استعداد برند فروشگاه: اثرات ریسک، کیفیت و آشنایی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|182||2012||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5290 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), Volume 20, Issue 1, February 2012, Pages 48–58
While international retailers engage in the active promotion of store brands, consumers from Asia–Pacific markets remain resistant to purchasing store brands despite the intensification of promotional efforts. This study extends previous store brand research by: (1) determining the mediating role of perceived quality within a model of the antecedents and consequences of quality; and (2) assessing the extent to which age moderates the strength of relationships posited in the model. The model was tested in a retail store brand context using a quota sample of 220 shoppers and a cross-sectional survey. Empirical results suggest that performance risk, physical risk, and familiarity have significant effects on both perceived quality and purchase intention. Familiarity had the strongest total effect on perceived quality and store brand proneness in a collectivistic culture such as Malaysia and its effect on store brand proneness was partially mediated by perceived quality. Lastly, the finding that age moderates the impact of performance risk, physical risk, familiarity and perceived quality on store brand proneness provides insights into store brand management.
Store brands, also known as private labels, home brands or own brands, generally refer to merchandise sold under a retail store’s private label displaying either the store’s own name or a brand name created exclusively by the retailer for that store (Sprott and Shimp, 2004). Over the past decade, amid the highly dynamic international business environment, store brands have grown significantly in the retail and consumer goods markets (Zielka and Dobbelstein, 2007). International retailers engage in the active promotion of store brands to generate higher revenues and gross margins, increase store traffic and bargaining power relative to national brand manufacturers, and to boost store loyalty and improve store differentiation (Richardson et al., 1996, Baltas, 1997, De Wulf et al., 2005 and Walsh and Mitchell, 2010). Store brands are regarded as an important strategic decision due to their value as an avenue for retailers to create competitive advantage, especially during an economic downturn. Store brands hold strong influence in the international retail market. In Europe, store brand sales have been increasing since the late 1990s. According to a survey of 80 product categories in 38 countries, Europe ranked first as the most developed store brand region and eight of the top 10 highest-ranking countries in terms of store brand market share were in Europe (AC Nielsen, 2005). The growth in total store brand sales is significant throughout Europe: Switzerland (43%), Belgium (43%), the United Kingdom (42%), Germany (41%), Spain (33%), and France (32%) (PLMA, 2007). Store brands also have a strong presence in North America. Store brand sales increased by 7% in North America, which ranked second to Europe in regional store brand shares. Canada had slightly higher store brand market share of 19% compared to United States, which had a market share of 16% (AC Nielsen, 2005). Moreover, one in five products sold in US supermarkets in 2004 was a store brand (PLMA, 2007). It is evident that store brand manufacturers have secured a strong foothold in these more developed nations. However, consumers from the Asia–Pacific markets remain resistant to the purchase of store brands despite intensified promotional activities. According to AC Nielsen, the Asia–Pacific region had a much smaller average store brand market share at 4% (AC Nielsen, 2005). Among these Asia–Pacific nations, New Zealand had the highest store brand share of 12% and Australia was second with a market share of 9%. The store brand market share in Hong Kong and Japan was around 4% whilst Thailand and South Korea each had market share of merely 1% (AC Nielsen, 2005). Similar to other Asia–Pacific countries, the development of store brands in Malaysia remains relatively slow compared to European and North American markets (Nielsen Malaysia, 2009). It appears that the market penetration of store brand products in Asian markets is not as developed as the Europe and North America regions that have established store brand development and markets. The key question for retailers is always: ‘Why do consumers purchase store brands?’ Although the familiarity associated with store brands among Malaysian consumers is increasing, the majority of these consumers remain sceptical; consequently store brands are mainly consumed by the price conscious consumer segment (AC Nielsen, 2008). It is apparent that Malaysian consumers still harbour a strong feeling of uncertainty and are afraid of the consequences of purchasing store brand products (Conomos, 2008). Collectively, the presence of uncertainty among consumers has led to a negative perception about the quality of store brand products. However, marketers should be cautious in their marketing planning and implementation since what drives store brand proneness in Western countries might not hold true in Eastern nations. We speculate that the social-cultural differences as well as economic and political development which exist between Western and the Eastern societies might have an impact on consumers’ buying behaviour. Indeed, empirical evidence demonstrates that consumers in collective cultures are more inclined to base buying decisions on extrinsic