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Analysis of Brand Management Strategy for Shoe Company

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Chapter 1: Introduction

1. Introduction

This dissertation is comprised of brand evolution and sum various steps involved to construct it. The creation and importance of Brand Awareness, Brand Image, and Brand Loyalty is discussed followed by the evaluation of Servis Sales Corporation as how successful Brand they are in Shoe industry of Pakistan. Servis Sales Corporation claims to be the largest retail shoe sellers of Pakistan therefore research is held on the company as what are the various marketing strategies SSC adopted to gain such a large market share. Steps to create brand loyalty amongst their target market and implementing effective brand management are part of this research.

Branding is the main ingredient in the process of creating stable reputation, identity and strong image of a company and is always a first requirement to have competitive edge, this create awareness and work as a positive gesture towards customers to be product or brand loyal. As the Chairman of Quaker Oats Ltd, John Stuart said, if this business were to be split up, I would be glad to take the brands, trademark and goodwill and you could have it all the bricks and mortar and I would fare better than you . Leslie De Chernatony(2001 p1)

In this era of globalization every company wishes to grow and expand their businesses in order to attain a healthy position in throat cutting world of business . In this effort companies faces many challenges and went through many challenges by their rivals and most of all providing customer’s satisfaction.

1.1 Background Study:

The term brand arrived form the ancient Norse word meaning “to burn”

Rita Clifton, John Simmons, Sameena Ahmad (2004 ;13).

The original term was developed to signify the source or maker or owner of a product or item.

Now a days brand is used to identify service or product’s manufacturer or seller, when we go through we see that many of the many modern concepts of brands and branding were formalised in the United States at a Procter & Gamble company in the late 1800s. We get a good example of importance of brand when we talk about “Virgin” which is currently at the face of hundred business strategies.

A brand will be a strong brand if people’s values match the values of brand. Branding’s means adding value to the product

Marieke K de Mooij (2005: 96)

Brand stands for a reputation, you are always reputed when you are always reputed when you make a promise and fulfil it. Brand is more like a human nature not just a visual, public identity or a picture. Every single who is part of the organization represents the brand of the company and pay its part to construct it. The brand is a performance measured and recorded in interaction of every area involves customers investors, employees business partners and media

(www.thebrandconsultancy.com)

Its quite clear that every company is conscious about its brand loyalty amongst its customers because they know this if they are successful in managing the brand loyalty of their existing customers which is company’s strategic asset it will automatically add huge value to firm.

As Douglas B states that Brand Loyalty is the customer’s willingness to stay with brand when competitor come knocking with offering that would be considered equally attractive had not to the customer and brand shared a history. The degree of customer stickiness is the key to the brand’s market power.

Douglas B. Holt (2004 ; p 149)

Merlo (2003) mentions that the brand loyalty is rewarded by an increase in profit through repeat business, referral sales, decreased customer maintenance costs and reduced exposure to price competition.

When we talk about creating and enhancing brand loyalty we see that there are not-too complex ways of increasing brand loyalty. Companies can learn to recover from mistakes. A good recovery can turn angry, frustrated customers into a loyal ones. “Companies must handle problems and complaints with Care- Communicate, Acknowledgement, respect and regard and empathy”(Merlo, 2003)

1.2 Statement of Problem:

Global challenges today have forced companies not to have their business image within their home land but to spread their identity across the borders by managing brand, securing the product or a service of companies and building loyalty among customers to achieve maximum and lasting competitive edge.

The aim of the research is to evaluate the brand management of Servis Sales Corporation by analyzing their marketing strategies. Research covers the analysis that how successful SSC today is in gaining brand loyalty as it is considered to be the biggest footwear seller in Pakistan.

1.3 Aim and Objectives:

The main Objective of the research is the finding that to what level SSC is successful in imperialising Brand Management to embrace positive effect on their customer’s perception and has given SSC a competitive edge, as they are Pakistan’s largest shoe company.

Core Objectives of Research:

To analyze marketing strategies of Servis Shoes Company leading to effective brand management giving SSC a positive brand image amongst their target market.

To observe various strategies adapted by SSC to enhance brand loyalty amongst their customers?

To find out what steps Servis Shoes Company took to create its Brand awareness amongst it’s target market and what are the areas they still need to focus upon.

To identify the involvement of consumers to the brand as in why they prefer a particular brand (Servis) on every other different brands available in the market.

1.4 Report Structure:

This report will be organized as follows:

Literature Review:

The literature review of this report covers understanding and benefit of effective brand management that how people connect to them. Chapter includes importance of creating and enhancing awareness among consumers followed by the concepts and historical perspective of brand loyalty giving a wider view of the perception about brand loyalty and its strategic values.

Company Introduction:

This chapter consist of the brief introduction to Servis Sales Corporation, giving a wider view of their leading position in shoe line in Pakistan amongst their rivals. This chapter shows company background and demographics with the facts and figures about their expanded business nationwide.

Research Methodology:

In this chapter different method of research is discussed. It also focuses on research philosophy principle, quantitative and qualitative analysis and secondary and primary data. After studying the methods and techniques different methods are identified which is most suitable to get the reliable and most accurate data? Which is used in research?

Finding and Analysis

After completing the research, the data gathered through different sources from the company are analysed in this chapter, which is explained with chart and then it is moderated with the findings.

Conclusion:

This chapter involves conclusion and the result in the light of findings with literature. Analysis of research finding and result are discussed, Recommendation to company and further research is also the part of this chapter.

Literature Review

Scott Galloway stated a very good definition showing importance of brands in today’s world of marketing that “Brand is the face of a business strategy” ( Scott Galloway in Alker, 2000 :33)

another well appreciated definition of brand given by American Marketing Association cited in (Kotler 2003: 418) “ A brand is name, term, sign, symbol, or services of one seller or a group of seller to differentiate them from those of competitors”.

A brand is essentially a marketer’s promise to deliver a specific set of features, benefits and services consistently to buyers. The marketer must think that he is offering a contract to the customer about how the brand will perform ( kotler 2003)

Le Pla et ala, (2003: 3) give a more profound and in depth definition of brand: Brand is the interaction between core company ( product or service ) strengths and what is customer value . Company strengths are what company does well. The things that the customers value include the benefits of a products features, as well as what the customer see as the ongoing worth of a relationship with the company.

