Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2009

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Business Administration

First Advisor

Gruca, Thomas S

Second Advisor

Rego, Lopo L

First Committee Member

Russell, Gary J

Second Committee Member

Murry, John P

Third Committee Member

Zhang, Ying


This three-essay thesis focuses on how value of the brand, i.e. brand equity is created, with each study investigating different parts of the relationships within the brand value chain.

My first essay identifies and tests a new set of brand equity drivers such as brand structure and positioning, brand strategy, and customer characteristics. I use revenue premium as the retail level measure of brand equity and decompose it into price and volume premiums. Then, I explore the effects of different brand equity drivers on these premiums. The study on the universe of grocery industry in the U.S. shows compelling evidences that volume premium prevails over price premium in driving revenue premium. Brand structure and positioning, brand strategy and customer characteristics contribute significantly to the changes of the brand market performance measured with price, volume and revenue premiums.

My second essay examines the association between consumer-based brand equity (IBBE) and brand market performance, and the moderators of this association. I explore a comprehensive set of market performance measures (penetration, loyalty, market share, price and revenue) of 216 major brands sold in the grocery channel in the U.S., in conjunction with EquiTrend© brand equity measure. The results show that customer based brand equity provides incremental explanatory power for brand market performance beyond the explanation by a wide array of performance determinants identified in the first essay. Furthermore, the equity-performance association is moderated by a set of product and category features, as well as the firm brand strategy.

My third essay studies whether firms benefit from having multiple brands across different areas. I model brand market performance as a function of different elements of the firm brand portfolio, including the size and performance of sibling brands and the inter-brand distance. The dataset includes 1,700 brands from over 350 firms in the grocery channel within the U.S. The results show that the brand portfolio information provides incremental explanatory power for brand market performance. Moreover, the size and the performance of sibling brands have significant impact on a focal brand's market performance, and these impacts are moderated by the inter-brand distance.


Brand Equity, Brand Management, Brand Portfolio Management, Consumer Based Brand Equity, Private Label, Revenue Premium


xii, 195 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 184-195).


Copyright 2009 JianJun Zhu