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Brand equity as an end result of customer satisfaction and loyalty, considering high tides of sales promotion and upselling

A critical and exploratory approach on the brand KFC

Master's Thesis 2013 88 Pages

Business economics - Miscellaneous

Excerpt

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction
1.1. The key Motivation and Need for the study
1.2. Company Overview-KFC and its market
1.3. What the study is on and about?
1.4. Brief Literature
1.5. How the research is done?
1.6. Who will benefit from the research?
1.7. Research question
1.8. Aims
1.9. Objectives
1.10. Conclusion

Chapter 2 - Literature Review )
2.1. A Brief Introduction on the Literature
2.2. Brand equity, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty a brief introduction and how they play a major role together.
2.3 Relationship between marketing and branding its importance, building brand value and how does it influence the customers
2.4. Branding on a customer perspective- a brief overview, its characteristics and interpretations
2.5. Marketing Strategy and Brand Strategy to understand customer loyalty and customer satisfaction
2.6. Branding and Brand Equity -how brand equity is built and its importance in modern marketing.
2.7. Brand Equity-definition and clarifications
2.8. Brand Equity Dimensions and its influence on satisfaction and loyalty
2.9 How is customer satisfaction and customer loyalty interrelated and how does it affect the business
2.10 Conclusion

CHAPTER 3 - Research Methodology
3. Introduction
3.1 Research Approach
3.2 Research Strategy
3.3 Collection of Data
3.3.1 Secondary Data
3.3.2 Primary Data
3.4. Reasons for Choosing the Questionnaire and Ethnographic method
3.5. Credibility of Research
3.6. Data Analysis
3.7. Research Ethics
3.8. Limitations of Research

Chapter 4 - Analysis and Findings
4.1 Introduction
4.1.1 Stage 1
4.1.1.1 Primary research
4.1.1.2 Analysis of Questionnaire Data
4.1.1.3 Result from the study
4.1.2 Interview- GNM group owner
4.2. Stage 2
4.2.1 Primary research
4.2.2 Analysis of Questionnaire Data
4.3 Result from the data analysis

Chapter 5 - Conclusion and Recommendation 5.1. Conclusion
5.2 Summary of Research Findings
5.3 Recommendations
5.4 Scope for further Research

References and Bibliography -

Acknowledgement

I would like to extend my sincere thanks, first to my family, my Father, Mother and Wife. They offered me their full support during the period of my studies at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. I am indebted to my whole family for their understanding mentality, sacrificing nature and their encouragement.

I am indebted also to my project committee. MRS. JULIA FALLON was my supervisor throughout my project work at UWIC. My sincere Thanks to her for her directions, instruction, support, advices, her patience; and also for her valuable suggestions and guide lines. Mrs. Juila Fallon as a professor has an exceptional nature of understanding and guiding her students as her first priority. She also provided me with valuable insights which I was able to apply to my dissertation work. I wish to say my sincere thanks to my previous supervisors Mr.Dennis Clark and Johnathan Lowell, who helped with my dissertation last time. And finally, my warmest thanks to all my Tutors, Staff Members and friends of UWIC.

Abstract

Brands and brand equity are two of the most powerful concepts in current marketing thinking. The reason’ why’ it is of importance can be plainly seen by the enduring value it has for the consumers. Even if the tangible wealth of the company is no more brands endures and in the case of powerful brands is worth more than the tangibles. This power and indestructible quality of brands is because, it exists inside the mind of the customer and not outside. Its value is determined by the force it has in the mind of the customers in making a positive response to buy the product. While critically evaluating the outcomes of various research and analysis, here it’s clearly shows, the Kentucky Fried Chicken has obtains perdurable Brand value, Brand Image as a result of brand Awareness and has a higher range of brand equity to maintain the brand among its competitors enabling increased consumer satisfaction and loyalty or the repurchasing choice among fast food consumers.

This evidence was supported by a research on the consumers of fast food selected from different parts of the society especially the neighbours, friends at the halls of residence and the general customers in high streets who were given questionnaires asking about their preferences while dining out and their preference to the brand KFC. It was found that, while choosing the chicken diet, customers preferred KFC as their first option than any other fast food restaurants. In addition, it was seen that KFC’s brand image is improving day by day due to increased awareness programmes and promotions. The key factor is advertisement of KFC as customers say that it is the brand logo and colonels image that comes first in their mind when they hear about KFC. A presentation was done based on a KFC franchisee chain in west England to do more research on the employee and customer behaviour. An attempt was made to understand more in depth the understanding of the customers towards the brand as if whether they would stay with the brand even at time of promotions and competitions .

Finally, the study was concluded that, KFC has an elegant brand Image and Equity among its consumers and the brand has the capacity to grow and improve to extent and rebrand the KFC’s brand so as to increase its brand loyalty of customers. This will enable KFC to be competitive in the fast food industry and enable the brand to grow like the Mc Donald’s in the UK.

Chapter 1 Introduction

Today’s competitive market structure, the companies are always on the look out to capture new customers and keep the existing base. The birth of globalization, less trade barriers among nations and the advent of new technology have reemphasized the role and marketing plays for the successful projection and success of an organization. According to Jobber (2007) a product is anything that can fulfil the needs and wants of the customers whereas brand is considered as an identity of the product. He also states that every firm or company should have crucial concentration about their products and customers for achieving higher rate of customer loyalty and satisfaction. While competing with their opponents, every company should make sure that they will re assure their customer loyalty and satisfaction because otherwise the customer should go for other choices which were many in the world (Bobe and Hayes2008). This dissertation is a brief exploratory and ethnographic study and research explaining how brand equity and techniques of Kentucky Fried Chicken help in increasing sales considering customer loyalty and customer satisfaction even when there is a scenario of sales promotion and product up selling.

1.1. The key Motivation and Need for the study

Last many years, different ways the companies have marketed their products into the market have rapidly changed due to thorough and tough competition. Companies have transformed from the way they promote their products from being product oriented to customer oriented one. Companies should have clear strategy for marketing their product so as to influence customer’s perceptions. Customer plays a major role in making or breaking of a product or a brand. Branding allows an easy choice on the selection of a product. For example companies such as coco cola, Kelloggs. McDonalds, KFC etc. have created a strong brand image in the minds of the customers. Customers are allowed to choose these brands on one way or the other as a rapid decision of selection. Brands are everywhere, in all kinds of media, internet, personal interaction, etc. It is all about how the company succeed in establishing and understanding their stand in the market, realising the need of the market, purchasing behaviour of consumers and the total presentation of the company. Modern marketing strategies and techniques are allowing companies to concentrate more on the customers by sustaining a long growth for the product which helps to increase the customer base and retain the existing one (Carpenter, 2000).

As markets are volatile in the nature, companies achieve a great momentum when consumers buy their products without looking into other competitors around them which proves that consumers are loyal to the Brand. This in turn puts less pressure on the companies, as they don’t have to encourage the consumers to buy their product (Saker and Smith, 1997).

1.2. Company Overview-KFC and its market

KFC is one of the leading global market leader in fast food industry with it operations worldwide. The company has created a brand over the years and is able to sustain itself among other competitors in the market. The company began in 1936 when it was opened as a small restaurant that was selling fried chicken by Colonel Harland Sanders. The word KFC stands for Kentucky Fried chicken, where Kentucky was a prime location based in United States and there the fast food restaurant had opened their fist outlet. In 1952 company decided to expand when Peter Harman who had his Hamburger restaurant in Salt Lake City signed with KFC for the first Franchise deal (Company Profile-KFC; web.1).

After the initial deal, Harland began franchising his KFC and added it to the menus of major restaurants. In 1967 Company started adopting new changes to the core foundation of the business and made Franchising as a strategy to penetrate into the market over the years. Within one decade the company was able to create a strong good will and brand equity in the minds of the customers in U.S.A. The fast food restaurant hit the scene of UK market in 1965 in Preston. In 1986 the PepsiCo took over from the initial management and the KFC had become a co company. For getting a new generation look and avoiding the sense of term ‘fried’ from their name, in 1991 ‘Kentucky fried chicken tried’ to shorten its name as ‘KFC’, they changed their packaging and logo designs as well during this period. But fortunately still, people are using the term ‘Fried Chicken’ while talking about KFC (americanantiquities.com; web.27)

KFC GB has become a joint venture. In 1997 the PepsiCo became an independent firm and KFC became part of the Tricon group. KFC created a strong brand name, being one of the biggest restaurant chains with shops operating in more than 100 countries and expanding on a regular basis. In the year 2002 the Tricon changed the name to ‘YUM! Brand Inc.ltd’ based in Louisville which owned other three Famous brands called Taco bell, Pizza hut and Long John Silver’s respectively (Company Profile-KFC ; web.2).

In the current market structure, KFC has turned out to the be one of the multinational enterprise with its global market presence in the fast food industry and has more than 15500 outlets both including franchising and company owned restaurants ( bis.yahoo.com ;web.1).

KFC has a profuse amount of brand equity and is one of the most popular brands in existence and its brand value is worth in millions. More than it is its tangible worth. The company’s way of Branding has allowed capturing the fast food market all over the globe. The way company tried to communicate with consumers through its advertising, also has a strong emotional concept attached to the product. KFC is not a brainchild of any new age marketing gurus or a product of heavy investment with an eye to build a brand. Rather, its origin and later stardom is that of heavy hard work and strategic interaction with its customers .It is important to note that, as mentioned the amount of international presence the KFC have is a result of its strong brand equity and the system of one third of franchisees run in total along with internationally owned stores by KFC company.

Since 1952, KFC is using Colonel Harland sanders’ face as their brand’s identity mark, even now, many years after his death still KFC is using their founder Sanders’ picture and animations as the brand presentation of every KFC and it products. When we hear the name KFC, the smiling picture of Colonel sanders will come to our mind, this means that as a brand, KFC made Colonel Sanders’ face a very familiar one to the public (Levine, 2003). The white colour caricature of Colonel Harland Sanders, KFC’s world famous slogan “Finger lickin good” and of course their tastiest fried chicken made them a well known brand and an easily recognizable brand compared to other competitors. One thing made KFC different among its competitors is its 11 herbs mix secret recipe invented and used since1939. There was not even a noticeable change, after it was first used. The script of KFC secret recipe is now enclosed in a leather Wallet and is safe locked at Louisville in Kentucky. Still, only few people know the recipe and they have signed a strict and confidential contract together as an oath to maintain the secrecy. This background of KFC from a humble start to a multi-million dollar enterprise with one of the most recognized brand image and its brand equity worth many times more than its tangibles is what has prompted me to undertake a dissertation on.

