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ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the customer satisfaction and the categories

of brand equity assets. The primary research method used in the study of customer satisfaction which analyzes the relationship; brand awareness, brand image, brand perceived quality, brand loyalty and also brand value. It is based on a survey which 300 responses collected from customers around Klang Valley, Malaysia. The questionnaires were used to collect data. The customers were required to compare their satisfaction between local restaurant and quick service restaurant. Regression analysis and several statistical tests were used to test and analyzed the influence of each parameter on customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction that can be achieved by either emphasizing the brand, product and services via satisfied the customer needs and want are having positive relationship towards five dimensions of brand equity (brand awareness, brand image, brand perceived quality, brand loyalty and brand value). The limitation of this research is that the results are obtained from different profile demographic of customers that participate in the questionnaires survey, so more systematic probabilistic sampling procedure that would entail larger nation-wide samples are needed in order to affirm the present result. More research may be needed to develop a valid measurement tool to assess the elements of satisfaction in a way that does not elicit fatigue, boredom or inappropriate response behavior from respondents. In managerial implication, the SME restaurant operator should familiarize with those five dimensions and kept as the guidelines for them to understand the factors that may meet customer satisfaction.

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1.0 1.1 1.1.1

INTRODUCTION Background of the Study Small and Medium Enterprise The 2005 Census of Establishment and Enterprises specifies that 99 percent of

519,000 business establishments in Malaysia are small and medium enterprises (SME), of which 412,000 are micro enterprises. Most of these SMEs are in the service sectors, particularly in retail, restaurant and wholesale businesses. Total employment in SMEs accounted for more than 3 million workers, and generated RM 154 billion of value-added in 2003. Small-Medium Enterprise in Malaysia adopted a common definition of SMEs to facilitate identification of SMEs in the various sectors and subsectors. This has facilitated the Government to formulate effective development policies, support programs as well as provision of technical and financial assistance. In Malaysia, SMEs can be divided into three categories which are classified as primary agriculture, manufacturing and services. Manufacturing category includes agro-based and manufacturing-related services whilst services sector includes Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In this study, we concentrate on small and medium enterprises (SME) which have different criteria in terms of sales turnover and number of full time employees. For manufacturing sector, small enterprise can be described by having between RM250000 sales turnover and less than RM10 million or full time employees between five and fifty person. In medium enterprise, we can distinguish by sales turnover between RM10 million and RM25 million or full time employees between fifty one and hundred fifty person. On the other hand, in primary as well as services sector, small enterprise sales turnover should be between RM200000 and less than RM1 million or full time employees between five to nineteen persons. In medium enterprise, we can differentiate by sales turnover between RM1 million and RM5 million of full time employees between twenty and fifty person. SMEs are mainly concentrated on the Central Region (Kuala Lumpur and Selangor), accounting for 37.1 percent. The next highest concentration is Johor with 10.4 percent. Other Malaysian states accounted for less than 10 percent (Normah, 2006). Output produced by
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SMEs in the services sector in 2003 was 56.7 percent (Malaysia, DOS, Census of Establishments and Enterprises, 2005). SMEs in restaurants including cafes, coffee shops, hawkers and stalls covers of 85.1 percent of output of the restaurant services (Malaysia, DOS, Census of Establishments and Enterprises, 2005).

The food service landscape is evolving rapidly with growing globalization, with implication for Malaysias SME. The environment has become competitive, hence local SME restaurant supposedly no longer orientate their business merely toward domestic domain, but must seek opportunities in the global marketplace. Nevertheless, in order to become competitive with other international restaurants, local SME restaurants are required to establish their brand and enhance the acceptability of their product amongst local customers.

As a consequence, we will discuss on the customer satisfaction, brand equity together with brand awareness, brand image (or brand association), brand loyalty, brand perceived quality and brand value. This research will focus on the comparison of local SME restaurants and quick service restaurant in terms of brand equity which will lead to customer satisfaction. 1.1.2 Quick service restaurant The quick service restaurant is one of the restaurant concepts that been recognized with the fast service and also offers minimal range of menu. According to Birchfield and Birchfield (2007), who is the author of text book with the title of Design and Layout of Foodservice Facilities 3rd edition , he had wrote in his book that quick service restaurants are those restaurants that cater more on convenience food with their fast service. The author also added that other fast food restaurants such as delis, bagel shop and sandwich shops also been segmented as the quick service restaurant. While Ottenbacher and Harrington (2008) in their research journal had stated that Mc Donalds, Pizza Hut, Subways and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), which are the most successful and most largest restaurant chain also are segmented as quick service restaurants, (Ottenbacher, M.C., and Harrington, R. J., 2008). As been stated by other researchers in their journal that, these kind of quick service restaurants also acknowledged with their small range menu or limited menu, limited service and also the price range of their food is not expensive (Ninemier and Perdue, 2005). The foods that are served in the fast food restaurants are not fully prepared in the outlet itself. The foods are prepared with provision standardized ingredient in bulk first before being blast
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chilled at the central food kitchen or the food control supply channel. Then they will be distributed to the restaurant chains outlet for the last preparation before being served to customers. The food usually prepared and served in container such as bags or in a plastic wrapping. This may help the business to reduce operating costs by; allowing rapid product identification and counting; promoting; longer holding time; avoiding transfer of bacteria; and facilitating order fulfillment (encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com). The price of the food in the quick service restaurants are so called cheap because the price itself is the critical factor of their success since their customer are more value conscious (Birchfield and Birchfield, 2007) The restaurant layout of the quick service restaurant is mostly simple and attractive. With the limited range of service, the seating areas are designed not to make the customers feel too comfort and the orders are designed to be taken away. These are made purposely to gain high seat turnover. Even some of the fast food restaurant do not provide traditional cutleries and their food served are finger food. There are several fast food restaurants providing drive-through service that allows the customer to order and pick up their meals from their cars. However, recent trend of the restaurants is providing children miniplayground and free Wi-Fi. They had become their business survival since the trend had hiked up constantly. Common menu item that serves at fast food outlet includes Fried chicken, Fish and Chips, sandwiches, burgers, French fries, chicken nuggets, pizza, ice cream, mashed potatoes and many more. The food are easy to consume and convenience. The fast food business concerns more on taste, speed, product safety, uniformity, and low cost, the ingredient are designed in a way to achieve specialized flavor, aroma, texture and to maintain the freshness the food and the palatability of the food (encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com). Mymalaysiainfo.com had listed in their page several fast food restaurants that exist and well established in Malaysia. They are Kentucky Fried Chicken, Mc Donalds, Nandos, Nineteen-o-one, Marrybrown, A&W, Pizza Hut, Chicken Rice Shop, Burger King, Secret Recipe, KLG, Radix Fried Chicken and many more. Marrybrown and Radix Fried Chicken are the Malaysian originated companies that operated successfully in this homeland country. Above are stated some information on several quick service restaurants that are well established in Malaysia.
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KFC web page which is www.kfc.com had stated that KFC had commanding over 35% market share in Malaysia. In fact, KFC had been said as the most popular fast food restaurant in Malaysia (www.qsrbrands.com). In the same page, they also had stated that there are 620 KFC restaurants in Malaysia, Singapore, India, Brunei and Cambodia. The first KFC restaurant opened in Malaysia was in 1973 at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur. Meanwhile, Mc Donalds restaurant was first opened in Malaysia in 1982 at Jalan Bukit Bintang. Mc Donalds also named as one of the most popular fast food restaurants in Malaysia (www.ifranchisemalaysia.com). Current Mc Donalds franchises restaurant had exceeded the number of 185 restaurants all over the country with the number keeps arising with 15 to 20 new restaurants opened yearly. According to www.mfa.org.my, which is the web page of Malaysian Franchise Association, Golden Arches Restaurants Sdn. Bhd. is the local company that has been given the authority by McDonalds USA to operate the restaurant in Malaysia. A&W restaurant also stands as one of the well established fast food restaurants in Malaysia. This restaurant had been bought by KUB Malaysia Bhd. in 2001. In this year alone, there are 39 A&W restaurant outlets and most of them are located in Klang Valley (investing.businessweek.com) Another fast food restaurant that are wholly owned and managed by local company is Marrybrown Restaurant. This restaurant was founded by Lawrence and Nancy Liew in 1981 in Johore Bahru. The Marrybrown Restaurant had over 250 restaurants in Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and UAE (www.ifranchisemalaysia.com). Marryborwn had been listed in the Malaysia Book of Records as the First Malaysian Fast Food Franchise. Besides that, they also had been awarded with the Prestigious International Homegrown Franchise of The Year Award and Franchise of The Year Award 1.2 Problem Statements This paper, at the same time provides a brief review of some of the relevant approaches that have been used for the measurement of customer satisfaction. It then discusses different views that have been developed in relation to the transferability of satisfaction measures across industries and outlines the research questions addressed in this investigation. One of the main problems faced by customers when it comes to local SME

