This study explores the relationship between marketing mix elements as also elements not directly related to marketing mix and brand equity in situations where there are uncertainties of brand attributes. The authors explore multiple times automobile buyers in India. Direct marketing mix variables like price, distribution intensity, store image, advertising frequency, price promotion were considered, while indirect marketing mix variables like country of origin, peer recommendation and celebrity endorsements have also been considered here. Brand equity has been defined as quality perceived by the consumers for a brand. The authors extended the model proposed by Yoo and Donthu (2000) to include indirect marketing mix variables also. It was found that there are primary and secondary cues affecting brand equity. While primary cues individually affect the brand equity, secondary cues do so in conjunction with primary cues. But alone, secondary cues have no impact on brand equity per se. Brand equity is impacted by both direct and indirect factors which are under the purview of marketing mix for multiple time buyers also, though intuitively such consumers are expected to be less affected by such variables. Our finding is important especially for manufacturers in the Indian context, as in India, consumers are increasingly having disposable income and hence are altering not only their automobiles, but also their household consumer durable goods. We believe that this research would help manufacturers optimally position their products to gain maximum mileage to their bottom line. Effect of interaction of different marketing and non marketing mix parameters that impacts brand equity has been studied. To the best of our knowledge, such a study has not been conducted before. This is also one of the first studies to have been made for multiple time buyers of a product category.
Key words: Marketing mix elements, non marketing mix elements, brand equity, perceived quality, multiple time buyers, price premium, automobile consumers.
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