1. EXPLORING THE ROLE OF COMPETITIVE POSITIONING IN
STRATEGIC BRAND MANAGEMENT IN THE UK MOBILE PHONE
1.0 Introduction the topic:
As opined by Aaker (2011), competitive positioning indicates the image created by a brand
in people's mind to get the customer attraction over other competitors. On the other hand,
Berger, (2008) argued that competitive positioning is done by a company to spread the
awareness of providing best product or services in terms of various factors like: quality,
price, etc. than the other competitors.Competitive positioning determines what sets the
product, service and the company apart from the rest of the players in the market. It also
states the kind of value that the company provides and the manner in which it is different
from that of the competitors. Defining what differentiates the product or service of the
company and how the company strives to create value for the market is the main objective of
Barone et al. (2007) stated that the competitive positioning strategy of a company comprises
of market profile, segments of the customer base, competitive analysis proposition of value
and the positioning strategy of the company. For a company, it is very important to display
their product or service to get positive influence on customers than the other competitors to
grab the market. In that way, the company can create the attraction of customers which can
lead to competitive advantage. However, Chadha and Husband (2006) have argued that
competitive positioning process is not so easy or just a click away job. The company has to
concentrate on various sides like: their loyalty towards the consumers in terms of quality,
price, deliver value, customer satisfaction etc. Then it can produce best result to stay in
consumers mind.This eliminates the position wherein companies have to compete solely on
the basis of price which cannot be sustained over the long run (Berger, 2008).
In the words of Aaker, D.A. (2011), competitive positioning plays a vital role in strategic
brand management. The main aim of strategic brand management is to create and sustain
the development of a brand. The marketing mix elements are assembled together to give the
product an identity. One of the essential elements of strategic brand management is
competitive positioning. Barone et al. (2007) have opined that the positioning strategy needs
form in a creative way that the brand can stay impact on consumer’s decision making
process. Once it able to create impression on its customers the profitability for that company
has engaged for long time until other company create more effective strategy.
1.1 Aim and Objectives
The study mainly concentrating on to explore the role of competitive positioning in Strategic
Brand Management with specific reference to the UK mobile phone market.
The objective of the research is highlighted as follows:
• To analyse the essence of Strategic Brand Management for building brand equity.
1.2 Research Questions
• What is the role of Strategic Brand Management in the brand building process?
• What benefits does a company derive through the competitive positioning strategy of
• What are the main factors affecting the dynamics of the UK mobile phone market?
• Why competitive positioning is considered to be an important part of strategic brand
H1: Competitive positioning plays a vital role in Strategic Brand Management
H0: Competitive positioning does not play a vital role in Strategic Brand Management
1.4 Background of the study
In the current competitive business scenario the market is organic in nature and
continuously evolves over a period of time. To stay in sync with the ever evolving market,
companies should adopt strategic brand management. Consumers today prefer to buy only
branded products and services. The companies thus have to continuously manage their
brand so that the brand is considered to be attractive, reliable and affordable to the
customers (Dacin and Smith, 2007). Strategic brand management has thus become an
imperative part of the whole marketing strategy. Competitive positioning helps the company
to refurbish the brand in such a manner that consumers consider it to be something unique
when compared to the products of the same category. The real strength of a brand can be
measured through competitive positioning. How the consumers judge the products and
services of the company with respect to that of its competitors can be measured through
competitive positioning (Dahlén et al. 2010). In times of economic recession, a strong
competitive positioning helps the company to avoid disaster. Without a proper competitive
positioning strategy the strategic brand management process of the company does not
yield good results.
The UK mobile phone market has been taken into consideration through which the
researcher will evaluate the impact of competitive positioning in terms of strategic brand
management. As per the observation of Azoulay and Kapferer (2008), it can be said that
cell phone market is influenced by high brand switching behaviour. In this kind of situation it
is very essential for companies to adopt competitive positioning strategy. It will lead the
company to get customer response towards the brand. It not only helps a company to
increase sales of their product or service but also to build brand equality.
1.5 Rationale of the study
Temporal (2011) has stated that cell phone business is amongst the fastest growing
business around the globe.The technologies that have been used in mobile phones,
innovation, add on features made this business to grow more.On the other hand, Apéria
and Georgson, (2011) mentioned that competitive price and customers constantly switching
brands has made it challenging for mobile phone companies to position their respective
brands strategically and earn competitive advantage.
Mobile phone firms and service providers are competing in advanced technology in the
communication sector, thereby offering affordable mobile phones at lower service costs.
Aaker (2011) has mentioned that mobile phone market is very much competency and
challenging due to various competitors. The companies provide same product and services
but it comes with different quality aspect and features.With great combination of technology
cell phones has made up in such a way which can be used for many reasons. Due to its
usefulness people prefer it more and more. It becomes necessary for people because of its
Mobile phones are not only used as a medium of communication but also known for add on
features like camera, games, Mp3, net surfling, 3G etc that determine the buying pattern of
these devices. In this context, growing number of mobile brands has made it challenging for
the mobile companies to erect barriers against strong competitors. Hence, positioning a
particular brand in a competitive manner to retain existing customers and acquire potential
ones becomes necessary. In the mobile device market, it is also challenging for companies
to formulate correct and tactical strategies to maintain the strength of competitive
positioning and manage their brand effectively. The study is justified as it identifies the
issues relating to competitive positioning and how it impacts brand management in the
current competitive U.K. mobile market.
1.6 Background of the UK mobile phone market
The mobile phone market of the UK is one of the best in the world which offers nationwide
coverage for both 2G and 3G networks. Adding more value to consumers, it introduces 4G
also. The service providers offer innovative services and the companies provide its services
to both price sensitive consumers as well as high end consumers who are ready to pay a
premium for superior services. There are lots of good service providers in UK cell phone
market like: like Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Virgin Media, Talk Mobile etc. The UK cell
phone market is combined various businesses such as manufacturers, network operators,
service providers and mobile virtual network operators and dealers etc. These all builds the
framework of UK mobile phone industry. [Available from:
http://www.mobilesquared.co.uk/pdfs/mobile_market_trends_uk.pdf, 30 July 2012].
Companies like Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, etc. are in the business of manufacturing
handsets and accessories and supply phones to network operators, indirect service
providers and dealers. The network operators are the owners of airtime and they distribute
this airtime to the different service providers with whom they have tie up with (Yoo and
Donthu, 2006). These network operators also sell the airtime to the mobile virtual network
operators and even sell complete packages to the customers directly. The service providers
take the responsibility for network connection, billing of the customers and dealer
management. The services providers tie up with a network provider and exclusively cater to
the network they tie up with. Some service providers work independently to sell handsets,
accessories and rental contracts to the dealers or even to the customers directly (Temporal,
2011). The service providers who work independently work over the phone or online rather
than through retail outlets. The billing function and customer service are provided to the
customers by the independent service providers. These service providers buy airtime from
the network operators and handsets and other accessories from the manufacturers and set
their own rates for selling them. The dealers have their own retail outlets and sell handsets,
accessories and network connections through these outlets (Simon and Sullivan, 2007).
