Fashion industry market as of the present is growing and is booming as there are sectors focused on the type of business. But, how come low cost fashion companies do impact in competition within the fashion industry? Is there really an issue pointing towards these companies such as Zara and Topshop? Fashion industry can have greater demands from various customer types and due to globalization, such low cost fashion companies can be in to prove its worth in the fashion market. The research can be used to determine underlying factors in such cases to be taken from Zara and Topshop and thus, provide awareness to the fashion business of such impact in the market mostly, to those first class fashion companies.
The problem can be that nowadays, low cost fashion companies can possibly dominate the industry of today and in the future and the situation for competition in the fashion industry can amicably be on high demand on such products and services and that there is evidence of business risks as possible. The interest of the paper will be to determine how low cost fashion companies impact the competition within the fashion industry in the aspect of its market stance. There should be awareness and assessment on the presence of the two low cost fashion companies, Zara and Topshop will be considered as the focus for this study. Amicably, it is also imperative for this research to determine and evaluate such customer views with regards to the two low cost fashion companies (Zara and Topshop) and in thus, the study can involve such frequent shoppers of those companies and from such responses can possibly linked and indicate as to why these low cost companies do impact such competition within the fashion market industry.
A consumer preference for brands with a global image, even when quality and value are not objectively superior, has been proposed as a reason for companies to consider global brands (Cited from, Shocker et al., 1994; Taylor and Raymond, 2000). Therefore, Fashion Company needs to identify the response of consumers worldwide to its global advertising for such specific consumer segment. For instance, the fashion industry for women is particularly relevant in terms of examining the feasibility of cross-national segmentation. Research indicates that females tend to be more fashion conscious, be more knowledgeable about fashion brands (Cited from, Blyth, 2006), and read more fashion magazines than male consumers (Cited from, Chamblee et al., 1993; Putrevu, 2004). This implies that marketers need to pay special attention to women when expanding and advertising fashion brands to international markets. The fashion industry is characterized by a considerable amount of standardized advertising. In fact, global advertising in fashion magazines such as Vogue and Elle helps create the image of a designer brand name for fashion goods, such as apparel, accessories, and perfume, and has been used by many leading firms (Cited from,
Fashion lifestyle segmentation
In recent years, it has been suggested that we are seeing the emergence of a new group of consumers who have similar preferences and buy similar brands that are promoted globally as well as in local media. These new consumers have been referred to as "global consumers," who exhibit similarities to people in other nations in terms of lifestyle and consumption patterns (Cited from, Hassan et al., 2003). Although differences abound in music, values, and cultures, some have argued that commercial advertising on mass media (TV, magazine and internet) has contributed to a global consumer culture, particularly for global brands (Cited from, Arnold and Thompson, 2005). In various contexts, it is important to examine whether evidence really shows support for the notion of global consumer context. Thus, again, it is important to examine whether fashion segments cut across national boundaries. Lifestyle segmentation has received considerable attention in fashion products, such as clothing, accessories, and sportswear. Fashion lifestyle is defined as consumer attitudes, interests, and opinions related to the purchase of fashion products (Cited from, Gutman and Mills, 1982; Ko et al., 2006). In a study of the female apparel market in the USA, Shim and Bickle (Cited from, 1994) outlined three fashion lifestyle segments: symbolic/instrumental users, who are younger, innovative, fashion-conscious, and represent higher social class level; practical/conservative users, who are oriented more toward comfort and function than toward fashion or appearance and are not likely to enjoy shopping; and apathetic users, who tend to patronize discount stores. In another study from the USA, Kim and Lee (Cited from, 2000) identified six fashion lifestyles price-consciousness, fashion-consciousness, information seeking, self-confidence, attitude toward local stores, and time-consciousness and was related to different segments that sought benefits from catalog shopping. As Lee et al., (Cited from, 2004) divide TV home shoppers into four segments based on fashion lifestyle the aesthetic group, the economic fashion innovator group, the showy uncritical group, and the fashion-uninterested group and discuss their different responses to product advertising on TV home shopping. Finally, Ko and Mok (Cited from, 2001) found that fashion lifestyles have significant effects on advertising effectiveness in an Internet shopping context (Cited from, Ko and Park, 2002). The low cost companies can be guided by philosophy of producing fashionable cheaply made clothing, but adapts its clothing lines to each country and ensures that stores are permanently restocked. To strengthen brands that involve such mixture of fashion and cheapness, there can be collaboration among celebrities and famous designers available at low prices.
