Authors: Kris Ayadiani [email protected]. se & Timothy Enadeghe [email protected]. se Supervisor: Bertil Olsson Examiner: Sabine Gebert Persson Course: Business Administration Credit: 15 ECTS 1 Acknowledgment Writing a thesis project requires inspiration, energy, and assistance from others.
We would first of all thank God for giving us the inspiration and energy to write this project and we would also like to say a big thank you to our friends and colleagues who assisted with materials when writing this project.We would also like to express our profound gratitude to our supervisor, Bertil Olsson for his supervision and guidance throughout the course of writing this project. We are very grateful to him for his help and advice. Our sincere gratitude also goes out to the manager of Willys who created out time from his busy schedule to grant us audience. We also want to express our gratitude to the school librarians who were very helpful in assisting us with materials for this project. 2 SUMMARY This thesis is on Consumers Brand Awareness, a case study of Willys grocery store.
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The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the cause of the limited awareness of Garant brand a newly introduced brand of Axfood (the parent company of Willys) sold at Willys shops. This brand seems not to be well known to some customers of Willys and the researchers have deemed it possible to investigate the cause of the limited awareness of this brand and the step Willys is taking to create more awareness for the brand. This thesis applied theoretical concepts of brand awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality, consumer decision model, integrated marketing communication (IMC), and strategic planning process.These theories were applied to examine the various communication tools that can be used to improve the awareness of “Garant brand” among Willys customers. Our analysis was based on the primary and secondary data collected. The primary data was gathered through a questionnaire survey shared among various categories of Willys customers in Falun and Borlange respectively, and the personal interview conducted with Willys manager in Falun. The secondary data collected were from textbooks, academic journals, previous thesis, and websites.The empirical findings have been presented in details and analyzed with the help of theoretical ideas.
The analysis and results obtained from the survey and interview focused on the importance of information, marketing communication tools, brand awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality and implementation of strategic planning process. The cause of the limited awareness of “Garant brand” has been evaluated and the conclusion and recommendation of this project have been provided in the end.It contains a short background, problem description, research question, research purpose, limitations, and company’s presentation.
1. 1 BACKGROUND According to Gustafson, and Chabot, (2007, p, 105), the ultimate goal of most businesses is to increase sales and income. Ideally speaking, an organization wants to attract customers to their brand and repeat purchase. Understanding the right audience is an important aspect in a business. The most important aspect for a business success is for an organization to understand that they need a plan with specific motive that would increase awareness of their brand amongst their customers.Willys as the case study in this thesis, is said to be one of Sweden’s most profitable grocery stores that has a high market share amongst its competitors such as Lidl, Ica, and Coop Konsum, etc.
It is of utmost importance to know the effort Willys is putting to increase the awareness of Garant brand during the process of creating brand awareness. It is certain that the more customers are aware of their brand, the more likely they are to buy from them. Brand awareness is very important for differentiating an organization’s brand from other similar brands of other competitors.
This study will be based on four subject areas; consumer decision model, integrated marketing communication, marketing communication tools, and strategic planning process. These four key subject areas will be used to access the different marketing communication strategies that Willys uses, how effective are these strategies in creating brand awareness and what strategic planning process are on-going in creating more awareness for Garant brand amongst its customers. 1. 2 PROBLEM DESCRIPTIONIt seems clear that we are currently living in the age of technological advancement where communication networks are so vast in information sharing. But it seems research is somewhat lagging behind this rapid development, and it is somehow difficult to find relevant up to date studies on how communication are to be part of the branding process, how it relate to the strategy that organizations have with the use of communication networks-if they are to be used to strengthen the brand, increase sales, and find new customers.The question of how organizations create brand equity through brand awareness have also been debated by traditional marketers such as Aaker, who claims that brand awareness is about the strength the brand’s presence has in consumers’ minds (Aaker 1996).
7 The challenges of brand awareness are how to set the direction to introduce the brand and to make concrete steps in lines with the identified vision. In regard to this, the research problem of this study can be formulated as: “How to increase the awareness of Garant brand”.This thesis is centered on the limited awareness of Garant brand.
Garant brand with numerous products is not well known to some of Willys customers. This information of limited awareness of “Garant brand” was gathered from the managers of Willys shops in Falun and in Borlange respectively. For Willys to still maintain its high market share as stated in the introduction, and make “Garant brand and products” well known to all its customers, appropriate measure must be taken to improve the level of awareness of the brand. 1.
3 RESEARCH QUESTIONThere is a central question that must be answered in order to determine the reason behind the limited awareness of Garant brand amongst Willys customers. The question is: * What could be responsible for the limited awareness of Garant brand amongst Willys customers? 1. 4 AIM AND OBJECTIVE Aim The aim of this research is to find out the problem that surrounds the limited awareness of Garant brand amongst Willys customers, and the effort Willys is putting to solving this problem in order to create more awareness of the brand so as to strengthen the brand image and develop a competitive advantage over other similar brands.Objectives The objective of this research is to analyze the results and findings, so that management of Willys can understand which strategy is needed to adopt in order to create more awareness and make the brand stronger and consistent in the minds of the customers when making their buying decisions. The results and findings that would be analyzed will help the organization to implement the necessary strategies that will improve or create more awareness of “Garant brand”, which will thereby enhance sales and increase the profit margins, which is the sole reason for the creation of the brand? 1. 5 COMPANY’S PRESENTATION 1.
5. 1 Willys AB Willys AB is a subsidiary of Axfood Company. Willys been one of the Company’s Group chains, claims to be Sweden’s leading discount chain, with 170 stores, of which 44 are Willys Hemma (A small version of store that Willys sees as the natural choice for cost-conscious customers who want to meet their daily shopping needs close to home). Willys also claims to be the food store for price conscious customers that provide a wide product selection and a rich offering of fresh products.Willys claims to offer its customers “Sweden’s cheapest bag of groceries and also add value to “Sweden’s cheapest bag of organic groceries” through environmental initiatives and attractively priced range of organic products. It also claims to play an important role as a challenger in the market and tend to set a trend in the discount food retails segment (http://www.
axfood. se). According to Axfood, “Garant” the brand under investigation was launched in autumn 2009, and the brand is said to be available in all of the Group’s chains, including Willys, Hemkop and PrisXtra.The launch of the first products was accompanied by the start of a new website for the brand (www. garantprod. se), which customers can visit to find out more about the products and even provide feedback about them.
The vision behind the brand is to be the industry’s most responsive brand-and that the products will give customers more value for their money. (http://www. unitednordic. com/pages/brands_axfood.
php) Willys offers other numerous brands aside Garant brand. Amongst these brands are; Felix, Eldorado, Kalodes, Pagen, etc. Garant” the brand under investigation, has varieties of consumer products such as milk, potatoes, kidney beans, cookies, rice, flower, pasta, citron juice, olive oil, canned maize, lasagna, couscous, etc. 1.
5. 2 Willys Collaboration with the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) Axfood (Willys Parent Company) cited that to step up the pace of environmental work, an environmental collaboration was entered into by the company with the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC).Willys as a subsidiary of Axfood, has eco-labeled all of its stores with SSNC’s “Bra Miljoval” (Good Environmental Choice) designation. The “Bra Miljoval” label certifies that stores have ample (enough) access to eco-labeled organic products, and that they have adopted good environmental practices in general, such as through ambitious waste sorting, recycling and energy efficiency programs. http://www. axfood. se. 9 CHAPTER 2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND LITERATURE REVIEW 2.
