Brand line positioning in the Norwegian mass-produced beer market : a comparative brand association study
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- Master Thesis 
The purpose of this thesis is to compare the image positioning of two Norwegian beer brand lines in terms of consumer perceptions. Despite recent popularity of microbrewery research, it argues that industrial breweries are more profitable, and should not be neglected. An introduction to the realm of brand equity is provided. It poses three research questions about two brands: 1) which associations are most frequently reported; 2) which associations differentiate the brands, and; 3) do they drive brand attitudes? Thereafter, information about the product category, the Ringnes and Hansa brand lines and owners, distribution chain and recent developments is disclosed. Consumer-Based Brand Equity and other theory relevant to consumer behavior and brand management is presented. Following the theoretical framework, two hypotheses are developed, deducted from publicly available brand information. A combined-methods approach was applied to collect primary data in two processes. To answer the first research question and develop additional hypotheses, a pilot study (n = 21) was conducted using semi-structured interviews on a convenience sample consisting mostly of students. It was finalized by developing a new set of three hypotheses. The main study (n = 342) utilized a survey strategy to collect quantitative data to be used in the analysis. Selfselected questionnaire respondents were automatically assigned a brand condition for comparison purposes. The process of each study was presented separately, including discussions of validity, reliability and statistical assumptions. Indications of perceived brand differences were found and summarized comparatively. All five null hypotheses that the brands were perceived to be equal, were rejected in favor of Hansa. Significant relationships between test variables and brand attitude were found by correlation, and potential drivers of brand attitude were explored using multiple regressions. Findings indicate that Hansa is positively differentiated from Ringnes by unique heritage and sports associations, however, generalizations cannot be made. Implications of findings are discussed along with limitations and recommendations.