The study was carried out to develop an understanding of the intricacies and utility of brand effectiveness. Starbucks’ expansion in Bangladesh was chosen as the scenario for which the effectiveness of brand effectiveness was tested. Primary data was collected through the survey questionnaire while secondary data was collected through a comprehensive analysis of peer reviewed publications pertaining to the subject of the study. It was observed that Starbucks’ brand effectiveness can be expected to provide only moderate assistance to Starbucks’ market development if it was to expand into Bangladesh. Starbucks will have to engage in measures designed for the specific purpose of customization and adjustment to the preferences and properties of the Bangladeshi consumers and market respectively.
“A brand distinguishes the goods and services of one seller from those of competitors. A powerful brand identity creates a major competitive advantage; a well recognized brand encourages repeat purchases. Thus, a brand acts as a signal to consumers regarding the source of the product and protects customers and manufacturers from me-too products that may appear identical. Brand image consists of consumer knowledge and beliefs, stored in memory as associations, about brand attributes and the consequences of brand use” (Porter and Claycomb 1997).
Branding gives a product an identity and a personality. It allows the consumer to perceive the product as an entity with tangible and intangible characteristics rather than a product that can be bought for cash. In addition, it also allows the consumer to acquire a feel of the characteristics of the product rather than simply use the product. As a result, the consumer believes that it s not the product that he/she is purchasing but it is the experience of using the product that the payment is to be made for. The practice of branding is a considerably old one but the last century has served as a platform for a significant degree of development in branding and branding practices.
Branding is now seen as a highly refined marketing strategy. It represents a consistency across the value chain of the brand. Also, brand development in recent decades has shown a tendency to surpass regional boundaries. This is because the presence of consistency in brands serves to provide the value chain members of the brand with a strong financial position. This allows the brand promoters to engage in well funded high-end marketing campaigns when expanding.
“Brands affect consumers not only because of the knowledge systems that consumers carry about brands in their heads; they are also part of a psycho-social-cultural context. Consumers therefore engage in certain types of relationships with brands, similar to personal and intimate relations they form with other people. Brand relationships may be the result of imagination or actual participation in brand communities, so-called subcultures of consumption. The relationship process can generate cognitive benefits as well as positive affect and emotions that result in a bond between the brand and the consumer” (Schmitt and Geus 2006).
“Brand effectiveness is determined from the quality of competitive intangibles on an operational, day to day basis” (Standfield 2005, p. 34).
The effectiveness of a brand is incorporated in the degree to which the brand is able to capture market share. The more the effective the brand is, the better the fundamental perception of the brand amongst the consumers. Brand effectiveness allows the product to stand out amongst the consumers and enables the brand to take a key position amongst the consumers. The more effective the brand is, the more the consumers choose to give it a priority when considering purchase decisions.
Fundamentally, the brand effectiveness of a product enables the product to stand out amongst other brands and communicate the brand’s characteristics to the consumers. It is the extent to which a product is successful as a brand. It is for the same reason that a general evaluation of a product’s brand effectiveness is based on intangible elements and most of these elements are associated with the consumer.
“Key Brand Effectiveness Metrics [include] Online ad awareness: whether consumers remember seeing a company’s advertising campaign, Brand awareness: the extent to which consumers think of or recognize the brand, either aided or unaided, Message association: the extent to which respondents attribute characteristics to a company or product that were the subject of the ad campaign, Brand favorability: the extent to which consumers perceive the brand positively [and] Purchase consideration/intent: likelihood that consumers will buy the advertiser’s product or service” (Internet Advertising Bureau 2010).
The implications of a product’s brand effectiveness become apparent when the product is tested for the extent to which it can retain market share. This in turn tends to have an influence on the brand’s availability in the market. In layman terms, the effectiveness of a brand is put to test when a consumer or industry analyst considers the most prominent brand in the industry. The effectiveness of the brand is reflected in the sequence in which the individual recalls the products. However, this is a significantly premature test and is rarely resorted to. A more adequately designed test of brand effectiveness is one that tests the brand’s association with its key characteristics.
When seeking to develop a brand, a common approach is to develop associates between the brand and the characteristics that differentiate it from its competitors. The product is brought forth in terms of the utility that it provides and not merely in the form of a good that is available to the end user. A product that manages to achieve an adequate level of brand effectiveness will be present in the consumers’ perception through the associations that the consumer harbors. In uncomplicated terms, a product’s brand effectiveness is the degree to which the product is successful as a brand. A product with a high brand effectiveness experiences considerable brand differentiation.
A common scenario in which a brand’s effectiveness is put to the test is one in which the brand has to enter a new market. Such a scenario is commonly referred to as Market Penetration. Essentially, “market penetration is where an organization gains market share” (Johnson, Scholes and Whittington 2009, p. 344). However, in a detailed context, “Market penetration is used in several different situations. It is sometimes used for a new product to gain market visibility and market acceptance, and to build a user base… This might occur when there are low barriers to entry in the market. More commonly, market penetration is a strategy used by a company that is not the market leader and is trying to increase its market share” (Daly 2002, p. 76).
Under general circumstances, market penetration requires moving an already existing product into an already existing market which has remained unexposed to the product so far. Market penetration requires that the product is brought to the market so that they adopt it. Expansion measures commonly incorporate market penetration measures. When engaging in market penetration, there is a need to penetrate the market so that they accept the product.
However, in order to do so, there is a prerequisite that lies not in the market but in the product being brought into the market. This prerequisite is present in the form of the brand’s effectiveness. Market penetration requires that the product holds a certain degree of relevance and recognition amongst the consumers. In most cases, the product in question is expanding into a new market that represents a new economy and consumer group altogether. One such hypothetical scenario is that of the expansion of Starbucks into Bangladesh.
Starbucks adopted a market penetration strategy in 1982. This strategy has brought Starbucks a long way from its humble origins. The market penetration strategy was incorporated in the recognition of “an unfulfilled niche” that Starbucks targeted and served by opening outlets through which coffee could be served to consumers (Philip 2009, p. 46). Starbucks continued its growth through the implementation of a mix of market development and product development strategies that allowed it to grow across the United States and grow to a point where it could engage in international expansion.
The growth plan is one that has only recently come forth. As a part of this aggressive growth plan “Starbucks also outlined plans to expand its presence and accelerate profitable growth in both the U.S. retail business and in key international markets. Noting that Starbucks currently has less than four percent of the U.S. coffee market and less than one percent of the global coffee market, Schultz detailed the company’s plans to capture significant market share gains… The reframed Starbucks business proposition will deliver great coffee to every customer, in every format, and in every place they want it” (Deb Trevino 2010).
It is imperative to realize that the term brand effectiveness implies that the product in question has been subjected to branding and is recognized as a brand by consumers. In this regard, the brand will experience a certain level of brand equity and will be distinctive and distinguishable in terms of its trademark characteristics.
Introduction to Starbucks
Starbucks’ origins date back to 1971 in Seattle. In those days Starbucks was knows as Starbucks Coffee Tea and Spice. Initially Starbucks coffee range was limited to selling coffee beans. However, in the early 1980s, the establishment was renamed Starbucks and ready-made coffee was sold over the counter. With the passage of time, Starbucks moved into selling snack food items as well as to ice cream and tea along with the trademark coffee.
Through the 1990s, Starbucks developed business ties with music establishments and took advantage of technological development to exercise extensive product differentiation. It was also during the 1990s that Starbucks became famous for opening a new store every day. Also, the Starbucks brand first set foot out of the US in the mid 1990s.
“Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 6,000 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim – wherever there is a demand for great coffee” (Starbucks Corporation 2005). Starbucks is now a leading coffee seller and rivals worldwide coffee providers like Costa Coffee (The Economist Newspaper Limited 2010 2010).
Relevance of the Study
In order to carry out this market penetration, Starbucks will need to exercise extensive market penetration and will therefore require extensive brand effectiveness. In addition, it has been observed that there are no studies present that explore Starbucks in the context of Bangladesh. In this regard, this research shall play a crucial role in exploring the utility of Starbucks’ brand effectiveness in the context of economies such as that of Bangladesh.
A preliminary analysis has revealed that no research has been carried out to explore the potential for the expansion of Starbucks into Bangladesh. Also, there is a serious absence of studies involving the brand efficiency of Starbucks as a key cause of its success. In this regard, this study holds a significant degree of relevance.
The research will therefore reflect its utility in three key areas. Firstly, the research will explore the utility of brand effectiveness in the context of market penetration into a developing economy. Secondly, the study will serve to shed light on the brand effectiveness of Starbucks. Thirdly, the findings of the study will serve to explore the efficacy of the consideration of brand effectiveness as a credible measure of the potential for a brand’s success.
The development of brand effectiveness holds relevance because it goes beyond the perimeter visited by branding practices in general. Brand effectiveness calls for a higher measure of awareness of the product on the consumers’ part. While the traditional concept of branding encompasses the brand equity and the consumers’ perceived value of the brand, brand effectiveness serves to identify the measure to which branding has been successful for a product.
For the same reason, a product with high brand effectiveness can be expected to fare well in multiple markets. High brand effectiveness allows the product in question to acquire rapid customer recognition and therefore accelerates the development of brand loyalty for the product in question. It facilitates the communication of marketing and promotion strategies for the brand and also serves to play a key role in reducing market penetration expenses. A product experiencing high brand effectiveness enables the manufacturers to engage in product line expansion while being able to derive benefits for the newly launched product through the already established brand.
The objectives of the research are
- To understand the relationship between brand effectiveness and the overall strength of the brand.
- To develop a comprehension of the dynamics of brand effectiveness.
- To establish the relevance of brand effectiveness for expanding organizations.
The research aims to explore the effectiveness of branding by delving into the efficacy of brand effectiveness. The purpose of doing so is to explore the manner in which a brand’s brand effectiveness can help it to acquire market share. This will enable the establishment of a study of the manner in which the characteristics of a product influence the consumers’ purchase decisions through the presence of the goods as a brand in the consumers’ perception.
Brand effectiveness, in this case, shall be considered as a comprehensive evaluation of a brand’s strength and capability through which it can capture market share. The study will specifically seek to develop an accurate representation of the brand effectiveness of Starbucks and shall seek to make use of this case study in an attempt to acquire a thorough insight into the practical attributes of brand effectiveness.
The research shall be carried out while maintaining a clear focus on the following research questions. In this regard, the research questions will assist the scope of the study in engaging the subject of the research. It is imperative to realize that the research questions will not seek to limit the context of the research but will mainly provide it with a direction for the primary and secondary research.
- How can brand effectiveness provide an adequate measure of the strength of a product as a brand?
- What attributes does Starbucks incorporate as a brand that enables it to exercise brand effectiveness?
- Does the brand of Starbucks incorporate the brand effectiveness required to succeed in Bangladesh?
- What measures can Starbucks take to develop its brand effectiveness and customize it to cater to the Bangladeshi market?
The research shall be carried out with special attention to the following hypotheses. The hypotheses shall play a two-fold role of assisting in ensuring that the research does not deviate from its scope while simultaneously providing the study with a direction upon which the conclusions can be drawn.
- H0: A company’s ability to penetrate a new market can best be observed through the measurement of the company’s brand effectiveness.
The positive validation of this hypothesis will indicate that the measurement of the brand effectiveness is an adequate perspective into the degree to which the brand in question can be expected to be successful. In addition, the positive validation of this hypothesis will also indicate that branding, as a marketing strategy is the ideal functional operation that should be considered in cases where the product has to enter a new market.
A negation of the hypothesis will occur in the event that the research surmises the market penetration power capabilities of a brand to be reliant on other characteristics besides brand effectiveness. In addition, such a negation would also indicate that the measure of brand effectiveness does not provide an adequately comprehensive insight into a brand’s market penetration capability.
