The proposed study is aimed at examining the role played by various element of the marketing mix in creating and sustaining brand loyalty. In particular, it is necessary to focus on price, promotion, place, and distribution. This study should answer the following research questions:
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- What elements of the marketing mix are more important for the creation of sustainable brand loyalty among customers?
- How can firms achieve brand loyalty and influence the decision of customers with the help the marketing mix strategy?
- What is the relationship between the product and the brand in marketing literature?
Available literature demonstrates that marketing actions may indeed increase or decrease brand loyalty; therefore, they should be considered by business administrators who are responsible for designing the strategies of an organization (Yoo et al 2000). One of the most important goals is to create a brand to which customers will be attached. This objective should be one of the top priorities for product and brand managers. (Langner et al 2006). It should be taken into consideration that increased differentiation that leads to competitive advantages based on non-price competition (Bandyopadhyay et al 2005; Hollebeek 2011). This opportunity is vital for companies that want to increase their cost efficiency and avoid price wars (Mason & Staude 2009; MacInnis 2009). Moreover, by focusing brand loyalty, managers can ensure that customers are willing to repurchase the products or services offered by the company (Nguyen et al 2011). Additionally, in this way, managers can contribute positively to the firm’s brand equity (Atilgan et al 2005).
In the marketing literature, various scholars have discussed the elements that form the marketing. They emphasize the role of such components as product development, price, distribution and promotion (Chikweche & Fletcher 2012; Ha et al 2011). Additionally, they pay close attention to advertising, discount and point-of-purchase display (Bandyopadhyay et al 2005). These marketing-level elements can profoundly influence brand equity elements, including brand loyalty (Martin 2009). Nevertheless, very few conceptual or empirical studies have been carried out to address which marketing elements are more applicable in building and sustaining brand loyalty (Yoo et al 2000).
In their article titled Judging Marketing Mix Effectiveness, Brooks and Simkin (2012) argue that “…measuring marketing effectiveness is notoriously difficult for academics and practitioners alike.” (2012, p. 494). According to these authors, the difficulties arise from measuring intangible elements such as brand equity, long-term effects of marketing activities, and the volatile and uncontrollable external environment which determines and influences marketing effectiveness (Esch et al. 2006; Whan et al. 2010). However, the findings of some researchers suggest that one can rely on the Cognitive Theory to analyze consumer cognitive processes, such as brand awareness, perceived quality and brand loyalty (Nguyen et al 2011; Khosraviani, 2012). So, this framework can be used as a tool by practitioners. It should be noted that cognitive Theory is mostly aimed at explaining human behavior by understanding the thought processes involved in the decision making. (Alex 2012; Kumar 2009). Furthermore, this model is based on the assumption that individuals are rational beings who can make rationale choices on the basis of available information (Nguyen et al 2011; Moore & Pareek 2009).
Consequently, the proposed study aims to employ the Cognitive Theory to evaluate the impact of marketing mix elements in the creation and sustenance of brand loyalty. Based on the brief review of relevant literature, the study will employ the following conceptual framework. The study will be based on the following conceptual framework.
The proposed study will rely on such a method as literature review in order to evaluate the role of various marketing elements in promoting brand loyalty. It is necessary to identify, evaluate and interpret sampled research findings on this topic (Bhattacharyya 2009). Moreover, one should locate, assess and synthesize content on the sampled research studies and other scholarly works examining the relationship between marketing mix elements and brand loyalty. |There are several reasons that justify the use of the systemic research method. One should note this data collection technique is capable of achieving less biased results because the search and selection criteria for articles is based on well-developed procedures that prevent a researcher omitting important results. Furthermore, this method involves appraisal procedures that take into account explicit inclusion criteria (Bryman & Bell 2011). Additionally, this approach is less time-consuming, especially in comparison with such methods as surveys or interviews
Data for the proposed study will be collected from subscription databases, namely Ebscohost Databases and Emerald. These databases contain a collection of scholarly articles about different business processes, including marketing. This is why these databases have been chosen. Studies for inclusion in the systematic review will be identified by using such keywords as “marketing mix elements”, “brand loyalty”, “maintaining brand loyalty”, and “marketing and brand loyalty”. On the whole, these keywords can be useful for identifying the most relevant sources. In the course of this study, it is necessary to find 30 scholarly articles from 15 reputable marketing and management journals. The sources that will be included in the review will need to meet certain standards. In particular, the articles must be less than 10 years old. Additionally, they should be published in reputable and peer-reviewed journals. Finally, these English language studies should present a clear argument about the topic of interest; moreover, authors must demonstrate expertise in their methodological approach and impartiality in their findings. These scholars should not pursue any commercial interests, since they can completely undermine the validity of their studies. Overall, the use of current literature can give deep understanding of the issues of interest (Bryman & Bell 2011), As it has been noted before, this model is also economical and time-saving (Kothari 2009; Thompson & Sinha 2008).
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Later the results of these studies will be analyzed and evaluated. It is vital to focus on the relationship between different elements of the marketing mix and the brand loyalty. By examining these results, I will manage to evaluate the influence of product development, pricing, promotion, or distribution. This form of examination can be very informative. While assessing the information, I will pay close attention to the methodology of that the authors relied on.
The findings derived in this way cannot be generalized. The articles that will be chosen for the review will contain information only about a limited range of products and companies. This is one of the main limitations that should be taken into consideration. One should not assume that that a single element of the marketing mix will inevitable affect the brand loyalty of clients.
There are several obstacles that one should be aware of. First of all, the available empirical or conceptual studies may not compare the influence of different marketing elements on the brand loyalty. For example, researchers can focus only on one component such as pricing or distribution, without comparing its role with other components such as distribution channels. As it has been said before, the study will be based the use of keywords that are most likely to be used by researchers who carry out the studies on marketing. One of the problems is that these keywords may not appear in the title of those articles that can throw a new light on the topic of this study. This is one of challenges that should be overlooked in the course of the research.
Although, this research will not involve any participants, it will also have to adhere to certain ethical standards. For example, it is vital to present an unbiased overview of the results without trying to twist the facts so that they could fit a certain theory. It should be taken into consideration that this study can give rise to some practical recommendations; therefore, a researcher should understand the results of the research can have profound implications for other people. These are the main ethical concerns that will guide my work.
It is not likely that my personal views on this topic will influence the results of this study. At this point, I can only conjecture that product development is more important for brand loyalty, but this is only a conjecture that should be confirmed. These are the main aspects I will focus on.
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