Thus, for instance, Hennes and Mauritz there can be the support of singers such as Kylie Minogue and Madonna and Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld have all worked with H&M and their collections have sold out in hours. Hennes and Mauritz reported then, such sales of €8.6 billion approximately $11.9 billion, putting it slightly ahead of its nearest rival in the clothing retail industry, Spanish group Zara, as the principle remains the same: fashion and quality at the best price. The emergence of international low-cost fashion chains such as Hennes and Mauritz is linked to shopping trends as the success of these brands is evidently down to their low prices, which is the main point. (Cited from, The Local, 2007 in Business Region
Information on Zara
Zara's success story
While retailers concentrate their money and efforts on building a brand image through advertising campaigns, their lack of control over sub-contractors has left many open to accusations of using sweatshop labor when unacceptable practices are uncovered at factories producing their merchandise. The company's success lies in it having total control of every part of the business. It designs, produces and distributes itself. By controlling the entire process from factory to shop floor, Zara can react quickly to changing fashion trends and customers' tastes, providing innovativeness that has taken
Source: CNN.com Europe Business (June 15, 2001)
Information on Topshop
"Topshop was established in 1964 within Sheffield department store called Peter Robinson, however, the same store allocated Topshop space in the basement of its Oxford Circus store in
Source: Topshop Website
The research questions for the study provide a crucial factor in understanding the value of the study presented as a whole context and will guide the flow of research organization.
The core research question can be:
In what ways and how does such low-cost fashion companies impact in the competition within fashion market industry? (Implying to Zara and Topshop)
The sub research questions are as follows:
1. What are some of the factors affecting he fashion industry market in relation to such impact of the low cost companies?
2. What are the possible effects of such low cost company presence on such customer preferences when it comes to choosing fashion products?
3. Does such impact have any relevance to fashion lifestyle segmentation? (Discuss the idea fashion lifestyle segmentation)
4. Does competition in the fashion industry provides a healthy relationship among low cost companies as compared to first class companies? (Consider one first class company as an example)
The main objective for this study is to be able to identify possible assumptions of the low cost fashion companies as there is impact on the competition within the fashion industry and to be able to provide a sound research equipped with appropriate primary and secondary data to incur a substantial case study application in comparing Zara and Topshop respectively. Thus, to be able to linked well with such research questions in lieu to such research evidences and findings backed up with appropriate supporting data and knowledge found in the literature study. Then, the need to identify the present state of competition within the fashion industry and lastly, in order for the research to execute as well as to perform valid and reliable research design and methodology as relevant as possible in achieving a sound realization of the study's objective.
Research Design and Methodology
For determining ample substance of such impact of low cost fashion companies, the research samples to undertake will be subject for survey questionnaire in support to case studies as presented for Zara and Topshop respectively. It can be divided into two groups of shoppers, 50 loyal shoppers of Zara and the other 50 shoppers of Topshop, the two groups of respondents are Hong Kong shoppers as the two stores have branches in
The research methodology and design process would involve such primary as well as secondary sources for bringing about substantial studies that are literature based and theoretically inclined for which such research methods utilized may truly serve its first hand purpose for this study. The primary sources will have to represent original thinking as the core data for the research will have to be in case studies as well as survey questionnaires equipped with suitable statistical data and its measures as it can have direct observation to the research process as undergoing research should be handed in with empirical facets and crucial points gathered by the researcher. There should also be the integration of secondary data as findings and assumption studies made by several researchers can be good option that supports any valid information. The secondary data will then analyze and evaluate information as being found in the primary sources and creates information more accessible to the readers and the parties involved as these were supported by good books, peer reviewed journals as well as articles and other publication types. When moving the case method for instance, can have such shifts from one paradigm to another and in handling study discipline, such careful approach is amicably needed. The data to be gathered will be tallied by the researcher and will be encoded in the computer. Hard copy will be printed to ensure that files are kept including the questionnaire responses of the sample. Frequencies will be computed into percentages and will be presented through graphs, tables and textual arrangements. VR data will also undergo interpretation to determine student to VR relationships indicating the applicability of the research study.
