The Impact of Marketing Mix on Brand Equity of Sneakers

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1 The Impact of Marketing Mix on Brand Equity of Sneakers Rasool Zabetian 1, Ali Benesbordi 2, Khalil Tari Gholi 3 Abstract This study aimed to investigate the impact of selected elements of the marketing mix on brand equity of sneakers. This was a descriptive - correlational study. The population consisted of all physical education students in all universities of Tehran. The simple random sampling was used. A total of 360 questionnaires were collected. The research tools were marketing mix questionnaire of Yu et al and brand equity scale of Hansler et al. The validity of questionnaires was confirmed by ten professors in the field of sports management. Using Cronbach's alpha coefficient, the reliability of questionnaires was obtained as follows: marketing mix scale (0.83) and brand equity questionnaire (0.85). The analysis of the data was conducted descriptively and inferentially (Kolmogorov Smirnov test and multiple regression). The results showed that there is a significant relationship between marketing mix elements and brand equity of sneakers (P =0.001 and r= 0.51). Also, the results of multiple regression test showed that the elements of product, price, distribution, and promotion have a significant impact on brand equity of sneakers. Keywords: sports marketing, marketing mix, brand equity 1. Introduction In an era of globalization expansion, competitiveness is a major issue among policy-makers at various levels (national, industry, and company) in different parts of the world. In both domestic markets and global arena, business strategies are formulated to move the companies from their current competitive position to a new stronger position. Organizations act differently in terms of 1 Sport Management department,physical education and sport sciences faculty,tehran University,Tehran,Iran 2 Sport Management department,physical education and sport sciences faculty,tehran University,Tehran,Iran 3 Physical education and sport sciences faculty,islamic Azad University of Mashhad,Iran 54

2 performance and working methods. World-class companies have common features in order to improve competitiveness. A key factor in the success of world-class organizations is their ability to integrate the activities for influencing the market, operations, and culture. Competitive advantage is achieved by a concerted effort to create differentiation in the market, operations, and culture of the organization. For this purpose, one of the most famous marketing concepts has been investigated over the past decade by academics and practitioners of marketing is the brand equity. One reason for this reputation is the important and strategic role of brand equity in gaining competitive advantage and strategic management decisions. If the brand equity is measured accurately, it will be a suitable criterion for evaluating the long-term effects of marketing decisions (Simon & Sullivan, 1993). Different approaches have been provided for brand equity. The financial, behavioral, and cognitive perspectives are the most important ones. The behavioral and cognitive approaches for evaluating the brand equity are important from the consumer's perspective; because they are the real consumers of the product and the cause of creating income. Brand equity has many advantages for companies and producers. For example, if the brand has high value, the consumers will have positive attitude towards the brand; then, they will pay high price for the product, repeat their purchase, and conduct word of mouth advertising (Kim & Hyun, 2010). All of these consumer behaviors increase the competitive position and financial performance of company. By creating loyalty in consumers, brand equity increases the probability of choosing the brand. Companies can benefit from this advantage for the development of their products. With the extension of existing brand to new products, advertising costs for new products will be reduced. Other benefits of brand equity include the transferring licenses and patents to other companies, the effectiveness of marketing communications, chain stores tend to put the brand in the portfolio of their products, insensitivity of consumers to the price, reduced vulnerability of companies against the competitors, and financial records (Rajh, 2005). The development of brand equity is often a challenging and difficult task. For this purpose, it is necessary that a broad perspective to be adopted about the different attitudes towards the factors affecting brand equity. One of the important factors for creating and strengthen brand equity is marketing activities. Brand equity is the result of investment in marketing activities in the past. Through marketing activities, companies inform the consumers about brand and create acceptable brand image in their minds (Van Riel & Streukens, 2005). 55

