Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/35568
The Icelandic horse is one of Iceland's national treasures. The breed is enjoying growing international popularity because of its unique gaits, gentle temperament and indomitable spirit. Strategic branding of the Icelandic horse started with the emergence of the Horses of Iceland brand in 2015, which was intended to generate more profit in the industry and unite disparate marketing efforts. The main objectives of this study were to gain insight on the Icelandic horse’s customer-based brand equity among international equestrians and determine whether the breed’s image is in line with Horses of Iceland’s positioning. Following a qualitative analysis of HOI’s positioning, an online questionnaire was designed to measure the brand awareness, image and attitude towards the Icelandic horse among international horse owners. Furthermore, loyalty towards the breed was measured among those participants that own an Icelandic horse. The questionnaire was mostly based on the general ideas of Keller (1993) and Aaker (1996) on customer-based brand equity. A convenience sample from a population of international horse owners was collected and the total number of valid responses was 2342, with participants from over 50 countries.
The researcher’s analysis on Horses of Iceland’s positioning brought about a suggested framework to implement in future marketing, with the aim to make the positioning more straightforward. The image seems to be in line with the intended positioning while the breed’s intangible attributes are less recognized by the general international equestrian. Furthermore, the attributes that turned out to be of paramount for probable buyers were not the image attributes that international equestrians associated the most with the Icelandic horse; appreciation of the aesthetics of the Icelandic horse’s gaits appears to be lacking and the size of the Icelandic horse is not strongly perceived as suitable for most riders. Nevertheless, the results imply the Icelandic horse’s customer-based brand equity to be favorable, supported by strong awareness and positive image results. Based on the high levels of loyalty and brand love, Icelandic horse enthusiasts truly reflect the consumer-brand relationship paradigm, characterized by emotional attachment and passion for the breed.
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