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Fancy a coffee with Friends in 'Central Perk'? Reverse product placement, fictional brands and purchase intention
Laurent Muzellec, Christopher Kanitz and Theodore Lynn, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2013, pp. 399-417
Fictional brands are brands that exist only in the world of fiction and not the real physical world. Reverse product placement consists of transforming these fictional brands into products and services in the real physical world.
Fictional brands are brands that exist only in the world of fiction and not the real physical world. Reverse product placement consists of transforming these fictional brands into products and services in the real physical world. This paper posits that consumers, despite having no pre-existing experience of fictional brands in the real world, may develop positive attitudes towards fictional brands; hence the fundamental managerial question is to ascertain whether these positive attitudes can drive purchase intention to justify the investment into a real product or service based on the fictional brand. Using two fictional service brands, ‘MacLaren’s Pub’ and ‘Central Perk’, featured respectively in How I Met Your Mother and Friends, this study confirms the existence of protobrands, and shows that attitudes towards a fictional brand are driven by perceived service quality, identification with the brand and attitudes towards the television programme. The study goes on to provide evidence that attitudes towards the fictional brand can influence purchase intention of a future defictionalised brand in the real world. The paper contributes to product placement and branding literature in a new emerging area.
Customer marketing: Lock sights on the new customer-centric agenda
Simon Glynn, Market Leader, Quarter 3, 2013, pp. 12-14
This article looks at what it means to be customer-centric and how businesses can create a customer-centric culture.
This article looks at what it means to be customer-centric and how businesses can create a customer-centric culture. The key to customer-centricity lies in improving the Net Promoter Score: identifying a strategy to increase promoters as well as making the operational efforts to reduce detractors. There are common threads for every brand that can lead us to a new definition of customer-centricity: customer needs; brand story; and operational advantage. Brands that have embraced this strategy include Virgin Atlantic, the airline, Orange, the telecoms operator, and British Gas, the energy supplier.
How to use Customer Effort as a Customer Experience Measure
Stuart Crawford-Browne, GfK, March 2013
This article suggests measuring Customer Effort as a way to understand quickly if an organisation is delivering on customer experience.
This article suggests measuring Customer Effort as a way to understand quickly if an organisation is delivering on customer experience. It explains how Customer Effort applies to service delivery in organisations, its role in the constellation of customer metrics, and generally how to ensure customer experience metrics are enablers of the business strategy rather than an end in themselves. But a Customer Effort Score may not be appropriate as the only customer experience on which to rely as it tends to only apply to customer interactions.
The rise of the relationship economy: What it means for brands and brand research
Iain Stanfield, GfK, March 2013
This article explains how brands are now part of the Relationship Economy, where increased connectivity and both personal and online recommendations have disrupted the traditional purchase funnel.
This article explains how brands are now part of the Relationship Economy, where increased connectivity and both personal and online recommendations have disrupted the traditional purchase funnel. Consumers are interested in great experiences, not just for the experience itself, but also in order to share it with others. Brands can exploit this trend by differentiating themselves through innovative use of social media to build relationships with consumers. However, for brands to truly succeed they must emulate the qualities that make people like their actual friends, and want to engage with them. Authenticity is crucial, and apologising when mistakes are made essential. Brand owners need to ensure that they understand the importance of each touchpoint, as well as the impact on the brand and on the relationship with consumers. The article suggests a consumer brand relationship model for conducting research in this environment.
Designing a branded customer experience
Stuart Crawford-Browne, GfK, March 2013
As many industries face an increasingly commoditized environment, brands that are focusing their efforts on building an experience are benefiting from high levels of advocacy and reduced reliance on customer acquisition efforts.
As many industries face an increasingly commoditized environment, brands that are focusing their efforts on building an experience are benefiting from high levels of advocacy and reduced reliance on customer acquisition efforts. Each interaction on the customer journey should be seen as an experience point (XP). The more clearly the brand promise is articulated in all the details that comprise the customer experience at all XPs, the more likely a brand is to be perceived as authentic to its values, and customer focused in its offering. To create a distinctive branded experience, this article recommends design thinking and proposes a framework for organisations to follow, which enables organizations to apply product development techniques to all the areas that influence the customer experience. Examples of good brand experience come from Apple, Nintendo Wii, McDonald's and Virgin Atlantic.