The analysis of data can be through scaling interpretation for the survey questions that can be in support to any descriptive type of analysis basing from the responses of shoppers of both Zara and Topshop. The measurement for such analysis, must take such forms of non-comparative scales to be illustrated as qualitative approach can involve numeric value and on the other hand, be it in semantic way with complete scaling measurements as equipped to understand applications in such fashion essence. There will be utilization of interval scaling as the researcher can justify the use of the arithmetic mean as measure of average. Thus, Likert scales have been described in this chapter are among the most commonly used in marketing research. Whilst there are great many more forms which scales can take, if students are familiar with those described in this chapter they will be well equipped to deal with most types of survey problem. Furthermore, through such application of the Likert scale measurement, the degree of agreement as well as disagreement will be given desired numeric value wherein there can include such 2-5 interpretative points from strongly agree up to neutral scaling aspect down to strongly disagree as to be effective in calculation processes (Cited from, Underwood, 2004 p. 1 in Greymaterial, May 3, 2007). The data to be presented will have to be in tabulation and due analysis through the use of deviations in median and percentage standardization. Future studies that could be of use by the researchers can be seen in the matter of how effective this particular research study to the society that will be transpired that the study is of applied values and norms that could be the useful indication of the studies to be discussed and be able to assimilate in the future research studies that is more or less related to the presumed study. The proposal then, may possibly explain relevance of research approach and its affectivity to the served purpose respectively.
The resources deemed for the realization of the study can come from related books and certain publications mostly underlying to the support resource materials ideally as basis for the literature studies of the study. The knowledge and information to be integrated and evaluated for validity and reliability can be resources directed to EBSCO – the emerald insight journals and articles as well as from Blackwell Synergy if possible and thus, good sources of books that can be found from Amazon books online and Questia Library.
Access to study population
For such access to study population, there can be distribution of permission letters and that should be given to the supervisor heads of Zara and Topshop and ask their permission to use their stores as the venue for giving out of the survey questionnaires to their customers/shoppers who come in their stores and buy something on their products. Thus, informing Zara and Topshop that such suitable information about them will be use as information reference for whatever case data needed for the overall aspect of the research.
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The role of strategic marketing is one of better fundamental influence on how Saudi airlines are managed as of the present, the airline's strategy affects the way business is operated and the reorganization of airlines structure have allowed innovation to prosper and succeed in terms of customer relations. Thus, marketing strategy should relate to such customer expectations and their assessment of service quality within the situation deemed imperative for Saudi Arabia Airlines and thus, looking also to the impact of performance indicator found and reflected within Saudi Airlines market operations and strategies being applied as essential to the role of marketing in Saudi Airlines business industry.
II. Research Aims and Objectives
The objective of this research is to analyze the strategic marketing role relating to Saudi Arabia Airlines in finding out such gap between customer expectations and assessment of service quality along with such impact of performance as applied within the Airlines in support for theory. Thus, strategic role of marketing can be paramount in facilitation of good customer relations to provide ample marketing ways and direction in the process. As the research study will then focus and present detailed case study assumptions regarding Saudi Airlines. Thus, certain analysis of strategic marketing findings and valid sources of information will need to be construed to the marketing strategies of Saudi Arabia Airlines relevant to such customer expectations and the assessment of service quality offered by the Airlines. Ideally, there has been great efforts and aims to accomplishing innovative strategic goal which involves the achievement of the highest levels of excellence in providing their valued customers with the best service possible and gaining their approval and satisfaction. The mission statement of Saudi Arabia Airlines could not have been more appropriate at any other time than at the dawn of the new millennium: to remain world class airline with a distinctive Saudi character, that is customer driven and caring employer.
III. Research Questions
IV. Overview of
To make inferences about behavior patterns, attitudes and perceptions of the population as a whole, the researcher will recourse to statistical analyses. Basing on the information to be provided by respondents, various hypotheses of image and customer retention among hoteliers have to be tested.
