importance of culturE based ‘promotional strategy” for the fast food industry of wales.
Consumer behaviour is an important area for marketers. Understanding consumers has become the focus of much attention in the marketing world because the driven force behind the market is the consumer. Globalisation concept came to the business world with the standardization of product and it was considered as a catalytic force to attract the customers. As an effect of mass marketing and the tendency for global firms to standardise their products/services, organisations such as Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Nike, MTV, and Calvin Klein have emerged as global icons (Holton, 142)(reference 7)People were attracted to the new products and technologies, and marketers were successful enough to create a passion towards the new forms of products.
Researches were carried out in favour of globalisation concept, but in all cases they were not able to avoid the fear of cultural influence in the standardisation. Although globalisation offers many monetary benefits, there are cultural difficulties which should be addressed. Even though product characteristics may have universal appeal and have product functions those are similar across markets, individual perceptions of these product features may vary considerably across cultures (Hornik, 1980).Clearly, to sell products successfully, marketers should try to understand and target the specific groups interested in their products.
Contradictory studies and arguments were evolved in respect of the consumer behaviour that in what respect the customer will behave; as an individual who think ‘I am unique and I should behave different from the society&rquo; or who think ‘I am part of the society and move along with the society&rquo;. The dimension of study in the post modern era is about understanding communal consumption by developing the concept of &lduo;linking value&rduo; of a product and service (COVA,1995). The study is followed by the concept of ‘linking value&rquo; and tries to find out how it can be effectively adopted in the marketing process of products and services.
Research area covers the Welsh culture in order to come up with the inspiring factors which can be adopted in the promotional techniques. It is presumed that adoption of cultural factors in the promotions will increase the profit of the organization and help them to build strong relationships with the customers.
To recommend culture based promotional strategy, as a tool for building strong relationship with the customers.
The study is focused on the globalised fast food industry brands in Cardiff and their promotional strategies.
- To point out the need of strong bonding with the customers.
- To illustrate the role that can be played by the localized promotional strategies in building relationship.
- To find out the benefits in adopting cultural factors in promotion strategies.
- To find out the ‘Linking values&rquo; which can be adopted in the promotion strategy for Wales.
The findings are expected to have relevance to globalised fast-food industry brands by helping them to prepare localised promotion strategy which in turn presumed to build strong relationship with the customers. Research questions
The research is carried out with intention to analyze and to reformat the present promotion strategy with the culture based approach.
Research questions will have the focus to find out:
- Current market scenario.
- Benefits of using culture based promotion strategy.
- ‘Inking values&rquo; from Welsh culture which can be adopted for the culture based approach.
In order to get an awareness of the modern marketing concepts and to find out the gaps in the market, an exhaustive search of the literature has been completed.
The focus of the research area is developed in two main phases of discussions. The first phase deals with the concepts of the modern era and the second consider the elements or tools of marketing process.
The review critically evaluates the modern marketing views and tries to point out the relevance of including cultural aspects in the marketing campaign. It is presumed that cultural approach will increase the marketability of the product.
The body of knowledge within the literature has been taken to frame a successful research model. Areas of discussions include buying behaviour, brand loyalty, impulse buying and medium of communication.
An introduction to the subject of marketing
In order to present a general overview of the marketing terms, and to help with a better understanding the session deals with the technical marketing terms and their explanations.
Modern Marketing concepts
We can never be sure of the lasting status of anything in our world. This is especially true of marketing, where change is our currency and our opportunity to take hold of a competitive edge. Any time our competitor can overcome our trading strategy, acceptance to this fact given importance to the modern marketing. Modern concept of marketing is intermingling with the life style of the society and is more of an emotional, behavioural and relational value. Traditional thoughts focused on the product, whereas the new form is moving towards the mindset of the customer and trying to relate to the state of wellbeing and satisfaction. Relationships between the customer and the marketers should be strong enough for the success of the business in the new interface. A relationship manager is considered more likely to be a sales person than of a business planner. It is probably true to say that ‘without getting the sales relationship right, the relationship marketing strategy will fail, and relationship marketing will never be effective as itself&rquo; ( PIERCY,N. F. 1997). This statement calls for the significance of relationship between the organization and the external environment which should be a network. The process of marketing is not limited to the marketing department of the organization; it is a networking task which runs throughout the business. Network from a community to an organization which is then carried on to the product is brought to the customer. Networking cycle repeats after absorbing the essence of feedback from the customer.
