Role of Brand in Consumer Behavior. Case: How Sneakers Have Turned into Status Symbols

Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of a Bachelor in Business Administration – International Management, from Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Finland.

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Abstract
“The main purpose of the current paper was to study and analyze the role of brand in consumer behavior. In fact, although intangible, brand seemed what mostly can influence our decisions during a purchasing process. Moreover, the study has introduced the fresh concept of Lovemarks, the ultimate manifestation of loyalty.

The research method for this thesis was qualitative. Nevertheless, no questionnaire was prepared. The data gathering and the results were based on literature (either books or online material), preceding studies and companies? real cases. In addition, as there was no net division between theories and data, in order to have a more practical approach, the thesis concerned sneakers as product case.

Even thought the research area was proven too wide, the thesis was able to identify the key factor that might determinate the influence of brand during the buying process. It was also possible to discover that loyalty to a brand can be either behavioral (unconscious) or attitudinal (conscious). Therefore, loyalty to a brand can be just a coincidence. On the other hand, for its own nature, there is no behavioral approach to Lovemarks.

To sum up, brand awareness is a progressive process that influences the final decision when the customers are already brand, and not product, oriented. In sneakers case, as the product itself has already a strong core value, it is hard to determine the boundary between love to the shoes and loyalty to the maker. However, we can be quite positive to the fact that Lovemarks sneakers are the combination of both the product and brand.”