Ideally, building on notions explored during the secondary research, the researchers will aim to discover whether image of hoteliers will influence customer retention along with better decision process as such the notion that such first class hoteliers would drive more customers and that hypotheses denoted by H0 are as follows:
H1. Business image has varying influence on customer retention within hoteliers
H0. "Hoteliers will need to keep and manage strong image for retaining loyal customers as compared to keeping
H1. "Managing strong image" has varying persuasion on customer retention within hoteliers
For the research, research questions serves a purpose in guiding how to do with the research and what information needs to be considered and focus relating to research studies in support to methods utilization and its anticipated outcomes.
1. How can image management enhance loyalty among hotel customers? (Cite examples, such as case studies)
2. Do hoteliers need to manage image to retain loyal customers? (Provide secondary support of information)
4. Aside, does technology utilization within hoteliers help in keeping their loyal customers? What image is emphasized in terms of communicating well to the customers? (Determine causal relationship between image and technology as imperative factors for retaining customers)
Overview of Research
The focus of the research will have to be customer retention and image management within the hotel industry. Then, there is integration of research information and knowledge supporting such underlying concepts of how the research should be in essence with ample research applications through such empirical data gathering by means of utilizing research methods and describing detailed organization of how the research will be as a whole context as being backed up with comprehensive literature and its respected studies.
Amicably, retaining loyal customers for hoteliers is essential and a core factor in keeping the business industry in shape and competitive enough to level up the changing trends of globalization that has impacted such business and economic activities of the hotel markets. Thus, to be in control of business image and be able to manage it properly implies strong assumption that the hoteliers require and must keep a top propriety in order for them to retain loyal customers and possibly increase the size of the customers given the fact that, the hotel business must have to secure and update its business image to loyal customers and to the people who can be in a way become potential customers in the future.
Overview of Literature
In the past decades the hospitality industry has witnessed exponential growth, resulting in increased competition on such global scale. Thus, loyal customers critically assess the standards of service provided by competing hotel and confirmed that the customers' approval of firm's quality of service can outcome into better business image of the hotel industries thus, leading to growth in its sales and profits (Cited from, Zeithaml, 2000). Indeed, hospitality industry recognizes that superior quality of service is one of the crucial factors within its control that can add value to its image and amicably will lead into customer retention and loyalty then, good image as well as the quality of service have become the key to hotelier's ability to differentiate itself from its competitors and retain its loyal customers and gain their loyalty (Cited from, Kandampully and Suhartanto, 2003). Faced with intense competition in the marketplace, it cannot be assumed that there is an unlimited customer base prepared to maintain patronage. It is imperative for hotels to tailor hotel services to the changing needs and lifestyles of customers (Cited from, Min et al., 2002) with view to increasing customer loyalty and retention. On the other hand, research conducted by Reichheld and Sasser (Cited from, 1990) suggested that a 5 percent increase in customer loyalty could produce a profit increase of 25-80 per cent. Furthermore, they argued that the profitability derived from an individual customer grows during business relationship. They also found that up to 60 per cent of increased sales to new customers could be attributed to customer recommendations, form of customer loyalty. Thus, Reichheld (Cited from, 2001) argued that five percent increase in customer retention yields seventy five percent increase in net present value. Similarly, Grönroos (Cited from, 2000) indicated that, in most businesses, loyal customers are willing to pay premium price. It is therefore evident that the long-term benefits of loyal customer-supplier relationship can be significant to any hospitality firm, as the "return on relationship" reflects directly on the firm's long-term financial outcome (Cited from, Gummesson, 1999). In addition to hospitality organizations becoming more aware of the benefits of technological applications, customers have also become increasingly driven by technology, and are therefore demanding higher levels of services associated with technology. It is therefore imperative that hotels identify ways in which they can utilize new technologies to create services that contribute to increased value for their customers (Cited from, David et al., 1996).