3 In today s market environment, there are many different ways of marketing that can be effective in creating and enhancing brand equity. The distribution strategies, communication strategies, pricing strategies, and other marketing activities may weaken or strengthen the brand (Keller,2012). By considering the impact of marketing mix especially strategies related to product, pricing, distribution and, promotion- on brand equity, these activities can be used to develop brand equity. By identifying the factors affecting brand equity, the power of company in the market and its financial performance will be increased. The elements affecting the marketing are considered as marketing mix and available tools in the organization and through them, the organization provides products or services. These elements include four strategic elements: product, price, place, and promotion or distribution (Pitts & Stotlar, 2007). Some research has been conducted on the impact of marketing mix on brand equity: Seyed Javadin (2007) studied the determinants of sneakers brand equity among young age groups. He concluded that brand awareness, brand loyalty, and perceived quality have a direct impact on brand equity (Seyd Javadin, Seyed Javad & Shams,2007). In a research on the services of sports sets, Jalali Farahani (2013) showed that the selected marketing mix elements, sales promotion, and central image affect the brand equity. Also, price and promotion do not affect brand equity (Jallali,2013). Rajh, E. (2005) found that price, breadth of marketing activities, and corporate image affect positively the brand equity and price and promotions have a negative impact on brand equity (Rajh, 2005). In another research, Yoo, B., Donthu, N., & Lee, S. (2000) found that price, advertising, and corporate image affect positively the brand equity; while, the sales promotion affects negatively the brand equity (Yoo, Donthu & Lee 2000). Kim and Hyun (2010) research showed that the performance of the marketing mix is positively related to brand equity (Kim & Hyun 2010). Currently, perfect conditions are available for the investment of large international companies - producing sports shoes- in Iran s market. This will lead to the development of competition between stores and dealers of manufacturers. The unawareness about the resources that impact on brand equity as well as the inability to separate and identify resources with higher priority will have a negative impact on the market share of companies in Iran. The lack of study about brand equity and the impact of different marketing activities on it cause the decision making -about investing in the Iran- to be associated with a greater risk and reduce its effectiveness. Therefore, the evaluation of sneakers brand equity from the consumer's perspective can be a guide and reference point for the activities of manufacturing companies and their stores in Iran. Accordingly, 56

4 the present study examines the impact of the marketing mix (product, price, distribution and promotion) on sneakers brand equity from the perspective of physical education students who are regular clients of sporting goods, especially shoes, is discussed. Accordingly, the present study examines the impact of the marketing mix (product, price, distribution and promotion) on sneakers brand equity from the perspective of physical education students who are regular clients of sporting goods, especially sneakers. 2. Methodology This is a descriptive-correlational applied research. The population consists of all Physical Education and Sport Sciences students at the Universities of Tehran. According to estimates, about ten thousand students at all academic levels- including bachelor, master and doctorate- study the Physical Education and Sports Science in public and private universities of Tehran. Based on the Morgan table, the sample size was estimated to be 370 subjects. Of the distributed questionnaires, 360 questionnaires were completed correctly. The same number was taken as the sample. The simple random sampling method was used for selecting the samples. The questionnaire was the research tool used in this study: marketing mix questionnaire (product image to the customer, price, distribution channels and promotion) created by Yoo, B., Donthu, N., & Lee, S. (2000) and brand equity questionnaire (2011) created by Henseler, J., Wilson, B., & Westberg, K (2011). The validity of questionnaires was confirmed by ten professors in the field of sports management. Using Cronbach's alpha coefficient, the reliability of marketing mix questionnaire and brand equity questionnaire was obtained as 0.83 and 0.85, respectively. The descriptive statistics (frequency, mean, and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (Kolmogorov- Smirnov Test to check the normal distribution of data and multiple linear regression) was used for analyzing the data. The SPSS version 16 was used for statistical analysis. 3. Findings Based on research findings, the average age of respondents is about 25 years (SD = 2.3). The 65 percent (n=234) and 35 percent (n=126) of respondents were male and female, respectively (Figure 1). 57

5 Man Woman 35% 65% Figure 1. Gender Of Respondents Education F Percentage B.A M.A Ph.D Total Table 1 Shows The Degree Of Physical Education Students In The Sample Before testing the main hypothesis of the study, the normal distribution of variables was evaluated using the KS test. The results of this test showed that the data distribution of all variables is normal (Table 2). Kolmogrov Smirnove result Variable Product Price Distribution Promotion Brand Equity Z K-S Sig

6 Marketing Mix International SAMANM Journal of Marketing and Management The multiple regression method was used for analyzing the impact of independent variables (the marketing mix elements) on the criterion variable (brand equity). Also, Durbin-Watson Test was used for checking the errors Independence. The results of these tests are given in Tables 3 and 4. Durbin-Watson Result Variable R Adj. R 2 F Sig Durbin-Watson Marketing Mix As can be seen in Table 3, the results of Durbin-Watson Test (2.5> 1.88> 1.5) shows that there is no correlation between the errors; so the regression condition is satisfied. Also, the results of ANOVA (F) test showed that a linear relationship exists between variables (0.001> P). Regression Result Predictor B β t Sig Ratio Product Price Distribution Promotion According to regression results are shown in Table 4, the product (P =0.001), price (P =0.001), distribution (P =0.001), and promotion (P =0.008) elements has a significant impact on brand equity of sneakers. 4. Discussion And Conclusions This study aimed to evaluate the impact of selected elements of the marketing mix- including product, price, distribution, and promotion- on sneakers brand equity among Physical Education students of Tehran Universities. The findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between the marketing mix elements and sneakers brand equity (r =0.51). These findings are consistent with the research results of Yoo et al (2000), Rajh (2005), and Kim (2010). The obtained coefficient of determination indicates that 25% of the brand equity variance is explained by marketing mix elements. 59