In the year 1988, the learning International Organization identified seven new selling strategies
- Differentiating similar products and services - build up competitive advantage
- Building business solution - selling a package of products and services to save complex customer problems and selling single products or services.
- Selling to more educated buyers - buyers are better informed and more knowledgeable, changing role of seller.
- Consultative selling - Identifying customer requirements and developing acceptable solutions.
- Team selling - Team approach to effective sales figures.
- Knowing the customer&rquo;s business- selling depends on the in-depth knowledge of the customer&rquo;s business and building enduring relationships.
- Adding value by service - providing service as part of the selling process to create and retain customers.
All of the above strategies are giving primary focus to the customer, which make it clear that a proper networking process is essential for the successful marketability of a particular product. A successful marketing strategy will always be inclusive of good networking mode, technological advancements made the job easy to network our business with the society. Networking of the related sector should be included in the design and this was considered to be the chief reason for the success of many businesses. For example in May 1994 a pre surrealist Dali&rquo;s painting was sold for $ 2.2m; the prime reason for the success was considered to be the networking mode of promotion techniques used by Dali like film and television channels (FILLIS, I. 2000). A close network with the customer is advantages for the organization that, they will able find out the need, aspiration and reaction to a particular product or service, and this is main reason why the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are considered as important generators of economic growth. Networking can also be considered as a solution to beat the situations where the scale of economies prevail by forming quasi -corporations. .Uppsala - school claims that the company&rquo;s position in a business network is a strategic issue, and therefore has an overwhelming impact on their economic performance, and consequently such relationships have to be managed (HULTMAN,C.M. 1999).
Tribes as a linking factor
In the modern marketing perspective nature of products can be best related to social system. The social system would include our positions within society, how we read signs and behave towards them, which help marketers to assume what attract people&rquo;s attention. If we know what behaviours go with what function in society, we can then assume that people who carry out that specific function will perform those behaviours. Technological advancements paved the flow of information in a smoother and at a great pace which made the society more intelligent and commercially disloyal. Marketing a product with the traditional concept will not create competitive edge in front of the customers of new era. Traditional thinking around market segmentation is looking decidedly tired.(HENRY,P. 2007) Traditional marketing presents an engineering- driven, rational, analytical view of customers, products and competition that is full of untested and outmoded assumptions. It is hardly a psychologically-based theory about customers and how they view and react to products and competition. (SCHMITT,B. 1999).
As the myth goes, the old sales and production concepts had to be challenged and swept away into the dustbin of history (FULLERTON,R.A.1988). Business calls for a new concept to cope up with a new mode of customer requirements (BROWNLIE,D 1992).Modern concept of marketing is intermingling with the life style of the society and is more of an emotional, behavioural and relational value . Tribal rituals perpetuate social bonding and the myths and stories about who we are and where we fit, sustain our sense of esteem. Thus, the word tribe is used to emphasize the yearning for old style values such as sense of local identification that foster re-enchantment with the world (HENRY,P. 2007). Culture is often used as a guide for communication and interaction.
Product differentiation, positioning, and branding provide organisations with competitive advantage in the marketplace. Successful internationalization calls for the communication of these marketing strategies amidst environments constrained with varied cultural and competitive influences. Globalization concept were able acquire attention in the business world and it was successful enough to create more customers.
