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Dissertation Example: A Sample Case Study Of Primark

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Executive Summary

 
 

 

Branding within an organisation is an important source for maintaining the standard quality for production of the product and rendering of services. An organisation needs to establish a relationship of trust and confidence with its customers so that it can understand the requirements accordingly and cater to its best possible way. The particular research is conducted in the reference to the Primark, clothing retail sector. Consumers’ decision-making process tries to influence the choice selection for a product made by the consumers. However, branding shapes up an important tool effective in shaping the consumers’ behaviour for a particular product.

 

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In the particular dissertation study, the researcher has tried to understand the role of branding in consumers’ decision-making process of Primark. Application of primary and secondary sources along with quantitative and qualitative techniques has helped the researcher in gaining better details of the research topic. Based on the result of the study, the researcher has also listed list of recommendations that can ideally help the organisation in adopting better branding strategy.

Acknowledgement

Conducting this research has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. The contribution of this research to enhance my knowledge base and analytical skill has been paramount. It gave me the opportunity to face challenges in the process and overcome them. This would not have been possible without the valuable guidance of my professors, peers and all the people who have contributed to this enriching experience. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my supervisor ----------------------- for the constant guidance and support provided to me during the process of this research. It would not be justified if I did not thank my academic guides for their important and valuable assistance and encouragement throughout the research process. I would also like to thank my friends who had provided me with help and encouragement for collecting primary data and valuable resources. Finally, I would like to thank the professionals from the retail industry who have participated in the research survey and provided with valuable inputs into the subject. The support of all these people has been inspiring and enlightening throughout the process of research in the subject.

Heartfelt thanks and warmest wishes,

Yours Sincerely,

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. 7

Introduction. 7

1.1 Introduction: 7

1.2 Research Aim: 7

1.3 Research Objectives: 7

1.4 Research Questions: 8

1.5 Background of the Topic: 8

1.6 Background of the Company: Primark. 9

1.7 Rationale of the Study: 9

1.8 Purpose of the Study: 10

1.9 Structure of the Study: 10

1.10 Summary: 11

Chapter 2. 12

Literature Review.. 12

2.1 Introduction: 12

2.4 Consumers’ Buying Process: 15

2.5 Consumers’ Buying Behaviour: 17

2.5.1 Model of Consumers’ Buying Behaviour: Howard Seth Model: 18

2.6 Defining market: 19

2.7 Matured market: 19

2.7.1 Values: 19

2.7.2 Retail brand promotions: 20

2.7.3 Building a retail brand value chain: 20

2.8 Brand building impact: 21

2.9 Extending brand value to customer value: 22

2.10 Delivering customer value: 23

2.11 Primark: Value for money. 24

2.12 Conclusion: 25

Chapter 3. 26

Research Methodology. 26

3.1 Introduction: 26

3.2 Method Outline: 26

3.3 Research Onion: 26

3.4 Research Philosophy: 27

3.4.1 Justification for selection of the chosen Philosophy: 28

3.5 Research Approach: 28

3.5.1 Justification for selection of the chosen Approach: 28

3.6 Research Design: 29

3.6.1 Justification for selection of the chosen Design: 29

3.7 Data Collection Procedure: 30

3.7.1 Data Sources: Primary and Secondary. 30

3.7.2 Data Techniques: Qualitative and Quantitative. 30

3.8 Population and Sample: 30

3.8.1 Sampling Technique: 31

3.8.2 Sample Size: 31

3.9 Ethical Considerations: 31

3.10 Research Limitations: 32

3.11 Time Horizons: 32

3.12 Summary: 33

Chapter 4. 34

Data Analysis, Findings and Interpretation. 34

4.0 Introduction: 34

4.2.1 Quantitative Analysis: For Customers (Part A). 34

4.2.2 Qualitative Analysis: For Managers (Part B). 47

4.3 Conclusion: 51

Chapter 5. 52

Conclusion and Recommendations. 52

5.1 Conclusion: 52

5.3 Recommendations: 53

5.4 Limitations of the Study: 54

5.5 Further Scope of the Study: 54

Reference List: 55

Appendix: A.. 58

Appendix: B. 61

List of Figures

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework. 12

Figure 2: Dimensions of Brand. 13

Figure 3: Consumers’ Buying Process. 16

Figure 4: Consumers’ Behaviour Model of Howard Seth. 18

Figure 5: Creating Brand values. 21

Figure 6: Creating Brand equity. 22

Figure 7: Customer value. 23

Figure 8: Research Onion. 27

Figure 9: Kinds of Research Design. 29

Figure 10: Customers of Primark since when?. 35

Figure 11: Satisfaction with brand value of Primark. 36

Figure 13: Primark is attempting to focus on branding to generate new customers and retain old one. 38

Figure 14: Primark is attempting to focus on branding to generate new customers and retain old one. 39

Figure 15: Branding is important while selecting a retail product. 40

Figure 16: Factors that forces consumers to opt for Primark’s products in comparison to rival firms. 42

Figure 17: Factors that needs more emphasis for better brand value of Primark. 43

Figure 18: Maintenance of standardisation of a product is crucial for branding. 44

Figure 19: Branding helps in increasing the reliability for a product. 45

Figure 20: Brand of a product is more important than price of the product. 47

List of Tables

Table 1: Gantt chart. 33

Table no. 2: Customers of Primark since when?. 34

Table no. 3: Satisfaction with brand value of Primark. 36

Table no. 4: Primark is attempting to focus on branding to generate new customers and retain old one   37

Table no. 5: Loyalty of customers towards the brand, Primark. 38

Table no. 6: Branding is important while selecting a retail product. 40

Table no. 7: Factors that forces consumers to opt for Primark’s products in comparison to rival firms. 41

Table no. 8: Factors that needs more emphasis for better brand value of Primark. 42

Table no. 9: Maintenance of standardisation of a product is crucial for branding. 44

Table no. 10: Branding helps in increasing the reliability for a product. 45

Table no. 11: Brand of a product is more important than price of the product. 46
 

Introduction

 
 

Customers need to emphasise on the value of a product before making any choice so that they can opt for the best options as available to them. However, an organisation thrives on focussing the concept of brand building so that consumers can get attracted within the organisation or towards the product. The competition level existent in the market is trying to work on various parameters that can help in attracting new customers while retaining the old ones. Dyche (2008) commented that customers try to go for better quality that is usually assumed with the help of branding and goodwill of the organisation. Organisations focus on the brand building so that importance for a particular product is enhanced and sale of goods takes place. Branes and Schultz (2009) noticed that gaining customers’ attraction for many products is the sole objective of the sellers so that product can be sold in the market.

Research Aim

The particular study will aim at studying the mind of consumers and their decision-making for any product based on the concept of branding. Topic will involve analysis of the branding during the process of consumers’ buying behaviour. The researcher selected Primark as the case study so that concept of branding and consumers’ decision-making process can be analysed at better and focussed way. With the help of various theories and concepts, the researcher will try to define the relationship between branding and customer’s decision-making process.

Research Objectives

According to the research aim, framing of research objectives will be established so that further penetration of the research topic is taken into consideration. With the help of research objectives, the sub-division of the research topic will be enabled that will allow proper categorisation of broad topic into appropriate forms. List of objectives helpful in successful achievement of the research aim are as enlisted below:

  • To recognise the role played by brand in sale of the product or services
  • To analyse the importance of branding in Primark
  • To identify the relation of product branding and customers’ decision-making process
  • To understand the factors helpful in giving brand recognition to products of Primark

Research Questions

Research questions are considered to be helpful in understanding the topic of the research in a much easy and detail manner. List of research questions lays emphasis on the area of analysis that can help in gaining relevant and useful information as per the selected topic. Thus, the list of research questions for the particular topic is as enumerated below:

  • How brand of a product helps in achieving better sales for an organisation?
  • What is the role of branding for the products of Primark?
  • What is the relationship between product branding and customers’ decision-making process?
  • What are the factors helpful in giving brand recognition to products of Primark?

Thus, the above-mentioned research questions will allow throwing better light on the research topic along with better collection of related data and information.

Background of the Topic

Branding as a process of attracting customers holds the theme of the research project. Chernatony et al. (2010) noted that branding essentially focuses on building a communication bridge between the buyers and the sellers. Further, branding also involves trust and confidence relationship that initiates a consumer to be loyal to the organisation irrespective of the price or substitutes. Brand building is the trend available in the market that helps in improving the participation of the organisation. Customers rely on the concept of branding as it involves better control and dominance of the market over the rival firms.

Concept of strategic brand management helps in creating larger customer base for the organisation so that amidst the rival firms, rise of a specific company can take place and gain mind positioning among the consumers. Branes and Schultz (2009) described that brand management needs to have involvement of brand awareness so that customers can gain adequate knowledge about the products and the services catered by the organisation. Followed by brand awareness, focus on brand image is required that can help in continuous management of the branding concept and retain customers effectively within an organisation.

