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Context Of John Lewis Add in library

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Question:

Describe about the Importance of Branding On Customer Satisfaction in the Context of John Lewis?
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Customer Satisfaction is an important issue to the marketing managers of an organization. It is considered as the benchmark of organization’s performance. Organizations try to focus on the satisfaction to retain the customer. Branding is an important tool for increasing the satisfaction level. Branding helps to establish a relationship of trust and confidence with the customer (Miletsky and Smith, 2009). Brand image refers to the perception of the customer at the time of purchasing any products or taking any services. It is observed that there is a strong relationship between the brand image and loyalty (Stiff, 2009). The customer is to be called more loyal if he gets extra social benefits from the consuming of products and services. Satisfaction is considered as the loyalty of the customer. Satisfaction is the important thing for the customer to become loyal to the brand or the organization (Vaid, 2003). It is required to predict the expectation of customer properly by the organization to fulfill the expectation.

Background of the Research

The entire theme of the research project is based on the branding process and how it creates effect on the customer satisfaction. Branding essentially focuses on the building the good relationship between the customer and the organization. Effective branding strategy helps to increase the loyal customer in the company. Branding builds the trust among the customer. The concept of strategic brand management helps to positioning the product and the services of the organization in the customer mind (Perrey and Spillecke, 2013). As increasing number of customer, the company becomes more powerful to compete with the rival firms. The retention of the customer depends on the customer satisfaction. If the branding strategy of the organization satisfies the customer, the customer shows their interest for repurchasing the product or services and gives positive response.

Background of the Company

John Lewis is a UK based retail company which was founded in 1929. It is mainly retail sector of clothing. The company tries to adopt the concept of branding for the satisfaction of the customer as much as possible and to increase the numbers of loyal customer. The company operates mainly departmental stores and supermarkets. It holds approximately 30 department stores and 336 branches of supermarket chain.

 

Rationale of the Study

It is noticed that the company is losing customer due to providing of low level of satisfaction. The company is inefficient somewhere to satisfy the customer. From the previous study it can be seen that branding has a major role to attract the customer. The basic reason for choosing this study is to relate the importance of branding on customer satisfaction.

Research Aim

The aim of the study is to identify the importance of the branding in customer satisfaction. The research will involve the analysis of the branding for the customer satisfaction related with the purchasing of products and services. The researcher selected the John Lewis as the research so that the concept of branding and its importance on the customer satisfaction can be analyzed at better and focused way.

Research Objective

The research objective will help the researcher in concentrating on the purpose of the study and not going out of the research study. Therefore, objective will be essential in aligning the research work and acquire the relevant information for meeting the requirement of research. The objectives of research are as follows:

  • To understand the customer’s expectation towards the brand of John Lewis
  • To know the importance of branding in John Lewis
  • To analyze the importance of branding on customer satisfaction
  • To recommend for the improvement of branding strategy of John Lewis.

Research Questions

As stated by Bergh and Ketchen (2009) research questions are considered to be useful in understanding the topic of the research in a much easy and well manner. The research question focus on the area of analysis which can help to gain the relevant and useful information according to the topic selected. The following questions are set for the current research:

  • How brand image help in fulfill the expectation of the customer?
  • What is the importance of branding on customer satisfaction?
  • What is the relation between branding and customer satisfaction in John Lewis?
  • What are the factors related with the branding of John Lewis in customer satisfaction?

Literature Review

Hirata (2009) described that customer satisfaction is an expectation before buy and perception about performance later the purchase. The theory of disconfirmation explain that it is to be said the customer satisfied when the performance of the products and services better than the expectations. On the other side, it is to be said customer dissatisfied when the actual performance of the products and services is less than the customers’ expectation (O'Cass and Viet Ngo, 2011).  Neutral satisfaction refers equality between the actual performance and expectation.

Grossart and Greenshaw (2014) also determines that satisfaction and dissatisfaction depends on the expectation of customer. Positive disconfirmation explains that customer is satisfied and Negative disconfirmation explains that customer is satisfied. Thomas (2013) investigated that customer can be satisfied highly with better quality of service and customer loyalty can be increased. Customer satisfaction is considered as the result of service quality (Binsar Kristian P. and Panjaitan, 2014).

Grossart and Greenshaw (2014 explored that brand image is the finding of mental exercise. Brand image describes the impression of the customer from the products and services. Brand image is developed with the creative process of the company. If an organization or its product and service keep continuously a favorable image by the customer, it would lead to increase in performance and market share. Previous different empirical studies investigated that favorable image will lead to loyalty.

Dimitrova et al. (2011) opined that image is not possible to measure without including the measurement of customer perception regarding the brand image and it implies the importance of brand image on customer satisfaction.

 

Conceptual Framework

Concept of Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction refers to the comparison between the expectation and perceptions of experience (Hirata, 2009). Customer satisfaction defines as the measure of degree at which the products and services of the organizations fulfill the expectation of the customer. Customer satisfaction varies with different situation and with different products and services.

