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Journal of Foodservice
Business Research
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The Relationships Between


Brand Attitude, Customers'
Satisfaction and Revisiting
Intentions of the University
StudentsA Case Study of
Coffee Chain Stores in Taiwan
Wen-Hwa Ko & Chihwei P. Chiu
Published online: 08 Sep 2008.

To cite this article: Wen-Hwa Ko & Chihwei P. Chiu (2008) The Relationships Between
Brand Attitude, Customers' Satisfaction and Revisiting Intentions of the University
StudentsA Case Study of Coffee Chain Stores in Taiwan, Journal of Foodservice
Business Research, 11:1, 79-95, DOI: 10.1080/15378020801926791

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15378020801926791

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The Relationships Between Brand
1537-8039
1537-8020
WFBR
Journal of Foodservice Business Research,
Research Vol. 11, No. 1, February 2007: pp. 117

Attitude, Customers Satisfaction and


Revisiting Intentions of the University
StudentsA Case Study of Coffee
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Chain Stores in Taiwan


Wen-Hwa Ko
JOURNAL OF FOODSERVICE BUSINESS RESEARCH
Refereed

Chihwei P. Chiu

ABSTRACT. The purpose of this research study was to investigate brand


attitudes, which are associated with customer satisfaction, and the relation-
ships between brand attitude, consumer satisfaction, and revisiting
intentions of university students to coffee chain stores situated in the areas
adjacent to universities. The purpose behind doing so was to provide
appropriate marketing plan suggestions to the stores. The dimensions
pertaining to brand attitude included cognitive, affective and conative
components. The affective component mean value proved to be much
higher than those of the cognitive and conative components. Regression
analysis showed that customer satisfaction was a positive predictor of the
affective, cognitive and conative components. The effect of brand attitude

Wen-Hwa Ko, Fu Jen University, Department of Restaurant, Hotel, and


International Management, 510 Chung Cheng Road, Hsinchang, Taipei,
Taiwan (E-mail: 073770@mail.fju.edu.tw).
Wen-Hwa Ko works as an assistant professor in the Department of Restau-
rant, Hotel, and International Management at Fu Jen University. Her research
interests include education research in the area of tourism and hospitality, con-
sumers behavior, and food choice.
Chihwei P. Chiu worked as a professor in the Department of Food Science at
Fu Jen University. His research interests include the food safety and food
processing.
Journal of Foodservice Business Research, Vol. 11(1) 2008
Available online at http://jfbr.haworthpress.com
2008 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1080/15378020801926791 79
80 JOURNAL OF FOODSERVICE BUSINESS RESEARCH

on participants willingness to revisit was mediated by their perceived level


of satisfaction.

KEYWORDS. Coffee store, brand attitude, customers satisfaction,


revisiting
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INTRODUCTION

Coffee is one of the popular beverages in the world, and is assumed to


be a healthy alternative to alcoholic beverages in social gatherings
(Cristovam, Russell, Paterson, and Reid., 2000). In last ten years, due to
the rapid growth of economy and the increase of peoples income,
peoples life style in Taiwan has been largely westernized. The increased
purchasing power and the change of catering culture of consumers in Tai-
wan have driven a large consumption of coffee beverages. As a result,
various types of coffee stores have emerged one after another on the
island, and people crowd in there to enjoy drinking coffee and to have
relaxed conversation. Generally, todays consumers highly recognize the
products and services based on their experiences and perceptions gained
from the brand of coffee chain stores. The major coffee chain stores in
Taiwan include Starbucks, Seattles, IS coffee, Dante, Ikari and Doutor.
The brand names of coffee chain stores continues to increase in Taiwan.
This type of coffee business has been developed in various areas in
Taiwan; specifically commercial districts, residential areas, office build-
ings, schools and hospitals (Kao, 2003).
Coffee has been stereotyped as an adult beverage. Cristovam et al.
(2000) suggested that a better understanding of the basis of coffee prefer-
ence for different consumers is necessary. The same reasons were found
in terms of adult students. A restaurant provides customers with food; it
is also a place where the general public can conduct parties and other
social events. Research on customer satisfaction has flourished over the
past two decades and has become one of the most popular topics pertain-
ing to service sector marketing. Customer satisfaction has been recog-
nized as the critical factor leading to coffee shop success. Generally,
food service companies use customer satisfaction data to determine the
level of service/product quality in order to increase customer retention
rate. Firm brand strategies are important because of the critical impact
they have on a firms financial and marketing performance. The necessity
Refereed 81