Background of the Company: Primark

Based in Ireland, Primark is a clothing retail sector that tries to adopt the concept of branding to gain customer base at larger number. The company holds more than 38 stores across the nation that includes Austria, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands and United Kingdom. Based in Dublin, the company tries to              operate on the plan of market expansion. Initiated in 1969, the company tries to target consumers with the help of quality that can focus on the quality as well as customer retention (Primark.co.uk, 2013).

This retailing firm emphasises on the customer retention policy with the help of branding so that it can compete with the other clothing retailing firms effectively. Inclusion of menswear and ladieswear is helping the brand in sustaining the retail competitiveness at a much better level. Fashion labels under the brand of Primark are gaining customers with the much focus on quality as well as price of the product.

Rationale of the Study

 
 

The basic reason for choosing this particular topic is the importance of taste and preference of the customers in the process of buying any products. Mentality of the customers is shifting from local products to branded products that highlight the concept of brand awareness among consumers as well. In contemporary society, brand name is the major factor of influencing customers’ mind while selecting a product for buying. However, the brand value in customers’ mind along with its effect in the market is the focus of the marketers to achieve strong hold in the market. Customers go for the branded products although its cost is higher than local products; it elevates the role of brand over prices for a set of goods. Customers are willing to buy branded products repeatedly because branding of product that certifies for quality of the product and becomes priority over the price.

Brand value creates a sense of security within the customers concerning quality of the product. On the other hand, branding also encourages better focus on customers’ preferences and specifications so that customisation can enhance the brand to a new level. Branding within an organisation supports the concept of loyalty as it derives satisfaction from the customers that is essential to gain repeated customers. Although there are many more substitute are available in the market with a lower rate of the product, but customers prefer the branded products to the alternatives. Lack of branding for a definite set of products fails in guarantying for the quality of the product that also restricts the trust and confidence of customers towards the product. This lack of trust and confidence also results in losing customers over a period of time and switching customers also becomes issue with the organisation. Preference of customers for brand helps in putting importance to the quality of the product instead of price.

Purpose of the Study

Selection of this topic will try to focus on the relationship between the branding of the product and the customer retention. Organisations today try to focus on branding concept so that customers are attracted and influenced while making buying-decision process (Dyche, 2008). The research aims to understand the importance of branding as a parameter of consumer buying behaviour. The various factors that help a consumer in making choice for a selection will be considered so that role of branding can be evaluated at better level. In the particular study, the researcher will focus on the role of branding with special reference to Primark so that relationship existent between branding of Primark’s products and customers is analysed at better rate.

Structure of the Study

The researcher has made short division of the research topics so that each perspective of the topic can be highlighted and observed in detailed manner. Based on five chapters, the content of the chapter will be segregated as below:

Chapter 1: Introduction

The basic details of the chosen topic will be described here so that reader can understand the theme of the research topic. In this chapter, concept of branding and its effect over customers’ decision-making process is described in a brief manner. Further, the research aim and objectives is stated that helps in better acknowledgment of the research topic.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Theories and concepts help a researcher in understanding a particular topic or area of study. In this chapter, with the help of literature sources, the researcher has tried to evaluate the concept in a more standardised manner. Apart from that, critical perspective for study of the topic has helped in observing both the pros and cons of every particular topic.

Chapter 3: Research Methodology

Research process helpful in gaining better data collection concerning the research topic is mentioned in this chapter. Research methodology as a chapter helps in guiding the path that can lead to better study of the topic and can help in gathering details related to the study. Selection of research philosophy, approach, design and others help the researcher in better analysis of the study. However, choices of these research techniques are followed by the application of proper justification so that the most suitable tools are chosen.

Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Interpretations

Based on collection of data and information, the researcher opts for analysis of the sources so that a proper result can be generated in concern to the research topic. Impact of branding on customers’ decision-making is analysed in the chapter that helps the researcher in better knowledge of the topic as well. Data analysis with the help of various techniques and methods will help the researcher in understanding the topic and analysing based on the response of the participants.

Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations

Concluding chapter of the dissertation will present an overall view of the research topic that will include the result of the topic as well. Depending on the research objectives, the researcher will try to determine the success level of the topic and will define the linking of the objectives accordingly.

Summary

Concept of branding in a company is helpful in adding attraction factor for the customers as it helps in generating buzz about the concerned products or services. As identified in the present chapter, role of branding is also influential in decision-making of the consumers while opting for a product among the alternatives. However, the chapter briefly describes the content of the research topic through sub-section like research aim, objectives and questions. Followed by this chapter is literature review that includes the theories and concepts related to the branding and consumer buying behaviour. Based on the themes stated in this chapter, the following chapter will describe the details of the concepts to enhance the knowledge level of the readers as well as the researcher.

Literature Review

Introduction

A society comprises various forms of norms and thoughts that highlight the living standard of an individual on various forms. As per Tam (2007), possession of branded products depicts living strata of an individual at better level in comparison to others. Branding of a product is crucial to the organisation so that acceptance level of the product among the consumers is enhanced and achieved effectively. As observed in the retail markets, competition beside pricing strategy is also focussing on customer retention within an organisation. However, branding tends to ensure maximum satisfaction of the consumers and helps in building long-term relations between consumers and organisations. Chernatony et.al (2010) recognised that branding brings reliability within consumers for a particular company or set of products and thus helps organisation in winning loyal customers.

The particular chapter will focus on establishing a foundation of academic knowledge related to consumers’ buying behaviour and branding of the products. With the help of this foundation, the researcher and the readers will get an opportunity of enhancing the research topic is more detailed manner and will be able to understand the critical perspectives as well. Application of various theories and models will add literature to the research topic so that in later chapters, it can be utilised for better analysis of the results.

Conceptual Framework

Conceptual framework helps in categorising the list of key theories that can help in better understanding of the topic. Branding and its role in consumers’ decision-making process will be considered so that theoretical concepts can be enlightened in a detailed manner.

As described in the above diagram, branding is a useful tool in bring customers for an organisation based on the concept of quality. Brand value has the potential of attracting quality-preferred customers that further leads to development of the business organisation by flourishing growth and market expansion. The researcher will try to analyse the relationship between branding and consumers’ buying decision so that the area can be researched and analysed more deeply.

Concept of Brand

As commented by Price (2010), brand has the potentiality of describing the identity of the product or the service in comparison to other alternatives or substitutes. Brand id used as a tool of marketing by organisation that helps in easily communication with the consumers or target profiles. Brands of a product usually helps a company in creating a distinguish identity in comparison to other firms or organisations. Tools used to create brand of an organisation can be either a logo or any form of graphical illustrations (Branes and Schultz, 2009). Application of brand is helpful in evaluation of the company’s performance as it helps in identifying the public awareness in the existing market.

Dimensions of Brand

Brand for an organisation comprises various forms of attributes that in together give a better potentiality of having a brand-effect over consumers’ mind. Attributes leading to composition of branding are both tangible and intangible in forms that help in creating distinction from other brands.

Figure 2: Dimensions of Brand

(Source: Rubini, A., 2010, pp. 48)

Attributes: Components of the brand highlights special attribute that helps in focusing on the communication process between consumers and organisations.
 
Benefits: An organisation tries to understand the strengthening factor that can help in adding benefits to products of organisation with the help of attracting factors that enables customer attraction.
 
Values: Depending on the values and adopted norms, brand helps in appropriate demonstration to the consumers or potential buyers.
 
Culture: Organisational culture dominates within the organisation is portrayed via brand that also helps in identifying the target market of the organisation as per characteristic of the cultural distinct.
 
Personality: Brand describes the personality of the organisation that describes the target customers so that their preferences and customizations can be designed.
 
User: Brand tries to identify the general characteristics of the final users and adopts the brand by highlighting factor so that the consumers can easily accept it.

The above-mentioned characteristics of brand are termed as ‘Six Dimensions of The Brand’ that helps in understanding the target audience in a much better and detailed manner.

Concept of Branding

Application of branding applies concept of strategic management where loyal customers are catered with high quality products and services. Hareem and Zeb (2011) noticed that branding helps in determining the loyalty level of the customers for a particular organisation and is considered to be effective tool of marketing. Conversely, Chernatony et.al. (2010) noted that branding is a cost center where customer loyalty is the expected return of the organisation. Treated as an asset of organisation, branding can help in enhancing the goodwill along with reputation by meeting the expectations of customers satisfactorily. Applied in the long run, branding allows integration of consumers’ preferences and organisations’ supply in an appropriate manner.

Importance of Branding

Branding in today’s’ marketing environment needs to hold the interest of the consumers so that organisation can sustain in the longer run. Branding of a product also adds higher level of satisfaction within the consumers that enables scope of grabbing the opportunity in a more definite manner. Khasawneh and Hasouneh (2010) described that product differentiation is also enabled by branding that helps in increasing the availability of the products as well. Retailing firms are facing intense competition that needs more focus on brand awareness and brand identity among consumers so that the products can be preferred in comparison to the other substitutes or alternatives. Price (2010) observed that branding involves both the scientific and emotional concept of adding an expectation to the product that helps in improvement of the product’s life cycle by outliving it. With the help of branding, an organisation is able to add value to the organisation that helps in enhancing the marketing activities for the product and enables maximisation of customers.