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKTheoretical frame work describes the theories or concepts to be covered or addressed in this research. It combines several theories to obtain useful framework for the research. A good theoretical frame work is to help researcher (s) find out the kind of method to be used in the quest for the research, the kind of data that should be collected, and how the data collected can be related to the research. The aim of this chapter is to establish a theoretical outline in which the literature presented in the chapter deals with research findings on communication; and theories relating to branding, and brand awareness.All the literature is described and explained in order to build a theoretical background for this study. 2. 1 Definition of Communication Communication is the act of conveying information for the purpose of creating a shared understanding. The word “communication” comes from the Latin “communis,” meaning to share, and includes verbal, non-verbal and electronic means of human interaction.
http://www. communicationstudies. com/what-is-communication A new marketing era, long overdue, was heralded in when communication emerged as a real game changer.Media communication put customer back at the centre of the organization and gave marketer a new set of tools to listen to them and to encourage them to engage with brand.
A golden opportunity emerged as organizations realize the possibilities of engaging with customers in a new way so they can become partners driving the business forward. The ladder of engagement makes it easy to nurture customers up to higher levels of involvement. Marketing communications have to be integrated for two reasons. Firstly, un-integrated databases cause many problems and complications, as there is no single picture of the customer.
Secondly, as communications morph into customer experiences, all communication needs to be integrated to deliver a consistent experience (Smith and Zook 2011). 2. 2 Communication and Marketing According to businessdictionary. com, marketing is defined as the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the consumer.
It includes the coordination of four elements called the 4 Ps of marketing: 1. Identification, selection and development of a product, 2. Determination of its price, 3. Selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place, 4.Development and implementation of a promotional strategy. 10 Leventhal, (2005) proposed that an effective marketing effort is based upon information through communication, which can be used in terms of developing sound business strategies, increase your return-on-investment, allow for more successful innovation, lead to better branding effort, increase the effectiveness of your promotional efforts and strengthen your web marketing efforts. It further stated that a market-driven strategy allows a company to truly understand its market and the customers that are the basis for the market.
This effort allows for a more effective integration of all activities that may impact customer value, which in turn affects both return-on-investment and profitability. According to Leventhal, marketing through communication means to adopt a completely new way of communicating with the audience in a digital environment. Leventhal also cited that to further enhance your efforts, being able to develop effective integrated multi-channel marketing strategies allows you reap greater returns as a result of synergistic marketing efforts.This means that consumers are reached at different ways, and that the most successful marketing communication efforts contained appropriate mix of media for the target audience. 2. 3 Communication and Branding By linking communication and branding, we need to compare the traditional way of looking at brand equity in terms of brand recall-and points to that in the era where various communication networks have become an important media channel. Brand equity should not be measured in terms of brand recall but by dynamic measures such as customer word-of-mouth (Weber 2009).
A strong brand should be based on the dialogue that companies have with their customers and prospects, the stronger the dialogue- the stronger the brand. Communication therefore allows companies to have these kinds of dialogues more efficiently and less expensive than in the past. A summary of some of the theories and concepts that will be used in this research is to create survey questionnaires to know the weak awareness of Garant brand, and as well to carry out investigation on the company to know the kind of communication tools that they have been using, their effectiveness and weaknesses.These theories will help suggest some communication tools that could be used by Willys to create or improve more awareness of “Garant brand”. 2. 4 LITERATURE REVIEW Before going in details to focus on the different measures to create or maintain awareness of “Garant brand”, we have to look into the much more complicated interaction between creating brand awareness and attracting customers , which can be explained in terms of brand recall, brand equity, how brand equity generates value and brand loyalty.In addition, we would like to highlight what brand; branding, brand awareness and brand recognition are in reference to this project material.
There has been number of definitions from different authors to help us understand issues related to brand. 2. 4. 1 Brand Kotler and Keller (2009 pg274) defines brand as, a combination of name, symbols, signs and services, as a means of identification which makes it different from its competitors.This implies that brand is a product or service that has differentiated dimensions from other similar products and services of other competitors, which are designed to serve the same satisfactory purpose and need.
The American Marketing Association (cited in Kotler & Keller 2006), also defines branding as endowing (large) products and services with the power of a brand. 11 With this definition, one can conclude that brand creates identity and image of a company’s product or services and as well create a difference from other similar provider of these products or services.Branding is all about creating differences and it involves mental structuring that helps consumers organize their knowledge about products and services in a way that clarifies their decision making, and in the process provides value to the firm.
In this case, Willys should see ”Garant brand” as a brand that creates the identity and image of Willys in the mind of its customers and as well create a difference from other similar brands that Willys sell.Willys could deem it necessary to make “Garant brand” a unique brand that creates a unique image in the minds of its customers. This can be done mainly through effective advertising campaigns with consistent theme. 2. 4. 2 Brand Strategy Brand strategy can be defined as the “Long-term marketing support for a brand, based on the definition of the characteristics of the target consumers. It includes understanding of their preferences, and expectations from the brand” http://www. businessdictionary.
com/definition/brand-strategy. tml (Accessed 130410) Kapferer, (2008) identifies brand strategy as the term used for decisions on: the number of brand levels to be implemented; one, two or even three and the role of the corporate in the product value communication; should it be absent, strongly present or hardly present. Kapferer, (2008) also considers the relative weight of these brands, and the graphic arrangement of their coexistence on all the documents, packaging and products but also industrial sites, offices and business cards of sales persons and managers as well as the degree of globalization of the architecture as bearing elements of the branding strategy. 01010000 2. 4. 3 Brand Awareness Brand awareness has often been argued to have important effects on consumer decision making by influencing which brands enters the consideration set and which brands are selected from the consideration set (Macdonald and Sharp, 1996).
According to Gustafson and Brian, (2007) brand awareness refers to how aware existing customers and potential customers are of a business and its products. Ultimately, achieving successful brand awareness means that your brand is well known and is easily recognizable.Gustafson and Brian, (2007) also cited that brand awareness is sometimes seen by business or marketing managers as unimportant and unworthy of monitoring. Enormous pressure exists for organizations and their brand to demonstrate short-term profit results (Aaker, 1991). Hogarth, (1980) and Aaker, (1991) cited that demonstrating the long-term value of brand building is “exceptionally difficult”. For an organization like Willys to establish customer loyalty towards its brand, it could adopt the integrated marketing communication (IMC) system to build a long-term value that would create more awareness for Garant brand.
A study of Hoyer and Brown (1990) carried pioneering research at the individual decision level by examining the effects of brand awareness on consumer choice. It examined brand awareness as a heuristic, as well as exploring its effect on perceived quality. Consumer behavior theory in both marketing and economic literature has tended to see product choice as a highly involving problem-solving process (Foxall, 1992). Hoyer, (1984) stated that, in many purchasing situations, the consumer is a perceive recipient of product information who spends time and effort choosing brands.In situations involving common repeat products, it may be that consumers choose the brand on the basis of a simple heuristic (e. g.
brand awareness, package, and price). 12 There are three possible outcome advertisement display can have on household choice of brand. It can enhance the possibility that the household will switch brand (brand switching), it can make the household to stay with the brand previous purchase (repeat purchasing), or it can have no effect on the choice probabilities.
In an attempt to improve the likelihood of this brand (Garant) success in the market, we assumed the possibility that more awareness will attract customers and increase sales. Keller, (1993) defines brand awareness as the first and prerequisite dimension of the entire brand knowledge system in consumers’ minds, reflecting the ability to identify the brand under different conditions: the likelihood that a brand name will come to mind and the ease with which it does so.Keller’s definition implies that if consumers have a full mental image of a brand, then the consumers’ would have a full knowledge of the brand existence. There is also a close connection between brand awareness and brand positioning. For a brand to be successful, it is not enough to reach brand recognition. A brand must occupy a noticeable position (top-of-mind or dominant recall) within the target audience consideration set (Elliot and Percy 2007).A brand must be positioned in its marketing communication in such a way that when the need for a product of such brand occurs, that brand comes to mind.
