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Locked in or true love: Branding among banks: A qualitative study of technologies, brand equity, switching barriers, choice criteria and future strategies in the context of retail banking
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to increase the knowledge about technology based services affection of the ability of retail banks to build customer based brand equity among students.

Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual model has been developed from theories regarding customer based brand equity, switching barriers and choice criteria. Based on this conceptual model, seven in depth interviews including several brand elicitation techniques were conducted.

Findings – The findings show that students perceive the target banks to be rather similar, especially regarding technologies. In addition, the students are satisfied with their bank, however; the technology based services have difficulties in creating true customer based brand equity. Behind this difficulties are the special character of financial service combined with the student role. Together, these results suggest that the banks need to do something besides the actual services in order to build customer based brand equity and keep the customers for a long term relationship. These strategies must be developed and implemented carefully in order to keep the current image of credibility.

Research limitations/implications – The paper has not included comprehensive eliciting techniques and this must be taken into account when reflecting about unconscious brand associations. 

Practical implications – The findings include good insights and advices that bank managers can use to create meaningful differentiations in the future and attract and keep students as customers for a long time. 

Originality/value - The paper combines customer based brand equity with switching barriers, which give valuable insights to both banks and researchers. Moreover, the time period of the study related to the technological innovation provides the brand equity research in the financial sector with updated knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 67 p.
Keyword [en]
brand equity, retail bank, customers, students, branding in financial services, switching barriers, choice criteria
Keyword [sv]
varumärkeskapital, kunder, studenter, varumärkesbyggande i den finansiella sektorn, bytesbarriärer, beslutskriterier
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-95044OAI: diva2:757016
Educational program
Master's Programme in Marketing
Available from: 2014-10-21 Created: 2014-10-20 Last updated: 2014-10-21Bibliographically approved

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