CHAPTER 2 METHODOLOGY
2.1 Primary Research
Primary research data is collected directly, detached observation, evaluate of phenomena in the real life, without any exoteric interference (Walliman 2001). There are some primary research methods, such as questionnaire, interview, observations, etc. For the research project choose the suitable methodology is very necessary and effective.
In this project will use the one of the primary research method: questionnaire
Questionnaire is very direct way to get feedback from responder
When create the questionnaire need consider all the questions are related the topic, and all the answers also need to analysis, discussion and so on.
In this project will find 60 female students to answer the questions, their ages are from 18-25 years old. All of them are from Hollings Campus of MMU.
The researcher should make sure the questionnaire easily to answer, give the responder a comfortable and free environment to answer the questions; and do not make questions verbose and complicated. Thus the researcher can get the maximum feedback. When create the questionnaire need consider all the questions are related the topic, and all the answers also need to analysis, discussion and so on.
During the research there will have some limitations, because the number and the age of the respondents are not wide enough, so the results only can reflect a group of consumer’s thought.
2.2 Company background
H&M was established in Västerås, Sweden in 1947 by Erling Persson. Now have 1,700 stores around the world. The first H&M store in the United Kingdom was opened in 1976. 2006 United Kingdom passed Sweden as H&M’s second largest market. Through the recorded there are 146 stores in UK. It has great steady expansion and growth this year, too (H&M website).
The Figure shows the top 5 largest shareholders as per 31 March 2008
Number of shares
% of total shares
% of voting rights
Stefan Persson med familj
304 872 400*
Lottie Tham med familj
44 040 200
27 735 000
Swedbank Robur fonder
24 406 752
JP Morgan Chase Bank
21 843 019
Figure 2.2.1 (a) Ownership structure Source: H&M website
The reason choose H&M is: it is an international big company and come into the UK market, also has successful business in British market, during this project you will find how the H&M operate their brand in the UK market, and get consumers’ responds known the attractive factors of H&M.
From its website (Levi’s website) can know LS&Co. is one of the world’s largest brand-name apparel marketers with sales in more than 100 countries. It is America company, there is no other company with a comparable global presence in jeans and casual pants markets. It is a different type of company with H&M, its main products are denim. Because the respondents of this project is young female students, so need compare with the valuable price retailer and get the feedback known how popular of the denim brand and find out what the develop direction if Levi’s want attract the young female students.
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2.2.3 All Saints
All Saints is a young fashion chain, has nearly 110 stores in the UK (All Saints Website). Kait Bolongaro and Stuart Trevor, who founded All Saints in 1994 and sold the chain to entrepreneur Kevin Stanford at the end of 2005, have struck a deal with Religion’s majority owner Darren Collins to roll out retail stores under two fascias, one called Bolongaro Trevor and the other called Religion (Tate 2007).
All Saints is part owned by investment firm Baugur. Baugur has a stake of about 35% (Brown 2009).
Different with above two brands, All Saints is a UK local brand, and do not has that much stores in overseas market like the H&M and Levi’s. From research questions will get how the market status in young female students, and how to build a strong brand awareness and develop the oversea market like above two.
These three brands’ background and target consumers are different, but can use them to compare what influence in this focus group consumer and then give the suggestions to each of them how to develop their brand image or gain more potential consumers.
CHAPTER 3 PRESENTATION OF RESULTS
3.1 Logo Recognition
Through the research results, the data display all the 60 respondents can recognize the H&M and Levi’s logos; but there are 5 respondents can not recognize the All Saints logo.
Figure 3.1 (a): Logo Recognition Status Source: Questionnaire
3.2 Purchase Situation
Look at Figure 3.2(a) you can see the data of how many people have bought these three brands. In research the 60 people, there are 59 people have bought H&M products and only 1 has not bought before. In the All Saints part, 37 people said they have not bought any All Saints products, rest of 23 respondents have bought before, the distance between “Yes” and “No” are smaller. Go to look the Levi’s part, the gap between Yes and No are smaller than All saints, the 26 respondents have not buy any Levi’s products, 34 of them have bought before.
Figure 3.2(a): Rate of Purchase Situation Source: Questionnaire
3. 3 Most Important Factor
The following table and pie charts are showing the occupancy of each factor. You can see it more vivid.