“Brand equity as an end result of customer satisfaction and loyalty, cons idering high tides of sales promotion and upselling. A critical and exploratory approach on the brand KFC”

There are many products served by KFC and some of them are highly demanded by the customers such as mini fillet, variety of burgers, box meals, variety of drinks, toasted twister and finally, the most wanted secret recipe fried chicken etc.. Their products are highly demanding due to the quality, freshness and nutrition and KFC introduces a range of new products every year. Streetwise is their latest offer which is a range of snack size products at a low price that makes the customer feels excited and satisfied about. They try to attract all age group by deluxe, kid’s choice and products like that (kfc.co.uk; web.8). Based on type of services and its operational methods the KFC restaurants are generally classified in to three types such as, Take Away restaurants, Dine-in Restaurants and Drive through restaurants (mainly situated beside Motor Ways and important roadways). The company YUM has all right to decide which kind of restaurant, should be opened in one desired location but they will do one crucial pre-launch study about the location, population and about the customer’s taste perception (kfc.co.uk; web.8). Even though KFC is focusing on brand developing and profit making, they are also highly conscious about customer satisfaction and product quality. To examine their product quality, improving overall performance and customer service, they have introduced their own method called CHAMPS Excellence Analysis. Through this analysis, KFC will be able to maintain their overall performance and the well performing staff will be better rewarded (Hills and McShane, 2008).

1.3 What the study is on and about?

This dissertation work is an ethnographic study based on the research and studies of branding and brand equity of “Kentucky Fried Chicken”. KFC has a distinctive identification, and has an effective mechanism for promotion of the brand image in the market place. The name KFC conjures up an image of quality and offering commensurate with its projected image and it is also successful in building an emotional bond with its customers through its interactions and reactions. The dissertation is an effort to make an inclusive and critical examination of the concept of branding and brand equity and an exploratory journey analysing customer loyalty an awareness of customers with KFC and in assessing the role brands play in bringing in and retaining those customers within the company even at times of promtions. (Yum.com/company; web.2)

1.4 Brief Literature

Markets are volatile in the nature, so companies achieve a great momentum when consumers stay with their products, without looking into competitors around them. When it’s studied, this helps in understanding that consumers are loyal to the Brand. This in turn puts less pressure on the companies, as they don’t have to encourage the consumers to take up their product (Trout, 2001). Manufactures all around the globe tries to create a product that would stand out among other competitors with a unique name, sign and symbol which attracts the customers.

“According to Hollensen (2004) Branding is not only about ubiquity, visibility and function, but also about having an emotional bonding with the target groups of customers”. In the arena of ‘marketing mix’ the elements of branding and maintaining brand equity is now a major factor of its own reckoning. Companies try to focus on creating a strong marketing strategy in relation with the marketing mix, which enables them to understand the needs and wants of the consumers. ’’According to Bennett and Blithe (2002) the key ingredients of marketing approach are based around integration, coordination and communication”. Organisations which are customer oriented towards the market should have a strong awareness of each factor of the marketing mix and how much impact it can have on the customers. As Time is key component as mentioned before in developing and creating a Brand, the organisation goes through different stages of life cycle until it reaches a stage where it is has its own identity.

The study of branding and brand equity involves, on a broad basis, the importance and need for the building up of one strong brand image in customers mind, building enduring bonding with those customers and the internal marketing issues that can influence to attain satisfactory offering e. t c. (Adcock et al 2001). Nowadays, the creation of branding and maintaining of brand value for the organization or the product are considered as precious to the organization. Here the differences between brand and branding have been mentioned by Levine (2003) as “A brand is an end result where as branding is the process by which a brand comes to be. A brand is many, many things, but it’s never an accident” and It is clearly identified that the term ‘branding’ is very complicated process but its intention is simple. Though brands or association of the elements of branding based on the place of its production or for establishing ownership and territorial determination has been recognized as a corollary of trade from ancient times (Adcock et al 2001) the current microscopic examination of its nature, its place in strategic marketing and how, when and to what extent it can and should be exploited is of recent origin.

In review it can be seen creating a brand that can influence the consumers involves aligning the company’s marketing strategy with its target customers. Companies should make sure the product that is released into the market can make a difference to consumers when making selection as to which brand to select from. Consumers need the assurance as to whether the brand can provide real value to them in terms of the amount of price being paid from the product. According Aker and Joachimsthaler (2000) whenever a clear and strong brand identity is lacking, a brand is like a ship without rudder”.

This way the importance of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty come into light, as both are two very essential factors which are necessary for a brand to be successful and to maintain high profile of standards and profit., Its about advancing from customer satisfaction to customer loyalty, that the brand succeeds to be impressive in the market, which happens through these factors like- frequent communication and honesty above all, knowing and understanding customer personality needs and wants, finding solutions and helping out customers, a beyond business contact with customers, humour, caring and friendliness, advocacy in protecting customer interests, rapid response and delivery solutions, surprise factor of providing more and caring- as it it very rightful to do( Davids, 2007)

1.5 How the research is done?

Research methodology in this dissertation is a combination of several techniques and is uniquely done through both primary and secondary data collections and an exploratory and ethnographic research and analysis. For secondary data collection, the dissertation intends to make use of available literatures and articles focusing on the topic branding and brand equity and company profile and report of KFC posted in company website and other electronic resources and primary research is complemented by a survey into the current scenario, apart from that and investigative and exploratory approach is done based on a study that was previously done, when videos, surveys and presentation were done featuring the brand KFC, in which customers and staff were involved. The survey takes in part the opinions of the regular customers, occasional customers, new customers and managerial and non managerial staffs of KFC through interviews and questionnaire. This is followed by an analysis of the outcome of the market survey with the literature review and coming to plausible conclusions that may be productive towards the outcome of the dissertation.

1.6 Who will benefit from the research?

The key beneficiaries of this study will be the KFC as they can increase their customer awareness if it is found that, KFC lacks brand equity, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. In addition, as the researcher has worked in one of the KFC franchisees; he has experienced the difficulties faced by the KFC staff in describing the product details and the add-ons. Some KFC menus are still new to the customers and have to be familiarised. Hence, it was realised that brand and product awareness is essential for KFC. It was done by placing big advertisements on the promotions on TV, magazines, news papers, leaf lets and vouchers. But, a question that rose among the managers and owners or chief officials of KFC is that, does KFC itself need extra brand awareness as it lacks brand equity or identity. As it, was sure that KFC has its own brand identity because the potential customers who buy food at KFC are those who choose KFC than Mc Donalds or Burger King for a taisty piece of chicken. But, the brand equity of KFC has to be evaluated to see if, customer choose KFC solely for Chicken or the brand equity of KFC can attract customers as any other fast food restaurant. It is also important to study the importance of an advancement from customer satisfaction to customer loyalty, especially in a business like KFC, so that it can be learned, how satisfied and loyal customers survive and trust the business and its products even at time of high tide promotion and difficult market challenges.

1.7 Research Question

How well does customer satisfaction and customer loyalty perform alongside the brand equity of KFC even at times of perfect competitions and business promotions.?

1.8. Aims

- To find out if KFC has an established brand name and equity to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- If KFC has established brand equity, do they have increased sale even at time of sales promotions
- To evaluate the ways in which KFC advertises and promotes to achieve customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, maintaining fair market success.

1.9. Objectives

- Try to evaluate the brand name, the history of the origin of the brand name KFC and customer’s preference to this brand when they hear it.
- Conduct a basic analysis from the literature to analyse if brand name, equity customer loyalty and customer satisfaction can be used as an effective tool in the modern day fast food businesses to increase sales and if so, in what ways?
- To evaluate the consumer loyalty or buyers choice of KFC while going for a fast food in the UK by enquiring about likes, taste and preferences through an exploratory method measuring their satisfaction level.
- Finally, by enquiring these aspects with employees, consumers and managers or officials of KFC, a conclusion can b e drawn to see how they progress in their competitive environment achieving the above said facts.

1.10 Conclusion

The above introduction has explained everything about this dissertation that is, how the research is done, which are the methods used for it, how the data are collected and analysed, from where the literature is evolved from. In the coming chapters it can be seen how the researcher has reached the aims and how those aims are achieved by establishing the research objectives. The study also explains the beneficiaries of this research and the people involved in it. Finally, this study will explain and recommend further brand equity development or rebranding of which customer satisfaction and customer loyalty will be focused to study the performance of KFC in UK. Thus, an evaluation of the brand equity and analysis of customer satisfaction and loyalty of KFC is done in the following chapters.

CHAPTER 2 Literature Review

2.1 A Brief Introduction on the Literature

This dissertation work is a project revolving around branding, which is considered as the main topic to study in brief, few concepts of branding. A Kentucky Fried Chicken group in west England is taken as the base for this study, as the author used to work here and as a part of business development activities, different levels of group investigation was done about understanding and improving the business scenario. To develop into an activity like a course work, several ideas from this business environment was taken to understand more about this brand and its customers As a major point of discussion, Brand equity is taken as the main topic since it can be related to the other relevant contents of this research work and there is so much to be understood as it is studied here since branding is a wide topic and is something which builds and establishes the business. Theoretical briefing on customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, two closely associated factors of a business is studied in close comparison with brand equity as it will further lead into the main aims and objectives of this research work, and then the researcher is then trying to analyse how it affects the business as a whole through thorough and ethnographic evaluation and analysis on literature available about the brand equity and its relation to customer satisfaction and loyalty is studied understanding them as two major participants of brand success in the modern business world, especially the fast food industry in the UK. The brand equity of KFC is evaluated to identify the level or intensity of consumer satisfaction and consumer loyalty, over the brand KFC in the UK. Here, the evaluation of the brand, its needs and the means by which they develop a brand name is identified with the help of some theories and examples from the real life activities of KFC. In everyday life there is a continuous interaction between customer and company (Brassington and Pettit, 2006). In this literature review, various works of authors like Keller, Kotler, Kapferer, Oliver etc are considered to study and discuss various topics involved in the study like branding, brand equity, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Brands have become an unavoidable aspect of this interaction and the key aim of companies is to sustain this interaction by creating sustainable brand equity and keep the industry in demand. A brief study of the different types of branding, the process and different interpretations, brand strategies can help to understand the means by which KFC has developed its brand and its equity (Till and Heckler, 2008, along with various levels of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty and how it together help the business. Interdisciplinary thinking is important as more investigative and theoretical analysis from all disciplines helps the business grow, here through an ethnographic approach with the support of traditional qualitative analysis the researcher is trying to emphasis more on an analysis focussing to study on KFC, its brand equity, customer satisfaction and loyalty levels and how the customer find himself liking the brand even at times of promotional activities faced.

2.2 Brand equity, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty a brief introduction and how they play a major role together.

In today’s competitive market, branding is understood as a key factor which has the power to influence any market. It is important that there are many factors which increases the value of the product to a brand level such as its price, quality, the way a company communicate to the market and respond back (Kapferer, 2008). As mentioned before, a brand is a name that is able to reach and influence the market; it in turn increases the value of the brand as more people begin to trust and be able to recognize the brand easily. Time plays an important factor in developing a sense of name for product which leads to calling it a brand. So it is important to note that companies strive to create a value for its products in every stage when the product is moved into the market. Building brand equity is all about creating an emotional and attached relation with consumers so that they have clearer understanding of the product that’s being offered. “According to Kapferer(2008), Brand equity is an intangible asset where the value of the product is affected by different factors such as consumers, media and companies having alliance with one another”.

