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Consumer Choice Behaviour: UK Nightclub Industry Analysis

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 3356 words Published: 11th Jan 2018

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From about 1900 to 1920, working class Americans got together at bar to dance with the music played on a piano or a jukebox, and this is the early origin of the nightclub (Smith, 2001, p. 3). Nowadays, in general perspective, the ‘Nightclub’ is a word can represents the entertainment and social nightlife. And in recently decades the nightclub has become one of the most important parts of modern entertainment industry (Peretti, 2007, p. 4). It is clearly that, compared with the pub and bar, the nightclub not only has some similitudes, but also has more own characteristics. The nightclub sells alcoholic drink and put music as pub and bar. However, nightclub generally has dance floor and a DJ booth, the music always includes hip hop, rock, reggae and some house music (Smith, 2001, p. 5). To some extent, nightclub mixed the advantages of pub and bar, it has more entertaining and more modernity. As Smith (2001, p. 9) claimed that the nightclub industry is bright and profitable in the coming future, and this industry will probably has more influences on economic growth. For example, a positive phenomenon of U.S. shows that after consumer spending declined on nightclub industry in 2009, consumer spending is probably has a noteworthy growth in 2010 (Bars, Nightclubs & Drinking Establishments report in IBISWORLD, Jan 04 2011). And this kind of situation is happening in UK. In UK, there are 332,700 people working in the pubs, bars and nightclub industry, 40% of this people is working for nightclub. Therefore, the nightclub provides a huge number of job opportunities to society Pub, bar and nightclub industry workforce report in WARWICK, March 2010). Consequently, now the nightclub industry is playing a significant role in UK’s economy. Although the nightclub industry is important, in the academic circles there is a few literatures were related to the consumer behaviour of this industry. Moreover, in nightclub industry, less than 20% of entertainment venues capture 80% of the market share (Nightclubs | A business where 20% continue to make 80% of the money cited in NIGHTCLUBBIZ, 08 February 2010). And there is no authoritative and coincident academic theory to explain this unbalanced phenomenon. Therefore, more and more attention began to focus on this interesting unbalanced situation. What are the main factors dominating consumer choice in nightclub industry and what is the core competitive advantage in this truly competitive market.

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Obviously, the nightclub industry is a bright and profitable industry over the next few decades. Therefore, realizing the main factor dominating consumer’s choice behaviour is useful and significant. This dissertation will make an in depth look into the nightclub industry and investigate the main factors dominating consumer’s choice behaviour. And then, provide some theoretical supports for understanding consumer’s choice behaviour in this industry. Moreover, use the research results to provide some positive suggestion about the marketing and promotions strategies in the nightclub industry.

Literature Review

Obviously, nightclub industry is truly different from other industries, such as food, medical, clothing and so on. These kinds of industries produce tangible products. However, the nightclub industry provides tangible products and intangible service together (Rigakos, 2008, p. 12). To some extent, the intangible service is more difficult to promote and also uncontrollability. Therefore, investigate the main factors which dominate the consumers choice behaviour in this industry is arduous task.

Firstly, looking back the previous academic theories, Baker (1999) demonstrated that marketing is a process that can provide the products to the consumers, and this process includes four factors; they are product, price, place and promotion. Additionally, Keller (2003, p. 7) claimed that brand take on special meaning to consumers. It is a significant source of competitive advantage of the manufacturers. Fill (2006, p. 8) suggests that the marketing communication can add value through enhanced product and organisational symbolism. Egan (2008, p. 16) and Buttle (2009, p. 14) demonstrate that the customer relationship management is a positive technology to enhance the achievement of enterprise, helping broader organizational goals. In the secondary research procedure, this dissertation will take these academicians’ theories as the basic theoretical supports.

After the secondary research studying in this area, it can be seen that in nightclub industry there are several factors can influence the consumer’s choice behaviour. According to the basic theories and through the preliminary assessment, these factors can be separated by two parts, internal and managerial. The internal factors includes: music, light, price and security. The managerial factors includes: brand value, promotion and customer relationship management.

First of all, some perspectives support that the music is the core competitive advantage of a nightclub. The main types of music in nightclub include hip hop, rock, reggae and pop music and so on. And different consumer groups have different demands to the music (Smith, 2001, p. 219). Therefore, comfortable musical environment is an important factor could be influence the consumer’s choice behaviour. Then the other internal facilities factor is light. On the topic of professional writing and referencing Smith (2001, p.131) states:

‘Light set the mood, like many other things, light play an important role in establishing an overall mood, and if the place is hopping, it usually results in an easy decision for customers to enter and if it is not, they may leave’.

