Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Michael J. Breazeale

Committee Member

Stephen France

Committee Member

Joel E. Collier

Committee Member

Clay M. Voorhees

Committee Member

Randall C. Campbell

Date of Degree

8-6-2021

Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 2 years

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only

Major

Marketing

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

College

College of Business

Department

Department of Marketing, Quantitative Analysis and Business Law

Abstract

Brand equity is a construct that has numerous implications for both academics and practitioners. It has been the topic of a great deal of research during the past three decades. Several components of brand equity have been theorized and tested over the years, but the foundation of the construct remains consistent - brand equity is enhanced by factors that increase the profitability of the firm. One factor that has long been recognized as important for the retailer brand is location, yet previous work on brand equity has never specifically considered the role of geographic location of the retailer brand in relation to customers. This dissertation addresses this important gap by building a theoretical case for Retailer Location-Based Brand Equity (RLBBE) and attempts to uncover the primary determinants of the newly-proposed construct. Essay One begins with a qualitative exploration of consumer perceptions related to retailer location and the benefits and detriments that can flow from location. A mixed-method qualitative approach will employ machine learning, AI-enabled content analysis, and a traditional netnographic content analysis of consumer reviews on the Yelp social media platform. Findings support a proposed definition of RLBBE as "the portion of brand equity that is directly dependent on the location of the retailer brand relative to the consumer". Findings suggest the 3L's of RLBBE - location-based convenience, locus of loyalty, and locality of the brand - as the three dimensions that make up RLBBE. Essay two builds upon the work done in Essay One to determine the roles that the three proposed dimensions of RLBBE play and the relative importance of each. Essay two utilizes choice modeling to examine the dimensions of RLBBE as perceived by consumers. Three studies directly extend the work reported in Essay One by testing the 3L's of RLBBE. These three studies, taken together, further strengthen the case for RLBBE as an important and unique component of brand equity for retailer brands. This dissertation opens the door for both academics and practitioners to begin considering the role that location plays in determining the equity of retailer brands and the impact that location-based strategy can have on the brand.

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