Then the brand must be linked to a benefit that provides a motivating reason to consider it. It is this link between the brand and the benefit that lies at building positive brand attitude, which in turn builds positive brand equity (Elliot and Percy 2007). According to Kotler (2003), positioning is about enabling a brand to occupy a “distinct and valued place” in the mind of the target consumer.
Brand positioning can be thought of as the element that tells the potential customers what the brand is, who it is for, and what it offers (Elliot and Percy 2007, p. 229). Holm (2006), states that integrated marketing communication (IMC) plays an important role in creating brand awareness and positioning the brand in the minds of the consumers.
Holm further concluded that it is important to use IMC as a measure to create brand awareness, and that it is crucial to understand the needs of interaction with customers as important as other marketing plans.Holm’s studies implies that the only way for firms or organizations to interact with their customers and make their brand known to them is through integrated marketing communication. Marketing managers should note that through effective marketing communication, brand awareness can be created or maintained. As earlier proposed by Holm (2006), the integrated marketing communication model could be adopted and used by Willys as a measure in creating more awareness for “Garant brand”. Aaker, (2010, p. 0) states that brand awareness can be measured in different ways which includes: 2. 4. 4 Brand Equity There have been numerous definitions for brand equity in the past.
(Kotler and Keller, 2006) defined brand equity as the added value endowed on products and services, which may be reflected in the way consumers think, feel and act with respect to the brand, the price of the brand, its market share, and as well the profitability that the brand commands. Brand equity is an important intangible asset that has psychological and financial value to the firm.Brand equity is a complicated interaction between creating brand awareness and attracting customers. 13 In marketing it has for a long time been considered that brand add value to a product, but it was not until the large wave of mergers and acquisitions in multinational corporations with large and well-known brands in the 1980’s that this value measured in the asset value of companies. Besides the traditional way of considering asset and net income, also “goodwill” was to be added (Elliot and Percy 2007).Brand equity can also be defined mainly from two perspectives, either as financial considerations or as consumer perspectives of a brand. For example, “a set of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand, its name and symbol that add or subtract from the value provided are a product or service to a firm or to firm’s customers’ (Aaker 1991).
Aaker’s point in the studies on brand equity is a consumer perspective based on consumer’s memory-based brand associations. The four assets underlying brand equity identified by Aaker are: brand awareness, perceived quality, brand loyalty, and brand association.Aaker predicts that the firms skillful in operating outside the “traditional” media channels and who can coordinate messages across all medias (Newspapers, TV, flyers, radio, and internet adverts, direct marketing, trade shows) are those that will be the winners in the battle of raising brand awareness (Aaker, 1996).
Weber, a social network guru argues against the “traditional way” of looking at brand equity in terms of brand recall, and claims that brand equity is a living thing and should be measured not only in terms of brand recall but dynamic measures such as customer word-of-mouth.He further stated that instead of creating brand awareness through brand recall, it is about how likely customers are to highly recommend the good or service to others (weber 2009). Considering the importance that brand awareness has to create brand equity, recent studies are questioning the traditional way of looking at brand awareness taking into account how it is affected by communication networks. This is the aspect of branding that this study will focus on, and the approach will be to look at brand awreness in the way that Aaker has done.Among the 4 assets underlying brand equity, perceived quality is defined by Aaker as a brand association that is elevated to the status of a brand as a brand asset for a number of reasons.
Among all brand associations, only perceived quality has be shown to drive financial performance, and perceived quality often drives other aspects of how a brand is perceived (Aaker, 1996). 2. 4. 5 How Brand Equity Generate Value Since brand equity is an interaction between creating brand awareness and attracting customers, we will then describe how it can generates value.Brand equity is made up of capital and debts that is affiliated with name and symbols which add value to product and services delivered by organization to its potential and prospective customers. According to (Aaker, 2010), “to sustain brand equity, investment is very essential factor in establishing and enhancing assets”. Brand equity management entails all the activities that are carried out to ensure that a strong brand value is created and maintained. Brand equity gives both the customers and organization value for their money.
The creditability and liability of a company is tied to its brand equity. A company is as financially strong as its brand equity while the ruin depends largely on the brand equity. A positive or negative change in brand equity gives similar consequence to the company.
Brand equity asset includes; Brand awareness, Brand loyalty, Perceived quality, and Brand association (Aaker, 1992 pp. 27 – 32). For Willys as a company to generate value, it must make sure that “Garant brand” has significant brand equity that can lead consumers to generate a positive association with its products.
4 2. 4. 6 Brand recall A brand recall is when a certain brand comes to consumers’ minds when its product class is mentioned (Aaker, 2010 p.
11). Brand recall can be a deciding factor when getting list of products to shop. Brand recall could be aided or unaided.
It is aided when a brand product is remembered and when the actual brand name comes on view. It is unaided when a need comes up and the first choice that comes to a customer’s mind is a particular brand product.With a unique tagline or logo, “Garant brand” can easily be recalled when its product class is mentioned and when it can satisfy the consumers.
This is an interaction between creating brand awareness, and attracting customers. 2. 4. 7 Brand Loyalty Brand loyalty is created by positioning the mind of a consumer of the usefulness and importance of a particular good or service to the point that the consumer does repeated purchases. These repeated purchases can be done by creating brand awareness. Aaker (1996) defines the third dimension of brand equity as brand loyalty.
The importance of including brand loyalty as fundamental asset underlying brand equity according Aaker is that a company’s brand value is largely created by the customer loyalty it commands. He believes that considering loyalty as an asset encourages and justifies loyalty building programs that can help create and enhance brand equity. A highly loyal customer base can generate a predictable sales and steady flow of profit.
Aaker (1996) is of the opinion that a brand without a loyal customer base is usually vulnerable or has value only in its potential to create loyal customers.It is much cheaper to retain customers than to attract new ones because the costs for attracting new customers can be higher than keeping the old ones. Aaker (1996) also cited that the brand loyalty of existing customers also constitute an entry barrier to other competitors because the costs of attracting customers to change loyalties is often high.
According to Investopadia, brand loyalty is when consumers becomes committed to a brand and make repeat purchase over time. Investopadia also cited that brand loyalty is as result of consumer behavior that is affected by a person’s preferences.If Willys customers are fully knowledgeable of the existence of “Garant brand”, and have a Preference towards the brand, then it is obvious that they will be committed to the brand and make repeat purchase of the brand over time. 2. 4.
8 Brand Associations Brand association shows that the brand is supported by associations that build a positive image on consumers’ minds. Brand association is based on brand identity. Building up strong brand with the help of brand associations is important to improve and implement brand identity (Aaker, 2010 p. 25).Brand associations deals with how brand equity is supported in great part by the associations that consumers make with a brand; it may be product attribute or a particular symbol. Brand associations are driven by the brand identity, and what the organization or company wants the brand stand for in the mind of the customer. This could be seen as a way of helping marketing managers to have proper knowledge on how to improve and implement brand identity to build a positive image of brand on consumers’ minds in order to create value for both customers and organizations.
5 Willys should see “Garant brand” as a brand that can create value not only for the company alone but also for its customers, hence appropriate measure should be taken to make sure all necessary communication tools are used to get the customers identified with the brand in other to create value for both Willys and its customers. Also making customers aware of his or her right towards available brands and products that is being marketed and sold. 2. 5 Consumer Decision Model Consumer decision making comes about as an attempt to solve consumer roblems.
