Free Emotional Marketing Of Luxury Cosmetic Brands And Brand Loyalty Dissertation Methodology Sample

Type of paper: Dissertation Methodology

Topic: Brand, Wealth, Customers, Information, Business, Education, Study, Products

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2020/12/15

Methodology

Research Philosophy
A market evaluation was directed initially through journal study to gather up-to-date material and information on the following topics: luxury cosmetic brands of South Korea, luxury cosmetic brands presence in the country, female consumers and their general trends, luxury apparel space, and market fulfillment in South Korea. This research and data accumulation allowed for a deep comprehension of the market that is currently operating in the luxury cosmetic brands space in South Korea as well as the mechanisms behind branding and marketing, and their emotional branches and how sentiment is triggered regarding brands. Key sources of data collection for the market review were gathered through peer reviewed academic journals, interviews as well as questionnaires aimed at breaking down the market.
Moreover, cases were selected for research to increase specific insights on their practices in the South Korea luxury cosmetics brand presence. The choice of companies and studies researched was not limited to luxury brand companies only, but also the concept of brand that talks about the capacity to make a customer continually seek out and buy one specific brand over another. We researched those cases in order to design a methodology in which questions would be calculated to discover the strategic or functioning advantages of luxury brands in the existing marketplace. Still, despite the fact that numerous companies that were researched, the real data coming out from journals and the internet are scarce due to efforts made by the management of those companies to disclose sensitive information and in order to protect their competitiveness; however, scarce information that was obtained was used to increase insight into current practices.
According to (Aaker, 1997) the brand character talks about “ to the set of human characteristics associated with a brand.” Aaker established one of the most reputable theoretical structures of brand character dimensions and a scale to estimate that framework by drawing on previous study about the Big Five human personality traits. In Aaker’s research and due to the fact that she followed a customer-oriented approach of brand characterization, the measurements were derived from a massive customer survey. More than 600 U.S. respondents evaluated on a five-point Likert scale - a psychometric scale that frequently has to do with research that utilizes questionnaires- distinctive brands of changing categories on more than one hundred personality traits. Aaker, associated these traits by factor analysis to five different dimensions. These include Competence, Sincerity, Excitement, Sophistication, and Ruggedness. The image below demonstrates her framework of brand personality together with its sub-dimensions and a typical brand for each dimension (e.g. Hallmark cards symbolize the Sincerity dimension).
Although the framework seems to have general application across manufactured goods categories, the dimensions are probably not very graphic for other cultures or specific categories (Goyat, 2011). Consequently, other studies followed in later years, which usually repeated the methods of Aaker to advance specific concepts for other cultural groups like the German population (Kuenzel & Phairor, 2009) and individual categories like restaurants (Siguaw, 1999)). This research also has the intention to apply the brand personality concept to the luxury sector of the South Korean market.

Image: Aker’s notion of brand character for mass market brands.

Autonomous online customers or luxury fashion groups of people, located in South Korea, could possibly function as the foundation for the opinions collected online and for reaching interviewees for conversing with. These clusters could be observed and also actively participated in. Some of the people in the communities could be approached via e-mail and inquired whether they want to join in a discussion or an online interview via skype, google hangout e-mail or instant messaging. The communities or the individuals will be selected in the basis of one main issue: that the emphasis is given on fashion, luxury brands, how they are affected by branding, the emotional connections with specific brands, products etc. It would also be prudent that the communities or individuals to take part in this study –through interviews and questionnaires- not to be openly related to each other - but to be linked only because they are relevant to the same areas (luxury cosmetic brands, brand loyalty).
Finding and examining the means in which they interrelate with each other is an additional and distinct great challenge for luxury brands. The robust link that can be perceived between the different sites is that between counterfeit or replica online stores, or between eBay for example and that of brand websites. This phenomenon occurs mainly due to the fact that many of the imitation product vendors are using pictures, logotypes and text originated from the official sites and brands when retailing their stock, either trying to pass it off as genuine in order to create a comparison mechanism, in the cases when it is clearly stated that the products are replicas. The customers and potential customers in those communities seem to be also offering regularly links to either replica products online stores or official sites when making their requests about products.