The results of most important factor for each brand
Figure 3.3(a): The number of results of shopping frequency
Figure 3.3 (b) H&M The percentage of each factor occupancy
Figure 3.3 (c) All Saints The percentage of each factor occupancy
Figure 3.3 (d) Levi’s The percentage of each factor occupancy
3.4 Shopping Frequency
The following pie charts show the frequency of respondents shop in these stores. Each of them has different situation and these charts give reader clear data.
The results of shopping frequency
Once a week
Once a month
Several times a month
Figure 3.4 (a) The results of shopping frequency
The percentage of the shopping frequency of each brand
Figure 3.4 (b) H&M Source: Questionnaire
Figure 3.4 (c) All Saints Source: Questionnaire
Figure 3.4 (d) Levi’s Source: Questionnaire
3.5 Average Expenditure
Results of how much of the respondents spent on average
Figure 3.5(a) Results of average expenditure Source: Questionnaire
CHAPTER 4 DISCUSSION
From last chapter all the research results are presented, in this part will discussion the results and develop the project.
4.1 Logo Recognition
From 3.1 you can know the rate of brand recognition of these three retailers. The first question in questionnaire reflects the consumers’ impression to a brand. This kind of impression can be considered as brand awareness. Brand awareness reflects the how many customers remember a brand (Glossary 2007).
Nowadays, consumers have their own way to judge a brand such as consumers can distinguish the brand with a particular product category because the brand awareness reflects the saliency of a brand and how convenient it brings to consumers (Chernatong & McDonald 1998). Brand awareness reflects the brand’s presence in consumer’s memory (Hague and Jackson, 1994; Aaker, 2002), and it is the amount of the consumers or potential consumers who have cognition of a brand. Thus, companies will find how many consumers can recognise their brand instinctively and how it differentiation with other competing brands (Crainer 1995).
From the results you can know the H&M and Levi’s have very successful brand awareness in people’s mind. This indicated their marketing communications are effectively (Glossary 2007). They always give the people strong impression.In order to consolidate their market status, they have new action continual.
For example, H&M launch a new flagship on London’s Regent Street in March. This action increases their brand awareness and makes the gain more customers (Brown 2008).
The awareness of All Saints are slightly weak than another two brands. So the All Saints need create the strong marketing campaign, or communication to support its brand awareness. Drapers online (2009) reported All Saints has opening several new stores last year, and ramped up international expansion with openings in Paris in October and Antwerp in November.
4.2 Purchase Situation
The purchase situation influences the whole income of the company. Income of a company can be divided visible and invisible. The visible income could say sales income, and invisible could say brand equity. Because brand equity is the commercial and financial value of the brand to the organisation which owns and utilises it ¼ˆCrainer 1995; Aaker, 2002¼‰.
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Riezebos (2003) and Aaker(2002) defined brand equity is the strategic and management advantage, it is can be the fundamental of competitive advantage, also it is a kind of asset and long- term benefit. Brand equity can understanding from multi perspectives and they concluded that brand equity build on by differential features and give added profit to the company’s balance sheet.
In 3.2 has presented that the consumer purchases these three brands are dissimilar. Certainly also can said the popularity of these three brands are different. H&M is the most popular store of these three, nearly 98% respondents expressed they have shopping experiences in here; this is a popular consumption brand.
H&M is aimed at everyone with an interest in fashion; it supplies extensive range of products, from clothes to accessories, at same time keeps new items come into the stores every day (H&M website).
The research results show, All Saints and Levi’s are not as widespread purchased as H&M. Most of these respondents know these two brands, but not mean they certainly have bought their products. More than half ( 62% have not) of the respondents have not buy any All Saints products before, only 38% respondents have bought their products. Of course you may say that they have more development space.
To make sure the brand equity growth, the brand gives to convince them that it is relevant to consumer’s needs can gain more attraction and hold consumers. (Chernatong & McDonald 1998).
Like recently, All Saints has some advantaged actions to attract more consumers. It has relaunched its online store with new imagery and better navigation, it gives customer a fresh appearance and simpler operating system.
Stephen Ritchie, chief executive of Drivebusiness, the etail development firm that handled the relaunch, said:
“All Saints [the website] has grown phenomenally since we launched it in 2005 and its turnover continues to grow and exceed all expectations. All Saints’ online store is one of its top performing stores and we continue work with the team on improvements such as the recent enhancements to its distribution centre which has increased output by 250 %”( Brown 2009).
