There is an increasing emphasis on building and maintaining brand equity as the primary driver
of success for service organisations, such as holiday resorts and hotels. Limited research on
customer-based brand equity within the South African hotel context has been conducted. This
study examined the dimensions of brand equity and compared the differential effect that they
had on brands within three hotel categories (low, medium and high priced) in South Africa.
Convenience sampling was used to obtain a return of 169 self-administered questionnaires in the Gauteng metropolitan area. The results suggest that the hotels did not differ on the dimensions of brand image and brand loyalty; however, they did differ on perceived quality. As perceived quality received is based on customers’ expectations, hotels are required to provide quality services so as to meet customers’ expectations. The research findings imply
that the hotels’ communication and operational efforts are effective in creating comprehensive
brand equity. Focusing on brand equity from a customer’s perspective enables marketing
managers to determine how their marketing efforts contribute to the value of their brands in
the mind of the customer. However, more effort should be made to improve the perceived quality within each of the hotel chains. Suggestions for future research are offered.