Oliver(1981) defines Customer satisfaction as the “summary psychological state resulting when the emotion surrounding confirmed or disconfirmed expectation is coupled with the consumer’s prior feelings about the consumption experience”, here disconfirmation is related to the fulfilment of expectation, Fornell(1992) has analysed customer satisfaction in a marketing view in two different major concepts of marketing, were measurement plays a major role and second being quality, it is self evaluation which matters. It has become important for all kinds of organisation. I can sometimes be understood as a an ‘evaluative summary of consumption experience, based on the discrepancy between prior expectation and the actual performance perceived after consumption ( Tse & Wilton, 1988:Yi, 1990).

Customer loyalty at the same time as defined by (Dick and Basu, 1994) ‘behavioural response that is expressed over time through the decisions that are made among alternatives and Oliver(1997) defines it as’ a deeply held commitment to rebuy or re patronize a preferred service or product in the future’. It is also considered as a consequence of satisfaction and brand attitudes (Oliver, 1999). It can be said a “the feeling of attachment to or affection for a company’s people, products or services” (Johns and Sasser, 1995). Customer loyalty and the habit of repeated purchases are associated as customers who are loyal to the products or anything related to the company

Customer loyalty is mainly considered as something of high priority, as often and repeated purchase of products and services are very essential for the success of an organisation(Hallowell, 1996; Silvestro and Cross, 2000 and Oliver, 1997). As it is understood that customer satisfaction is an important and strong antecedent of customer loyalty and from these understandings its proven that customer satisfaction plays an important role on firm profitability, therefore making situation tight to keep the customers loyal as the people involved in business work hard to keep it happening. (Mittal and Kamakura, 2001; Allegre and Cladera,2009).. four main customer characteristics are studied here being: gender, age, income and involvement to analyse more on the satisfaction-loyalty relationship using this certain purchase intentions and behaviours can be studied so that the managers are able to take necessary actions to influence the customers more into the business and retain them (Goncalves and Sampio, 2012).

Customer satisfaction and loyalty is interrelated and as above said is often considered as an after effect of satisfaction. Customer loyalty is achieved when trust and commitment is added to customer satisfaction, since satisfaction happens before loyalty and loyalty is more of an end result of this process of advancing from customer satisfaction (Agrawal, 2012). Customer satisfaction captures a qualitative nature of past behaviour as an evaluation of the previous consumption. Later stages of the research, customer’s likes and dislikes are studied and analysed using various methods to understand how these above said three factors affect the business since the competition is too strong and they can face a fall in customer satisfaction level.

2.3 Relationship between marketing and branding its importance, building brand value and how does it influence the customers

Marketing is a key concept as to reaching out to the customers by different means and ways. The way the companies market their product, they should be able to establish a relationship with the product that consumers would recognize throughout their life. From a company’s point of view it’s not only about delivering the products and services but, it is also about informing them about its benefits and reaching the right target markets. The target markets are those people for whom the product or service is made or designed for. They are the real beneficiaries of the goods and services the business is involved in and for KFC, it is both the food (product) they make and the service (restaurant) they provide especially the, eat-in and the drive-through facility. The marketing department of any companies try to create different creative concepts that can send a clear message to the consumers Cates and et al (1999).

According to Kotler and Armstrong (2006) five process model of the marketing process where companies try to create and recognize the needs and the wants of its customers trying to create a value of their product is by building a strong relationship. In each of the steps of the marketing process consumers is getting to know more about the companies which in turns builds up a strong brand image. In today’s competitive world branding of products has been strong that no products come out today unbranded (Kapferer, 2004). Branding provides different advantages to the buyers and sellers. From the buyers points of view Branding allows sellers to bring out the best of their product which becomes superior over other products because of its positioning in the market, its quality and the competitive edge it has over other products and from a sellers point of view it allows the consumers to take less decision as to which products to choose (Kotler and Armstrong, 2006). one brand, its image and value will cumulating automatically when it tries to escalating customer satisfaction and customer loyalty So its about, how it is taken to the customer and how the rhythm is maintained developing satisfied and loyal customers.

2.4 Branding on a customer perspective- a brief overview, its characteristics and interpretations

Branding as a term was derived from the word ‘brandr’ meaning “to burn a charred stick” and the old dictionary definition of brand refers to a distinctive mark on cattle in the past to separate them from those of other. This was a naming process not even for cattle but, as an interpretation to meet or other produce from cattle. These branding practices have been around from centuries as they can be seen in ancient pottery and handicrafts where marks and pictures were used to identify their sources Keller (2008). Later, these manufacturer brands became very famous in the US as well as in Europe spreading the relevance of naming a product with distinction (Groucutt, 2005). The turn of the 19th century led to brand developments and the increasing importance of distinguishing products became important, where theorists also recognised brands as unique way of identifying and differentiating goods based on quality, style and price. From the middle of the 20th century onwards, propelled by the business boom and creation of newer companies, their aggressive marketing coupled with the creation of new technology like television, fuelled the stature of brand allowing it the complexity and power that is witnessed today. In the late 90’s, Kotler (1996) cited by Lury(1998:2) defined a brand as, “a name, term, symbol or design, or a combination of them which is intended to signify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those competitors”. Branding was given less importance as it was seen merely as something that was traded to the consumers and was basically product oriented. In today’s complex market structure, a good name or branded image is of higher importance. For example consumers have a specific interest as to which product to choose and which one to reject. Brands such as Virgin, KFC, and Adidas etc have made life easy for the consumers. Consumers are aware of the kind of value and benefit these kinds of brand can provide to consumers on a daily basis. According Cates et al (1999) a strong brand is not only just about having a good name ,tag line or having a strong symbol that represents something about the product, but one that differentiate itself among other competitors can provide a substantial advantage to the consumers.

Today most of the well-known brands uses made up slogans to influence their users mind (Wojciech et a l2011), KFC uses the slogan “finger lickin Good “to express how tastier and delicious their products are. In China and honkong, KFC has gone few steps ahead to reinvent this slogan to “eat your fingers off”. Both these slogans helped KFC to convey their product quality and taste to the common public (Bruce.D.Keillor, 2011). Only few of world famous restaurant chains have human caricature as their brand identity, and its KFC which uses its own founder’s portrait as its Brand logo. The colonels smiling face with wearing white apron caricature is surely impressive and it gives a message of awesome ambiance, quality hot and fresh food. Pure white colour apron announces higher rate of cleanliness in the restaurants and as a whole, the KFC brand logo declares that it should be the right place for food we are searching for (Bruce.D.Keillor,20n). Understanding the market closer it is studied that, Brands are termed as intangible assets of the company (Aaker,1996). They neither have any material attendance nor have any visible presence other than providing a bunch of ideas and promises that can influence consumer decisions whether to purchase or not to purchase (Adcock et al 1998). Every day we have to experience one brand or more, the persuasive type of advertising, emphasizing more characteristics and profits of one brand or product so as to convince more buyers to buy it and test it (Till and Heckler, 2009).

The term product, in marketing terminology, is deemed to be anything that satisfies a demand or a desire (Kotler and Keller, 2006). It includes within its definition services and intangible like causes and ideas (Adcock, et al., 1998). Hollense (2004) gave a real world definition calling products as, ‘that customer appears to buy on customer perception’. All products have a similar start of one among many, but certain products creates a link with the customers and becomes dominant in its group, having a personality and character of its own delinking itself from the other ‘common’ products and ends up being ‘brands.’ The brands give a feeling of buying and using the best (Aaker, 2004). The key benefits that are received by the customers are like Providing an easy access to the products that they desire, An expectation to the quality and service that are usually expecting from the brand and Perceived intangible benefits received by the customers by choosing and using the brands with which they have made an emotional bonding (Adcock et al. 2000).

The key characteristics or choice criteria’s in selecting brand elements explained by Keller (1998). They are: Memorability, Meaningfulness, Transferability, Adaptability, Protect ability of the brand. These factors are very essential for the customers to understand about the product.

2.5 Marketing Strategy and Brand Strategy to understand customer loyalty and customer satisfaction

Brand strategy is used make use of the all the external and internal opportunities that a brand can provide to the consumers. This is important to identify the importance of effective customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Companies have to adopt the strategies where they are proactive in their way of working and can bring out a brand that can provide a unique and appealing sense of interest to the consumers. Companies should create a brand strategy that is in align with their marketing strategy and business strategy where they should try to focus on sustaining the brand for long term rather than for short term period (Heding, 2009).Companies should introduce brand strategies that should create a strong connection with the consumers. They have to make sure that they have to get their facts rights regarding the internal and external environment before trying to create a strong marketing strategy.

One easiest way to make one brand become successful is to forward the idea of the brand and its assurance and benefits to the public with the help of effective advertisements, campaigning, information exchanges, e.t.c (Levine, 2003). Effective brand building is aptly mentioned by Till and Heckler (2009) as”An effective marketing strategy and brand building are built on a foundation of principles and guidelines that run counter to our natural way of thinking” they also mentioned that “building an effective brand requires not only understanding what a brand stands for, but what it doesn’t stands for; understanding not only who the brands for, but who it is not for.”

2.6 Branding and Brand Equity -how brand equity is built and its importance in modern marketing.

. Companies have to take into the consideration the name that they have given to the product should provide a clear message to its consumers that can have a long lasting effect on them. To be able to build a strong brand equity, it should be considered a big part of any company’s corporate strategy. According to Barker (2005) a product that can capture a consumers mind should be able to provide a clear vision, image, strong characteristics and be able to create a vibe within consumers that can have long lasting impression among other competitors. What branding does for a company is building up a strong customer relation and also building up a strong organization with customer attraction and retention. But this development of brand is not the product of the company alone. This is an ongoing process involving the customer who provides the mirror upon which the company can project and rectify any mistakes or drawbacks the brand might have. What is fascinating about branding is that a successful brand not only promotes high growth and sales for the company but it is also an asset in itself for the company, commonly known as brand equity (President and Fellows of Harvard College, 1999). The brand have an ability to transform itself as a valuable asset, sometimes even more in value than the tangible value of the company, that makes the subject of brand and brand equity a fascinating aspect among modern marketing tools. A critical evaluation and research on this aspect of marketing with an approach to the consumers in UK is a worthwhile effort that will allow increased perception of the realm of marketing as a medium where rules are those of attraction and retention of customers. This is what the author is doing in the following two chapters where a research methodology is set up and a study is conducted on the brand equity of KFC UK analysing the customer satisfaction and customer loyalty understand how the business grow in the market.