According to Kapferer (1997 : 56), “Products are mute: the brand is what gives them a meaning and purpose, telling us how a product should be read. A brand is both a prism and a magnifying glass through which products can be decoded”.

Renault invites us to perceive its models as cars for living’.. brands guide our perception of products”. Hence it can clearly be seen from the above paragraph that branding goes a long way in giving a distinct identity to a product.

Rowley (1997) explains that brand communicates with consumers, according too him when consumers are familiar with a brand, they expect the same qualities, benefits and advantages from products or services which are provided under that specific brand, this easily makes their decision in favour of the brand instead of searching or gathering information regarding products fulfilling their requirements. Therefore, it can be suggested that brand accelerates consumers’ process of decision making as it provides two different ways of communication between suppliers and their consumers (Rowley, 1997)

Effective Brand Management

The concept of “brand management” was developed at Procter & Gamble in the US in the year 1930 and is also knows as product management .Ambler (2003:82).

The main reason behind Brand management is to secure the product’s future and services any company or organization, and this is only possible with the formulation loyalty amongst customers creating emotional as well as rational values. This results sales in market place and stimulating affect on the perception of a company’s products .If brand power is tied together in a proper way organization can easily maximize market share and corporate profitability. Brands if handled and managed sensibly can provide their owners a considerable benefits and rewards.

Davis (2002 :6) says that the following benefits accure to the company that manages is brands effectively:

Loyalty derives repeat business- A recent study by Bob Pasikoff, president of brand keys, shows that an increase in customer loyalty of only 5% can lift lifetime profit per customer by as much as 100%.

Premiums price of brand allow higher margins – Starbucks represents the ultimate example of a strong brand driving a premium price resulting in greater profit.

Strong Brands lend immediate credibility to new one in product introductions. A well established brands can provide instant credibility for a new product. Gillette’s Marc 3 became number one personal shaver within a month of its launch.

Strong brand allow for greater shareholder and stakeholder returns. One can see a good example is Yahoo and GE are big brands with even bigger shareholder returns.

Strong Brand embody a clear, valued, and sustainable point of differentiation relative to competition – No one can FedEx’s claim of overnight delivery.

Loyal customer base and strong brand make customer forgiving for the the mistakes made by the company, if a company makes a mistake for instance, the strike at the Saturn car plant had little impact on Saturn’s loyalty or sales.

The lever for attracting best employees along with keeping satisfied customers is Brand Strength – Companies like coca-cola, Microsoft, Intel, Disney etc. are almost always in the top bracket of survey which measures employee satisfaction.

It is obvious that it’s a difficult thing to build and maintain a brand reputation like Coke, Microsoft, Nike, General Electric, etc and as David D’ Alessandro, President of John Hancock Mutual Life insurance, in Klein (2000: 145), “it can take 100 years too build up a good brand and 30 days to knock it down”.

Effect of Brand on People ( How People connect to them)

Scott Davis( 2002) says that, Brands are at least in part a set of promises made to consumer. The leading brand travel a particular PATH in the human mind. This PATH is an acronym for promise, acceptance, trust and hope. Certainly this PATH is intangible and cannot be co modified”. But he then mentions that these very intangibles make a customer choose Sony over JVC and Nike over Reebok. The following are the customers perceptions vis-à-vis a strong brand (Davis, 2002)

72% of customer sat that they will pay a 20% premium for their brand of choice, relative to the closest competitive brand.

25% of customer state that price matter if they are buying a brand that owns their loyalty.

Over 50% of purchases are brand driven.

Peer recommendation influences almost 30% of all purchases made today.

More than 50% of consumers believe a strong brand allows for more successful new product introductions and they are more willing to try a new product from a preferred brand because of the implied endorsement.

The view of Le Pla et al, (2002 ; 3) is that a strong brand is much more than an image or a logo. People emotionally identify with a strong brand and relationship with such a brand makes them feel more secure and comfortable. This is completely in sync with Kotler’s ( 2003) example of a consumer buying a Mercedes because the car ( which is also a strong brand) makes him feel more important and admired’. Aaker (1991) suggests that anything which a consumer realises about a brand can be defined as brand association it according to him it create positive consumer attitudes towards brands, thus influence consumer buying decision process.

Kapferer (1997) says that brand is like a living memory. The memory factor explains why individuals preferences endure and why within a given generation people continue to prefer the brands they liked between the ages of seven and eighteen
( Guest 1964, Fry et al., 1973, Jacoby et al., 1978 in Kapferer 1997). This is proof, if it was ever needed, that strong brands do have a long-term effect on people.

It is imperative now to take a more focussed look on the three constructs that constitute the basis of this study. The first to be analysed will be brand awareness followed by brand loyalty and brand image.

Brand Awareness

a number of the definition if the term “ Brand Awareness” abound, a fundamental definition of the term is given by Aaker(1991: 61) “ Brand Awareness is the ability of a potential buyer to recognize or recall that a brand is a member of certain product category”.

David Aaker’s (1991) ground braking work “managing brand equity” details with the concept of brand awareness comprehensively. Hence, it has been use here as a main reference, although it has been complimented with other readings.

Aaker says that brand awareness involves a link between the product class and the brand. For example, the use of the large balloon with the word Levi’s on it may make the name more salient, but it will not may necessarily help improve brand awareness. However if the balloon is shaped to resemble a pair of Levi’s 301 jeans , the link to the product is provided, the balloon’s effectiveness at creating awareness is enhanced. Aaker (1991).

By using the brand, perceiving it and being confronted with it through advertising, consumers learn about its meanings. All this information is connected associatively to the brand name. the richer this associative network is, and the stronger the associations the greater the chance of consumers thinking.