Information is a vital part in assisting customers on purchasing decisions. The sources of information that buyers uses for purchasing purposes are Newspapers, flyers, radio, television, internet, and word of mouth. The usefulness and influence of these sources of information will vary by product and by customer. Howard (1989, ps. 29-36) presented consumer decision model in six components which customers have to pass through when making purchase decision. These components are: * InformationInformation is the most vital part in assisting the consumers when making a purchasing decision.
* Attitude Attitude can be seen as the level of satisfaction a brand gives to consumer’s needs and this spur their intention to buy the brand. Attitude toward brand is seen as the second element of the brand image. * ConfidenceConfidence is perceived as the level of assurance a consumer get from using a brand at every given time. The consumer confidence is boosted when the perceived quality matches expected satisfaction, and quality is attained every time he/she uses the brand.
More also when there is a constant reminder to position the brand image as consistent in terms of quality and satisfaction in their mind. * Intention Intention is the consciousness of a consumer to buy a certain unit of a specified brand in a given time frame. 16 * Purchase Purchase is seen by marketers as the most important variable in the entire system of marketing.These six components could drive the consumers toward a repeat purchase of the brand after usage only if the brand is well known to them. 2. 6 INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION Integrated marketing communication (IMC) provides effective strategic way of communication between customers’ and organizations.
It is a concept that guarantees all forms of communication such as advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and messages between consumers and organization if carefully linked together rather than work in isolation.Integrated marketing communication (IMC) according to Kitchen and Pelsmacker (2004), described IMC as a key competitive advantage of marketing as it provides an effective strategic way of communication between customers’ and organizations. IMC involves merging all the promotional tools such as sales promotion, advertising, public relations, personal selling, direct marketing, online communications and social media to work together to attain a goal. Integrated marketing communication encompasses horizontal integration (integration that occurs between marketing mix and within usiness functions like finance, production, distribution and communication combined effectively to send positive messages to customers), vertical integration( the marketing and communication goals must portray corporate mission and objectives) , internal integration( keeping staffs updated with latest information concerning advert, new corporate identities, strategies, service standard so they can guide customers rightly), and external integration( working closely and effectively with external partners if necessary to give the best to their customers).IMC makes communication the bed rock that holds customers to a brand and makes them pass through all the levels of buying process. IMC helps organization cement its image; develop relationship with its customers. The relationship established through continuous communication creates a bond of loyalty that can keep them as customers for life.
The concepts from this theory will also be used to create questionnaires survey for customers and to conduct interview from the company in order to know the kind of communication tools the company has been using. . 7 STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS Kotler and Keller (2009, p. 88) presented a strategic planning process for managers to use in all marketing activities in order to perform marketing tasks in a strategic way. Elliot and Percy (2009, p. 83) presented five strategic planning processes that managers can take into account for effective brand marketing.
This process includes; selections of target audience, understanding the target audience, determine the best positioning, develop communication strategy and finally, set media strategy.This theory will help the researchers to recommend promotional tools that could be used to create or improve more awareness of “Garant brand” in order to cover weaknesses in communications. 17 2.
8 Marketing Communication Tools According to “Management Theory Review” (cited in Kotler and Keller 2006) states that marketing communication tools are the means by which firms attempt to inform, persuade, and remind consumers directly or indirectly about the products and brands that they sell”. The development of a lengthy, rofitable business is branding. And the key of brand building is regular, ongoing communication between a firm, its customers and other tools of communications. Smith & Taylor (2004, pg . 8) cited that marketing communications mix consist of various types of communication alternatives which are stated as follows: Advertising, Sales promotion, Direct market, Interactive/Internet marketing, Public relations/Publicity, and Personal selling. * Advertising: Advertising is defined as a non-personal form of communication.It is well known and most widely used. It is a paid for communication that tend to promote a company’s product to the public.
* Sales promotion: Sales promotion provides information that may lead the consumer to be aware of the product and probably buy the product. They include distinct invitation to the consumer to do the transaction in a short period of time. Sales promotion tools include coupons, contests, premiums etc. * Direct marketing: Direct marketing is a process of interacting directly with the final consumers in the distribution chain.It involves a variety of activities that includes direct mail, Email, and telemarketing where the message can be customized and addressed to a specific person. In the case of telemarketing, message can be altered depending on the response.
It is a communication process between a firm and its customers. * Interactive/Internet marketing: This includes the use of web sites to promote products and services. It provides information to customers and as well entertains and interacts with them. Public relations/Publicity: This is a form of news and feature articles that are more authentic and credible than advertisements to readers. The message gets through to the potential buyers as news and publication in a non-personal way. * Personal selling: Personal selling is a communicative channel that involves a live and interactive relationship between persons. Personal selling can leads to relationships.
2. 9 Operationalization of brand awareness Brand awareness as mention by many researchers in section 2. . 3 is very essential to both the customers and organization, as it is one of the major objective of marketing which is to establish and sustain brand awareness. Persistence advertising helps to keep a brand in the consideration list of the consumer when making a buying decision.
Brand awareness is said to have great effects on consumer decision making by influencing the brand a consumer considers and the brand he/she finally purchase from the consideration list (Macdonald and sharp 1996).Thus, it is very essential for organizational to persistently inform and communicate brands to consumer. Baines, Fill, and Page (2008) states that the main tasks of marketing communications are; differentiating, reinforcing, informing and persuasion. Integrated marketing communication (IMC) according to Kitchen and Pelsmacker (2004, p. 18) cited in (Umer and Azeem 2011) described IMC as a key competitive advantage of marketing as it provides an effective strategic way of communication between customers’ and organizations.IMC involves merging all the promotional tools to work together to attain a goal.
Integrated marketing communication to consumers should be strategically planned to focus on addressing the consideration list of consumers’ brand. 18 Kotler and Keller (2009, p. 88) presented a strategic planning process for managers to use in all marketing activities in order to perform marketing tasks in a strategic way. “Elliot and Percy” (2009, p. 83) presented five strategic planning processes that managers can take into account for effective brand marketing.This process includes; selections of target audience, understanding the target audience, determine the best positioning, develop communication strategy and finally, set media strategy. Brand awareness can be improved considerably by following “Elliot and Percy” five strategic planning process which is preceded by the right marketing communication tools to adopt. Kotler and Keller 2006 “marketing communication tools are the means by which firms attempt to inform, persuade, and remind consumers directly or indirectly about the products and brands that they sell”.
The key of brand building is regular, ongoing communication between a firm, its customers and the various tools of communication. Smith & Taylor (2004, pg . 8) also cited that marketing communications mix consist of various types of communication alternatives which are stated as follows: Advertising, Sales promotion, Direct market, Interactive/Internet marketing, Public relations/Publicity, and Personal selling (Section 2. 8). These communication tools will guide firm to know the most effective means of communicating brand awareness to the target audience.The combination of these concepts consumer decision model, integrated marketing communication, marketing communication tools and strategic planning process will help the researchers as a guide to ask questions that will provide detailed answers from our respondents as to Why is Garant brand not well known to some of Willys customers, What could be responsible for the limited awareness of this brand, and factors/communication tools that could help in creating more awareness and probably influence the customers in buying the product of a particular brand which in this case is “Garant brand”, and as well help the manager of Willys in knowing the strategic process of creating more effective awareness to a well targeted potential, and existing customers. 19 Chapter 3 METHODOLOGY This chapter contains the kind of methodology that will be used in this research. The methodology includes; marketing research, research purpose, research methods, research approach, primary and secondary data collections, validity and reliability.
3. 1 Marketing Research Marketing research is a process that is applicable to a combination of marketing problems.It covers a wide range of research activities which include; defining a problem, determining of research design, identifying data types and sources, designing of data collection forms and questionnaires, determination of sample plan and size, collection of the data, analyzing and interpreting of such data and finally preparing the research report. Benett (1988, p. 117) cited in Kinear and Taylor (1996, p.
