How Does Branding affect customers purchasing decision making in mobile phones handset marketing in London?
The idea behind this chapter is develop the background and the research problem. The chapter also focuses on the research significance and the flow of the research report. The purpose of the chapter is to introduce the reader to the subject of the research and the purpose for which the research was chosen. This chapter will provide the much needed framework before moving on to the further research studies.
1.1 Background The concept of the brands is not new. The branding has been there since the times of Greek and Roman who used signboards to advertise for their shops and engraved stones to tell the products sold in the shops. The times have changed since then and the message of conveying the brand, but the process is still more or less the same. The brand image is still used as one of the most powerful tool to entice the customers and increase the market share (Rierzebos, 2003).
M. Delong (2004) stated that the customer’s purchase decision is result of multiple factors, and one of those factors is the perception of the brand image in the mind of the consumers. Thus, marketers need to develop a brand image that would appeal to the customers and influence them to make the purchase of the product of that particular brand. There are many methods to develop a brand image and these includes the use of advertising, word- of-mouth, reference groups, celebrities, and media (R. Mihalcea and I. Catoiu, 2008).
Brand helps in developing the positive image about the brand. Branding is appeals to the consumers’ tastes psychologically. Using the psychology of the human mind, the strategic 10 planners develop an image that resonates with the target group of the customers. Kotler et. al., (2013) has explained that there four different kind of brand name strategies:
Individual names (every product/service has its own brand name) Blanket family names (all products/services have one brand name like corporate brand) Separate family names (firm offers different products/services having different characteristics so products/services with similar characteristics have a family brand name), or the company Trade name with individual product/service names.
In the present market when the competition is quite high and each company is fighting for its own place, branding plays an important role. Although, the branding is important in every industry and field, the branding takes a special meaning in mobile phone handset industry where the competition is fierce and the technology is constantly growing.
Mobile has gained a special importance in past few decades as a reliable and efficient vehicle to connect one person to another. Since the 1980s when it was launched, it has come a long way. The development of mobile phones and technologies has been at such an advanced rate that it has resulted in the constantly changing customers’ needs and preference. The mobile phone is the most widely and most quickly adopted technology. The constantly changing technology and advancement in the phones provide a dynamic landscape for customers’ needs and preferences (Comer and Wikle, 2008). The mobile handsets have become necessary part of every household these days.
The purpose of this study is to understand the effect of brand preference on the purchase decision of mobile phones. The study takes the help of the literature review, and previously published papers to develop the necessary framework to understand the consumer buying decision. It is expected that the study will help both the consumers and the strategy planners. The consumer will understand the reason for the choice of the mobile handset, while strategy planner will be able to understand if they need to take certain actions to ensure the successful strategic planning.
1.2 Rationale behind the study The inspiration for this paper is derived from the findings of Heikki, Jeri et al (2005) who found out that even though the mobile phones are getting advanced, many of the consumer do not even realize the features of the product they are selecting. The question this presents is if it is not the features, then what are the factors that influence the customers’ purchase decision regarding the mobile handset. Heikki, Jeri et al (2005) showed there are seven factors that affect the consumers’ choice of mobile phones pricing, reliability, outside influence, brand and basic properties, design, multimedia and innovative services.
Studies about the customers’ choice of mobile handset provided varied results. Similar factors have been listed by Mei-jian, Haibo & Qoing (2012) who listed out four factors that affect the customers’ choice of a mobile handset: group effect, enterprises networking marketing methods, and perceived brand identity. Khurana (2011) showed that product price, quality and availability, and promotion the factors affecting the phone choice in Hissar's mobile phone market.
Inspired by these studies, the paper tries to understand the effect of branding on the mobile handsets’ purchase decision of consumers from London. This will help in understand the brand awareness and brand preference and the reason why a certain brand is preferred.
1.3 Research Aim and Objectives The problem statement of the research project can be stated as ―How Does Branding affect customers purchasing decision making in mobile phones handset in London?‖ The purpose of the study is to understand the perception of different handsets’ brand in the mind of the consumer. An attempt will be made to understand if the brand awareness and brand image affects the choices of the phone made by the consumers. Thus the research objective for the current study can be listed as:
i) Understanding the factors which affect the choice of mobile handset.
ii) Brand awareness and the effect of the brand image on the above mentioned choice.
iii) Understanding the truth behind the brand image from the customers’ perspective?
iv) Understanding the factors which help in developing the brand image.