The UK mobile phone industry is characterised by a high level of rivalry among the different
players. This is so because the network operators and manufacturers strive to differentiate
themselves from the others in order to attract new customers. This intense competition has
led to reduction in price, incentives to customers and increase in advertising costs. The
network operating companies recognise the need to retain customers by reducing the
customer switching between networks. The buying power of the service providers in the
industry is more than the buying power of the dealers. Due to the presence of a large
number of players, the bargaining power of the customers is high for the industry. The
bargaining power of suppliers varied from supplier to supplier. Some of the manufacturers
posed a threat to the network operators due to their wish for forward integration (Sharma et
al. 2008). A big role is played by the UK government in promoting the growth of the mobile
phone market. This is done by increasing competition by issuing licenses to operators.
There is a threat of substitutes for the mobile phone industry as high price can make
consumers to switch over to fixed line alternative. Moreover, other communication media
like the internet, fax and pagers also pose a threat to this industry because the usage rate
is less for these services. The threat of new entrants is low for this industry as there are
high entry barriers. The main barrier to entry is high entry cost and the mandatory
requirement of an operator’s license.
1.7Organisation of the study (Outline of each chapter)
Chapter 1:It introduces readers with the topic of study followed by research aim, objectives
and research questions. Background of the study has been provided along with rationale
that provides justification behind the selected topic. A brief synopsis of the UK mobile phone
market has been outlined as well.
Chapter 2:Literature review supports the research with relevant theories, models, concepts
and discourses obtained from books, journals, articles and websites.
Chapter 3:This chapter will contain the research methodology which deals with research
approach, research philosophy, research onion, data collection method, research design and
research methods as well as ethical issues etc.
Chapter 4: data analysis and findings practically solve the research questions by collecting
relevant data and information. Obtained data is tabulated and explained in the form of
graphs and charts with extensive use of SPSS.
Chapter 5:In this chapter the final outcome is judged through comparing the result with
objectives. It will outline the limitations of the research study suggest some
recommendations focusing on the future prospect. The Recommendations have been
provided based on the findings.
The first chapter deals with the basic elements involved in a dissertation. Chapter
introduction explains the topic, provides rationale, company background, aim, objectives and
research questions. In this study it is to be seen whether competitive positioning plays a role
in strategic brand management. The UK mobile phone market is a highly fragmented and
segmented market where the loyalty of the consumers drifts from one brand to another. This
study will prove whether the competitive positioning strategy would have an impact in the
brand building process.
2.0 Introduction to literature review:
The present chapter consists of the theories and related concepts about the topic of his
research study. As described by Czerniawski and Maloney (2010), “the theories justify the
subject matters of the study, collected from various literary sources, journals, books and
various websites”. The current chapter is the base of the whole research study. This
describes the historical as well as the present aspect related to competitive positioning and
its effects on strategic brand management. This research hyas been evaluated through the
critical evaluation of previous research. It will provide a conceptual framework of the
evaluation process. As suggested by Davis (2010), the different scholars in the same area
are found out after studying all academic and non academic papers on the current research
This research is stand for evaluation of the impact of competitive position on brand
management. The Nokia and Samsung's case study is taken for evaluation the whole
process in UK market. In that way, the researcher's evaluation needs to consider the 7's of
marketing, which is necessary for successful completion of the study. The promotional factor
is very essential in terms of competitive positioning and branding as well.
Figure 1:7 P’s of Marketing and Competitive positioning
(Source: Vesa, J., 2009, pp. 182)
Product: As opined by Azoulay and Kapferer (2008), UK mobile industry is operated
by various good companies like: Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Ericsson, Siemens etc.
On the other hand, Chadha and Husband (2006) have demonstrated that there are
many service providers like: Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Virgin Media, Talk Mobile
etc. The combination of high definition product and services makes UK cell phone
industry more competitive. The product service has been produces as per the
customer needs. Accordingly, the product and service of the companies have to be
produce as per the target segmentation. It is very important to slight differentiate the
product or services through which customer can think to try it instead of others.
Price: According to McLoughlin and Aaker (2010)), the price of the product or
services of UK cell phone industry is varied in time as there have barriers of new
entrance and need high investment at initial stage to start up a business. There have
competitive price in the market set by different competitors. The buyers have also the
influence in price of product or service. On the other hand Peter and Olson (2008)
have argued that the companies should have a price which can maintain the cost of
the company as well as reasonable to attract customer. It indicates that the price
have to be influenced by cost of the product and competitive price or price in the
market of other companies.
Place: Aaker (2011) has noted that almost all product and services of UK mobile
industry are convenient in terms of availability. Moreover, Azoulay and Kapferer
(2008) have mentioned that they have been placed through various distribution
Promotion: In the words of Barone et al. (2007), promotion of product or services is
very important in terms of brand management. In terms of UK mobile industry,
promotion helps in position the products or services which leads to strategic brand
management. As opined by Berger (2008), the promotional activity helps the
companies to position their product within the target customer. The effective
positioning comes through creativity and unique process of promotion. On the other
hand Bottomley and Holden (2009) have observed that there have many good
players in UK mobile industry who are trying to fulfil the customer expectation. So, to
ensure the success of the company, they need to try customer attraction through
communication. The target and cost plays a very essential role in that. The
companies of UK cell phone industry have to set target customer and to reach them
through promotion and that should be cost effective.
People: As opined by Buckingham (2011), when it says people, the whole business
process depends upon this. Here, the terms comes customer relationship
management through which the companies of UK cell phone industry connect with its
customers to develop the business. Through CRM, companies need to build a strong
relationship to choose the brand again and again. It indicates about the satisfaction
of consumers. They will not satisfied until and unless get fulfilment of their
requirements. The positioning will successful if satisfaction is there.
Process: In the words of Chadha and Husband (2006), process indicates the linking
of products and services of mobile companies of UK and customer requirements.
This process is very crucial to get success in the business. The brand image can be
put when it satisfied customers in all d way. To create a brand image one have to
fulfil all requirements of buyer where they do not feel the advantage of substitutes.
For example: if a customer is having Samsung phone, in that way he should not be
given chance to think about Nokia or others. On the other hand Clifton and Ahmad
(2009) have opined that the process of managing customer can lead the company to
position their product which helps in brand management.
Physical evidence: As opined by Czerniawski and Maloney (2010), the service
delivered by a company has to be perfect for the consumers. The service will need to
carry the evidence of effective through past experience. On the other hand Dacin and
D.C. (2007) have observed that the Mobile industry of UK is experienced with various
reputed companies which have very much influence on consumers. For the new
comers it is not as easy to get customer belief.
Although, all factors of seven P's have effects on competitive positioning but the promotion
plays the most important way in that way. Sekaran and Bougie (2010) have mentioned that
without promotion the positioning is like catching the moon flying by own. So, the various
promotional activities like advertising, personal sales, direct marketing, exhibition etc plays a
crucial role in terms of positioning a brand. The cell phone industry of UK is also very
influenced by the promotional activities of various companies who are doing business there.
