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High-involvement and low-involvement products: A comparison of brand awareness among students at a South African university

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Purpose ‐ Knowledge of brand awareness and its role is important for the design of an organisation's marketing strategies. This study aims to determine the brand awareness of high- and low-involvement products among Black and non-Black students enrolled at a South African university. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A self-administered survey was completed by a convenience sample of 300 students of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The focal high-involvement product was sportswear clothing and the low-involvement product, coffee. Findings ‐ The results indicated a higher awareness of high-involvement product brands than of low-involvement product brands. Advertising played an important role in the awareness of sportswear clothing brands, but seemed unimportant in the case of coffee. The brand name was important for coffee, while the name and the logo played a role in students' awareness of sportswear brands. Research limitations/implications ‐ This study was limited to students of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and to sportswear clothing and coffee product categories. Future studies could comprise larger samples, different contexts and other product or service categories. Practical implications ‐ The findings suggest that marketers employ different strategies to create and increase brand awareness for high- and low-involvement products. Originality/value ‐ Previous research found that brand awareness played an important role in low-involvement products; however, little is known about brand awareness differences between high- and low-involvement products, particularly with respect to the brand awareness of South African students.
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Keywords: Advertising, Brand awareness; Clothing; Coffee; Consumer behaviour; South Africa

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-05-09

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