Evaluation of brand equity in software companies: Case Study of Chargon, in Journal of Entrepreneurship, Business and Economics خرداد 95

 Evaluation of brand equity in software companies: Case Study of Chargon, in Journal of Entrepreneurship, Business and Economics خرداد 95

IT industry especially the software industry is of the growing industries in the world which has grown considerably in recent years. In such circumstances, there will be some companies which want to differentiate themselves from competitors and create a unique and favorable position in the minds of their own enterprise customers; one way to create a sustainable competitive advantage in these mar-kets that already has been less discussed is the creation of brand equity. Thus, the aim of this study is to evaluate brand equity in software companies that Chargon Company was selected. The statistical population included managers of Chargon’s subsidiary companies and their users that given the un-limited society, Cochrane formula has been used in unlimited population to determine sample size. Due to the minimal amount of sample that is 386 questionnaires, 500 questionnaires were distributed in the population. Structural equation modeling approach and SmartPLS.2 were used to analyzing collected data. The results show that emotional variables affect value on brand equity is 0.64. Also functional variables affect value on brand equity is 0.89.market behavior variable plays a positive mediating role between emotional variables and brand equity. On the other hand market behavior plays a negative mediating role between emotional variables and brand equity. Considering t-values higher than 1.96, the significance of relationships obtained is confirmed in 95% confidence level. 
Research paper 
Keywords: Evaluation, Brand equity, Software company, IT, Services 
Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Hosseini, A, Otarkhani, A., Shokouhyar, S. (2016). “Evaluation of brand equity in software companies: Case Study of Chargon”, Journal of En-trepreneurship, Business and Economics, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 182–200. 
The role brand on companies’ product identification in today's growing markets is undeniable. Building a strong brand is the goal of many organi-zations. Today, commercial brands are the most valuable than all assets of the company. Commercial brands increase their owners' economic and stra-tegic value. Marketing managers attempts to create and maintain brand without the necessary planning lead to problems for the companies. Most of Journal of Entrepreneurship, Business, and Economics, 2016, 4(2): 182–200 
marketing managers or brand managers well understand marketing concepts such as understanding customer needs, localization, and promotion and ad-vertising activities and have extensive experience in implementing them (Salamzadeh et al., 2015). But in fact what cause problems in marketing products and services is that they can’t apply marketing concepts in promot-ing brand equity. In fact, they don’t have a correct perception of concepts like brand, its management and brand equity. Over the past few decades tra-ditional approaches to marketing being challenged and communication mar-keting have been proposed as an alternative species. Relationship marketing has changed its marketing focus from short-term absorption of separate transaction customers toward maintaining loyal customers (Taleghani et al., 2011). 
Brand equity is the key concept for academic and commercial re-search, because those successful brands provide marketers with competitive advantages (Salamzadeh & Kawamorita, 2013). Brand equity can be exam-ined from two different perspectives: Financial and customer perspectives. Although various definitions of brand equity have been proposed, but the most accepted definition belongs to Aaker definition. He states that brand equity is a set of assets and liabilities that belongs to the brand and its name and symbol and this responsibility added or subtracted something from val-ue given by company's product or service (Aaker, 1991). Yu and Danto (2001) described brand equity as a multidimensional construct that includes conceptual quality and the brand loyalty and brand image. Perceptual quali-ty is the key and main dimension of brand equity. The perceptual quality determines the functional benefits associated with the brand and these bene-Hosseini, A, Otarkhani, A., Shokouhyar, S. 2016. Evaluation of brand equity in software companies: Case Study of Chargon fits increase brand equity. The brand loyalty is also main dimensions of brand equity. 
Keller (1993) states that brand loyalty leads to a favorable beliefs and attitudes about the brand and repeat the buying behavior related to brand and has unique and favorable relationship with brand. As a result, brand equity can be increased. Another dimension of brand equity is brand image. Keller (1993) states that creating good and strong image in the minds of customers increase brand equity. This means that a positive image of the brand increases the likelihood of brand selection and maintain brand from competitive threats. Investigating research history of brand equity indicates that there are three models and frameworks for understanding and measur-ing brand equity: 
1- Acker framework with management perspective to brand equity. 
2- Psychological and memory-based perspective of brand equity. (Kel-ler) 
3- Erdem and Savit’s (1998) brand equity framework based on indica-tors theory and information economic. (Erdem and Savit, 1998) 

Brand equity can be estimated from three perspectives: the customer mind, the results obtained from product market and the financial market (Keller and Lehmann, 2001). IT, as defined by the Information Technology Association America, act to investigating, design, development, implemen-tation, support or management of computer-based information systems, par-ticularly computer software and hardware applications”. In short, IT deals with issues such as the use of electronic computers and software and try convert, store, protect, process, transmit and retrieve information be done in a reliable and secure method. It consists of four basic elements of human, Journal of Entrepreneurship, Business, and Economics, 2016, 4(2): 182–200

Ayat Hoseini, Ali Otarkhani, Sajad Shokouhyar 
E-mail: Hosseini.ayat@gmail.com 
Received June 2016; accepted August 2016

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