Emergence of on-line shopping has increased the importance of branding as the internet involves various small and big brands for endorsement of the products. Social media marketing also tries to enhance the brand value of the product by leveraging the visibility of any concerned organisation. Erasmus et al. (2001) pointed out that branding helps in delivery of message in a more clear and effective manner that enhances the communication process between consumers and organisation in a more steady and effective manner. Branes and Schultz (2009) added that without additional cost of advertisement or marketing activities, branding could help in transmission of company such as aim, thought, and philosophies through representations of brands such as logo or graphics. Branding also helps in customer’s customization that helps in targeting the niche market and promotes effective marketing that helps in cutting down the cost to the organisation. Branding when applied in the longer run helps in achieving business credibility that also encourages better performance delivery from the organisation to maintain the quality of the product or service at a constant rate. Tam (2007) mentioned that branding helps in create the performance scale of the organisation that also raises expectation bars of the customers and thus supports the concept of benchmarking and standardisation as well.

Consumers’ Buying Process

Consumers while selecting a product for purchase follows a general series of steps that help in selection of the most appropriate product among the others. Ghani and Jan (2010) illustrated that consumers’ buying process helps an organisation in understanding the basic criteria that has to be focussed so that it can have higher chances of acceptance within the target profiles. However, Niazi et al. (2012) pointed decision in case of complex selection needs to follow series of steps for decision-making whereas actual buying behaviour involve a single process that is selection of the products as per requirements of the individual.

Figure 3: Consumers’ Buying Process

(Source: Price, A., E., 2010, pp. 232)

Recognition of Problem

In this phase, consumers are searching the area where differences of desired and actual condition are available. The final consumers aim at seeking the purpose that describes the purchase decision for the products. Hareem and Zeb (2011). described that initially, a consumer need to identify the desire or the wants that is required to be satisfied with the help of purchase decision. However, in lack of the identification or the need of the product, marketers cannot understand the perception of the consumers and fail to manufacture goods or cater services as pr utility requirements.

Search for Information

Based on identification of the desire and utility, consumer tends to look for the related information so that better details of the product and its function can be acknowledged. During the phase of information seeking, organisation has to adopt the best brand awareness strategy so that consumers can easily gain information about the concerned product of the organisation. Nepalia (2011) cited that organisation giving relevant information as per choice of the consumers gains success of better being selected for consideration of buying process.

Evaluation of Alternatives

Among the list of selections, buyers tend to evaluate the alternatives on various parameters depending on the individual customisations. Dyche (2008) alluded that based on the scale of standardisation, consumer opts for selection of the products while discards the products failing to satisfy the customers’ needs and preferences. This phase tries to seek alignment between perceptions of consumers along with supply of the organisation. Organisation better capable of indentifying customers’ desires and choices are preferred over alternates. An organisation can be rated as being the choice of preferences among buyers that help in knowing the brand value amidst the target customers.

Purchase Decision

Decision of buying a product is the final phase of selection that includes parameters like price, quality, branding, packaging, store, method of purchase and others. Ghani and Jan (2010) informed that in this phase, consumer makes up the mind for buying the product but evaluates on the external attributes to gain better customer satisfaction. Attributes creating influence over consumers’ purchase decision includes price, place, promotion, product, process, people and physical evidence.

Post-Purchase Decision

Final phase of buying process involves self-evaluation within the buyer that aims to identify the satisfaction gained with the purchase decision. Shah et al. (2012) explained that alignment of customers’ expectations along with selection of the product is observed. Factors helpful in better derive of satisfaction are after-sales service, discounts, warranties and sales communication etc. Consumers being satisfied as making a right seletion of the product become loyal to the organisation or switch to new brand for the next purchase.

Consumers’ Buying Behaviour

Consumers within a market are the most crucial tool for identifying the success level of an organisation. Unlike traditional days, Tam (2007) proposed that customers are now more demanding and organisation in order to gain sustenance needs to satisfy the customers at the best possible level. However, Niazi et al. (2012) commented that factors leading to buying behaviour of consumers are a complex topic as it involves various approaches and models. Consumers targeted by an organisation describe the preferences of various types that need to be identified by the organisation categorically. With modernisation of the society, the consumers are becoming more educated and informed about the product and organisation’s knowledge that is increasing the quality level of the organisation to meet the desires of the consumers successfully. Customers while making a choice for a product among various alternatives tries to identify the most suitable as per individual’s choice and preferences. Doostar et al. (2012) observed that organisation tries to understand the factors that help a customer in selecting a product. Impact of consumer behaviour over a product selection also helps in study of buying behaviour of a consumer while selecting a product over others.

Model of Consumers’ Buying Behaviour: Howard Seth Model

Consumers are essential component for achieving success in the market; organisation thrives on the satisfaction of customers, as they are ideal source of bringing revenue within the organisation. Application of Howard Seth Model tries to explain the complex process of consumers’ buying behaviour. Bagozzi et al. (2002) noted that this model aims at understanding the wide variety of behaviours observed while understanding the process. Laid on the assumptions that rational choice backs up the decision-making for the consumers, the particular model was evolved and accordingly outputs and inputs of the model is considered. The model also assumes that consumers are having incomplete information about the market and lack the complete abilities to identify the best option.

Figure 4: Consumers’ Behaviour Model of Howard Seth

(Source: Erasmus, A. C., et al. 2001, pp. 90)

As illustrated in the above diagram, process of a decision-making is described that helps in understanding the process of from input to the output of the particular process. Organisation and marketers aims to understand the buying behaviour of the consumers so that accordingly service and product attributes can be delivered to gain better success in the market. However, Khasawneh and Hasouneh (2010) described that buying behaviour involves a physiological concept that involves choices and preferences of buyers that are invariably different for different buyers.

Defining market

Market can be referred to a place, physical or virtual where the buyers and seller meet to buy a product, service in exchange of financial contribution. Lucas, J., and Simmons (2008) stated that it has undergone a tremendous change, where in the brick and mortar model of business has been replaced by the ecommerce model. McNealy (2009) argued that this radical change in technology therefore has helped to redefine the needs of the target consumers, segmentation, with global and local reach. Mozota (2006) added that the marketers are using inexpensive way engage the target market using SNS (social networking sites). The response rate for eWOM (electronic word of mouth) is stronger so delivering the customer needs for right customer segment is crucial for the survival of the business. Riezebos (2009) suggested that segregation of market as per target market need leads to creation of more sub brands which helps to serve customer expectations. The retail market is where the sales of goods and services happen forbuyers and sellers. Salinas (2011) told that retailers have a integrated retail supply chain system which procures goods from the manufacturers in bulk at a wholesale price. It then distributes the goods to all its stores at different locations for shoppers to buy the displayed product.

Matured market

The market may consist of products or services which are meeting customer expectations and values. The product therefore undergoes through evolution to become better with customer inputs and feedback. Thus the basic product, which met the customer need over a period of time, becomes more demanding (Temporal, 2011). The customers perceive the product quality which means they perceive little difference in the similar product range. The lifecycle of the market consists of stages which depends on the existence of the product which needs to evolve with more brand attributes to keep the interest of customer towards the brand (Tyagi and Kumar, 2008). Thus the competition in the market between same class of brands is either on price, or on features (benefits for customers).

Values

The definition of values thus is vital to understand in order to connect the product or service of a firm. The values of a brand thus reflect a message which targets the mind of the customer. Theis (2010) concluded that a brand value can be measured through the elements of customer satisfaction, customer loyalty. Every firm defines its business objectives, mission, vision and values which helps employees to understand the way the company performs. Subsequently, the brand values are building over a period of time, when the customer agrees to pay premium for those features, which are not present in any other brand. Middleton (2010) acknowledged that delivering customer value therefore depends on the aspect of the product attributes, which are meeting the customer expectation set by delivering the benefits, which is the value component. Martin (2010) concluded that the employees to incorporate the brand values in the service delivery emanate the corporate values. In the retail sector, service is a default output and hence the brands related to the store associates with the retail store image (Sheth, 2007). The value, which is delivered to customers in a store, consists of physical and psychological dimensions, which influences the image of service brands. Therefore, the physical elements, the retail store employees, other clients, and service level are key indicators of the total process in delivering customer value.