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restaurants is the issue of brand perceived quality as compared with quick service restaurant (QSR). It is well established that QSR always offered good quality food product with quick waiting time, thus they become all-time favorite for most of the customers. In contrast, local SME restaurants often facing difficulty in retaining their customer as well as return intention due to service delivered. Apart from that, local SME restaurants have been preferred by the customers due to the lower price range compares to QSR. The local SME restaurants were always been visited by the lower income customers especially college and university students. The issue of this scenario is what will happen when the customers have greater disposable income and how will the acceptability of the food products and service rendered by the local SME restaurants? The branding of local SME restaurants thus is very crucial in defeating their QSR counterparts in terms of customer satisfaction. It is well recognized that satisfied customers will result to long-term business success (Kristensen et al., 1992; Zeithami et al., 1996; McColl-Kennedy and Scheider, 2000). There are many classifications for customer satisfaction based on brand equity namely brand awareness (Aaker, 1996), brand association or brand image , perceived quality, brand loyalty, brand salience, brand performance, brand imagery, brand feeling, brand judgments and brand relationship. In this study, these categories have been divided into several aspects comprising brand awareness, brand association (or brand image), perceived quality and brand loyalty, and brand value as they are the most acceptable to-date. 1.3 Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the customer satisfaction and the categories of brand equity assets. There are several objectives of this study: 1.3.1 To study on the brand awareness that will improve the customer satisfaction on local SME restaurants 1.3.2 To discover the brand image that will improve the customer satisfaction on local SME restaurants 1.3.3 To determine the brand perceived quality that will improve the customer satisfaction on local SME restaurants

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1.3.4

To observe the brand loyalty that will improve the customer satisfaction on local SME restaurants

1.3.5 To evaluate the brand value that will improve the customer satisfaction on local SME restaurants 1.4 Research question

The research questions that act in accordance with the objectives are: 1.4.1 How well the Malaysia consumers aware of the existence of local SME restaurants? 1.4.2 How does the image branding might assist the consumer to recognize the local SME restaurants? 1.4.3 If the consumers recognize the SME restaurants, will they regularly visit the restaurants and be a loyal customer? 1.4.4 How do the customers look into the quality of local SME restaurants as compared to other restaurants? 1.4.5 How the brand values affect customer satisfaction in local SME restaurants? 1.5 Hypothesis

The research questions that act in accordance with the hypothesis are: H1a : When customers are aware of the existence of the local restaurants brand, they will be more satisfied. H1b : When customers are aware of the existence of the quick service restaurants brand, then they will be more satisfied.

H2a H2b

: Local restaurants of established brand image will have satisfied customers. : Quick service restaurant of establish brand image will have satisfied customers.

H3a

: There is positive relationship between brands perceived quality and customer satisfaction in local restaurant.

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H3b

: There is positive relationship between brands perceived quality and customer satisfaction in quick service restaurant.

H4a H4b

: If the customers are loyal to a local restaurant, then they become satisfied customers. : If the customers are loyal to a quick service restaurant, then they become satisfied customers.

H5a

: There is relationship between brand value and customers satisfaction in local restaurant.

H5b

: There is relationship between brand value and customers satisfaction in quick service restaurant.

1.6

Significance of study The food service industry today has been reputed for its rapid development and stiff

competitiveness in nature. In Malaysia, although the SME industry is smaller than other developing country, it is consider well growing. The issue on this industry is how well is it being accepted by the local customers rather than quick service restaurants. For that reason, this matter needs to be looked upon intensely by the academician, researcher in addition to food service operator. Consequently, this issue should not been overlooked, but essential actions should be taken in order to grab the significant inflow of customers by enhancing the branding and sustaining great deal of business. This study is anticipated to discover the influence of brand equity toward customer satisfaction of local SME restaurants. As perceptions on the significance of customer satisfaction have developed in the food service field, studies on this issue have been constantly performed. Nevertheless, the availability of this study on local SME restaurants is very limited. Thus, we observed on this topic so that local SME will generate the vast impact of the branding, especially in augmenting their competitive edge and marketing function. Consequently, the literature review chapter will discuss on the branding and customer satisfaction whereby focus is given solely on food service area, and to be more detail, the local SME restaurants. This will assist local restaurants to further understand the influence of brand equity (comprises of brand awareness, brand image, brand perceived quality, brand loyalty and brand value) toward customer satisfaction. Hopefully with this knowledge, local SME restaurant operator will understand their customer in line with satisfying their needs and wants regarding their food product and service encountered. The outcome of this paper will
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served as a guidelines for the food service operator, particularly local SME restaurants to improve the aspects of their operation regarding brand equity so that their performance can meet customers expectations. 1.7 Limitation of the Study There are several limitations to this research that have been identified for the future research efforts. The limitation involves the generalizability of the study. The study involved 300 customers in Klang Valley which unable to represent of the population across the country. Furthermore, most of the respondents were students which might have different views of branding towards customer satisfaction due to financial constraints. Another limitation is related to the cooperation of the respondents. The distribution of questionnaire took place during weekend whereby most of the customers were outing. Some respondents might have no time to respond to the questionnaire, thus they might answer the questionnaire for granted. Furthermore, the number of items in the questionnaire is great, hence its quite time consuming for customer to respond for the whole questions. Perhaps future studies could encourage genuine responds from customer with a token of appreciation such as free gifts or coupons upon filling up the questionnaire. This research also has limitation in terms of time constraints. We only have a semester which covers four months to complete the study. This four months period was insufficient to conduct a thorough study on this area. Therefore, if more time was allocated for the study, the result would be more accurate and representatives of the population.

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2.0 2.1

LITERATURE REVIEW Customer Satisfaction According to Kotler (2003, p.36), it must be pointed out that there is wide consensus

