Brand competitiveness: development of a new scale
Scholars have identified the insufficient representation of the relative nature of competition in present brand performance measures, such as brand strength, brand equity, brand health and the customer-based brand performance model. Thus, researchers have encouraged the use of relative measures in marketing. Reflecting on such deliberations, the emerging concept of brand competitiveness offers a potential remedy. Brand competitiveness, defined as a brand’s outperformance of competing brands, is an emerging, yet vital, construct in marketing research. Because it has only been introduced recently, definitions and conceptualisations of brand competitiveness vary, with no commonly accepted measurement. In seeking to fill this gap in the literature and build on an emerging body of work on brand competitiveness, this study introduces customer-based brand competitiveness and develops a refined pool of scale items utilising a scholarly scale development procedure. This study focuses on the qualitative parts of the scale development process, comprising two stages: Stage 1: scale construction and Stage 2: scale refinement. A literature review of brand competitiveness studies that offered scale items resulted in four relevant scale items. In order to reflect the conceptualisation of customer-based brand competitiveness, 20 consumer interviews were conducted, resulting in a list of 32 scale items. The items from the literature review and the consumer interviews were subsequently combined for an initial pool of 36 items. These items were then evaluated for representativeness, redundancy, and clarity in the subsequent scale refinement stage. Ten academics with expertise in branding from six countries participated in those expert interviews. The refined pool of scale items comprises 22 items. Future research should statistically test and validate the refined pool of scale items representing the foundation for the quantitative scale validation stage. Brand managers can use these scale items as an instrument to better understand brand competitiveness, in other words, their own brand’s standing in relation to competing brands. Finally, the study acknowledges limitations and proposes directions for further research.