Levels of Brand Awareness

“Brand Awareness involves the continuum ranging from an uncertain feeling that the brand is recognised, to a belief that it is the only one in the product class. This continuum is presented in the ‘ Awareness Pyramids’’’ ( Aaker 19991 : 62)

Levels of Brand Awareness ( Aaker, 1991)

Aaker stated that “the minimal level of brand is recognition which is based upon aided recall test where respondents are given a set of brand in a product category and asked to identify those that they had heard of before. Thus, although there needs to be link between the brand and the product class, it needs not to be strong. Brand Recognition is particularly important when a buyer chooses a brand at the point of purchases” (Aaker 1991 ;62).

Franzen et al, ( 2001) stated that the situations in which none of the choice alternatives is well represented in or memory, brand familiarity ( recognition) will be the determinant in the choice process. The purchases in which consumers regularly choose and re-choose because of the awareness stored in his memory, aided brand awareness i.e. brand recognition has hardly any significance.

If we see further we see that brand recall is the further level dependent on asking a person to name brand in a product class. This is “Unaided recall” because , unlike in the recognition task, the responded is not aided by having names provide. Unaided recall is a substantially more difficult task then recognition, and is associated with a stronger brand position. The first named brand in an unaided recall task has achieved top-of-mind awareness. (Aaker 1991)

Strategic Value of Brand Awareness

Brand Awareness provides a sustainable competitive advantage and can be a key strategic asset for the company ( Aaker 1998)

The following are the banifits of creating a higher brand awareness ( Aaker 1991: 63) ( Figure 3);

Anchor to which other association can be attached : Brand Recognition is the first basic step in the communication task. It usually is wasteful to attempt to communicate brand attributes until a name is established with which to associate the attributes.

Familiarity/Liking: Awareness provides the brand with fimilarity and people like the familiar. They are prepared to ascribe all sorts of good attitudes to items that are familiar to them ( Aaker et al., 2000). Especially for low involvement products like soap, chewing gum, sugar , facial tissues etc., familiarity can some times drive the buying decision.

Substance/ Commitment: Name awareness can be a signal of presence, commitment and substance, an attribute very important to consumer buyers of durables. The logic is that if a name is recognised, there must be a reason like:

The firm is widely distributed.

The firm has advertised extensively.

The brand is successful-others use it.

Even if the person has not been exposed to advertising and knows little about, brand awareness could lead to the assumptions that the firm is substantial and backs the brand with advertising.

Brands to consider: The role of brand recall (discussed earlier) is crucial for frequently purchased products like coffee, detergent, serials et. Several studies have demonstrated the relationship between top of mind recall and attitude/purchase behaviour. One such study, of six brands in the three product classes (Fast food, Soda and banking), showed large differences in preferences and purchase likely hood, depending on weather the brand was first, second or third mentioned in an unaided recall task (Woodside and Wilson, 1985 in Aaker, 1991). Sometimes it is possible that people recall brands that they dislike strongly.

Benefits of Brand Awareness (Aaker 1991)

A number of researchers besides Aaker have also demonstrated that brand awareness is a particularly important concept relative to brand evaluation in predicting and explaining consumer choice behaviour. For instance, Arch G (1996 :38) refered to Axelrod (1968 , 1986) demonstrated that top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) of a brand is a sensitive and stable measure than can serve as an intermediate criterion for predicting brand-choice behaviour and brand-switching behaviour. Axelrod (1968) in Aech G(1996 ; 38) emphasized the needs for developing valid and reliable intermediate survey indicators of whether marketing and advertising influence product and brand choice behaviour because of the greater expense and time necessary for experiments to measure the impact of marketing and advertising actions on such behaviour.

Haley et al, (1979 in Holden et al., 1992) postulated that brand awareness is more important than attitude. This nation was supported by Hauser (1978 in Holden et al .,

1992) who, using an information theoretic approach, reported that the probability of inclusion of the brand in the evoke ( recalled ) set accounts for more variation in brand choice thus brand attitude (Holden et al., 1992)

Similar to Aaker ( 1991), Holden et al, (1992) also say that in the case of low involvement purchase, Brand recall may be reason enough to buy the brand ( that has been recalled

Also a high degree of brand awareness is linked to higher sales due to the factor of “ Social desirability” . Most people tend to behave according to the expectations of their social environment, even when it goes against their own opinion. If they are aware of the brand, they will have a tendency to buy it because it is the socially desirably thing to do ( Franzen et al., 2001).

Copeland (1923: 287) talked about the benefits of brand awareness as follows “ if the consumer’s previous acquaintance with the brand has been favourable, or if the manufacturer’s and dealer’s advertising has made favourable impression, other things being equal, the recognised brand will be selected from among other unrecognised brands”.

Creating and Enhancing Brand Awareness

Because consumers are bombarded everyday by more and more marketing messages, the challenge of creating awareness is considerable ( Aaker, 1996).

The best approach for every brand to create and maintain brand awareness depends upon the context but the following do server as good points ( Aaker, 1991: 72) ;

Be Different, Memorable: An Awareness message should provide a reason to be noticed and it should be memorable. There are many tacks that work but one key is to simply be different and unusual.

Involve a slogan or jingle: A Slogan or a Jingle can make a big difference. Slogans like “ it floats” or “Just do it” can help recall. For a product class like soap, it might be easier to come up with “ it floats” and then Ivory, rather than to name Ivory directly. The link to the slogan might be stronger because it involves a product characterstic that can be visualised. Similarly, a jingle also is vey powerful awareness device.

Symbol exposure: A symbol can play a major role in creating and maintaining awareness because it involves a visual image which is much easier to learn and to recall than a word or a phrase.

Event Sponsorship: The primary role of most event sponsorship is to crate or maintain awareness. For example, the Benson and Hedges Cricket world cup, the Mercedes super 9- tennis tournament etc.

It must be noted that the strongest brand are managed not for strategic awareness. It is one thing to be remembered ; it is quite another to be remembered for the right reason ( Aaker, 1996).