- H1: The brand effectiveness of Starbucks is adequate for its launch in the Bangladesh market.
The positive validation of this hypothesis will indicate that the research has found Starbucks’ brand effectiveness to incorporate all the characteristics and traits that are required in order to ensure its success in Bangladesh. The positive validation of this hypothesis will also indicate that the research has found Starbucks’ brand effectiveness to be of a nature such that it accommodates the characteristics of the Bangladeshi consumers.
Scope of the Research
It is imperative to realize that the study will focus solely on brand effectiveness and will not make the mistake of confusing brand effectiveness with other characteristics of a brand. In addition, the study will take special care to ensure that brand effectiveness is covered with regard to its literal meaning and in the context of the strength of the brand instead of in an alternative or derived meaning.
The highlighting of this aspect of the research is important in light of Shaw’s (1999) identification of the common interpretational errors that occur in examinations of brand effectiveness. Shaw (1999) highlighted that “spending money on advertising does not necessarily indicate effective brand building. Trademark protection, although necessary, does not of itself create brand value… Small niche brands, for instance, may be more profitable than so-called leadership brands” (Shaw 1999, p. 85).
In addition, the study will continue to converge on the subject of Starbucks as it progresses. In this regard, the study will engage in an approach that will initiate by acquiring what can best be termed as a general understanding of the subject; and will then proceed to establish a comprehensive insight into Starbucks’ brand effectiveness.
The study will be carried in the stages that can best be understood through the sequence of the chapters of the dissertation. In this regard the dissertation structure will play a key role in the development of the research.
The introductory chapter shall serve to essential purposes for the study. Firstly, the chapter will provide the study with a basic insight into the subject of the research. This will be done through the establishment of the context of the study. The context will provide the study with a clear idea of the purpose of the research and its relevance.
The second chapter will constitute the exploratory study performed in lieu of the research. The chapter will make use of peer reviewed publications in an attempt to develop a clear understanding of the central perceptions that exist with regard to the subject of the research. In addition this chapter will also serve to develop an understanding of the research that has been conducted in the area of the subject of research. Former studies dealing with brand effectiveness shall be given special relevance as well as publications that explore the branding characteristics of Starbucks.
The literature review will play a key role in unraveling the complications pertaining to the research variables. Most of the literature review will explore the topics related subject of the research. However, the central aim of the literature analysis will be the contribution towards the development of a conceptual framework. The conceptual framework shall represent the epicenter of the literature analysis.
Once the fundamental groundwork has been established through the first two chapters of the dissertation, the third chapter will provide the study with an insight into the research design that the study has to follow. This shall constitute particular attention to the primary and secondary research sources selected for the study as well as data collection, handling and analysis procedures that are to be followed. The chapter will also present an insight into the potential limitations that are present in the context of the adopted research design.
The relevance of the research methodology chapter is incorporated in the fact that the initial drafts for the research were based mainly on the development of a research methodology. The research methodology present in this dissertation shall be identified only once the research design has gone through countless drafts.
Once the research design has been established, the research process will then move on to implement the research design. This will be followed by the collection of data which shall be subsequently presented in the analysis chapter. This chapter will serve to bring the collected data into a form where it can be analyzed so that inferences can be derived during the concluding phases of the research. In addition, this chapter will also provide a basic understanding of the findings.
The findings chapter will also provide a basic insight into the outcome of the research. It shall serve as a reflection of the authenticity of the research process. For the same reason, the presentation of data in this chapter may have a certain raw characteristic to it, but this unprocessed form shall prove to be vital in order to ensure that authentic observations have been made from the implementation of the research design.
Once the data collected has been adequately presented and brought into a form from where it can be analyzed, the next stage will be to evaluate the data. A particular characteristic of this chapter will be the development of relationships and the identification of patterns across primary and secondary data.
Conclusions & Recommendations
The concluding chapter of the research shall take a highly decisive approach towards the study process. This chapter will seek to make use of the inferences derived from the preceding chapters to respond to the research questions considered during the earlier stages of the research as well as to identify the validity of the research hypotheses. The chapter will bring the research to a concluding note along with a set of recommendations customized towards facilitating Starbucks’ entry into the Bangladeshi market and/or any brand in a similar situation.
The last chapter of the dissertation shall be only indirectly related to the subject of the research. This chapter will go one step beyond the actual research and shall provide an insight into the researcher’s individual perspective into the entire research process. The study shall be analyzed with regard to the manner in which it was carried out and the researcher’s opinions on the execution of the research shall be provided.
Characteristics of Brand Effectiveness
In order to develop brand effectiveness, the brand has to incorporate three vital characteristics: brand recognition, brand recall, and spontaneous brand recall. The incorporation of all three characteristics in a brand allows the brand to acquire a standing where it is not only recognized by the consumer but exists actively in the consumer’s perception of the brand in the respective product category of the brand.
Product sporting significant brand effectiveness is recognized readily by the consumer when the consumer comes into interaction with the brand’s name or considers the products in the brand’s product category. A product incorporating an exemplary degree of brand effectiveness is one that comes to the consumer’s mind when the consumer chooses to visit the product category to begin with.
The reference to the product category is more than sufficient to trigger cues that relate directly to the brand in question. This enhanced nature of brand recognition is often referred to as brand recall. In this case, the consumer finds himself/herself in a position where the perception of the brand supersedes the perception of other products in the product category. It can therefore be surmised that in order to have brand effectiveness, the brand in question must be one that the consumer can readily differentiate from other brands in the product category and is able to recall the brand as an important constituent of the products in the respective product category. Furthermore, brand effectiveness also calls for the consumer to be able to recall the subject brand before any other brands come to mind when exposed to the product category.
A preliminary investigation into the body of literature pertaining to brand effectiveness revealed that the traditional approach towards research into brand effectiveness is one that makes use of a combination of different brand characteristics. In this regard, it can be justly derived that brand effectiveness is in fact the combined mix of the ideal presence of a number of factors. Therefore, the literature analysis will seek to break down brand effectiveness into its constituting principles so that a thorough insight into the dynamics of brand effectiveness can be acquired.
“Building strong brands is one of the most important goals of product and brand management. Strong brands result in higher revenue streams, both short term and long term. Therefore, the stated goal of strategic brand management is to build brands that last for decades and can be leveraged in different product categories and markets” (Schmitt and Geus 2006).
In order to ensure that the consumer makes a repeated purchase, the brand has to take a positive position in the consumer’s perception. Also, a repeated purchase only comes across if the consumer develops a relationship with the brand.
A relationship is formed if the consumer feels that the initial purchase delivered all that the consumer had been promised prior to the first purchase. In this evaluation, the consumer puts together the nature of the firsthand experience, word of mouth, and feedback from other external sources to develop a complete picture of the degree to which the product in question met the consumer’s expectations (Schmitt and Geus 2006). If the product meets the customer’s expectations, the consumer feels motivated to make a repeated purchase. This cycle repeats until the consumer begins to purchase the product without evaluating the experience. Thus consistency leads to repeated purchases which eventually translate into brand loyalty.
Brand Effectiveness as a Measure
Brand effectiveness can be used as a measure of how the product can be expected to perform in a certain market. However, doing so requires a thorough analysis if the product and of the market. This is because of the fact; that while a product’s identification as a brand qualifies it as a strong product, the effectiveness of the branding of the product may vary from region to region. The brand cannot be expected to perform just as effectively in one market as it did in the other.
Variables such as consumer preferences, demographics, cultural concerns, economical stability, and other factors vary from region to region; thereby bringing about change in the effectiveness of the brand with respect to the region in question. The significance of brand effectiveness is incorporated in the fact that while branding is a productive practice and the identification of a product as a brand is a positive characteristic for a brand, the effectiveness of the branding is dictated by the outcome the scenario provides.
The branding of a product can serve to identify a product as a brand but product quality or consumer preference may keep the product from acquiring a significant position in the consumers’ list of possible preferences every time a need for the respective product category arises. Brand effectiveness is therefore a sub-concept for branding; and serves to identify the qualitative magnitude to which the product in question can be expected to benefit from its position as a brand in the market. It is for the same reason that a major part of the literature on the subject of brand effectiveness pertains to the effectiveness of branding practices and the utility that these practices provide to the brand in terms of higher sales volume.
“The hierarchy model described seven steps in the purchase process: 1. Unawareness, 2. Awareness, 3. Knowledge, 4. Liking, 5. Preference, 6. Conviction, 7. Purchase. These steps can be grouped into three general processes: 1. Gaining awareness and knowledge about a product, 2. developing an attitude toward the product, and 3. making a purchase decision. In other words, they are thinking, feeling and doing” (Wu 2001).
It can be observed that making a purchase comes only once the consumer develops an attitude towards the product in question. And in order to develop an attitude towards the product the consumer has to be aware of the product and has to have knowledge of the product’s utility (Wu 2001). The presence of this knowledge can be termed as a key constituent of brand effectiveness. A brand with a high degree of brand effectiveness can be judged as one about which consumers have a significant degree of awareness and knowledge whereas a brand with a low degree of brand effectiveness cannot be expected to be equally popular amongst the consumers.
However, it is imperative to realize that consumer involvement tends to deviate from this model in the case of first-time purchases. In such scenarios, the consumer tends to experiment with a product that he/she is not fully aware of. This may lead the consumer into adopting the product and engaging in a repeated purchase of choosing to reject the product altogether. Such a scenario commonly takes place when the consumer’s knowledge and awareness of the product is only minimal and external variables from a high-involvement setting motivate the consumer to deviate from pre-established habits (Wu 2001). Peer pressure and high intensity marketing campaigns are factors that are commonly considered to be responsible for the inducing of such scenarios.
Consumers “buy low-involvement products such as coffee. Although the consumption of coffee is less subject to the influence of peers, branding is still important as brand awareness alone could lead to the consumer choosing a product based on the familiarity of the brand” (Radder and Huang 2008).
Brand recognition plays a critical role in the development of brand effectiveness. Brand recognition is the area of brand effectiveness that addresses the fundamental aspect of the association of the brand in question with its central characteristics. Brand recognition also contributes towards the development of brand effectiveness through the development of brand equity. This is because the presence of brand recognition is a necessary pre-requisite for consumers if they are to develop a favorable impression of the brand.
A favorable impression cannot be expected to fall into place unless consumers recognize the brand as a differentiated product to begin with. The practical influences of brand recognition come into play when the consumer is in the market and considering available options for purchase. The presence of a positive impression for the brand can be expected to translate into a preference for the brand at the consumer’s end at this point.
This also comes into play when considered in the perspective of stores. “The images associated with the brands a store carries influence a store’s image, which in turn, influences consumers’ decision-making processes and behaviors. Consequently, brand image and retail image are inextricably linked to one another” (Porter and Claycomb 1997).
Brand Effectiveness and Cues
When shedding light on brand effectiveness, it is necessary to understand how brand functions play a role in the development of brand effectiveness. A brand can perform a variety of different functions for a consumer. However, for a safer context, it can be stated that a brand seeks to satisfy a need experienced by the consumer (Radder and Huang 2008). In the development of brand effectiveness, the need for the brand takes on the position of a cue for the consumer. Every time the need in question arises, the consumer’s memory recalls the brand that has become associated with the cue. As a result, the consumer feels compelled to make a purchase of the product in question instead of going through a decision making process.
Brand Effectiveness and Consumer Decision Making
The decision making process begins when the consumer begins to consider a set of products to choose from. Every decision making process may not always end with the consumer making a purchase, however every decision making process is triggered by a need. Depending upon the knowledge that the consumer holds, the need is associated with the cues (Radder and Huang 2008). The selection of cues comes from marketing and promotion efforts made by brands who continue to develop an association between needs so that needs take on the form of cues and immediately remind the consumer of brands. The consumer therefore ends up with a list of brands to choose from. Following this the consumer takes the next step of either choosing one of the brands from the list or eliminating the decision process altogether.