that satisfaction is a persons feeling of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a products perceived performance (or outcome) in relation to his or her expectations. Therefore, satisfaction is closely related to customer expectation and experiences. Services are by their nature intangible and thus their assessment and subsequent evaluation cannot be achieved prior to their consumption; this justifies their classification as experiences product (Nelson, 1974). Customer satisfaction has been considered as a fundamental determinant of customer loyalty. Anderson and Sullivan (1993) found that satisfied customers have greater tendency to be retained and resist to alternative options, while Fornell (1992) states that high satisfaction results to customers with increased loyalty, less prone to be approached from competition. Moreover, satisfaction enhances repeat purchased and positive word of mouth by customer (Reicheld and Sasser, 1990; Wirtz, 2003). Based on Oliver (1980) and Rust et. al. (1995), customer satisfaction is strongly influenced by customer expectation. The gap between perceived quality and expected quality, called expectancy disconfirmation is a strong predictor of customer satisfaction. As a result, many managers and researchers have chosen to explicitly measure the extent to which a product or service meets customer expectations. The seminal SERVQUAL framework of Parasuraman et al. (1988), Parasuraman et al. (1991, 1993) and Zeithaml et al. (1996) conceptualized and operationalized service quality as the gap between customers expectations and perceptions (Parasuraman et al., 1985; 1994). Satisfaction has been conceptualized in different ways in the marketing literature. Some researchers have argued that satisfaction is a transaction-specific measure (e.g. Cronin and Taylor, 1992, p. 56). Other researchers view satisfaction as an overall evaluation based on the total purchase consumption and experience (e.g. Anderson et al., 1994). In general, satisfaction has been conceptualized in terms of whether the product/service meets consumer
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needs and expectations (Zeithaml and Bitner, 2000). Oliver (1997,p. 28), who defined satisfaction as the summary psychological state resulting when the emotion surrounding disconfirmed expectations is coupled with a prior feelings about the consumer experience. Aaker (1991a, b, 2003), Kapferer, (1997) and Blackett (1993) stated that the processes associated with building a strong relationship between brand and consumer have paid increasing by marketing practice and marketing research and it is often argued that the brand is the most valuable asset for any company. Based on Newman and Werbel (1973) and Kesper (1988), satisfaction is often used as a predictor of future consumer purchases. Satisfied customers have a higher likelihood of repeating purchases in time (Zeithaml et al., 1996), of recommending that others try the source of satisfaction (Reynolds and Arnold, 2000; Reynolds and Beatty, 1999), and of becoming less receptive to the competitors offerings (Fitzell, 1998). Usually a customer starts judging a product in order to discover the benefits it brings and the satisfaction it promises (Reynolds and Beatty, 1999). Schiffman et al., (1997), said that product and brand are not synonymous. Yet, some authors have used them interchangeably, particularly when they have addressed repeated purchases (e.g., Dick and Basu, 1994; Oliver, 1997). As defined above, product and brand are significantly different both conceptually and practically. Similarly, customer satisfaction and loyalty are significantly different even though they are strongly and unidirectional related. Usually a customer starts judging a product in order to find the benefits it brings and the satisfaction it promises (Reynolds and Beatty, 1999). The generic or unbranded product would be enough to start such a selection process. Inexperienced consumers with a line of products start with the product benefits and preferences whereas experienced consumers go directly to the brands. As the customer becomes more experienced with the product, he or she may focuses on a brand. Brand equity is important factor in creating short-term customer satisfaction and longterm customer loyalty. According to Cooper (1999), brands have changed and are no longer lifeless artifacts created by owners or managers; rather, they have become living entities with personalities that customers can form relationships with. Brand equity, in the simplest of terms, is the value of customers relationships with a brand. These relationships are formed based on a mix of actual facts about the brand, such as consumer reports, advertising
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messages, packaging, word of mouth, and usage experience, as well as subjective measures (Ambler, 1997). For many years, customer satisfaction has been a major goal of business organizations, since it has been deemed to affect customer retention and companies market share (Hansemark and Albinsson, 2004). The product can be a good starting point for providing satisfaction and generating loyalty. Services are by their very nature intangible and thus their assessment and subsequent evaluation cannot be achieved prior to their consumption; this justifies their classification as experience products (Nelson, 1974). Higher levels of customer satisfaction can lead to a reduction of the perceived benefits of alternatives suppliers and hence to higher repurchase intentions (Anderson and Sullivan, 1993). In order to further emphasize this point, Anderson and Srinivasan (2003) claimed that a dissatisfied customer is more likely to search for information on alternatives and more likely to yield to competitor overtures than is a satisfied customer. Harris and Harrington (2000) pointed out that customer satisfaction can be attained by companies, which have understood their customers needs and make every effort to provide services in an effective and efficient manner. 2.2 Brand Equity Equity of the brand, which is said to be the most crucial and important issues that been discussed by the researcher, academician even the practitioners (Leone et al., 2006). There were many of previous research that been done by researchers focusing and had touched on this brand equity issues (Kim, Bongran & Kim, 2008). According to Kim et al., (2008) they had stated that brand equity is currently the hot issues being discussed by the hotel industry player. In the same research, they had found that there is a relationship between multidimensional customer-based brand equity (brand loyalty, perceived value, brand awareness, and brand association) and two by product (perceived value and hotel revisit intention) in midscale hotels with food and beverage operation (p.236). While Prasad and Dev (2000) in their studies determined that, if those hotel industry players had keep track of the equity of their brand, they are said to be able to assess the relationship of their chain brand positioning with the other industry players hotel chain brand position; able to determine the value of the particular hotel brands equity; and to create their plan B for their marketing strategies. In other research, there were several researchers
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believed that any hotel industry player that are not lacking of brand equity and got high level of it (brand equity), is aiming more on directing a series of premiums which have more customers that elastic to the price, brand extension and licensing opportunities (Keller, 2001); the degree of customer loyalty that are so called high and also higher resiliency to tolerate with environment of crisis; higher profit margin; and lastly got higher market value (O Neil and Xiao, 2006). In fact, any particular hotel firm that gains higher brand equity level is likely to control higher repeat purchase intention from their customers (Kim et al., 1998). Aaker (1991) had stated in his journal the definition of brand equity as a set of assets and liabilities that affect any name of the brand and attribute that attach to or subtract from the value provided by a product or service to a firm and the customers of the firms (p. 15) and believed that brand equity act as an incontrovertibly vital source of capital in food and beverage industry. While Simon and Sullivan (1993) and Biel (1997) had cleared the term of brand equity in term of cash flow; of a situation where the brand name is given to a company product; and another situation where there are no name given to the particular companys product are not the same. Through having the estimation of financial value for the particular brand, it is believed that they are useful, but unnecessarily help those marketers to comprehend the process of brand equity development. In 2001, Capon, Berthon, Hulbert and Pitt, had indicated in their study that brand equity had two different approaches which are organizational brand equity and also customer brand equity. However discussion on organizational brand equity topic had been touched less at the current time. Many researchers believed that, in service brand marketing, it is a sort of new occurrence to estimate brand equity based on customers cognitive aspects rather than firms financial values (Berry, 2000; Cobb-Walgren, Ruble and Donthu, 1995; Kim, Kim and An, 2003; Mackay, 2001). Simon and Sullivan (1993) stated in their research that, the central point of organizational brand equity is relying on financial values for example; market value, potential earning and replacement cost. In the other hand, the customer brand equity are spotlight more on the customers state of mind such as awareness, perceived quality, attitudes, preferences, attachment and loyalty (Aaker, 1991, 1996; Agawal and Rao, 1996; Blackston, 1995; Dyson, Farr and Hollis, 1996; Keller, 1993; Lassar, Mittal and Sharma, 1995; Vasquez, Del Rio and Iglesias, 2002; Yoo, Donthu and Lee, 2000). Aaker in 1991 indicated that the brand equitys assets can be clustered into five different dimensions which are; brand awareness, brand association, perceived quality, brand
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loyalty and other proprietary assets. Other proprietary brand assets are also included with patents, trademarks and channel relationship (Kim et al., 2008). However Yoo and Donthu (2001) had deny the fact in their research that other proprietary brand asset which is the fifth element of customer brand equity is not really related to customer perception, thus make only four of the dimensions; brand awareness, brand association (or brand image), perceived quality, brand loyalty are regarded as customer-based brand equity. This also supported by Hyun and Kim (2011) after they had stated in their research that there are four dimensions of brand equity; brand awareness, brand association (or brand image), perceived quality, brand loyalty are interrelated for restaurants brand. The definition of brand equity later been discussed in Kellers, journal and defined brand equity as diversity in customer reaction to the activity of marketing (2003).In the same research Keller also proposed with different brand equity model that comprised of six components that are; brand salience, brand performance, brand imagery, brand feeling, brand judgments and brand relationship (Keller, 2003). According to Young and Rubicams brand asset valuator, they had conceptualizes the brand equity into four other dimensions including brand knowledge, brand esteem, brand relevance and brand differentiation. Brand differentiation is so called as the philosophy of branding and related with the relevance, however both Aaker (1991) and Keller (2003) research have not stated differentiation in their brand equity model (Kimpakorn and Tocquer, 2010). According to Zeithaml et al. (1985), the concepts of brand equity need variation for extension into the perspective of services business upon the particular nature of services. There are many other literature review discussed on brand equity related consumer goods ( Aaker, 1991, 2002; Ambler et al., 2002, De Chernatony, 2002; Franzen and Bouwman, 2001; Keller, 2001; Yoo and Donthu, 2001; Pitta and Katsanis, 1995; Srivasta and Shocker, 1991) while the other literature on service brand management (De Chernatory and McDonalds, 1998; Berry, 2000; Prasad and Dev, 2000; Kim and Kim, 2004) had indicated that the theory of brand equity are not just being justified with other viewpoint such as financial or marketing, but current existence models also have disparate construct with other common dimension like brand awareness, perceived quality, brand association and brand relationship. Kimpakorn and Tocquer (2010) their research indicate that the writing on branding highlighted the marketing programmed as a main basis of brand equity because a lot of customer goods brands have been constructed in the course of advertising (p. 380). Furthermore, the service branding model which constructed by Berry in 2000 had shown that
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the service brand equity can be breed by the function of effective brand communication and also by customer experience. In other Aaker (1991) and Keller (2003) research, they confessed that the concept of brand equity has both aspect of marketing and financial. From the financial viewpoint, it is not impossible to develop the certain level value to the brand in monetary term, which is helpful for manager in case of merger, acquisition and divestitures function. While from the marketing viewpoint, brand equity is conceptualized with the customer perspectives to ease marketers to comprehend the brand in the minds of customers and construct effectives marketing programs to develop the brand. There are some researchers believed that brand equity is related with the firm itself (the relationship between brand equity and a firms cash flow, revenue, and marketing effectiveness (Simon and Sullivan, 1993; Mahajan, Rao and Srivastava, 1994; and Aiwaldi, Lehmann and Neslin, 2003). Keller (1993, 1998) added in the studies, that customer-based brand equity is based from knowledge about the brand. Measurement of brand equity definition through the definition of customer based brand equity can be done in two basic approaches. The main approach is indirect approach that estimate potential sources of customer-based brand equity by categorize and determine customers brand knowledge structures. While other approach which is direct approach would estimate customer-based brand equity in a straight line by assessing the real impact of brand knowledge on customer react to different elements of marketing program. Lastly, it is stated in other research that figure of the direct approach consists of the financial or marketoutcome-based measures of brand equity such as revenue premium (Ailawadi, Lehmann and Neslin, 2003), brand equity as a determinant of brand extendibility (Randall, Ulrich and Reibstein, 1998). 2.3 Brand Awareness Brand awareness may referred to the aptitude to recall the product through their brand (Brewer and Zhao, 2010), their name, figure, characteristic and etc. The researchers also define brand awareness as the prelude phase of behavior processing. Customers buying capability is connected to both brand awareness and brand perceived value whereby the brand awareness is dominant and takes place when the customer do not really recognize the product itself (Hoyer and Brown, 2001; Keller, 1993; Stephen, 1993). Besides that, both brand awareness and brand perceived value that are also known to be active rather than passive are related to perception and formation of behavior.
