The Cognitive Structure of Online Brand Choice: An Exploratory Study

  • Arunima RanaEmail author
  • Anil K. Bhat
  • Leela Rani
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science book series (DMSPAMS)


This paper attempts to explore the underlying cognitive structure of online brand choice. Building brand equity is a multistep process that starts with creating brand awareness, developing cues to form strong brand association among consumers, adding value to create better perceived quality, and ultimately making customers loyal to the brand. Building online brand equity follows a similar sequence of steps. In this regard, understanding the consumer behavior and underlying cognitive perceptions is crucial. A consumer may follow different combinations of simple rules while making a purchase or choosing specific brands. In this paper, multidimensional scaling approach is used to determine the underlying cognitive structure of any brand choice. Online retailer brands and travel website brands are taken into consideration. A survey has been conducted to capture the perception of online consumers and analyzed using SPSS. The identified underlying dimensions for online retailers and travel websites are studied and their latent similarities and dissimilarities observed. An overarching consumer cognitive perception framework is then proposed.


Online brand choice Internet commerce Online brand equity Online shopping 


  1. Aaker, D. A. (1991). Managing brand equity: Capitalizing on the value of a brand. New York, NY: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  2. Aaker, D. A. (1996). Measuring brand equity across products and markets. California Management Review, 38(3), 102–120.Google Scholar
  3. Al-fawwaz, B. M., Al-shatnawi, A. M., & Alsharafat, W. S. (2015). Recognizing the importance of brand awareness on e-commerce sales while shopping on internet: Empirical analysis of european countries. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies, 9(1), 15–19.Google Scholar
  4. Bart, Y., Shankar, V., Sultan, F., & Urban, G. L. (2005). Are the drivers and role of online trust the same for all web sites and consumers? A large-scale exploratory empirical study. Journal of Marketing, 69(4), 133–152.Google Scholar
  5. Berger, J., Draganska, M., & Simonson, I. (2007). The influence of product variety on brand perception and choice. Marketing Science, 26(4), 460–472.Google Scholar
  6. Bertea, P. (2010). Investigating the Role of Brand Awareness in Reducing the Perceived Risk Associated to Online Buying of Tourism Services, in International Conference Marketing-from information to decision, no. 3, pp. 9–19.Google Scholar
  7. Bhattacherjee, A., & Barfar, A. (2011). Information technology continuance research: Current state and future directions. Asia Pacific Journal of Information Systems, 21(2), 1–18.Google Scholar
  8. Chintagunta, P. K., & Chintagunta, P. K. (1998). Inertia and variety seeking in a model of brand-purchase timing. Marketing Science, 17(3), 253–270.Google Scholar
  9. Chen, S. (2001). Assessing the impact of the Internet on brands. Journal of Brand Management, 8(4-5), 288–302.Google Scholar
  10. Chung, S. (2013). The role of online informediaries for consumers: A dual perspective about price comparison and information mediation. Internet Research, 23(3), 338–354.Google Scholar
  11. Corstjens, M., & Lal, R. (2000). Building store loyalty through store brands. Journal of Marketing Research, 37(3), 281–291.Google Scholar
  12. Crescitelli, E. (2009). Brand Equity Evolution: A System Dynamics Model. Brazilian Adminstration Rev. Curitiba, 6(2),101–117.Google Scholar
  13. Dussart, C. (2001). Transformative power of e-business over consumer brands. European Management Journal, 19(6), 629–37.Google Scholar
  14. Erdem, T., & Swait, J. (1998). Brand equity as a signaling phenomenon. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 7(2), 131–157.Google Scholar
  15. Farquhar, P. H. (1991). Managing brand equity. Journal of Marketing, 56(2), 125.Google Scholar
  16. Young, F. W., & Yoshio Takane, R. L. (1980). ALSCAL: A multidimensional scaling package with several individual differences options. The American Statistician, 34(2), 117–118.Google Scholar
  17. French, A., & Smith, G. (2013). Measuring brand association strength: A consumer based brand equity approach. European Journal of Marketing, 47(8), 1356–1367.Google Scholar
  18. Gommans, M., Krishnan, K. S., & Scheffold, K. B. (2001). From brand loyalty to e-loyalty: A conceptual framework. Journal of Economic and Social Research, 3(1), 43–58.Google Scholar
  19. Grewal, D., Krishnan, R., Baker, J., & Borin, N. (1998). The effect of store name, brand name and price discounts on consumers’ evaluations and purchase intentions. Journal of Retailing, 74(3), 331–352.Google Scholar
  20. Gupta, S., & Kim, H.-W. (2007). The moderating effect of transaction experience on the decision calculus in on-line repurchase. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 12(1), 127–158.Google Scholar