On the other hand Yoo and Donthu (2006) have commented that the companies have to
concentrate on the creative activities which can lead to effective brand management through
competitive positioning. In the opinion of Dahlén et al. (2010), following table will make to
understand about the strategies of Nokia and Samsung as per the 4P’s.
Strategy Nokia Samsung
Product Strategy: Lehu
(2007) has mentioned that
Nokia’s concentrates mainly
goes on its handset produce.
It is trying to improve the
product portfolio by
manufacturing new new
models. They have the
thinking like the products
have to either cost effective
or progressive technology.
The products have positions
in different area and different
category people which are
depend upon the market
scenario as well. The
modification have made in
the handsets is varied in
terms of regions. For
example: In terms of
language, it is quite different
in UK than the rest.
Product strategy: As
mentioned by McLoughlin
and Aaker, 2010, Samsung
is stressing on producing
various products in its mobile
category for UK market. It
includes latest technology to
attract the youths where
have more possibility to grow
the business. The product
variation is also including in
product strategy of
Samsung. It is concentrate
on segment-wise production
as per the requirements of
Strategy Nokia Samsung
As observed by Moore, et al.
(2007), they have different
price strategy for different
category people which can
be ranked as high and low
category people living in UK.
They mostly stressed on
cutting edge technology. It
helps in brand preference by
the people ok UK
O'Guinn et al. (2011) have
opined that Samsung has
been providing low price with
good quality products which
is the key factor to grow its
business in UK market
whereas other companies'
products have higher price.
Pricing Strategies: As
mentioned by Parameswaran
and Jacob, 2011), Nokia has
introduced new placing
strategy for UK and other
country by opening retail
outlets of its own. These are
known as Nokia priority. It
helps Nokia in brand
positioning as it is more
visualized for the people out
In the words of Peter and
Olson (2008), Samsung has
effective distribution channel
which makes UK customers
to convenient in terms of
availability. On the other
hand, Davis (2010) has
opined that it does not permit
to sell improper place which
could have bad impact on its
brand status. So, it increases
Samsung dealers where the
products are available. It also
concentrating on online
distribution channels through
which people can buy easily.
Strategy Nokia Samsung
Promotion Strategy: Dillon et
al. (2008) have illustrated
that Nokia has great
promotional strategies in UK
market which come through
communication. They have
more confident about their
products and promotional
activities mainly focus on the
quality. So, it builds the trust
among consumers which
helps in competitive
As mentioned by Evans
(2008), Samsung is trying to
grab every possibility to
promote its products.
Through media involvement
it is trying to reach every
people. In that way, the
company is able to create
brand loyalty to its customers
which creates positive impact
on consumers. It helps in
competitive positioning of the
brand which has influence on
Table: 1: Strategy of Nokia and Samsung
Source: Simon, C. J. and Sullivan, M. W., 2007 pp. 52)
The above analysis is about the implementation of 7 P's in terms of UK mobile industry. The
company, which have taken into consideration, are Nokia and Samsung. In present
scenario, both Nokia and Samsung are doing good business in UK cell phone industry. Both
have different strategy in terms of segmenting, positioning to manage their brand. As
demonstrated by Fombrun et al. (2008), Nokia's branding strategy is consisting of two types,
as per the consumer category. The brand focuses on glamorous buyers and the buyers who
consider low economic factor. Nokia produces high rate cell phones for high class people
whereas it produces lower range handsets for economy class people. On the other hand
Giehl and Lepla (2012), have mentioned that Samsung branding strategy is more focusing
on improve the brand value to position their brand. As stated by Gillett et al. (2011), Nokia
and Samsung's strategy will evaluated in terms of UK mobile industry through following
According to Aaker 2011, "A brand indicates about a name, logo, term, sign or a design
which differentiate a product or service form others. The identity of the manufacturer is
established with the help of the branding strategy of the company. Brands can be of two
types – manufacturer brands and private label brands. The majority of the brands which is
seen in day to day life are manufacturer brands. These brands are the products and services
produced by manufacturers but sold in different retail outlets (Apéria and Georgson, 2011).
On the other hand brands which are produced by retailers themselves and sold in their own
outlets are called private label brands or in store brands.
The branding strategy becomes successful when customers after using the product or the
service perceive the brand as one which satisfies their needs and which has value.
However, the company must consistently provide value to the consumers over the years to
establish an image in the mind of the customers (Azoulay and Kapferer, 2008). Moreover, for
the brand to get established in the market, the consumers must experience good service
from the product over the years. The kind of brand a customer chooses depends on his
personality and he chooses a brand that closely resembles his personality type. In order to
exploit this situation, marketers associate human characteristics with a brand and give the
brand a personality. Thus, brand personality differentiates the brand from other competing
brands (Barone, et al. 2007). The brand personality thus created has to be conveyed to the
consumers through advertisement and other marketing communication media.
2.2 Brand Equity
As opined by Berger (2008), the value and the strength of a particular brand can be
mentioned as brand equity. This forms by the choice of consumers. There are various
factors which contribute towards brand equity are like: brand awareness, brand loyalty,
brand links etc. The professed superiority also has the influence on brand loyalty. On the
other hand, Bottomley and Holden (2009) have argued that the brand equity forms when the
consumers have willingness to buy that particular brand. It justifies the value of a brand
which the company delivers to its customers.
In terms of cell phone companies of UK, brand equity helps in competitive positioning.
Accordingly, brand equity signifies the degree of attachment of customers towards the
mobile brands capturing the UK cell phone market. As opined by Chaudhuri, (2007), the
brand image has to be developed in such a way that it fulfils the requirement of target
market. Marketing mix helps the companies in that situation. Strong brand equity enables the
consumers to get familiar with the brand and remind the features of the brand when given a
2.3 Segmentation Strategy in terms of UK mobile industry
Haberberg and Rieple (2008) have analysed the importance of market segmentation which
have very much influence on competitive positioning. In terms of UK mobile industry it is very
essential to segment the target customer to implement proper positioning strategy. On the
other hand Gunelius (2009) have acknowledged the variability which helps in set the target
markets. There have some factors which are need to consider for segmentation.
The size of the target market has to be determined in the way of forming effective
segmentation policy. Haig (2008) has demonstrated that the product or service has to be
reachable. If there have problem in availability, the segmentation will not be perfect.
However, Haberberg and Rieple (2008) have opined that sustainability and action-ability is
also need to forecast. It is need to be keeping in mind that the target group is large enough
to create profit, otherwise the segmentation strategy will not effective. The product and
service needs to be attratective to get the customer.
As opined by Hatch and Schultz (2008), in order to evaluate various companies which are
doing business in UK cell phone industry, it is important to evaluate the target customers
first. There have similarities of the companies’ goals that concentrate on deliver high quality
with lower price as well as high tech mobiles. Hoole et al. (2008),haveacknowledged that it
helps the companies to gain customer attraction towards their company.
