Corporate reputation, brand equity, retail, grocery, South Africa


In the current economic climate, competition between retailers is high and customers face numerous choices. Smart retailers can learn to manage their corporate reputation and brand equity as strategic tools in the fight for customers, and gain a competitive advantage in the market place.In light of this, this study provides an in-depth explanation of the relationship between corporate reputation and customer-based retailer brand equity (CBRBE) and clarifies the effect of the dimensions of corporate reputation on CBRBEin the South African context. Specifically, this paper contributes to literature on the South African retail industry byproviding an updated account of customer perceptions. A survey of retail customers in two major cities finds a strong, positive relationship between corporate reputation and CBRBE. Additionally, the six dimensions of corporate reputation are found to have a positive relationship with the dimensions of CBRBE. The findings of this study reveal that retailers wishing to improve their CBRBE should focus on their products and services, as well as financial performance.

Full Text : PDF

  1. Aaker, D.A. 1991. Managing brand equity: Capitalizing on the value of a brand name. New York, USA: Free Press.
  2. Ailawadi, K.L. & Keller, K.L. 2004. Understanding retail branding: conceptual insights and research priorities. Journal of Retailing. 80(4):331-342. 
  3. Alsop, R.J. 2004. The 18 immutable laws of corporate reputation. Dow Jones & Company. 
  4. Argenti, P.A. & Druckenmiller, B. 2004. Reputation and the corporate brand.Corporate Reputation Review.6(4):368-374. 
  5. Arnett, D.B., Laverie, D.A. & Meiers, A. 2003. Developing parsimonious retailer equity indexes using partial least squares analysis: a method and applications. Journal of Retailing. 79(3):161-170. 
  6. Barnett, M.L., Jermier, J.M. & Lafferty, B.A. 2006. Corporate reputation: the definitional landscape. Corporate Reputation Review. 9(1):26. 
  7. Beneke, J. 2010. Consumer perceptions of private label brands within the retail grocery sector of South Africa.African Journal of Business Management.4(2):203-220. 
  8. Beneke, J., Adams, E., Demetriou, O., Solomons, R. 2011a.An exploratory study of the relationship between store image, trust, satisfaction and loyalty in a franchise setting.Southern African Business Review.15(2).
  9. Beneke, K. Lykiardopulos, N., de Villiers, L., Rawoot, N. 2011b. A pathway to commitment in the South African supermarket: an exploratory study. KCA Journal of Business Management. 3(1).
  10. Brammer, S.J. &Pavelin, S. 2006. Corporate reputation and social performance: the importance of fit. Journal of Management Studies. 43(3):435-455. 
  11. Brønn, P.S. &Vrioni, A.B. 2001. Corporate social responsibility and cause-related marketing: an overview. International Journal of Advertising. 20(2):207-222. 
  12. Caruana, A. 1997. Corporate reputation: concept and measurement. Journal of Product & Brand Management.6(2):109-118. 
  13. Castaldo, S., Perrini, F., Misani, N. & Tencati, A. 2009. The missing link between corporate social responsibility and consumer trust: the case of fair trade products. Journal of Business Ethics. 84(1):1-15. 
  14. Castaldo, S., Perrini, F., Misani, N. &Tencati, A. 2010. The impact of corporate social responsibility associations on trust in organic products marketed by mainstream retailers: a study of Italian consumers. Business Strategy and the Environment. 19(8):512-526.
  15. Chetthamrongchai, P. 2010. Revalidating two measures of reputation in Thailand. Corporate Reputation Review. 13(3):209-219. 
  16. Chun, R. 2005. Corporate reputation: meaning and measurement. International Journal of Management Reviews.7(2):91-109. 
  17. De la Fuente Sabaté, J.M. & De Quevedo Puente, E. 2003. In practice empirical analysis of the relationship between corporate reputation and financial performance: a survey of the literature. Corporate Reputation Review.6(2):161-177. 
  18. Den Boer, J.,Bruers, J. & Van Dijk, W. 2008. Reputation of Dutch dentists. Abstract of paper.[Online].Available :
  19. [2012, April 22].
  20. Ettenson, R. & Knowles, J. 2008. Don't confuse reputation with brand. MIT Sloan Management Review.49(2):19. 