Qualitative Research

About qualitative research, the method which we will be using, it is a technique of examination involved in numerous and distinct academic field of studies, customarily in the social sciences, but also in retail research and further backgrounds. Professionals in the qualitative research field with the intention of obtaining a detailed comprehension of human activities and the motives that explain such activities. The qualitative method examines the why and how of decision making progress, not just what, where, when. As a result, reduced but focused samples are more often used than bigger samples.
In the orthodox view, qualitative techniques produce evidence only on the exact cases examined, and any more all-purpose and universal assumptions are only suggestions (affirmations that contain and stem from data). Quantitative approaches can then be used to search for practical support for such research assumptions. In addition to the main aspects of scientific research in general that: searches for answers to a question, methodically makes use of a predefined set of techniques to answer the question, gathers evidence, generates conclusions that were not determined a priori, generates outcomes that are relevant beyond the direct boundaries of the study, qualitative research is making an effort to comprehend a specific research problem or theme from the viewpoints of the local population, or the precise target group inside that population, it encompasses. Qualitative research is particularly effective in finding socially specific data about the values, views, manners, and social contexts of individuals or populations.
The main differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods are their diagnostic objectives, the nature of the questions asked, the kind of data collection tools they use, the form of evidence they produce and the amount of elasticity given into study design. But the main difference is their elasticity. Usually, quantitative methods are inflexible while with quantitative techniques such as surveys and questionnaires, for instance, investigators ask all contributors identical questions in the same order. The response sets from which participants may pick are “closed-ended” or static - a closed-ended question is an inquiry type that confines interviewees with a list of specific replies from which they must pick to answer the question, usually in the form of multiple choice tests. The benefit of this inelasticity is that it gives the ability for eloquent comparison of answers across interviewees and study spots. Nevertheless, it involves a thorough comprehension of the key questions to ask, the optimal way to ask them, and the range of potential responses.
There are three most frequently used qualitative methods for acquiring a detailed type of data. That three most usual qualitative methods are: participant observation that is suited for collecting information on naturally occurring activities in their usual backgrounds, used primarily in social experiments, detailed interviews which are ideal for collecting data on each interviewee personal history, viewpoints and capabilities, mainly when sensitive topics are being researched and finally focus groups are effective in eliciting data on the cultural norms of a group and in creating broad summaries of matters of concern to the cultural groups or subgroups depicted.

Data Collection Methods

In statistical analyses, when subpopulations inside a general population diverge, it is helpful to sample each of the subpopulations (stratum) individually. Stratification is the procedure of dividing parts of the group into similar subgroups before sampling. The strata ought to be mutually exclusive: each part in the population must be allocated to only one stratum. The strata should correspondingly be mutually exhaustive: no part of the population can be omitted. After that procedure, simple random sampling or methodical sampling is used inside each stratum . Stratified sampling is used when there are specific sub-groups to be investigated like our case in which we need to gain access to luxury brand consumers, targeting females, with South Korean ethnicity, brand lovers and followers identified through social media, online fora with server location in the country of interest, and having luxury brands as a subject of discussion.
Since we chose the qualitative method, the data analysis will not be based on numerical analysis tools. From an explanatory point of view, after conducting the interviews and looking back at the notes taken a researcher is building a “reality” with his or her interpretations of a written text that was produced by the participants of research; other researchers, with different education or experiences and would probably come to distinctly or slightly different deductions. In order for a qualitative research scientist to carry out this procedure effectively, it is necessary to understand the biases and prejudices that he may have, to identify his questions, to consult a third party in the academic world and to keep searching for alternate versions.
A method to gain a general perception about what a brand feels like and how luxury is represented by brands is of critical importance for this research - having this in mind, an efficient way to obtain such an insight is field research. Visiting well-known brand facilities, physical stores as well as online stores in the Korean internet environment, could count not as an alternative, but as an optimal answer in the objectives posed in our research in order to have the opportunity to have a look behind the velvet draperies of the luxury products market, and formulate more thorough understanding of how procedures have an effect on consumers. This field research could prove a key feature to our understanding of many brands’ image, customer relationship management, company culture and finally brand loyalty and the emotional attachments of the customers to certain brands. The data at this field specifically could be more easily drawn from quantitative methods.
A "Field Research" can be generally outlined as any unrestrained reflection by researchers on study subjects, and can be substantial in the research of actions that cannot be realistically simulated in a controlled environment (Iacobucci & Churchill, 2010) By its very structure, field research involves researchers in the interpretation of remarks made; thus these remarks could be juxtaposed and quizzed in order to build an objectively accurate comprehension of the situation. In our study, we could be able to compare the operations in Korea with those back home and make general and unsafe assumptions regarding the consumer’s behavior, as well as compare brand image satisfaction with the physical presence of brands. These contrasts would ideally formulate a basis from which the researchers could examine the remarks made and move further with quantizing their data.
In our research, we will use the method of detailed interviews with the groups and individuals that are related to luxury cosmetic brands in South Korea. We will also try to implement an hybrid form of participant observation through accessing online fora that are related to luxury products and well-known brands in that country, and evaluating the information that is exchanged from the users. But in order to formulate the interview questions we must first reexamine the objectives set in the earlier chapters. Those are:

• To determine what constitute the females’ brand loyalty or what motivates them to be loyal to a certain brand;

• To examine the effectiveness of emotional branding for female customers and brand loyalty with regards to luxury brands/cosmetics
• To discover specific emotions those are effective to female Korean consumers of luxury cosmetics
and according to those objectives we must formulate the structure of our interview questions. The population sample that we formulated consists of: 1) 10 people that are identified as Korean female luxury cosmetic consumers 2) 10 people that are identified as Korean Sales & marketing personnel in luxury cosmetic brands.
In order to sketch the first objective, that is, to define and examine the female brand loyalty we formulate certain questions. Initially we ask whether the participants have a specific luxury brand in their mind that they would say they are loyal at and at this point it must be noted that, having to do with luxury, frequent and repeated purchases are not a good indicator of a loyal brand customer, since we are referring to a different price range. Additionally, we ask what it feels like to purchase product from that specific brand, and what other emotions those actions can be compared to, in order to make a rough copy of the sentiments involved and how –and if- they play a significant role in the consumer’s decision. The reason of these questions is to determine the reasons why brand loyalty exists among interviewees, in an effort to distinguish between repurchase inaction and repurchase loyalty
Another question in that direction could be whether the consumers have a special ritual that accompanies the purchase of their favorite brand’s product. Analogous questions will be posed to the second group that consists of marketing professionals, with a different form that has the consumers as a focus, for instance, if they notice certain recurring customers for specific brands, the demographics and the behavior of those consumers.
Later on, we ask the interviewees to describe themselves at first –a rough description focusing on their consumer traits- and then the community of the luxury brand followers. Buyers of Corvette, in a similar interview identified themselves as “Corvette People” acknowledging that they belong in a community (Motichka, 2003)Are there any traits of that community that signal positive or negative emotions according to the interviewees? Are there any traits that the marketing professionals notice in the behavioral characteristics of that community? A question that has a significant gravity is if the consumers think that other luxury brand consumers are like them. Questions aim at outlining the unique characteristics of female consumers that cause different motivator for brand loyalty, regarding the first objective and the second objective.
Moreover, is the purchase of the product a mark of power or social status? Does the product reaffirm the purchaser’s feelings of success? Does it enable them to stand out from the crowd? That series of questions is aimed at the understanding of how a luxury product works as a status symbol and if product preference, product quality and alleged value for money factors are enough to surpass the many emotional reasons behind loyal behavior. (Leahy, 2008). Those questions aim at further deciding the lasting emotions generated in luxury brand consumers.
Furthermore, we ask the interviewees to identify a specific product from their favorite brand, we ask them to think of the product, describe it and detect what are the physical characteristics of the product that play a critical role in the decision to purchase it like the size, shape or color of a perfume, or the material of which a bag is made. Moreover, we ask them if advertising played a significant part in their purchasing decisions. What media did they spot the advertisement on? What made an impression on them in that advertisement? Those questions are designed in an attempt to find the specific emotions that are “assigned” to a product.
Finally, we ask how the consumers view themselves in relation to the society they live in, having in mind that South Korea is one of the countries with the largest GDP’s per person globally. How do they think that they differ in terms of social status, median income and educational background from the average citizen of South Korea? Those questions are related to the third objective, what are the distinct psychological, cultural and social traits that make the luxury consumers differ .