of effective brand management is being recognized because of the


increasing number of brand portfolios, and this is changing the funda-
mental structure of the hospitality industry (Haussman, 2002; Koonce,
1998; Nardozza, 1998).
Since most coffee chain stores provide only a minimum amount of
service, the service style is somewhat comparable to that of fast food
restaurants. Thus, it seems plausible to relate reviews pertaining to
consumers selection of fast food restaurants to those regarding coffee
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chain stores. Results of Knutsons (2000) study on important factors


that affect the choices university students make in terms of fast food
restaurants showed that cleanliness and friendliness, price, ser-
vice speed, consistency of menu items and menu variety were the
most important factors. Further, the brand choice process is continu-
ous and sequential in that cognitions are formed first, followed by
attitudes and confidence levels, and finally, purchase intentions.
Research on consumers brand selection processes has led to studies
demonstrating the existence of both direct and competitive effects
between consumers cognitive evaluations, attitudes, confidence
levels, and intentions (Laroche, Kim, and Zhou, 1996). In developed
countries, consumers are becoming less brand-loyal, likely due to the
emergence of private label brands. The primary reasons for this
include price as well as marginal perceived differences in basic quality
(Hollingsworth, 1993).
Price and convenience are the major concerns for young adults when
purchasing coffee drinks (Kao, 2004). Frequently, trips to specialty coffee
shops may not be part of the daily lives of college students in Taiwan
when they start living independently with their limited budgets. Coffee
chain stores provide affordable alternatives to specialty stores. A warm
environment, affordable prices and good service are the major benefits for
university students. Studying the consumption patterns and preferences of
young adult coffee drinkers may provide information for this consumer
group. In order to better develop marketing plans for students, this study
will investigate the relationships between brand attitude, consumer satis-
faction and the revisiting potential of university students. In addition, no
published research has as yet explored the mediating role of customer sat-
isfaction between brand attitude and revisiting behavior. We hope to
discover the important reasons behind customer revisiting patterns, and
thereby recommend more appropriate marketing information to allow
managers to offer better value to students and thereby increase their
competitive advantage.
82 JOURNAL OF FOODSERVICE BUSINESS RESEARCH

LITERATURE REVIEW

Brand Attitude
Brand strength refers to brand characteristics that make consumers more
or less predisposed to the brand (Marketing Science Institute, 1988).
Srivastava and Shocker (1991) refer to brand strength as the set of asso-
ciations that permits the brand to enjoy a sustainable and differentiated
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competitive advantage. A brand attitude possesses cognitive, affective,


and conative components, and is prominent in the information process-
ing and decision-making process (Lutz, 1975). In general, prior research
has conceptualized brand strength in terms of consumers brand attitude
and beliefs, generally defined as overall evaluations of a product or
brand. According to Aaker (1990), consumers overall attitude toward a
brand is the basis of brand associations as well as the core of many
conceptualizations of brand strength. Marketers use brand associations
not only to differentiate, position, and extend brands, but also to create
positive attitudes and feelings toward brands. According to Park, McCarthy,
and Mildberg (1993), favorable attitudes toward a brand differentiate the
brand from other brands in the same product category. Many studies
identify the construction of attitude toward a brand as one of the most
important determinants of consumers behavioral intentions (Fishbein
and Ajzen, 1975; Laroche et al., 1996). In view of this, brand attitude has
been identified as a major construction in brand extension research
(Smith and Park, 1992). Brand loyalty is one of the best ways of reduc-
ing risk when buying a product. Consumers tend to evaluate extension
brands favorably when the brands are introduced from relatively well-
liked parent brands.
Customers Satisfaction and Revisiting Intention
Customer satisfaction is a result of whether a customers perceptions of
a given service encounter lives up to their expectations of that encounter
(Oliver, 1980). Customer satisfaction is viewed as an emotional state that
occurs when a customer experiences a positive disconfirmation of his
expectations of a purchases encounter. Ohs (1999) study tested the rela-
tionships among perceived service quality, perceived value, customer
satisfaction, and repurchase intention among hotel guests. He found that
significant path relationships exist between perceived service quality and
customer satisfaction. Moreover, customer satisfaction was positively
related to both repurchase intention and intent to spread positive word of
Refereed 83