Brand Loyalty

Every company’s endeavour is to increase its brand loyalty in order to retain as many consumers as possible and it can be well assumed when we see that in 2000, the NDP Group, an international market research company in New York, conducted a survey that half of 20,000 respondents who described themselves as loyal to a company one year were no longer loyal the next. According to Frederic Rechheld, founder of Boston-based consulting firm Bain and Company, the average American company loses half of its customers every five years

The next economy By Elliott Ettenberg, NetLibrary, Inc (2001 ;34)

The Brand Loyalty concept from Historical Perspective

Contrary to what some people believe brand loyalty has existed for a long time in the realm of marketing. Copeland (1923) first introduced this concept around 80 years ago. He talks about three ascending stages of brand loyalty-consumer reorganisation ( when the product is recognised and bought from among a host of unrecognised products), consumer preference ( when pervious use or advertising has created a favourable preference in the consumer’s mind) and consumer insistence. The third stage is the pinnacle of brand loyalty where the consumer approaches the purchase of an article with the attitude that he will accept no substitute ( Copeland, 1923).

Different Perceptions of Brand Loyalty

“ Brand Loyalty is the biased behavioural response expressed over time by some decision making unit with respect to one or more alternative brands out of a set of such brands”.

More recently, the concept of loyalty have evolved further, encompassing a rich diversity of dimensions underlying the relationship that a customer may entertain with a brand.

Martin et al.,(2004:217) referred Oliver’s statement in his book “Loyalty involves a favourable attitude towards the brand or organisation and positive re-purchase intentions. This can be further understood by investigating the element of loyalty.

Cognitive Loyalty, in which the brand is cognitively compared with alternatives ( generally on functional grounds);

Affective loyalty, in which the customer likes the brand or organisation as a result of previous satisfying experiences;

Conative Loyalty, which reflects an intention to re-purchase; action loyalty, which relates to a deeply held commitment to rebuy or repatronise a preferred product/services consistently in future… despite situational influences and marketing effort having the potential to cause switching behaviour’ ( Oliver 1999 cited in Martin et al.,(2004:217)

In (2001) Chaudhuri and Holbroo stated couple of characteristic of brand loyalty “purchase loyalty and attitudinal loyalty mentioned by mentioned by Marion Maguire(2007), “Behavioural, or purchase loyalty consist of repeated purchase of the brand, whereas attitudinal brand loyalty includes a degree to the authors, purchase loyalty leads to greater market share because of higher levels of repeat purchase among their users”. It is found in the research that consumer’s perception about price of brands is not linked to brand loyalty. Another suggestion given by Dick and Basu (1994) says that “loyalty related marketing advantages, such as favourable word of mouth, which, in turn might increase market share”.

But the findings of Dall’Olmo Riley et al. (1997) discerned that the attitudinal loyalty of many individual consumers appears to be fickle, According to them, various studies (by Achenbaum, 1982 repeat responses ranging about 50% in individual attitudinal answers (e.g. Taste Nice”) at two subsequent times, independent of the attitude scales used and from the length of the interval between interviews. Overall their interpretation was that specific attitudinal beliefs do not seem to be very strongly held but vary stochastically ( in random manner) (Dall’Olmo Riley et al., 1997)

Rothschild (1987) at the university of Wisconsin, evaluated brand loyalty as encompassing only the behavioural aspect. He suggests that a psychological process that may explain brand loyalty is the one of behaviourism. The central concept of behavioural learning theory is that behaviour that is positively reinforced is likely to reoccur while that which is not reinforced, or punished, will be extinguished. Consumers become loyal to brands that are reinforcing to them: good decision are reinforces while poor decisions are not ( Rothschild, 1987). Dekimpe et al, (1997) also share Rothschild’s (1987) view and say that the approach is justified as behaviour is observable and hence easier to measure.

Richard Elliott and Larry Precy quoted Franzen (1999) saying that loyalty brand users have a high degree of bonding with the brand and do not show much of an urge to switch. Its basically the bonding here meant was part of brand equity but it necessarily doesn’t need to be a function of brand equity. also if its contribution is there. Loyalty of a brand may be not habitual or it can be the high cost of switching to another brand. But when there is a genuine preferences involved it really contribute to brad equity.

Quester et al, (2003) say that the behavioural approach to Brand Loyalty (taken by Rothschild, 1987 ; Dekimpe et al., 1997) many present an over simplistic view of the construct. Behavioural definitions are insufficient to explain how and why brand loyalty is developed and modified in consumers ( Dick and Basu, 1994 in Quester et al., 2003). Repeatedly buying a brand (behavioural approach) may reflect only the convenience inherent in the repetitive and habitual behaviour rather than any real commitment to the brand purchased (Quester et al., 2003).

Habituals’ as termed by (Knox 1997) in Quester and Lim., 2003) display only behavipural loyalty and are very likely to switch brands if there routine purchases cycle is disturbed. “For ‘habituals’ and /or spurious loyals’. The brand is not closely tied to the consumers belief system, so they can be easily attracted by a competing brand that offers a better deal, a coupon etc. Behavioural definitions, therefore, essentially fail to distinguish between habitual or spurious loyalty and true ( or international) loyalty and it may be misleading to infer brand loyalty from merely overt purchase behaviour” (Quester et al.,2003 : 27).

Fournier et al, (1997) have analysed the concept of brand loyalty in new light and have come up with some very interesting insight regarding the same. According to them, (1997) a major assumption while reaching the concept of Brand Loyalty is that loyalty process is a Black and white quality. This tendency towards dichotomy not only precludes attention to loyalty levels and type, but also blinds the researcher to the value that may exist in relationship classified as Disloyal ( Fournier et al. 1997)

The research of eight brand loyal coffee drinkers by Fournier et al, (1997) revealed three intriguing loyal consumer-brand relationships namely martial commitment, falling in love consumers brand relationships namely martial commitment, falling in love and best friendship. Each of the above relationships share a strong and meaningful life theme connection that adds significant value in the consumer’s mind.

On the other side, Fournier et al ., (1997) also found some rather piquant Non-Loyal Relationships. One of the interviewees shared meaningful relationships with not one, rather three coffee brands. Financial limitations prevented him from bonding exclusively to one brand. “By connecting at the level of kinship, a portfolio of brand candidates that at first glance appears as a set of interchangeable substitutes is revealed as a family of meaningful partners in the consumer-brand environment” (Fournier et al., 1997 :463).