“Consumers do not always spend a great deal of time or cognitive effort in making purchase decisions. They often try to minimize decision-making by using a heuristic such as buy the brand I have heard of or choose the brand I know and then purchase only familiar, well-established brands. The decision-making process is further simplified by a brand’s association with quality. High perceived quality is said to drive a consumer to choose one brand above competing brands.
Consumers’ perception of quality is sometimes based on the belief that if he/she is familiar with the brand, the organization must have spent heavily on advertising. If the organization spends a lot on advertising, it must have good profits which mean that many consumers are satisfied with the product; therefore the product must be good. Especially in low-involvement situations, familiarity has a greater effect on the quality perception of a brand than its physical characteristics do” (Radder and Huang 2008).
A significant area of brand effectiveness is that which is incorporated in brand association. Brand association is different from cues and brand recognition in the fact that brand association does not necessarily require the presence and identification of a need in order to trigger the recognition of the brand through the cue; which is the general case in the concept of brand recognition (Low and Jr 2000). Brand association is a considerably active concept in comparison to brand recognition because it entails the development of associations between the brand and variables that are external to the consumer. These associations are built in the consumer’s mind and are meant to induce the need for consumption.
“Brand associations are important to marketers and to consumers. Marketers use brand associations to differentiate, position, and extend brands, to create positive attitudes and feelings toward brands, and to suggest attributes or benefits of purchasing or using a specific brand (Low and Jr 2000). Consumers use brand associations to help process, organize, and retrieve information in memory and to aid them in making purchase decisions”.
The concept of Brand association can be divided into its three constituting categories. “Three related constructs that are, by definition, linked in memory to a brand, and which have been researched conceptually and measured empirically, are brand image, brand attitude, and perceived quality” (Low and Jr 2000).
The image that a brand has for consumers is made up of the emotional and logical perceptions that the consumers perceive the brand through. It is imperative to highlight that brand image is perhaps one of the first brand association variables to be concretely identified in literature. The image of a brand that a consumer holds generally comes across as a combination of the beliefs that a consumer holds about a brand and the perceptions that the consumer harbors regarding the brand’s functionality (Low and Jr 2000).
It is common for a brand image to be spread across a product category. In fact, studies have shown that consumers tend to generalize brand images across product categories and the negative brand image of a few brands can serve to have an overall negative reflection on other brands in the product category as well. However, brands that are significantly prominent and active in their marketing efforts tend to be perceived as unique in terms of their brand images and are generally the most preferred brands.
“Brand attitude is defined as consumers’ overall evaluation of a brand – whether good or bad” (Low and Jr 2000). In the development of brand attitude the consumer tends to take in the overall satisfaction that other consumers have regarding the product in question.
The perceived quality that consumers hold regarding brands comes into play most prominently at the time when the consumers are about to make the purchase. It is considered that the higher the perceived quality of a product, the more the consumers are willing to pay for it (Low and Jr 2000). In traditional terms, the higher the perceived quality or a brand, the more the consumers are willing to incur the cost of the additional premium charged by the brand.
Brand awareness, in generally applicable terms, is the ability of the brand to be recognized by the consumer under a set of different conditions. Brand recognition, sometimes also referred to as Brand recall demands that the brand is continuously and consistently exposed to the consumer. As a result, the consumer begins to retain cues that are associated with the brand. Exposure to any of those cues then leads the consumer to recall the retained memory of the brand.
“Brand awareness is created and enhanced by increasing the familiarity of the brand through repeated exposure, which ultimately results in consumers having “experienced” the brand (Keller 2003). When consumers have enough experience of the brand by seeing, hearing or thinking about it, the brand will take root in memory” (Radder and Huang 2008). A commonly accepted definition of brand familiarity is one that considers brand familiarity as “the number of product-related/service-related experiences that have been accumulated by the consumer.
These related experiences include direct and indirect experiences such as advertising exposures, interactions with salespersons, word of mouth communications, trial, and consumption” (Tam 2008). Brand familiarity comes as a significant”. It is clear that this definition takes only the consumers’ experiences with a product into account. By doing so, the perspective shifts from that which incorporates rudimentary observations and rests on the consumers’ firsthand experience.
Brand Awareness and Brand Loyalty
Brand awareness plays a significant role in the development of brand effectiveness. It serves to have a considerable degree of influence on the intangible characteristics of the brand. Associated attributes of a brand such as brand slogan, trademark symbols, and the like come into play in significant positions when considered in the perspective of brand awareness. In essence, brand awareness comes into play when the consumer associates a product with its characteristics.
Yet another dimension of the relevance of brand awareness can be found in the recent developments in trade marking and the extensive regulations and rules to reinforce the use of trademark use. Brands are channeling extensive resources towards making sure that they not only develop their products with regard to quality and quantity but also to educate the consumers about the product in the form of a brand. Modern day marketing campaigns do not approach products in the perspective that was followed a few decades ago. Instead, they seek to provide consumers with increased utility. They seek to bring the product to the consumer in a manner such that the consumer finds consistency in the product.
It is imperative to realize that this form of marketing incorporates the establishment of a promise with the consumer. The projection of a positive and high-utility image to the consumer serves to place the consumer in a position where the consumer perceives the act of the purchase of the product to be on the grounds of the promise that the marketing efforts of the product have made to the consumer.
The product has to take on the form of a brand so that it can deliver to all members of the value chain. The development of a product into a brand allows the shareholders to experience a consistent growth. If the product delivers the utility that it promises the consumer, the consumer feels compelled to trust the product and to retain the product’s attributes to memory. This retention comes into play the next time the consumer sets out to a purchase a product of that product category.
It is generally perceived that the development of loyalty that a consumer holds for a product is the combined effect of a number of key characteristics. In order for the consumer to develop brand loyalty, the consumer must first experience brand awareness; which is the center of discussion under the current perspective. Only once the consumer has brand awareness can the consumer be expected to associate the brand’s characteristics with each other.
This supports the formation of brand familiarity which assists in the development of brand identity. The foundation of the brand identity contributes to the development of the brand image which subsequently translates into a higher brand preference position for the product in question. This higher brand preference position then takes on the form of brand loyalty when it is sustained over an elongated course of time.
Brand Awareness and Brand Satisfaction
Brand effectiveness in the perspective of the expansion of a brand into a region external region plays a significant role in the development of the consumers’ satisfaction for that brand. When exposed to a brand that is not domestic to the subject region, consumers tend to derive inferences and preliminary perceptions from their initial brand awareness (Tam 2008). For instance, if a consumer’s initial perception of a brand’s utility is positive, then the consumer is tempted to try the brand. Once the consumer has tried the brand, the initial observation of the satisfaction comes together with the initial brand awareness that the consumer harbored.
A positive observation can lead the consumer to reinforce the initial perception that the consumer harbored (Tam 2008). This will lead the consumer to take a positive position towards the brand and consider it the next time there is a need to purchase a product in the same product category.
Technically, the consumer chooses to add the brand to a list of options that the consumer evaluates when a need for the usage of that product category is required. However, if the consumer’s observed experience from the first-time use of the brand is negative, the consumer is reluctant to add that brand to the list of options to consider the next time (Tam 2008). The role of brand effectiveness with regard to brand satisfaction comes into play when the consumer is evaluating the observations of the experience from the first-time use of the product.
If the brand incorporates a significant degree of effectiveness, the already-present perception of the brand in the consumer’s mindset is positive; and this facilitates the assurance that the perception developed after the first-time use of the brand is positive. In contrast, if the brand incorporates a less degree of brand effectiveness, the already-present perception of the brand in the consumer’s mindset is generally neutral and/or inclined towards a precautionary approach towards the brand (Tam 2008). This can lead the consumer to reject the brand without adding it to the list of options that the consumer perceives goes through.
Porter’s Generic Strategies
Porter’s generic strategies are based on general strategies that are meant to provide the brand with a competitive advantage in the market. According to Porter, the application of these strategies was based on the situation of the market and the nature of the competency of the brand. Porter identified certain criteria under which it was appropriate to implement a strategy. Porter defined three generic strategies. The first generic strategy is that of cost leadership.
The cost leadership strategy
The cost leadership strategy dictates that market share can be captured by brands in situations where the scope of the brand in question is broad and the purpose is to appeal to the part of the consumer market that is influenced primarily by the factor of cost for the product. Costing strategies can call for scenarios in which production schedules are altered in order to reduce operation costs and increase the margin on the brand. This increased margin allows the manufacturer to provide a higher discount to consumers.
The differentiation strategy is meant to create a brand reputation that helps in giving the brand a distinct position int he market. The purpose of the application of a differentiation strategy is to reach consumers who are not influenced by strategies based on costing. In addition, the differentiation strategy also helps to reach consumers who tend to be loyal to brands that are distinct from others in terms of utility. Differentiation strategy helps to differentiate the image of the brand from other brands in the competitive landscape. Differentiation strategies are usually adopted in cases where the attributes of the brand are similar to those that are found in its competitors.
This requires the development of an image that helps to ensure that the consumers realize the uniqueness of the brand. The necessity for brand differentiation lies in the fact that consumers will not be willing to pay any additional premium unless that are convinced that the usage of disposable income will give them a degree of utility that another brand will not be able to provide.
Segmentation strategy comes in useful in cases where measures are taken to seperate the brand from its competitors. Augmentation and alterations in the presentation of the product or the incorporation of differences in the functioning of the product can help in applying segmentation strategy by making the brand stand out amongst its competitors.
It is imperative to realize at this point that the fundamental purpose of the generic strategies is to capture customer attention and then to convert customer attention into revenue by convincing the consumer that the charges for the product are well placed. It helps to acquire consumer attention and stimulate retention.
A key component of this study and the literature review performed was found to be the element of pricing. Pricing plays a very important role in the development of the purchase patterns followed by consumers. Despite of the technicalities it incorporates, pricing is considered to be a marketing strategy because it has a significant influence on the competitive landscape and the subject brand’s position in the competitive landscape. The sensitivity that the pricing strategy holds for a brand is rooted in the sensitivity that consumers have for prices. The consideration for price is a key part of the decision making process that consumers go through when they are considering a purchase decision.
The relevance of pricing to the subject of this research lies in the fact that pricing is a factor that has a direct influence on the revenue generated. In addition, the influences of pricing strategies are more immediate. Pricing strategies therefore tend to have an extremely tactical and operational influence on the brand in question. In addition, the pricing of the product is also one of the first few factors that consumers consider when considering purchasing a product. As a result, the pricing strategy communicates directly with the consumer.
The modern day consideration of pricing strategy percieves the pricing strategy as a part of the broader marketing strategy. As a result, the establishment of a pricing strategy gives a significant degree of regard to the competitive landscape. For the same reason, the pricing strategy is recognized as a constituent of the brand’s marketing mix.
A key area of brand effectiveness is that which is reflected in the global benefits of brand effectiveness. A high degree of brand effectiveness will allow a brand to expand into new markets and take advantage of economies of scale. However, the most profound of positive influences of brand effectiveness is that it serves to save the manufacturer from having to develop and implement heavily funded marketing campaigns for market penetration. This also facilitates in making it easier to develop electronic media based promotional material since the presence of a high degree of brand effectiveness in a region reduces the need to work extensively on customizing the brand to the region in which the market is being penetrated.
“Increasingly, and for a variety of reasons, brands from one country are being made available to consumers in other countries. In such instances, international marketers need to understand the sources of the equity of their brands. Some researchers have realized this and advocate extending the international consumer research scope to include brand equity. For example, measurement of brand equity across international boundaries is essential if brand managers are “to manage and control brand equity effectively” (Pappu, Quester, and Cooksey 2006).