Role of Promotion in Marketing strategy
&lduo;Promotion is the communication process in marketing that is used to create favourable predisposition towards a brand of a product or service, an idea, or even a person&rduo; (pp 7. SEMENIK, R.J). Promotion strategy should be capable of triggering the instinct of customers and make them feel favourable to a product or service, it is true to say that if a brand is not properly promoted to the business and trade market, it will never reach the consumer market. (SEMENIK, R.J). Buying process of the consumer can be illustrated as:
First step in the buying process is receiving information, the impression created about the product will leads to further steps of buying decision. The extent to which a marketer communicates about the product determines its product demand, and so advertisement took hold of total marketing process as being glamorous of all the promotional tools. Good advertising creative, persuasive, communicativeŚwould not only create aware consumers but also help us get distribution, support our pricing strategy, achieve both trial and repeat volumeŚ do everything, in fact. A great advertising campaign was the single answer to all marketing problems. Advertising can no longer play the role in new product introductions that traditional thinkers assign to it. The reason advertising continues to be allocated a large percentage of virtually every introductory plan is that planners are looking to the past rather than the future. Today, other forms of direct, creative communication with the consumer can often replace advertising in a successful introduction. Giving preference to advertisement is the wrong thing to do in this world of marketing rather integration is the key. In this aspect promotion mix comes into effect, it calls for blending of communications tools and formulating an integrated of strategy by including all forms of communication forms like internet, direct marketing, event sponsorships and so on. &lduo;Communication process called promotion is not just advertisement- not by a long shot&rduo;(referance).Promotion is about building a brand and building the perception of a brand&rquo;s value within the market.( chapter 3 promotional plan ) IMC(SEMENIK, R.J). The next step in the buying decision is considered as the interpretation of the communicated information, at this point the customers will think about the suitability of the product. Promotion process basically acts as a stimulant and gives them awareness about the need of the particular product or service. BMW tag &lduo;Engineering, science, technology all are worthless unless they make you feel something&rduo; is very suitable for the explanation. If the marketers were not able to create a passion towards the product by the way of promotion it can be considered as unsuccessful from the marketing perspective.
In short marketing calls for a successful promotion strategy for
- Successful communication with the customers.
- Making the customers feel that they are special.
- Creating the brand reputation.
- Tempting the customers towards a particular product or brand.
- Making them feel that it is worth paying for a particular product or service
Cultural Impact on Buying behaviour
Consumer behaviour is the study of processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use, or dispose of products, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires. ‘Why? How? When? What? Where&rquo; individuals and groups buy? People talk rationally but they might end up in buying emotionally. KOTLER.P.1996 claims that when choosing products and services, consumers are often influenced by several factors such as attitudes or behaviour. In the literature, many researchers claim that consumer&rquo;s attitudes predict their purchasing behaviour. However, some authors believe that behaviour should be evaluated in order to predict buying behaviour. Behaviour is determined, in whole or part by internal processing of information, or the action of mental traits (FOXALL,G,R. 1993). A marketer can be termed as successful in his job, when the product information communicated to the target audiences forms a part of their thinking process.
The Behavioural Perspective model (BPL) of purchase and consumption relates patterns of consumer choice to their differing environmental consequences. There are three kinds of effective consequence of consumer behaviour. (FOXALL,G,R. 1993)
Hedonic reinforcement derives from the satisfaction/utility produced by buying, owning and consuming economic good (HIRSCHMAN, E.C AND HOLBROOK,M.1982). Informational reinforcement is provided by the feedback on the consumer&rquo;s performance, especially the social status produced by the conspicuous consumption. Aversive consequences are the costs of consuming: relinquishing money, waiting in line, forgoing alternative products and so on. (FOXALL,G,R. 1993).Marketers should be in a position to alter the behaviour to a favourable status to their promoting product. Product quality is only one of the chief factors influencing buying decisions, there are also factors like costumer services and after sales supports (Ongoing relationship building) which forms part of customer choice towards a particular product. Even the social acceptance of the product and the company reputation is essential for the product demand, and in this circumstance culture plays its role. Culture is everything that people have and think, as members of a society (Ferraro, 2002) and cultural values are considered as basic motivators in life and prescriptions for peoples' behaviour (Rokeach, 1973).