Figure 2: Segmentation strategy as per the Brands
(Source: Toloie-Eshlaghy, A., et al. 2011, pp. 152)
Kapferer (2008) has suggested the followings to target the customer in terms of UK cell
The Segmentation should be based on Communication focused mobile users –
Nokia E 73
Not much of
Gaps exist in the current portfolio of products. There is not a single product
which solely provides solution to all the TA in the market.
To be a winner and carve out a name in this competitive market, brands
need to come out with feature rich phones catering to majority of the TA
and not just a single TA .
Kapferer (2012) has stated that there is some kind of people who used mobiles only for text,
call as well as for other communications. They consider only communication rather than
other. This kind of people likes to hang out with friends and other persons through various
networks like face-book, twitter etc. They might have the multifunction cells but they use
mobiles only for communication purposes. So, cell phone companies of have to consider
those people who have in this category and manufacture the product as such for their
convenient. It will help in positioning the product to those category people (Keller and Jacob
The Segmentation should be based on entertainment purposefulmobile users –
Keller and Lehmann (2006) have opined that the people include in this group are mainly
youths. They used it for communication as well as for entertainment. These category people
like to have multifunction in their mobile which is trendy as well as can use it for listening
music, video, playing games, downloading etc. They are ready to expense more to buy
multimedia smart-phones or super phones. So, mobile companies have to consider this
factor and plan for the positioning accordingly. It will help companies to brand management.
It should be based on business oriented uses – TA3:
Klein and Dawar (2004) have demonstrated that there have some kind of people who nuse
their mobiles mainly for business purposes. They use cell phones for e-mail and all to which
helps their business rather than use of computers staying at office. So these category people
tend to buy cell phones for office use. This situation has been seen in UK market also.
Therefore mobile companies need to consider these factors in terms of manufacturing and
positioning their product. Here, the office applications need to be functionized more in cell
2.4 Strategic Brand Management
The process by which marketing activities and programs are designed and implemented for
the purpose of building, measuring and managing brand equity can be termed as strategic
brand management. The competitive positioning of the brand has to be identified and
established, marketing programs for the brand has to be planned and implemented, the
performance of the brand has to be measured and interpreted and lastly the equity of the
brand has to be grown and sustained (Chadha and Husband, 2006). These steps are
involved in the whole strategic brand management process.
2.4.1 Competitive Positioning
The very first step of the whole process involves the competitive positioning strategy for the
brand. What the brand should stand for and represent and how it should be positioned in the
mind of the customers with respect to its competitors is determined in this strategy. The
products and services of the company are designed in such a manner that it occupies a
unique position in the consumer’s mind and develop a positive image for the brand
(Chaudhuri, 2007). The consumers need to justify the excellence of product or service of a
particular brand in terms of monetary value and quality regarding comparison of brand with
others. The advantages that a brand has over its competitors are termed as points of
difference. Another aim of competitive brand positioning is to convince the consumers that
the brand does not have disadvantages when compared to that of the competitor’s brand
(Clifton and Ahmad, 2009). This process is known as establishment of points of parity. Due
to competitive positioning, consumers develop different kinds of associations about the
characteristics and benefits of the brand in their minds. A small expression for the most
important element of a brand is used in the competitive positioning strategy which is known
as the brand mantra.
2.4.2 Marketing Programs for the Brand
Czerniawski and Maloney (2010) have demonstrated that strategic brand management is the
process which gears the marketing activities in a right manner. It helps in spread the
awareness of that particular brand. Moreover, the brand associations which can be
associated to a brand must be strong, positive and unique. To facilitate this process the
elements which comprise a brand are chosen. This includes the name of the brand, brand
logo or symbol or any slogan which can represent a brand. A combination of the different
brand elements is used by managers to represent the brand (Dacin and Smith, 2007). The
next step involves developing marketing activities and programmes to communicate the
different elements and characteristics of the brand to the consumers. This helps create
unique brand associations in their minds. On the other hand, Dahlén et al. (2010) have
illustrated various marketing activities like: Segmentation strategies, positioning strategies,
marketing mix promotional mix etc. These help a company to maintain its customers.
2.4.3 Measurement and Interpretation of the performance of the brand
As mentioned by Fombrun et al. 2008, a bran audit helps in evaluating the performance of a
brand. Understanding the key sources of the equity of the brand and to implement ways to
improve the brand’s equity is the main objective of brand audit. The performance of the
brand in the market is determined using marketing research techniques. A value chain of the
brand is mapped and studied to identify whether the brand is creating value for the
organisation (Davis, 2010). Through the brand value chain it is seen whether the marketing
expenses and efforts are producing the desired effect. A system for the measurement of
brand equity is used by managers to manage the brand of the company.
2.4.4 Brand Equity Growth and Sustainment
In the opinion of Evans, (2008),another function of strategic brand management is enabling
the growth of the brand equity which has been developed and sustaining this growth. The
product matrix of the brand and the brand hierarchy are used to define the corporate
branding strategy. All the brands and products sold by the company are represented
graphically through the brand-product matrix. Common components of the brands of all the
products of the company, their total number and nature are all displaced through the brand
hierarchy (Giehl and Lepla, 2012). It displays the branding strategy of a company through a
graphical representation. The set of all the brand and lines of a brand that a company offers
to the customers for sale is known as brand portfolio.
As opined by Gunelius (2009), the brand equity forms in contribution of strategic brand
management. It manages the process of how a brand is placed in consumers’ preferable list.
A long term view of strategic brand management enables the company to take marketing
decisions based on future trends as the marketing environment continuously change and
evolve over time (Fombrun, et al. 2008). Apart from taking a long term view the company
should also take efforts to manage the equity of the brand over different geographic, cultural
and market segments. If the company wishes to expand to different markets and even
internationally then this perspective is very important.
2.5 Theories of Strategic Brand Management
According to Grace and O'Cass (2005), the three components of brand management are
strategic brand management, operative brand management and brand controlling. A
framework consisting of strategic and operative brand management component known as
Brand Concept Management determines whether the concept of a brand is functional,
symbolic or experiential. The first stage of this framework is selection, followed by
introduction, elaboration and then fortification (Gunelius, 2009). In the introduction stage, the
right marketing mix that should be followed for developing the image is found out. In the next
stage i.e. elaborating stage the right marketing mix for the development of the brand image
is developed while in the fortification stage the right marketing mix for the development of the
brand associations is found out. In this concept the three brand concepts of functionality,
symbolic or experiential are separated (Haberberg and Rieple, 2008). Because of this a
debate arises as to why these three elements are separated. This is so because a brand is
comprised of both functional and symbolic element. The symbolic component comprises the
very essence of a brand and without it the very existence of the brand is questioned.
Moreover, consumers never buy brands with a functional component. Thus, many
researchers propose not to separate these three components (Haig, 2008).
2.6 Dynamics of Competitive Positioning
The formulation of the offering which the company offers to the market is competitive
positioning and this product or service is competitively positioned in the minds of the
consumers. The minds of the consumers have limited space for information, hate confusion
and are difficult to change. They lose focus easily and are full of insecurity (Hatch and
Schultz, 2008). The UK market is full of marketing clutter because of a growing number of
products and services. As the consumers do not like the confusion in the marketplace, they
tend to focus on the market offering ladder. They buy what they think they should have. One
of the objectives of competitive positioning is to make sure that that a new offering generates
more buying interest in the consumers than the existing products and services (Hooley, et al.