Brand effectiveness allows brands to create market dominance in a form such that they are able to control a majority of the market share. An increased degree of brand effectiveness for a brand plays the role of a high entry barrier for a new entrant into the market. In addition, it also serves to discourage international competitors from entering into the brand’s primary target region. If a brand were to have low brand effectiveness despite selling in a region for an elongated time period, the brand would make no significant contribution to the barriers to entry for new entrants into the field. It is imperative to highlight at this point that the brand effectiveness for a product may vary across different regions.
The brand effectiveness of a product may be exceptionally high in a particular region but may be completely absent in another region. For instance, a brand may hold a high market share in a market where the economy is well developed but may not be similarly placed in an under-developed economy.
“Consumers have associations toward entities such as products, places, brands, and countries of origin. These associations can have direction and strength… Product category-brand associations can be bi-directional. That is, consumers may recall a product category when they think of a brand name and they may recall a brand name when they think of a product category. Product category-country associations, which refer to consumers’ ability to evoke a country when the product category is mentioned, are of interest when examining the relationships between country of origin and consumer-based brand equity. Since consumers are known to associate countries with certain product categories and vice versa, consumers’ product category-country associations appear to be bi-directional” (Pappu, Quester, and Cooksey 2006).
Brand Effectiveness and Consumer Satisfaction
A key practical representation of brand effectiveness can be observed in the case presented by Lange, Selander, and Aberg (2003) who assert that brand associations can play a stronger role than the functionality that a product reflects. Consumers may not always choose to purchase products that appear to be satisfying their needs, but may instead choose to purchase products that are more successful in promising the consumer satisfaction. In this regard, it can be observed that brand effectiveness incorporates a certain aspect of brand equity. If a brand manages to form strong brand associations in the consumers’ mindset, the consumer does not necessarily have to be convinced of the brand’s ability to satisfy the consumers’ needs.
“Specific brands are chosen not because they perform much better on certain goal-related attributes but because they have built brand equity through various marketing gimmicks and linked stronger associations with consumer needs and goals than competing brands” (Lange, Selander, and Aberg 2003). This perspective is shared by (Ehrenberg, Barnard, and Scriven 1997), (Keller 1993)
The focus in the case of brand expansion is more commonly aligned towards making use of the brand awareness that is present amongst consumers than developing introductory marketing campaigns from scratch (Pae, Samiee, and Tai 2002). In this regard, taking a brand into a region where brand awareness about the brand is only minimal would come across as a highly volatile action since most of the consumers will not be adequately aware of the brand and its utility. As a result, the brand will have to spend a significant amount of time in the field in order to come to a standing where it can return profits to the shareholders of the brand.
“Since advertisements for mature brands are designed more to remind and reinforce than to communicate the benefits, the transfer of such global advertising appeals across borders is possible. On the other hand, less well-known brands in host markets are more likely to require a localized approach. As consumers are less familiar with newer and less-known brands, advertising appeals for these brands have to be more creative and more culturally-compatible in each market than in the case of established brands. Brand familiarity is essential for acceptance and for implementing the higher level of advertising standardization” (Pae, Samiee, and Tai 2002).
If considered in terms of the perspective of the present study, it can be observed that brand effectiveness can be expected to be higher in cases where consumers are already aware of the brand and harbor an idea of what the brand entails; in contrast to the brand effectiveness that can be expected in regions where consumers are not aware about the brand at all. It is clear that the effectiveness of the brand translates into the effort that the brand shareholders have to put into the development of the brand in the target region.
Anchor Brands and Store Recognition
An important aspect of brand effectiveness is that which is rooted in brand recognition is the information that the consumer has about the brand in question. In the event that a consumer does not hold adequate information about a product, he/she will be compelled to make derivations and inferences from the surroundings and word-of-mouth takes on the position of a primary information source.
The information that the consumer collects from this primary source is seconded by any minor observations that may have been made in the past. This gives origin to a perception that rarely incorporates the characteristics of the product as they are reflected in the product’s position as a brand. It can therefore be observed that brand recognition serves to play a critical role in the opening of a channel between the customer and the product.
This channel serves as the foundation for extended marketing and promotional campaigns launched by the product’s shareholders. “This perspective suggests that brand and retail managers need to be concerned not only with the influence that specific anchor brands’ images have on a retail store’s image, but also the effect that the overall image of the brand mix carried by a store has on buyers’ perceptions of a retail store’s image” (Porter and Claycomb 1997).
Firms expanding into larger networks need to give a considerable degree of importance to the manner in which consumers perceive their store as a brand. In this regard, the general approach followed by consumers it one that is mainly two-dimensional. The first dimension of this approach is that which is rooted in the anchor brand of the store. Consumers choose to select one product and identify it as the main product offered by the store.
This product takes the role of the anchor brand for the store. For instance, the anchor brand for Starbucks is that of coffee. This is supplemented with the specific name of the store itself. The name of the brand plays a supplementing role to that played by the anchor brand. These two perceptions tend to come together to form the image of the retail store that the consumer holds in his/her perception.
Relevance of Country of Origin
An important part of brand effectiveness is that which is played by the country of origin of the brand. Country of origin of a brand can have a significant impact on the manner in which consumers perceive a brand. This is because numerous generalized associations that are present in the consumers’ perspectives are those that originally took birth in the country of origin of the brand. The influence of the country of origin of the brand comes into play when the brand’s equity is measured in the perspective of the country into which the brand is expanding.
As globalization continues to follow a positive trend, far flung regions are coming closer than they ever were before and new avenues are opening for small and medium scale domestic brands to explore their options for international expansion. For the same reason, marketing and promotional campaigns are now designed to go beyond the perimeters that are defined by regional values and concerns so that an international audience can be reached. This trend has been going on for the last few decades, on account of which consumers in one region can easily be expected to be aware of a large range of brands in another region.
“The country of origin of a product is an extrinsic cue, which, similar to brand name, is known to influence consumers’ perceptions and to lead consumers to cognitive elaboration. Country of origin is known to lead to associations in the minds of consumers. For example, consumers might associate the countries France and Spain with the intangible attributes reliability and durability, to a different degree. These country-of-origin associations of consumers could therefore influence the consumer-based equity dimensions of a brand from a specific country” (Pappu, Quester, and Cooksey 2006).
The literature analysis highlighted earlier that the concept of brand effectiveness incorporates the degree to which a brand successfully communicates its presence to consumers. If this was to be combined with the understanding that each region perceives a brand differently, then it will not be unfair to infer that brand effectiveness, while generally considered to be a generalization of the efficiency with which the brand is perceived by the people, varies from one region to another.
Country of Origin Associations
When a brand is expanding into a region other than that which is the brand’s country of origin, consumers tend to look towards the brand in a manner that incorporates the brand’s association with its country of origin. As a result, promotional campaigns have to be developed to take the consumers awareness of the brand into account and develop upon the same. “In such instances, international marketers need to understand the sources of the equity of their brands. Some researchers have realized this and advocate extending the international consumer research scope to include brand equity.
For example, measurement of brand equity across international boundaries is essential if brand managers are to manage and control brand equity effectively” (Pappu, Quester, and Cooksey 2006). A similar perspective is evident in the findings presented by (Yasin, Noor, and Mohamad 2007), (Nedungadi 1990) and (Cobb-Walgren, Ruble, and Donthu 1995). They assert that “The equity of a brand is partly measured in terms of the awareness it evokes. The role of brand awareness in brand equity depends on the level of awareness that is achieved.
The higher the level of awareness the more dominant is the brand which will increase the probability of the brand being considered in many purchase situations. Therefore, raising the level of awareness increases the likelihood that the brand will be in the consideration set which will influence consumers’ decision making. Past researches have shown that brand awareness is a dominant choice tactic among consumers” (Yasin, Noor, and Mohamad 2007).
Brand Effectiveness and Brand Extension
“Fierce competition forces firms to adopt strategies that create a competitive advantage for the firm. Creating a brand name with well-established associations is one way of achieving this aim. Firms invest heavily in developing a brand. It is a very costly process but has many returns once success is achieved. However, firms do not always have the financial strength or do not want to invest so heavily in creating a new brand name each time they develop a new product” (Arslan and Altuna 2010).
A measure of brand effectiveness can be found in the success that is achieved by the extensions of the brand in question. A product’s brand effectiveness is reflected in the success that is experienced by the brand’s extensions.
“Usually a more economical strategy is used to introduce a new product. Instead of creating a new brand name for the new product category, an existing well known and successful brand name is extended into the new product category; in other words, brand extension is used. It is a well-known fact that developing a new brand requires much more investment than creating a brand extension which is what motivates firms to prefer brand extensions more than creating a new brand. For this reason the last decade shows that many firms use brand extension strategies to enter new markets” (Arslan and Altuna 2010).
Extended Marketing Mix
“The marketing mix is the combination of marketing activities that an organisation engages in so as to best meet the needs of its targeted market. Traditionally the marketing mix consisted of just 4 Ps… The additional Ps have been added because today marketing is far more customer oriented than ever before, and because the service sector of the economy has come to dominate economic activity in this country. These 3 extra Ps are particularly relevant to this new extended service mix” (The Times 100 2010).
The fifth P deals with the factor of People. The factor of People holds relevance because it serves to define numerous perimeters in the marketing of the product. “Knowledge workers, employees, management and other consumers often add significant value to the total product of service offering” (Booms & Bitner 2010).
The factor of process comes in through the fact that the flow of processes serves to contribute immensely to the value incorporated in the end-product (Booms & Bitner 2010). As a result, it becomes necessary to incorporate the processes into the marketing mix and to give them relevance when establishing a marketing strategy.
The physical evidence of the product is the external environment in which the product is brought to the consumer. The external environment is perhaps one of the commonly visited P of the extended marketing mix (Booms & Bitner 2010). The physical evidence of a brand acquires special relevance when placed in the context of the expansion of a brand into a new market.
The conception framework for the current research is based on two hypotheses. The first hypothesis of these will test the validity of whether or not a company’s ability to penetrate a new market can be observed through the measurement of the company’s brand effectiveness. In order to do so, the study will take a number of brand effectiveness factors into account and shall seek to determine the degree to which they determine the strength of the product as a brand.
Secondly, the current study will seek to combine primary and secondary findings in order to validate if the brand effectiveness of Starbucks is adequate for its launch in the Bangladesh market. For this purpose, the study will make use of an in-depth understanding of brand effectiveness and shall bring it together with primary findings that will explore the manner in which Starbucks has been able to communicate itself as a brand to the Bangladeshi market. There is little doubt that Starbucks qualifies as a strong brand; the purpose of the study and this particular evaluation is to judge how Starbucks will find itself in the context of the Bangladeshi market; and if the brand incorporates the degree of effectiveness that is required for Starbucks to penetrate into the Bangladeshi market successfully.
The hierarchy model discussed above can be related to the scenario of Starbucks with regard to the fact that the decision making hierarchy will come into play when Starbucks launches an outlet in the Bangladeshi market. The consumers will move to gain awareness and knowledge about the Starbucks brand and will eventually develop an attitude towards the Starbucks brand. This attitude will then serve to dictate whether or not the consumers choose to purchase Starbucks or not.
However, it is evident that this model represents a rather narrow set of possibilities while the possibilities are somewhat different when considered in the perspective of Starbucks. Starbucks brand effectiveness may allow a certain market share to move in the opposite direction. If Starbucks brand effectiveness proves to be adequate, consumers who lack awareness about the brand in question may choose to try Starbucks and develop an attitude towards it that will eventually serve to establish the attitude that they hold towards Starbucks.
It is apparent from the above discussion that a brand’s effectiveness serves to have a considerable influence on the manner in which a brand can be expected to be successful in the domestic market as well as in an external market. In essence brand effectiveness plays out to represent the combined mix of a number of critical factors that encompass the brand’s effectiveness as well as the consumer’s perceptions of the brand.
