تعبیه ی دانش و ارزش یک نام تجاری در تداوم برای تمایز
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1979||2012||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of World Business, Available online 18 August 2012
Organisations offer products to consumers, buyers often question if the product or its production process are linked to the environmental, social or economic challenges being faced by mankind. Inquisitiveness of customers in this direction points towards an opportunity for marketers to create differentiation based on the concerns of brand towards overall issue of sustainability. The authors have synthesized knowledge from various domains with a positivistic approach to understand sustainability from the perspective of branding. Using empirical knowledge this study recommends embedding sustainability into brand knowledge and brand value for creating a differentiation for the brand in a competitive market.
Do sustainability concerns of a brand lead to differentiation? This question is being frequently asked by practitioners and academic researchers (Green, 2008, Lowitt and Grimsley, 2009, Miles and Covin, 2000 and Zott, 2003). Recent changes in climate events have raised serious concerns and are pushing businesses to approach sustainability from a broader view point and a long term perspective in the form of care for natural resources or health related issues (Levy and Egan, 2003 and Sheth et al., 2011). From a sustainability viewpoint, researchers such as Connelly, Ketchen, and Slater (2011) and Chabowski, Jeannette, and Gonzalez-Padron (2011) recommend that managers should embed sustainability concerns into their efforts if they want to create differentiation. The shifting trends in the way customers have started to think about businesses reflect the change required in the marketing strategy of companies (Banerjee, 2001). Such change is important from both marketing and management perspectives as needs of consumers today have moved from innovative products to sustainable products (Armstrong & LeHow, 2011). In view of these pragmatic shifts, there is resurgent interest in practice about our identification of the link between sustainability concerns and brand differentiation that becomes the brand selection criteria of customers (Green, 2008 and Lowitt and Grimsley, 2009). Traditional utilitarian approach towards brands has been used as tools by managers to enable consumers to differentiate them from their competitors (Berry, 2000 and Pechmann and Ratneshwar, 1991). To counter global competition, application of branding theories enables managers to drive their customers across home boundaries to associate, assess, evaluate and differentiate them from their competitors (Alba et al., 1997 and Shocker et al., 1994). Successful development and management of a brand in a competitive market today requires a reputation built on favorable evaluations of motivated consumers (Maclnnis & deMello, 2005). One such evaluation can be built using sustainability concerns as they demonstrate responsible behavior to requirements of mankind (Kakabadse, Rouzel, & Lee-Davies, 2005). Today consumers are seeking a stronger emotional connection with the brand and often look for brand differentiation that is meaningful based on its sustainable practices (Kurowska, 2003). In an analysis of a capitalistic view of the coffee market, Linton, Liou, and Shaw (2004) studied the impact of pricing and management related matters on sensitive issues such as unfair trade practices. Their findings highlight supply driven marketing efforts as an appropriate solution to ethically serve consumer segment. Connelly et al. (2011) reported that consumers perceived green brands to be of higher quality and produced through more ethical practices. A report published by World Business Council for Sustainable Development with the support of University of Cambridge highlighted how integration of sustainable development into the activities of an organization can improve its brand value (WBSCD, BEP and CPI Report, 2005). The report recommends that managers responsible for brand management should lead sustainability concerns from a marketing perspective as they create differentiation for brands. In case of brands known for not contributing to sustainability issues, consumers tend to develop a disapproving outlook and unfavorable attitude towards the brand over a period of time (Clancy & O’Loughlin, 2002). Green and Macmillan reported that both consumer and investors seek information from the brands about the efforts they make to address environmental issues. Even not so strong brands can contribute to the social welfare. Such contributions reduce negative influence of corporate actions or processes on mankind (Varey, 2011). Lately various researchers have elaborated on the process of adopting practices that address sustainability concerns and its influence on customer behavior (Godichaud et al., 2011 and Peldron and Caldeira, 2011). Communicating similar concerns has been recommended for building brand knowledge and brand value for corporate reputation in the literature by Luo and Bhattacharya (2006). Various other studies have discussed the sustainability as a concern for marketers and its outcomes (Connelly et al., 2011 and Crittenden et al., 2011). However, there is a gap in the academic literature the about influence of sustainability driven actions in the context of brand differentiation. Our purpose is to examine the linkages between sustainability based brand knowledge and brand value as drivers of brand differentiation that can affect brand selection criteria of customers. Although a few studies in this area of research, particularly on the role of marketing in building sustainability of businesses are available, this research will be one of the initial studies in this domain that will investigate the identified relationships in the context of brands. For empirical testing, we have developed a set of measures for brand differentiation in the backdrop of sustainability. We begin by defining the constructs and linkages between them. The business sustainability construct identified includes environmental, social and economic sustainability based actions of a brand which are discussed as determinants of brand knowledge and brand value that together builds brand differentiation. The next section will present a review of existing literature on these constructs. Following sections will explain methodology and discuss findings and analysis. Limitations implications and the conclusion of the research conducted are presented.