5 ) states that “marketing research is a tool required to address the issues of designing the method for collecting information, managing and implementing the data collection processes, analyzing the results, and communicating the findings and their implications”.Conclusively, marketing research is a systematic and scientific process of gathering information relating to certain marketing issues and performing its analysis which would lead towards a conclusion. For the purpose of the research to be achieved, strategic methods and techniques must be strictly followed. Further deliberations of the methodology in accordance with some literatures which will be used in this research project are as follows: 3. 2 Research Purpose A research purpose provides the basic direction for carrying out the research. Basically, in social research, there are three categories of research purpose: exploratory, descriptive and explanatory (Saunders et al.
2009).These categories differ in various aspects depending on the way the research questions or hypotheses are formulated, and the way data are collected. * Exploratory Research: According to (Vaus, 2001, pg. 2) exploratory research can be done using a number of techniques including literature search, interviews, surveying people on their experiences, and as well focus on group and case study.
Its main emphasis is to explain problem more precisely, clarifying concepts, gathering explanations, and gaining insights. * Descriptive: Descriptive seems to be more rigid than exploratory research in the sense that it defines questions, people survey, and the method of analysis prior to the beginning of data collection.In other words, it asks questions like who, what, when, why, and how aspects of the research should be defined. The researcher observes and then describes what was observed (Babbie 2004). Descriptive research is categorized into two studies; longitudinal studies and cross-sectional studies. The former are time series analyses that create repeated measurements of the same individuals, therefore allowing one to monitor behavior such as brand switching, while cross-sectional studies sample the population to make measurements at a specific point in time.
20 * Explanatory: The focus of this research purpose is on studying a situation or a problem to explain the relationships among variables Saunders et al. 2009). Explanatory research aims to develop precise theory that can be used to explain definite phenomena, that leads to the generalization from the research.
This research project will be descriptive research, since little prior knowledge of the relations between communications and branding exists, and exploratory based on the fact that the researchers tend to find out the reason for the limited awareness of “Garant brand” by some customers of Willys. 3. 3 Research Methods Generally, a research is conducted to analyze and discover solution to a research problem. To achieve this goal, a research plan must be designed and tagged as methods.It guides necessary steps and tools to follow for collection of required materials. Collected data are analyzed and examined to draw a scientific and valid conclusion to a research question.
In order to draw a more scientific and valid conclusion to a research question, it must be noted that: 1. Where there are lots of theories available, it explains the many marketing tools and activities that could create more awareness for “Garant brand”. 2. When the topic is broad and highly complex, it analyzes why Willys could prioritize “Garant brand” amongst other brands because the selection of brands and the design of the consumers’ choice is complex. 3.When the context is very important, it analyzes ways which Willys can systematically create more awareness of “Garant brand” to its potential customers in a unique way. Since this research project will be analyzed from the perspective of the customers through survey and the employee through interview, we decided to use case study for the sake of time constrain, easy access to information and cheap cost.
3. 4 Research approach Denscombe (2007, p. 248), described two types of research approach, which are qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research is aim to gather an in-depth a clear understanding of human behavior and the reason that surround such behavior.
The qualitative method investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where and when. Given (2008, pp. 697-698), defines “quantitative research as the systematic empirical investigation of social phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques”. This research is not formulating a new hypothesis but to illustrate the limited awareness of “Garant brand” by some customers of Willys, so both approaches were adopted. The qualitative question is an interview conducted with the manager of Willys in Falun.
The questions cover the general scope of information of brand awareness, promotional activities market patronage, and target customers.The quantitative research method involved a well-structured questionnaire to know about the brand under investigation through customers who came to shop at Willys. Data collected from the questionnaire will provide the researchers with information that could help suggest ways of creating and improving more awareness for Garant brand. 21 3. 5 PRIMARY DATA AND SECONDARY DATA 3. 5. 1 Primary Data Primary data are raw and unique information/data you collect by yourself using methods such as interviews and questionnaires.
Primary data analysis for an investigation is very essential because it gives undiluted information. Primary data can either be qualitative in form of words, or quantitative in form of figures. The researchers will be focusing on both qualitative and quantitative data.
Questionnaires were adopted for survey among customers to have their opinions about the awareness techniques of Willys brand to them, and interview was conducted with the manager of the store to underline the present system adopted in disseminating information about the brand under investigation. 3. 5. 2 Secondary Data Secondary data are data collected from a source that has already been accessed by a researcher or published in any form which may include textbooks, internet websites, academic journals, previous thesis, dictionaries, etc. We applied both data collection procedures in this project work in other to obtain authentic and reliable information and to arrive at a conclusive result.The secondary data the researchers intend to use in this thesis are from past research work, textbooks, academic journals and internet websites.
3. 6 Questionnaire Questionnaire is an important scientific tool, technically structured for gathering primary data in a marketing survey. It is a series of written or verbal questions for which the respondent gives the answers. Questionnaires can either be self-administered questionnaire where questionnaires are sent out to respondents by mail, E-mail, internet or by hand. Or interviews-administered questionnaires where interview is either done through telephone or face to face contact with the interviewee. This kind of interview can be used to interview less literate people.
We intend to use the self-administered questionnaires which will be distributed to respondents by hand with the intention of receiving back the questionnaires through a box that will be positioned at the entrance of Willys stores where customers can easily drop the questionnaires for easy pick up. According to Denscombe (2010, pp. 165-166), there are variety of ways in which questions can be put in a questionnaire, and this variety are outlined as “open” and “closed ended” questions. We intend to use both open and closed end questions for this survey to find out what the customer views are about the different brands of Willys and reason behind why some customers of Willys are still unaware of “Garant brand” and also to find out the various communication method Willys uses to create brand awareness and what are the customer’s opinions on how Willys can improve their communication toward brand awareness. 3. 7 InterviewInterview is a valuable way of getting valid and reliable data that is relevant to the research question.
It is also a purposeful discussion between two or more people. Denscombe (2010, p. 175-176), stated three main types of interview based on a level of structure and formality. These three main types of interview are: 22 1. Structured interviews 2. Semi-structured interviews 3. Unstructured interviews According to Denscombe (2010, p. 175), with semi-structured interviews, the interviewers have a clear range of issues to be addressed and questions to give answers to.
It helps the respondent to speak more widely on the issues raised and develop answers and ideas by responding to open ended questions.We intend to use the semi-structured interviews in this research work to enable the respondents give their own ideas on issues to be dealt with in this research. The questionnaire will involve some open-ended questions relating to the issue of brand awareness as it affects “Garant brand” and the interview will be conducted with Willys manager in Falun.
A contact was previously made with the manger to abreast him on issues to be investigated and an appointment was booked for the interview. 3. 8 Survey Sample Churchill and Lacobucci (2005, pp. 277-279), stated two basic approach to selecting a sample research which are probability and non probability sampling.
For the sake of convenience we will use the non-probability sample to obtain responses from customers of Willys because this technique will enable the researchers to gather information from Willys and their customers. We intend also to distribute 120 questionnaires between Borlange and Falun, with the expectation of a minimum of 95 feedbacks from respondents who should be customers of Willys. 3.
9 Validity and Reliability Validity is the accuracy and precision of data that concerns the appropriateness of data in terms of the research question being investigated, Denscombe (2010, p. 298). It is the extent to which the research or study gives the right answer. Reliability is a research instrument which is neutral in its effect and consistent across multiple occasions of its use, Denscombe (2010, p. 298).In other words, a research is said to be reliable if the research instruments will produce similar result on different occasions.