2008). However, it is seen that consumers are more concerned with what they have with
them than what is being offered in the market. Moreover, the market is characterised by
brand extensions which result in loss of focus in the consumer’s mind.
In the words of Keller and Lehmann (2006), a company has implements competitive
positioning strategy to capture consumer’s perception and direct it in favour of the company.
To start with the company should conduct a research to define the target market (Kapferer,
2008). For successful competitive positioning, the company should focus on the needs and
wants of the consumers. It is required of the company to separate the components of the
marketing mix and decisions should be taken individually for each element. The market
offering is obtained after each of the components of the marketing mix is combined together
and this combination and mixing of the elements creates a positioning in the minds of the
consumers (Kapferer, 2012).
2.7 The Dynamics of the UK Mobile Phone Industry
As opined by Lafferty (2007), the mobile industry is significantly growing as the users are
increasing day by day. The mobile industry of UK is also stepping with international growth
of mobile industry. Parameswaran and Jacob (2011) have mentioned that there have some
factors which influence the UK cell phone market.
The new entrance to the industry can enhance the completion which will make more
complex the term positioning. If new company exists in the market the competition goes to
higher level. So, in that situation, it is very important for the companies to form strategies of
their brand. On the other hand, Dawar (2004) have argued that to set up a business in cell
phone industry is very challenging. There need to invest a heavy amount to do business in
this industry. It makes the volume low of new entrance. So, the existing competitors have
chances to show the power of brand image (Peter and Olson 2008).
Pitsaki (2008) has been observed that suppliers are those who influence of the industry. In
UK cell phone industry, the suppliers negotiate power is low due to the high volume of order
provided by various operators. The operators put pressure on their suppliers by asking
additional features in the handsets. Keller and Jacob (2011) have mentioned that through
bargain the supplier doesn’t want to make the relationship critical with the company.
As opined by Pitta and Katsanis (2009), buyer's negotiate power is taken into consideration
to manage the business in terms of Uk cell phone industry. Here, buyers influence is low due
to the termination price where they have difficulty to switch carriers. On the other hand,
McLoughlin and Aaker (2010) commented that consumer may click to better service and in
that situation the company might face the loss. So, a lower amount of buyer bargaining
power is considers for mobile companies who are managing business in UK.
In the words of Rubinstein and Griffiths (2007), there is another factor which has impact on
UK cell phone industry. As mentioned by Knox and Bickerton (2007), there have so much
alternate products of mobile phones but do not have so much control on mobile phones.
There are internets, pagers as well as fax system which have popularity among consumers
but does not have so much influence on mobile phones. On the other hand, Lafferty (2007)
argued that due to up gradation of networks makes mobile phones industry to remove the
threats of substitute.
As demonstrated by Scholz (2012), the cell phone industry of UK has so much internal
competition. Due to high level of rivalry of cell phone operators the consumers have options
to switch to other companies. This shows the dynamics of UK cell phone industry.
Chapter 3 – Research Methodology
According to Brannen (2009), Research Methodology is the framework of the total research.
Various tools and techniques and methods have been used to implement effectively and
successful completion of the dissertation. In the words of Chaudhuri (2007), this chapter will
adopt various measures and strategies for gathering and collecting various relevant types of
data. This unit is of immense importance as it will throw light in understanding the
importance of the various types of research methods that are being used in this dissertation
as opined by (Denzin and Lincoln, 2011).
According to Dul and Hak (2007), different stages of the research that have obtained
valuable and relevant information’s have been discussed in this chapter. The analysis of the
method will provide a base and inter-relation between the theories in use and in the research
methodology. Significant aspects of this study are that it will identify the impact on the
collection of data as suggested by (Gulati, 2009).
3.1 Philosophy of the Study
In the words of Dillon and Mukherjee (2008), philosophy, a study of discipline that
encourages in considering specific ways for accomplishing of the said study and this
discipline provides a platform in making the study applicable and acceptable in the real
corporate world. According to Ellis and Levy (2009), philosophy has been based upon the
study of epistemology, ontology and axiology and has been shown and explained with a
Figure 3: Philosophy of the Study
(Source: Ellis, T. and Levy, Y., 2009, p. 337)
1. Epistemology of the research – According to Hair and Money (2011), this study has
been conducted with respect to dissertation exploration the role of competitive
positioning in strategic brand management in the UK Mobile Phone Market. The
study of the epistemology provides genuine and realistic one. The study of
epistemology has been based upon the aspects of positivism and realism as
identified by (Hesse-Biber and Leavy, (2010).
2. Ontology of the research – On the other hand Keller and Lehmann (2006), the study
of the second phase is that of the ontology. Ontology has three segments that are
objectivism, subjectivism and realism. Without objectivism study become aimless and
will be of no use in the research study. The next stage has been the subjectivism
which has some justification in the said topic. The last one is that of realism which
implies in analyzing the contribution of the study in real scenario as pointed out by
Figure 4: Ontology of the research
(Source: Lafferty, B. A., 2007, p. 453)
3. Axiology of the research – In the opinion of Lodico and Spaulding (2010), this part of
the philosophy discusses on the contribution part of the work that can help in the
development research. Any failure in the findings will not provide appropriate results
and this will be not provide appropriate research methodology or findings.
After careful analyze of the philosophy of the study it has been analyzed that Ontology will
help in establishing the said topic, “role of competitive positioning in strategic brand
management in the UK Mobile Phone Market.” This helps in justifying the topic in the real
world as illustrated by (Yoo and Donthu, 2006).
3.2 Research Onion
On the other hand, VanderStoep and Johnson (2009) opined that Research Onion has
different layers which describe various stages of the research process. This research onion
helps in understanding the deeper concepts of the research study and helps in making the
study more effective. The research will also help in understanding the nature and scope of
Figure 5: Structure of Research Onion
(Source: Sunde, L. and Brodie, R. J.,2008, p. 53)
In the opinion of Toloie-Eshlaghy and Chitsaz (2011), study of research onion will provide
and enable the researcher to go deeper into the study so that more and more concepts of
this research will come out. This will also help in establishing the various elements of the
study which will create a concrete study of the dissertation as evaluated by (Karimian and
3.3 Research Design
According to Smith and Park (2007), research design is the framework of the researcher in
which the research finds the best suitable path for the desired outcome. The research
designs have been built upon three factors in which the research will work upon as
highlighted by (Sekaran And Bougie, 2010). The research design helps the researcher to
connect various studies in this design. The diagrammatic figure of research design has been
Figure 6: Structure of Research Design
(Source: Klein, G. and Dawar, N., 2004, p. 217)
1. Explanatory Design – According to Saunders and Lewis (2008), explanatory design
has been conducted in order to explain the behaviour of the human beings in the
given market. The best way to do is through the use of questionnaires, group
discussions, interviews and random sampling. This will help in get definite answer to
the given questions from the respondents.
