Brand equity: Is it more important in services?


While the brand equity associated with tangible goods has received a great deal of attention in the literature, a basic understanding of the nature of brand equity for services has yet to emerge. Most of what is known about brand equity for services is based on theoretical or anecdotal evidence. In addition, the presumed differences in brand equity associated with search-dominant, experience-dominant, and credence-dominant services has yet to be empirically examined. The objectives of this study are threefold: to empirically test whether brand equity is more important for services than for tangible goods, to test whether the presumed differences in brand equity for search-, experience-, and credence-dominant services can be confirmed in an empirical examination, and to assess whether consumer knowledge of a product category has an effect on the importance of brand equity across product types. Contrary to suppositions in the literature, the results indicate that brand equity is more important for tangible goods than for services. In addition, the results do not support the presumed differences between service types as brand equity for search-dominant services is more important than for both experience- and credence-dominant services. The same pattern of results is achieved when consumer knowledge of each product category is included as a covariate. © 2001, MCB UP Limited

Publication Title

Journal of Services Marketing