ROLE OF BRAND CULTURE IN INFLUENCING THE PERCEIVED VALUE OF OFFERINGS TO CUSTOMERS IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA.

Author:Dirisu, Joy Ifiavor
Position:Report - Abstract
 
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INTRODUCTION

Brands consist of both intangible and tangible elements (Maden, 2013) and as such, it brings to the fore the cultural perspective embedded therein. Brand culture as a concept refers to "the cultural codes developed by brands at a significant level, which influence the comprehension and the value of a brand in the marketplace" (Barbu, 2012). While a lot of extant studies in the developed countries (Yan, 2011; Holt, 2003) have suggested that brand culture was advantageous to organizations, it also goes to say that the absence of brand culture could affect some critical aspects of modern-day brands and inevitably, the customers' consumption experience and value. Now, not only were majority of these studies theoretical and conceptual, they were also predominantly carried out in the developed countries. As such, there is a need to situate the assessment of the effects of brand culture on the overall customer satisfaction in a more specific perspective particularly within the Nigerian context. It becomes imperative therefore, to empirically ascertain whether brand culture influences the perceived value of offerings to customers in the hotel sector of Nigeria. Therefore, this study was aimed at determining the role of brand culture in influencing the perceived value of offerings to customers. The hypothesis that was formulated was:

[H.sub.0]: Brand culture does not play significant role in influencing the perceived value of offering to customers.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Brand Culture

Brands are made up of elements that are both tangible and intangible (Taiwo & Ward, 2016). They consist of attributes that are visual, physical, as well as socio- psychological beliefs and values. Aside from being influenced by culture, brand also represents some form of cultural asset. Brand culture as a concept is defined by Barbu (2012) as 'the cultural codes created by brands at a significant level (history, images, myths, art, communities, beliefs), that influence the comprehension and the value of a brand on the market'. Brand culture can be defined as a blend of different elements useful in the identification and differentiation of service or organization from other competitors (Adeola & Ezenwafor, 2016). Some of these elements are; logos, names, designs, icons, norms, cultural traits and phenomena embedded inside the elements, as well as cultural traditions, perceptions and emotional characteristics which these cultural traits represent. The core of a brand is its culture and as such brand culture can be viewed as a superior crux of the culture of the organization and helps in displaying the brand's essential values. The understanding and experience of customers regarding the value they place on services or products (before or after usage) is greatly shaped by the brand culture. Yan (2011) argued that, customers are often attracted to the values inherent in brands enhancing their confidence and preference in the brand culture. Similar, Holt (2003) noted that, customers' senses are influenced by the brand culture, which ultimately affects their overall consumption experience of the brand. Thus, a lot of the important attributes of contemporary brands are affected by brand culture including the value of the brand and experience of customers with the brand. Also, Holt (2003) highlighted four primary sources of brand culture. These sources create stories involving the brand and they include; the firm...

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