Research is conducted with the aim of finding new knowledge and creating an understanding for social and physical phenomena. Research methodology is the method applied to create a new theory or generate a relationship between two variables. Research methodology mainly consists of set of scientific activities that assist the researcher to establish a theory or hypothesis representing a new idea or a fact (Kumar 2006).
Due to research methodology the entire research is conducted in a very systematic manner. Research methodology gives focus to the research by directing it towards the solution of one particular happening or problem. With the applications of research methodology the researcher can easily solve the problem in a step by step series. With time research methodology has expanded vastly, nearly every research uses a different research methodology. Even research methods which were once separate branch have now become an integral part of research methodology. Without research methodology there is no research because research methodology forms the basis of every research. For a successful research, the researcher should know all the applications of research methodology properly (Kumar 2006).
Mainly there are two types of research methodology approaches known as quantitative and qualitative research. With time, many of the researchers have applied both the methodologies either separately or jointly and proved their worth by giving valid conclusions. Initially they were used separately however today due to the complex nature of researches it is preferred that both the methodologies are used jointly (Panneerselvam 2004).
Primary data is the data which has never been gathered or analyzed before. Usually primary data is needed for social science and marketing researches. The collection modes of primary data are many for instance structured interviews, semi structured interviews, mailed questionnaires and case studies (Singh and Bajpai 2007).
If already existing data is used again in some research then it is called secondary data. Many a times it is the primary data which is brought to use again. It is further refined by eliminating all the unnecessary data as a result a more productive secondary data comes upfront which is used to create a better and a much more valid hypothesis. Compared to primary data sources to collect secondary data are more for instance social and economic indicators, inventory records, business records and state past budgets (Patzer 1995).
Quantitative research is seen to be applied mostly in studies related to social science for instance anthropology, sociology, and political science. The quantitative research methodology is used in the researches in which conclusion needs to be derived in mathematical terms. The hypothesis derived under quantitative research is always statistically supported (Hunter and Leahey 2008).
Quantitative research can only be conducted by a researcher who has sound knowledge of statistical data. Structuring of quantitative research is very simple. It starts by recognizing a problem, collecting relevant data to solve it, and then applying mathematical procedures on it to create an authentic hypothesis (Creswell 2009).
Qualitative research is done for researches related to the field of marketing and social science. Qualitative research is often done in studies in which human behavior or a situation needs to be analyzed. While in the field of marketing it is usually used to discuss the basic questions of decision making that are why, when, what, where and how (Denzin and Lincoln 2005)
Compared to quantitative research qualitative research is much diversified in nature. The reason being it analyzes large amount of data to come to a conclusion. To understand qualitative research properly it has been divided into two parts:
When a research revolves around a large amount of data then inductive approach is used. Inductive approach is best applied when not only a large data needs to be organized but a relationship needs to be created between to variables (Thomas 2003).
Once a relationship is created in inductive method the researcher arrives at inductive method. Deductive method takes the result created from inductive method further examines it often uses numerical experiments on it and creates a conclusion which is more refined and accurate (McMurray, Scott and Pace 2004).
Positivism functions on the basis of scientific principles. It requires the establishment of variables before data can be collected for hypothesis testing purposes. In addition, positivism calls for the data collection mechanisms to be completely devoid of any form of bias or prejudice (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill 2003). It is therefore evident that a study incorporating a positivistic approach mainly requires the research process to be highly systematic and based on quantitative data in order to allow the study to be specific. The positivistic approach uses theories and models to reflect on future possibilities while present-day representations are based heavily on statistical identifications.
Interpretivism calls for the observation of phenomena in order to acquire a qualitative understanding of the scenario at hand. In addition, the requirement to observe makes this approach a situational approach since the researcher cannot be expected to maintain an isolated and dispassionate connection with the scenario at all times during the conduction of the research (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill 2003). The data collected is mostly based on observations and therefore the data collection process can take up a large amount of time. Such approaches are usually used in situations where social behavior has to be observed.
Adopted Research Design
For this paper case studies approach has been used keeping primary data collection tools as the basis. Case study approach is often used in researches related to social science and marketing. Since this paper is doing an analysis of performance of Star Bucks market in the Bangladesh market case study approach seemed to be best suited for it. Case study is basically an investigation procedure done on a group of people or an individual to recognize a problem, study it, and then find out a solution utilizing several principles (Yin K 1994).
Case study is much diversified in nature and can pick any path to come to the conclusion. It is also not restricted to a certain set of rules and regulations. The methods of case studies come with the ability to undergo extremely lengthy longitudinal examination of the chosen subject matter or event. Through case study approach any event or situation can be analyzed by collecting data (Flyvbjerg 2006).
Data can be collected through both primary and secondary means. However, since the nature of case studies is usually to study the prevailing market situation or human behavior primary data tools are mostly used for data collection. Primary data is the raw data which is gathered for the very first time with the aim of using it instantly. Primary data with time has made a good reputation in the field of research by giving out highly incredible and accurate observations and results.
Methods used to collect primary data are diversified for instance experiments are done on random and controlled trials. While at times for some case studies several observational methods are also used such as cross- sectional studies, case control, surveillance studies (Primary data and integrative methods 2004). Whatever data is collected, it is gathered for the very first time and is not yet published anywhere else neither anybody has access to it till the researcher publishes his research. Primary data collected is in the forms of questionnaires, interviews, observations, portfolios, critical incidents, diaries, and case studies. The data collected can be both in qualitative nature or quantitative nature (Primary Data Collection Methods 2010).
Once the primary data is collected it is analyzed and organized so it can be interpreted in a profitable manner and results can be announced. With the help of case studies the researcher can clear his view on any occurring event or subject matter. He can also lay analysis as to what steps further need to be taken in future. In short, case study creates hypothesis through data collected and then further examines it to check its validity (Flyvbjerg 2006).
Case study is normally defined as a strategy applied in researches which consist of empirical investigation done to further inquire a theory in real life context. Case studies can be either single method case study. They also come in a variety of types which the investigator chooses keeping in view the goals and objectives of his research. The first type is illustrative case studies which creates a comparison between two events or situations.
The second type is known as exploratory case studies. These are extremely lengthy case studies. Their basic goal is to identify the authentic means to collect relevant data. The most common type of case study is the cumulative case study which analyzes the past case studies to create a better hypothesis or conclusion (Case Studies 2010). Regardless of the type of case study chosen by the researcher it is always made sure that all the elements of research methodology are applied on it to ensure the success of the case study. Usually case studies consist of both qualitative research and quantitative research methods. Rarely it happens that use either qualitative or quantitative alone (Yin K 1994).
The primary study for this research was performed by the survey questionnaire as the instrument of choice. It is imperative to realize that the survey questionnaire was designed to be filled by respondents who had experienced Starbucks and had visited a Starbucks store. This was done because it was considered imperative that the respondents are aware of Starbucks as a brand and can be considered to represent the Bangladeshi consumer at the same time. In this regard, the respondents were mainly Bangladeshi nationals who were present in UK at the time of this study.
The survey questionnaire began by inquiring the respondent’s age. The question was designed to be responded to through a closed ended answer structure. The respondents had the options of selecting from a range of age brackets to signify their age. This was done because it was felt that the identification of the respondent’s age through age group would facilitate in data analysis procedures during later stages of the research.
Having established upon the respondent’s age, the survey questionnaire then moved on to establish the respondent’s gender. The collection of data regarding the gender distribution of the sample was important in order to establish an understanding of the demographics of the sample. Before moving on with precise questions, the respondent’s nationality was also ascertained.
The questionnaire inquired upon how long the respondent has been present in the UK for. The closed ended answer structure allowed the respondent to identify his/her time in the UK as either less than a year, less than two years, less than three years, less than four years or more than four years. It was considered imperative to collect this data because it is more feasible for the study to have respondents aged between two to three years.
This will allow the findings to build upon the responses collected from individuals who have not been distant from Bangladeshi trends for an elongated period of time. Moving on, the survey questionnaire inquired if the respondents were aware of the Starbucks brand before they came to the UK. This question was designed to identify the degree of recognition that Starbucks has been able to acquire in Bangladesh; a critical component of Starbucks’ brand effectiveness. A more direct question was one that sought to identify of the respondent’s recognition of Starbucks as a brand.
The questionnaire then proceeded to ask the respondent if he/she has ever visited a Starbucks outlet in person. It was important to acquire an answer to this closed-ended question because respondents who had actually been to Starbucks since first-person experiences can be expected to be more productive to the study. Taking on a more precise approach, the survey questionnaire then inquired if the respondents had ever tasted Starbucks’ coffee and its products.
This question was part of a two-step inquisition which was followed by inquiring if the respondents liked the coffee and other products at Starbucks. The questionnaire than inquired if the respondents preferred Starbucks’ products over other products in the same category offered by its competitors.
The survey questionnaire also inquired if the respondents were regular customers at Starbucks and if they approve of the pricing that Starbucks provides to its consumers. It is imperative to highlight at this point that a majority of the questions in the survey questionnaire were supplemented with closed-ended answer structures in order to reduce complications for the respondents. The approach followed in this regard was one that sought to acquire data on a wide array of related areas through multiple but accurately positioned questions.
For instance, the next question in the survey questionnaire took a direct approach to the marketing strategies of Starbucks and sought to identify if consumers approve of the marketing techniques that Starbucks applies. To further clarify on this issue, the survey questionnaire also inquired if the respondent’s buying decisions are motivated mainly by advertising campaigns.
In order to determine if the end-product offered by Starbucks adequately differentiates from those offered by its competitors, the survey questionnaire also inquired if the question also inquired if Starbucks has a unique taste or not.
The survey questionnaire also inquired if the respondents wished that Starbucks was operating in Bangladesh. Furthermore, the survey questionnaire also inquired if the respondents thought that Starbucks could operate successfully in Bangladesh.
Having acquired an understanding of the respondents’ specific opinions regarding Starbucks, the survey questionnaire then moved on to develop a comprehension of the tastes and preferences that the respondents harbor in the area of coffee and coffee-serving outlets.
In order to do so, the survey questionnaire began by inquiring upon the frequency with which the respondents consume coffee. The coffee industry is mainly run by consumers who consume coffee multiple times a day; and for the same reason, the answers available to the respondent were composed into a multiple-choice structure which allowed them to identify if they had coffee only once a day, more frequently than once a day or less frequently than once a day. In this regard, the survey questionnaire also inquired if the consumers prefer to consumer coffee in an indoor environment or in an outdoor environment.
The survey questionnaire also inquired if the respondents think that consumers in Bangladesh will be able to afford Starbucks. This question was mainly placed as a tie-in to the question that sought to determine if the pricing strategies followed at Starbucks were adequate. The purpose of placing these questions was to establish the potential of Starbucks success in Bangladesh with specific regard to the pricing strategy.
Fundamentally, this question set was put into place because it could be trusted to yield one of four possible outcomes. If the responses yield that Starbucks follows adequate pricing but the pricing strategy is of a nature such that it is unaffordable for the Bangladeshi consumer, then this would indicate that Starbucks will have to customize its pricing strategy or product range to meet the affordability of Bangladeshi consumers.
If the responses yielded that Starbucks pricing strategy is inadequate and the prices are of a nature such that they are unaffordable for Bangladesh, it would signify that the Bangladeshi market is currently beyond Starbucks’ current pricing strategy. Furthermore, if the responses yielded that Starbucks follows adequate pricing strategies and that the pricing strategy is of a nature such that Starbucks’ products will be affordable for Bangladeshi consumers, then it would signify an excellent scenario for Bangladesh. In contrast, if the findings yield that the pricing strategy followed by Starbucks is inadequate but is within the affordability of the Bangladeshi consumer, the case in point would be a potentially highly lucrative opportunity for Starbucks.