  21. Hahn, K. H., & Kim, J. (2009). The effect of offline brand trust and perceived internet confidence on online shopping intention in the integrated multi-channel context. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 37(2), 126–141.Google Scholar
  22. Hardesty, D. M., & Suter, T. a. (2005). E-tail and retail reference price effects. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 14(2), 129–136.Google Scholar
  23. Häubl, G. (1999). Consumer decision making in online environments. In Advances in consumer research (Vol. 26, pp. 477–478).Google Scholar
  24. Huang, M. H. (2005). Web performance scale. Information and Management, 42(6), 841–852.Google Scholar
  25. Huang, W. Y., Schrank, H., & Dubinsky, A. J. (2004). Effect of brand name on consumers’ risk perceptions of online shopping. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 4(1), 40–50.Google Scholar
  26. Jarvenpaa, S. L., Tractinsky, N., & Vitale, M. (2000). Consumer trust in an internet store. Information Technology and Management, 1(1), 45–71.Google Scholar
  27. Keller, K. L. (1993). Conceptualizing, measuring and managing customer-based brand equity. Journal of Marketing, 57(1), 1–22.Google Scholar
  28. King, R. C., Sen, R., & Xia, M. (2014). Impact of web-based e-commerce on channel strategy in retailing. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 8(3), 103–130.Google Scholar
  29. Kotler, P., Kartajaya, H., & Setiawan, I. (2017). Marketing 4.0. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  30. Kruskal, J. B. (1964). Nonmetric multidimensional scaling: A numerical method. Psychometrika, 29(2), 115–129.Google Scholar
  31. Li, N., & Zhang, P. (2002). Consumer online shopping attitudes and behavior : an assessment of research. Information Systems Journal, 85(2–5), 508–517.Google Scholar
  32. Palvia, P. (2009). The role of trust in e-commerce relational exchange: A unified model. Information & Management, 46(1), 213–220.Google Scholar
  33. Parasuraman, A., Zeithmal, V. A., & Malhotra, A. (2005). E-s-qual: a multiple-item scale for assessing electronic service quality. Journal of Service Research, 7(3), 213–233.Google Scholar
  34. Parasuraman, A. (1997). Reflections on gaining competitive advantage through customer value. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 25(2), 154–161.Google Scholar
  35. Park, J., & Stoel, L. (2005). Effect of brand familiarity, experience and information on online apparel purchase. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 33(2), 148–160.Google Scholar
  36. Park, M., & Lennon, S. J. (2009). Brand name and promotion in online shopping contexts. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 13(2), 149–160.Google Scholar
  37. Reisenzein, R. (2009). Emotional experience in the computational belief–desire theory of emotion. Emotion Review, 1(3), 214–222.Google Scholar
  38. Riemenschneider, C. K., Jones, K., & Leonard, L. N. K. (2009). Web trust-a moderator of the web’s perceived individual impact. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 49(4), 10–18.Google Scholar
  39. Rios, R. E., & Riquelme, H. E. (2008). Brand equity for online companies. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 26(7), 719–742.Google Scholar
  40. Rios, R. E., & Riquelme, H. E. (2010). Sources of brand equity for online companies. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 4(3), 214–240.Google Scholar
  41. Rowley, J. (2009). Online branding strategies of UK fashion retailers. Internet Research, 19(3), 348–369.Google Scholar
  42. Shankar, V. (1999). The online medium and customer price sensitivity. University Park, PA: eBRC.Google Scholar
  43. Sinha, I. “Cost Transparency: The Net’s Real Threat to Prices and Brands,” Harvard Business Review, March-April 2000.Google Scholar
  44. Verhagen, T., & Van Dolen, W. (2011). The influence of online store beliefs on consumer online impulse buying: A model and empirical application. Information and Management, 48(8), 320–327.Google Scholar
  45. Winch, G., & Joyce, P. (2006). Exploring the dynamics of building, and losing, consumer trust in B2C eBusiness. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 34(7), 541–555.Google Scholar
  46. Young, F. W., Takane, Y., & Rostyslaw, L. (1978). Three notes on ALSCAL. Psychometrika, 43(3), 433–435.Google Scholar
  47. Yun, Z.-S., & Good, L. K. (2007). Developing customer loyalty from e-tail store image attributes. Managing Service Quality, 17(1), 4–22.Google Scholar
  48. Zhang, L., Long, L., Xu, Y., & Tan, W. (2013). Influences of perceived factors on consumer purchasing behavior: In the perspective of online shopping capability of consumers. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, 5(24), 8632–8638.Google Scholar
  49. Zhao, W. (2011). E-Tail-SERVQUAL: Conceptualization and its validity. Assessment, 393–396.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Foreign TradeNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Birla Institute of Technology and SciencesPilaniIndia

Personalised recommendations