Title: A branding model for web search engines

Authors: Lu Zhang; Bernard J. Jansen; Anna S. Mattila

Addresses: School of Hospitality Management, The Pennsylvania State University, 102 Keller Building, University Park, PA 16801, USA. ' College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, 321 G Information Sciences and Technology Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' Marriott Professor of Lodging Management, School of Hospitality Management, The Pennsylvania State University, 224 Mateer Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Abstract: In this research, we conduct a comprehensive investigation of branding of web search engines, examining the effects brand image, brand knowledge, and brand relationship. Our research aim is to investigate the effect of brands on users' perception of search engine performance in order to provide insights on search engines as services in this unique marketplace. We use a survey of 207 participants for data collection and structural equation modelling. Our findings revealed users' brand relationship with a search engine has a direct effect on their perception of performance by increasing satisfaction and trust, whereas their brand knowledge about a search engine has an indirect effect by combining with the existence of a brand relationship. This finding indicates that customers value their relationship with certain brands more than the users' knowledge of that brand when evaluating the performance of search engines. Our results also show that the impact of trust on performance perception for search engines is not as significant as satisfaction, although trust is a major element in relationship marketing. The study has implications for those investigating the search engine marketplace and practitioners of established and emerging search engine companies.

Keywords: brand knowledge; brand relationship; brand image; search engines; performance perception; brands; branding models; user perception; data collection; structural equation modelling; websites; satisfaction; trust; customer relationships; performance evaluation; relationship marketing; undergraduate students; universities; higher education; USA; United States; internet marketing; advertising; world wide web.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2012.047424

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2012 Vol.7 No.3, pp.195 - 216

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 14 Jun 2012 *

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