs to the same category as the original brand (technology vs. non-technology)". and subsequent willingness to pay.

Study 1 found that, in terms of pricing, consumers gave higher prices when the original brand was associated with a higher status brand compared to an association with a lower status brand; the higher the level of pricing consumers were willing to accept when associated with a brand from the same category as the original brand compared to an association with a brand from a different category; however, when the original brand was associated with a higher status brand, consumers were more likely to be willing to pay when associated with a brand from the same category as the original brand. However, when the original brand is combined with a higher status brand, consumers are willing to accept higher pricing levels when combined with a brand from the same category than when combined with a brand from a different category; however, when the original brand is combined with a lower status brand, there is no significant difference in the effect of whether the combined brand is in the same category as the original brand on the pricing level that consumers are willing to accept.

Similarly, consumers perceive the original brand to have a higher price impression when it is combined with a higher status brand than when it is combined with a lower status brand; consumers perceive the original brand to have a higher price impression when it is combined with a brand from the same category than when it is combined with a brand from a different category; however, when it is combined with a higher status brand, consumers perceive the original brand to have a higher price impression than when it is combined with a brand from the same category; however, when it is combined with a higher status brand, consumers perceive the original brand to have a higher price impression than when it is combined with a brand from the same category. However, when combined with a brand from the same category, consumers perceived the original brand to have a higher price impression than when combined with a brand from a different category; however, when combined with a lower status brand, there was no significant difference in the effect of whether the combined product belonged to the same category as the original brand on the price impression of the original brand.

Study 2 found that when the combined brand belonged to a high status brand, there was a significant difference in the effect of KOL type on brand image, and people perceived the original brand endorsed by a high-end lifestyle KOL to have a more high-end brand image than the original brand endorsed by a popular KOL; when the combined brand belonged to a low status brand, there was no significant difference in the effect of KOL type on brand image, and people perceived the original brand endorsed by a popular KOL to have a more high-end brand image than the original brand endorsed by a popular KOL. There is no significant difference in brand image between the original brand endorsed by a popular KOL and the original brand endorsed by a high-end lifestyle KOL.

There is no significant difference in the effect of KOL type on consumers' willingness to pay when the co-brand belongs to a low status brand; there is a significant difference in the effect of KOL type on willingness to pay when the co-brand belongs to a high status brand, and people are more willing to pay more for the original brand endorsed by a high-end lifestyle KOL (vs. mass KOL endorsement).

Compared with previous studies, the innovative points and main findings of this study are mainly in the following three aspects: First, this paper clarifies what form of brand association brings positive price impression perception and positive premium willingness to pay for home appliance brands through the exploratory research of interviews and the quantitative research of experiments. Second, this paper examines the interaction between the brand association approach and the type of endorsement, and the findings provide experimental data and practical insights into how firms can integrate the two marketing approaches to obtain synergistic effects. Third, the findings of this paper enrich the existing research and related literature on brand association and endorsements, and the research questions and contexts are derived from the consideration of marketing practices of Chinese home appliance retailers. This ensures that the findings provide direct guidance and reference to the daily marketing activities of managers in the home appliance industry.

    Research areas

  • Brand appliance, Key opinion leaders (KOL), Price image, Brand image, Willingness to pay