Retail brand promotions

 
 

The company decides to do brand promotion which uses the elements of marketing mix. The product selling culture therefore evolved through ages, and has become a mix of product and service level mix (Wiley and Vallaster, 2010). The need to promote a new product or service is essential as it reaches out to spread the message to the target audience. Though methods of promotion for a brand in retail depend on the item, and it thus limits of the channel for promotions. The retailers are offering various methods of promotion on different items to attract the footfalls into the store. Each activity for promotion is a cost to the company, which must be realised by following a specific strategy (Wolf, 2009). The brand promotion thus is a tactical game play, which is linked to business objectives and goals. It usually includes price reduction, free gifts, discounting, redeemable vouchers. It is also a ploy to engage the customer with the retail shop so that repeated footfalls get a steady sale figures. The ideas of differentiation of the retail brand can happen through quick promotions, which are delivering the value to the customer’s doorstep (Wright, 2006). The occasion of festivals and the occasions are perfect settings for the retail brands to promote their offerings to the customers. Many retailers (groceries) are moving to own the forward integration of the retail supply chain process along with the backend retail supply chain integration process (Zemke, 2008).

Building a retail brand value chain

The value chain comprises of a delicate process where there are series of steps which goes into branding of the retail shop. The market place, which consists of buyers and sellers, therefore consists of retail chain shop where exchange of goods and money takes place (Mozota, 2006). But before buying it, the customer goes through the series of stages to understand which of the products suits the needs and matches the customer expectation set. Salinas (2011) concluded that a retail brand building is a gradual process where the aspects of quality, positioning and repositioning, internal marketing, credibility, well blended communication, long term perspective are blended together. For the customers of Primark it is a low value product but not a everyday item to be bought like food.

Figure 5: Creating Brand values

(Source: Mozota, 2006, pp. 31)

Brand building impact

The brand is not build in one day, so they take time to get acceptance of the target market. Temporal (2011) added that the brands try to differentiate their image in the market place and that takes help of the advertising mix to communicate with the consumers. In a retail brand the aspect of quality, pricing, are juggled to make way for increasing the market acceptance of its products or services. The ability to differentiate the organisation amidst competition the therefore is linked to meeting of customer’s expectation set, which is narrowed down by the customers. This can be illustrated by the diagram shown below:

Figure 6: Creating Brand equity

(Source: Wiley and Vallaster, 2010, pp. 55)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This model shows the process of improved brand equity involves the following elements like customers who are the target market, the other stakeholders like suppliers, staff, and financial aspect (Wiley and Vallaster, 2010). This affects the audience behaviour in respect to the retail store. Increase in visits to the a store, causes surge in sales volumes. It also leads to better business outlook for the future and with long term perspective the retail brand enjoys a commanding positioning with the suppliers in the market with lowering of discounts. The employees are happy and they are able to cross sell, at reduced staff expense, with improved efficiency (Zemke, 2008). The effect of all these factor reduces the equity and borrowing costs which covers the profitability factor, retail brand growth and reduced risk.

Extending brand value to customer value

The brand therefore undergoes a transformation by offering the key attributes which helps it to stand out from the rest. The brand image signifies certain values which are strong enough to evoke response from the consumer perception. This is the strength of the value where a particular brand imparts utility to the consumer (McNealy, 2009). The value theory states that the success in the marketplace is dependent on the environment which needs continuous investment in the brand. Thus customer value is formed when the perception of the brand happens post usage of a product or a service. The value derived should be greater than the cost of ownership and can be expressed as a ratio;

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The firms are therefore trying hard to enhance the customer value by focussing on the perceived benefits. This over a period of time reduces the total cost of owning the brand. Lucas and Simmons (2008) explained that the above equation of customer value by total cost of ownership therefore is expressed as ratio which is relative to the total market offerings. Delivering value therefore is related to what was proposed to the customers and what do they get actually.

Figure 7: Customer value

(Source: Zemke, 2008, pp 94)

The customer value goes up as superior proposition when the firm is able to provide competitive advantage in all the spheres. They are customer intimacy, product or service leadership and the ability to sustain the operational excellence (Riezebos, 2009). Thus the emerging theme, is about engaging customers continuously where the long term outlook of business is to form a bond bases on loyalty and trust. These customer will stay with a retail brand as long as they perceive and believe that the relative customer value received by them is more than that of competitor.

Delivering customer value

The aspect of customer value therefore has major implications for the business. The changes in the marketing tactics, its operations have affected the structure and the process (Temporal, 2011). The retail chain therefore has been changing from the vertical to horizontal shape using where the 6Ps are dominating the marketing scene. The firm is engaging into better management tactics where the retail supply chain is broken into activities where each employee is the process owners. They are listening to customer feedbacks, engaging the front line sales to encourage a two way dialogue. Thus brand communication happens where the firm tries to build meaningful relationships. Tyagi and Kumar (2008) stated that value driven organisational culture sustains longer through the challenges of the business. The employees are more alert and try to look at product or service selling process as value driven. Intelligent marketers are trying to understand that value as defined by customer is more of perceptual which the output of product attributes is. McNealy (2009) added that the brand association therefore creates an emotional attachment with which the customer tries to associate the brand benefits meeting the expectation set in the mind. The firms who are successful in positioning the brand therefore link cleverly the product attributes and features.

Primark: Value for money

The Primark is a fashion conscious retail store selling apparels in UK, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Portugal. The brand has a relentless growth in the last decade and does not rely on ecommerce. It has effectively chalked out the plan to provide value driven activities, which are:

  • Sourcing products efficiently to keep the pricing low
  • Making simpler designs
  • Use of local fabrics and trims
  • Focussing on popular sizes
  • Buying from suppliers in huge volumes
  • Not spending too much on advertising

These activities at the operational level are based on the lean production methodologies in order to cut down on buying price (Martin, 2010). It engages employee who earns low wages in a manual skilled jobs from Asia which contributes 95% of the total sales. The values in the retail supply chain of Primark happen through bulk purchasing to enjoy economies of scale and minimise waste and inefficiency. Riezebos (2009) confirmed that it is committed to maintain the business practices to make sure of maintaining the ethical guidelines to sustain the business fundamentals. The ability to work upto the suppliers to match the quality along with quantity is a perfect match to deliver customer value. The customer value consists of many factors including the costs which are essential to be minimised. The employees at each stages of value chain are trained to meet the quality and compliance metrics, and stick to the ethical guidelines (Wiley and Vallaster, 2010). At the same time, it has ambitious goals to take care of the human rights to meet the work conditions for over 700,000 workers in different continents. The sourcing factor contributes largely to the pricing factor of the stock keeping unit in Primark. Thus, retail pricing which is cost plus pricing is instrumental amidst competitors to make the customers aware of the price range.

Conclusion

As observed from the study of the particular chapter, the researcher was able to gather knowledge and details of customers’ decision-making process and the role of branding in the concerned process. Branding is considered as one of the parameter useful to determine the choice or the selection of a product. Brand value helps in recognising the growth achieved by a particular organisation. Fashion retailing sector in involvement of branding seeks preference of quality so that customers can gain adequate satisfaction level and can be converted into loyal customers. Consumers’ perception towards a good or a product is revealed by success brand image of an organisation that helps in competing with the rivals at better rate.

Research Methodology

Introduction

 
 

Research methodology as a chapter helps in defining the most appropriate approach that needs to be adopted to attain complete and detail results of the process. Veal (2006) discussed that theories and concepts adopted in research methodology helps in having deeper and better analysis of the research topic. Application of research methodology helps in understanding the procedure adopted in analysing the particular research of consumers’ decision-making and role of branding in the process. However, Levine (2005) pointed that detail process of research methodology also leads to common errors that may create limits within the research process. Apart from that, the researcher has tried to apply each detail process of research methodology that can help in better analysis of Primark’s branding influence in customers’ decision-making process.

Method Outline

In the particular chapter, detail research techniques to analyse the branding successfully and its influence for consumer’s decision-making process will be evaluated with reference to Primark. Selected research philosophy is positivism that can help in gaining information based on proper logic and evaluation. Further, deductive approach will allow the researcher to conduct the study based initially on secondary sources that can help in defining consumers’ behaviour and influence of branding on consumers in a much better manner. Descriptive design will help the researcher in defining the used and applied concepts in the detail manner further helping in defining the impact of study as well. Application of primary and secondary sources will help in much details of the research topic and will bring better quality of analysis. Sample size for the particular research topic will involve 55 customers for quantitative technique and 5 managers for qualitative.

Research Onion

Research onion as a tool of methodology helps in listing the key divisions of a research that has the ability successfully analysing a topic. Ellis and Levy (2009) defined that research onion is a tool helpful for academic students to conduct the research process in a proper format by following each stages of techniques helpful in deriving results of the research process. Research onion is categorised in six divisions namely philosophies, approaches, strategies, choices, time horizons, techniques and procedures.

Figure 8: Research Onion

(Source: Saunders et al. 2009)

As illustrated in the above diagram, research onion helps in study of each layer of research techniques that will enable better research and more information for the result analysis. A researcher needs to follow each layer of research onion so that a structured procedure is adopted for the research process.

