Brand positioning in financial services: Measurement of brand-attribute association

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In this research brand/attribute association was measured using a free choice, pick any approach, where both brands and attributes were provided to respondents. In this case, a table of brands and attributes was provided and respondents were asked to circle brands they associated with each attribute. A ‘none of these’ option was also provided. The use of prompted measures increases the likelihood that all available (and not just immediately accessible) links between the brands and the attributes in memory will be retrieved by respondents. The use of a prompted method for collecting brand associations should not compromise the generalisability of the results as there is a similar underlying structure for prompted and unprompted brand association measurement.

Brand positions

A total of six brand position types are tested across 11 positioning attributes. These positions and the specific attributes are shown in Table 1.

Customer defection/vulnerability

This was measured using the Juster scale, an 11-point probabilistic scale that has been found to provide accurate predictions of future behaviour. The scale presented to respondents is shown in Table 2. Respondents were asked to estimate the probability that they would switch from their main financial institution in the next 12 months. The mean of the customer base, when increased by a factor of 10, represents the proportion likely to undertake the behaviour. For example a Juster mean of 1.1 would suggest that 11 per cent of the customer base would be likely to switch brands in the next 12 months. This mean is the measure of the level of customer vulnerability.

Table 1 Positions and attributes

Position

Attribute

Position

Attributes

Price

Suitable fees and charges Good interest rates

User type

For businesses

Supports business community

Relationship/ Service benefit

Responsive to needs Business partner

Accessibility benefit

Convenient branches

Security benefit

Safe

Responsible

Perceived quality

Good at financial

management Investment growth

It is important to note that both brand- attribute association and customer vulnerability were collected in the same survey. This could potentially be an issue as the responses to the positioning attribute questions could influence the customers to respond in a particular way to the question on customer vulnerability. This is not expected to have an adverse influence on results as the comparisons are between attributes, therefore any biases should be evenly distributed across attributes.

Table 2 Juster probability scale

Probability scale

10

Certain, practically certain (99 chances i

n 100)

9

Almost sure (9 chances in 10)

8

Very probable (8 chances in 10)

7

Probable (7 chances in 10)

6

Good possibility (6 chances in 10)

5

Fairly good possibility (5 chances in 10)

4

Fair possibility (4 chances in 10)

3

Some possibility (3 chances in 10)

2

Slight possibility (2 chances in 10)

1

Very slight possibility (1 chance in 10)

0

No chance, almost no chance (1 chance

in 100)

Representative APR 391%

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