mouth. In terms of restaurants, when the quality of service and/or product


as well as price exceed customer expectations, they are likely to be satis-
fied (Bitner, Booms and Tetreaukt, 1990). Customer perception of the
quality of restaurant service directly affects both customer satisfaction
and revisiting intention (Kim and Kim, 2005). Based on these studies,
researchers found that customer satisfaction is related to internal and
external expectation factors (Knutson, 2000; Nicolau, 2002; Pagliarini,
Gabbiadini, and Ratti, 2005).
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Internal factors: Food choice is a problem of complex function for


preferences of sensory (e.g. taste, odor, texture) characteristics which
are combined with the influences of non-sensory factors, including
food-related expectations and attitudes (Rozin, 1996; Shepherd, 1989),
health claims (Vickers, 1993), ethical concerns (Sparks, Shepherd, and
Frewer, 1995) and mood (Roger, 1996). Nettles and Gregoire (2000)
found that the factors considered in selecting a food production system
included satisfaction with food quality, food safety concerns, tempera-
ture of food at service, and holding time of prepared food. The perfor-
mance measures of food including variety, quality, nutrition, portion
size, and price are known to be the most critical factors in determining
an overall rating of service (Johnston and Upton, 1991; McFarlane and
Pliner 1997). Dube, Renaghan, and Miller (1994) recommended that
customization was the most critical service factor in terms of food satis-
faction. Professional staff and service (Dube et al., 1994) are known to
be the most critical factors affecting customer decision making for the
restaurant.
External factors: Food selection and consumption is a complex
phenomenon influenced by several factors that can be classified as
marketing-related, psychological and sensorial. However, it is evident
that other aspects such as price, location, attitudes or product information
also play an important role in this process. The importance of the brand in
the decision making process can be examined through the different func-
tions that it has for the consumer. The place of the brand in the food
choice process also depends on the individual characteristics of the buyer.
Based on this, it is possible to distinguish between consumers in terms of
their sensitivity and loyalty to a brand (Filser, 1994). This aspect might be
of great interest since it seems that brand loyalty is one of the best ways of
reducing risk when buying a product. Lo, Tan, and Qu (2005) suggested
that a restaurateur consider the importance of atmosphere as equal to, or
even more important than the food itself. This factor may also help an
organization to differentiate itself from its competitors. Bitner et al.
84 JOURNAL OF FOODSERVICE BUSINESS RESEARCH

(1990) suggested that the effect of physical environment on behavior and


the image of both customers and employees were the essential factors for
companies in the service industry.
Many researchers (Kahn, Kalwani, and Morrison, 1986; Ehrenberg,
2000) believe that repeat purchases can capture the loyalty of a consumer
towards the brand of interest. Dick and Basu (1994) were precise in sug-
gesting that a favorable attitude and repeat purchase were required to
define band loyalty. They stated that customer loyalty is viewed as the
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strength of the relationship between an individuals relative attitude and


their repeat patronage.
The following relationships are hypothesized, based on the above liter-
ature review.

H1: The greater the brand attitude in terms of cognitive, affective


and conative components, the higher the customer satisfaction.

H2: The greater the customer satisfaction, the higher the revisiting
potential.

H3: Brand attitude is positively related to revisiting behavior, and


customer satisfaction serves as the mediating role between brand
attitude and revisiting behavior.

To establish mediation, the following conditions must hold: first,


the independent variable must affect the mediator in the first equation;
second, the independent variable must be shown to affect the depen-
dent variable in the second equation; and third, the mediator must
affect the dependent variable in the third equation (Baron and Kenny,
1986). A description of the variables in the model shown in Figure 1 is
presented below along with a description of their hypothesized
interrelationships.

FIGURE 1. Model Development.


Refereed 85

METHODOLOGY

Design and Development of the Questionnaire


The first questionnaire was developed based on a comprehensive
review from the literature (Hsu and Huang, 2005; Kao, 2004). One hundred
copies of this questionnaire were distributed for the purpose of pre-testing
to customers in May, 2006. Based on the comments collected during the
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pre-testing period, a final version of the questionnaire was designed,


which consisted of three sections. The first section focused on brand atti-
tudes and consisted of 17 items (6 cognitive, 6 affective and 5 conative).
The second section included 18 questions to assess customer satisfaction
and 4 questions to assess revisiting intentions. The final section consisted
of 6 questions regarding participant demographic characteristics, includ-
ing gender, income, pocket money, place of residence, department and
year of schooling. Items were rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from
1 (strongly disagree or very unsatisfied) to 5 (strongly agree or very satis-
fied). Experts including two teachers and two coffee chain shop managers
evaluated the content validity of the questionnaire.