Fournier at al, (1997) say that the existing brand loyalty measurement process emphasizes share-of-use over the strength and character of brand relationship form. This approach is flawed in their opinion because “As with people expressions of loyalty need not be associated with exclusivity, but with emotional tenor and sincerity of intentions over time. Also, like normal human relationship, brand loyalty may sour overtime and subsequently change.

In accepting the power of both Brand and Consumer to affect the relationship, loyalty is better appreciated as a dynamic phenomenon” (Fournier et al., 1997 :467). A consumer-based conception of loyalty that recognizes multi-brand relationlity and the delicacy of even a strongest of consumer-brand bonds seems more aligned with the realities of today’s variety-filled marketplace. (Firat and Venkatesh, 1995 in Fournier et al., 1997)

The biggest criticism of the work of Fournier et al, (1997) is actually acknowledged by their own selves when they say, while attention to a single product category provides a common ground on which the loyalty phenomenon can be examined, it does by definition limit the generalizability of findings obtained” (Fournier et al., 1997 :454)

It would be appropriate to conclude this section by quoting the views of two authors:

In summary, an appropriate measure of brand loyalty appears to be lacking and the incorporation of relative attitude in the measurement of brand loyalty is necessary to understand its underling structure” (Quester et al ., 2003 :28).

We have not yet articulated a definition of Loyalty that is valid at the level of today’s consumer experience” (Fournier et al., 2003 :454).

Link between the degree of product involvement and brand loyalty

Product involvement involves an ongoing commitment on the part of the consumer with regard to thoughts, feelings and behavioural responses to a products category (Miller and Marks, 1996; Gordon et al., 1998 in Quester et al., 2003). O’cass and muller (in Quester et al., 2003 :24) cite that product involvement can be seen as the intensity with which a product gestalt is embedded in and driven by the consumers’ values system”.

The central premise of the literature examining the relationship between loyalty and product involvement is that consumers who are more involved with a particular brand are also more committed and hence more loyal to the brand. High involvement is seen by many to a precondition to loyalty and it appears that one’s loyalty to a brand within that product class ( Quester at al., 2003) Futhermore, “the more focal a product class is to an individual’s ego or sense of identity the stronger the psychological attachment he/she will exhibit to a particular brand within that product class. Conversely, the more peripheral the product class is to the individual’s ego, the lower the attachment to the brand” ( Quester et al., 2003).

The strategic value of brand loyalty

The brand loyalty of the existing customers represents a strategic asset which if managed properly has the potential to provide immense value to the firm ( Aaker, 1997) Dick and Basu (1994 in Chaudhuri 2006 ;124) say that loyalty related marketing advantages include favourable word of mouth and greater resistance among loyal consumers to competitive strategies.

In one International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing (written by Kevin Filo , Daniel C. Funk, Kostas Alexandris states “that brand trust intercede the link between brand loyalty and the management and popularity of the brand across both samples. For the managed sport brands, the links between brand loyalty and both nostalgia and vicarious achievement were also mediated. The authors propose that brand managers work to leverage brand trust through social responsibility, consumer satisfaction and quality customer service in an effort to increase consumer brand loyalty”.

Aaker (1991 : 46) mentioned the following benefits derives from brand loyalty

Reduced Marketing Cost:

According to Aaker a set of customers with brand loyalty reduces the overall marketing cost of doing business, he stated that it cost less for retaing the old customers than going for new customers. Aaker stated that it loyalty of existing customers is substantial barrier to competitors.

Trade Leverage:

Brand loyalty provides trade leverage. Strong loyalty towards brands like Cheerios or Tide will ensure preferred shelf space because stores know customers will have such brands on their shopping list.

Attracting New Customers:

A customer base with segment that are satisfied and other that like the brand can provide assurance to a prospective customer. A relatively large satisfied customer base provides an image of the brand as an accepted, Successful product which will be able to provide service backup and product improvements. Brand awareness can also be gained from the customer base. Existing customers and dealers will enhance recognition merely by being there. Friends and colleagues of the users will become aware of the product just by seeing it. This will also increase brand recall for products.

Time to Respond to Competitive Threats:

Brand loyalty provides a firm with time to respond to competitive moves- some breathing room. If a competitor develops a superior product, a loyal following will allow the firm time needed for the product improvement to be matched or neutralised.

Aaker (1991)

Benefits of Brand Loyalty ( from Aaker, 1991)

Creating and enhancing brand loyalty

There are several ways of increasing brand loyalty getting customer to articulate their problems provides an effective mechanism to increase satisfaction/brand loyalty.

Companies can learn to recover from mistakes. “A good recovery can turn angry, frustrated customer in to loyal ones”, and its possible with CARE communicate, Acknowledge, Respect and regard, and Empathy”

Aaker (1991) suggested the following rules to the companies in order to enhance brand loyalty.

Treat Customer Right: Customers basic expectations should be fulfilled by product/ service.

Stay Close to Customer: Companies with strong customer cultures find ways to stay close to the customers. the good example of this is IBM, Disney and Worthington Steel all encourage customer contact in their workforce.

Measure/manage Customer Satisfaction: Regular survey of customer satisfaction/ dissatisfaction is particularly useful in understanding how customers feel and in adjusting products and services.

Create Switching Costs: One way to do so is to create a solution for a customer problem that may involve redefining the business. Another way is to reward loyalty points program.

Provide extras: It is often easy to change customer behaviour from tolerance to enthusiasm just by providing a few extra unexpected services. A minute on the pillow, an explanation of a procedure or a sample from a bakery can really make good impression. Aaker (1991)

Enhancing Loyalty ( Aaker, 1991)

Brand Image

The Image concept from a historical perspective

Sigmund Freud was one of the first to use concept of image. The term image comes from contemporary psychology and means ‘a picture in the mind. It must be noted that the image is not limited to visual representation.

Franzen and Bouwman (2001)

Different Perceptions of Brand Image

According to Wood Identity and image are the key components of branding which are the ones that considered as crucial issues to be achieved in today’s business environment as they create sustainable, differential competitive advantage over the competitors (Wood, 2000)

Kotler (1988) defines brand image as the opinions of consumers about a specific brand. On the other hand Aaker (1996) suggests that brand image is a set of associations, usually organised in some meaningful way

Marguiles (1977) identity is the total of all the methods that company uses to make its self recognisable by the members of the community whereas image is how the members of communities perceive the company.