For a research project to be acknowledged as a standard quality, which matches with the present trend of life issues, it has to meet the required standard of reliability and validity. In order to increase the validity of this project, we followed certain procedures to make sure that the relevant theory was gathered in a bid to ensuring a valid data and results. We used diverse sources of evidence like questionnaire and interview. Triangulation was attained by using two different research methods (questionnaire and interview). We ensured that our survey was tested by four friends before it was sent out. 3. 10 Limitations of the studyAs mentioned above, we use non probability sample which might not guarantee a perfect representation of each sample in the population of men, women, and the specific age bracket.
We also carried out our investigations in Willys between 11am to 3pm and therefore might not be a perfect representation of all entire samples in the population. And also the questionnaire distributed was only distributed during the week days as the other customers would have been at work at the time of distribution. 23 3.
11 Comparative Data Analysis Comparative analysis method is the act of comparing two or more instances or variables in order to discover any noticeable differences in the study been compared.In this research, a comparative data analysis was used to compare the different brands sold at Willys shop and to analyze the factors that led to the limited awareness of “Garant brand” by some customers of Willys. Amongst the diverse available brands, we selected these brands (Felix, Willys, Eldorado) to compare with Garant in order to note the differences in the limited awareness of Garant brand. 3. 12 Interview questions Analysis Questions 1, 2, 3, 4, in the questionnaire with the customers, and questions 5 in the interview survey with Willys manager are based on the strategic planning process that will help the manager to use all marketing activities in performing marketing task in a strategic way. This process according to “Elliot and Percy” (2009, p.
3) presented five strategic planning processes that managers can take into account for effective brand marketing. This process includes; selections of target audience, understanding the target audience, determine the best positioning, develop communication strategy and finally, set media strategy. Questions 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 from the questionnaire and Question 8 from the interview survey are based on consumer decision model. This model talks about attempt to solve consumer decision problems, through information is seen as a vital tool in assisting customers on purchasing decisions. The sources of information that buyers uses for purchasing purposes are Newspapers, flyers, radio, television, internet and word of mouth.The usefulness and influence of these sources of information will vary by product and by customer. Howard (1989) proposed six components of consumer decision model which influence the consumer purchasing decisions, section 2.
3 Questions 1 and 6, from the interview survey are based on integrated marketing communication. Integrated marketing communication (IMC) provides effective strategic way of communication between customers’ and organizations. It is a concept that guarantees all forms of communication such as advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and messages between consumers and organization if carefully linked together rather than work in isolation.Integrated marketing communication (IMC) according to Kitchen and Pelsmacker (2004), described IMC as a key competitive advantage of marketing as it provides an effective strategic way of communication between customers’ and organizations. IMC involves merging all the promotional tools to work together to attain a goal. Questions 2, 4, in the interview survey and question 8 and 10 in the questionnaire are based on marketing communication tools. Marketing communications tools are the means by which firms attempt to inform, persuade, and remind consumers directly or indirectly about the products and brands that they sell”.
The development of a lengthy, profitable business is branding. And the key of brand building is regular, ongoing communication between a firm, its customers and the various tools of communication.Marketing communications mix is said to consist various types of communication alternatives which are stated as follows: Advertising, Sales promotion, Direct market, Interactive/Internet marketing, Public relations/Publicity, and Personal selling (Section 2.
6). 24 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS, ANALYSIS AND RESULTS This chapter includes findings from questionnaire and interview survey and its analysis. The findings are presented in tables and figures for easy understanding and interpretation of data collected. It also contains the results of this study based on the analysis of findings. 4.
1 FINDINGS 4. 2 Analysis of Questionnaire 20 questionnaires were distributed out of which 100 were completed and returned. 98 were properly completed and accepted while 2 were uncompleted and was therefore discarded. This represents a response rate of 82% which we presume was reasonable enough for the purpose of analysis in this study. The questionnaires were distributed among various categories of Willys customers. 4.
3 Demographic Classification of Respondents Variables of gender and age were asked in the questionnaire to know the demographic features of the respondents. The researchers’ main purpose of asking about these variables was to understand the category of customers that does frequent Willys mostly.Gender Respondents Percentage Male 45 46% Female 53 54% Total 98 100 Table 4. 1: Gender of respondents The results given in Table 4. 1 shows that most of the respondents who were female constitute 54% and the male constitute 46% of the total. One reason could be that couples who came to shop at Willys at the time of distributing the questionnaires were female. 25Age Respondents Percentage Under 20 1 1% 20-30 62 63% 31-40 19 20% 41-50 11 11% 50 & above 5 5% Total 98 100 Table 4. : Age groups This Table shows that 1 respondent (1%) falls under the age of 20 years which is most likely to be a high school student; 62 respondents (63%) are within 20-30 years, 19 respondents (20%) are within 31-40 years, 11 respondents (11%) are within 41-50 year, while 5 respondents (5%) are within the age bracket of 50 years and above.
These statistics shows that majority of the respondents who falls within the age bracket of 20-30 years are considered matured to give intelligent answers to research questions asked. 4. 4 Brand Preference Brand Preference Percentage Felix 43 44% Willys 25 26% Eldorado 20 20% Garant 5 5%Nil 5 5% Total 98 100 Table 4.
3: Brand Preference This table shows the various brands that Willys customers preferred as their favorite brands. The results obtained shows that 43 respondents (44%) preferred Felix for its quality, packaging, and good price, 25 respondents (26%) preferred Willys because of its low price and quality, 20 respondents (20%) preferred Eldorado because of its cheap price, 5 respondents (5%) preferred Garant because of its high quality, while 5 respondents (5%) do not put brand into consideration when shopping.These results show that Felix brand has the highest number of preference from customers while “Garant brand” which is Willys household brand and the brand under investigation has the lowest preference. This could be as a result of the unawareness of the brand by some customers which eventually led to low preference of the brand. Willys has to put every necessary effort in making sure that more awareness of the brand is created for all its customers.
26 4. 4. 1 Least Favorite of Brand Question 7 in the questionnaire was asked to know customers least favorite of the four brands listed and also to find out if “Garant brand” under investigation would be listed as the least favorite of all the brands since it is the least preferred brand by the respondents.The results obtained shows that Eldorado which is the third preferred brand were chosen by the respondents as the least favorite brand amongst the other brands listed despite its products are cheaper than the other brand products. This shows that Garant still have an edge over some brand sold at Willys and with much awareness of the brand, it will help to place the brand in the mind of the customers . It might make the to become one of the most successful brands not only on the Swedish market but also on the European market.
Therefore, adequate measure should be taken to create more awareness of the brand to every customer of Willys. 4. 4. 2 Importance of Advertisement Question 8 in the questionnaire was asked to know the importance of advertisement of brands/products to customers.
The results obtained shows that 81% of the respondents thinks that advertisement makes them aware of brands/products while 19% of the respondents do not think that advertisement makes them aware of brands/products. This implies that advertisement is a major key factor in sharing information and promoting the brands/products and services of a company to potential and existing customers, since 81% of the customers presume that advertisement can create awareness of brands/products for them. Willys in this sense could do more in the area of advertisement in order to facilitate the awareness of Garant brand. 4. 4.
3 Brand Motivation Question 9 in the questionnaire was asked to know what motivates the customers toward a brand.The result obtained shows that for Eldorado, 21% went for moderate quality with low price, for Felix 46% chose high quality with low price, for Willys brand, 21% chose high quality with good price, while for Garant brand, 12% chose high quality with high price. From these results, it is obvious that “Garant brand” is of high quality, but with high price. With a bit of price reduction since the brand is new on the market and adequate information, “Garant brand” could become one of Willys most successful brands on the Swedish market. 4.