Concept of Branding

Branding is a process of strategic management where loyal customers are created with high quality products and services (Clifton and Ahmad, 2009). It helps in determining the loyalty level of the customer for a specific organization and is considered as effective tool of marketing (Davis, 2009). If branding is compared with cost centre, the customer loyalty will be the expected return of the company. Branding is considers as an asset of the organization (Shankar and Carpenter, 2012). It helps in increasing the goodwill of the organization and the reputation by fulfilling the expectation of customer satisfactorily (Clifton and Ahmad, 2009). In present scenario, branding should hold the interest of the organization so that organization can sustain in the industry (Dr. Lubna Nafees, 2010).

Methodology

Method Outline:

Methodology contains the detail research techniques to analyze the importance of branding on customer satisfaction and all factors related with that will be evaluated for the John Lewis.  For this current research study application of the deductive approach is literally intrinsic which let the researcher perform the study more intrinsically. Evaluation of the information and the data collected in account of the primary research work, deductive research approach seems to be essentially bold. Application of descriptive design is literally helpful for this research particular research work. Application of both qualitative and quantitative approach of this research work is essential for this research work.

  • Research Philosophy

Research philosophy intends at providing a thorough framework which appears to be helpful in order to describe the research study in an appropriate manner. According to Hantrais and Mangen (2007), there are three kind of research philosophy: positivism, interpretivisim and realism. Positivism is narrated as the fact and information helping in order to install more intrinsic factors. Interpretative philosophy helps the researcher in order to understand the complexities of the social life and also supports the idea of the researcher in order to understand the research approaches profoundly. Finally, realism can be said to be the mix of interpretivism and positivism. This approach helps in penetrating the research study more sophistically.

Justification for choosing Positivism

Positivism as applied in the current context helps in better analysis of the hidden facts and information related to customer satisfaction and role of branding over it. Apart from that, nature of the study is time-limited so interpretative or realism study was discarded as being the choice of research philosophy. Further, selection of positivism philosophy limits the researcher’s role in manipulating or evaluating the data that leads to minimisation of data errors as well.

Research Approach:

There are two kinds of basic approach of research: inductive and deductive. Inductive approach is the study of the data and information collected so far by the researcher. On the other hand, deductive approach is to build on making the research based on sophisticated aspects. Based on specific frames on the specific theories and models, the research deductive approach seems to be helpful for the researcher to manage the research work

Justification for choosing deductive approach

In the current study, the topic will try to study the concepts related to customer satisfaction and the importance of branding on it. The study of customer satisfaction required a selection of approach that can help in understanding at a much precise and clear manner. However, inductive approach fails to be implemented in the present topic as no new concepts or theories is emphasised by the researcher. Further, importance of branding on customer satisfaction helps in understanding the concepts in a detailed manner.

Research Design:

Research design helps in explaining the framework of the research topic that will help in selection of the collection and analysis pattern (Creswell, 2009). During the process of data collection, a particular kind of approach is applied that helps in better description of the research design. Kinds of research design used in academic research pattern are exploratory, explanatory and descriptive.

 

Justification for choosing descriptive design

For this particular research work the researcher is going to seek for the necessary attributes from the different parts. At the same time the researcher does not. The extent of influence imparted by branding on the customer satisfaction is rightly scrutinized with the help of descriptive design with selection of descriptive design.

Data Collection

There are two kinds of data: Primary Data and Secondary Data.. Primary data are collected directly from the respondents, which indicate that the study is more valid and reliable. In case of secondary sources, data are used as widening the concept of research topic that also enables better study of the topic as it involves more data and description.

Data Collection Process

In the current study, primary sources included interaction sessions with the customers and managers of John Lewis who helped in gaining information as per the research objectives. Apart from that, literature sources can be considered as output of information gained via secondary sources. Secondary source includes both the online and offline sources like journals, articles, books, websites, blogs and others.

Data Collection Techniques:

In order to collect the required data, the researcher can focused on collecting data using both quantitative technique and qualitative technique (Bergh and Ketchen, 2009). The quantitative data can be effective to obtain the needed information from the customers. Moreover, it will be useful in data proofing in larger extent. Apart from that, the researcher can be able to acquire information about the perception of the consumers in context of service requirement. The chosen sample of customers will provide important information that may be relevant for the purpose and accomplishment of the research paper. Thus, in order to study the psychology of the people, quantitative technique can be appropriate. On the other hand, the closed ended question will be prepared for the customers as it can help the researcher to collect large number of responses from wide group of sample.

Qualitative technique can be useful in gathering the relevant information from the accounted participants. Managers of John Lewis can be taken in account for qualitative study and it can be helpful in knowing their views regarding the customer needs and wants. Therefore, the researcher can concentrate on conducting interviews with managers through open end questions. This would be helpful in knowing the responses of managers that can be used and analysed for attaining the objective of the research.

Population and Sample

Population is defined as the number of people who are directly or indirectly involved or affected by the content of the research process. In the present research work, customers and employees of John Lewis are considered as the population of the study that is widespread within and across the nation, UK. However, the researcher cannot consider every customer so smaller representation of the population is considered termed as sample.