Furthermore, sometimes the price is also an important element to influence consumers’ choices behaviour. That is not to say price is cheaper is better. It is mean that in this industry, there should be different price ranges for different consumer groups (Engelson, 1995, p. 33). For example, there is a figure shows that per person spending on average from £12 to £31 one night (A basic overview of nightclub and bar investments cited in NIGHTCLUBBIZ, 08 February 2010). Different consumer groups have different attitudes on same price. Therefore, some consumers with high consumption would probably choose the high price service or product. Opposite, the low consumption consumers would be more price-sensitive (Engelson, 1995, p. 35). Consequently, to some degree the price is probably an important factor can influence the customer choice behaviour. Recently, the security problem is raising a key master of the nightclub industry. That is because there are several malignant cases were related with nightclub. For example, a man died after a shooting outside a nightclub in Winter Garden on 5 April 2001 (One killed in shooting outside Winter Garden club cited in ORLANDOSENTINEL, 05 April 2011). And in earlier time, there is another homicide case happened in East London nightclub (Murder at Boheme nightclub cited in MURDERMAP, 27 March 2011). Except the malignant cases, the fire disaster is another frequent threat to the security of nightclub (McManus & O’Toole, 2005, p. 244). Therefore, the consumers put more and more attention on security of nightclub.

The first managerial factor is brand value. Rigakos (2008, p. 46) mentioned that the brand value to a nightclub is crucial adjective. And the brand value can make your nightclub stand out from the rest and potential customers need to be able to find your nightclub. Moreover, Peretti (2007, p. 201) comments that create a brand name is significant step for building fame in the nightclub industry, sometimes the brand value is the key matter for earning profit in this industry. Therefore, the brand value is a significant element in the process of the consumer’s choice behaviour. Secondly, promotion for the nightclub is a significant element. Compared with other industry, the customers of nightclub industry have more mobility. It is meant in this industry the average customer loyalty is lower than traditional industry. Hence, this industry needs more promotions activities (Coe, 2009, p. 102). Some simple promotions technologies can results in an easy decision for consumers to enter the nightclub. Such as the free hats, shirts, and carry bags. According to the academic work of Egan (2008, p. 16), the customer relationship management is not just sent an email to customers. It is also not simply sent the invitation on Facebook. The customer relationship is becoming the major trend in marketing and the key mater of nightclub promotion process. It is clearly that, customers prefer to the nightclub with favorable customer relationship management. Consequently, from the analyzing the related material, the customer relationship management is probably can be a main factor dominating the customer’s choice behaviour.

Finally, through reading the literatures it is can be found that there are some factors are basic. Such as the price, security, music, favorable traffic condition and convenient parking conditions. That is to say if the nightclub investor wants get customers into nightclub and make profit, these factors are necessary. Expect there necessary conditions, the brand, promotion and customer relationship management are the extended conditions. Therefore, in the process of primary research, this project will investigate these factors can dominate the consumer’s choice behaviour or not. And if there has influence on the consumer’s choice behaviour, how much is the degree of the influence.

Research Question and Aims

The proposed research question is to explore what are the main factors can dominate the consumer’s choice behaviour in UK nightclub industry. As motioned previously, there are many factors have influences on customer’s choice behaviour. And what are the decisive factors can dominate the consumer’s choice behaviour in this competitive market? This project is designed to investigate the current situation of UK nightclub market and find out the core factors which can decides the consumer’s choice behaviour in this industry. Then, in order to help the owners of nightclub in UK can better realise the customer’s intend propose and need, increasing the profitability.

Proposed Method

Research strategy

Form the research question and aim; this project will focus on investigating the main factors which can dominate the consumer’s choice behaviour. That is to say, why the consumer choice A nightclub rather than B nightclub? What are the main reasons of the consumption behaviours? Therefore, the emphasis of this project will focus on the consumer side. However, that is not to say the information come from the operator of nightclub is useless. This project will also adopt the case study method, choosing some successful nightclubs as the samples of case study. Interview the operators of the nightclub or do some participant observation works for collecting the useful data from the nightclub operators. According to the research methods literature; this project will adopt the qualitative and quantitative research methods together to get the research result. And the main basic theoretical supports come from Bryman and Bell (2007), Saunder (2007) and Easterby-Smith, et al. (2002).

Research design

Several research designs were considered. Consequently, cross-sectional design, longitudinal design, Multiple-case study design and comparative design was decided as the practical and appropriate research designs due to the restraints imposed by time and accessibility (Bryman & Bell, 2007, p. 44-66). The reasons of choosing these kinds of research designs have four: firstly, this research will adopt the questionnaire and structured interviewing methods, and the cross-sectional design is an appropriate research design to analyse the data come from the questionnaire and structured interviewing (Saunder, et al., 2007, p. 153). Secondly, in this research, it will adopt the case study method to analyse several nightclubs. Therefore, it meant there will be Multiple-case study design. Because the case study research always includes longitudinal factors, and the longitudinal design is also an effective way to analyse the changes happened inside of the cases (Saunder, et al., 2007, p. 161). Hence, it will be also adopted in this research. Thirdly, the comparative design is appropriate for analysing the external elements of the cases (Bryman & Bell, 2007, p. 66). It can be used to investigate the differentiations and similarities among different nightclubs.