Sampling
A quota-sampling method was adopted for data collection. The question-
naires were collected at one particular coffee chain store in July, 2006 from
customers who were students at one of eight designated universities located
in northern Taiwan. Of the 450 questionnaires distributed, a total of 409 were
returned, of which 20 were discarded due to excessive amounts of missing
data. The remaining 389 questionnaires (86.4%) were coded and analyzed.

Data Analysis
The collected data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social
Science (SPSS) version 10.0. The demographic information of the partic-
ipants and the brand attitude ratings were summarized using descriptive
statistics, T-test and ANOVA. A regression analysis was done on the rela-
tionship between brand attitude, customer satisfaction and revisiting
intentions. Cronbachs alpha was applied to test the reliability of each
group. Using this method, the survey items were found to have reliability
coefficients well above the typically accepted level of 0.5 (Hair,
Anderson, & Black, 1995). The Cronbachs alpha for brand attitude was
0.8283 and the Cronbachs alpha for consumer satisfaction was 0.8873.
86 JOURNAL OF FOODSERVICE BUSINESS RESEARCH

RESULTS

Descriptive statistics pertaining to the respondents are presented in


Table 1. A total of 389 questionnaires were collected. The majority of the
students were female (56.3%). More than half of the respondents (51.6%)
reported no income, while 40.4% of them had pocket money totaling
NT$; 5000 or less. Near 80% of the respondents lived in the north of Taiwan,
and 60.7% were fourth year students.
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The rankings of brand attitude items pertaining to cognitive, affective,


and conative components are presented in Table 2. The top-ranked item
was the affective component with a mean value of 3.2549. The scores of
the other two items were both above 3.0. The average brand attitude
was 3.1822. Table 3 shows that the brand attitudes related to cognitive,
affective, and conative significantly affected customer satisfaction. In

TABLE 1. Socio-demographic characteristics of students

Variable Items Number Percents (%)

Gender Male 170 43.7


Female 219 56.3
Income (NT$/ 10,000 101 26.0
month) 10,00120,000 58 14.9
20,001 29 7.5
none 201 51.6
Pocket money 5,000 157 40.4
(NT$/month) 5,00110,000 145 37.3
10,001 87 22.4
Place of residence North of Taiwan 290 74.6
Middle of Taiwan 48 12.3
South of Taiwan 46 11.8
East of Taiwan 5 1.3
Department Tourism 35 9.0
Information systems 95 24.5
Media 56 14.4
Business 111 28.5
Arts 60 15.4
Law 16 4.1
Languages 16 4.1
Grade 1st year 16 4.1
2nd year 51 13.1
3rd year 86 22.1
4th year 236 60.7
Refereed 87

TABLE 2. Mean values for the brand attitudes

Brand attitude Mean Std. deviation

Cognitive component 3.1984 .46682


Affective component 3.2549 .50844
Conative component 3.0756 .56326
Total 3.1822 .43800
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TABLE 3. Factors affecting brand attitude to customers satisfaction

Variable Standardized T value Significance


beta coefficient

Cognitive component 0.193 3.889 0.000


Affective component 0.390 8.063 0.000
Conative component 0.296 7.066 0.000

Note: Multiple R = 0.756; adjusted R2 = 0.569; F = 171.706; Significance F = 0.000.

TABLE 4. Differences between male and female for the brand


attitude of cognitive, affective, and conative

Brand attitude Gender Mean Std. deviation T value

Cognitive Male 3.2216 0.4988 0.863


Female 3.1804 0.4407
Affective Male 3.2990 0.5166 1.509
Female 3.2207 0.5005
Conative Male 3.0659 0.5772 0.299
Female 3.0831 0.5534

terms of the three brand attitudes relationship with customer satisfaction,


the proposed model explained 56.9% of the variance.
T test and one-way ANOVA analysis was used to compare in the
characteristics of gender, average income and pocket money. As shown in
Table 4 and 5, the gender and income were no significant differences
between in brand attitude. However, the lower pocket money was a more
significant factor than higher pocket money in brand attitude in affective
(Table 6). The low price could be a suitable policy for the marketing to
the coffee stores.
88 JOURNAL OF FOODSERVICE BUSINESS RESEARCH