Research Philosophy

In a research methodology, application of research philosophy helps in determining the appropriate manner for gaining details of a research topic. Cameron (2009) discussed that research philosophy helps in explaining the assumption process undertaken by a researcher while conducting a research topic. However, the thinking process for evaluating a particular topic can vary so the selection of research philosophy needs to be effective and in proper alignment. The broad and common forms of epistemology that is a part of philosophy are positivism, interpretivism and realism.

Positivism as a subject of philosophy helps in application of logic that can help in analysing the hidden facts and information in a scientific manner. Although dominated by scientific method, positivism tries to rejects metaphysics so that detail observation and knowledge collection is enabled. Interpretivism as a mode of epistemology supports the concept of complex structure involved in a social world of business and management activities. Veal (2006) described that interpretative study aims at defining the things with concepts of natural law that to certain extent discards the scientific approach as well. Apart from interactions, a researcher under interpretative study actively takes part in interpreting the data or the result of the study to suit the need of the study. Lastly, realism is a mixed approach of positivism and interpretative and thus involves characteristics of both the philosophies. Realism describes application of human beliefs and helps in studying the interactions of humans along with the realities.

Justification for selection of the chosen Philosophy

Positivism as applied in the current context helps in better analysis of the hidden facts and information related to consumers’ buying-process 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

An approach for a study of a topic is required so that the format required to conduct the study is revealed. A particular research topic can be undertaken for study in two broad ways of either deductive or inductive. Inductive approach is a study that helps in studying a research topic when enough data on the chosen one is not available. The initial phase of inductive approach is observation that helps in gaining relevant information and builds the path of the research accordingly. However, Finn et al. (2000) noted that inductive approach serves the purpose of new theory building for any topic. Conversely, deductive approach is used as a process that describes the practical application of the theories studied to gain access to content of the research paper. Deductive approach aims to build a theory with more specifications and concepts of data analysis. However, depending upon the nature of the study and research topic, the selection for research approach is made that can help in better analysis of the topic.

Justification for selection of the chosen Approach

In the present study, the topic will try to study the concepts related to consumers’ decision-making process with the help of various theoretical knowledge. Models of consumers’ buying behaviour 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, role of branding in customers’ decision-making process helps in understanding the concepts in a detailed manner.

Research Design

Saunders et al. (2009) illustrated that research design helps in explaining the framework of the research topic that will help in selection of the collection and analysis pattern. 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.

 

 Figure 9: Kinds of Research Design

(Source: Toloie-Eshlaghy et al. 2011, pp. 152)

Exploratory design helps a researcher in acknowledging various kinds of ideas and thoughts required to complete a research paper. However, explanatory research design describes the occurrence of incidents or events and correspondingly effect of the happening. Due to the mere explanation of cause-and-effect relationship, penetration details of a research become limited. Lastly, descriptive research aims at gaining details as to state occurrence of events with detail and proper description of the topic.

Justification for selection of the chosen Design

Application of explanatory was avoided as it supports the concept of longitudinal study that was not possible with the particular topic. Apart from that, descriptive design was able to define the detail process involved in the application of branding for influencing buying decisions of consumers. The extent of influence imparted by branding over the consumers’ decision-making process is aptly scrutinised with the help of descriptive design as being the selected research design.

Data Collection Procedure

Data are considered as useful collection of information and facts helpful in studying any research topic with better details. Veal (2006) mentioned that data collections are helpful in deriving accurate results to a research process and enables standard format of research work.

Data Sources: Primary and Secondary

Sources of data are helpful in penetration of the research topic and helps in extracting information according to the requirements. Primary and secondary are the two data sources that are providing materials helpful in gaining details of any particular research topic. Gomm et al. (2000) illustrated that primary data are helpful in collecting raw data that can be directly catered as per need of the research topic. The first hand data collection however needs clarification of reliability and validity. 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.

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

Data Techniques: Qualitative and Quantitative

Qualitative data are helpful in recording narrative form of data that can add better description of the research topic. Bradburn (2004) mentioned that qualitative data helps in adding theoretical concepts in the practical field that also leads to better understanding of the topic unlike quantitative procedure. Quantitative data on the other hand applies the statistical data that are helpful in recording data of large sample sizes. In the present study, mixed approach for both the quantitative and qualitative technique is applied. Customers will be considered for the quantitative research techniques while the managers will be considered for the qualitative one.

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 (Saunders et al. 2009). In the present research work, customers and employees of Primark are considered as the population of the study that are 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 impact on consumers’ decision-making process 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. On the other hand, managers of Primark were considered for non-probability sampling technique. With the help of online questionnaire,. Customers were asked for participation where survey was performed based on Likert’s scale rating from 1 to 5. On the other hand, managers were considered for interview as per their flexible schedule and timings.

Sample Size

The sample size is divided into two forms for qualitative and quantitative technique. For studying the quantitative research techniques, 55 customers of Primark were considered and were interacted with the help of online questionnaire forms. Conversely, managers of Primark stores were considered for qualitative technique that will be 5 in number and will be considered for interview sessions. Thus, the total sample size of the research study is 60, comprising both the qualitative and quantitative forms.

Ethical Considerations

During the process of research methodology, a researcher needs to follow a code of conduct that helps in identifying the wrong and right set of behaviours required to be adopted during the process (Toloie-Eshlaghy et al. 2011). The researcher for analysing the role of branding in customers’ decision-making process tried to follow few ethical considerations that can help in adding standardisation to the research topic.

  • Data Application: Data gained via study of the topic is helpful in understanding the present trend of consumers’ buying behaviour and decision-making process with special reference to Primark. However, any commercial application of the data will be avoided so that the findings can be strictly limited to academic purpose only.
  • Respondents’ Involvement: The researcher tried to insert no external influence on pressure over the respondents for taking part in the feedback process of the research topic. Respondents with a sense on voluntary participation were encouraged to participate in the following research topic.
  • Respondents’ Anonymity: It was ensured that any form of mental or physical harassment was not involved with the respondents so the identities of the respondents were concealed as per the requests of the participants.

Based on the above-mentioned list of ethical considerations, the researcher tried to maintain the basic research ethics.

Research Limitations

A research study that can help in gaining results of the concerned topic is allowed to encounter list of restrictions that are both avoidable and non-avoidable in nature. Silverman (2005) commented that limitations within a research topic are natural that also defines the area with restricted scope and abilities. In the particular research work, areas encountered with research limitations are enlisted as following:

  • Reliability: Respondents involved in the process were not involved in any form of pressure or influence. However, customers and managers of Primark can be biased towards the organisation that may affect the findings of the research topic. Thus, issues related to reliability are present in the study.
  • Time-Constraint: Due to cross-sectional nature of the study, the researcher had time limitation that led to study of the work within a short time. Many deep details of the study was not analysed due to cross-sectional study that also erupted as a cause of research limitations for studying the organisation, Primark.
  • Budget-Constraint: With a limited budget, the researcher faced few limitations in the study of the research topic. Lack of finance limited the application of SPSS software that could have enhanced the quality analysis with better statistical tool applications.

Time Horizons

Any research topics are either longitudinal or cross-sectional in nature, depending upon the time allotment considered for research for a particular topic. In the present research, cross-sectional study is adopted that has limited time-period so application of Gantt chart is considered for easy completion of the research work. Saunders et al. (2009) stated that Gantt chart helps in segregating the key tasks as per the structure of the study and helps in better completion of the topic.

Main activities/ stages

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Topic Selection

·          

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data collection from secondary sources

·          

·          

 

 

 

 

 

Creating layout

 

·          

 

 

 

 

 

Literature review

 

·          

·          

·          

 

 

 

Formation of the research Plan

 

 

·          

·          

 

 

 

Selection of the Appropriate Research Techniques

 

 

 

·          

·          

 

 

Primary data collection

 

 

 

 

·          

·          

 

Analysis & Interpretation of Data Collection

 

 

 

 

·          

·          

 

Findings of the Data

 

 

 

 

 

·          

 

Conclusion of the Study

 

 

 

 

 

·          

 

Formation of Rough Draft

 

 

 

 

 

·          

·          

Submission of Final Work

 

 

 

 

 

·          

·          

Table 1: Gantt chart

(Source: Created by the author)

As illustrated in the above table, the researcher will apply Gantt chart at continuous intervals so that the status as per regular intervals can be analysed.

Summary

The present chapter described the various research tools of selection that can help in better analysis of the topic. With the help of this chapter, the researcher tried to align the nature of the study along with the available research techniques so that possibly the best research methodology is framed. The tools more appropriate to analyse the concepts of branding in consumers’ decision-making process is emphasised with reference to Primark, the clothing retail firm.