Levi’s received better results than All Saints, 57% of them have Levi’s products. It is more widely purchased by this group of people. Their products have more attraction than All Saints. Like the All Saints, Levi’s also has positive action.
From the Drapersonline: “Denim brand Levi’s has changed the licensee for its underwear and lingerie collection as part of a repositioning strategy. The move is intended to reinvigorate the collection” ( Drapersonline 2009).
This action gives more opportunity to potential and existing consumers to buy their products. This report said this is a part of repositioning strategy; it means they will have more and effective activities in the future and the consumers’ purchasing volume will increase.
4. 3 Most Important Factor
Different retailer gives different impression to the customers. The research results give us direct information about the consumers’ ideas. At the same time reflects the consumers buying behaviour.
Consumer behaviour is the study of the process when individuals or groups choose, buy, use of products, services, ideas or related experiences to satisfy their needs and wishes (Hawkins, Best and Coney 2004). Usually, when consumers purchasing clothing, they have their own way to judge the store, product, price and so on. In 3.3, the display these three different type retailer give the different impression to consumers. From H&M part, there are 45% respondents thought the style are most important factor of this retailer. H&M supply a broad and wide range product; the collections are created with broad design ideas and satisfy many different tastes of requirements. Their designing group always take the world as inspiration; styles are following the fashion trends. They try their best to create a good balance between fashion, quality and the best price (H&M website). Thus, other 38.3% respondents said the price of H&M is acceptable. About the quality there are 15% respondents express they are interested in this and only 1.7% respondents think about the brand of H&M. It reflects the fashion consumers have their judgements.
Many apparel decisions are rationally consider one’s evaluative measure and choosing a feasible alternative. Like Solomon (2004) said if the object reaches consumer’s interest, they evaluate it and then might purchase. From other point view, this also reflects what the brand image in consumer’s mind.
Brand image includes the target market’s interpretation of the product’s attributes, benefits, usage situations, users, and manufacturer features. In a market brand image reflects schematic memory of a brand (Hawkins, Best and Coney 2004) and consumers’ perception of a brands’ characteristics (Hague and Jackson, 1994; Chernatony and McDonald 1998). So from 3.3(b) it demonstrated style and price are main points to attract H&M consumers.
Look at the All Saints part, 43.3% of respondents considered the most important factor of this retailer is price. Compare with other two retailers the price of All Saints are higher; it is why the consumer think this is important factor of it.
Following the price the style are another important section, there are 26.7% respondents are interested in this. 16.7% respondents considered brand, 13.3% considered quality. In the Levi’s part there are 38.3% respondents thought the quality is the first important section, the second important section is the style, in this section 25% respondents. About the brand and price respectively are 23.3% and 13.3%.
To this group consumer, when asked about the H&M, the style is most considered factor; they thought style is All Saints brand image is: its price is high and, and they thought Levi’s has good quality products. Brand image like a receiver ¼ˆJean-Noël 1997¼‰, the image will be influenced by the performance of the promotions, literature and the message, thus a positive image will accelerate the development for an organisation (Hague and Jackson, 1994).
Sproles and Kendall explained (1986, p.268; cited by Wang. C.L; Siu. N. Y. M; Hui. A. S. Y 2004), a consumer’s decision-making style is ” a mental orientation characterizing a consumer’s approach to making choices”. There are some main decision styles (Sproles and Kendall 1986, cited by Wang. C.L; Siu. N. Y. M; Hui. A. S. Y 2004):
These eight styles explain the most basic mental features of a consumer’s decision making, and have directly relationship with consumer choice behaviour. When consumers buying clothing, often take time to evaluate alternatives of brand, style, design, colour, price and country-of-origin. These choice behaviours are particularly display consumers’ interest, such as brand conscious, fashion conscious, price conscious and hedonistic orientation (Wang. C.L; Siu. N. Y. M; Hui. A. S. Y, 2004). From the analysis the feedback of these three retailers, they have their own advantages to attractive the consumer. of course there are some disadvantages influence their development, e.g the higher price of All Saints impede most of consumer buy it.
