The Motivational Reasons behind Consumer Choice in Branded Coffee Shops Abstract
The coffee-shop industry has been undergoing substantial change during the latter part of the twentieth and early part of the twenty-first century, reflected by continuous changes in consumer behaviour. The aim of this study is to improve the understanding of the motivational reasons behind customer choice in branded coffee shops, both international and local. A quantitative data collection of 300 questionnaires was used in the UK to assess consumer behaviour to branded coffee shops. The findings concluded that most respondents visit coffee shops with friends, with locally branded coffee shops the preferred choice. Consumer motivations to branded coffee shops are most influenced by three factors: past experience/ familiarity; convenience of location/travel; and friends and family. With friendly staff, high quality of coffee and food, good atmosphere and good reputation the most important aspects for branded coffee shops. Recent exposure of tax avoidance from companies such as Starbucks have had negative influence on consumer choice of branded coffee shops.
Keywords: Coffee shops, Local brands, International brands, Motivations, Social influences, Branding, Tax avoidance
Rapid developments and a monumental boom, the popularity of the contemporary coffee shop continues to grow in the twenty-first century. Starbucks entered the UK market in the 1990s (Bishop, 2012), which awakened a new era for branded coffee shops. Key Note (2012: 29) verifies that three major players exist; Costa, Starbucks and Caffé Nero, representing over 80% of branded coffee shops in the UK, confirming the power of international coffee brands. This major market penetration has been to the detriment of smaller, locally branded coffee shops, which struggle to compete (Bishop, 2012).
However, some news articles suggest that locally branded coffee shops, e.g. Cadwaladers, can survive, using the power and competitive advantage of the local market. Recent exposure of tax avoidance (see 'Starbucks' paid just £8.6m UK tax in 14 years', BBC News 2012) questions the future influence of international coffee brands.
From analysis of the above it may be inferred that local and international branded coffee shops divide opinion. Reviewing literature of brand concepts, it is evident branding has been widely addressed (Butcher, 2005; Caruana, 2002; Schuiling and Kapferer, 2004; Young and Rubicam, 2000), and more especially, branding in the hospitality industry, (Allegra Strategies Report, 2012; Bashaw, Brumm and Davis, 2008; Bell, 2008; Chathoth and Olsen, 2003; George and Stefanos, 1999; Hanson et al., 2009; Hyun and Kim, 2011; Kim et al., 2003; Kim and Kim, 2004, 2005; Kim, Ma and Kim, 2005; Kwun and Oh, 2004; O'Neill and Mattila, 2010; Ruddick, 2012; Ryu et al., 2008; Wanke, Hermann and Schaffner, 2007), though it finds little research specifically concerning branded coffee shops.
Against the above background, the aim of this research is to improve understanding by providing an in-depth analysis of the motivational reasons behind customer choice in branded coffee shops, both local and international. This addresses the gap that exists within literature concerning branded coffee shops, especially regarding what factors influence customer behavior, perceptions and motivations to both local and international branded coffee shops in the UK.
This review considers visitor motivation, theories of motivation in general, hospitality-specific and influential factors such as social influence, socio- demographics and branding, with particular focus on brand perceptions.
Sharpley (2008) refers to motivation as a logical process that results from deep, psychological needs and motives or external forces and pressures; social relationships and lifestyle. Often unrecognised by an individual, it can kick-start the...
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