Impulse buying and consumer choices
Impulse buying plays an important role in fulfilling hedonic desires associated with hedonic consumption (Hausman, 2000;Piron, 1991;Rook, 1987). This role supports a conceptual link between hedonic shopping motivation and impulse buying behaviour. That is, consumers more likely engage in impulse buying when they are motivated by hedonic desires or by non-economic reasons, such as fun, fantasy, and social or emotional gratification (Hausman, 2000;Rook, 1987).Impulse purchases are more likely when consumers experience an impulse buying stimulus and then later evaluate that prospective purchase as appropriate (O'Guinn and Faber, 1989). Previous studies on impulse buying focused on defining differences between impulse and non-impulse buying behaviour (Cobb and Hoyer, 1986;Piron, 1991). Many researchers have provided theoretical frameworks for examining impulse buying related to psychological variables (e.g. personality, self-regulation), hedonic experiences (e.g. shopping enjoyment, emotional state, mood) and situational variables (e.g. available time, money) in a shopping context (Beatty and Ferrell, 1998;Burroughs, 1996;Rook and Fisher, 1995). Generally, researchers found impulse buying satisfied hedonic or emotional needs for fun, social interaction, and gratification (Hausman, 2000;Piron, 1991)(Reference list 1)
While shopping, in-store emotion can influence purchase intentions and spending as well as perceptions of quality, satisfaction, and value (Babin and Babin, 2001).Beatty and Ferrell (1998)found consumer's positive emotion was associated with the urge to buy impulsively. This supports earlier findings that impulse buyers are more emotional compared to non-impulse buyers (Weinberg and Gottwald, 1982). Because impulse buyers exhibit greater positive feelings (e.g. pleasure, excitement, joy), they often over spend when shopping (Donovan and Rossiter, 1982). Furthermore, unplanned apparel purchases satisfy the emotional need derived from the social interaction inherent in the shopping experience (Cha, 2001). Therefore, consumer emotion can be an important determinant for predicting impulse buying in a retail store.(Reference positive emotions)Engel and Blackwell (1982) define an impulse purchase as &lduo;a buying action undertaken without a problem previously having been consciously recognized or a buying intention formed prior to entering the store&rduo;. Philipps and Bradshaw (1993) do not distinguish between unplanned and impulse purchases, but make the important point that consumer research also needs to focus on point-of-sale interaction with the shopper - an often neglected area (Bayley, G. 1998).
Kollat and Willett (1967) proposed a typology of pre-purchase planning (also based on degree of planning or intent before entering a store):
- Product and brand decided;
- Product category decided;
- Product class decided;
- A general need recognized;
- General need not recognized.
The last type, (5), when it culminates in a purchase, may be regarded as a pure impulse purchase. Given that a need is not recognized until in-store, the act may still be rational, but the unexpectedness of the environment offering a solution to an unconscious or unarticulated need or want may induce a shock of sorts that disturbs the shopper&rquo;s emotional state of equilibrium for a while. The fourth category (a general need recognized) could mean a shopper has not decided on a either product category or brand, but relies on the shopping environment to provide stimulation (Bayley, G. 1998)). Advertising has been found to create brand preference (Resnik and Stem 1977, Ogilvy and Raphaelson 1982). Different advertising approaches have been found to work well with children, eg fantasy with fictitious characters, motivating scenes which depict actual purchase, and eye-catching motions like cartoon figures (Ward 1972b).( Reference 4).In short it can be considered that promotion plays a crucial role in decision making.
Effective medium of communication
Considering individual perspective, purchase could be stimulated by media to a great extent in collection of information. Prior to the consumption of product or service a customer will validate the information and try to match up with the utility and personnel satisfaction that the product offers. Therefore, the power of Persuasion of media and personnel references in influencing the consumer is very significant (Dibb, Simkin et al, 2001 pp 108). Finding a communication channel where your prospects are likely to buy is the key to success in any business. Media planning, consequently, centres upon the customers for the product or service and their media habits. Most media usage research is conducted to identify the media habits of specific demographic audiences since, for advertising purposes, media usage equates with likelihood of advertising exposure (Referance 10). Selecting the medium for promotion is the main area of study requirement for the successful marketing of a product. Before choosing the mode promotion within the multiple venues, one has to decide:
- Where are my target buyers?
- What is the best medium to reach them?
- Can I afford to launch an effective campaign using this medium?
The consumer is bombarded with an array of well-orchestrated messages and products that encourage the consumption of products that often make a fashion statement or convey a message in the process. The resulting consumer mentality exerts a profound international impact upon marketing and economic activity. (reference 7) The global media can profoundly influence how people choose to spend their spare time. (reference 7). There are no hard-and-fast rules as to which media is better. The right media for one business may be wrong for another and also sustaining competitive advantage is tough, because most things that one company can do easily, others can copy with equal or greater facility. It is same in technology even in advertisement. For marketing managers involved in media selection, consumers' perceptions of media types as useful have definite implications for advertising and promotional decisions. The potential for a message to achieve the desired response is critically linked to the consumer's response to the message. When customers view a particular medium as useful in terms of advertising, the likelihood of those advertisements gaining the desired response is enhanced (referance 10).