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In other written literature, researchers had indicated that brand awareness play a major role in forecasting the attitude of customer. It is going aligned in 3 ways which are: 1. Goods with stronger brand awareness will have higher potential to be chosen by the customer with less concern upon their quality and price (Macdonald and Sharp, 2000). 2. Brand awareness also assists customers to make decision and pace up the decision making process during goods purchasing session (Macdonald and Sharp, 2000). 3. Customer repurchase behavior is highly affected by brand awareness (Macdonald and Sharp, 2000). Besides that, according to Fullerton (2005), customer satisfaction is also directly connected to the brand commitment and intention to repurchase the product. In the same research paper Brewer and Zhao (2010) had stated that consistent reputation will build brand awareness. According to Cretu and Brodie (2005), they indicated that brand awareness is connected to the customers definite preference in the process of decision making, in the other hand, reputation is more towards to affect the customer choices or behavior. By applying the ideas of previous literature, restaurants in food service industry therefore should intensively market their brand so that might create awareness of their brand, since the customers possibly preferred restaurant with greater brand awareness regardless other factors such as food quality and the price. Restaurant with stronger brand awareness are likely to be chosen and speed up the decision of customers where to dine in. Apart of that, customers of the restaurants might regularly visit the restaurants that have stronger brand awareness compared to the other competitors. Brand awareness is associated with the capability of the customer to recap the brand itself. According to Brewer and Zhao (2010), brand awareness can be acknowledged as the first step of attitude processing. In the same research, the author had stated that brand awareness and perceive value have a relationship and their linked are more vibrant and not stagnant (Brewer and Zhao 2010). Perceived value is the factor that contributes to the purchasing selection. The customer may buy any particular product if the product has good perceived value. Several researches believed that brand awareness and perceived value are linked to the patron buying power. They also agreed that the customers that have no knowledge or experience on the product or service are helped and may depend on the brand knowledge (Hoyer and Brown, 2001; Keller, 1993; and Stephen, 1993).
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Meaning that those customers who are unfamiliar with the product or service will rely more on well established brand that more trustable and have a positive image (Brewer and Zhao 2010). For example, when people tend to buy shampoo or any kind of product on a shelf at any supermarket store, and they do not really have an idea, what is the brand of the product that they may choose? In this situation they may use their familiarity upon the product or their knowledge about the existence product that they may get from such as; advertisement, exposures, interactions with sales promoters of that supermarket store itself, word of mouth communication, or trial and consumption (Tam, 2008). This fact also been support in Brewer and Zhao (2010) studies when they had clarified that brand awareness is so called the determinant of consumer buying attitude in such three ways; the first point is that the customer will not concern more on price and the quality, they are moving forward to select the product with higher degree of brand awareness (Mc Donald and Sharp (2000); Brand awareness also facilitate and foster customer to make choice of product or service which they may prefer more in buying process; When the customers have the intention to reiterate buy the same product or service, their selection may strongly affect by the brand awareness (Brewer and Zhao 2010). These may shows that brand awareness is one of the important dimension that may exist as the factor that may contribute to the buying decision making process. Brand awareness also been affected by the reputation, principally in long-held reputation. In fact, brand reputation is likely unwavering rather than brand. Even in the process of buying decision making, customer choices or preference believed to be related with the reputation. In other hand, customer real choice is significantly related with the brand awareness (Brewer and Zhao 2010). Directly or indirectly, these may show that the brand of the product that has good reputation may not particularly act as the determinant of the successful factor of that brand and also if the brand of the product have a not such a good reputation, they also may had a problem to develop their strong brand (Page and Fearn, 2005). In the other research, there are been said that some of dimension of brand equity such as brand awareness, brand distinctive, brand loyalty and brand association, are positively related to the country of origin of the product, service, even the brand itself (Yasin et al., 2007). Lee and Ganesh (1999) had done their research and believe that those buyer or in the research case, visitor that have not familiar with the country that they may visit and having a low brand awareness, they intend to depend on that country origin information, if their image
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are good, more positive evaluation they may get but if there are not, vice versa evaluation will be made. However, Balabanis and Diamantopoulos (2008) clarified that those buyer that evaluate the brand through their country of origin, their perception is not precise and incorrect. Above fact can be adopt in this research situation in a way to state that those brand that are originated from the country that have a good image are tend to be evaluated as good brand while those brand that are came from country that have bad image are tend to be evaluated as not good brand or product. According to Tam (2008) in his research had showed that knowledge, familiarity and experience are having a close relationship for each other. This fact is based on Alba and Hucthison (1987) research since they had defined brand familiarity as the product related or service related experiences that had been mounted up by the customer. While Johnson and Russo with their research in 1984 had believed that, experiences have such a similarity with knowledge. Several years after that Johnson and Kellaris (1988) had indicated experience contribute to the knowledge. Several studies also believed that customer buying decision making process also affected by the familiarity of the product. Bettman and Park (1980), Park and Lessig (1981). While other researchers added that customer brand familiarity also have a relationship with price and the quality of the brand (Johnson and Kellaris, 1988) and also the effectiveness of that brand advertisement (Campbell and Keller, 2003). 2.4 Brand Image Brand image concept is knowledge about a brand as reflected by the brand association held in consumer memory (Keller, 1983). These associations include any brand aspect within the consumers recall (Aaker, 1991). Roy and Banerjee (2007) suggested that brand image expressed as the consumers idea and attitude towards the brand. Basically, the brand image is the overall mind perception that consumers have of a brand, and its distinctiveness in comparison to the other brand (Faircloth, 2005). Brand image is encompasses a consumers knowledge and beliefs about a brands varied product and its non-product aspects. Brand image signifies the personal symbolism that consumer associate with the brand, which covers of all descriptive and evaluative brandrelated knowledge (Iversen and Hem, 2008). The brands messages have powerful influence instead of other competitors messages when consumers have a favorable brand image (Hsieh and Li, 2008). Hence, brand image is significant determinants of consumers behavior (Burmann et al, 2008).
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Brand image is otherwise known as brand association. Aaker in his 1996a study mentioned that brand association is anything related in memory to a brand. Keller (1998) proposed that brand associations are classified into three different types: attributes (including product-related attributes and non-product related such as brand personality, price, experience and emotions), benefits (what customers feel the product and services can do for them, including functional benefits, symbolic benefits and experiential benefits) and attitude (customer overall assessment of the brand). By applying Kellers concept, in food service industry, brand image could be reflected through restaurant brand personality, competitive price, memorable dining experience, happy feeling as well as benefits that customers gained when dine in particular restaurants. Martenson (2007) declared that a favorable brand image would portray positive persuasive power on buyer behavior towards the brand in terms of enhancing loyalty, generating positive word of mouth and superior price premium. Faircloth et al (2001) claimed that the more positive the brand image, the more likely customers are willing to pay, hence the greater the brand equity. Restaurant operator in Malaysia thereby should establish their brand image extensively in order to generate greater willingness of customers to spend, indirectly enhance the brand equity of the restaurant. Rao et al (1991) stated that many company want to gain benefits of stronger brand image in order to enhance their own image, thus many successful companies with an inferior brand image merge and attain companies with a superior brand image ultimately expand their market share. In fast food industry, McDonald has introduced new Oreo Mcflurry in order to benefit the stronger brand image of Oreo, and apparently this step has created a center of attention for market share of McDonald. Local SME as well supposed to take relevant actions in sequence to enhance superior brand image as fast food did. Country image is the overall consumers perception toward a product from a particular country, based on their prior perception of the countrys production and marketing strength and weaknesses (Roth and Romeo, 1992). Country as well as brands has different images. The issue of whether brand image appeals affect customer responses differently in other countries has brought due to the appearance of global products (Hsieh et al, 2004). In line with Hsieh (2004), the issue of local SME brand must reset its brand image as compared to other global brand has questioned many SME operator in Malaysia. SME operator should recognize the national characteristics would affect the success of brand image strategies.
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The relationship between brand image and country-of-origin (COO) information on consumer view had been deliberate well (DAstous and Ahmad, 1999; Hsieh et al, 2004; Kotler and Gertner, 2002; Nebenzahl et al, 2003; Papadopolous, 1993). The significant effect of COO information and brand image on consumer perception has been proven by most of these researchers. Eventually, the power of brand lies in the consumers minds (Keller, 2000). The image of a brand from the consumers view may be different from what the firm desires. The image formation in the mindset of consumer is subject to the internal and external factors. Koubaa (2006) claimed that internal factors are consumers personal characteristics and external factors which also known as umbrella brand image involved product features and country image perception. Brand image represents an important aspect of marketing activities; branding and market offering with varied definition and approaches to its conceptualization (Burleigh and Sidney, 1955; Dobni and Zinkhan, 1990; Martinez and Pina, 2003). A widely accepted view is that brand image represents customers perceptions of a brand as reflected by the brand associations held in consumer memory (Herzog, 1963; Keller, 1993a, b). Brand image is, therefore, the mental picture or perception of a brand or a branded product or service and includes symbolic meanings that consumers associate with the specific attributes of a product or service (Dodni and Zinkhan, 1990; Padgett and Allen, 1997; Aperia and Back, 2004). Brand image represents the reasoned or emotional perceptions consumers attach to specific brands which distinguished by Low and Lamb (p. 352, 2000) a set of belief held by customers about a particular brand, based upon some intrinsic and extrinsic attributes (Aaker, 1994; Gracia Rodriguez and Bergantinos, 2001). Brand image, which usually includes the products name, its main physical features and appearance including the packaging and logo, and its main function, is the key to answer the question of how the consumer chooses among alternatives brands after information gathering processes of buyer behavior. The perspective is focusing on psychological attributes with certain life-style, a self image or an ascribed status. For that reason, marketing academicians and practioners see the symbolic image of products or services as more important in their success (Aaker, 1991).