With these information, we construct the data requirement table:

Image: Data requirement table
Data Analysis
We will also use word clouds, to detect if there is a pattern in repeating words. If information is assembled from a focus group for any type of evaluation, a word cloud could be an early stage in having a better image at the significant concepts recognized by the group. This stage could save the researchers a lot of time in coding qualitative data, since the interviewer could create an indication of which terms or concepts are most usual and would consequently permit closer investigation . We will use online tool www.worditout.com in order to create a sequence of word clouds.
Those issues need to be –and indeed are- resolved before conducting the interviews in order for the researcher to have in mind what needs to take into account and the gravity to be applied in certain situations.

Validity and Reliability/Trustworthiness

Research on emotion and customer decision making characterizes what one might call a “fuzzy” issue. Comparable issues involve other aspects of a customer’s mindset, such as the parts of character, self-identity, or philosophy in luxury consumers’ actions. The interest in those issues is more than academic, especially as researchers attempt to make sense of swift variations in consumer preferences. For example, if a researcher wants to comprehend the latest success of boutique hotels or the thriving in adventure travel, it is inadequate simply to recognize which clients are driving those developments. Researchers also have to comprehend what is leading these consumers or the “why” that explains their actions .
The choice of how many interviewees are needed for thorough interviews is not fixed, but on the contrary flows from the research progression. Inquiry of the interview information typically happens early in the data-assembly stage -from time to time once the first interview has taken place. Results from early interviews are short-term and aid to form the interviews to follow. These new interviews are materialized until the researcher starts to realize that redundancy or theoretical overload has been accomplished, where no new understandings appear from the examination of a supplementary case. This might occur after interview number 10, 20, or 50 .
According to Shenton four criteria that are introduced by Guba, should be measured by qualitative researchers in the search of a reliable study . By focusing on comparable questions, Guba’s concepts correspond to the standards used by the positivist researchers: a) credibility (having as first choice to internal soundness); b) transferability (having as first choice external soundness/generalizability); c) dependability (having as first choice trustworthiness) and d) conformability (having as first choice neutrality) . In order to achieve those notions in our research we will try to advance a form of early awareness with the philosophy of the individuals that will participate in the interviews, to obtain a random sample of individuals that will function as interviewees, to achieve triangulation through the utilization of different techniques, different types of interviewees and different interview locations, to create strategies in order to guarantee honesty in interviewees. Furthermore, we will employ “overlapping methods” such as individual interviews conducted with each of the participants, and collective interviews as well .
Finally, to ensure the issue of reliability, a notion that has the meaning of utilizing methods that are demonstrating that, if the survey was to be repeated, in the same background, with the same means and with the same interviewees, comparable results would be found, the procedures followed within the research are going to be described in detail, with extensive recordkeeping allowing thus, a future scholar to repeat the survey, if not inevitably to get the same results. As a result, our research design may be viewed as a “prototype model” even though the shifting character of the occurrences that are examined by qualitative researchers makes such requirements challenging during the research .

Limitations

Evidence from interviews is subject to bias introduced by the human interaction. Interviewers may accidentally encourage or discourage the appearance of particular details and thoughts. Even though no research technique is completely free of interpretation, the interview is more exposed to partiality than most other research techniques. Partiality is not unavoidable though, but it is imperative to go to great lengths in the effort to decrease it in the interview course. In order to ensure the limitations that are generated from the interview process, such as anxiety and/or issues of human interaction, we will conduct the interviews by phone, or e-mail by asking our participants to respond via internet

Works Cited

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