Customer service in the digital age: Responding to digital disruption and rising customer expectations
Deloitte, February 2013
This paper outlines six digital trends that have significant implications for the future of customer service and suggests recommendations for responding to them.
This paper outlines six digital trends that have significant implications for the future of customer service and suggests recommendations for responding to them. With consumers spending more and more of their time online, social media, smart phones and tablet devices are being adopted faster than ever. Digital customers are now consuming content online and via mobile devices, at breakneck speeds. The sheer pace of technology-enabled change means that we need to explore the way customer service is currently delivered and reassess the role of traditional customer service models.
Succeeding in low-growth markets
Andrew Curry and J Walker Smith, The Futures Company Trends, Future Perspectives, February 2013
Four years on from the global financial crisis, economists are suggesting that rich economies may have to learn how to live in a world of low growth.
Four years on from the global financial crisis, economists are suggesting that rich economies may have to learn how to live in a world of low growth. Themes, or headwinds, of low-growth societies include an ageing population, an unequal society, a larger service sector, a debt overhang and higher energy prices. However, there are growth opportunities to be found. These can be tapped using strategies that include: looking for markets where the headwinds are weaker, such as in Poland or Italy; following the money as demographics change (e.g. older consumers are wealthier and will be looking for "bridge jobs" that will ease them into retirement); reducing energy costs; rescaling innovation; and reducing costs by providing more personalised services.
Brand engagement: Sex up service brands
Rob Wilson, Admap, December 2011, pp. 42-43
Consumers feel less emotional toward functional or service brands, only tending to feel strongly or talk passionately about them when there is a negative or serious issue.
Consumers feel less emotional toward functional or service brands, only tending to feel strongly or talk passionately about them when there is a negative or serious issue. So it is important for them to engage with their customers with a positive experience before problems occur. The opportunity for these traditionally low-engagement brands to make the most of live activation is often higher because they can behave completely differently to the competition within the category and really create stand-out. Through identifying emotional drivers around their brand or service offering, they can begin to shift consumer perception from being cold and rational to being open and engaged. Functional brands can be made more exciting if they follow five simple rules of engagement.
Service quality perceptions of solely loyal customers
Swetlana Bogomolova, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 53, No. 6, 2011, pp. 793-810
Having more solely loyal customers (those who only use one supplier) is an aspiration for most service providers.
Having more solely loyal customers (those who only use one supplier) is an aspiration for most service providers. Yet, it is unclear whether, or in what way, solely loyal customers differ from customers whose loyalty is divided between more than one service provider. One loyalty indicator is a consumer's evaluation of the quality of service they receive. Using seven sets of cross-sectional data, this research reveals that solely loyal customers give, on average, approximately 10% more positive service quality evaluations than customers of the same provider who also use other providers. The implication of this finding for market researchers and practitioners is that service quality scores could be moderated by the distribution of solely loyal and multiple-provider users in a given sample. Therefore, every service quality survey should measure how many providers a customer uses and control for the proportion of solely loyal customers when tracking change using cross-sectional samples.
Warc Briefing: Service Brands
Warc Exclusive, November 2010
This briefing offers an overview of the history, theories and key trends related to Service Brands. It outlines the development of specific approaches to marketing service brands and identifies the key future pressures on this discipline including the need for ongoing customer dialogue, the rise of globalisation and the call for greater corporate transparency.
This briefing offers an overview of the history, theories and key trends related to Service Brands. It outlines the development of specific approaches to marketing service brands and identifies the key future pressures on this discipline including the need for ongoing customer dialogue, the rise of globalisation and the call for greater corporate transparency. Several case studies by UPS, Verizon and Xerox are recommended for further reading.
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