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2.5

Brand Perceived Quality Perceived quality can be defined as the customers perception of the overall quality or

superiority of a product or service with respect to its intended purpose, relative to alternatives (Aaker, 1991). In 1990, Zeithaml et. al. also had defined perceived service quality as the degree of organization success in meeting the customer satisfaction. Customers evaluation of their past service consumed and service expectation are the factors that may contribute to their perceive quality result to the particular restaurants. Yoo et. al. (2000) added that customer may evaluate the restaurants product quality through their past experience, their economic level and the uniqueness of the product. . Perceived quality measurement are so called subjective because its derived from customers product comparison with the competitors. Based on Aaker (1996a) statement in his research, Perceived quality is believed able to hike up customer satisfaction through past experience that provided from last product or service consumption.

There are several factors that may manipulate customers assessments of restaurant quality. Several last studies had determined that the major keys of overall restaurant service quality are qualities of the food, environment of restaurants physical and also their delivered service (Dulen 1999; Susskind & Chan 2000). Sulek & Hensley (2004) clarifies that the quality of the food is the most significant elements for the restaurant service experienced among those three elements. However, the important consideration that the restaurants operator should concerned more is their customer need and satisfaction (Peri, 2006).

According to Wu and Liang (2009), they had affirmed that there are three service encounter in the setting of restaurant which are comprised of environmental elements that examplized by design of the restaurant, surround sound and music, and also the lighting; restaurant staff that have professional skills and high degree of reliability; and also different attribute or behavior of the customers. After several testing been done, thankfully, in 1985, Parasuraman with the other researchers had invented the SERVQUAL instrument that believed may evaluate the service quality from the customers perspective (Parasuraman et. al. 1985). This SERVQUAL had used five service dimensions to evaluate service quality, which are tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. Later, 10 years after that, Stevens, Knutson and Patton (1995) had created an instrument called DINESERV which been modified from SERVQUAL that purposely created to evaluate customers opinions of
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restaurant service quality. This instrument later had proposed as a reliable and relatively simple tool in a way to determine the customers view a restaurants quality.

Three years after they invented SERVQUAL instrument, Parasuraman et. al. (1988), had used SERVQUAL to represents service quality as the difference between a customer's expectations for a service offering and the customer's perceptions of the service received, requiring respondents to answer questions about both their expectations and their perceptions. The uses of perceived quality as contrast to actual service received make the SERVQUAL measure an attitude measure that is related to, but not the same as, satisfaction (Parasuraman et. al., 1988). Parasuraman et. al. (1991) presented some revisions to the original SERVQUAL measure to remedy problems with high means and standard deviations found on some questions and to obtain a direct measure of the importance of each construct to the customer.

DINESERV items included five service quality dimensions. In the restaurant industry, tangibles refer to a restaurants physical design, appearance of staff and cleanliness. Reliability involves freshness and temperature of the food, accurate billing and receiving ordered food. Responsiveness in restaurants relates to staff assistance with the menu or wine list or appropriate and prompt response to customers needs and requests. Assurance means that restaurant customers should be able to trust the recommendations of staff, feel confident that food is free from contamination and be able to say any concern without fear. Finally, empathy refers to providing personalized attention to customers by anticipating special dietary requirements or by being sympathetic towards customers problems.

Consumers tend to become more and more demanding as the recent market turn out to be more challenged. In the event of challenges such as the growing worldwide opposition, the continuous increase in customer thoughts and customers subsequent demands as the quality of service increase (Parasuraman et al., 1988; Rao and Kelkar, 1997), service firms incapable to successfully fulfill the needs and wants of customers risk not only losing displeased customers to opponents, but also losing of profits and, as a result, failure. Thus, these challenges are forcing firms to take strategic planning which will enable them in creating and having competitive advantages (Kandampully, 1998).