2. Exploratory Design – In the words of Thornhill (2008), research design is the
framework for conducting the researched projects. This helps in obtaining the
information’s needed for solving the researched projects. This helps in getting the
current scenario of the markets and the trend at which the market is going.
3. Descriptive Design – According to Crowther and Lancaster (2012), descriptive design
identifies the trends of the situation and not in the causal linkages among the
different elements. Descriptive studies help in generating the hypothesis on which
further research may be based upon. Descriptive design will not provide answer to
specific questions under the analytic research.
After careful analyze of the research design it has been analyzed that explanatory design will
help in establishing the said topic, “role of competitive positioning in strategic brand
management in the UK Mobile Phone Market.” This helps in justifying the topic in context to
market scenario as illustrated by (Cameron, 2009).
3.4 Research Approach
According to Brannen (2009), research approach has been based upon two aspects that are
inductive and deductive approaches. Inductive approach has been based upon analysis of
data and examination of the problems rather than from predetermined theoretical
approaches. This approach moves from a specific to general approach. The Deductive
approach has been based upon the process of reasoning from one or more general
statements to reach to a definite conclusion as pointed out by (Bottomley and Holden, 2009).
The diagrammatic figure for the research approach has been shown below:
Figure 7: Structure of Research Approach
(Source: Bottomley, P. P. and Holden, S., 2009, p. 501)
After careful analyze of the research approach it has been analyzed that inductive design
will help in establishing the said topic, “role of competitive positioning in strategic brand
management in the UK Mobile Phone Market.” This helps in justifying the topic as it
examines the problem rather than that of the theoretical approach as justified by (Toloie-
Eshlaghy, et al., 2011)
3.5 Sampling Method
In the opinion of Yoo and Donthu (2006), the sampling method has been based upon the
two aspects that are profitability and non-profitability methods. Profitability methods is the
most simple and easy random method. There has been the chance to select equal number
of population from total sampling. It is easy to analysis and collecting data from every
respondent as mentioned by (Sunde and Brodie, 2008). This has been explained in the
Figure 8: Structure of Sampling Method
(Source: Sunde, L. and Brodie, R. J., 2008, p. 53)
After careful analyze of the sampling method it has been analyzed that profitability method
will help in establishing the said topic, role of competitive positioning in strategic brand
management. This helps in justifying the topic and will be helpful in formulation and findings
of the data as mentioned by (Bottomley and Holden, 2009).
3.6 Data Collection Method
According to Saunders and Lewis (2008), data collection is the process of improvement in
the preparation and collection of data. In the opinion of Lodico and Spaulding (2010), the
purpose of this collection is to obtain information to make or keep record, decisions about
important issues or to pass the information on to others. Data are mainly collected and
stored in order to provide information regarding a specific or given topic as suggested by
(Smith and Park, 2007).
The researcher has gathered information from 55 respondents over 15 questions. About
18% of the respondents did not provide appropriate answers. The research questionnaire
were distributed among 55 respondents were of multiple options ranging from 0-5 on Likert’s
3.7 Research Methods
According to Crowther and Lancaster (2012), research methods of collecting information’s
and relevant data’s for the reason of creation organizational decisions. This helps in making
relevant decisions for the company and can be used in evaluating the organization as
established by (Denzin and Lincoln, 2011). The various research methods have been
discussed with the help of a table below:
Figure 9: Structure of Research Methods
(Source: Ellis, T. and Levy, Y., 2009, p. 323)
1. Descriptive vs. Analytical – According to Dillon et al. (2008), a descriptive research
includes surveys and facts findings of different kind of research. The purpose of this
research is to describe the state of affairs as it exists at present. On the other hand
analytical research is based upon the facts that already exists and analyze the critical
evaluation of the findings (Gulati, 2009)
Descriptive vs. Analytical Methods
Applied vs. Fundamental Methods
Quantitative vs. Qualitative Methods
Conceptual vs. Empirical Methods
2. Applied vs. Fundamental – In the words of Hair and Money (2011), applied research
has been based upon the aims in finding the perfect answer to the solution for an
instant crisis facing the business whereas fundamental research is based upon the
generalizations and with the formulation of a hypothesis (Keller and Lehmann, 2006).
3. Quantitative vs. Qualitative – In the words of Lafferty (2007), quantitative research is
based upon the various dimension of quantity. This is appropriate to the
phenomenon that can be expressed in terms of quantity. According to Lodico and
Spaulding (2010), qualitative research has been based and is concerned with
qualitative phenomenon that is related to quality.
4. Conceptual vs. Empirical – In the opinion of Sekaran and Bougie (2010), a
conceptual research is related to an idea or a given theory. This is generally used by
many philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts in lieu of the existing ones.
Whereas, empirical research, relies mainly on experience alone, often without regard
for system and theory (Sunde and Brodie, 2008).
After careful analyze of the research method it has been analyzed that quantitative and
qualitative method will help in establishing the said topic, role of competitive positioning in
strategic brand management. This will justifying the topic and will be helpful in findings of the
data as analyzed by (Sunde and Brodie, 2008)
3.8 Sampling Size
In the words of Keller and Lehmann (2006) sampling size is the number of definite
observations for the calculation of the estimated data. The study of the research was based
upon profitability and non-profitability where the researcher took profitability methods in the
In sampling size, researcher had interviewed 55 respondents out of which 50 respondents
were from quantitative method and the rest 5 were qualitative method. The researcher had
framed and collected the set of questionnaire consisting of 15 questions. The research
questions so framed had direct questions to the respondents.
Limitations on this research are an important factor for analyzing the short comes of the
research methodology. Any research cannot be said to be completed without the limitation
on the methodology. Limitations have to be minimized in order to obtain quality results. The
researcher in this research methodology found it difficult to get quality answers as the
respondents hesitated to answer the questions that were being asked.
As a result improper answers made impossible for the researcher to find the appropriate
data and for the purpose of decision making process. However, to that this research is
based upon the strategic brand management. Most of the respondents are not aware about
the technologies that are connected to the strategic brand management. However, the global
market scenario has been changing rapidly and it will change continuously.
So it will be difficult to check the all updates of the strategic brand management. The
answers of the questions of the respondents were of low quality and were very short. This is
where the research faced a lot of problems in making evaluating the data. Some of the
respondents were not fully understood by the questions and were not interested.
The researcher could not get enough time and resources to complete the research
effectively. Many wrong decisions were taken by the researcher so that the research cannot
be complete. These limitations will help in overcoming the difficulties and will help in
providing the future scope of the research study.
3.10 Ethical Issue
In today’s world, the ethical issues now have been considered as an important factor to the
environment and the organizations has to sustain the environment. These issues can be of
internal issues and external issues. The company should provide quality products and
services to the people and the society at large. The company should position the products
and services in such a way that it builds goodwill for the company.