Data Analysis, Findings and Interpretation

Introduction

In this chapter, the researcher tried to show the data analysis of Primark’s branding and its customers. With the help of qualitative and quantitative analysis, data analysis helps a part of research process to increase the quality of information and make better analysis and conclusion for a particular topic. Gomm et al. (2000) pointed that data analysis helps a researcher in implementing the theoretical knowledge in the practical application. However, Bradburn (2004) pointed that data analysis involves complexities and limitations as well such as data manipulation, lack of genuineness and others. Thus, a process of crosscheck is observed via data analysis in a research work. Role of branding in customers’ decision-making process will be evaluated in this chapter with the help of feedbacks given by the respondents in relation to the organisation, Primark. Based on the data gained in this chapter, the researcher will try to gain information related to the topic and will accordingly analyse the findings to ad a validity in the process of data collections. Respondents considered for process of data collection is customers and managers of Primark organisation so that more concerned, specific and detail information is extracted with the particular research work.

Quantitative Analysis: For Customers (Part A)

In the present section, customers of Primark will be considered for quantitative analysis so that the researcher can understand the influence of branding over the customers and their choice of skeleton for a product. Number of respondents involved in the quantitative section are 55 as the others were not properly filled in so were discarded from being the sample of research study.

Q1) How long have you been customers of Primark?

Table no. 2: Customers of Primark since when?

Options

No of respondents

Total respondents

Response %

Last 1 week

12

55

22%

Last 1 month

16

55

29%

Last 1 year

8

55

15%

More than 2 years

10

55

18%

More than 5 years

9

55

16%

 

Figure 10: Customers of Primark since when?

Findings and Analysis

As illustrated in the above chart, maximum of the respondents are opting for last month with 29%, which was followed by last week of 22% of the respondents. Conversely, respondents over 2 years and 5 years were 18% and 16% respectively. Apart from that, last year was selected by 15% of the respondents.

Primark tries to focus on the attention of the customers and recently has started focussing on the concept of branding that is helping to add lager number of customers within the organisation. Customers due to the concept of branding are getting more inclined towards the organisation. Initially, the organisation focussed on the marketing activities irrespective of much focus on branding of the products. However, with modernisation and higher level of competition, consumers are retained with the application of branding concept that helps in retaining customers along with sustaining in the retail market.

Q2) How far are you satisfied with the brand value of Primark?

Table no. 3: Satisfaction with brand value of Primark

Options

No of respondents

Total respondents

Response %

Strongly satisfied

13

55

24%

Satisfied

16

55

29%

Neutral

8

55

14%

Dissatisfied

8

55

15%

Strongly Dissatisfied

10

55

18%

Figure 11: Satisfaction with brand value of Primark

Findings and Analysis

Around 29% and 24% of the respondents are satisfied and strongly satisfied with the concerned topic. However, neutral and dissatisfied was selected by 8% of the respondents in both the section. Apart from that, strongly dissatisfied was option made by 18% of the respondents.

Primark is successfully able to generate target consumers for the concerned organisation within the market of UK. Among other retailing firms, Primark tries to focus its attention on the consumers until the age of 35 who can be influenced on the basis of style and consciousness. Consumers are identifying the concepts emphasised by the organisation, Primark. Brand and its value help in attracting customers at a much better rate. Consumers find the quality and the standard of the organisation quiet satisfactory hence they are inclined towards its products. However, few customers are not satisfied with the brand value imparted by the organisation as they feel Primark can introduce much better concept of branding. Apart from that brand value of Primark helps in positive word-of-mouth communication that also enables higher customer satisfaction among the customers.

Q3) How far you agree Primark is attempting to focus on branding to generate new customers and retain old one?

Table no. 4: Primark is attempting to focus on branding to generate new customers and retain old one

Options

No of respondents

Total respondents

Response %

Strongly Agree

11

55

20%

Agree

14

55

25%

Neutral

15

55

27%

Disagree

8

55

15%

Strongly Disagree

7

55

13%

 

Figure 13: Primark is attempting to focus on branding to generate new customers and retain old one

Findings and Analysis

Maximum number of respondents responded for neutral with 27% while strongly agree and agree was opted by 20% and 25% respectively. On the other hand, disagree and strongly disagree was choice of 15% and 13% respectively.

Branding helps in understanding the needs of the customers in a more definite way that brings more customer delivery service within Primark. Customers try to identify the approaches effective enough in retaining customers and avoiding switching to other brands. Primark tries to adopt branding strategy so that a communication bridge is enabled between the organisation and the customers. Customers are able to observe the attempts that help in marketing of the product in a much effective manner. On the other hand, branding helps in creating awareness for the organisation that also promotes and market the product. Primark via branding try to satisfy the needs of the customers in a more efficient and better way. Branding is adopted within Primark as a continuous process that helps in identifying the issues or the challenges as a mode of promotion and improvement.

Q4) How far you agree you are loyal to the brand, Primark?

Table no. 5: Loyalty of customers towards the brand, Primark

Options

No of respondents

Total respondents

Response %

Strongly Agree

16

55

29%

Agree

13

55

24%

Neutral

14

55

25%

Disagree

7

55

13%

Strongly Disagree

5

55

9%

                                                                                                                               

Figure 14: Primark is attempting to focus on branding to generate new customers and retain old one

Findings and Analysis

As cited in the above figure, strongly agree is selected by 29% of the respondents that is followed by 24% of respondents with the option of agree. Disagree and strongly disagree was choice of 13% and 9% of the respondents respectively. Moreover, 25% of the respondents made selection of neutral for the concerned question.

Customers considered for sample study at major front are loyal to the organisation that also reflects the successful implementation of the branding strategy helpful enough retaining customers. With the help of adequate measures, the organisation is trying to gain repeat customers that help in winning loyalty of the customers. Apart from that, loyalty of customers also derives avoidance of switching customers to rival firms. However, Primark also aims to cater the needs of the loyal customers so that as per their alternations, supply process is systematised. Customers within an organisation can be best retained with the focus on quality that does not compromise the requirements of the customers. Primark among customers brings loyalty, as the concept of fashionable clothing is adequately desirable within the stores. Loyal customers are satisfied with the fashionable outlets of clothing for men, women and teens that is effectively attracting consumers till 35 years of age.

Q5) How far you agree that branding is important while selecting a retail product?

Table no. 6: Branding is important while selecting a retail product

Options

No of respondents

Total respondents

Response %

Strongly Agree

15

55

27%

Agree

16

55

29%

Neutral

7

55

13%

Disagree

9

55

16%

Strongly Disagree

8

55

15%

 

Figure 15: Branding is important while selecting a retail product

Findings and Analysis

Strongly agree and agree is choice of 27% and 29% of the respondents correspondingly. On the other hand, disagree and strongly disagree is selected by 16% and 15% of the respondents for each option. Apart from that, neutral as a option was selected by 13% of the respondents.

Branding helps respondents in generalising idea about the quality of the product that creates a sense of satisfaction and security within them and enables better marketing of the branded products. Branding in a retailing sector helps in gaining information related to the consumer marketing that also helps in evaluating the needs of the customers with broader view. Retailing sector is intensifying rapidly where organisations need to have loyal customers rather than new customers so that it can sustain in the long-run. Brand strategy brings higher penetration for the needs of the customers that are essentially required to sustain in the retail market. Target market for retail sectors of the UK is quite large that needs application of branding so that within the competitive market, sustainability can be achieved. Concepts as brand building and brand awareness for an organisation or product are helpful in getting attraction from the consumers and gaining better market hold over competitors.

Q6) Which factors forces you to opt for Primark’s products in comparison to rival firms?

Table no. 7: Factors that forces consumers to opt for Primark’s products in comparison to rival firms

Options

No of respondents

Total respondents

Response %

Service Quality

10

55

18%

Brand Value

18

55

33%

Customer Relationship Management

13

55

24%

Price of Products

9

55

16%

Others

5

55

9%

 

Figure 16: Factors that forces consumers to opt for Primark’s products in comparison to rival firms

Findings and Analysis

Brand value and customer relationship management was marked by 33% and 24% of the respondents respectively. Service quality and price of products was chosen by 18% and 16% of the respondents respectively. Other was choice of 9% of the respondents.

Primark as an organisation beliefs in rendering service to the customers with best quality so that value to customers can be of best quality. Customers try to understand the value given to them by the organisation that also brings loyalty within customers and encourages being Primark as the preferable brand in comparison to others. In Primark, customisation is the priority of the organisation that helps in bringing better value for the customers apart from gaining loyalty of consumers.

Q7) Which factors needs more emphasis for better brand value of Primark?

Table no. 8: Factors that needs more emphasis for better brand value of Primark

Options

No of respondents

Total respondents

Response %

Online shopping experience

14

55

26%

Advertising and Promotions

9

55

16%

Competitive Offers

11

55

20%

Continuous Benchmarking

17

55

31%

Others

4

55

7%


Figure 17: Factors that needs more emphasis for better brand value of Primark

Findings and Analysis

In the above chart, response for continuous benchmarking was accorded by 31% of the respondents and online shopping was choice of 26% of the respondents. Advertising and promotions was selection of 16% of the respondents and competitive offers were selected by 20% of the respondents. Apart from that, others were choice of 7% of the respondents.