2.7-Brand Equity-definition and clarifications

The definition of brand equity is always debated as the term brand equity is related to the brand value of a product which is beyond the physical asset value of the produce. Aaker (1996, 2004:15) cited by Hollensen (2004:468) has defined brand equity as, “a set of brand assets and liabilities linked to the brand, its name and symbol, that add to or subtract from the value provided by a product or service to a firm or to the firm’s customers”. The assets and liabilities stated are the five categories of brand equity formation which are the brand loyalty, brand awareness, perceived quality, brand association and other proprietary brand assets. Brands equity is premium to the users as well as the sellers as consumers who pay for a branded product or service receives the goodwill or benefit of using that reputed product. Hence, brand equity denotes the strength and depth of relationship the brand has made with its users because a strong brand is purchased at any cost and market situation.

Jobber (2008) says that only strong brands have brand equity and is valued by the increase in sales and profit. Equity is also calculated by observing the relationship between the brand and consumer. Kotler and Armstrong (2006) explain brands equity as a powerful tool to the brand manufacturers where buyers are willing to pay more for the brand. They also write that a brand with positive and powerful brand equity is a very valuable asset that provides the company with a high competitive advantage. This powerful brand enjoys high level of consumer brand awareness and loyalty, as the brand name carries high credibility as explained by both authors Jobber (2008) and Hollensen (2004).

Brand equity is developed while a company builds its brands strongly. There are four key processes involved in building a strong brand where as there are many dimensions or characteristics for a strong brand. The main process involved is the brand positioning and the second is called the, brand name selection, the third is brand sponsorship and finally brand development as explained by Keller et al (2003). In the books of Kotler and Keller(2006), it is also said that the brand equity creation starts with the initial choice of brand identity making through the development of logos, names, symbols, slogans and URL’s or signatures etc and this process help in the careful placing of the brand in a market attracting more customers.

There are many kinds of brand equity approaches mentioned such as: Consumer based brand equity is the differential effect or response of brand knowledge fluctuations in individual consumers on the marketing of a brand. If a brand has a positive customer response, they react more favourably to the marketing mix changes and new brand equity is created and it is on the basis of the psychological influence of the consumer behaviour (Keller et al, 2002). Economics based approaches to brand equity depends on the value which is ascribed to a product by customers Chernatony(2006)In the view of customers the credibility of one brand is centres around the product value. More the credibility more brand value it will have less the credibility the less will be the brand value. Sociological or biological point of view, they try to create the value of the brand with sociological, anthropological or biological effects. The social acceptance of the product or service and its value in the society is considered first (Keller, 2001). Using a product or product category which is used only by highly reputed class of people in the society, one can be classified in the social group and hence, different brands are categorised on the user’s social status and even based on the biological effects on the environment.

2.8- Brand Equity Dimensions and its influence on satisfaction and loyalty

The brand equity dimensions are the key sources or roots through which the brand equity of a product or brand is formed. This equation or dimension of brand equity development is platted by Aaker (1996) where he says that the formation is a result of perceived quality of the product, brand awareness made; brand loyalty developed and brand image or association. According to Aaker (2004) the brand equity dimensions can be improved upon through exploiting marketing strategies. Having formulated the four corners within which a brand functions and the growth or decline of brand equity of a product or that of a firm, the converse became clear that by giving a boost to one of these dimensions or to all the dimensions could mean increased value in the product or firms brand equity (Aaker, 1996).

According to Keller (2003), exploiting communications facilities like, public relations, advertisements et cetera can be relied on to exploit brand elements. But to know how to improve upon the brand elements one must always try to understand the market reactions since all of them react differently to differing stimuli. The most common factor used for brand building is advertisement or brand awareness. Keller (1993) cited in Groucutt(2005:131) suggests that, any business should invest in brand awareness and brand image creation to improve the value of the brand or the so called equity.

Jobber (2008) says that the relationship between brand equity and awareness as in one case where the buyer makes a post purchase evaluation or a search for brand information as they purchase a costlier or a more expensive good. Brand awareness can be by advertisements and promotional activities which enables a customer to recognise the product or service. Groucutt(2005) explains that the process of awareness happens in the minds of the consumers and can be spontaneous.

(Groucutt, 2005). Hollensen(2005) explains the brand loyalty as a customer’s motivation to buy a product time after time even after competitor offerings. This is the consumer acceptance to the product as brand loyalty can be measured by looking at the consumer acceptance or preference, consumers’ recognition and finally the insistence or the motivation to buy that product again and again. Some brands are so popular that they carry forward their brand loyalty to even unrelate products to achieve the market advantages so as to keep the product alive among regular consumers Emotional brand is an old name for building brand loyalty or in simple terms the customer loyalty. As some customers are always loyal to a few brand and even if the price rises or rumour spreads against the business, they continue to purchase and repurchase the branded products of the business. This tendency of consumer of having a emotional attachment towards the brand is called brand emotion. Theoretically Brassington and Pettitt(2006), Kotler and Keller(2006) all have explained this emotional impact under the brand loyalty aspect which is almost similar but an improved version of the traditional brand emotional feeling. The main examples are the factual capabilities or the search power of ‘Google’ or the good indulgence of ‘star bucks’ and finally the electronic or technological power of Sony can be spotted to the consumer world (Groucutt, 2005).

Brand image creation is another method of increasing strong brand equity and it’s created by using all the elements in the marketing mix (Jobber, 2008). A major example is the brand image of a car which is perfect sample for a product quality image, comfort, reliability, durability and can also be a high status connotation. Thus, an efficient and elegant brand image that stays in the mindset of buyers can be a favourable and unique association to develop and improve the brand equity. The brand image and association in simple terms as said by Hollensen (2005:469) are the values and personality which are linked to a brand..

2.9 How is customer satisfaction and customer loyalty interrelated and how does it affect the business

These days there are many customer loyalty programs happening around. All companies are trying to to upbring the effectivess of their product, brand image and all inorder to attract and retain more customers in the business. Considering these facts finance is one of the most important aspect for a company to maintain all these factors. Some factors like this : Economics, convenience, tangibles, quality attributes like function, srvice and relation, Image, Value and brand credibility is interconnected so that it contributes to the customer satisfaction and customer loyalty which together will help the company by giving it added financial performance. (Keisidou et al, 2013). Customer loyalty is more of a process which happens when attempts are made by the company to improve customer satisfaction to customer loyalty by delighting their customers. Customer delightment is a concept, here the level of satisfaction is much more than, that at normal satisfcation level. These very delighted customers are more loyal and involves in the brand in a way such that they more of act as ambassadors of the brand and even the profitabilty level is constantly improved through this process. (Torres and Kline, 2006).

Brand equity, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are closely linked as they work together as a process cycle for the company. They three are considered as three variables: brand equity as independent variable, customer satisfaction as a mediating variable and brand loyalty as a dependant variable. Here brand equity is considered and interpreted as a broader term than satisfaction and loyalty. As mentioned in the partial mediation model, the connection between satisfaction and loyalty is explained as a combination activity of physical quality, self behaviour, ideal- self congruence, brand identification and lifestyle- congruence. So as mentioned here, these three attributes are necessary for a company to grow, especially at times of high growth rate and financial return making it possible.(Nam et al, 2011)

2.10 Conclusion

Brand equity is feelings perceived in the minds of the consumers and are evaluated in a majority of ways. Brand equity is the consumers loyalty towards the brand to repurchase the brand again and again even after a better competitor offering. Like these nine criteria, that charter mark award follows: standards, information and openness, consultation and choice, courtesy and helpfulness, putting things right, value for money, user satisfaction, measurable - demonstrable service quality improvements over the prior two years, innovative enhancements to service etc helps identify the standards of the business and these are the factors which maintain and determine how the customers should be liking the business to be satisfied and loyal (Kerr, 2010). Here, a high profile image of the product is created and the product is being purchased without any further evaluation and the study on the literature on the above chapter was also about the strength of a brand, its loyalty and equity developed, how it is developed, evaluated and managed and now a live research is essential to study the KFC brand equity among the UK consumers understanding the importance of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, balancing it all to built trust in customer so the expected end result of good business is achieved understanding how important it is to maintain business strongly, even when activities are done to upseel products maintain the same satisfaction and loyalty level.

CHAPTER 3 ' Research Methodology

This chapter provides an insight to different ways in which data and information was collected to provide an understanding of the dissertation. The most important component of any dissertation is the way in which the research was done and how the research could provide a satisfactory answer to make the dissertation a success. The research allows the reader to understand an overview of the data taken into consideration and how the results were analyzed (Colican, 2004).

3. Introduction Research is an important aspect of any dissertation. The research being done needs to have a correlation with the aims and objective of the dissertation. The goal of the research is to examine the importance of Brand equity in fast food industry taking into consideration the company KFC. According to Ghauri and Gronhaug(2002) the research is of much importance to the dissertation as it plays an essential proof to support the work. The dissertation involves with a systematic design of the research followed by research strategy with the explanation of different ways in which data was collected.

3.1 Research Approach

The way the research is carried out will have an effect on how the research needs to be constructed. It is important to consider what type of approach is going to be used for the research. There are mainly two types of approaches- inductive and deductive methods. The researcher has considered whether one of these methods is needed to be used or combination of all in an ethnographic pattern. “The deductive research involves a study in which a conceptual and theoretical structure is developed and then tested by empirical observation and inductive approach involves a study in which theory is developed from observation of empirical reality its the reverse of deductive method” (Hussey and Hussey,1997:13).

Firstly the topic of the research takes into account the usage of deductive method which seems to be more perfect for this research since the process deals with the accumulation of useful data from the sample of population and work on the data analysis for the interpretation of data Yin (2009). In this process the brand equity can be studied in detail only if the data gathered from the sample can be used of the purpose where the theory can be explained well using the data. The usage of deductive approach is basically due to the usage of questionnaire and the analysis method involves usage of graphs and charts. The research takes into account descriptive and exploratory research which provides detail information regarding Branding and Branding equity. The greatest advantage of exploratory study is the flexibility it offers; if one person is doing exploratory he/she can change the direction of research when a new insight is found (Saunders et al, 2000, 2007). The technique of ethnographic method is also used along as the main research style as the work contains a lot of observational activities based on the brand KFC.

The purpose of making use of exploratory is also same it helped to change the direction of the research as it went forward. The exploratory research is aptly mentioned by Schvaneveldt & Adams (1991) as; it can be likened to a traveller or explorer. Normally exploratory study is followed or forerunner by descriptive research (Saunders et al, 2000, 2007). Even though the researcher is free to change direction in case of exploratory study, the descriptive research suggest that the researcher should have a clear idea of whom to collect data from or which are the persons or organization to concentrate on. From the research pint of view it’s clear that the research involves collecting data regarding KFC Branding in United Kingdom from interviewing the target customers.

