Influence of Social Image and Brand Trust on Mobile Phone Brand Equity amongst African Generation Y Students
AbstractIn the highly competitive business landscape of the 21st century, intangible assets such as brand equity are deemed as increasingly vital to the long-term success of organisations. Brand loyalty, which is the primary driver of brand equity, germinates from consumers’ brand identification, trust in the superiority of the brand and their perceptions of the social esteem that use of the brand signals The mobile phone industry is one of the most dynamic and competitive industries of this century, with new smartphones boasting breakthrough features appearing on the market in rapid succession. As the first generation to be brought up in this era of mobile telephony, the Generation Y cohort (individuals born between 1986 and 2005) represents an important current and future segment for the manufacturers and marketers of mobile devices, including smartphones. The study reported on in this article focused on determining the influence of social image on brand trust and the influence of brand trust on mobile phone brand loyalty and brand equity amongst African Generation Y students in South Africa. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to convenience sample of 600 students across the campuses of three public South African higher education institutions situated in the Gauteng province. The captured data was analysed using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and bivariate regression. The results indicate that social image has a significant positive influence on brand trust, which, in turn, has a significant positive influence on the development of brand loyalty and consequent brand equity.
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