TOWARD A PROCESS MODEL OF CONSUMER BRAND EVALUATION AND PROMOTION: DRIVERS OF WORD OF MOUTH FOR THAI SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
Keywords:Branding, Visibility, Word of Mouth, Small and Medium Enterprises, Thailand
This study examined how brand awareness moderates the process of brand evaluation and promotion for Thai SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) customers. The proposed model consisted of three main parts: brand knowledge (awareness and image), brand relationship quality (satisfaction, trust, and commitment), and consumer response factors (brand preference, brand loyalty, and word of mouth). Using a within-subjects design, the study required participants (N = 400) to respond to two brands of dessert cafes which differed regarding brand visibility. Preliminary analysis indicated that the high visibility brand produced substantially higher values across all evaluative dimensions; separate causal models were subsequently constructed for the two brands. Path analyses showed strong support for the proposed model with brand image, brand preference, brand loyalty, and brand commitment all driving word of mouth. Implications of the findings for effective branding strategies in the SME sector are suggested for academics, Thai SME owners, and marketing communication practitioners.
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