4. 4 Effectiveness of Marketing Communication Activities Question 10 was asked to find out which means of communication method can be used effectively by Willys to convey information of brand/products to its potential and existing customers.It was necessary to know which method of communications customers would propose for Willys to use in order for them to receive adequate information and be aware of the products and services that they offer. The results below shows that 32 respondents (33%) prefer the internet, 31 respondents (32%) prefer TV advertisement, 8 respondents (8%) prefer newspaper advertisement, 21 respondents (21%) prefer flyers and only 6 respondents, (6%) prefer others which range from recommendation from friends and family members, sales promotions. Willys could concentrate more on the three means of communications with higher percentage mentioned above to create more awareness for Garant brand. 27Method of Communications Respondents Percentage Internet 32 33% Newspaper adverts 31 32% TV advert 8 8% Flyers 21 21% Others (recommendation) 6 6% Total 98 100 These results indicate that respondents prefer the Internet, Newspaper ad, and Flyers advertisements more and thus Willys could focus more on improving on this method of communications to create more awareness for its potential and existing customers. The purpose of question 10 was to find out if these selected methods of communications motivate the respondents to make purchase decision. With the results obtained, it is assumed that it motivates the respondents to make purchase decision.
4. 5 ANALYSIS AND RESULTS 4. 5. 1 Analysis of Interview and Questionnaire Interview was conducted with the branch manager of Willys supermarket at Oringo, Falun. And questions were asked to find out why most customers don’t have much awareness of “Garant brand” compared to the other brands that Willys sell.The researchers’ intention was to find out the various methods of communications that Willys uses in creating awareness for Garant brand and how these methods can be used to improve more effective brand awareness amongst its existing and potential customers. 4.
5. 2 The Role of Information The manager was asked to know if he thinks that information towards brand play a vital role in attracting customers to buy Willys products. The answer was “Yes, information of brand does play a vital role in attracting our customers to buy to our products. We give out information to our customers to make them aware of the several products we have in stock, prices of the products, and the discount that we offer.Without information, our customers would not be aware of the several products and brands that we sell”. The reply from the manager shows that Willys put information as a priority to attract customers. It is necessary for an organization to provide information through a reliable channel to customers, as theory of consumers decision model shows that information is a vital aspect that consumers need to have when making decision for organization to convey information to the consumers, the organization must provide effective means of communication through; newspapers advertisements, radio advertisement, television advertisement, brochures, internet, flyers and word of mouth.
Thus Willys could take measures to provide adequate information for it products and services to its customers by using effective communication channels which would result in brand recognition among its customers, hence Willys could do more in providing adequate information concerning Garant brand. (Appendix B). 28 4. 5. 3 Brand awareness The manager was also asked to know how awareness of brand is created for the different brands that Willys sell and his response to the question was “We create awareness of the different brands we sell through television, newspaper, billboard and flyers advertisements”. The reply from the manager indicates that Willys considers brand awareness as an aspect to be noted for marketing purposes but “Garant brand” still seems not to be well known by most of its customers. (Appendix B) 4. 5. 4 Marketing ActivitiesA question was also asked to know how often Willys organize marketing activities to create awareness of the different brands they sell and if it is a long-term activities or short-term plan. His response was, “Our marketing activities are done weekly through the various adverts that we carry out, and the activities are long-term activities”. His reply shows that Willys takes marketing activities seriously but our findings shows that 12. 2% of the respondents that answers the questionnaire questions were unaware of “Garant brand” compared to the other brands. This implies that there is a need for Willys to improve on its marketing activities for “Garant brand” to be established in the minds of its customers. (Appendix B) 4. 5. 5 Marketing Communication ToolsThe manager was asked if Willy uses the same marketing tools in creating awareness for other brands like Felix, Eldorado and Willys for “Garant brand”, and if they do, how come some of it customers are still unaware of “Garant brand”. His answer was “Yes, Willys uses the same marketing tools for every brand they sell, and the reason for the unawareness of “Grant brand” by some of our customers could be as a result of the brand being new on the market with barely a year life span on the market”. It seems here that the marketing communication tools Willys use to create awareness of “Garant brand” is not enough. It is obvious from the questionnaire survey carried out on the customers that people less than 20 years patronizesWillys less than other age categories, and it seems to us that they are more likely to be acquainted with the internet and thus internet channels could be used to convey information of “Garant brand” and its products to them, and such information could also be available in English language on their website not only in Swedish language since vast numbers of its customers are foreign students and other immigrants. From the survey questionnaire distributed, it was found that customers also prefer to receive information through newspaper advertisement and flyers. Based on this survey, Willys could consider these two methods of communications an important tool to convey information to its customers.Such information should also be printed in English language for immigrants such as international students to create more awareness of the brand. (Appendix B) 4. 5. 6 Market Patronage The manager was asked what the market patronage for “Garant brand” is compared to other brands. His response was “The market patronage for “Garant brand” to the other brands is not that high because it is a new brand in the market despite the fact that its products are of high quality but its prices are higher than the prices of other products. Willys could put price into consideration if “Garant brand” would have an edge to be one of the most successful brands on the market. (Appendix B) 29 4. 5. 7 Target CustomersThe manager was asked to know who “Garant” target customers are, and he responded that “Garant target customers are families. This is because they often come with their children to shop. This reply from the manager showed some weakness in the part of Willys, in the sense that they mostly target families in terms of brand awareness while other profiles are less considered to be targeted. There is need for Willys to segment the market for “Garant brand” in different groups and then target them with different marketing strategies resulting in customers having more awareness of the brand since Willys takes brand awareness as a strategy and plan for long-term to create awareness among its customers. (Appendix B) 4. 6 Brand Loyalty and Perceived QualityThe analysis of the interview and questionnaire shows that Willys uses certain yardsticks to create brand awareness among its customers and they take brand awareness strategy very important like other marketing activities. The interview reveals that customers are offered membership cards which show a measure to create brand loyalty. Loyalty in the case of Garant is focused on one segment which is the family. Willys could focus more on other profiles of customers like the youths as much as they are focusing on families. From the interview it was found that Willys provide high quality brand with high price like Felix and low quality brands like Eldorado. The questionnaire shows that customers will prefer goods with moderate quality with low price.The survey also shows that customers preferred Felix brand because of its high quality though its price is relatively high. This shows that there will be a big market for “Garant brand” if the prices of its products are moderate since it is of high quality. Willys could take some measures to reduce the prices of Garant products because such step would create more awareness and help attract customers to purchase their product just as customers tend to buy brand like Eldorado because of the low price as the survey shows. 4. 7 Strategic Planning Process to target Potential Customers From the analysis of the interview conducted, it was discovered that Willys target market for Garant are families.All promotional offerings and information of services are all geared towards family only. Willys could as well target young people and create more awareness of Garant offerings to them. The targeted young people can be influenced by the varieties of Garant offerings Willys have to offer and can also recommend these same varieties to others to shop from Willys. They can also be deciders to make decisions on what choice they should make and what to buy and as well serve as purchasers and users. In this case it is relevant for Willys to assess the targeted young people and determine what can be offered to them. If the targeted young people show more interest in products like chocolates, soft drinks, and ice cream etc. which are related to leisure and entertainment, then the strategy of Willys is to make sure that there is availability of varieties of “Garant brand” of such products of interest to be purchased. More also efforts could be made emphatically to convey information about the brand varieties to the targeted young people through the internet since a website has been created for the brand’s products. Willys could also focus on using social media like Facebook, twitter etc. Willys could arrange events in schools and colleges and could sponsor tournaments and games in the name of “Garant” to create more awareness of the brand and it different products. This will eventually create a very strong image of “Garant brand” in the minds of young consumers.All this measures will result in targeting potential customers and creating more brand awareness among them to gain greater market share and yield positive results for Willys. 