To conclude with we can propose that each channels of communication is important but the localisation of message will grab more interest and it can have more impact on the consumer attitude. It will possibly satisfy the assumption that the more the product image incarnated then more will be the response from the customers. Preference given to the local languages in advertisements can be shown as evidence in this respect.
Brand loyalty is one of the major terms dealing with the buying behaviour of consumers; confidence created in the minds of the customers will automatically drag them to a particular product. A brand is not a name. A brand is not a positioning statement. It is not a marketing message. It is a promise made by a company to its customers and supported by that company (Sterne, 1999).Reputation of the organisation within the society will affect consumer judgements such as the value for money and quality.(WOODRUFFE,H. 1995) Loyal customers always shows a resistance for the change and try to stick to their own brand. Dick and Basu (1994)suggest that brand loyalty favours positive worth of mouth and greater resistance among loyal customers to competitor strategies. Obviously such findings encourage marketers to build and maintain brand loyalty among customers. When striving for such goals, information on factors determining the creation of brand loyalty among customers becomes an important matter. Jacoby (1971)defines brand loyalty as repeat purchase but clearly points out that this behaviour is a function of psychological processes. In other words, repeat purchase is not just an arbitrary response but the result of some proceeding factors (for example psychological, emotional or situational factors). LikewiseDick and Basu (1994)point out that even a relatively important repeat purchase may not reflect true loyalty to a product but may merely result from situational conditions such as brands stocked by the retailer. In their framework, attitude is a requirement for true loyalty to occur. Consequently, they define repeat purchasing without a favourable attitude as spurious loyalty. Similar thoughts are found inAssael (1998)who conceptualizes brand loyalty as repeat purchase under high involvement and defines repeat purchase under low involvement as inertia. The relationship between attitude and behaviour is well accepted among consumer researchers although this relationship appears to be most likely when applied to high involvement situations (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980). (JENSEN,J.M.2006)
Modern marketing era is witnessing a shift from the monopoly of power from West to the Far East. The spirit of capitalism is on the move and it will create a multi-centric economy. Appreciation given to the western culture and the values in terms of safety, style and status and service is no longer in existence. In this circumstance even though branding may be worldwide, but the preferences are considered to be local and so these values should be represented in different ways to different culture.
Literature review based on Fast Food Industry
Globalised fast food industries can be termed as trend setters in the present market, and it is one of the evergreen sectors with high potentials. A major trend in most of the industrial world is that more people are relying on the fast food industries. Even in recessionary times, sales of fast food industry continues to be in the safe side, as per the reports by Times Online a 6 percentage profit increase was marked during third quarter of 2009 by the golden arches of McDonald(reference 14). Due to the inexpensive costs nature and convenient services, fast-food industries have become the best place next to home for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Researches came with the observations that one out of every two-and-a-half meals today is eaten away from home (Hume, S.1992). Fast food industry is now turning to be a saturated business world, always in the threat of losing customers.
Food marketing strategy should be focused enough on the costumers&rquo; perceptions and preferences and should try to evaluate how they differ across cultures. If cultures differ widely in their perceptions and preferences, promotional campaigns tailored to individual cultures may be called for. (reference 13).
Straughan and Albers-Miller (2001)examined culture as a driver of loyalty to domestic retailers. The scene is most evident in the food industry; Food brand in global market is quite difficult, because the cultures and tastes in different countries are totally different. Cultural identity and food habits are interlinked (reference 3).Food habits is an indicator of identity as much as dress, language or religion; ethnic identity and food habits support one another. Food habits are patterned family habits, cultural and religious values and rituals (Referance 3). Upon agreement that diversity in culture may facilitate varying response patterns, it is illogical to propose that a singular advertising strategy will fully capture the attributes of product offerings (Reference 5). Even though various firms have successfully planted themselves globally, however, their products continue to be consumed by different people in distinct ways. The key point to remember is that although the products or services being sold internationally may be &lduo;uniform&rduo; or &lduo;homogeneous&rduo; in outward appearance, they can still be very different in the eyes of various customers and in the way in which they are consumed (reference 7).If a food manufacturer wants to satisfy consumers in the global market, it should prepare different ways for the same business.