The questionnaire then moved on to inquire if the respondents considered the current demographical standing of Bangladesh to be of a nature such that it could be expected to be in the favor of Starbucks’ entry into Bangladesh.
Moving from a closed-ended question structure, the questionnaire then moved towards a more exploratory approach by inquiring why the consumers choose to consume coffee. This open-ended question was placed in the survey questionnaire to develop an understanding of the primary motivations that lead customers to consume coffee. The purpose of asking this question was to establish if the primary motivation that drives Bangladeshi consumers to consume coffee are of a nature such that they can be brought into use in an entry strategy; or if they are essentially of a nature such that they be expected to be feasible for Starbucks.
The question was followed by inquiring upon the augmented features that the respondents thought a coffee shop should offer. This question was inquired to develop an understanding of what Bangladeshi consumers expect from Coffee stores. The question was also placed in the survey questionnaire because it will play a crucial role in the development of recommendations for an entry strategy into Bangladesh. On a concluding note, the survey questionnaire sought to inquire how important the respondents considered it for a coffee shop to engage in branding. The purpose of this question was to establish if Starbucks’ position as a well known brand could be expected to play a contributing part in Starbucks’ entry into Bangladesh or if Starbucks’ position as a brand would have no influence on Bangladeshi consumers.
The secondary data for the study shall be acquired through peer reviewed publications that pertain to the subject of the study and the research objectives. The secondary data will serve two purposes for this research. The first purpose will be to function as the exploratory component of this research while the second purpose will be to provide the study with a clear and comprehensive foundation based on the identification of the key research variables. The secondary data shall derive from a vast collection of studies and shall play a significant role in the effective and efficient development of research. It is imperative to highlight at this point that the collection of secondary data shall also play a key role in the development of the conceptual framework of the study.
Contemporary approaches to research tend to follow a strategy in which the limitations experienced by a study are generally elaborated upon in the concluding notes of the research. However, modern day research approaches make it essential to take a more pro-active approach towards research limitations. For the same reason, this study will attempt to shed light on potential research limitations before engaging in the implementation of the research design.
The current study constitutes two areas where limitations can be expected to have influence. The first area is the fact that the research is going to make use of the survey questionnaire as the primary data collection instrument. Even though the survey questionnaire is a data collection instrument that is commonly used, it is not one without its potential limitations. The survey questionnaire places an extensive degree of reliance on the researcher and the respondents.
The reliance on the researcher comes across in the development of the survey questionnaire. Seemingly unimportant areas such as the wording of the questions and the use of vocabulary can make a significant difference. This is because any incorrect use of words can result in the establishment of a context different from the one originally required from the question and expected by the researcher. This, in turn, can lead the respondent to provide responses that are inappropriate for the purpose of the research. For the same reason, it is extremely important to pay attention to the development of the survey questionnaire; which has remained the prime modus operandi in the development of the survey questionnaire for the current study.
Using the survey questionnaire technique also makes it next to impossible to probe from responses. Basically the use of the survey questionnaire disables the researcher from engaging the research process on a situation specific basis. The primary data collection technique has to be limited to a generic approach and the effectiveness of the survey questionnaire boils down to the scope of the survey questionnaire. In essence, once the survey questionnaire is in the implementation stage, there is no alternate through which any changes can be made. Survey questionnaires do not provide the flexibility that interviews provide.
In addition, if the respondent is not properly briefed on the purpose, relevance and meaning of the questions in the survey questionnaire it increases the chances of error on account of misinterpretation. Any error in the perceiving of the questions of the survey questionnaire will eventually translate into a misplaced answer. This can be expected to contribute to inaccurate research findings.
The second area of vulnerability that can fall victim to potential research limitations is that which pertains to the usage of secondary data. The research shall make use of extensive secondary data; a majority of which shall be constituted by peer-reviewed publications and former studies in the area of brand effectiveness and related subjects.
In this regard, it is imperative to highlight that every research has limitations and if the former research studies constituting the literature analysis for this study were influenced in the establishment of their findings, then the use of those findings can have passive influences on the development of this research. As a result, it is imperative to ensure that all secondary resources brought into use are of a nature such that they are authentic in nature and do not show indications of having weaknesses in their developments.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Case Study Research Methodology
With time, it is very clear about case study approach that it gives effective results only if its methodology is applied with great caution and care. Many a time objections have been raised on case studies for providing unworthy and vague scientific meanings. Also it has been criticized on the grounds of generalizability (Johnson 1994). However, as more and more researchers have adopted case study research methodology to find the solution to their stated problems, they have proved that generalization is possible by using multiple case study approach.
The strengths of case studies are numerous the major one being it comes with the ability of providing a holistic view on nearly any of the stated event or agenda. Also since a large amount of evidence is brought into use they offer a very wide picture of the entire scenario. Case studies give most profound results when they are used to study human behavior prevailing with in an environment for instance studying the organizational life in depth. It also very effectively captures the flow of activities within an organization by highlighting the changes taking place very efficiently (Hartley 1994).
Regarding the nature of case studies the researchers hold biased opinions while some say that case study research methodology narrows the research to an extent that a researcher is unable to give a proper conclusion others believe that due to the flexible ability of case studies it gives the researchers a room to not only gather and analyze a large amount of data but also to experiment it further using many statistical and other numerical values. For instance a research on cell phone call duration would not only show the time period for which people talk on the phone but it would also show as to what reasons people prefer talking on the phone (Case Study Research Design 2010).
Widely used in the fields of physiology, ecology, and anthropology, the best characteristic of case study research methodology is no doubt its flexibility. Many a times it happens that during data collection for research the researcher comes across material which makes him either change his research direction or add more to it. In both the scenarios case studies research methodology proves to be highly helpful it can be excessively altered on any stage of the research (Case Study Research Design 2010).
The survey questionnaire was implemented only after selecting participants through a sampling process. A number of potential participants were enlisted and random sampling was used to shortlist the participants in order to get a random sample across varying age group and gender demographics. Initially over two hundred potential participants were enlisted for participation in the survey. Out of these two hundred, one hundred were shortlisted using the random sampling technique.
These one hundred were contacted and the survey questionnaire was implemented. However, once the survey questionnaire had been implemented, it was observed that only seventy of the one the hundred respondents provided filled-out questionnaires. Further analysis showed that only fifty of the acquired questionnaires were acceptable since the remaining responses were either incomplete or answered incorrectly.
Common rejection reasons included cases such as the selection of more than one option in a question to which only one response had to be given or incomplete responses. Adding incomplete responses was avoided in order to ensure that the participant responses included in the study were complete and represented respondent opinion completely and comprehensively. Once the fifty acceptable responses had been selected, the responses were then entered into SPSS in order to process their qualitative properties.
The tables and graphs acquired from SPSS were then used to make comparisons and derive inferences from the observations. It is imperative to realize however that not all the responses were closed ended; hence SPSS was not applicable on all of them. The last three questions in the survey questionnaire were open ended in order to allow respondents an opportunity to openly express their opinions in areas where the closed ended questions may have been unable to acquire adequate expression.
It was observed that two percent of the respondents were under twenty years of age while thirty four percent of the respondents belonged to the age bracket of twenty one to twenty five years of age. Thirty six percent of the respondents were between the age bracket of twenty six percent and thirty years of age. Furthermore, twenty two percent of the respondents were between thirty one and thirty five years of age while six percent of the respondents were over thirty six years of age.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
With regard to the gender distribution of the respondents, it was observed that sixty two percent of the respondents were male while thirty eight percent of the respondents were female.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
The nationality of the respondents was an important issue in this research. The survey findings confirmed that a large majority of the respondents were of Bangladeshi origin. Ninety six percent of the respondents were Bangladeshi while the remaining four percent chose to express that they did not belong to Bangladesh.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Length of Residence in UK
It was observed that four percent of the respondents had been residing in the UK for less than a year while twenty percent of the respondents had been residing in the UK for over a year but less than two years. Forty two percent of the respondents had been residing in the UK for more than two years but less than three years while eighteen percent of the respondents had been residing in the UK for between three to four years. The remaining sixteen percent of the respondents noted that they had been residing in the UK for over four years.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Knowledge about Starbucks before Coming to the UK
The next question was one that sought to establish if the respondents knew about Starbucks before they came to the UK. It was observed that nearly seventy percent of the respondents knew about Starbucks before they came to the UK whereas the remaining thirty percent of the respondents noted that they did not know about Starbucks before coming to the UK.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Recognition of Starbucks as a Brand
The next question was designed to identify if the respondents recognized Starbucks as a brand or not. More precisely, the question inquired if the respondents had been aware of Starbucks as a brand before they arrived in the UK. It was observed that only forty percent of the respondents were aware of Starbucks position as a brand before they came to the UK whereas the remaining sixty percent expressed that they did not recognize Starbucks’ position as a brand before they came to the UK.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Visited a Starbucks Coffee Shop
As mentioned earlier, it was important to ascertain if the respondents had visited a Starbucks coffee shop in order to judge the degree to which they were aware of Starbucks by themselves. It was observed that seventy four percent of the respondents had visited a Starbucks coffee shop in person while the remaining twenty six percent of the respondents had not visited a Starbucks coffee shop in person.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Tasting Starbucks Coffee
The next question sought to inquire if the respondents had actually ever tasted Starbucks Coffee. It was important to inquire specifically about the coffee because coffee is Starbucks’ flagship product and therefore there is a probability that the consumer may have consumed Starbucks coffee through somebody who bought it for them. In such case the coffee would have been delivered to the consumer rather than the consumer going to the Starbucks store to drink the coffee.