Research method

In this research, it will first collect the related literatures about the research topic, analysing the similarities and differentiation among different literatures, and then, obtain the background of this topic and the general theoretical framework about this field (Easterby-Smith, et al., 2002, p. 60). Secondly, this research will use the primary research methods to glean the original data. In this procedure, it will include questionnaire, interview, participant observation and some internet research methods (Easterby-Smith, et al., 2002, p. 168). The questionnaire will be used in the structured interview, and the self-completion questionnaires would not be adopted in this research, because the limitation of lower response rates and not prompt (Bryman & Bell, 2007, p. 242). The types of interview will include structured, unstructured and semi-structured interview. The structured interview will be used in the process of questionnaire, and the unstructured and semi-structured interview will be adopted to interview the operators of nightclubs. Additionally, the participant observation will be used to analyse the nightclubs which the research selects as the samples (Easterby-Smith, et al., 2002, p. 76).

Access issues

This research will choose the Newcastle nightclub market as the research sample. The reason for doing have two. One is Newcastle upon Tyne is famous for its entertainment, and especially the nightlife culture. And a new survey by Luxardo sambuca reveals that Newcastle followed Manchester as the second most offers for nightlife city in UK (Top UK Nightlife City Survey cited in PRNEWSWIR, 25 November 2011). Therefore, the Newcastle nightclub market has its strong representativeness of the UK nightclub industry. Two is I am a student in Newcastle University, I live in Newcastle, for the reason of restraints imposed by time and accessibility therefore I choose Newcastle nightclub market as the sample is reasonable and viable. And after determine the sample this project will try to glean the data from consumers by questionnaire. And this research will print two hundreds paper questionnaires and the questionnaires will be distributed by structured interview around the city centre and in front of door of the nightclubs. The electronic questionnaires will be distributed by email or put on the websites. For example, establish a group discussion on Facebook or Twitter. Furthermore, this research will attempt to interview fifteen nightclub operators in Newcastle, obtaining their perspectives about the dissertation question for supplementing the data come from consumers. And until now, I have two interviewees were selected, one is my classmate, he is the main operator of the Voodooers party in Newcastle. The other one is the manager of Sinners. Because that I have operated some private parties in her nightclub. Therefore, she would like to be an interviewee of my interview and would like to introduce other nightclub managers to me. And this project will search for more interviewees in May.

Proposed work plan


The design of questionnaire

Check the quality and viable of the questionnaire

Send the questionnaires and analysis of questionnaires data

Continue to search for the interviewees

Continue the secondary research work and contact with the interviewees of interview


Carry out the interviews and record the process of interview

Finish the report of interview


Analysing all of the primary data and contrast the results of the secondary research and primary research

Start writing the final dissertation

July to August:

Finish the writing of dissertation

Ethical issue

In this research it will adopt a series of research methods. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention on the ethical issue. Firstly, it should keep the rule of reciprocity and trust; create a favourable research environment (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 144). Secondly, In the process of questionnaire, it should keep the principles of voluntary participation and informed consent, it means the respondents must be fully informed about the procedures and risks involved in research and give their consent to participate (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 137). Thirdly, in the process of participant observation, it should avoid the harm of participants to the respondent, and keep a certain distance from the respondents in hope that avoiding the negative influence and maintaining the objective of the data. Furthermore, in the process of data analysing, do not destroy the privacy of the respondents. Moreover, protect the security of data after finish research (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 143). Consequently, only under the ethical principles, the research is reasonable and significance, the results of research can be objective and credible.

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The most serious limitation of this research is that the secondary literatures are not adequate. Therefore, to some extent, the primary research is the key matter of this research. Hence, the quality of the primary research decides the results and the quality of this project. Consequently, if the collection and analysis of primary data are not reasonable, then the results of the research will not representative (Easterby-Smith, et al., 2002, p. 128). Therefore, in the process of designing questionnaire and the procedure of analysing the data should be more cautious and systemic.

The second limitation is that the size of the sample. It is common that bigger size sample will make minimum biased (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 242). Hence, I am not sure that the two hundreds questionnaires will get the representative primary data or not. Whether increase the size of sample or not need to be checked and considered in the practice process.

Finally, there is another limitation is that lack of practical experience. I just make sure two interviewees until now. Therefore, I need to contact thirteen interviewees in May. And the worse thing is I did not have any experience about the interview. I need to design a question plan and ask questions in an appropriate way. Consequently, this process for me is a challenge, for the whole research is a limitation.

Proposed data handling and analysis

Generally speaking, in this research it will obtain plenty of data come from the questionnaire and interview. Therefore, it is important to adopt an appropriate method to analyse the qualitative research data. There are two general strategies of qualitative data analysis were considered. One is analytic induction (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 582). The other one is grounded theory (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 584). And this project will adopt the grounded theory as the main strategy of qualitative data analysis. The data of the qualitative research will be analysed by the computer software NVivo (Saunder, et al., 2007, p. 480). Moreover, the quantitative data will be analysed by using the normal statistical methods (Saunder, et al., 2007, p. 414). Furthermore, the secondary analysis will be used in both of the quantitative and qualitative research.


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