Chapter 15: Customer-based Brand Equity of Islamic Banks in Bahrain: An Empirical Investigation
Omneya Mokhtar Yacout and Mohamed Farid ElSahn INTRODUCTION Islamic banking and finance have become a major area of interest in the fields of economics, finance, and marketing. Modern Islamic finance has become a trillion-dollar industry (Clarke, 2009), with various banks offering Islamic financial services in Muslim and non-Muslim countries. The introduction of Islamic financial products across the world has been in response to the growing need of a significant segment of the marketplace that refused to deal with interest-based instruments (Elfakhani et al., 2007). However Islamic banks have succeeded at the tactical level within the marketing process, while strategic issues, such as brand equity, have suffered (Naser and Moutinho, 1997). This explains why the level of knowledge of Islamic products seems weak across studies that have measured such knowledge. Research findings also show that attitudes toward Islamic financial services are at least partly influenced by religious factors and perhaps other individual characteristics of the consumer (Bley and Kuehn, 2004). The increasing competitive environment from both Islamic and conventional banks and the changes in customers’ perception necessitates assessing the brand equity of these banks. Brand equity reflects the customer response to marketing efforts (Keller, 1993). The merger mania of the 1990s has led brands to be assigned monetary values on the balance sheet, for the purposes of corporate valuation (Morgan, 2000). The escalating cost of brand building (Simon and Sullivan, 1993) requires calculating and tracing return on marketing expenditure, for which brand equity is an important measure (Reynolds and Phillips, 2005)...
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