Keller(1993) suggests that the image of a brand is created in a consumer’s mind with the qualities that s/he perceives about that product.

Franzen and Bouwman(2001) stated that “Brand Image is defined as the global total impression of the information related to the brand that is stored in memory and which is shared by members of a culture or subculture”( Franzen and Bouwman (2001:331). Another definition given by Aalker( 1991: 109) “A brand image is a set of associations, usually organised in some meaningful way”. He further says that a brand association is anything linked in memory to a brand. Thus, McDonald’s could be linked to a character such as Ronald McDonald (Aaker, 1991)

Another definition about brand image given by (Krishna 1996) mentioned in (Romaniuk et al.,2003) states that “Brand Image consist of brand perceptions which can come from a variety of sources these sources includes consumer experiences, marketing communications and or word of mouth, they can consist of descriptive information (eg. Comes in a blue carton) benefits (e.g. will not raise cholesterol), evaluation of specific aspects of the brand (e.g provide excellent service) and/or purchase/consumption situation (e.g a treat for the kids)

Romaniuk et al., 2003)

S.Davis (2002) concept of brand image states that Brand image has two components: the association customers ascribe to the brand and the brand’s persona. Davis mentions that brands association is helpful in understanding various advantages a brand gives to customer by playing a part in their lives. Davis stated that Brand persona is a explanation of the brand in terms of human characteristics helping out understanding weakness and strengths and the better way of positioning it.

Brand association is more of a benefits and power boosting approach of brand ( David 2002. Davis coated the example of Dove Soap as they claim to have one quarter cleansing cream which laddered softer skin into the benefit of being more attractive which seems to be connected to an ultimate human value- which is love and love is on top of everyone’s emotional benefits list” ( in Davis 2002 :63).

Schultz (1999) states that brand image is generated through brand association. The consumer relates the brand to other concepts, both favourable and unfavourable

Davis also stated that Brand Persona is a set of human characteristics that consumers associate with brand, such as personality, appearance, values, likes and dislikes, gender, size, shape and intelligence which brings brand to life and allow consumers to describe it to others as they would a friend. For example the Ralph Lauren persona is classy; stylish; comfortable; family oriented; cool; male and female; fu; graduate school; all-American. This makes it obvious why this brand has crossed so many boundaries and categories, from paints to furniture to men and women’s fashions to baby clothes. (Davis 2002)

Ralph Lauren’s Brand Value Pyramid ( Davis 2000) cited in Design for six sigma for service

By Kai Yang (2005)

Chapter 3

“Country and Company introduction”

This chapter gives brief introduction about Servis Shoes Copmany situated in Pakistan.We have discussed briefly about Pakistan’s economic condition, its areas of trade and specialization, along with the history and back ground of “SSC”, as what is the company’s profile by means of its their business, number of employees, branches and how wide SSC serves in Pakistan.

Introduction Of Pakistan

Pakistan came in to being in 1947 and Muhammad Ali Jinnah was founder of Pakistan. The ideology of Pakistan was given by Allama Muhammad Iqbal and the separation took place in the year 1947 by British India on the ideology of separate state for Muslims. The first language is Urdu. Pakistan has 95% of Muslims and rest of 5% covers Christian and Hindu.

Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan, the total area of country is 803,940 sq km which is slightly less than twice the size of California, and the total population is 176,242,949, it has all the four seasons and a is well known for agriculture. Its is also rich in natural resource like Petroleum, natural gas .Leather industry is also a major earner of foreign exchange in Pakistan and about 90% of leather products in finished form is exported.

(The world factbook, Cited 11 Oct 2009)

Organisation Bacckground:-

SERVIS Group is amongst Pakistan’s most respected and reputed corporate citizens. It was 1958 when SERVIS came in to being and today it has become a largest footwear retailer manufacturer and exporting group operating within Pakistan and generating about more than PKR 12 billion form its overall sales.

Currently SERVIS is operating a large scale network of about 400 retail outlets with 5000 dealers and wholesalers in Pakistan.

Group of Companies

The Servis Group has a rich heritage that spans over half a century and is one of the most respected corporations in the country.

Today the Servis Group is Pakistan's largest footwear manufacturer and exporter with interests in wholesale and retail sectors. With a growing portfolio of brands and a nationwide network that touches millions of lives everyday, Servis is one of the foremost brand names in the country.

The Servis Group currently employs close to 9000 people in its following Group Companies:

Service Industries Limited (SIL)

Service Sales Corporation Private Limited (SSC)

SERVIS INDUSTRIES LIMITED(SIL)

Service Industries Limited is a public limited company listed on the stock exchanges of Pakistan. It has annual revenues of about PKR 6 Billion ($80m) and is the largest manufacturer of footwear, tyres & tubes for two-wheelers, and has been the largest footwear exporter of the country for the last 10 years.

The company employs more than 6,000 people in its facilities located in Gujrat and Muridke and exports its products primarily to Germany, Italy, France and the UK. With a strong emphasis on product quality and innovation, SIL has built both domestic and international recognition of the Company’s products.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS(SIL)

Mr. Arif Saeed, Chairman

Mr. Shahid Hussain, Chief Executive

Mr. M. Ijaz Butt, Director

Mr. Muhammad Akram, Director

Mr. Hassan Javed, Director

Mr. Shahid Hafeez Kardar, Director

Mr. Riaz Ahmed, Director

Mr. Zahid Hussain, (Rep. of NIT)

Mr. Anis Wahab Zuberi, (Rep. of NIT)

SERVICE SALES CORPORATION (SSC)

Service Sales Corporation (SSC) is Pakistan’s premier retailer that has broken records and created new benchmarks in the retail industry. With its world-class retail systems, fiercely dynamic approach to business and energetic team, SSC is today heading towards becoming a regional retail player.

SSC have 4 major retail brands

Servis Shoes.

Shoe Planet.

Soul Collection.

Servaid

SSC takes the Servis heritage forward with new retail initiatives and expansion into new businesses. In addition to its core business, SSC runs three diversified interests in the form of Servis retail and wholesale.