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As mentioned by Berry et al. (1988), service quality has become an important differentiator and the most influential competitive arm which diverse leading service firm own. While Zeithaml, (1988) stated that, in order to gain customer loyalty, leading service firms struggle to sustain a first-class quality of service. Therefore, a service firms strategic achievement in a market is basically discovered by its capability to develop and sustain a great and loyal customer base. The link between perceived service quality and customer loyalty are comparatively underdeveloped (Bloemer et al., 1999; Gremler and Brown, 1996) in spite of the reality that customer loyalty is necessary for business survival (Reichheld, 1993). According to Gronroos (1984), he had defined service quality as a perceived decision, consequential from an assessment process where customers evaluate their expectations with the service they expected to have received (p. 38). The author also suggested that service quality should be divided into technical quality (what is done) and functional quality (how it is done). Gronroos (1984) further declared that the quality of a service is dependent on two variables: expected service and perceived service, and that any previous experience with a service could influence the expectations of a consumer, whereas the perceived service is the result of a consumers perception of the service itself. Service quality has also been described as a form of attitude, related but not equivalent to satisfaction that results from the comparison of expectations with performance (Bolton and Drew, 1991; Parasuraman et al., 1988). 2.6 Brand Loyalty Oliver (p. 34, 1999) acknowledged that brand loyalty is an intensely held commitment to repurchase or regularly visits a favored product or service over and over again, consequently causing the repetitive same-brand or same brand-set purchasing, despite certain circumstance influences and marketing efforts have the potential to cause switching behavior. Olsen (2002) has mentioned that loyalty is in general measured by behavioral measures rather than attitudinal measures even supposing there might be variation in loyalty measures between attitudinal loyalty and behavioral loyalty. As suggested by Dick and Basu (1994), brand loyalty unique treatment is the positive word of mouth and greater argument among loyal customers to competitive strategies. It shows that such findings support marketers to build and sustain brand loyalty among customers in food service industry. In sequence to accomplish for such objectives, goals and
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aims, the facts on factors of determining the plan of brand loyalty among customers becomes an essential issue. The same researchers further supposed that even a moderately necessary repeat purchase or repeat patronize in particular restaurants might not explained true loyalty to a product or restaurant, but could simply result from certain situation such the availability of other restaurants, location and convenient service hours. In their framework, attitude is an obligation for true loyalty to happen. In view of that, they define repeat purchasing with no favorable attitude as false loyalty. Comparable judgment were found in Assael (1998) who conceptualizes brand loyalty as repeat purchase under high participation and defines repeat purchase under low involvement as disinterest. According to Aizen and Fishbein (1980), the relationship between attitude and behavior is well accepted among consumer researchers although this relationship emerges to be most feasible when applied to high participation situations. Presuming, even with regard to regularly dine in certain restaurants; some customers will put forward more involvement to the revisit decision than others. Understanding the role of relative attitude to brand loyalty is important for food service managers in order to enhance and maintain consumers repeat visit to their restaurant outlet. Only if an increase in relation attitude results in an increase in repeat visit, it is meaningful for food service operator in seeking to influence repeat visit through attitude building marketing strategies. Buzzell et al., (1975) and Raj, (1985) had stated that firms that have large number of customers that have high loyalty degree have been shown to have high percentage of market share (Buzzell et al.,1975; Raj, 1985).The market share, in turn, has been shown to be associated with higher rates of return on investment. Jacoby (1971) had clarifies the definition of brand loyalty as repeat purchase behavior but he also stated that this behavior is a function of psychological processes. The customer behavior of repeat purchase is not just an arbitrary response but it is the consequences of some proceeding factor such as psychological, emotional or situational factors. Likewise Dick and Basu (1994) point out that even a relatively important repeat purchase may not reflect true loyalty to a product but may merely result from situational conditions such as brands stocked by the retailer. Among the concepts used to describe a strong brand, brand loyalty is perhaps the one that has received the most attention by academics and practitioners (Malai and Speece, 2005; Tsao and Chen, 2005). For that reason, there are several definitions and measures of brand loyalty; some focus on the attitudinal dimension and others focus on the behavioral aspect of
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brand loyalty (Gee et al., 2008; Oliver, 1997). Oliver (1997), noted that brand loyalty is a deeply held commitment to rebuy or repatronize a preferred brand consistently in the future, despite situational influences and marketing efforts having the potential to cause switching behavior. In most models of brand equity, brand loyalty is posited to either a component (Aaker, 1991) or an outcome (Erdem amd Swait, 1998) of brand equity. Brand loyalty is a valuable asset for every brand. Research has indicated that the cost of recruiting new customers is very high due to advertising, personal selling, establishing new accounts and customer training (Mittal and Lassar, 1998). More importantly, profits generated by loyal customers increase significantly over time which founded by Reichheld and Sasser (1990). It is widely considered that loyalty is one of the ways with which the consumer expresses his/her satisfaction with the performance of the product or service received (Bloemer and Kasper, 1995). Therefore, it is not surprising that one of the key global constructs predicting consumer behavior as been overall satisfaction. There are many studies that have examined the relationship between this variable and loyalty, where the latter has been approached as a repurchase intention (Anderson and Sullivan, 1998; Cronin and Taylor, 1992) or as an emotional and psychological bond or commitment (Bloemer and Kasper, 1993; Samuelsen and Sandvik. 1997). The preceding literature review demonstrates the lack of attention paid to brand trust, in spite of the empirical and theoretical evidences existing about its relationship with satisfaction (Hess, 1995; Selnes, 1998) and loyalty (Morgan and Hunt, 1994). According to Hess (1995), this is explained not only by the newness of the research that characterizes the interactions between a customer and a brand as a long term relationship, but also because there is a lack of accepted measures of brand trust. In any case, this situation contrasts with the variety of opinions (Fournier, 1995; Gurviez 1996; Morgan and Hunt, 1994) supporting the importance of trust in developing positive and maximum expression of a successful relationship between the consumer and the brand. Whatever represents the meaning of brand loyalty as the list of authors with varied approaches seems endless, the fact remains that brand loyalty exist as a result of the interaction between a customers relative attitude to a special brand, and also their repeat purchase behavior for the brand. Brand loyalty may, therefore, exist as a result of repeat purchase or due to the absence of perceived differences between brand alternatives (Muncy,
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1996). It could also exist as a result of simple habitual purchase behavior (Assael, 1998), which could mean long or short term involvement on repeat purchasing of a market offering or brand. Knowledge of brand loyalty is, therefore, necessary as according to Wood (2000) brand image tailored to the needs and wants of a target market so as to facilitate brand loyalty. That is customer involvement in repeat purchase behavior on a brand and the success or otherwise of this process determines the degree of brand loyalty and will probably have influence on customer long term loyalty. 2.7 Brand Value Brand value is, on the other hand, a notion that is not really well definite (Zeithaml, 1988). Principal of this theory is the view that brand values possibly be as delicate in the eyes of the consumer at the present time. Brand values idea entails that what makes a brand is its characteristics or personality which differentiates it from others and that the presence of this characteristics conveys several usefulness, nevertheless tangible to the costumer. There is a rigorous organization of study supporting the idea of brand personality as a source of value to the consumer (King, 1973). Conversely, what seems to be occurrence is that the transformations in the industry environment are tending to lessen the power of that value.

In contrast, brand value is still a key aspect in many buying decisions even if it appears that there has been a return to a concept of value based on conventional tangible or core benefits rather than the more emotionally-based, which includes intangible benefits (Christopher, 1996). The beginning of a revolution by customers who were preliminary to subject the worth of paying radically more for branded products which were no longer seen as delivering a proportionate amount of added value (The Economist, 1994a)

If the restaurant can offer a superior value package with a considerable constructive economic impact on the customer, then the possibility is that they will win over other restaurant competitors. Even though value is perceptual, but it encompasses the customers perceptive of what they are receiving compared to what they are paying (Christopher, 1996). From the customers standpoint, value is created when the benefits obtained from a transaction exceed the costs of ownership. The same idea can be expressed as a ratio:
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Customer value = Perceptions of benefits Total cost of ownership

Hence, the force of product or service favored by the customers as offered by the restaurant operators are value for money, convenience, reliability, safety and functionality (Christopher, 1996). In order to gain competitive advantages in terms of value, the restaurant operators in the industry need to define, communicate and deliver a value proposition which is acknowledged by the target markets as the superior proposal to them compared to other competitors. In general, brand value relates to the influence of a brand in the marketing mix or the impact of the brand name on reactions to other features of the marketing mix, such as the reactions to the actual product. Brand value increases as the brand becomes better known and as the company supports the brand at the different contact points. In addition, value can be described as the quality of a thing which makes it more or less desirable. This definition of value implies that value and the perception of value are based on numerous personal, product and services. Examining consumers perceptions of value and developing strategies based on these perceptions is a difficult task for restaurant. Value has been provided to customer through pricing and branding strategies and the offering of additional services. Thus, an orientation toward providing better value to customers whether it be via brands, pricing strategies or services, appears to be one of the differential advantages for restaurants. In the food products industry which including beverages, businesses is cope with the challenge of seemingly or factually homogeneous products by creating brands (Woodruff, 1997). Srinivasan (1979) demonstrated that the brand adds a value benefit of its own independently from those of the product. Marketing experts generally agree that there is a strong link between advertising and building value for a brand (Cobb Walgren et al, 1995). Miller and Berry (1998) note that established brands are stronger and more robust than many suspected. Brand value goes beyond brand awareness o include favorable attitudes toward the brand (Moore et al., 2002). Building bran equity is related to the degree of brand recognition, the strength of consumers mental and emotional associations, as well as perceived brand quality (Aaker, 1996). When