Ethnography means ‘a Portrait of people’ (Maanen, 1996), and it is basically fieldwork or any observational activity, were it ends up as a written description comprising of the customs, beliefs and behaviour, based on the information collected through field work and study (Harris and Johnson, 2008). As a social science research method, ethnography relies on up-close personal experience and possible participation, but not only by observation. The people trained in this work are called ethnographers, who works focused strengthening their interests and skills in the research related culture, language domain etc to develop a narrative description through interviews, observational activities and documents (Hammersly, 1990).

According to Hussey and Hussey (1997) which ever type of approach that is being used goes through rigorous stages in the research process which are commonly to all scientifically based investigations. It is important for the researcher decide as to which approach can bring out the real and definite answers to the questions.

3.2 Research Strategy

Before any research begins it is important devise a logical strategy as to how to go about doing the research. The research strategy should define the way in which the researcher going about answering the research questions set forward. Putting forward a strategy allows to take into account the different ways in which data and information needs to be collected and choosing the right one that meets the needs of the research and it’s a complete approach to making the research a success. As Brand equity, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are major part of the field of management which includes lot of theories it is important to identify the strategy that is being implemented for the purpose of the research their by selecting the most appropriate method. Qualitative and Quantitative are the two most common methods used in identifying and evaluating the data and information (Bryman and Bell, 2003).

Any research can be either quantitative, qualitative or a mix of both. There are many reasons behind this decision, since the study is about brand equity, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty where the target audiences includes general public ,customers coming to KFC etc . The researcher has taken into account both these methods to see how these techniques could define aims and objective in their on specific ways. Both these methods allow the researcher to analyze the data from two different points of view one from numerical side that is quantitative and other concerned with textual data (Rolfe, 2006).

Quantitative is a lot more simple than qualitative method. More over that quantitative technique helps the researcher to cover a large population. A detailed numerical and statistical analysis of the 20 research questions are done according to the answers provided by the population that was selected.

Quantitative approach is mainly used to test different hypotheses where as qualitative helps us to reject different hypothesis (Ghauri, 1995).

Other research method that’s being implemented is the qualitative methods. The reason why the researcher has opted qualitative is to see the response from KFC Managers and officials after showing the initial feedback that the researcher has received through quantitative method such as questionnaires. The researcher has taken into account in-depth interview as competent information regarding the subject matter and to see if any feedback provided has any relations (Corbin and Strauss, 2008). The use of in-depth interview allowed the researcher to get a more practical approach on the topic which helped to see if there was any correlation with answers provided with relation to the attitudes, behaviour, moral systems of the managers or the respective officials. The researcher’s focus on taking qualitative methods was to have a deeper understanding of the subject studied.(Eriksson and Kovalainen, 2008).

Both these methods that has been used for the research analysed in an ethnographic way and this has allowed to analyze the data in different ways and study what impact does it make in the minds of customers when they come across the brand KFC.

3.3 Collection of Data

The data used for the purpose of the dissertation is taken from both and primary and secondary sources. According to Saunders et al (2007) the process by which data is collected required for the analysis of research is through primary and secondary sources and it plays a substantial part in the validity and reliability of a data. The art of data collection is mainly done through two different methods they are secondary and primary.

3.2.1 Secondary Data

A good starting point to begin a research is to collect the data by secondary sources which are helpful in defining the problems and the objectives of the research (Kotler et al, 2008).

According to Saunders et al (2007), the different kind of secondary data were collected by means of survey, multiple sources, and documentary. The validity of these research materials are high since these research materials are being put forward by highly authorized and noon biased people who have put a landmark in the field of research. The data on these secondary source are being validates by research in the respective field. The table below provides the various sources of secondary data collection and some of them involve the commonly used journals, Books, Internet Based source.

Types of Secondary Data

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Type of Secondary data Source: Model adapted from Research methods for Business Students by Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thorn hill, 1997.

(Saunders et al, 1997, 2007)

3.2.2 Primary Data

Gauri et al (2005) says the researcher has to make sure whether to communicate with the respondents or make observation of them. Primary data is the most effective use for data collection as the information is collected directly from the respondents which involve questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and direct observation. This dissertation is an exploratory study which mainly uses ethnographic methodology for data collection and presentation. Extensive questionnaire, customer interviews, presentation and videos are used in this dissertation to explore how the use of primary research has an effect on the subject matter. The questions asked directly to the primary research provide a good understanding and allows making clear assumptions and analysis. Among these, one of the best methods taken into consideration is mainly questionnaire to understand the effect of brand equity of KFC on customers. . The research question revolves around the brand equity which involves the questions being asked based on their experience. Thus the primary data collection method used is questionnaire which would be quantitatively analyzed and interpreted using the graphs, charts and the pie diagrams (Saunders et al, 1997, 2000, 2007).

Questionnaire: “According to Kirkowski (1998) defines questionnaire in a moral structural way as a method of elicitation, recording and collecting information”. To match the aims of the objective the dissertation has taken into account the use of Questionnaires which is cost effective method in achieving a clear response of the questions being forward to the target audiences. The use of questionnaires allows the researcher to collect the information directly and quickly with a high opportunity of response rate. The kind of questionnaires used for the research is one to one structured based questionnaires. The target consumers are provided a set of closed questionnaires with twenty questions being asked on the research topic. The places targeted are customers from Gloucestershire and Cardiff area and too see if the results obtained have any relationship with the subject. It is also important to show the advantage and Disadvantage closed end questionnaire would could have an effect on the topic (Saunders et al, 1997, 2007).

Advantage:

- It allows easy interpretation and analysis of the data
- The responses received from the target customer are the gathered in a standardized way
- The questions asked are less time consuming into the respondents

Disadvantage

- No further issues couldn’t be answered
- Poorly written questions can give the wrong impression and discourage respondents

3.3. Reasons for Choosing the Questionnaire and Ethnographic method

Questionnaires are one of the easiest and most common methods used to extract the information from target audiences. The researcher has taken into account questionnaire as the main research method to find out the amount of response they would be able to get from the target consumers on the subject KFC’s brand equity. It is quite difficult to get the exact facts regarding brand and brand equity through secondary data as these are information provided by different authors and researchers. Taking questionnaires as a main method to finding out the importance of Branding done by KFC would increase the validity and reliability of research to see if the response provided by the target public has any relation to the aims and objective of the subject (Cooper and Schindler, 2002; Corbin and Strauss, 2008).

The questions taken for the research tries to bring out the awareness and loyalty that public or other customers have towards KFC and to see if that have created a sustain growth whereby building a strong brand equity. The researcher had created the questionnaires taking into different factors such as sex and age group. The both these factor are taken as they both could have an effect on the research. The researcher has targeted both male and female population to see if there’s any difference in opinion that they would have on the subject same as with the age group. The research divides the age group to 18-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56-65, and above 65 which would allow the researcher to see how each age group response to the questions .It is important to note that part of population is taken in order draw a conclusion regarding subject matter (Saunders et al, 1997, 2007)

In this research questionnaires are given to target population which involves questions that are directly related to the aims and objectives of the research done in order to reduce the weigh down on the respondents and it is made sure that only relevant questions are asked. The researcher has taken into account random sampling as a means because in the research the customer has tried to provide research questions to 250 general public .The public included in the research where customers from restaurant ,friends in university residence ,neighbours .’’According to Kumar (1996:325) random sample in the population must have an equal and independent chance of selection in the sample”. From the 250 questionnaire provided to the general public and responds from around 150 audiences was only received. The research also takes cluster sampling also some aspect of opportunity sampling to have clear understanding the population. Cluster sampling is provided due to the large population taken in the research where age of the selected audiences was divided into different clusters or sub categories (Saunders et.al, 2007).

As the research began the questions concentrated was only on KFC customers rather than on the general public where the chances of data obtained being biased and as per the research guide’s suggestion the researcher has made alternation to sample provided during the beginning of the research. Time is an important factor in doing research and when it comes not being able to collect the data at the specified time the researcher have taken the options of opportunity sampling also. As mentioned above the research is carried out with conveniently accessible group such as neighbours, friends from university residence, restaurants etc. The research being carried out involves constraints such as time, permission, finance etc and the best options available to the researcher is opportunity sampling even though the method is prone to errors (Burns, 2000).

The use of primary data would provide and define specific answers as to how KFC has created a brand equity in minds of customers to gave them a sustain growth in the fast food industries. The secondary data provides an insight to the relevance of brand equity, customer loyalty and customer awareness in building a good customer base over the years.

Ethnographic study at the same time with its more qualitative gives the advantage of understanding the customer mind and attitude. Its more beneficial to understand how satisfied and loyal are these customers to the company. All aspects of data and sensory impressions are felt and understood through this study(chiseri starter, 1997)

3.4. Credibility of Research

The research is done in order to see if the aims and objectives have direct relationship with the research questions being answered by the target audience. The research has taken into consideration closed end questions targeting the selected customers and staffs. The research methods take into account mainly ethnographic and hence of qualitative analysis.” According to winter (2007) reliability and validity are tools of an essential positivist epistemology”. The research focus on the customers from age group from 18 and above and the customers are selected on their attitude and interest towards the researcher. In terms of quantitative research, its techniques has helped the research as it has achieved result when there’s a similarity in the response rate from the 150 customers selected which is quite helpful in validating the results. The reason for taking into account qualitative analysis is in order to enhance the credibility of the research as the customers are limited to answering the questions on the basis of choices provided. The qualitative analys has allowed the research to see the attitude and behavioural aspect of the customers their by allowing to building up a trust with the target audience (Oppenheim, 1992; Burns, 2000).

3.5. Data Analysis

Data analysis is a kind of process in which the data gathered from the primary and the secondary sources are being analyzed in a non-biased form Saunders et al (2007).The data analysis is done by using many analytical techniques. In this research many bar graphs and charts were being used with the intention of data interpretation. The main process involved in the process of preparation of the data for the data analysis involves: type of data, format in which the data is entered and methods required for the data.

Once the data have been used for the purpose of error correction, then it is used for the interpretation. The best possible way to get the exploratory research is the use of the respective variables like specific values, highest and lowest value, and trend over time, proportions and distribution Saunders et al (2007).

3.6. Research Ethics

A researcher should always have concern about research ethics from the very beginning when one start planning, seek access to organization, presenting the data and analyzing it (Saunders et al, 2007). Manage mental research has a higher importance to ethics because in many cases the access to an organization is through our contacts. In this case the researcher has got access in KFC shops through his friends who working there as in managerial or non managerial post. So the researcher had to show a code of conduct throughout the data collection. For the researcher, another main area of ethics was the privacy, which includes the confidentiality, participant reaction and the authority to eliminate partly or entirely from the process (Saunders et al, 2000, 2007).

It is an important thing to be noted that the way the researcher interacts and communicate with the respondents should be done in an ethical manner without disturbing their privacy. The researcher should provide a clear explanation as to why the research is being done and in which manner it could have an effect on the participants directly or indirectly (if any). Providing the correct information to the participants allows researcher to break the barrier with the participants which helps in building a relationship which would increase the credibility of the research (Kumar, 1996; Burns, 2000).