In response to this question, it was observed that seventy six percent of the respondents had tasted Starbucks coffee while the remaining twenty four percent of the respondents had not tasted Starbucks coffee. It is important to realize that the question inquired if the respondents had tasted Starbucks’ coffee and its products. This question was designed to present Starbucks’ coffee as a unique product that is significantly differentiated from other Starbucks’ products.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Preference for the Taste of Starbucks Coffee
The next question sought to establish if the respondents like the taste of Starbucks products. It was observed that seventy eight percent of the respondents liked the taste of Starbucks products while twenty two percent of the respondents were of the opinion that they did not like the taste of Starbucks products.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Starbucks’ Preference over Competitors
With regard to the question that sought to determine the degree to which consumers prefer Starbucks over its competitors, it was observed that sixty eight percent of the respondents preferred Starbucks over its competitors while thirty two percent of the respondents did not prefer Starbucks over its competitors. This question was essential since it helped establish how Bangladeshi consumers would perceive Starbucks if it was to get faced with competitors.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Regular Starbucks Customer
The next question was designed to identify the share of the respondents that were regular Starbucks customers. It was observed that seventy percent of the respondents were regular customers of Starbucks whereas the remaining thirty percent of the respondents were not regular customers of Starbucks.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Starbucks Pricing Practices
The next question was designed to establish an understanding of Starbucks’ pricing practices. The question sought to inquire if the respondents like the pricing of Starbucks’ products. It was observed that sixty eight percent of the respondents liked the pricing strategy adopted by Starbucks while the remaining thirty two percent did not like the pricing strategy adopted by Starbucks.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Marketing Of Starbucks’ Products
The next question was designed to identify if consumers approve of the way Starbucks markets its products. It was observed that seventy four percent of the consumers approve of the marketing techniques adopted by Starbucks while twenty six percent of the respondents were not satisfied with the marketing strategies adopted by Starbucks.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Buying Decision Based On Starbucks’ Advertising Campaigns
The next question was designed to identify if purchase decisions to consume Starbucks coffee are motivated by the advertising campaigns that Starbucks uses. It was observed that seventy four percent of the respondents base their purchase decisions regarding Starbucks on the marketing and promotional campaigns that Starbucks implements while the remaining twenty six percent of the respondents noted that their purchase decisions for Starbucks products are not influenced by Starbucks’ advertising campaigns.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Uniqueness of Starbucks’ Taste
The next question was designed to identify if Starbucks has a unique taste with regard to its products. This was considered to be one of the most important questions in the survey questionnaire since it was designed to judge where Bangladeshi consumers place the taste of Starbucks’ products. It was observed that only thirty six percent of the respondents think that Starbucks’ products have a unique taste while the remaining majority of sixty four percent of the respondents do not consider Starbucks to have a unique taste.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Consumer Desire for Starbucks to Be In Bangladesh
The next question in the questionnaire was designed to inquire if the respondents would like Starbucks to open in Bangladesh. It was observed that a staggering majority of eighty two percent of the respondents wished that Starbucks would open in Bangladesh while only a minority of eighteen percent did not want Starbucks to open in Bangladesh.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Starbucks’ Attributes For Success
The next question was designed to inquire if Starbucks currently harbors the attributes that it would require to be successful in Bangladesh. It was observed that seventy six percent of the respondents considered that Starbucks has the attributes that it needs to be successful in Bangladesh while twenty four percent of the respondents considered that Starbucks does not harbor the attributes that are essential for its success in Bangladesh.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
How Often Do You Consume Coffee
With regard to the question that sought to determine the frequency of coffee consumption amongst the respondents, it was observed that fifty six percent of the respondents consumed coffee more frequently than once a day while twenty six percent of the respondents consumed coffee only once a day. Furthermore, it was observed in response to this question was that eighteen percent of the respondents indicated an outright absence of coffee consumption. None of the respondents consume coffee less than once a day.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Coffee Consumption Location
The next question sought to identify where respondents prefer to consume their coffee. The respondents were given the opportunity of indicating if they wish to consume their coffee indoor or outdoor. In response to this question it was observed that eighty two percent respondents choose to consume their coffee indoor while the remaining eighteen percent choose to consume their coffee outdoor.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Affordability in Bangladesh
It was observed that sixty six percent of the respondents found Starbucks to be affordable for Bangladeshi consumers while the remaining thirty four percent of the respondents did not consider Starbucks to be affordable for the Bangladeshi consumer.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
With regard to the question designed to inquire if the demographics of Bangladesh are favorable for Starbucks, it was observed that forty eight percent consider Bangladesh demographically favorable while a majority of fifty two percent consider Bangladesh to be unfavorable in demographic respects.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Motivation behind Coffee Consumption
The next question was designed to inquire why customers choose to consume coffee. The question sought to establish the motivation behind coffee consumption for Bangladeshi consumers. It was observed that respondents generally consume coffee because they consider it to be a relaxant. The respondents expressed that consumers choose to consume coffee after returning from work or after the completion of their shift.
It is important to highlight at this point that a difference in observations was observed across the respondents from different age groups. It was observed in the case of the respondents who belonged to a younger age group that coffee consumption was associated with enjoyment and was identified as an activity while respondents belonging to a higher age group noted that coffee consumption is an activity that they engage in when they have spare time and wish to relax. This showed that the motivation for coffee consumption, for the Bangladeshi consumer, is influenced considerably by age group.
Augmented Features That a Coffee Shop Should Offer
The next question was an open ended question that sought to identify which augmented features the respondents considered it necessary for a coffee to have. It was observed that a majority of the respondents highlighted a need for comfort. Respondents identified that a coffee shop should make consumers feel comfortable and it should welcome them. Some of the respondents identified that replacing traditional table-and-chair arrangements should be replaced with sofas spread across the shop in order to allow consumers to relax. Respondents also noted that coffee shops should put in television sets in the shop so that consumers can get some entertainment while they drink their coffees.
It is imperative to realize that almost all the consumers highlighted the need for comfortable seating arrangements in consumers. Consumers stated that commonly found coffee stores tend to present a setting in which consumers are encouraged to leave once they consume their coffee; in order to make more room for new customers. The respondents were of the opinion that coffee shops should present a combined environment in which the customers should feel comfortable enough to stay for long durations of time.
In addition, the respondents also highlighted that a coffee shop should provide elements such as newspapers, magazines, and internet connectivity. Some of the respondents noted that adding a small bookstall to the coffee shop would be an excellent augmented feature. Furthermore, respondents also highlighted that the coffee store needs to have music playing. In summary, the respondents highlighted a wide variety of features, almost all of which bordered on the need to make a coffee shop comfortable for consumers.
Importance of Branding For a Coffee Shop
The last question in the questionnaire was designed to inquire how important branding is for a coffee shop. It was observed that the respondents had mixed opinions about the relevance of branding for a coffee shop. While some of the consumers expressed that it is imperative for a coffee shop to exercise strong branding, others expressed that branding cannot be expected to a play a beneficial role for an organization in the long term.
However, it was observed that a majority of respondents expressed that branding can play a significant role when considered in case of the expansion of a coffee shop into a new region. It can therefore be surmised that the relevance of branding for Starbucks in particular is high. Furthermore, it was also observed that a majority of consumers doubted the utility of branding. Consumers who expressed these opinions also highlighted that branding cannot be expected to provide any positive outcomes to a coffee shop unless the products offered by the coffee shop are consistent in terms of quality.
It was observed that a majority of respondents consider Starbucks’ pricing strategy to be adequate and a majority of the respondents also consider Starbucks to be affordable for Bangladeshi consumers. In accordance with the suppositions made earlier in the research methodology, it can be stated that in terms of pricing, the overall potential for success in the Bangladeshi market is significantly high.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The study sought to establish how brand effectiveness can provide an adequate measure of the strength of a product as a brand. In addition, the study also aimed to explore whether or not Starbucks incorporates the attributes that are required for it to exercise brand effectiveness. By doing so, the study shed light on the measures that Starbucks can take to develop its brand effectiveness and customize it to cater to the Bangladeshi market.
In order to achieve this objective, the research was based upon two hypotheses. The first hypothesis was one that held a company’s ability to penetrate a new market can best be observed through the measurement of the company’s brand effectiveness. The second hypothesis sought to validate of the brand effectiveness of Starbucks is adequate for its launch in the Bangladesh market. The study was designed to give specific regard to brand effectiveness.
The study began by establishing a clear context for the research process. Aims and objectives were defined and the scope of the study was clearly presented. The relevance of the study was outlined and structure of the dissertation was set out. The study then moved on to the literature analysis. The literature analysis began with a preface of sorts for brand effectiveness and its characteristics. Following this, the literature analysis moved to explore the credibility of brand effectiveness as a measure of a product’s potential success. Since the essence of brand effectiveness lies in branding practices, this was followed by a comprehensive discussion on branding.
The literature analysis also shed light on customer involvement in which the relevance of branding was explored in the perspective of customer involvement. The literature review also incorporated an analysis of brand recognition before moving on to a brief discussion on brand effectiveness and cues. Areas such as brand effectiveness and consumer decision making were also covered in detail. The literature analysis also presented an in depth insight into brand associations.
Brand awareness was also explored along with brand satisfaction. The literature review also incorporated an analysis of studies based on the global dimensions of brand effectiveness. Brand effectiveness was also covered with regard to customer satisfaction and the relevance of brand effectiveness to organizations engaging in expansion. Elements such as anchor brand and store recognition, relevance of country of origin and country of origin associations were also covered. This was followed by a discussion on brand effectiveness and brand extension before moving on to develop a conceptual framework for the study.
Having carried out a comprehensive literature analysis, the research process then moved on to explore and establish the research methodology. This was carried out by beginning with a discussion on the relevance of the research methodology to the research and the exploration of the significance of primary and secondary data variables. Before the research design could be outlined, the research methodology also shed highlighted qualitative and quantitative research approaches.
The discussion on the adopted research design was presented with specific insights into the primary and secondary data sources incorporated in the research. Before bringing the research methodology exploration to a close, the research methodology also highlighted the potential limitations that are present with respect to the research design adopted. Following the implementation of the research methodology, the collected findings were compiled in order to make them applicable to SPSS. The quantitative data processing software proved to be invaluable to the research process and in the processing of the research findings.
The research was based on the development of an understanding of the brand effectiveness of Starbucks. The research design chosen was mainly qualitative in nature. In order to acquire an understanding of brand effectiveness, it was necessary to develop a comprehension of how Starbucks’ brand effectiveness functions. It was necessary to understand how and why Starbucks brand effectiveness can be given any merit. Also, a clear comprehension of Starbucks’ social attributes had to be acquired. This made it necessary to implement a research based on Interpretivism. The use of Interpretivism allowed the research to acquire an understanding of the underlying social relationships in the scenario.
With regard to the question that sought to establish how brand effectiveness can provide an adequate measure of the strength of a product as a brand, it was observed that brand effectiveness is a multi-dimensional measure. The literature analysis showed that the presence of brand effectiveness in a brand represents a significant degree of the brand’s potential. Also, the measure of brand effectiveness was observed to be dynamic with respect to the variation of the subject region.
It was observed that as a brand, Starbucks does not incorporate a significant degree of brand recognition in areas where it is not currently present. In contrast, the secondary findings showed that Starbucks has a strong degree of brand recognition and is significantly popular amongst consumers in regions where it is currently functioning. This serves to show that if Starbucks needs to expand into a new market, it will have to carry out a significant degree of market development and may even need to resort to product development in order to bring its products to a point where it can be trusted to garner recognition in the local market. The study revealed that implications of Starbuck’s position as a brand can be expected to be limited in the event of an expansion.
It was observed that Starbucks does not have an adequate degree of brand effectiveness to expect success in Bangladesh. The primary findings showed that Starbucks’ brand effectiveness specifically with regard to Bangladesh is not at a level where it can be expected to serve a major part in helping Starbucks expand into Bangladesh. It is imperative to realize at this point that secondary findings highlighted that Starbucks’ brand effectiveness is limited to developed regions and those regions in which it is already present.
Furthermore, the secondary findings also showed that the brand effectiveness of Starbucks is strong in regions where it is currently present, regardless of the size of the presence. In contrast, the brand effectiveness of Starbucks is inadequately low in regions where it is not currently present at all. This serves to show that Starbucks’ brand effectiveness in a region is significantly reliant upon its physical presence in the subject region.
It is therefore clear that Starbucks will have to take measures in order to bring its brand effectiveness to a standing where it can then be considered to be adequately customized to the Bangladesh market. With regard to the specific measures that Starbucks can take to develop its brand effectiveness and customize it to cater to the Bangladeshi market; the company will have to engage in customization of its product and its pricing strategy to the Bangladeshi market. The findings show that even though Starbucks is present as a strong brand, its brand effectiveness with regard to the Bangladesh market in particular needs a significant degree of improvement.
With regard to the research hypothesis that sought to evaluate if a company’s ability to penetrate a new market can best be observed through the measurement of the company’s brand effectiveness, it was observed that brand effectiveness can be considered to be a highly accurate measure of a brand’s potential success in a new market. In this regard, it would not be unfair to surmise that the research hypothesis is valid.
The measurement of the brand effectiveness is an adequate perspective into the degree to which the brand in question can be expected to be successful. In addition, this also indicates that branding, as a marketing strategy is the ideal functional operation that should be considered in cases where the product has to enter a new market. This validation of the hypothesis also reflects that the market penetration power capabilities of a brand incorporate characteristics of brand effectiveness. This also validates that a measure of brand effectiveness provides an adequately comprehensive insight into a brand’s market penetration capability.
With regard to the research hypothesis that sought to validate if the brand effectiveness of Starbucks is adequate for its launch in the Bangladesh market, it was observed that Starbucks’ brand effectiveness is not at a standing where it can be expected to perform adequately. The research has not found Starbucks’ brand effectiveness to incorporate all the characteristics and traits that are required in order to ensure its success in Bangladesh.