7 The multiple regression analysis showed that the three elements of the marketing mix including product (P =0.001 and t =5.63), distribution (P =0.001 and t =4.22), and promotion (P =0.008 and t =2.66) have a significantly positive impact on sneakers brand equity. Also, the price (P =0.001 and t =-3.90) affect inversely the brand equity. This study confirms the results of previous research. Beta coefficient indicates that the product ( β=0.32) was the most important predictor of sneakers brand equity. In a research on the impact of product and distribution channel elements on brand equity, Van Rail and colleagues (2005) found that the physical characteristics of the product have a significant impact on brand equity. The tangible characteristics of products- for example, quality and product design- and some intangible characteristics of products are factors that affect the perceived quality by consumers (1). The attractive package of product captures the attention consumer. Therefore, the sneakers manufacturers and stores should consider the quality and beauty of products. The second important element affecting sneakers brand equity is distribution (β=0.25). By strong distribution mechanism, customer satisfaction will be improved. Therefore, it is recommended that the distribution system to be considered specially. The effective management of supply chain requires the facilitation of information exchange between supply chain members. The information flow between sales and production sectors and identification of high-turnover and low-turnover products can be facilitated with the help of planning and supply chain management software. Strategic look at the supply chain can improve customer service and responsiveness to demands, and reduce the controllable costs in the distribution system. The amount of sales promotion effectiveness (β=0.15) is less than other elements of the marketing mix; however, it has significant influence on brand equity. Therefore, sneakers stores and dealers should use larger volume of sales promotion. From four elements of the marketing mix which was evaluated in this study, price ( β=-0.22) have inverse effect on sneakers brand equity. This means that by rising of prices, the brand equity is reduced from the customer's perspective. It is important to note that the perceived price by the customer- and not the actual price- matters. In fact, when the price of sneakers is higher than the expectation, the customer satisfaction will be reduced. So, it is suggested that the manufacturers and providers of sports shoes conduct competitive pricing by reducing unnecessary costs. Thus, they will attract more customers and by obtaining customer satisfaction, they will improve their brand equity. 60

8 References Chen, Y.M., Su, Y.F., & Lin, F.J.(2011) "Country of origin effects and antecedents of industrial brand equity", Journal of Business Research, Vol.1(5). Doi: j.jbusres Henseler, J., Wilson, B., & Westberg, K. (2011) "Managers' Perceptions of the Impact of Sport Sponsorship on Brand Equity: Which Aspects of the Sponsorship Matter Most?", Sport Marketing Quarterly, Vol.20 (1), pp Jallali, F. M. (2013) "The influence of selected marketing mix elements on brand equity in sports services", Applied Research in Sport Management (Iran), Vol.2, pp Keller, K.L. (2001) "Building customer-based brand equity: A blueprint for creating strong brands", Marketing Management, Vol.10, N.1, pp Keller, Kevin Lane. (2012) "Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity", 4th Edition, Amazon publishing. Kim.J.H. & Hyun,Y. J.(2010) "A model to investigate the influence of marketing mix efforts and corporate image on brand equity in the IT software sector", Industrial marketing Management,Vol. 1-15, doi: /j.indmarman Pitts, B. G., & Stotlar, D. K. (2007) "Fundamentals of sport marketing: Fitness information technology". Morgantown, WV. Rajh, E. (2005) "The effect of marketing mix elements on brand equity", Economic Trends and Economic Policy, Vol.102, pp Seyd Javadin, Seyed Javad & Shams, R. (2007) "Factors determining Sports Shoes Brand Equity in young group", Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (Iran), Vol.25. Simon, C.J. and Sullivan, M.W. (1993) "The measurement and determinants of brand equity: a financial approach", Marketing Science, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp Van Riel, A. C.R., Mortanges, C.Pa. d., & Streukens, S. (2005) "Marketing antecedents of industrial brand equity: An empirical investigation in specialty chemicals", Industrial Marketing Management, Vol.34, pp Yoo, B., Donthu, N., & Lee, S. (2000) "An examination of selected marketing mix elements and brand equity", Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol.28(2), pp

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