Primark is achieving success with the help of branding strategy that is ideally helping in influencing customers’ behaviour as well. However, as per response of respondents, few of the areas within Primark can be achieved to a much better level where much better results can be obtained. Introduction of e-commerce will help in better marketing and advertisement of Primark that will promote better brand awareness as well. Aggressive form of marketing strategies is absent in Primark that gives scope to other clothing retail sectors of acquiring market dominance. Lucrative and promotional offers helps in attracting customers that also promotes the brand and helps in delivery of better brand awareness among the target profile. Apart from that, focus on continuous benchmarking can help organisation in reviewing the quality of service and product existent

Q8) How far you agree maintenance of standardisation of a product is crucial for branding?

Table no. 9: Maintenance of standardisation of a product is crucial for branding

Options

No of respondents

Total respondents

Response %

Strongly Agree

14

55

25%

Agree

16

55

29%

Neutral

8

55

15%

Disagree

10

55

18%

Strongly Disagree

7

55

13%

 

 

Figure 18: Maintenance of standardisation of a product is crucial for branding

Findings and Analysis

As described in the above chart, agree and strongly agree is selected by 29% and 25% of the respondents respectively. On the other hand, disagree and strongly disagree was the choice of 18% and 13% respectively. Besides this, neutral was selected by 15% of the respondents.

Standardisation of a company tries to seek the best level of performance for a set of activities. On the other hand, standardisation also brings better level of customer relationship management as communication is enhanced. Benchmarking also backs up the idea of continuous assessment that helps in upgrading the system processes as per alignments of the customers. As the company grows ad establishes, chances of losing the concept of benchmarking may become less focussed. However, standardisation helps in enhancing the performance level of the organisation. Branding as a concept helps in reviewing the benchmarking system that enables the system upgrading of organisation to cater better value to the customers.

Q9) How far you agree that branding helps in increasing the reliability for a product?

Table no. 10: Branding helps in increasing the reliability for a product

Options

No of respondents

Total respondents

Response %

Strongly Agree

18

55

33%

Agree

19

55

34%

Neutral

6

55

11%

Disagree

7

55

13%

Strongly Disagree

5

55

9%

 

Figure 19: Branding helps in increasing the reliability for a product

The chart above described that respondents on major front strongly agreed and agreed with 33% and 34% respectively. Conversely, option of disagreed and strongly disagreed is the choice among 13% and 9% respectively. Moreover, for the particular topic around 11% of the respondents were neutral.

As the branding is helpful in defining the quality of the product so the customers tends to back on the branded products over local goods. Further, branding initiates the concept of high quality as per specification of the customers so the chances of customer satisfaction are much higher. Branding determines a part of consumers’ decision-making process where the reliability of the product is enhanced via branding and status of the organisation. The goodwill earned by the organisation is helpful in bringing success and growth to the organisation. Branding ensures quality preference within consumers that also promotes goodwill of the organisation. Brand makes consumer to be a group for the company to carry on with a long lasting impression. Customer’s buying behaviour is also vital for the any organisation. Through brand value the organisation, can able keep it promises.

Q10) How far you agree brand of a product is more important than price of the product?

Table no. 11: Brand of a product is more important than price of the product

Options

No of respondents

Total respondents

Response %

Strongly Agree

19

55

35%

Agree

17

55

31%

Neutral

9

55

16%

Disagree

7

55

13%

Strongly Disagree

3

55

5%

 

Figure 20: Brand of a product is more important than price of the product

As illustrated in the above chart, majority of the respondents opted for strongly agree with 35% and agree with 31% respectively. On the other hand, disagreed and strongly disagreed 13% and 5% respectively. Moreover, neutral was selected by 16% of the respondents for the particular topic.

Branding as a concept helps in dragging attention of the consumers and helps in delivery of the customers’ requirements. Branding strategy helps in increasing sales of the organisation that also increases the trust and confidence within the consumers of Primark. Price strategy is helpful in attracting consumers it might not be effective enough in retaining customers within the organisations. Effect of successful branding is for longer period of time that also encompasses positive points of higher growth and sales as well. Respondents feel that price of goods for branded products are not the priority as the same constituents can be available in non-branded or local goods. However, in established organisation, such as Primark, a distinguishing quality is enhanced by the presence of brand identity that itself brings customers’ attention. Brand defines the choice of the consumer while price acts as an attraction factor for the customers.

Qualitative Analysis: For Managers (Part B)

This section of data analysis comprises qualitative description of the particular research topic as stated by the managers of Primark stores that are situated across the UK. The qualitative section involves managers as the appropriate sample because the detail procedure of branding strategy as applied in the organisation is best described via Primark’s managers. Moreover, qualitative study allowed detail analysis for each sub-topic helping in better penetration of the study topic.

1. Importance of brand-value for customers of Primark:

Customers as opined by managers of Primark are fashion conscious hence while preferring brand of Primark they are convinced that clothes available at the store are fashionable yet of higher quality. The competitive market of clothing retail is getting competitive where brand value is emphasising on quality along with satisfaction of the consumers. An organisation with brand value aims to attain the mind positioning within the consumers that accelerates their demand towards the organisation instead of the product. Brand value is a crucial tool that defines the goodwill and success rate achieved by Primark amidst other competitors dealing in clothing retail.

2. Branding playing a crucial role in influencing customers’ decision-making process

Managers of Primark proposed that branding helps in increasing the familiarity among the customers and increases the market dominance as well. Branding within organisation promotes recognition among the consumers and thus becomes a reliable tool that enables inclination among consumers. Due to the effect of reliability, consumers’ decision-making process makes a positive effect that gives a market maximisation. Consumers being satisfied by the quality recognise the brand of the product and prefer the brand for the next purchase. Thus, branding ensures gaining loyal customers and promotes business growth for the organisation.

3. Branding as one of the parameter affecting consumers’ behaviour theory

As per consumers’ behaviour theory, consumers try to make choices among goods based on various parameters that also define the mind process of the consumers while purchasing a product. Managers of Primark observed that consumers while making selection of clothes opt for quality and fashion adopted by the organisation. Being satisfied with both the criteria, pricing is the next level that highlights brand of Primark. The organisation by consumers is primarily judged by the quality instead of the product. Brand helps in adding identity to the

4. Branding strategy helps in enhancing the sales of the organisation, Primark

As branding helps in larger attention of the consumers, so it brings better sales of the organisation as well. Managers observed that branding brings many new customers for the organisation and satisfaction from first buying experience helps in gaining loyal customers that is crucial for enhancing sustainability as well as sales of the organisation.

5. Advantages gained with the implementation of branding strategy within Primark

Branding strategy positively affects the sale of the organisation as it brings larger customer base for Primark. Recognition of the organisation helps in attracting consumers and growth of loyal customers takes place within the organisation. Advertising and marketing strategies are helpful in bringing customers within the organisation, whereas, branding promotes loyalty of consumers and recognition of organisation.

6. Limitations of the branding strategy that limits the potentiality to certain extent

Technology up gradation at frequent intervals is an issue for the organisation. Primark stores across the nation need to be continuously upgraded so that the best available service is given to the customers and competitiveness is maintained in the market. However, implementation of technology boosts up the branding strategy of the organisation by easing the shopping experience of consumers. Apart from that, employees newly recruited have to be given training and learning sessions that can help in extracting the best class service delivery from the employees. However, expectation from each employee of 100% is another limitation part from being a barrier for branding of the organisation.

7. Steps taken by Primark for initiating branding within the organisation, Primark

Employees of Primark are the representatives and are considered responsible for the image of the brand. Managers try to train their employees who can deliver best class service and bring satisfaction from the consumers. Apart from that, the management that helps in addressing the grievances of the consumers and imparts value for the customers usually accesses customer community.

8. Factors helpful in giving brand recognition to Primark

Managers tried to highlight the pining lists of factors helpful in bringing brand recognition to the organisation, Primark. The employees involved in the front line service try to understand the demand and preference of the customers in the best possible manner so that the communication can be at the most clear way. Suiting the customisation of the consumers, products are offered that helps in achieving a higher level of satisfaction. Primark tries to cater their customers in the best possible way, and as per their preferences and demands, products are offered. Customers being satisfied with the service deliver are turning into loyal consumers and thus are enhancing the brand recognition of Primark.

9. Possible opportunities that can be gained with the implementation of the branding strategy

As per thoughts of Primark’s managers, branding has many opportunities to be delivered to the organisation. Branding gives an edge to the performance level of Primark. The organisation is recognised as catering fashionable clothes until the age of 35. This level of standardisation is effectively met with the help of branding strategy.

High Sales: Branding extends the sales of the organisation that helps in bringing new customers to Primark with the help of added advantages. Branding brings new customers to the organisation that helps in generation of income and improves sales of the organisation.