Several authors have highlighted the implications of being "customer oriented" as the most important component image management (Cited from, Rich, 2000; Siegel, 1999). Supporting the idea is Gummesson (Cited from, 1996) as he claims that "customer focus" not only: "compels management to realize the firm's primary responsibility to serve the customer", but also "to recognize that customer knowledge is paramount to achieving market orientation". As Christopher et al. (Cited from, 1991) offer checklist of how companies can become customer centric:
- Focus on customer retention
- Offer superior products services benefits
- Pursue long-term vision
- Emphasize exemplary customer service
- Engender customer commitment
- Ensure that quality is the concern of all
The purposes of this study is basically to investigate the extent to which business image management has influence customer retention of the services being provided by the hoteliers within the hotel industry and then, to acquire better understanding of the perceptions held by management regarding the impact of imaging through technology on its service and customer loyalty. In particular, the sample excludes small and medium-sized accommodation. Second, the study will focus on perceptions of sales and marketing managers, thereby excluding the perceptions held by customers. Moreover, in order to provide comprehensive understanding of the impact of image on customer loyalty, future studies could incorporate the perceptions of the parties to be involved. Although customer survey questionnaires continue to represent common tool in tracking customer information and customer satisfaction, the results could indicate that managing good image in hotels is essential. To manage hoteliers effectively within diverse operating networks, managers must ensure that the hotel's technology is compatible with other network system. In the past, the hospitality industry was primarily focused on selling accommodation, food and beverages. It has now evolved into truly global industry, not only because hospitality enterprises serve international markets but also because their products and service are complex, discontinuous and globally competitive. For many people, hospitality services have become an integral component of business and social life. Hotel managers must incorporate services that customers demand, and in many respects these are substantially different from those demanded in the past. Hotels today do not represent a mere home away from home. For many business customers, hotels are a traveling office, a meeting place for learning and the exchange of ideas, and a place to entertain, enjoy sporting activities, and so forth. Thus, the traditional core offerings of hotel represent only small component of the package of experience that customers seek. Hotel managers must realize that technology will not be the differentiator. Rather, creative and innovative use of technology that enhances the value of offered services will be the means by which hotels differentiate themselves from their competitors. Managers must adopt new technologies that assist hotel employees to serve customers better at the operational level.
For the design purposes, a questionnaire will be use and will comprise of 17 open-ended and closed-ended questions to be formulated. The questionnaire will cover customer retention information and business imaging process within the impact of such matter on customer loyalty respectively. A total of 70 questionnaires have to be randomly distributed to sales and marketing managers of independent and chain hotels in the city of
Although purposive sample would usually be appropriate for qualitative research, the fact that the sample possibly be nested in context provides such extra advantage. Moreover, the various types of hotel groups can be well represented in the composition of the sample. Thus, it should be noted that hotel groups, would evolve once the fieldwork began, as this represented the full population of hotel groups in the
Sources of Data
Given that the primary research aimed to focus on managing image of hoteliers for customer retention, there has to be qualitative perspective deem the obvious choice to express the current reality in explanation and such objective was to offer grounding to secondary research and give the research in-depth information value and structure. In addition, sources of data can include primary and secondary sources that will involve first hand information of research outcomes and certain literature studies from reliable books, peer reviewed articles and journal from such academic resources such as from Blackwell, Ebsco as well as Questia library.
Form of Results
After assessing the pros and cons of the various tools appropriate for the quantitative research, survey questionnaire with regards to the customer retention will have to be in consideration within straightforward method of collecting substantial data as well as being most cost effective. On account of the widely acknowledged reluctance of hoteliers to openly discuss their business imaging and operations, detailed questionnaire, which could not be too probing will be devised. Although the questionnaire has to consists mostly of close-questions and "Likert scale" type of analyzing data (Cited from, Malhotra and Birks, 1999) some open-ended questions, more typical of qualitative research, have to be introduced to provide greater depth of data regarding retaining of loyal customers of hoteliers in order to better understand the complex behaviour of the hotel industry that is without imposing too much links that could limit the field of research.
In order to specify details of such analysis that can be good basis for assessing the research study as such attempt to further explore the research will be important in creating methods and process of research which will determine how far the particular choice of methodology in the form of questionnaire application could continuously lead to the same research measurement and such detailed results supporting aspects of the study. Additionally, when assessing the research against the backdrop of notions under study in the literature review, the researchers could not guarantee consistency of results if another investigation of the topic was to be carried out at the same time using different research instruments. However, to counteract the unconscious deformation of information gathered and to strengthen the reliability of the primary research, case study presentation will have to be utilized. Despite the fact that limitations of the questionnaire in terms of depth and relevancy of information gathered could not be completely eradicated, the data to be apprehended and requested can be deem appropriate for such type of research analysis.