30 4. 8 CONCLUSION The aim of this research paper is to suggest the communication strategy could aid Willys to establish more awareness of “Garant brand” among its existing and potential customers. This paper is aimed at answering the research questions which are stated as; “Why is Garant brand not well known to some of Willys customers”? What could be responsible for the unawareness of this brand? ” “What means of communication should Willys use to create more awareness for “Garant brand” amongst its existing and potential customers”?The main purpose of this research is to find out how Willys gives information regarding “Garant brand” and how such information they are offering can be used effectively to create more brand awareness among its existing and potential customers by using concepts and theories such as consumer decision model, marketing communication tools, integrated marketing communication tools, and strategic planning process. In order to attain a successful research analysis, a survey was formulated in form of interview which was conducted with the manager of Willys in Falun and questionnaires were shared amongst Willys customers in Falun and Borlange respectively. 120 questionnaires were distributed out of which 100 were completed and returned. 98 were properly completed and accepted while 2 were not properly completed and therefore rejected.This represents a response rate of 82% which is reasonable enough for the purpose of analysis in the study. The questionnaires were distributed among various categories of customers of Willys that includes both male and female. We were able to establish the fact that there is still unawareness of “Garant brand” by some customers of Willys by carrying out a survey to compare some of the different brands that Willys display for sales in their shop. We were able to deduce that customers have various degree of awareness for Willys brands. According to our survey, Felix had 43%, Eldorado 20%, Garant 7%, Willys 25% and 5% have no awareness of Garant brand.It shows that there is less significant awareness For “Garant brand” by some Willys customers and we used the concept of effective marketing communication tools, integrated marketing communication and strategic planning process to analyze how Willys could effectively reach their target customers. With regards to the issue of brand awareness of “Garant brand”, it was pointed out that information on brands is an important element for Willys but some of it customers are not fully abreast and equipped with adequate and well channeled information. Therefore, Willys could implement more effective marketing communication tools to inform its customers about its brand in a more efficient and effective manner.Our findings from both Willys manager and their customers, was quite amazing to see that 33% of the respondents opted for internet which was the highest, 32% opted for newspaper advert, 21% opted for flyers, 8% opted for TV advert, and the other respondents made up of 6% opted for different promotional means which varies from word-of-mouth, sales promotion down to personal selling. Since “Garant brand” is new on the market, it is very important for Willys to put more effort in channeling appropriate information to all its customers and create a target profile that is not for families alone but for other categories of customers. Willys claims that the launch of the first products of Garant brand was accompanied by the start of a new website for the brand, yet most customers do not seem to be aware of the existence of this website. The table in section 4. 4. shows that the highest respondents made up of 33% preferred the internet to be used by Willys in order to receive adequate information concerning products and services that they offer. Willys could as well focus more on the internet adverts and probably set up a social network like “Facebook and twitter” that would enable information of Garant brand/products be shared amongst customers. The website should not only be in Swedish language but also in English language for the benefit of those who do not understand the Swedish language. The finding also shows that a total of 76% respondents opted for moderate quality with low price while some recommended good packaging.Willys as a matter of fact could focus on making “Garant” products moderate in terms of quality and lower in terms of price, and also focus more on activities like promotions, jingles on TV, etc to create more awareness that would motivate their customers in buying more of “Garant” products which in turn would increase the market share of the brand. 31 Willys could take advantage of its strategic location to attract many immigrants and international students living close to the store by formulating a strategic planning process that would further motivate them (especially young people) to patronize “Garant brand”. 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ISBN: 0-7619-2552-x 35Appendix: A Survey of Brand Awareness Questionnaire in English language Researchers: Kris Ayadiani [email protected]. se & Timothy Enadeghe [email protected]. se Supervisor: Bertil Olsson [email protected]. se Dear Willys customers, We are final year bachelor degree student of International Business Marketing at Hogskolan Dalarna. We are carrying out a survey for our research project to investigate the effectiveness of Willys promotional and marketing activities offered to their customers. And also to make some of its customers aware of certain brand that may not been known to them. We kindly beg your indulgence to fill in these questionnaires to enable us achieve our research objectives.Thank you for your co-operation. 1. Age Under 20 20-30 31-40 41-50 50 or more 2. Gender Male Female 3. Are you a regular customer of Willys Yes No 4. How frequent do you shop there? Very frequent Occasionally 5. What brand would you prefer? Felix, Eldorado, Willys or Garant? 36 6. Why would you consider such brand? 7. Which is your least favorite of these brands (Felix, Eldorado, Willys or Garant), and why? 8. Do you think regular advertisement makes you conversant with Willys brands/products? 9. What motivates you to buy a product at Willys? ) High quality with high price b) Low quality with low price c) Moderate quality with low price d) Price only, not minding the quality 10. Which promotional activities of a certain brand do you think is most effective? a) Television advertisement b) Newspaper advertisement c) Flyers d) Internet e) Others please specify Questionnaire in Swedish language Forskare: Kris Ayadiani [email protected]. se & Timothy Enadeghe [email protected]. se Handledare: Bertil Olsson [email protected]. se Kare Willys kunder, Vi ar sista ars elever pa kandidatexamen i International Business Marketing pa Hogskolan Dalarna. Vi genomfor en undersokning for vart forskningsprojekt for att undersoka effektiviteten i.Willys reklam och marknadsforing till sina kunder och aven gora en del av sina kunderna medvetna om ett visst marke som kanske inte varit kant for dem. Vi ber vanligen om overseende att fylla i detta frageformular for att vi ska na vara forskningsmal. Tack for ditt samarbete. 37 1. Alder under 20 20-30 31-40 41-50 50 eller mer 2. Kon man kvinna 3. Ar du en vanlig kund hos Willys a) Ja b) Nej 4. Hur ofta handlar du dar? a) mycket ofta b) ibland 5. Vilket marke foredrar du? Felix, Edorado, Willys eller Garant? 6. Varfor skulle du anser att ett sadant varumarke? 7. Vilken ar din minsta favorit av dessa marken (Felix, Edorado, Willys eller Garant), och varfor? . Tror du att vanliga reklamen gor dig fortrogen med Willys produkter? 9. Vad motiverar dig att kopa en produkt pa Willys? a) Hog kvalitet med hogt pris b) lag kvalitet med lagt pris c) Mattlig kvalitet med lagt pris d) Pris endast, utan att bry mig om kvaliteten 38 10. Vilka marknadsforingsaktiviteter av ett visst marke tycker du ar mest effektiv? a) TV-reklam b) tidningsannons c) reklamblad d) Internet e) Ovriga ange Appendix: B Interview Survey Interview with Willys manager Interviewed carried out by Kris Ayadiani at Willys shop, Origo, Falun on the 1st of May 2012 at 10:45 am Interview Q1.Do you think information of product and services play a vital role in attracting customers to buy products at Willys? If yes why? ANS. Yes, information of product and services do attract customers to buy our products. We give out information to our customers to enable them know the kind of products we have in stuck, prices attached with the products and discount that we offer. Without information, our customers would not be aware of products and brands that we sell. Q2. How is awareness of brand created for the different products that Willys sell? ANS. We create awareness of different brands and products we sell through; television, newspaper, billboard, flyers advertisement.We use membership card to know what people shop all the time and also use to give discounts Q3. How often do Willys organize marketing activities to create awareness of the different brands they sell? Is it a long-term activities or short term plan? ANS. Our marketing activities are done weekly through the various adverts that we carry out, and the activities are long-term activities. Q4. Do Willys uses the same marketing tools in creating awareness for others brands like Eldorado, Felix, and Willys, for Garant brand? If yes, how come most customers are still not aware of the brand “Garant”? ANS. Yes, Willys uses the marketing tools for all the brands they