Market Expansion: Attraction of larger number of customers helps in expansion of the market as positive word-of-mouth forces new customers to take entry in Primark. Brand of the organisation is facing new markets and is enjoying the market opportunities adequately.

Positive Publicity: Satisfied customers are referring the brand to their known ones and are helping in promotion of the organisation via verbal mode. Such positive publicity brings more number of customers and on being satisfied convert these customers into loyal ones.

Loyal Customers: Repeated customers of Primark are the sole strength that is catered as per their alterations so that they do not switch to other brand. The fashion conscious customers of Primark are regularly available with the trendiest and fashionable outfits so that they can have wide range of products and brand of the organisation can be justified adequately.

Thus, these are the possible opportunities that concept of branding can give to an organisation along with ensuring high success and sustainability to the organisation.

10.Branding helps in avoiding issues like switch consumers for Primark

As per viewpoints of the managers, brand helps in creating a satisfaction level within the consumers that helps in prevention of the dissatisfaction among the consumers. Quality is attached with the brand of an organisation, however, consumers follow brand in order to prefer quality to other organisation. In Primark, company aims to follow the fashion as per taste and preference of the shoppers and buyers to gain maximum sales. However, brand of Primark tries to value customers by acting as per their alterations. Managers of Primark tries to focus on the customer satisfaction by the help of personal branding so that they do not tend to switch to alternate brands such as Zara, H&M and others.

Conclusion

As concluded in the study, the research project highlights the relationship existent between the customers’ choice and branding strategy. The entire discussion on the selected topic centres round the aspect of understanding of the brand value of the company by the potential and the prospective customers with special reference to Primark, the fashion clothing retail firm. As observed from the primary research, impact of branding is no doubt positive for the consumers’ behaviour process. The study of the chapter described the response of customers and managers at two levels so that effects of branding as well role of consumers’ buying behaviour can be explained. The data collection tried to highlight the role played by branding in framing consumers’ choice while making product selection of Primark.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusion

The entire study was focussed on the concept of consumers’ decision-making process and the role branding plays in shaping consumers’ behaviour while making choice of a product. As cited from the study of the research paper, the consumers of Primark are observed by the researcher so that the value of branding can be evaluated with a specific example of an organisation. As seen in the secondary and primary sources. Consumers are relying on the concept of branding and making their choices of product with the sense of security and reliability. Primark is trying to focus more on imparting value to the customers so that they can feel their importance for the organisation and gain have more trust and confidence in the organisation. The effect of branding is positively related with the customers’ decision-making process that essentially highlights the attributes of customer relationship management.

Linking with the objectives

Based on the data collection process, the researcher will try to identify the linking obtained between the objectives and the practical applications. As per objectives of the research study, the researcher has tried to link the related data so that credibility and success rate of the study can be improved.

Linking Objective 1: To recognise the role, played by brand in sale of the product or services

As observed in Part A, Table 3, majority of the respondents are agreeing that branding helps an organisation in enhancing the sale of the products or services. Based on the survey, the researcher found that maximum levels of consumers are influenced brand of a product while buying a product. The role as defined by the managers states that branding helps in adding recognition to the organisation where the chances of visibility ad awareness is levelled up and customers on the other hand prefer the brand to competitors.

Linking Objective 2: To analyse the importance of branding in Primark

With the help of branding, managers opined that an organisation like Primark is able to gain high sales along with market expansion. Primark is adopting branding strategy to gain both the new as well as loyal customers. Branding as a strategy helps in achieving the recognition for the product along with the awareness about the organisation. Primark tries to encourage branding by customising the product as per desire of the customers.

Linking Objective 3: To identify the relation of product branding and customers’ decision-making process

Branded products, as observed in Part A, Table 6, are better accepted by respondents who are also customers of Primark. The analysis of the chart depicted that the consumers had better accepted retailing products under the influence of branding strategy. Further, the branding is also helpful in influencing the decision-making process of consumers as they affect their choice of products over others. Managers pointed out that branding brings recognition and a piece of display among the society that attracts the consumers for a branded good. In such cases, prices are not the crucial aspect for making judgement of product selection.

Linking Objective 4: To understand the factors helpful in giving brand recognition to products of Primark

Factors defining the role of brand for Primark includes customer relationship management, service quality, brand value and price of the products as defined in Part A, Table 7. Survey depicted preference for branding is attributes of brand value that also describes the ability of attracting consumers for a particular organisation. Managers commented that brand recognition within new consumers is often due to loyal customers that are supported by the concept of word-of-mouth communication.

Recommendations

Depending on the analysis and result of the study, the researcher has listed recommendations that can help in bridging the gap between the issues and the proposed solutions. According to the topic of the study, the researcher has suggested few criteria that can help in better branding strategy for Primark that can help in bringing customers within the organisation.

Online Shopping

Primark with the help of e-commerce can excel in the growing trend of internet and technology. The target customers of Primark are the young generation that are more related to the digital world and are getting information for any product with the source of internet. Primark with much focus on e-commerce can hold on the idea of getting better brand awareness along with scoring better performance level over other competitors. Online shopping also promotes easier mode of shopping for consumers that enables better marketing activities for the organisation. Further implementation of online shopping enables concept of better branding to the organisation by adding more recognition to the products of Primark. Market expansion and growth of business will be boosted in a positive way for Primark and will enable better branding for Primark.

Better Marketing and Promotional Activities

Social media marketing is the trend adopted in the developed markets like within the UK. Marketing and promotional activities helps in better identity and recognition of a company that directly influence the branding of the organisation. With the help of marketing and promotional activities, Primark need to draw attention on the brand that essentially focuses customers who are fashion conscious. Integration of social media enables better brand awareness among the consumers and helps organisation in becoming the choice of the consumers at first place.

Expansion of Target Market

UK market for retail sector is invariably large as it targets almost every person without any special criterion or division. With the help of steady growth, the business will have larger number of customers that will increase the recognition of the organisation along with boosting up the brand. Primark with

Constructive Feedback

With the help of feedback, organisation can enhance the branding strategy and can accordingly cater the customers. Constructive feedback will help in adding valuable attributes to the organisation that also enables better customer satisfaction of the consumers and thus promotion of the organisation will take a positive form.

Limitations of the Study

The research was limited to the UK only while the company, Primark operates in more other countries that could have been considered for the research study of branding and consumers’ decision-making process. The time was limited for a specific time that does not allow participation of larger sample sizes for better quality of analysis. Financial budget was also a restriction in the study that limited the quality of the study.

Further Scope of the Study

 
 
 

Scope of the study due to restrictions could not be exploited to its proper potential level. Further, the topic could have developed with study of two organisations such as Zara or H&M, examples of clothing retail firms so that level of branding strategy could have been observed at a better rate. Further, comparative study also enhances chances of observing the various steps applied in both the organisations.

Reference List

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Cameron, R. (2009). 'A sequential mixed model research design: design, analytical and display issues', International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(2), 140-152

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Appendix: A

A list of Questionnaire: For Customers of Primark

Name:

Age:                                                               Location:

Contact No.                                                        Email ID:

 

Q1) How long have you been customers of Primark?

  • Last 1 week
  • Last 1 month
  • Last 1 year
  • More than 2 years
  • More than 5 years

Q2) How far are you satisfied with the brand value of Primark?

  • Strongly satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Dissatisfied
  • Strongly Dissatisfied

Q3) How far you agree Primark is attempting to focus on branding to generate new customers and retain old one?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Q4) How far you agree that you are loyal to the brand, Primark?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Q5) How far you agree that branding is important while selecting a retail product?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Q6) Which factors forces you to opt for Primark’s products in comparison to rival firms?

  • Service Quality
  • Brand Value
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Price of Products
  • Others

Q7) Which factors needs more emphasis for better brand value of Primark?

  • Online shopping experiecne
  • Advertising and Promotions
  • Competitive Offers
  • Continuous Benchmarking
  • Others

Q8) How far you agree maintenance of standardisation of a product is crucial for branding?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Q9) How far you agree that branding helps in increasing the reliability for a product?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Q10) How far you agree brand of a product is more important than price of the product?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Appendix: B

A list of Questionnaire: For Managers of Primark

Name:

Age:                                                               Location:

Contact No.                                                        Email ID:

 

Q1) What is the importance of brand-value for customers of Primark?

Q2) How branding is playing a crucial role in influencing customers’ decision-making process?

Q3) How branding is one of the parameter effecting consumers’ behaviour theory?

Q4) How branding strategy helps in enhancing the sales of the organisation, Primark?

Q5) What are the advantages gained with the implementation of branding stratgy within Primark?

Q6) What are the limitations of the branding strategy that limits the potentiality to certain extent?

Q7) What are the steps taken by Primark for initiating branding within the organisation, Primark?

Q8) What are the factors helpful in giving brand recognition to Primark?

Q9) What are the possible opportunities that can be gained with the implementation of the branding strategy?

Q10) How branding helps in avoiding issues like switch consumers for Primark?

 

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