Business Research Methods
Title of research
How the role of Brand Loyalty affects consumer behaviour towards Supermarket chains around the Portsmouth student area. Research Statement
This research is going to be about how the level of people’s loyalty to a brand or certain supermarket can affect their actual behaviour to carry out a purchase. I am looking to see if certain loyalty schemes being used affect people’s decisions and also if the customer interaction within the store can influence their loyalty too. Rationale
The loyalty between customers in the UK and the supermarket they choose to shop in has been fiercely competed over in recent years. This has not only sparked huge price wars between companies such as Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s etc but forced them also to launch loyalty schemes and many other strategies to keep the customers of the UK in there stores. The use of promotions in retailing has increased rapidly in recent years (“Promotions spur growth in UK grocery sales”, 2010), branding correctly and efficiently is important for any company in the grocery retailing sector and promotions is a vital key to the success of this. However the question as to how these supermarkets gain loyalty successfully is inconclusive, recent research has looked at whether the corporate image is the influencing factor of brand loyalty (Martenson, 2007, p.544). Whereas other theories have suggested that the factor of price orientation can influence store loyalty (González-Benito et al., 2011, p.1). This suggests that there is more evidence needed in order to discover which factors influence consumer-brand loyalty within supermarkets in Portsmouth. Research Questions
1. Do loyalty schemes within Supermarkets have a direct affect on brand loyalty? 2. Does the perceived customer service within these supermarkets affect the consumers brand loyalty? Literature review
Before looking at what Brand loyalty is, the term brand alone should be defined. A brand can be defined as a distinguishing name and/or symbol, intended to identify a product or producer (Aaker, 1991). Although, Kotler (2000 p.396), said that a brand is the name, associated with one or more items in the product line that is used to identify the source of character of the item. In the Current day Branding has become one of the worlds most influential and useful marketing tools in order to identify and diversify companies from one to another. Customers will judge a product on their first impressions and therefore the branding is essential for the success of them. So Brand Loyalty in terms of consumer behaviour according to the American Marketing Association can be defined as the degree to which a consumer consistently purchases the same brand within a product class (Bennett, 1995). It is also clear to see that brand loyalty is not built up overnight and takes time to develop, as according to Jacoby (1978 p.1) the long- term success of a brand is based not on the number of consumers who purchase it only once, but the number who become repeat purchasers. Repeat purchase behaviour is an axiomatic term which simply refers to the extent to which consumers repurchase the same brand after experiencing the brand (Knox et al., 2001, p.113). So it could be said that brand loyalty is built through this type of repeated behaviour by consumers. Although Schultz and Bailey (2000, p.46) suggests that Customers expect to pay for value, but brand or customer loyalty only occurs when the two parties perceive that the relationship between them is equal. Thus, they stated that a customer-brand relationship and customer or brand loyalty is potentially strong only when two conditions are met: 1. The customer represents relatively high current or potential value to the brand. 2. The brand is compatible with the customer's needs.
Likes the brand – Considers it a friend
With Switching Costs...
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