4. Limitations of Research

This research is being done in such a very short time span; the accuracy or the definitude of the research is not much reliable. But along with that the researcher has tried his level best to give more specific results. The chances to get genuine and non biased data were very difficult (Corbin and Strauss, 2008). So the data collected could be reliable to a greater extent but not cent percent. Ethnographic research is something to be done carefully as there are chances to get biased information and resulting in a hyped and biased outcome, ethically the culture, comfort and consciousness of the people involved also depends. The possibility to get an interview with the brand manager (UK operations) was just missed because of Brand Manager’s busy schedule and it was not much easy to get another appointment. So the research had to be carried without it. Even though, the researcher wasn’t able get the interview with the brand manager of KFC (UK operations) which could have had an impact on the topic was partially compromised by the use of closed end questionnaires.

CHAPTER 4 Analysis and Findings

4.1 Introduction

The Analysis and Findings chapter contains the analysis of collected data and findings on the KFC’s brand equity and awareness through investigating customer loyalty and customer satisfaction as key elements. It also investigates “do KFC has highly conscious in meeting their customer needs as a brand”. In this dissertation data analysis and findings are done in two different stages and it is drafted here as stage 1 and stage 2. In first stage the data analysis process is included an onscreen presentation for promoting sales, then Video comments of customers, staffs, etc. are recorded and shown for training purpose and a CHAMPS report (customer feedback) is collected by the employees for analysing the feedback as well. The first stage was done by the request of KFC franchise group called GMN ltd. Situated in Gloucester, the purpose of the work was to induce staff for up selling without draining the customers off their satisfaction and loyalty. Whereas, the second stage of data analysis was done as the dissertation progressed. On the second part the researcher was able to derivate one conclusion from the findings. Here the researcher selected the ‘questionnaire’ method for collecting the relevant data, required for research to understand how KFC obtains brand equity through brand awareness and customer satisfaction. The researcher believed, all the 15 questions which the researcher drafted for the survey were concentrated on target customers in order to know and understand the customer satisfaction, loyalty and its strength to grow as an even better brand.

For making a trustworthy conclusion in the 2nd stage, the researcher tried to conduct two interviews with higher officials of KFC (Franchise owner and Area manager) however because of some communication gap and crucial time constrain issues the researcher was not able to do both the interviews but with the help of researcher’s friend Mr. Lal,( KFC staff), was able to collect many valuable information from the franchisee owner through an informal interview.

This chapter also explains the way of gathering data and samples and also a comprehensive debate and study upon the findings of the research and the relative research population proves that the KFC has gained it’s strong brand equity through obtaining fair rate of customer satisfaction and loyalty. It has been built on a long term goodwill gained by excellent customer service, hygiene, healthy and tasty food.

4.1.1 Stage

Here researcher would like to narrate some details about the customer feedbacks, satisfaction measuring, loyalty checks and upselling presentation he had made up for KFC in Gloucester, Cheltenham and Hereford County area. Resulted from an official investigation about sales growth (first quarterly report 2008), one of the KFC at Arle Court, golden Valley (laid aside M5) had lost their average sales V/s cost balance because of the lack of business. The situation was not affordable to both the KFC and the Franchisee, obviously they started inducing their staffs and managers for increasing the sales by doing upselling and pleasing their customers for making more frequent visits. Thus this was the exact time for the researcher to begin his sales promotional works from golden valley KFC. At that time the researcher was working with GMN ltd as a KFC Shift manager trainee and was elected to do one motivation cum describing presentation for training all the employees about how to do upselling without losing their loyalty and treating customers well. The strategy behind the upselling idea was to fetch more customers to KFC than their competitors and make them more loyal and lovable to KFC. A presentation video which was taken helped to understand more about the business as it involved people from company as well as customers. (refer the video links)

4.1.1.1 Primary research

In the beginning of summer 2008, The Company GMN ltd, one among the best KFC franchises group holder in UK, called a managerial meeting for designing a new strategy for increasing their daily counter sales by defending the sales decline and credit crunch affected in UK. The meeting was held at their headquarters in Gloucester Shire. The outcome of the meeting was to focus on sales increase by upselling products and attracting more customers towards KFC. The meeting outcome feedback was transferred to all KFC’s owned by GMN ltd. Here the primary research was done by debates with colleagues, study and discussion activities with company officials and co-staffs about the products to know how can up selling be performed without making any changes on KFC’s Menu. Hence the researcher expressed some ideas about how to do upselling and showed some snapshots of few products as examples which were helpful for doing up selling (later the snapshots were added in to presentation). The discussions ended up giving a clear Idea about up selling and also it is concluded that upselling will not affect customer loyalty because, loyalty is that deal with the customers to serve how they desired it (Atkinson, 1997). The new Idea were such as, separating the normal deal menu into different ones by adding some of the extra products which are already served by KFC such as cheese, bacon, hash brown etc. or making the meal larger one with large drink and large fries. Some experiments were also done with changing ingredients in different Rolls and burgers.

The researcher tries to analyse the customer satisfaction and loyalty of KFC in its depth because KFC and its franchisee holders never ever accept not even any single issue or mistake which will affect their loyalty and trust, so they believe that, if it happens then it will cause to damage customer likeness to KFC. So the researcher was highly and fully vigilant while doing these works. For making upselling easier and avoiding complexity, the Till staff were allowed to ask two extra questions towards the customer before taking up any order, such as “would you like to go for large “and “would you like to add extra cheese, bacon or hash brown”, hence before asking these two questions towards customers, the staff would make sure that customer will not get annoyed or not feel as if treated with arrogance. In the Third phase the researcher builds a presentation with video and few comments from the staff, area coach and customer (Managers meet 2008 August) to promote and prove how the new strategy of upselling was very powerful and helpful to drive away from credit crunch and also to not deviate from the brand policy like loyal to the customer.

4.1.1.2 Analysis of Questionnaire Data

The researcher derived out a different way to identify the customer loyalty, it was through just a form called champs Form (CHAMPS in 30 seconds, attach 2) contains two parts, first parts deals with six questions and customer’s answers should written down by any of the team member himself, the topics are as follows Cleanliness, Hospitality, Accuracy, Maintenance, Products and Speed of service. The customer can give marks like excellent, good, satisfactory, bad and very bad. While considering first 100 customers those who answered to these questions ( shows with evidence in 2008 August managers meet), 89% marks excellent in cleanliness, 92% says excellent in hospitality,88% says excellent in accuracy, 81% marks excellent in maintenance, 96% says excellent in products and 79% says excellent in speed of service . While considering second part there are only four questions such as 1. Do you get a warm welcome 2. Do you experience satisfaction with our addon products 3.Would you think KFC menu be more health benefiting. 4. Surely recommend KFC to yourself and your near one. The first question 96% agrees strongly that they got warm welcome and interaction where as 92% strongly says they got satisfaction with upselling. 90% says KFC menu should be more health dedicated and 92 % says they will recommend KFC to others. Here The researcher take in to account only the higher marks because altogether more than 85% people gives the top ranking to all queries so as a result, it is clear to say that the customer’s reactions were helpful to carry on with this upselling.

4.1.1.3 Result from the study

As a result of the research the researcher build up a presentation with video and few comments from the staff, area coach and customer as well (2008 August) to promote and prove how the new strategy of upselling was very powerful and helpful to drive away from credit crunch and also it never deviates from the brand policy like being loyal to the customer. The data analysis resulted that the majority among the customers those who took part in the survey strongly stood with KFC and gives the green sign to go on whereas only a minority says contradictory statements. While considering the overall result of this study, KFC at Golden valley get their sales 30 % up by upselling. As a result of this study all other KFC’s of GMN ltd adopted this method and started to train their staffs to get ready for up selling at KFC. The company’s spoke man narrated that this upselling syndrome is not something different from old copy book style methods and it hike up the profit without losing any customer nor deducting any kind of loyalty among them (Managers meet Aug.2008).

4.1.2 Interview- GNM group owner

Few question for the franchisee owner of KFC in UK. Gloucester, Cheltenham and Hereford County.

Q1. How do you try to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty?

According to the KFC franchisee head GMN ltd Gloucester, they always concentrate on and maintain customer loyalty and Customer satisfaction. From many years of their experience it is identified that, there are few crucial elements such as service quality, product, good environment, fastest replay for customer queries and complaints can make their business grow. So every single day they check out and observe customer’s attitude and solve customer issues and try to fetch maximum loyalty from customers and try to make them satisfied.

Q2. Would you think you would get some beneficiaries by concentrating on customer loyalty and customer satisfaction.

According to them, obviously they should have some benefits, as a franchisee business, if more they concentrate on customer satisfaction the customer should be more satisfied , loyal, dependable and will think about other choices as a secondary option only.

Q4. How do you react to customer complaints and feed backs

They have a customer service department and hospitality ambassadors so that they hear to complaints and frequent customer issues and we resolve it instantly.

Q5. Did training for upselling or any other sales promotion techniques helped you to obtain more business

According to franchisee owner, the upselling and sales promotion idea was a stunning experience to them, staffs are motivated and automatically induced to a healthy competition together and the winner would get reward as well. Thus all the staffs try to obtain more upselling receipt in to his till. It helps the company to fetch more business and profit share. Even then the customer was happy because they are just paying simple amount such as 20 to 80 pens extra and they will get a larger or different product to taste. There is not even any single customer complaint received because the staffs were well trained for upselling with simple steps and customers were well informed prior to his order. And the interaction between the customer and staff would get healthy and sound. So automatically the rate of customer satisfaction will increase and it will induce to higher the loyalty anyway. As an overall result the number of counter sales and customers will increase.

4.2 Stage 2

At the end part of the research, the researcher was able to derivate one conclusion from the findings. Here the researcher selected the ‘questionnaire’ as a method for collecting the relevant data which he used for his research to understand, how KFC maintains its brand equity through Customer satisfaction and loyalty. The researcher believe that all the 14 questions which the researcher drafted for the survey were concentrated on target customers in order to know and understand the satisfaction level, customer loyalty or buyers choice of KFC by enquiring about likes, tastes and preferences.

4.2.1 Primary Research

Branding is one of the most important aspects that distinguish a product as a commodity to something unique and distinguishable. Branding is deemed as the best asset a company can achieve, since its value is enduring and is not based on the tangible value. Even if all the tangible wealth of a company is lost but is having a strong brand then all is not lost. After the initial expenses of infrastructure the company is right in business (Brassington and Pettitt, 2003, 2006).

In measuring the brand equity through customer satisfaction and analysing loyalty, it is essential to be aware of the concepts which are being applied. The core value of brand is made up of various brand elements. (Keller, 2008).