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brands are positioned correctly, consumers feel strong ties toward them (Cobb Walgren et al., 1995). Brand perceived value is the evaluation of a cycle including consumption and purchase experiences (Cronin et al., 2000). As a consequence, the purchase experience participates in the creation of value. In this perspective, the restaurant is a strategic location where a physical encounter takes place between brands and consumers. Thus, at the point of purchase, brands are able to deliver services in addition to physical products, which is a way to increase perceived value and differentiation (Buchanan et al., 1999). Zeithaml (1988) note that customer value as the consumers overall assessment of the utility of a product based on perceptions of what is received and what is given. Otherwise, according to Monroe and Krishnan (1985) and Dodds et al. (1991), perceived quality us positively related to perceived value. Recognizing a brand name or logo can lead to positive customer assessments in terms or considering a product as good value for money or a good bargain. Furthermore, Sheth et al. (1991) developed an important theory that explains the basic values of consumption that guide consumers when they make choices. Following Hunt (1995), it is equated here with the worth that customers as individuals, as market segments, or as a mass place on the consequences they attribute to a product or service. Most commonly, customer value means judgments or assessments of what a customer perceives he or she has received from a seller in a specific purchase or use situation (Bagozzi, 1999). Woodruff (1997) defining customer value is as customers perceived preference for and evaluation of those product attributes, attribute performances, and consequences arising from use that facilitate achieving the customers goals and purposes in use situations. Value is defined in terms of customer needs and what is desirable. Rakeach (1973) suggested a value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence. The development of means-end theory (Gutman, 1982) enables laddering techniques to ascertain customer values. There are many subtle variants of Rekeachs definition. Some define value in terms of the mental images or cognitive representations underlying customers needs and goals (Peter and Olson, 1987), ultimately affecting customers responses in particular situations (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1987).

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A brand is influenced by consumers and their behavior and attitudes toward brand, which are in turn affected by factors that are mutual and interactive. These factors affect brand cognition, or the brand recognition of customers, which is how the brand accrues its value (Low and Blois, 2002). According to Wood (2002), the process of the generation of brand value includes brand cognition, brand description, brand strength generation and brand value creation. Brand value is classified as an intangible asset of a company and thus is adequately reflected in its financial results.

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3.0 3.1

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Introduction Derived from the previous chapter that has been discussed above, this research study

is mainly about the factors that contribute to customer satisfaction among customers in local restaurants and also quick service restaurant. The factors that influence the different satisfaction among customer are reflected from different view and experience of brand awareness, brand image, brand perceived quality, brand loyalty and also brand value. The primary research method used in the study of customer satisfaction which analyzes the relationship; brand awareness, brand image, brand perceived quality, brand loyalty and also brand value. It is based on a survey which 300 responses collected from customers around Klang Valley, Malaysia. The questionnaire used to collect data which the customers required to compare their satisfaction between local restaurant and quick service restaurant. Regression analysis and several statistical tests were used to test and analyzed the influence of each parameter on customer satisfaction. The results can be implemented to SME in term to continuous improvement on their business products and services by enhancing the elements that can contribute to increase customer satisfaction. 3.2 Respondents of the Study Respondents are one of main factor that need to be considered. Its plays important roles in derive the research results. In this study, the respondents are among the customers in Klang Valley which from different education level background and different range of age. The survey conducted in Klang Valley area due to the great number of restaurants which serve varieties of food and beverages. 3.3 Research Instrument The research was conducted by using primary data. The questionnaire was developed based on the extensive literature review and adapted from previous survey question from Stevens, Knutson and Patton (1995). It was divided into seven section and using the interval scale and nominal scale for demographic section. Interval scale is used because of response to various items that measure a variable can be tapped on a five-point scale, which can thereafter be summated across the items. Moreover, the Likert scale is designed to examine how strongly subjects agree or disagree with given statements on, with anchors Strongly Agree
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as 1, Agree as 2, Neither Agree Nor Disagree as 3, Disagree as 4, and Strongly Disagree as 5. A survey was used to evaluate customer satisfaction of the restaurants that their always visited. First section of the questionnaire is to determine customer awareness and knowledge regarding the restaurant that there have visited. The second section is to identify the opinion toward the brand image of the restaurant that customer have visited. On the third section, is to recognize the customer views towards the perceived quality of the restaurant that they have visited. Next, is to identify the attitude towards the brand loyalty and to identify the views toward the brand value of the restaurant. A part from that, the next section is to measure customer satisfaction towards the restaurant. The last section of the questionnaire consisted of demographic questions. At the end of the questionnaire, it is include an open ended question to give some space for corresponded to give their opinion or suggestion for the sake of this research. 3.4 Research Procedure Pilot studies is important in ensure the effectiveness of the questionnaires. Before the actual questionnaires are distribute to the respondents, pilot studies on a small scale were conducted in gathering information from a limited number of students. A total 25 students are involved in the pilot studies. This is to assess the validity of the research instrument. During the actual study, 300 questionnaires were distributed to the student in Klang Valley areas. 3.5 Data Analysis The questionnaires were distributed to 300 respondents in the area of Klang Valley that were included in different education level background and different age. Data were collected a week after the questionnaires were distributed. Moreover, questionnaires were distributed to the students that were willing to participate in the research. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Packages for Social Science (SPSS) version 18.0 for further understanding between the relationships of the independent variable to dependent variable. In order to meet the surveys goals, reliability analysis and multiple regression analysis were conducted.

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4.0 4.1

RESULTS Reliability analysis of the scale Local Restaurant Variables Cronbachs Alpha Coefficients Brand Awareness 0.871 0.834 Brand Image Brand Perceived Quality 0.823 Brand Loyalty 0.883 Brand Value 0.795 Customer Satisfaction 0.874

Quick Service Restaurant Variables Cronbachs Alpha Coefficients Brand Awareness 0.772 Brand Image 0.740 Brand Perceived Quality 0.725 Brand Loyalty 0.851 Brand Value 0.656 Customer Satisfaction 0.789

Prior to testing the hypotheses, each multi-item scale was examined for reliability using Cronbach's coefficient alpha as the indicator. All construct scales were analyzed using Cronbachs alpha to determine if the scales exhibited acceptable levels of reliability (Nunnaly, 1978). All the Cronbachs alpha value more than 0.7 indicating that all constructs had acceptable reliability (Othman et al, 2000). The coefficient was uniformly very high as shown in Table above. The Cronbachs alpha for Brand Awareness of local restaurant is 0.871, while Brand Image is 0.874. Further, Brand Perceived Quality Cronbachs alpha for local restaurant is strong which 0.823 is, whilst 0.883 is for Brand Loyalty. Besides that, 0.795 is the Cronbachs alpha of Brand Value for the local restaurant. Overall, the customer satisfaction in local restaurant is 0.874. On the other hand, the Cronbachs alpha for the QSR is also relatively high coefficient although the reliability is slightly lesser rather than local restaurant. The coefficient of Brand Awareness in QSR is reported as 0.772, 0.74 (Brand Image), 0.725 (Brand Perceived Quality) and 0.851 (Brand Loyalty). Brand Value, however is comparatively lower which 0.656 as

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compared with local restaurant is. The customer satisfaction is still high (0.789) even though somewhat lessen than local restaurant. 4.2 Multiple Regression Analysis 4.2.1 Anova Local Restaurant Variables R R Square TLBA, TLBI, TLBP, 0.849 0.72 LTBL, TLBV Sig. 0.000

Quick Service Restaurant Variables R R Square TQBA, TQBI, TQBP, 0.833 0.693 LQBL, TQBV

Sig. 0.000

Multiple regression allows prediction of a single dependent continuous variable from a group of independent variables. It can be used to test the predictive power of a set of variables and to assess the relative contribution of each individual variable. Generally, the results of all dimensions of Brand Equity for both local and QSR restaurants are perfectly significant with the customer satisfaction. In consequence, the hypotheses of the customer satisfaction are in general accepted. The coefficient relation, r of local restaurant between Customer Satisfaction and all dimensions of brand equity (Brand Awareness, Brand Image, Brand Perceived

Quality, Brand Loyalty & Brand value) is significant and positive (0.849). In contrast, for QSR, the coefficient relation, r between customer satisfaction and all dimension of brand equity is also strong and positive (0.883). The coefficient of determination, denote as r, indicate how much contribution of independent variable in explaining the response variable. For local restaurant, the coefficient of determination is 0.72. The interpretation of this figure is 72% of the total variation in customer satisfaction of local restaurant can be explained by all dimension in Brand Equity and other 27% are clarified by the other factors. In QSR, the r is 0.693, which indicated that 69.3% of total variation in the Customer satisfaction of QSR can be described by the Brand Equity dimensions and another 30.7% are explicated by other factors.