Focusing on the fast food industry market will identify the requirement of native taste and make us to think out of the box of globalization. Customers are considered as individualist and intelligent and the market is saturated. Standardization is a necessity but the taste and cultural barriers is to be considered to a long extent to grow market share in fast food industry. derivation of research model
In this saturated market, it can be explained as unless the item happens to be one that the customer really needs, and for which there is no viable alternative, only good marketing can sell a product or service twice to a customer. In this scenario possibly to sell a product the marketer should address two questions in mind
- What is the relevant information that needed for purchasing decision?
- How should this information be sought, evaluated and fed into the decision making process?
The dimension of study in the post modern era is about understanding communal consumption by developing the concept of &lduo;linking value&rduo; of a product and service (COVA,1995). Defining the traits and finding out potential, marking the priority and then networking these values to a focal point, this is what called as marketing. In this fast growing market if one can get right offer, to the right customer, at right time then he/she can be termed as successful.
Overall, these studies provide proof that relationship and networking mode of marketing campaigns are considered as a necessity for the business development in the new market scenario. It also clarifies that culture is a significant area to be considered in promotion of a product. However, the investigation is far from being conclusive and significant gaps still exist in the literature. For instance, the effect of culture in building relationship and how it can be made possible through the planning culture based promotions are ignored by the global firms. The research focus to cover the gap in present marketing strategy and take an effort in implementation of networking concepts by installing culture based promotion strategy in the globalised fast food industry of Cardiff.
Research model is derived with the intention to cover the gaps in the existing marketing strategy and to point out the benefits of including the cultural aspects.
Based on the literature review it can be concluded that new concepts of marketing is strictly focused on the cultural aspects. Cultural aspects are having the potential to build strong relationship with the customers, which is considered as the chief factor for the success of the business in the modern world.
Rationale of using promotion strategy for the purpose including linking values from culture is that, as the reputed global brands a complete shift from the present marketing strategy can cause negative impacts. Promotion strategy is the best fitted tools through which a solution can be obtained for this possible issue. It is having the calibre to attract more customers of modern era by including cultural image, without lose of loyal customers.
Localised promotion strategy is presumed to have more impact on the consumer consumption pattern, the importance of the research comes where the question ‘how&rquo; is asked for. To answer for the question of how, one should understand the current marketing strategy.
Modern day marketing strategy is a combination of communication and technology; it is the only way by which a customer orientated organisation can be designed. Studies illustrate that the fast food industry sector is getting more and more saturated and only a pure customer focused organisation with strong relationship with the customers can have successes. The research intention is to frame a promotion strategy which is capable enough to build relationship with the customers, and so the awareness of the existing marketing strategy is called for.
In order to analyse the current market strategy of fast food industry, the focus was narrowed down to the globalised fast food brands oriented towards the hamburgers, sandwiches, and fried chicken. In total four big brands were used in the research:
- Burger King;
- Kentucky Fried Chicken;
Out of the four brands two of them are specialised in the field of hamburgers, one in submarine sandwiches and the last in fried chicken. Researches proved that these fast food brands are having more than 80% of the consumers when the fast food consumption is considered.
Role of promotion in marketing strategy
Negative and positive feeling given by advertisement, (sympathy is one good example to catch the attention).
Industrial enquires will include:
- What are the current promotional strategies followed by the firms.
- Who are the target customers and why they are targeted.
Customer enquiries will include:
- Ferraro, G.P. (2002),The Cultural Dimension of International Business, 4th ed., Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, .
- Rokeach, M. (1973),The Nature of Human Values, The Free Press, London, .
The people of Wales have fiercely guarded and retained many of their ancient traditions, customs and language, and this is also true of the cuisine of Wales.
- O'Guinn, T.C., Faber, R.J. (1989), “Compulsive buying: a phenomenological explanation”,Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 16 No.2, pp.147-57 jn
- G. R. FOXHALL ET AL (1998) Consumer psychologyfor marketing,Thomson learning, London.