The research has found Starbucks’ brand effectiveness to be of a nature such that it does not accommodate the preferred characteristics of the Bangladeshi consumers. However, it is imperative to highlight at this point that Starbucks’ brand effectiveness is not entirely inadequate for the Bangladeshi market. Starbucks is present in the form of a strong brand and is well known amongst Bangladeshi consumers. However, the degree of brand effectiveness is not at a level where it can be considered to be adequate for the brand’s penetration into the Bangladeshi market.
It was observed that even though Starbucks is not in a position where consumers know about Starbucks, there is a deficiency in the identification of Starbucks as a brand. Since the findings reveal that consumers’ decision to purchase Starbucks is influenced by the marketing campaigns that Starbucks implements, it is advisable for Starbucks to engage in an aggressive marketing campaign before channeling massive funding towards the launching of a network of branches. The need for Starbucks to engage in brand development is further highlighted through the fact that a majority of the respondents found Starbucks’ taste to be of a familiar and non-distinct nature. As a result, there is a need for Starbucks to engage in measures aligned towards the development of brand differentiation.
It is also evident that the respondents hold a desire to spend long periods of time in a coffee shop. In this regard, it would be feasible for the coffee shop to add features that encourage the respondents to make small purchases. For instance, a small fee can be charged to allow customers to access wireless internet. Customers can also be provided with the facility to charge their cell phones and/or portable music players.
However, it is imperative to realize that the coffee shop will not be able to operate all these augmented features in a confined space. Starbucks will have to develop an outlet that is significantly spacious and provides consumers with sufficient space to relax for long periods of time while allowing new customers to walk in. A small outlet would eventually create a crowded environment would be the inverse of what the study shows consumers desire.
It was observed that age has a significant degree of influence on the motivation behind coffee consumption. However, the tendency to consume coffee shows that the Bangladeshi consumer relishes coffee consumption. It can therefore be inferred that the market for coffee consumers in Bangladesh is spread out across all age groups. As a result, Starbucks will have to develop a brand personality that invites all age groups.
Limiting itself to any specific age group may put Starbucks in a position where it may lose valuable market share. For instance, one section of the outlet can be made so that it constitutes an arrangement that would be perfect for consumers belonging to a higher age group. In addition, sugar free and low-fat products can be offered so that consumers across all age groups can find something to their liking.
The adjustment of Starbucks to cater to a variety of age groups holds relevance because the findings showed that a majority of Bangladeshi consumers do not consider the demographical attributes of Bangladesh to be favorable for Starbucks. As a result, Bangladesh will have to develop a brand personality that caters to a wide variety of consumer markets. This will help ensure that Starbucks is able to counter the challenge of catering to a demographically varied market.
It was observed that consumers consider it important for a coffee shop to exercise strong branding. However, it became apparent that consumers were more concerned about attributes such as quality and pricing than branding. It is therefore apparent that Starbucks will have to ensure consistency and affordability in order to establish a strong foundation in the Bangladeshi market.
In summary, it can be observed that there is a potentially lucrative market for Starbucks in Bangladesh. However, in order to reach this market and make the most of it, Starbucks will have to engage in an entry strategy that is consistent with consumer expectations and requirements from a coffee shop. The complication arises from the fact that there are numerous discrepancies across the Bangladeshi consumer market. For instance, the motivation behind coffee consumption varies across age brackets and the issue of affordability will require the customization of Starbucks pricing strategy to the disposable income of the Bangladeshi consumer.
Furthermore, Starbucks will have to entertain a large volume of consumers at the same time in its outlets since Bangladeshi consumers showed a tendency to stay in the store after having bought their coffees. A spacious sitting area becomes next to mandatory in this regard. It is apparent from the research that Starbucks will have to engage in a significant degree of change to reach a position where it can be considered to be adequate for the Bangladeshi market. Coffee consumption trends show that the Bangladeshi market has potential for Starbucks but there is a need for Starbucks to differentiate itself from its competitors.
A majority of respondents expressed a desire to experience Starbucks in Bangladesh but it is imperative to realize that the findings pertaining to the affordability of Starbucks in Bangladesh was far from what would be ideal for Starbucks. As a result, Starbucks will face an undeniable need to customize its pricing to the Bangladeshi market. Further need for customization can be observed in the findings pertaining to the demographical standing of the Bangladeshi consumer market. Starbucks will have to customize its products to the preferences of the Bangladeshi consumer.
Globalization has brought the world more closely than it ever was before. As a result, it is common to find people in countries who are more than aware of brands in other countries. At times like these, research into products and branding practices has reached an all new height. Researches performed in these areas are given significant consideration, which is why students are choosing to engage in studies based on branding and branding practices.
In this regard, a self reflection can prove to bring out a side of the study that was given little consideration in the research methodologies employed in most studies carried out in the twentieth century. It personalizes the study to the researcher. For the researcher, the process of going through the self-reflection allows an analysis of the research objectives, research process and research findings, in order to understand how each contributed to the development of the researcher.
Choosing and Formulating the Research Topic
The research topic was chosen after much contemplation. I chose the Starbucks brand on purpose since it was felt that there is a need to understand brands that have become part of consumers’ day to day lives. The Starbucks brand has taken on a position where it is now recognized globally.
I am a regular Starbucks consumer and visits Starbucks on a daily basis. It was during one of these visits that Starbucks’ brand effectiveness dawned upon me. I established that in order for an establishment to become successful, it must take on a position where consumers approach the brand on a near-daily basis. The Starbucks brand has become a part of the daily lives of countless consumers. It is not considered to be a luxury product and is a widely preferred brand. To me, it was important to study the Starbucks brand in order to understand how a product can acquire wide-spread consumer acceptance. As a result, the focus of the research was aligned towards brand effectiveness.
Initially, it was considered that the research topic should be based on Starbucks’ branding practices. However, it was observed that a large volume of research exists with regard to branding practices for different organizations. As a result, I decided to move towards a practical approach and moved the scope of the study from traditional branding practices to brand effectiveness. Subsequently, a preliminary study found that Starbucks is considering expanding into Bangladesh. This concept was then integrated into the topic of the study.
Critically Reviewing the Literature
The literature analysis served as the exploratory section for the study. The literature analysis served to bring a significant degree of clarification to the research. On a personal note, the literature analysis came across as highly productive since there were significant confusions between branding and brand effectiveness that the literature analysis aided in resolving. During the performance of the literature review, the difficulty of finding suitable publications was the most significant challenge. There were countless publications available but not all of them could be used in the research since not all of them satisfied the criteria for incorporation. However, it was the study of the large volume of literature that contributed the most to I’s understanding of the subject. An assimilating style of learning was employed in the literature analysis. This learning style proved to be highly effective in the development of the study.
Designing the Method of Research
The study began as an academic effort but eventually took on a more profound degree of relevance. The study was originally aimed to satisfy an academic requirement but as it went on, my actual interest in the subject of research increased. Because of the same reason, I spent large durations of time in and around Starbucks outlets in an attempt to study the working philosophy behind Starbucks’ success.
These long visits of observation allowed for the development of an insight that played a crucial role during the development of a survey questionnaire. In essence, the observations provided a level of insight into Starbucks’ operations that would have been acquired had I taken a job in Starbucks. The insight into Starbucks’ perspective of consumers proved to be invaluable in the development of the research since it allowed me to single out the attributes of Starbucks that people derive the most utility from.
The most important outcome of these observations was the development of an understanding regarding Starbucks’ utility towards its consumers. This understanding centered on Starbucks’ desire to serve consumers with more than just coffee; as a result, the research was designed to explore how Starbucks manages to make an impact with consumers beyond the coffee that it provides them.
The designing of the research methodology represented a highly sensitive area of the research. I considered a number of research approaches before establishing upon the research design highlighted in the research methodology chapter. Initially, the considered research design was based on the interview approach. However, a preliminary test-run showed that a more specific approach would facilitate the study in engaging through a more focused approach.
The questionnaire development process began from brainstorm sessions that the researcher carried out. A large number of ideas were penned down and considered before a selected few were shortlisted. In addition the designing of the questionnaire was carried out only after a careful analysis of the research variables had been carried out. However, the development of the questions for the questionnaire was an extremely complicated task. The final questionnaire was the product of the development and rejection of countless questions that were considered for placement in the survey questionnaire but were then rejected by me on account of their inadequacy.
The development of the questionnaire helped me explore my own skills and abilities with regard to analysis and research. A number of rough drafts were created before the survey questionnaire was finalized. Each version was better than the previous one. Every attempt was made to ensure that the survey questionnaire constituted questions with a logical connection and a unified purpose.
I had used MS Excel extensively for data analysis procedures in previous research assignments. However, this time it was observed that making use of MS Excel would not do justice to the level of the research. As a result, I decided to use SPSS. Using SPSS proved to be a very productive idea for the research process since it helped to save valuable time during the study process. The analysis of the findings that were acquired from SPSS was perhaps one of the most difficult stages of the research.
It required the studying of the tables and graphs and the development of interpretations based on those tables and graphs. At first, each table was analyzed closely and individually in order to fully understand the underlying meaning of the statistics constituting the table. However, as the study went on, the analysis of the tables and graphs was carried out so that interpretations were cross-examined.
Writing a Report
The exercise of writing of the report brought more productivity than I originally expected it to. The utility of the process of report writing was seriously underestimated in the beginning but as the report was written, it served to provide a cross-examination aspect to the study. The writing of a draft for the report was carried out as the research went along; as a result, the writing process served a cross-examination function. Needless to state, the writing was a lengthy and time consuming process, but the insight into the subject of the research that it provided was more than worth the long hours of tying, editing and proof-reading that went into the development of the report.
It is imperative to highlight that the study behind this report was not meant to present an exhaustive reflection into Starbucks’ brand effectiveness since the scope of the study was limited to the utility of brand effectiveness in the case of Starbucks’ expansion in Bangladesh. The study proved to be extremely productive in nature and provided valuable insight into brand effectiveness in general and the brand effectiveness of Starbucks.
This survey questionnaire is being carried out as a part of my Master’s dissertation. The aim of this dissertation is to evaluate the brand effectiveness of Starbucks in a country where it is presently operating and develop a case for its expansion plan to enter into a new market of Bangladesh.
The sole purpose of this research is academic and no information shall be shared with any third party without your consent. The respondent has the right to withdraw his or her response from the survey at any time before the publication of the report.
If you have any queries about this questionnaire, please do not hesitate to contact the researcher at given contact details.
- Under 20
- Over 40
- Nationality: Bangladesh
- How long have you been residing in UK?
- Less than one year
- More than one year but less than two years
- More than two years but less than three years
- More than three years but less than four years
- Over four years
- Did you know about Starbucks brand before coming to UK?
- Do you know about the Starbucks brand?
- Have you ever visited a Starbucks coffee shop?
- Have you tasted Starbucks’ coffee and its products?
- Do you like the taste of Starbucks products?
- Do you prefer Starbucks’ products over its competitors?
- Are you a regular customer of Starbucks?
- Do you like the pricing of Starbucks’ products?
- Do you like the way Starbucks markets its products?
- Is your buying decision by your advertising campaigns?
- Does Starbucks have a unique taste?
- Do you wish that Starbucks was in Bangladesh?
- Do you think Starbucks has the attributes to become successful in Bangladesh?
- How often do you consume coffee?
- More frequently than once a day
- Once a day
- Less frequently than once a day
- Where do you like to consume your coffee?
- Do you think people can afford Starbucks in Bangladesh?
- Do demographic conditions of Bangladesh favor Starbucks?
- Why do you choose to consume coffee?
- What augmented features do you think a coffee shop should offer?
- How important is branding for a coffee shop?
Pie Charts from SPSS
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