  21. Fombrun, C. & Shanley, M. 1990. What's in a name? Reputation building and corporate strategy. Academy of Management Journal. 33(2):233-258.
  22. Fombrun, C.J. &Gardberg, N. 2000. Who's tops in corporate reputation? Corporate Reputation Review. 3(1):13-17. 
  23. Fombrun, C.J., Gardberg, N.A. & Sever, J. 2000. The reputation quotient: a multi-stakeholder measure of corporate reputation. Journal of Brand Management.7(4):241-255. 
  24. Iacobucci, D. 2010.Marketing research: methodological foundations. 10th ed. Ohio, USA: South-WesternCengage Learning. 
  25. Jinfeng, W. & Zhilong, T. 2009. The impact of selected store image dimensions on retailer equity: evidence from 10 Chinese hypermarkets. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. 16(6):486-494. 
  26. Keller, K.L. 1993. Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity. Journal of Marketing. 57(1):1-22.
  27. Kowalczyk, S.J. & Pawlish, M.J. 2002. Corporate branding through external perception of organizational culture.Corporate Reputation Review, 5.2(3):159-174. 
  28. Kubickova, M. & Ro, H. 2010. Are students “real people”? The use of student subjects in hospitality research.Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida
  29. Kumar, V., Aaker, D., Day, S. 1999. Essentials of marketing research.New York, USA: John Wiley and Sons Ltd. 
  30. Lai, C.S., Chiu, C.J., Yang, C.F. & Pai, D.C. 2010. The effects of corporate social responsibility on brand performance: the mediating effect of industrial brand equity and corporate reputation. Journal of Business Ethics.95(3):457-469.
  31. Lassar, W., Mittal, B. & Sharma, A. 1995. Measuring customer-based brand equity. Journal of Consumer Marketing.12(4):11-19. 
  32. Malhotra, N.K. 1993. Marketing research: an applied orientation. New Jersey, USA: Prentice-Hall International. 
  33. Mudambi, S.M.D., Doyle, P. & Wong, V. 1997. An exploration of branding in industrial markets.Industrial marketing management.26(5):433-446. 
  34. Nguyen, N. & Leblanc, G. 2001. Corporate image and corporate reputation in customers' retention decisions in services. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. 8(4):227-236. 
  35. Page, G. &Fearn, H. 2005. Corporate reputation: what do consumers really care about? Journal of Advertising Research.45(03):305-313. 
  36. Pappu, R. & Quester, P. 2006a. Does customer satisfaction lead to improved brand equity? An empirical examination of two categories of retail brands.Journal of Product & Brand Management.15(1):4-14. 
  37. Pappu, R. & Quester, P. 2006b. A consumer-based method for retailer equity measurement: Results of an empirical study. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services.13(5):317-329. 
  38. Pfeffer, J. & Salancik, G.R. 2003. The external control of organizations: A resource dependence perspective. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
  39. Schwaiger, M. 2004.Components and parameters of corporate reputation – an empirical study.Schmalenbach Business Review.56(1):46-71. 
  40. Shen, P. 2010. An empirical study on the influence of store image on relationship quality and retailer brand equity.International Conference on Future Information Technology and Management Engineering (FITME). 9-10 October 2010. Changzhou: IEEE. p.146. 
  41. Shoprite Holdings. 2012a. History [Online]. Available:
  42. [2012, April 22].
  43. SJSU, 2012. 14: Correlation [Online]. Available:
  44. [2012 , August 15] 
  45. The Economist, 2011a. The world in figures: industries – consumer goods [Online]. Available:
  46. [2012, March 21].
  47. The Economist, 2011b.Walmart in South Africa [Online]. Available:
  48. [2012, March 21].
  49. Verhoef, P. &Leeflang, P. 2009. Understanding the marketing departments influence within the firm. Journal of Marketing. 73(2):14-37
  50. Wang, Y., Kandampully, J.A., Lo, H.P. & Shi, G. 2006. The roles of brand equity and corporate reputation in CRM: a Chinese study. Corporate Reputation Review.9(3):179-197.
  51. Woolworths. 2012. About us – our business [Online]. Available:
  52. [2012, April 22].
  53. Yoo, B. & Donthu, N. 2001. Developing and validating a multi-dimensional consumer-based brand equity scale.Journal of Business Research. 52(1):1-14.