cues; therefore, well-known manufacturer brands are their preferred choice (DeMooij and Hofstede, 2002). Consequently, consumer perceptions of unfamiliarity, risk and quality towards store brands might account for the relatively low market share of store brands in Malaysia. A good understanding of behavioural intention and consumers’ perceptions towards store brands has implications for retailers who want to increase the awareness and consumption of store brands. However, Hyman et al. (2010) note in an extensive review of store brand literature that 73.8 percent of the empirical studies were drawn partly or fully from US-based data. Despite the significant financial impact that store brands have in the international retail market, there are limited studies on store brands in the Asian context (Lin et al., 2009). Thus, determining the extent to which these perceptual factors influence consumers from a distinct cultural background is still an issue. Building on previous store brand literature, we attempt to address this issue by offering an integrated model in predicting consumers’ store brand proneness.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This research evaluates consumer perceptions of store brand in a collectivist culture. A contingency approach is used to uncover the underlying reasons for store brand proneness. The results illuminate important insights regarding store brand management for marketers as well as consumer researchers. Past store brand studies have examined the direct relationship between constructs such as perceived risk and purchase intention, but have failed to capture some of the explanatory power since mediating and/or moderating variables were not considered. The exclusion of mediating and/or moderating variables could weaken the relationship between variables of interest, leading to an inaccurate picture of their true effect. The present finding that age moderates the effects of performance risk, physical risk, familiarity, and perceived quality on store brand purchase intention has improved our understanding of how consumers judge store brands. Overall, the present model explains a total variance of 83.6% in store brand purchase intention. Despite of the continuous and increasing retail efforts to improve the position of store brands, consumers still perceived store brand products as riskier alternatives compared to manufacturer brands. The current result is obvious in the case of performance risk, of which consumers are worried that store brands may not provide satisfying consumption experience in terms of functionality. This feeling of uncertainty has negatively affected the subjects’ perceived quality and has consequently led to a lower store brand purchase intention. Another finding is that physical risk has a negative effect on perceived quality, and its effect on store brand purchase intention is partially mediated by perceived quality. It could be argued that cultural differences which exist between individualistic Western and collectivistic Eastern cultures are likely to provide explanation for such findings. The notion that cultures scoring high in uncertainty avoidance seem to favour well-known national brands (Hyman et al., 2010) may explain the increased influence of perceived risk on the purchase intention of store brands. The present finding contradicts past studies (e.g., Tsiros and Heilman, 2005, Hirunyawipada and Paswan, 2006 and Mieres et al., 2006b) that advocate financial risk is related to behavioural intention. This result may be because the subjects perceived monetary loss to be lower in the case of store brand hair care products. Although store brands are generally seen as socially riskier purchases than manufacturer brands (Mieres et al., 2006b), our findings reveal that social risk had no effect on purchase intention. The most plausible explanation for the inconsistencies when comparing our findings to past studies is that of cultural difference. Culture is known to have profound effect on consumer behaviour. As consumers from the individualistic cultures are more brand-savvy compared to their counterpart from collectivist cultures (Sun et al., 2004), it is not surprising that the present study found social risk to have no effect on purchase intention among Malaysian shoppers. Another possible explanation could be that the consumption of store brand hair care products is low in visibility since they are privately consumed products. The perceived risk associated with store brand purchases can inhibit the consumers’ adoption of store brand products. Hence, it is imperative that retailers pay close attention to the types of risk that consumers associate with store brands. Consumers rely most heavily on word-of-mouth to make purchase decisions under high performance risk uncertainties (Lutz and Reilly, 1973). Retailers can consider employing an easy return policy or money-back guarantee as a mean of creating positive word-of-mouth to overcome the performance risk concern. Furthermore, store image and, possibly, store name play important roles in mitigating consumer risk perception and building confidence towards store brands. In this instance, corporate branding campaigns should also be carried out by retailers to convince risk-adverse consumers to purchase store brand products. For instance, retailers may consider effective public relations and image building activities aimed at reducing perceived risk. Particularly relevant for marketing, this study demonstrates the important role of perceived quality in influencing consumers’ likelihood to purchase store brands. While the lower price of store