The development of effective relationship with target audience is an essential element for
brand management. An efficient manager has to oversee all the necessary things including
the tangible and intangible elements of the brand. A good brand management aims at
creating an emotional attachment towards the products and services. Every company should
try to control the brand images towards customers.
The research methodology of the deals role of competitive positioning in strategic brand
management. The researcher has used explanatory design as it helped in understanding the
various aspects of the research methodology. The researcher has used axiology as a
research proposition as it helps in the development and justification of the aims and
objectives for the company.
The researcher in this research has used both the quantitative and qualitative method to
analyze the given data. The researcher provided 15 questions on the basis of Likert’s scale
and had 55 respondents. The researcher has provided various ethical issues in this unit
along with relevant topics have been discussed and elaborated.
Data analysis and Findings
According to Barone et al. (2007), the main objective of data analysis in any research is to
explain the information collected from the respondent by using various types of statistical
tools so that a meaningful result can be found. The whole process includes processing,
editing and interpreting the data so that a logical conclusion can be drawn (Azoulay and
Kapferer (2008). The entire data analysis chapter consist of two pats. Throughout the first
part, researcher analyzed all the information sequentially which are collected with the help of
questioner consist of 15 questions. There are graphical presentations of all information along
with the proper interpretation throughout this part. In the second part information are
analysed with the help of statistical tools. In this part the researcher using the coding
processes for transparency in the calculation process.
4.1 Data analysis:
Q.1. Name top three brands
Name top three brands # of
I Samsung 21 50 42
ii Apple 12 50 24
iii Nokia 10 50 20
iv Motorola 7 50 14
Table 2: Name of the top three brands
Fig 10: Number of respondent
Answer to Q.1:
From the above figure it is found that out of 50 respondent 21 respondent (42%) chose
Samsung as the top model, whereas 12 respondents (24%) chose apple as the top model
which is followed by Nokia 10 respondent (20%), and Motorola 7 respondent (14%).
Although in UK mobile phone market several brands are represented themselves, most of
the target group of customer chose Samsung as the best preferable brand. So, Samsung is
the prominent leader of the mobile phone market in UK, whereas Apple plays the role of
main competitor of Samsung in UK mobile phone market. The other two brands mainly the
follower in UK mobile phone market.
Q.2. How do you differentiate these brands from each other?
How do you differentiate these brands from each
i. Features 9 50 18
ii. Looks 10 50 20
iii. Software 20 50 40
iv. Awareness 11 50 22
Samsung Apple Nokia Motorola
Table 3: How the respondents differentiates the brand
Fig 11: How the respondent differentiates the brand
Answer to Q.2:
The above graphical representation shows that 20 respondent (40%) argued, they
differentiate the brand by the software of the mobile phone whereas 11 respondent (22%)
differentiates the brand depending the awareness program taken by the particular brand. 10
respondent (20%) differentiate the brand mainly for their looks and 9 respondents (18%) said
that the differentiate the brand by the features of the mobile phone.
From the information given by the respondents, it is clear that the target group of customer
differentiate one brand from other by mostly depending the software package given by that
particular brand. Not only that, awareness program is also important parameter for
differentiating one brand from other. However, looks and feature also plays significant role
for differentiating the brand.
Q.3. what attributes according to you are important for the consumers?
What attributes according to you are important
for the consumers?
i. Quality 16 50 32
Features Looks Software Awarness
ii. Price 13 50 26
iii. Availability 12 50 24
iv. Taste / flavour 9 50 18
Table 4: Important attribute according to the customer
Fig 12: Important attribute according to the customer
Answer to Q.3:
The above graphical presentation of information provide that 16 respondent (32%) out of 50
gives important on quality provided by the particular brand. 13 respondent (26%) mentioned
that price is the important attributes for choosing a particular brand. Not only that, 12
respondent (24%) argued availability is the main key factor for choosing particular brand
whereas 9 respondent (18%) said taste or flavour is also important to choose the brand.
Although there are several attribute present in the market, few of them plays the important
role in case choosing a particular brand. According to the target group of customer, Quality
is the most significant one which is followed by price, availability and taste or flavour of the
Quality Price Availability Taste/ flavor
Q.4. which of the following is true about the brand?
Which of the following is true about the brand? # of
i. Its quality is equal to other brands 21 50 42
ii. Its quality is better than other brands 12 50 24
iii. Its quality is less than other brands 10 50 20
iv. Can’t say 7 50 14
Table 5: Relationship of quality of the chosen brand with other brands
Fig 13: Relationship of quality of the chosen brand with other brands
Answer to Q.4:
The above figure indicates that 21 respondent (42%) mentioned quality of the chosen brands
are equal to other brands. 12 respondent (24%) argued chosen brand quality is better than
other brands quality whereas 10 respondent (20%) gave their vies that chosen brand quality
is less than other brands quality and 7 respondent (14%) said they cannot anything about
Quality is equal with other
Quality is better than other
Quality is less than other brands
Although quality of a particular brand plays significant role in the mobile phone market, the
most of the customer from the target group indicates the quality of a chosen brand is equal
to other brands and which implies not only the quality of the mobile phone, other attributes
also important for choosing a p[particular brand.
Q.5. how frequently do you change your brands?
How frequently do you change your
Total Respondents % ge
i. Very frequently 20 50 40
ii. Sometimes 12 50 24
iii. Never 18 50 36
Table 6: How frequent the customer change the brand
Fig 14: How frequent the customer change the brand
Answer to Q.5:
From the above graphical presentation of information it is found that 20 respondent (40%)
out of 50, change their mobile phone brand very frequently whereas 18 respondents (36%)
never change their brand. A group of 12 respondents (24%) sometimes change their mobile
The research indicates that in UK market there is a balance between delighted customer and
switcher. According to Bottomley and Holden (2009), the present of delighted customer will
Very frequent Sometimes Never
enhance a greater effect for positioning the brand whereas switcher customer are not good
in this regard. So, switcher customer is a threat to UK mobile phone industry. However, the
number of loyal customer is also significant in the target group of customer which is also
equally important for brand positioning.
Q.6. How would you rate the purchase experience from brands?
How would you rate the purchase
experience from brands?
Total Respondents % ge
i. Very good 16 50 32
ii. Good 13 50 26
iii. Bad 12 50 24
iv. Very bad 9 50 18
Table 7: Rating of purchase experience from brands
Fig 15: Rating of purchase experience from brands
Answer to Q.6:
The graphical presentation of the information regarding the rating of purchase from brands
shows, 16 respondents (32%) argued very well, whereas 13 respondents (26%) mentioned
Very good Good Bad Very bad
9 Very good
good. On the other hand, 12 respondents (24%) said bad and 9 respondent (18%) argued
According to Chadha and Husband (2006), the positioning of branding positively impacts the
consumer buying decision. The above data of the UK mobile phone market also support this
statement. Again in contrast with it, certain group of people who also present in the UK
mobile phone market argued that branding did not affect their purchasing decision.
Q.7. what is the positioning of our brand in your mind?