SSC MANAGEMENT

Directors(SSC)

Chaudhry Ahmed Javed - Chief Executive

Mr. Omar Saeed - Chief Operating Officer

Management Team:

Mr. Naveed Akhtar - Country Head Wholesale

Mr. Aamer Mohsin - Country Head Retail Operations

Mr. Abbas Ali Shirazi - Co-Chief Merchant

www.servis.com

This dissertation covers a research on one of the famous and oldest brand of Servis Sales Corporation “Servis Shoes”

Servis Shoes is one of the Pakistan’s famous shoe brand, offering a range of its own label footwear. Aim of SSC is to provide all customers with the very best value for money and offering them with a best quality shoes in the whole country and abroad.

Major brands of Servis Shoes are

Don Carlos, Cheetah, Calza, Liza,Toz, and Skooz, all these footwear brands have a huge variety of designs and styles fulfilling needs of every one in Pakistan

Chapter 4

Research Methodology

The methodological basis of studies is part of this chapter providing the core research philosophies, design, method of sampling and population, and methods of collection of data.

Core Research Philosophies:

“Theories, methodologies cannot be true or false but it can be more or less useful”

(Silverman, 1994). Different research philosophy and difference between qualitative

and quantitative research are also discussed. Questionnaire and telephonic interview

is one of the basic process of collecting data which is highlighted in this chapter.

Theories of Research:

The two types of research mentioned by Collis and Hussey (2003) “positivist philosophy, in sciences is based on facts and causes and gives little attention to the subjective state of the individual” in other words logical reasoning applied in the frame of objectivity, rigour and precision in the investigation of research problem”

( Collis and Hussey, 2003)

Phenomenology:

The phenomenology has extensive history in philosophy and sociology. It is

describe as “understanding the social phenomena from actor own perspective,

examining how world is experienced and what people perceive it” (Patton 2002).

The phenomenological philosophy, on the other hand, has developed out of a criticism of positivism. Babbie (2001) states that “phenomenological philosophy focuses on understanding of individuals in terms of their own interpretations of reality, as well as the understanding of society in terms of the meanings that people ascribe to the societal practices in that society”. Social scientists argue that physical science deals with outside objects where as social science deals with action and behaviour generated in human mind. They also mention that interrelationship between investigators and what is investigated was impossible to separate. Therefore it is assumed by Husserl (1913) that “we can only know what we are experience”.

This research done on SSC is based on positivism approach because it is structural and is not possible to adopt phenomenological approach by going to another country and working with these companies or observe them.

Approaches to Research:

The main concern which comes to mind before starting a research is that how to collect data’ by conducting interview, questionnaire or collection of data through observation of from secondary data. Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill ,(2003) presented a very unique research process called ‘Onion’ in which they mentioned layers of research after realizing and removing each layer we can find better way to research.

diagram

Research philosophy

The way of thinking about how to develop knowledge effects is the philosophy of research. Research is referred as “a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalisable knowledge” (Virginia.edu, 2008).(B)

We see different views of research process which are Positivism, interpretivism and realism. These three lies in outer layer of Onion Model and pay an important role in research management.

Positivism

Positivism approach was developed by Auguste (1798-1857), he emphasised that knowledge is all about explanation rather than questioning.

Collis and Hussey (2003) believed that “the study of Human behaviour should be carry out in the same way as studies conducted in natural science”. Research observatory (2008), states that Positivists deal with positive facts and observable events and the things which seen, measured and can be counted.

Researchers choose what to measure, how to measure and the collect data because validity of research is dependent upon your structure of data collection in positivism research, where as the main reason for phenomenological approach is to capture the main essence of phenomena and to the vast data of explanation and analysis and high validity in this paradigm because ideas are developed from induction of evidence. (Ethne at al 1998).

(Gull & Johnson 1997) stated that philosophy intention is given to methodology must be structured to make possible reputation and proven observation which lend them to statistical analysis, positivist research must be independent and will not be affected by the subject of research.

(Remeny et al, 1998)

Interpretivism:

It is stated by Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill,( 2003) that laws in business world is quiet different from the physical sciences so it is very difficult to work on positivism idea in business research, therefore researchers consider the idea which is build socially and is called interpretivism which is the accumulative possible dissimilar interpretation researcher find himself.

Realism:

Realism is defined as an external force which in social sciences and study of business management that effect people interpretation and behaviour without the awareness that they are affected by some forces. ((Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill, 2003) stated that realism is a existing reality which is independent of human thoughts and beliefs. The key characteristic of realism said by Trigg (1980) that it is ‘the notion of objectivity of things being the case, people recognise them or not. Another good definition given by Like schlock (1981) was that what is real is only which may be observed and measured, here version of realism are silenced.

Approach to Research:

According to (Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill, 2003) there are two types of research

Quantitative and Qualitative. Ghouri and Grounhaug (2005) said that the difference

between Qualitative and Quantitative research is all about procedure instead of

quality.

Although a quantitative research is more formalized and structured than qualitative research and is realistic to use the latter to make optimum utilization of time and resources. The qualitative approach helps to analyze data inductively.

Quantitative:

Quantitative methods provide large number of responses that are suitable for the statistical analysis. This method is used to put to data on the figure and generalise the outcome from the sample to the population. From the quantitative research methods survey method is used in order to classify as well as count the regularity of the identified population (Collis and Hussey, 2003).

(Wright and Crimp, 2000) states that quantitative research is carried out to know how many people have similar characteristics and views .The data that is collected from quantitative research can be charted, graphed and expressed in numerical form and is used to perform comparative analysis.

Qualitative

Creswell describe qualitative research by saying that it is a study of things or people in their natural setting trying to make sense or understand phenomena which people bring to them. In this research data collected by interviewing and observation.(H) another definition given by Rain (1987) defining the key difference is that “quantitative research work with many cases and only some variables whereas qualitative research only uses numerous variables and few cases.