brands served as a push factor for the price conscious segment, it has become a hindrance for consumers who strongly hold the opinion that price is an indicator of quality. Retailers should overcome the stereotype that store brands are inferior in quality merely because they are priced lower than national brands. This approach can be done by emphasising in their communication messages that the lower prices of store brands are not necessarily a reflection of poor quality but rather due to the cost reduction efforts the store has afforded through effective supply chain management. In order to achieve perceived quality that is comparable to those of national brands, retailers should start by building strong partnerships with suppliers to keep improving the quality of ingredients and manufacturing processes and possibly invest in the development of other quality products. Retailers could also use external quality cues to enhance the otherwise subjective consumer’s perception of store brand product quality. For instance, retailers can provide potential store brand purchasers with quality assurance and emotional satisfaction by offering product sampling at the point-of-purchase. Other possible strategies include the use of appealing packaging design, attractive labelling, cost effective advertising, and effective shelf space management (e.g., display store brand products near the leading manufacturer brands). All these strategies serve to create extrinsic cues which consumers can use to judge the quality of store brand products. Some of these proposed strategies might have strong implications on cost and profit margins. Although these marketing tasks may prove to be challenging, sustaining a perception of quality is a vital task for store brand retailers and manufacturers to perform. In summary, credibility is the key to managing both quality and risk. It is crucial that retailers deliver the promises their brands make to customers. The finding that familiarity emerged to be the most important factor in predicting store brand purchase intention has strong implications on store brand retailers. Previous studies have shown that familiarity has a direct effect on behavioural intention (e.g., Labeaga et al., 2007 and Sabbe et al., 2008). Our finding that the effect of familiarity on store brand purchase intention is partially mediated by perceived quality, rather than merely a direct link, is insightful. This result suggests that marketing programs orientated to improve consumer familiarity associated with store brands could possibly contribute to higher perceived quality. To market store brand products successfully, retailers should focus on enhancing store brand familiarity through creating higher levels of product exposure (e.g., informational in-store displays and prominent retail shelf location). Retailers could also reduce unfamiliarity among new or non-loyal customers by promoting the store brand attributes and benefits, and emphasising the in-store experience. With regards to the moderating role of age, the strength of relationship for: (a) the effect of physical risk on perceived quality was stronger for ‘mature’ samples compared to the ‘young’ samples; and (b) the effects of performance risk, physical risk, familiarity, and perceived quality on purchase intention were stronger for ‘mature’ samples compared to ‘young’ samples. This finding has important implications for segmentation strategies. As consumers’ perceptions change along with age, simply applying a common marketing approach to all customers without looking at their age can be disastrous. Retailers should consider treating the ‘mature’ group as a distinct segment and tailor their marketing strategies to this group differently. As quality, performance and safety of store brand consumption are of greater concern among the mature group, greater marketing efforts which emphasise corporate reputation and strategies which reduce perceived risk (and perhaps increase the perceived quality towards store brands) among mature consumer groups should be encouraged. One implication for marketing practitioners is that communication messages regarding risk could be more effectively targeted at the mature group by emphasising the functional and safety aspects of the product. Marketing activities such as trial packs, free samples, product demonstration, and blind tests, all of which expose mature consumer groups to store brands, should also be considered. These activities serve to provide reinforcement about consumers’ choices as well as to familiarise them with the store brand products. This study is based solely on a single product category; therefore, generalisations to other products or retail settings should be made with caution. This gap serves as a potential area for future research to explore the impact of various perceptual concepts across different product categories. Although subjects were assured of anonymity and confidentiality, potential social desirability may have artificially inflated the observed relationship when self-report measures were adopted. In this respect, future research should consider using panel data so that the model can be tested across different contexts. Furthermore, a number of other personal characteristics such as income, ethnicity, personality traits, and involvement could be considered as potential moderating variables in future research. Lastly, as the mature segment can be further divided into sub-segments (Moschis, 2003), more detailed classification of age groups (beyond ‘mature’ versus ‘young’) would provide insight into consumers’ perceptions towards store brands.