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4.2.2

Coefficient
Local Restaurant Standardized Significant Level Coefficients Beta 0.312 0.043 0.153 0.385 0.059 0.000 0.381 0.001 0.000 0.231

Variable TLBA TLBI TLBP TLBL TLBV

Variable TLBA TLBI TLBP TLBL TLBV

Quick Service Restaurant Standardized Significant Level Coefficients Beta -0.097 0.039 0.163 0.000 0.044 0.334 0.522 0.000 0.315 0.000

The next thing we want to know is which of the variables included in the model contributed to the prediction of the dependent variable. We find this information in the output box labelled Coefficients. Look in the column labelled Beta under Standardised Coefficients. To compare the different variables it is important that we look at the standardised coefficients, not the unstandardised ones. Standardised means that these values for each of the different variables have been converted to the same scale so that we can compare them. Then, look down the Beta column and determine which beta value is the largest (ignoring any negative signs out the front). In the local restaurant, the largest beta coefficient is 0.385, which is for Brand Loyalty. This means that this variable makes the strongest unique contribution to explaining the dependent variable which is Customer Satisfaction, when the variance explained by all other variables in the model is controlled for. Second strongest contributon is Brand Awareness (0.312), followed by Brand Perceived Quality (0.153). Next, the Beta value for Brand Value was slightly lower (0.059), on the other hand Brand Image is 0.043 indicating that it made less of a contribution.

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Conversely, for QSR, the Brand Loyalty contributes the strongest beta coefficent which is 0.522, then followed by Brand Value with 0.315. Subsequently, Brand Image give 0.163 beta coefficent, Brand Awareness is 0.097 and Brand Perceived Quality is 0.044. This demonstrated that Brand Perceived Quality is less significant for QSR, however as a whole, the dimension is significant as shown in Anova table in column Significance. Regression analysis for local restaurant also produced a significant positive result. The finding of Brand Awareness and Brand Loyalty are both perfectly significant. Thus, the H1a is supported; when customers aware of the existence of the local restaurants brand, they will be more satisfied. The result also applies in the H4 of brand loyalty whereas if the customer loyal to the restaurant, then they will be a satisfied customer. H2a is tested by examining the link between Customer Satisfaction and Brand Image. As in table 1, regression results show Customer Satisfaction has significant positive relationship with Brand Image (0.01). That is, the Restaurants with established image will have satisfied customers, hence H2 is supported. H3a, (There is positive relationship between customer satisfaction and Brand Perceived Quality), also tested by evaluated the regression analysis. The result demonstrates that the insignificant of multiple regression analysis of 0.381. That is, the H3a is less significant to the customer satisfaction in local restaurant. For H5, the finding of Brand Value is insufficient and insignificant (0.231). Though, as mentioned before, as a whole the result is significant to the customer satisfaction in local restaurant. Hence, the hypothesis of There is positive relationship between customer satisfaction and Brand Value is approved. From the QSR perspective, the multiple regression analysis is perfectly significant to the relationship of the Customer Satisfaction towards Brand Image, Brand Loyalty and Brand Value. The hypotheses of H2b (Restaurants with established will have satisfied customers), H4b (If the customer loyal to the restaurant, then they will be a satisfied customer) and H5b (There is positive relationship between customer satisfaction and Brand Value) has been approved. In addition, the relationship of Customer Satisfaction and Brand Awareness of QSR is also agreed by the results illustrated in the multiple regression significance level of 0.039. This explains the acceptability of H1b which stated that when customers aware of the existence of the QSR restaurants brand, they will be more satisfied.
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H3b, on the contrary is not portray a significant level in the multiple regression analysis. The 0.334 is not acceptable as significant, but then it is considered significant in general, thus the H3b (There is positive relationship between customer satisfaction and Brand Perceived Quality) is not rejected.

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5.0

CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION In an industry that is becoming increasingly international, such as services, it is

important to develop standardized measure to adequately capture consumer satisfaction, brand awareness, brand image, brand perceived quality, brand loyalty and brand value in local restaurant. Customer satisfactions have positive relationship towards five dimensions discuss above. Customer satisfaction can be achieved by either emphasizing the brand, product and services via satisfied customer needs and want. It appears that there are many benefits flowing from increases customer satisfaction. Higher satisfaction scores lead to higher levels of customer retention. The restaurant cannot reach the highest stage without the customers help. The customer would finally to ensure the success of the restaurant. By then, the restaurant should take progressive action in ensuring the customers are satisfied with the service quality, product, and also the branding factor. Interaction between the customer and the employee is also important in ensuring the effectiveness of the service. Through such measurement, restaurant can learn how they are doing from the point of view of their targeted consumers, identify what it takes to compete, find ways to deliver better service to their customers and compare their achievements with competitors. By doing so, they will be positioned to create satisfied, loyal and committed customer who will not only return for repeat business but will also bring their friends and family with them (Veloutsou et al., 2005). Clearly, satisfaction are linked to brand awareness, brand image, brand perceived quality, brand loyalty and brand value. 5.1 Managerial Implications The results of our study confirm to a large extend the proposed hypotheses and suggest a number of important managerial implications for consumer researchers and brand managers. First, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that attempts to measure relative customer satisfaction on Malaysia SME restaurants, in fact covers the comparison to QSR restaurants. For that reason, local SME operators enable to utilize this study as tools for an area of improvement in their branding aspects. This study has clear implication for Malaysias SME restaurant towards the service quality and customer satisfaction. It can be considered as an approach that captures the nature of satisfaction and loyalty of customers towards the restaurants. Therefore, it is expected that
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customers have their own perspective, need and want to full fill by the service provider. Brand awareness, brand image, brand perceived quality, brand loyalty and also brand value is play huge roles in measured customer satisfaction. Furthermore, result supports that in order for service industry deal with the factor that can improve the customer satisfaction on local SME restaurants. Comparing with the QSR showed that the restaurant is more systematic, strategic and have clear vision and mission. These points should be instilling in SME restaurant to ensure they can provide better service in gaining customer satisfaction. Since the relationship of customer satisfaction increases with the repeat purchase of services, loyalty requires special and primary attention to ensure the restaurant can retain their customer. As ratified by the respondents, the strongest contribution for customer satisfaction of local SME restaurant is Brand Loyalty. Customers are less sensitive towards any circumstances that exist for the particular restaurant, but they prone to visit them regularly. Therefore, it is important to the local restaurant operator to enhance on their Brand Loyalty aspects. Alas, our local SME restaurants possess little effort in retaining their customers. Investment for attracting new customer is basically more costly than sustaining existed customers. Customer Relationship Programs applied in most QSR such as McDonald supposedly developed in our local restaurants so that the bonding between restaurants and the locals will be created. By adopting such an approach, companies can gain long-term competitive advantage by optimally delivering value and satisfaction to the customer and extract business value from the exchange (Kumar, 2010). As results demonstrated that Band Awareness in local SME restaurants is considered crucial, nonetheless in QSR the results showed that it is less significant to the customer satisfaction. As mentioned Richarm and Colias (2007), things change with time. As consumer preferences change, and as different brands alter their messaging and positioning strategies, the perceptual also changes. In other words, in spite of of any promotional and marketing effort highlighted in order to create the brand awareness, consumer will visit QSR as they already conscious on the branding of QSR. This reflects the strong perception of brand awareness of QSR to the extent that it requires less effort in marketing.

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5.2

Limitations and future research This studys contribution must be considered in light of its limitations. First and

foremost, results are obtained from different profile demographic of customers that participate in the questionnaires survey. This study is actually to help Malaysias SME in order to perform better product and services toward customers. Given the great diversity of service industries, it would helpful to carry out similar studies in other service factory industries. Further shortcomings of the study resulted from problem in the measurement of overall satisfaction. More research may be needed to develop a valid measurement tool to assess the elements of satisfaction in a way that does not elicit fatigue, boredom or inappropriate response behavior from respondents (Drolet and Marrison, 2001). Additionally, more research is needed in the field of developing a valid measurement tool to assess the services cape. The limitation of the study derives from the sampling context and procedures to collect the primary data. A more systematic probabilistic sampling procedure that would entail larger nation-wide samples is needed in order to affirm the present results. In addition, tapping instrumental along with affective commitment might enhance the understanding of the customer satisfaction relationship. In conclusion, this study has laid the foundation for future researchers to explore these relationship using more experimental research designs.

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6.0

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