While carrying out the research part of the dissertation, the researcher had done many procedures towards collection of the primary data. In that the researcher has done two interviews and one presentation and two questionnaires for getting the apt feedback. In the last phase the researcher was able to conduct a survey through the means of questionnaire method to detect in depth, how KFC tries to maintain its customer loyalty and satisfaction, both considered as the main elements of brand equity with the response received from 50 customers. The questionnaire and its analysis are detailed below.

Only selected questions, which comes in common and that can analyse KFC’s customer loyalty and customer satisfaction are asked mostly to the customers and few from the staffs. Their opinions are sorted to identify the reasons for such an answer from the customers. And one interview is done on one Franchisee owner by the friend of the researcher in order to keep the research more credible and strong. Some opinion and observations of managers, officials and staff’s are sought because they are the people who have direct contact with the consumers.

4.2.2 Analysis of Questionnaire Data

The customers are welcomed with one basic question on their gender and then few general questions about KFC and finally its ends up with strong analysis of customer satisfaction and Loyalty, to understand how it helps in developing brand equity. The questionnaire were not supplied to general public, instead the question was asked to 100 people and the answer was written down by the research helper due to the busy time schedule.

Questionl. What is your gender?

Between male and female gender, a total number of 100 people responded to the questionnaire. The answers to the questionnaire were received from 42 male participants and 58 female participants. Out of the questionnaires given, more responses were received from female participants. Theoretically, the gender aspect is of less relevance but practically, the author has selected the preferences of both gender and is considered in evaluation to create ambiguity.

Question 2 . How often would you like to prefer KFC, while you going out with your family / friends?

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For this question the researcher got answer from 100 participants. Out of 100 respondents 64 participants says they always select KFC while they go out with family or friends whereas 24 people replied they choose KFC sometimes. But only 12 said they will select KFC least. As a result it is clearly drawn here that majority people always likes to choose KFC as they prefer it more while going out in bigger groups. So while people are gathering as a mass they would like to prefer KFC and this strategy kept them stronger in the competitive market (Kotler and Keller, 2006).

Question 3. Which feature of KFC food do you like more?

The above question narrates the clear ratings of KFC food feature. Among 100 respondents 36 blackened the first answer ‘more delicious than other fast foods' and 30 respondents marked to the second answer ‘Cost effective and better quantity’ whereas another 28 says KFC food is served in ‘High quality'. six respondents opted ‘Not possible to comment ’ as a contradictory statement while enquiring about most likely feature of KFC’s food, this comments indirectly explains that none among the food feature of KFC is attracted by these minority. However from the analysis it is transparent that, KFC having different image in customer mind and majority (more than 94) respond
positively replied for the features of KFC food and only a small group didn’t respond well and declined to given any mark KFC food’s feature.

Question 4.? Do you think KFC always maintain higher rate of customer satisfaction and loyalty?

This question was marked by 100 people, among them 30people said they “strongly agreed with the statement and another 52 people also support them by their thoughts .So the higher majority of 82% assured that KFC always maintain higher rate of customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. Another 14 states that only in sometimes KFC is conscious about it but not always. It means sometimes KFC is highly conscious about it but sometimes never. Four among 100 respondents gives a contradictory statement. They clearly states that KFC never had keep any higher rate of customer satisfaction and Loyalty. So the result it is clearly drawn and majority (82%) said their opinion positively and small group below the quarter percentage (14%) said KFC is conscious about its customer satisfaction and loyalty but need to focus more in maintaining it. Only few says(4%) KFC never maintain it. So in conclusion the researcher states that KFC has maintain higher rate of Customer satisfaction and Loyalty.

Question 5. In your opinion what makes KFC to keep its customer satisfaction and loyalty stable.

In100 number of respondents 12 vote for KFC’s Cleanliness whereas 11,10,9 population votes for hospitality, speed & accuracy and maintenance respectively Another 13 votes for product quality and however majority among the group 39 assured that KFC is highly concentrate in prior declared five elements for keeping their customer loyalty and satisfaction level higher and stable. There is 6 number of people having contradictory statements, that they doesn’t think KFC has any botheration in keeping loyalty to the customer and maintaining customer satisfaction.

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As a result from the analysis the researcher is able to say that, more than 93% of respondents states here: KFC keeps its Customer loyalty and satisfaction stable through focusing on any one of the five key elements written here and in this majority 39respondents thoroughly states that KFC keeps focusing on all five elements stated here. Through this analysis it is clear that KFC always looks forward and tries to keep its customer satisfaction and loyalty stable.

Question 6. Would you think KFC’s upselling techniques and customer maniac attitude are beneficiaries to the customers?

Here the researcher got 100 replies and in that, 52 respondents strongly agrees that KFC’s upselling and customer maniac attitude is really beneficial to the customers and 37 among other group also supported the statement. But 8 respondents neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement whereas 3 respondents disagree with the statement. There was no one who strongly disagreed the statement.

So as a result with evidence, the researcher can conclude, among 100 respondents 89% agreed with the statement and 8 people kept quiet. Only 3 respondents did not support nor disagree the statement. Here the huge majority believes that paying more in KFC is worth and is beneficial personally.

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Question 7. Compared to similar products or competitors, do you think KFC has a unique image or an identity for its recipes?

Here the outcome of analysis shows 78 out of 100 respondents strongly agree with the statement and out of the rest 22 of the respondents, 19 again agree with the statement. Over all 97 respondents stood aside with the statement whereas only 3 people stood neutral in this question which means, KFC has a unique Image or a different identity for its recipes

Question 8. How do you know about KFC’s new promotions and new menus?

While analyzing the feedback of this question, the researcher identified that 43 respondents knows about KFC’s promotions by mouth to mouth communication (through friends 23 and staff 20) whereas another 41 were known about it by advertising and another 11 knows about it through other marketing technique. There is another 5 respondents who never get any information about KFC’s new products and promotions. The result shows that KFC’s advertising and other branding techniques are not reach the maximum people rather than their mouth to mouth transmissions were still keeps public to know about KFC’s new promotions and products. So KFC need to concentrate on higher advertisement and other branding techniques

Question 9. Do you believe the products of KFC are of superior quality and add value for your money?

Out of 100 participants the majority of 51 participants strongly agreed that KFC was of superior quality and adds value with 29 participants agreeing to the statement. Out of 100, 12 participants opted neutral neither supporting nor opposing with 6 participants disagreeing with KFC being of superior quality. The rest 2 participants taken for the research strongly disagreed with the statement. But from analysing the chart we could see that most of the participants provided a strong support to KFC’s superior quality.

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Question 10. While asking for go large or adding extra toppings to your food would you ever felt like cheated?

The below graph shows that, out of 100 respondents 83 ticks they never felt like cheated while asking for go large or adding any extra toppings whereas 14 respondents neither said they felt cheated nor said they were happy. But 3 people says they felt like cheated. While scrutinising the result the huge majority put their hand up to go for large and adding extra toppings. It is clear now, asking for large or adding extra toppings should never lose much customers of KFC, rather it will be helpful to attract more customers in to their dine in area.

Below shown graph describes customers likes and dislikes for Go large and extra toppings

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Question 11, How will you rate your total satisfaction level at KFC and its food ?

The researcher had found 54 respondent rates here as highly satisfied and also another 23 has rated above average in their total satisfaction level at KFC. In totality 77 out of 100 respondents’ rates totally satisfied with KFC and its food. It’s a good sign for KFC to sketch out their customer satisfaction level clearly and also help them to plan and obtain more activities to do better their customer satisfaction rate. Out of 100, 77 were satisfied and another 19 says KFC have an average level of customer satisfaction. By making some good customer manic and master action plans, KFC can lift up these customers as well to satisfy level. Among 100 respondents only four says KFC’s satisfaction level is below average, but there is none to say dissatisfied and it’s a good marks for KFC .

Question 12, Will you trust the brand KFC ?

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The given Graph shows the exact answer to the question will customer trust the brand KFC. Out of 100 participants 47 among them strongly says that KFC is a trusted brand and other 43 participants agreed with the comment. A small number of 8 participants keep neutral position and they didn’t say anything positive or negative whereas 2 participants says they can’t trust the brand KFC and none is here to support them strongly. So the researcher can clearly draft as As a brand KFC is trustful to the majority customers, it’s also clear KFC keeps higher rates of customer satisfaction and Loyalty

Question 13, Depending on your choice for KFC as your fast food, Can you rate your Loyalty?

The graph below shows the Loyalty of the participants. Here from the mass of 100, 28 participants’ states they are very much loyal to KFC and another 35 Participants supports the statement. However 20 participants among 100 stand
neutral. 15 participants were disloyal and 2 numbers of others very strongly said they are disloyal to the brand KFC. It’s only a small group posted their controversial comment. So as a suggestion researcher would like to say even though the majority ( 63%) are loyal to the brand, KFC should have some curious concerns about lifting up the range of loyal customers otherwise it will make some negative impact on their business

Can you rate your Loyalty

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Question 14, Do you have any Emotional feelings with KFC?. Will you refer KFC to any of your friends?

The asked question gives a mixed response from the participants. 22among 100 participants states that they have some emotional feelings with KFC and other 17 people strongly agreed with the comment whereas the majority of participants 40 among 100 stranded in neutral position . but 13 people states that they don’t have any emotional feelings with KFC and another 8 people support them strongly.

4.3 Results from the data analysis

The analysis from the 14 questions received from 100 participants found that KFC has good and strong image in the minds of the customers. The different statistical analysis that was done with 14 different questions was determined by brand profiling and conversion model. The research has shown that KFC has good core measures in awareness, familiarity, favourability usage and loyalty. While considering the above analysis it is clear that KFC has a wide range of customer. From the research it was clarified that, all range of customers are like to have food from KFC. From the research it’s clear almost all the customers know about KFC brand, which shows KFC’s brand awareness programs are successfully implemented (Aaker, 1996).

Among 100 participants above half of the responded customers were female and the questions were mainly based on customer satisfaction, loyalty and the brand impression made by KFC. When they heard the name KFC, it shows KFC image or their brand identity mark are well known in the fast food restaurant industry. The analysis clearly delivered the fact, KFC have its own unique image from other surrounding Fast food chains. The analysis shows that, when considering the competition from the same industry KFC have high brand equity and brand value that makes KFC as a different Restaurant chain from others (Kapferer, 2008).

From these quantitative studies, majority of the participants thoroughly says KFC will be their First choice when they eat out and almost all the participants says KFC sells superior quality of food rather than their competitors, it shows the public believes about KFC as a good choice of brand. KFC gaining all these brand equity, value with the help of mass amount of media usage, advertising techniques and word of mouth scenario. (Keller et al, 2002).Because the promotions and introduction of new products gets noticed evenly through advertisements and word of mouth, but still the evangelical or word of mouth marketing is doing good to KFC and this can be considered as an end result of maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty. Many customers also think they have a superior quality of food when compared and has value for money as well as the higher rate of total experience. From these questions it is also clear that majority of the people remain loyal to KFC and will recommend it to others. It is further proven that almost all participants agreed to the question about the acceptance of upselling activities done by KFC and proved they are loyal to them so that up selling activities won’t affect their buying impression from KFC.

