How Brand Aesthetics Affects Brand Equity in Hospitality.
Brands are amongst the most key intangible assets in a firm—they accelerate value and boost market success. Successful businesses are characterized by brand premium. The brand premium is based on positive brand equity—the value achieved from being a familiar, credible, and trustworthy brand. When this is properly achieved both the firm’s information costs and the customers’ perceived risks associated with purchasing are lowered.
Invariably, a brand’s worth is associated with the consumers’ behavior around a product or a service bearing a particular brand name. Therefore, the topic of positive brand equity is paramount for value acceleration for firms. This write-up examines the link between web aesthetic features and the consumer-based brand equity (CBBE) in the hotel sector. This would mean having a closer look at web aesthetic features in relations to some of
the elements of the consumer-based brand equity model: brand identity, brand image, brand preference, and brand loyalty.
A Profitable Pretty
A closer look on branding literature proves that favorable consumer perceptions towards a brand are vital for brand success—they contribute to the brand strength, which drives brand value in the market. Web aesthetics when strategically applied on a hotel website serve as elements of brand equity. They are not just for making a website pretty. But web aesthetics are for making a hotel website pretty and profitable—“a profitable pretty.” By enhancing the brand image and the brand identity, which in the long-run will boost positive brand equity and brand loyalty.
Empirically, both the web aesthetic features and the CBBE construct focus on equity through brand familiarity, perceived brand value, and brand loyalty. Since strong brand equity is attained when customers identify brands, have a favorable experience with the brand, and are loyal to the brand. Therefore, hotel firms must strive to create effective websites with the capacity of communicating visual brand identity (VBI) using web aesthetic features that can refine their web positioning, and improve their brand communication to influence consumers’ emotions and decision-making towards the brand. Additionally, the hospitality branding literature establishes that consumer purchasing decisions are often influenced by the appearance and the web design elements: pictures, virtual tours, graphics and quality information.
Categorically speaking, pictures, graphics, and virtual tours are elements of brand image; and brand identity is a key driver of strong brand creation and value acceleration—creating a strong brand that offers value to both the consumer and the firm. Since strong brand equity could generate a significant increase in profitability, while lack of brand equity would impair sales flow. Therefore, hotel firms should invest on digital-based hotel brand equity due to their internet-based business models that require a web-based brand equity strategy to increase in profitability.
Visualizing The Intangible & Persuaded
No doubt: brand image plays a significant role in hotel branding since brand identity aids consumers to visualize and comprehend the intangible and reduces customers’ perceived risks, and it also increases the trust of the invisible. Moreover, when hotel brands put emphasis on visualizing the intangible, a language reminiscent of a web environment, they make the value of their service quality (SEVQUAL) realized. The perceptional and behavioral elements of brand equity are important components of branding because they’re capable of linking brand equity to the visual-perceptual
features as an important model in meeting both the expectations and the emotional needs of the consumer.
A profound understanding on the pivotal link between brand equity and web visual perceptual features would accurately contextualize hotel brand equity to reflect both the application of web aesthetic features and the CBBE construct. On top of that, forward-thinking brands see brand-related features of website aesthetics as displaying a perceived value for the site and affecting the dimensions of CBBE at the same time, an outcome that would have not been achieved otherwise, without web aesthetic features. The awareness of the brand via brand-related features of web aesthetics suggest proper brand identity communication and the persuasive power of brand images—implying a link between brand identity and brand awareness.
Emphasizing the influence that brand identity has on brand awareness.
What does it mean that a brand image is persuasive? Simply put: favorable! A favorable brand experience improves customer satisfaction, enhances commitment, and strengthens brand equity. Moreover, brand experience is interpreted from the consumer point of view—their perception of their brand experience, confirming the association between web visual stimuli and the CBBE construct. Since when consumers interact with brands become aware of the visual stimuli that serve to identify the brand—an interactive experience with a brand means interacting with a
visual stimuli that serve to identify the brand, therefore, interaction improves brand equity.
Overall Impression, Emotion, and Behaviour Intention
Further, this write-up acknowledges the influence of a brand name and a logo type exerted on brand awareness, and how brand awareness is key since it is a salient dimension of consumer-based brand equity. The experiential image properties, perceived quality, and brand image have many features in common—pointing towards the relationship between web aesthetic visuals and brand knowledge in CBBE. Therefore, web visual stimuli have a positive effect on every dimension of CBBE.
The visual appearance of a webpage interface is capable of influencing the
users’ overall impression, emotions and behavior intention—the web homepage is the website’s entry point. In other words, the more positive the brand image on the homepage, the greater the possibility of web interaction and satisfaction, affecting trust and loyalty. Since customer satisfaction and loyalty are highly possible when the consumer is more positive about a hotel firm’s online brand image—brand loyalty is an element of the brand equity concept. Meaning that web aesthetic features on the webpage have an impact on CBBE by offering positive impression and attractiveness of the site affecting both e-satisfaction and e-trust, antecedents of e-
Strategically, hotel firms should maintain a hybrid concept between the e-loyalty and the traditional brand loyalty model, whereby, e-loyalty becomes the extension of traditional brand loyalty over to electronic-mediated online consumer experience environment. The actuality of these two spaces for brand experience offering: web-based and the traditional-based brick-and-mortar favors the causal relationship between website aesthetics and the consumer-based brand equity construct. So make magic happen with the looks of your hotel website interface—it’s the survival of
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