TABLE 5. Differences of income for the brand attitude of cognitive,


affective, and conative

Brand attitude Income Mean Std. deviation F value

Cognitive 10,000 3.2459 0.4233 1.527


10,00120,000 3.2730 0.5137
20,001 3.1092 0.5847
none 3.1659 0.4529
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Affective 10,000 3.2574 0.4311 1.393


10,00120,000 3.3736 0.5934
20,001 3.1897 0.5189
none 3.2289 0.5149
Conative 10,000 3.1188 0.5721 1.784
10,00120,000 3.2000 0.7019
20,001 3.0483 0.5944
none 3.0219 0.5035

TABLE 6. Differences of pocket money for the brand attitude of cognitive,


affective, and conative

Brand attitude Pocket money Mean SD F value Scheffe

Cognitive 5,000 3.2601 0.4325 2.38


5,00110,000 3.1655 0.4646
10,001 3.1418 0.5200
Affective 1. 5,000 3.3429 0.4838 4.050* 1 > 2, 1 > 3, 2 > 3
2.5,00110,000 3.2034 0.5320
3. 10,001 3.1820 0.4939
Conative 5,000 3.1554 0.5736 2.675
5,00110,000 3.0179 0.5421
10,001 3.0276 0.5683

*P < 0.05.

One of the objectives of this study was to examine the relationships


between brand attitude, consumer satisfaction, and revisiting intentions in
regards to coffee stores. The regressions on brand attitude, consumer
satisfaction, and revisiting are shown (Table 7). The least squares regres-
sion analysis was used to assess the relationship between the dependent
variable (revisiting intentions) and several independent variables. Table 7
presents the results of the hypothesized relationships. Brand attitude was
found to exert a significant positive impact on consumer satisfaction
Refereed 89

TABLE 7. Regression analysis of brand attitude, consumers


satisfaction, and revisiting intentions

Dependent variable - Adjusted Standardized T value VIF C.I.


Independent variable R2 beta coefficient

Customers satisfaction 0.567 0.754 22.553*


Brand attitude
Revisiting 0.385 0.622 15.624*
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Customers satisfaction
Revisiting 0.248 0.650 11.257*
Brand attitude
Revisiting 0.386
Brand attitude 0.072 1.197 2.314 16.616
Customers satisfaction 0.567 9.374* 2.314 25.660

*P < 0.05.

(standardized regression coefficients 0.567, P < 0.05). In this study, the


independent variable (brand attitude) affected the mediator (customer
satisfaction) in the first equation; and in the second equation, the independent
variable (brand attitude) affected the dependent variable (revisiting
intentions) while the mediator (customer satisfaction) also affected the
dependent variable (revisiting intention). In the third equation, regressing
is the dependent variable on both the independent variable and the media-
tor. Customer satisfaction influenced revisiting intentions regarding the
coffee chain store significantly, but brand attitude did not. The effect of
brand attitude on customer revisiting intentions was mediated by satisfac-
tion. Therefore, all three hypotheses were accepted. To detect the
presence of multicollinearity, the VIF(Variance Inflation Factors) or C.I.
(Conditional Index) values were calculated and present in Table 7. The
VIF values were well below the problematic level of 10 (Kennedy, 1998),
and the C.I. values were below 30 that shown the moderation multicol-
linearity (Belsley, Kuh, and Welsch, 1980).

DISCUSSION

From the results, it is apparent that the mean values of the affective
component are much higher than those of the cognitive and conative com-
ponents, making the affective component the most important factor of the
three in terms of the effect on brand attitude. When consumers choose
brand name as an important factor in terms of restaurant choice, then it is
90 JOURNAL OF FOODSERVICE BUSINESS RESEARCH

related to their brand loyalty (Mattila, 2001). Wikie (1994) stated that a
brand is one of the factors that consumers consider when they purchase
products or services, which is why Dev and Prasad (2000) emphasize
building a bond between consumers and a brand. On a general level, it is
thought that people consume goods and services to gain cognitive and
sensory experiences, thus a consumers choice can be attributed, in part,
to experience seeking behavior. This experience-seeking behavior is
thought to consist of three constructs: cognition seeking, sensation
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seeking, and novelty seeking (Hirschman, 1984). Further, brand attitude