Fashion consumer decision making sometimes is a slightly different with the normal consumer decision. Look this figure; it compares what is the different. Firstly, the fashion consumer would like pay attention about the fashion object; not like the traditional consumers, they are sometimes only focus on the function of the cloth. Secondly, the fashion consumers have their view of the product, the traditional consumers always get the information other source, they do not have particular requirement of the fashion, and just sourcing the cloth in the narrow area or shop in customary shop. Fourth, it shows the fashion decision consumers judge the product in different way, fashion decision always try to evaluate product and not the brand performance. In the fifth step, the traditional decision is last step, but fashion decision has one more step than traditional. You can see the figure, consumers not enjoy the purchase immediately, they think about the products satisfy their demand or not, and then reflects they enjoy it.
Figure 4.3 (a): Stages in Fashion and Traditional Decision Making( Solomon and Rabolt, 2004;p. 353)
Fashion buying is a strategic decision for the organization and influence the products assortment available to consumers (Hines and Bruce, 2007).
4.4 Shopping Frequency
The research results display most (70%) of the respondents shop in H&M once a month and another 21.7% go to H&M stores several times a month. Normally, the fashion buying cycle is not very long, sometimes the period of buying new goods are every six weeks( Kline and Wagner, 1994; cited by Hines and Bruce 2007). When companies have intent on fast fashion, this can happen more quickly, even on every week (Buckley,2006; cited by Hines and Bruce 2007). Everyday H&M has new item arrive in stores( H&M website).
The role of fashion buyer can divide by 18 and 25 different actions, including reviewing market knowledge and analysing old sales records to know different levels of demand for different products (Fiorito, 1990; cited by Hines and Bruce 2007). Otherwise, the fashion buyer will analyse and consider other conditions, such as economic situation; trade, business and industry journals. In this way the buyer can buy the best products at the lowest price (Hines and Bruce 2007).
The respondents go to All saints and Levi’s stores’ time are not as many as go to H&M. From the feedback you can know most (48.3%) of the respondents never shop in All Saints stores and there are 41.7% respondents have never shop in Levi’s. It demonstrate these 60 respondents are not their main target consumers or their products’ characters are not attractive these respondents enough. Compared with these consumers never shop in these two stores, other major part respondents are shop in these stores once a month, such as 33.3% respondents shop in All Saints stores once a month, and 38.3% respondents shop in Levi’s stores once a month. This demonstrate these group of consumers still have interested in these two retailers, but some factors reduce their purchase such as higher price level or fixed style, etc.
These two brands can do some marketing research, and following the results can slightly change some previous operational technique, and attractive more potential consumers such as make the “never” part join the “not often” part, and reduce rate of the “not often” part, encourage them purchase more than before.
4.5 Average expenditure
From the 3.5(a), in the H&M section 71.7% of the respondents indicated the ¿¡0 ~¿¡30 is a very popular price area, they always spent this amount in H&M stores.
This express the consumers can use this amount money bought their satisfy products in H&M. Opposite this, the 43.3% respondents never spent money in All Saints stores. Like mentioned in 3.5(b) the All Saints price level all most from ¿¡60, it is a little high for the students. So except “never” buy part, the¿¡60~90 is second popular part (28.3%), only smaller part (15%) of the respondents spent above ¿¡90, and rest of 13.3% spent ¿¡0 ~¿¡30, no body spent ¿¡30 ~¿¡60. Although like this, their sales were £46.9 million for the year to February 3 2008 All Saints chief executive Stephen Craig said:
“sales had been consistently ‘well above budget’ throughout 2008” Christmas trade was also strong, above budget and ahead of market rivals, according to the company.
They do not like other high street rivals; All Saints did not give discount in its shops
Craig said that unlike some of its high street rivals, All Saints did not discount in its shops pre-Christmas, in this way, maintain margin and consolidate brand positioning (Brown 2009).
The Levi’s situation is similar with All Saints, from the research results known, the figure is better than All Saints, there are 33.3% respondents never spent money in Levi’s stores, but all the respondents known this brand. In ¿¡60 ~¿¡90 area Levi’s has the same result ( 28.3%) with All Saints, this is the acceptable price area. Following this figure the close area is ¿¡30 ~¿¡60, 25% of them spent this amount. 13.3% spent ¿¡0 ~¿¡30, non of them spent above ¿¡90. In the Appendix part there are some products prices with photographs of these three brands,
In 4.3 has talked about the brand image gives to this focus group. Each of these brands gives the different images to consumers. Feldwick (2003) said improving brand image can help to increase sales; gain the extra income, other author like Hague and Jackson (1994) mentioned: a) a positive image will get more margins and reduce the competitive pressure and easier to sell with lower prices, b) More competitive, a strong brand will be like a barrier to competitor’s products.