From these analysis studies seen that KFC was seen as a trusted brand. To make the analysis fair the questionnaire was given not only to consumers come to dine in KFC but also to the general public which included neighbour and friends. From each of the 14 questions that were being asked a majority of the answers received supported the fact that KFC has been able to make a long lasting impression on the minds of the customers and will stay strong even at times of high tide promotional activities.(Kotler and Armstrong, 2006).

CHAPTER 5 Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1. Conclusion

Brands and brand equity are two very powerful concepts in current marketing thinking. Evaluating and measuring the brand performance and equity are one of the most difficult tasks in front of any researcher. The importance of brand can be plainly seen by the enduring value it has among the potential consumers. Even if the tangible wealth of the company is not brands, in the case of powerful brands; they are worth more than the tangibles. It is the intangible asset or the goodwill obtained by the product and the business over the period of time and brand equity as found in the literature and data analysis clearly depicts the picture of an elegant brand image of an established firm. This power and indestructible quality of brands is because of it exists inside the mind of the customer and is derived by providing excellent customer service and value for money (Kotler and Keller, 2006, 2009). Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are other two main areas discussed here to learn and understand how important it is to influence the mind of customers to improve the business. The more satisfied and loyal the customers are, the more they will recommend and stay with the business.

Thus customers play a vital role in the generation of brand equity and value. Its value is determined by the force it has in the mind of the customers in making a positive response to the product or the loyalty that tends the consumer to repurchase the product or good again and again. This process of brand equity development is not very difficult as per the study of the theories if it is done through developing brand knowledge or awareness, brand loyalty and improving the perceived value of the product and business. Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty here plays an important role as the customer is to be influenced and retained and from that the research found that brand equity development entirely depends on the customer nature and brand emotion which is naturally developed (Keller et al, 2002). Here it is to be such that business should not be affected even when the company try to do promotional activities to retain and attract more customers. A deed done for good should not be turned bad.

5.1 Summary of Research Findings

Following my research as a part of and exploratory and ethnographic study of both primary and secondary data shows that, though brand is a product but it has the elasticity to carry out further development, improvements or rebranding if needed as there is no limit for the brand growth. Customer loyalty and customer satisfaction are two main attributes considered with brand equity to understand the importance of customers in business and how they influence to carry forward the business. Brand positioning and awareness is essential in defining and establishing brands to the customers. It partakes of three types, brand emotion, loyalty and association or image. All these have to be considered on its best while evaluating a brand to see if that brand is effective in the market and can compete with its competitors to gain brand equity.

Measuring brand equity is very difficult but not an impossible task as it is what was done in this study in the initial stage. In this analysis and research, the brand KFC UK was evaluated by doing surveys with customers who choose to dine out and are customers from different parts of the society and of different age groups. These customers mostly preferred fast food restaurants and if they choose to have a chicken dish, obviously the majority had their first choice as “Kentucky Fried Chicken”.

In the previous chapters, the researcher tries to examine four chapters; the author examined the brand equity of KFC on the market share of new promotions and parent products which KFC was doing for ages. The study was generally done on the food industry in the UK considering the increase in sales and the existence of customer loyalty. Even though, the success of a brand depends on the promotion of the brand and the study and data analysis proved that KFC emphasised on providing better value for money by providing best quality food at cheaper prices as compared to its competitors such as Mc Donald’s, Burger King or any other such as Subway (Smith and Park, 1992). On the other hand, the author also discussed on the effectiveness of promoting a brand and making the customers aware of their promotions through advertisements and promotional activities thereby making the buyers satisfied, loyal and increasing brand equity. Thus, it has been seen that the brand equity is the value of a brand and the perceived value that a customer has in his mind about a product and improvement to equity or loyalty is beneficial to the business in terms of increasing sales and profits. These will also in turn improve the brands capacity to rebrand and restructure if needed to develop an elegant image and association among the regular buyers (Aaker et al, 1991, 1996).

As from the literature and secondary studies it was found that, even though KFC UK has an elegant brand image and developed brand equity, it is not strong as the key competitors such as the Mc Donald’s UK and hence, need a further enhancement especially in increasing the loyalty of the customer to increase the repurchasing tendency and knowledge of the new arrivals. In the analysis, it was understood that the female consumers who prefer KFC for fast food were more than the male consumers and the researcher had a feeling that the female and child consumers are the key source of income and sale for KFC in UK. Among the people who eat out, majority prefer fast foods as the name says it is fast, easy and cheap as compared to majority of the buffets and Inns or hotels.

It was also been found that majority of the consumers agree and the rest strongly agree that the promotional activities and advertisements or brand awareness programmes of KFC are efficient in making them aware of all the promotions and developments in KFC and do not affect their tendency to repurchase or stay with the brand. It also made them aware of the KFC’s culture and history as they have the colonel’s image and KFC logo in mind as they hear about KFC. The consumers also said that they will continue uing KFC as their main preference as they feel that KFC is unique and different as compared to other restaurants due to the taste of chicken and quality of food at fewer prices. Hence, they will continue going to KFC when they dine out especially, most of the time they go out in a month will enjoy dining in KFC.

5.2 Recommendations

From all this research, it is evident that brand equity plays a major role in increased sales and market share in the fast food industry. This aim of research was proved by looking at the data analysed which were the questionnaires distributed, CHARMS sheet and other interviews. Majority of the research population said that their first choice will be KFC even if they get the same type of service and food. In addition, the KFC managers also said that there was a great rise in sales due to their awareness programmes and development in brand loyalty and thereby brand equity. Brand equity can be effectively utilised for increasing consumer satisfaction and loyalty to analyse consumer behaviour and responses in the UK market but this was achieved through providing better customer service and good food.. KFC should try more to improve its brand image and equity as McDonald’s by good and healthy food, which gives value for customer money as the study proved that they have more brand equity than KFC. But, the customer’s choice for chicken recipes made KFC, a more consumer loyal fast food restaurant than McDonalds. This makes a feeling that, parts of the aims of this research have been achieved.

But now, it is the researcher’s duty to know how, KFC has improved its image and brand equity among fast food consumers. It was not the research study but the literature already says that, it is the awareness programmes that keeps a firms consumer loyalty and image but KFC proved that it is not only that but, better customer service, a better place to eat and variety of tasty menu’s make KFC different and their advertisement of chicken and new promotions keep them different from its competitors. This is how KFC improved its brand image, consumer satisfaction, loyalty and the aims of research were seen to be achieved more.

Even at times of upselling activities it was found that customers tend to remain satisfied and loyal, but there should be more clarity on this as the research was done in a limited space for the company, taking to the next level it has to be done extensively to understand more about the nature of customers the likes, interests and how other influential activities can be done more to influence them.

Until now advertisement is the main pathway for the growth, even though there is an evangelical way (word of mouth) of the company and product gaining importance, but now the importance should be given to the good will. KFC are specialised in chicken and it has the major target market is in chicken. So the target of KFC should change from the chicken to the other products such as meat, beef and products related to non vegetarian foods. Late nineties showed a success for KFC, since there was collaboration with PepsiCo, so similar kind of joint venture and collaborations are highly useful for the expansion and further growth of the business.

Finally, one of the key reasons or an example for the people who choose fast food restaurants as regular visitors of KFC for chicken dishes is because of the quality and customer service as compared to its major competitors who provide variety of other dishes such as ham, bacon and beef but customer says that it is not hygiene and healthy as chicken dishes of KFC. Some customers from the Muslim community said, they would love to eat in some KFC’s in UK which provide “Halal” chicken and hence, they always go with the family if they want out. The managers supported this aspect of KFC which makes them different and unique from its competitors. After McDonalds, it was KFC which was individually preferred by majority of the fast food consumers in the UK who mostly spent around or up to ten pounds when they dine out with a friend or a small family.

5.3 Scope for further Research

The study till now has shown that, advertisement and promotional activities had helped to manage their brand equity. Thus in future brand extension, amalgamation and study regarding the brand portfolios can be studied in future so that the existence of the KFC in the future years when the completion enhances to a greater extent can be overcome. The studies proved that KFC has achieved a Noticeable position in fast food world. The equity is valued through sales and performance, through the study of a small sample. Thus a small sample will not be enough to build this longer. So it could be considered that the study with a larger research population and precise measurement would help in future to develop the company to a greater extent. The activities of close competitors could be more observed in understanding better the products and competition techniques to get more clarity on business expansion and better profitability. Customer loyalty is to be understood more thoroughly to help more retention and welcoming of more customers.

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Web reference

Web.1.http://www.kfc.co.uk/custom_images/documents/KFC_Infopack2008.pdf

Web.11 .http://www.kfc.co.uk/custom_images/documents/KFC_Infopack2008.pdf

web17.http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/56/56325.html

web.21http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=v_RandLSSDAC&printsec=frontco ver#v=onepage&q&f=false ( “the guide to franchising “ 7th edition Thomson Martin Mendelsohn Croatia Zrinski d.d.(2005)

Web 3 (http://www.slate.com/id/2099747/)

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Web5. (http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/KFC-Corporation- Company History.html)

Web 6 (http://www.kfc.com/about/history.asp)

Web 7 (http://www.kfc.com/)

Web.8 http://www.kfc.co.uk/

Web .9 http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/56/56325.htm Web 10 (http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/56/56325.html)

Web.11http://www.kfc.co.uk/custom_images/documents/KFC_Infopack2008.pdf

web.12 http://www.prophet.com/downloads/articles/Innovation%20quest.pdf

web.15 http://www.marketingpower.com/mg-dictionary-view329.php

web.18 http://qa.kfc.com/about/history.asp

web.19 http://www.kfc.com/about/pdf/timeline.pdf

web.20 http: //www.answers .com/topic/kfc-corporation

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web.22http://www.idd.bham.ac.uk/research/dissertations/Antonio%20Romero.pdf

web .23 http://www.netmba.com/marketing/brand/equity

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Dissertation

Liu, C. (2002), Light Branding, MA Design and Branding Strategy 2002. (university name needed)

Video Links :

Area Manager :

http://www.voutube.com/watch?v=FfQPZrCbvrE&feature=voutu.be

Customers : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch0IiRK7Rtk&feature=youtu.be

Staff : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaMaHTv-dI4

Staff : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl0-k qL9SQ&feature=youtu.be

Presentation final : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIqxDcdEtKo

Details

Pages
88
Year
2013
ISBN (Book)
9783656739135
File size
1 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v280574
Institution / College
University Of Wales Institute, Cardiff
Grade
Tags
brand

Author

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Title: Brand equity as an end result of customer satisfaction and loyalty, considering high tides of sales promotion and upselling