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This section discusses significance of the findings from the context of this research. The rigour of the methodological approach adopted by researchers is also discussed. The questions asked by researchers in the research instrument were constructed considering the categorization bias and ensuring that there is no systematic error in any of the items across different constructs. The two independent constructs and one dependent variable were conceptually grounded into the theory of sustainability and tested for causality. The results supported the relationship of causation conceptualized between the first (brand differentiation) and second (brand value) constructs as independent and outcome variable indicating convergent validity. The alpha demonstrated the reliability and belongingness of item to the constructs developed. However, the item ‘energy restoration’ did not strengthen the antecedent constructs. Hence, it was removed during the purification process. While the literature supports the notion of ‘energy restoration’ as an important aspect of any business (Hammond, 2007 and Chiras, 1995), the authors suspect that the item was not expressed, communicated or explained clearly to respondents in the questionnaire. The regression and analysis of variance scores indicated the variance in the dependent variable caused by independent variables and supported the construct validity and predictive validity. Our results (as shown in Table 2) indicated that branding activities, when embedded into sustainability theory, facing an increase in social dimension of sustainability will be supported with by at least six dimensions. The interpretation of this result suggests that brands should understand how they can benefit by linking the knowledge acquired and value assessed by customers about their sustainability efforts to their brand. In other words, in order to answer questions such as; is it possible to improve the outcome of branding by adopting sustainability based actions? The empirical findings indicate that branding based on sustainability concerns when conceptualized by marketing managers from a sustainability perspective can create brand differentiation and brand value. Future research on this topic will be able to suggest if sustainability driven brand differentiation is an important determinant of brand preferences of customers in a competitive market. Managers should approach sustainability from a branding perspective if they aim to drive brand preferences of customers in a turbulent market environment. It should also be noted that although a relationship between ‘energy restoration’ and brand knowledge and brand value was not supported by this research, it should be revisited by researchers in the future research on this topic.Several issues related to different levels of management appear to be driving brand knowledge and brand value based on the notion that different sets of stakeholders seek different types of actions that can be related to their individual requirements (Russo and Fouts, 1997 and Srivastava et al., 2001). Research also indicates that sustainability concerns cannot be facilitated by managers without the intentions and involvement of the top management of the company (Porter, 2008). However, motivation of middle and first-level management i.e. customer-facing employees is also critical to the adoption a sustainability approach by a managers (Moffett, McAdam, & Parkinson, 2002). Customers are becoming sensitive to the three dimensions of sustainability and are quite open and vocal about the role played by a company that particularly owns a brand (Abreu, Castro, Soares, & Filho, 2011). Actions taken by managers reflect on the perceptions of the brand held by customers (Keller, 1993 and Nandan, 2005). Importantly, sustainability appears to be a differentiating movement that involves all individuals linked to an organization (Szekley & Knirsch, 2005). The absence of intent by top management to approach sustainability from the viewpoint of brand management poses a high risk of loss to the brand, since such actions can reduce the willingness and sense of responsibility of middle management to take sustainability oriented actions which in turn affects the motivation of customers. The inter-departmental dynamics of an organization also plays an important role in the success of sustainability driven actions of the brand. Rewards for encouraging sustainability based actions may improve the ability of customers to differentiate between competing brands and attribute better value to their brand. These discussions indicate that there are several areas which can be linked to sustainability for driving branding and demonstrating the concern and sense of responsibility of the company towards the needs of the society to customers. The most important aspect that may need immediate attention is the influence of sustainability based branding actions on the overall performance of the brand. Furthermore, the performance of the brand can be studied individually for tangible and intangible attributes. It would also be useful to investigate the assessment of customers about sustainability embedded brand actions on the health of the brand over a period of time in the form of longitudinal research. Finally, research should also consider the potential volatility of the brand equity built up by a brand. Dishonorable actions by only one employee or the convergence of disastrous circumstances can result in the destruction of an entire storehouse of brand benefits Traditional research on branding proposes that brand preferences of customers should be viewed from broader perspective. This research takes the holistic view of recent events and the way they have shaped requirements of customers to propose that embedding actions of a brand into the different facets of sustainability can enable managers to succeed in a competitive market. These actions as per the findings can build brand differentiation by enabling managers to build brand knowledge and brand value. We conclude that brand knowledge and brand value that responds to the requirements of customers and future needs of society will make a brand more attractive to customers.