was found to exert a significant positive impact on consumer satisfaction
in this study. The most important factors pertaining to customer satisfac-
tion for the students in this study were good service, friendly, and relax-
ing. Comfortable space becomes especially important in coffee shops as
compared with other restaurants. Service quality has also been found to
be a significant contribution factor in determining customer satisfaction
and return intent in restaurant settings (Baker, Parasuraman, Grewal, and
Voss, 2002). Good service and well-trained employees can provide the
affective component customers desire. Coffee chain stores already
provide master training to their employees to raise the quality standards of
the coffee being served. In fact, brand image appeared to exert the stron-
gest positive influence on brand attitude, and it appears to play a part in
terms of the customer decision making process.
Customer satisfaction served as the mediating role between brand
attitude and revisiting behavior, due to the fact that customer satisfaction
is the most important issue when students choose to patronize a particular
coffee shop. Branding also has continued to gain increasing importance,
and the branding explosion in college foodservices was related to an aggres-
sive period of promotion, retail style marketing, and cost-benefit analysis
(College and University, 1997). In Taiwan, the coffee beverage market in
college areas has seen continuous expansion. Most the coffee shops only
provide a minimum of service, comparable to that seen in fast food
restaurants where customers order, pay, pick up their food and/or bever-
age at the counter, and then proceed to the sitting or dining area. The aver-
age price of meals in coffee shops is higher than that in fast food
restaurants, meaning that coffee shop managers need to take this into
account when devising their marketing mix. Some studies have found that
the most important factors for adults under the age of 25 include low
price, speed of service, consistency, and convenient location (Muller,
1997). The common explanation is that college students are more money or
price-sensitive considering their economic status, as they often do not
Refereed 91

have jobs, and because coffee shops near university areas are not consid-
ered cheap. Further, income and convenience are the important factors in
understanding consumer behavior regarding the choice of food (Hsu and
Huang, 2005). Therefore, aside from brand issues, managers should
ensure that prices are set so as to be suitable for students. More experi-
enced customers look for reasonable prices by evaluating the quality and
quantity of the products they consume as well as quality of service, and
managers can take note of these facts and thereby market their brands to
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attract and retain customers. As customers become more sophisticated,


and as competition continually increases, consumers may look for more
than just an excellent core product and service, meaning that a better envi-
ronment and other value-added services could be seen gain in importance
in the future. A positive relationship exists between consumers evalua-
tion of a brand and attitude intentions toward the same brand (Laroche,
Kalamas, and Huang, 2005). Also, attitudinal loyalty measurements
provide more insight about the possible reasons a customer demonstrates
brand loyalty. A customer may be driven by functional attitudes, quality
attitudes or simply by price. Attitudinal loyalty measures can help brand
mangers understand (1) why and for what reasons customers purchase
their brands as well as those of their competitors, and (2) the strengths and
vulnerabilities of their brand. These insights can help them to plan their
marketing programs more effectively (Bandyopadhyay and Martell,
2007). A manager may find that the majority of their customers have a
low quality perception regarding their brand, which may provide them
with the impetus to consider several remedial strategies, such as wrapping
products in plastic, printing a certificate from an authentic testing agency,
or offering extended product warranty. If customers are price-driven,
price discounts such as coupons or volume discounts such as buy one
and get the second one at half price may prove effective, especially for
students (Baek, Ham, and Yang 2006).

CONCLUSIONS AND LIMITATIONS

The research goals of this study centered on identifying key factors that
students consider when choosing a coffee store to patronize, which may
assist coffee chain store managers to better target these customers. Brand
attitude is a direct antecedent of consumer satisfaction. Satisfaction is a
significant determinant of customer confidence to revisit. Brand attitude
92 JOURNAL OF FOODSERVICE BUSINESS RESEARCH

only influences revisiting potential through satisfaction. Therefore, a


good marketing plan is important to attract students.
The following limitations were inherent in the study. First, the ques-
tionnaire was distributed in only one coffee chain store. To overcome this
limitation, future research should compare results obtained from different
coffee chain stores and private brand coffee shops. Second, the population
in this research was limited to students attending eight universities in
Northern Taiwan. Therefore, the results from the study may not be gener-
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alized beyond this population. A country-wide comparison of cross life-


style students could be undertaken to discover if results differ across
different locations.
One of the most dramatic findings of this study is that providing high
levels of comfort reduces customer price sensitivity, which is similar to
the results obtained by Barsky and Nash (2003). To be successful in the
coffee store business, an effective marketing mix is important, and com-
fort appears to play an integral role in this mix. Further, technological
advances have led to automated coffee brewers and machines that can
help to ensure consistent quality. It would be interesting to discover if the
customer selection criteria for a fast food restaurant is similar to that they
use when selecting a chain coffee store in this study.

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