Therefore to increase their average expenditure, have a strong brand image is essential. With the strong brand image, their whole sales volume can be increased.
CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION
In this section will conclude the wider perspective on the findings of the investigation and also provides suggestions for the further research on the subject. Nowadays, brands can not be avoided today, it already infiltrate into people’s daily life.
The primary research, which was presented and discussion in Chapter 3 and 4, those information showed that the performance of the retailers in the market, reflects their status. The status of brand logo recognition can reflects the brand awareness of a company, If a company has a wide brand awareness, it means have big amount of consumers can recognize its public logo. At the meanwhile the products of this company can satisfy general consumers’ demands; it is also can have higher brand awareness. So when the question is ask about the brand logo recognize, it can be described the brand awareness level, the answers demonstrated the awareness level of company. Other theory which related with brand awareness and brand logo is brand equity; it has talked about in 4.2. From 3.4 you know there are some respondents have not buy any products in the All Saints and Levi’s stores, so increase the brand equity may encourage more purchase actions. The brand equity can increase (or reduce) the value of the organizations’ products or services. The value of the organization achieved not only from sales income but also from the brand equity, increase the brand equity is a positive method to attract more consumers’ interests and attentions to the products and then have the opportunity increase the sale. Following these two contents, in 4.3 the brand image and consumer’s buying behaviours are talked in this section. Consumers have different impression to these three brands; they rely on the characters of and estimate their brand image. in this section has also discussed about the fashion buying behaviour because these four answers of 4.3 reflects the what the main requires of the consumers, so when the a fashion retailer want gain the biggest value they need known their consumers demands and build a strong brand image.
The duration of the fashion trend is very short, so the fashion buying cycle is also not very long, in 4.4 has discussed the shopping frequency of the consumers and through the results most of H&M consumers can follow the fashion trend, and purchase its products more frequent. Finally, the average spent when consumers shopping these stores, can display how popular of this brand, if the consumers like the products they would like to spend more money, of course in this section has some suggestions of how to make the consumers spend more in future.
5.1 Further research recommendations
The research comprehended only a limited sample of consumers, and focused upon three brands, so the results only can reflect a group of consumer’s thought. I suggest someone else looks into in more wide details about the brand and do some wider research, not only focus on female, also can be another occupation.
CHAPTER 6 REFERENCE
Aaker, D. A. (2002) Building strong brands New York; London : Free.
Aaker, D. A (2002) Brand leadership New York; London : Free.
Crainer, S.(1995) The real power of brands: making brands work for competitive advantage London : Pitman.
Chernatony, D.L. and McDonald, M. (1998) Creating powerful brands in consumer, service and industrial markets 2nd ed.. Oxford : Butterworth-Heinemann.
Easey, M (2002) Fashion marketing 2nd ed. Oxford : Blackwell Science.
Feldwick. P (2003) Brand communications in Brand and Branding
Hawkins, D. I., Best, R. J., and Coney, K. A. (2004) Consumer behaviour: building marketing strategy 9th ed. Boston, Mass. : McGraw-Hill.
Hague, P. and Jackson, P. (1994) The power of industrial brands : an effective route to competitive advantage . London : McGraw-Hill.
Jean-Noël, K. (1997) Strategic brand management : creating and sustaining brand equity long term 2nd ed. London : Kogan Page.
Riezebos, R. (2003) Brand management : a theoretical and practical approach Harlow : Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Solomon, M. R.and Rabolt, N. J. (2004) Consumer behavior : in fashion Upper Saddle River, N.J.; London : Prentice Hall.
Walliman, N. (2001) Your research project : a step-by-step guide for the first-time researcher London : SAGE.
Wang. C.L; Siu. N. Y. M; Hui. A. S. Y (2004) Consumer decision-making styles on domestic and imported brand clothing. Eurropean Journal of Marketing, [online], Vol.38, Iss. 1/2, pp.239-252
6.1 INTERNET SOURCE
Pam Tate 2007
Jessica Price Brown 2009:
Glossary (2007) All About Branding, [online], Available at: http://www.allaboutbranding.com/index.lasso?page=11,54,0. [Accessed: 10th December 2008]
Jessica Price Brown 2008
http://www.drapersonline.com/news/hm-unveils-its-design-for-dominance/903574.article 10 March,
Jessica Price Brown 2009
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