Alain, 2006 presented a table showing some major questions which can influence the choice of an approach

Key areas

QUALITATIVE

QUANTITATIVE

Problem

Complex, Diffuse, ambiguous

well-defined, Unambiguous

Questioning

Open-ended

Closed

Objective

Identify and define categories that may evolve during the research process

Identify and Define Standard

Categories at the outset of the study

Sought models

Interconnections between a large number of categories: capturing complexity

Relations clearly specified between a limited set of categories: looking for simplicity

Researcher Role

A research Instrument in itself, aware of the self –influence , particular skills required to gather data.

Avoids biases, no particular skills required.

Explanation

Concerned with in-depth understanding, hidden layers of meaning

Straight and superficial explanation.

Intention

A deep understanding of the phenomenon

Control of distribution and generalization issues.

The research is consisted of both Qualitative and Quantitative research. Data collected via telephonic interview and from questionnaires through email, this is because SSC is situated in Pakistan and is research is being held from United Kingdom.

Research Design

SOURCES OF DATA COLLECTION:

There are two main different types of sources from which data is collected known as

Secondary Data

The data previously available upon which research is conducted for another purpose is called secondary data. Bojanic et al (2005) advised that it is better to go through secondary data before collecting data because it information needed can be gained through secondary data or can help in making decision. Collecting secondary data is takes lees time then primary data which can takes weeks and months for the research process, another advantage of secondary data is that it does not cost as much collection of primary data can.

Robert et al (2005) mention in the book “The marketing research guide” that some researcher divide secondary data sources into two groups mention below.

• Internal data sources

• External data sources

Internal secondary data is useful for organisations because it is collected within organisations and is useful for marketing and production information. Internal data includes invoice records, sales record, income statement, inventory records, production report and schedules, budgets, and feedback reports from distributers etc.

On the other hand external secondary data is found outside organisation, it is mostly found in libraries, websites, and common guide to secondary data. Robert et al(2005) stated that secondary data can also be gained by books, articles related to these topics, associations who provide secondary data on a specific industry, annual reports and trade association reports, etc.

Primary Data

Primary data is more or less dependent on observation method which is the oldest method and is quiet common, it reduces the biasness usually occurred in face to face interviews. . Primary data is gathered through

Observational methods and questionnaire method This method involves interviews, telephonic interviews, focus group interviews, mail questionnaire, door to door interviews and also involves personal interviews.

Longenecker (2006) stated that “The Market information gained by firm

Conducting the research is primary data” it is mostly used when the secondary data is not completing the requirement of research.

Interviews:

As stated by (Gillham, 2000) This method is usually used for academic research to obtain information and understanding the issues relevant to specific question about project and general aim of project. It is the flexible way of data collection process.

There are three types of interviews as mentioned my Saunder et al (2003)

Structured interviews

Semi structured interviews.

Unstructured interviews.

Structured interviews involves set of structured questions like when respondent are asked about what you like to eat the most researcher give him options for example: Vegetables, Beans or Meat. When we talk about unstructured interview, interviewer do not get very specific in questions related to the topic but relevance is still there. Semi structured interview covers some questions and of the research topic.

Telephonic Interviews

The research carried out involves telephonic interviews. As it is mentioned by Robert et al (2005) that telephonic interviews are done when information is required from large dispersed population and is required quickly or when there is no need of face to face interaction or it is difficult because of long distance between researcher and interviewers.

Telephonic interviews are beneficial as it is easy for both respondent and interviewer to get interacted and share information quickly with relatively low cost. When we talk about disadvantages we face limited scale of questions, and long interviews are difficult to manage on telephone.

Questionaire Methods of Collecting Data

This is a very common and effective way to collect data for the research, Vaus, (2002) explain that in this method same set of questions are asked by many person to reply. Hence it is survey type data collection method, in which person can answer the question and also records their own answer what they perceive. ( Kervin (1999)

Questionaire Design

(Churchill 1999)The research done is exploratory study which is consisted of both quantitative and qualitative data, due to this nature of research questionnaires are designed as semi-structured. Semi-structured questionnaires natured as they involve predetermined questions along with respondent own choice of answers relevant to proposed research.

Employment of semi-structured questionnaire requires the use of close-ended questions as well as the open-ended ones. In the close-ended questions, it is asked from respondents to make choices among a set of alternatives, where as open-ended questions each respondent is left with a choice to give its own opinion which is helpful in collecting factual data(Collis and Hussey, 2003) (B)

Sample and Population

Sample defined as “a selected and chosen group upon which researcher carry out the research” (Wisker, 2001) whereas population defined as “the full set of cases which a sample is taken from” (Wisker, 2001).

It is an exploratory research about affective brand management and the branding strategies adapted by one of the largest foot ware company (SSC) in Pakistan, so for that questionnaire sent to the marketing department in the head office of SSC which operates an advanced large scale network of more than 400 retail outlets and 2000 dealers and wholesalers in Pakistan.

Saunders et al. (2007) suggested that “sampling techniques provide a range of methods that enable to reduce the amount of data need to collect by considering only data from subgroup rather than all possible cases or elements”

Data Analysis

The main purpose of this research is to find out how much SSC is successful in creating and adapting brand management, what strategies are adapted by SSC to enhance brand loyalty amongst their customers and what are the various ways SSC created a brand image which give them competitive edge from their rivals analysis also covers various steps taken by SSC to create awareness of their brand amongst their target market. The aim of semi-structured questionnaire is to obtain in-depth answers to these perspectives of effective brand management research. In analysing data, quantifiable data is coded to make it countable.

Chapter 5

Finding and Analysis

Introduction

The research findings and analysis is divided in to two Stages. First stage carries the brief analysis driven by data collected from Marketing and Sales Managers of SSC(Pakistan) through unstructured questionnaire and over telephone that how effectively SSC is managing its brand (Servis) and what channels and ways are involved in managing Servis brand effectively , where as second stage comprise of the analysis and findings gathered by data collected through questionnaire from consumers of Servis Shoes as why they prefer particular brand.

Stage one Questionnaire

In the interview with Marketing Head Servis Shoes Mr Naim-ul-Abd and Area Sales Manager Mr Farooq Ahmed held over telephone, questions were asked to analyse SSC’s brand building strategies.

Section One

Introduction to Servis by Marketing Head

Giving an introduct


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