Sampling Technique

Sample considered for studying branding and its importance on customer satisfaction are smaller in number that can suit the criteria of the research topic. The sample for customers was simple random probability sampling where no criteria for selection were considered.

Sample Size

The sample size is divided into two forms for qualitative and quantitative technique. For studying the quantitative research techniques, 50 customers of John Lewis were considered and were interacted with questionnaire forms. Conversely, managers of John Lewis stores were considered for qualitative technique that will be 5 in number and will be considered for interview sessions. Therefore, total sample size has become 55.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical issues are mandatory to be followed in conducting the survey in a systematic fashion. It verifies the reliability of the research on the basis of genuine data collected for the respondents. The questionnaire is prepared in such a way that no such personal question can bother the respondents because respondents can deviate to give responses. As a result, study can be valueless without getting the proper responses. Valuable information will be kept in strict confidential. Appropriate referencing style will be made in study to make more valid and reliable.

Research Limitations

There are certain restrictions associated with the current study that are both avoidable and non-avoidable in nature. The restricted scope and abilities of the current study are as follows:

  • Reliability of the Respondents: The research work has been conducted on the basis of the responses and answers gathered from the respondents. But there is no confirmation that all the respondents were authentic in their approaches. The researcher work may have faced an immense biasness unknowingly.

  • Limited Budget: As this research work is limited to the academic section only, the budget for the researcher is undoubtedly limited. Therefore the researcher was in need of leaving some of the necessary practices.

  • Time Constraint: Within a limited time span the researcher is needed to conduct this research work which created problems for the researcher. If more time would have been got, more specific the research work could have been.
 

Research Timeline

Research topics are either longitudinal or cross-sectional in nature, depending upon the time allotment considered for research for a particular topic. The cross-sectional study is adopted for the current study due to limited time period. There is a specific time limit for conducting the present study. Gantt chart is considered for finding the timeline of the research. The timeline of each task of the project is as follows:

Main activities/ stages

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Selection of Topic

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Data Collection (Secondary)

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Creating layout

 

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Literature review

 

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Formulation of Research Plan

 

 

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Selection of Suitable Research Techniques

 

 

 

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Data Collection (Primary)

 

 

 

 

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Analysis & Interpretation of Data

 

 

 

 

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Findings

 

 

 

 

 

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Conclusion

 

 

 

 

 

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Formation of Rough Draft

 

 

 

 

 

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Submission of Final Work

 

 

 

 

 

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Conclusion

The entire study is focused on customer satisfaction and the importance of branding on it. A cited from the study of research paper, the customers of John Lewis are observed by the researcher so that the customer expectation can be evaluated. The company always tries to focus on the satisfaction of the customer to enhance their retail business. The role of branding is positively related with the customer satisfaction.

 

Reference Lists

Bergh, D. and Ketchen, D. (2009). Research methodology in strategy and management. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Binsar Kristian P., F. and Panjaitan, H. (2014). Analysis of Customer Loyalty through Total Quality Service, Customer Relationship Management, and Customer Satisfaction. International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education (IJERE), 3(3).

Clifton, R. and Ahmad, S. (2009). Brands and branding. New York: Bloomberg Press.

Creswell, J. (2009). Research design. Los Angeles: Sage.

Davis, M. (2009). The fundamentals of branding. Lausanne: AVA Academia.

Dimitrova, D., Dimitrieska, A., Ivanovska, M., Žabkar, V. and Valentinčič, A. (2011). The impact of branding and brand related marketing activities on a company's performance. Ljubljana: [D. Dimitrova.

Dr. Lubna Nafees, D. (2010). Special Issue on Branding. Emerald Group Publishing.

Grossart, D. and Greenshaw, J. (2014). Improving customer experience through branding and technology. In Practice, 36(8), pp.427-429.

Hantrais, L. and Mangen, S. (2007). Cross-national research methodology & practice. London: Routledge.

Hirata, T. (2009). Customer satisfaction planning. New York: CRC Press.

Miletsky, J. and Smith, G. (2009). Perspectives on branding. Boston, Mass.: Course Learning.

O'Cass, A. and Viet Ngo, L. (2011). Achieving customer satisfaction in services firms via branding capability and customer empowerment. Journal of Services Marketing, 25(7), pp.489-496.

Perrey, J. and Spillecke, D. (2013). Retail marketing and branding. Chichester: Wiley.

Shankar, V. and Carpenter, G. (2012). Handbook of Marketing Strategy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Pub.

Stiff, D. (2009). Sell the brand first. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Thomas, S. (2013). Linking customer loyalty to customer satisfaction and store image: a structural model for retail stores. DECISION, 40(1-2), pp.15-25.

Tomas, S. (2009). Lean tools and techniques for customer satisfaction and competitive advantage. Boca Raton, Fla.: Auerbach.

Vaid, H. (2009). Branding. New York, N.Y.: Watson-Guptill.

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