What is the positioning of our brand in your
i. Value for money 20 50 40
ii. Superior quality 12 50 24
iii. Consistency 18 50 36
Table 8: the positioning of a particular brand in the consumers mind
Fig 16: the positioning of a particular brand in the consumers mind
Value for money Superior quality Consistenency
Value for money
Answer to Q.7:
The above figure indicates that 20 respondent (40%) out of 50 argued the brand positioning
of a particular brand is mainly for the value for money. According to 18 respondents (36%)
the brand positioning of a particular brand in the customers mind is for consistency, whereas
12 respondents (24%) mentioned super quality is the main reason for positioning of a
branding in the customers mind.
The positioning of branding of a particular brand in the customers mind depends upon the
thinking procedure of that particular customer (Azoulay and Kapferer (2008)). However,
according to Czerniawski and Maloney (2010) the positioning of branding of mobile phone
brand depends on three key factors: Value for money, consistency, and super quality. In the
UK market it is found that most of the people of that target group of consumer support the
value for money reason which indicates that the people are conscious about a particular
brand for which they can pay a lump sum amount of money. Not only that consistency in the
market also equally important for positioning the brand in the customers mind (Klein and
Dawar (2004). UK mobile phone market also supported this statement without making any
Q.8. what criteria affect your buying decision of products?
What criteria affect your buying decision of
i. Family pressures 20 50 40
ii. Cost of the product 12 50 24
iii. Durability of the product 18 50 36
Table 9: Criteria which affect the buying decision of the consumer
Fig 17: Criteria which affect the buying decision of the consumer
Answer to Q.8:
The above graphical presentation of the information provided that 20 respondents (40%)
argued family pressure is the main key factor which influences the buying decision. On the
other hand, 18 respondents (36%) mentioned durability of the product is also equally affect
the buying decision of the consumer and 12 respondents (24%) said cost of product is
another factor which influences the buying decision.
According to Haberberg and Rieple (2008), at the time of purchasing a product, the first thing
which plays a major role, is the branding strategy of that product. If any brand has strong
brand positioning in the consumer mind, the chances of selling their product is also getting
high. However, Hatch and Schultz (2008) have argued that there are certain factors which
are present in the market, affect the buying decision majorly. In UK market, family pressure
is the main key factor which influences the buying decision. Not only have that, durability of
the product followed by cost of product also equally affected the buying decision.
Q.9. How has been the experience with the usage of the product?
How has been the experience with the usage of
i.Extremely satisfactory 16 50 32
Family presure Cost of product Durability of the
Cost of product
Durability of the product
ii. Satisfactory 13 50 26
iii. Unsatisfied 12 50 24
iv. Extremely unsatisfied 9 50 18
Table 10: The experience of the consumer with the usage of the product
Fig 18: The experience of the consumer with the usage of the product
Answer to Q.9:
The above figure provided the experience of the consumer with the usage of the product,
where 16 respondents (32%) mentioned that their experience with usage of the product is
extremely satisfactory. 13 respondents (26%) out of 50 argued with satisfactory. On the
other hand, 12 respondents (24%) gave their views as unsatisfactory whereas 9
respondents mentioned they are extremely unsatisfied with the usage of the product.
According to Rubinstein and Griffiths (2007), usage of the product varies directly with the
satisfaction level of the customer. In UK mobile phone market, as most of the consumer
experienced the extremely satisfactory level, the above statement is proved in UK market
Q.10. How much do you care about using brands?
Satisfactory Unsatisfied Extremely
How much do you care about using brands? # of
i. Slightly 21 50 42
ii. Strongly 12 50 24
iii. Not much 10 50 20
iv. Never 7 50 14
Table 11: Care about using brand
Fig 19: Care about using brand
Answer to Q.10:
The above graphical representation of information provided that 21 respondents (42%) out of
50 argued as slightly in response to the question of care about using brand whereas 12
respondents (24%) strongly recommend that they are very much careful about using brands.
On the other hand, 10 respondents (20%) mentioned they care the brand image not that
much and 7 respondents (14%) clearly said that they never take care about the brand
Slightly Strongly Not much Never
The care about the brand image of any product in any market indicates the future prospect
of that particular brand (Keller and Lehmann (2006). Most of the consumer in the UK market
mentioned that they take care about the brand image slightly. So, there is opportunity to
position the particular brand in the mind of the customer and for that they should take some
Q.11. Do the products align with the values and beliefs of people?
Do the products align with the values and beliefs
i. Yes 25 50 50
ii. No 15 50 30
iii. Can't say 10 50 20
Table 12: products align with the values and beliefs of people
Fig 20: Products align with the values and beliefs of the people
Answer to Q.11:
The above figure indicates 25 respondents (50%) agreed that the product is aligns with the
beliefs and values of the people, 15 respondents (30%) mentioned product is no align with
the values and beliefs of the people. On the other hand, 10 respondents (20%) argued that
they cannot say whether product is aligning with values and beliefs of the people or not.
Yes No Cannot say
Pitta and Katsanis (2009) have argued that that different people have different values and
ethics in their everyday life. In order to increase the sales volume of the product, there
should be certain things so that the product will align with the people’s values and ethics
(Yoo and Donthu (2006). In UK mobile phone market, most of the people from the target
group of customer mentioned that the product align with their values and ethics. This is a
positive aspect for all the brands who involve in the UK mobile phone market.
Q.12. Do the products provide a sense of self-esteem to you?
Do the products provide a sense of self-esteem
i. Yes 16 50 32
ii. No 13 50 26
iii. Maybe 12 50 24
iv. Can't say 9 50 18
Table 13: whether the product provide a sense of self esteem to the customer
Fig 21: whether the product provide a sense of self esteem to the customer
Answer to Q. 12:
Yes No Maybe Cannot say
From the above mentioned information it is found that 16 respondents (32%) agreed with the
things that the product gives a sense of self esteemed towards the customer, whereas 13
respondents (26%) mentioned that the product did not provide a sense of a self esteem to
the customer. On the other hand, 12 respondents (24%) argued that may be the products
provide a self esteem to the customer and 9 respondents (18%) told that they cannot say
whether the product provide a self esteem to the customer or not.
The design of a product should be such a way which will provide a sense of self esteem to
the customer (Parameswaran and Jacob (2011). In UK market, there is a balance between
views of two opponent subgroup who mentioned that the product provide a sense of self
esteem to the customer and not. Therefore it is a matter of concern of the entire brand
present in UK market. Not only that, they should take the initiatives so that the product of
their brand should provide a self esteem to the customer.
Q.13. what is the frequency of usage of this product?
What is the frequency of usage of this product? # of
i. Once a month 20 50 40
ii. Once a week 6 50 12
iii. Few times a week 18 50 36
iv. Less than once a month 6 50 12
Table 14: Frequency of usage of the product
Fig 22: Frequency of usage of the product
Answer to Q.13:
The above figure shows the frequency of the usage of the product where 20 respondents
(40%) mentioned that the usage of the product is once a month. 18 respondents (36%)
argued that the usage of the product is few times a week. On the other hand, 6 respondents
(12%) mentioned the usage of the product is once a week whereas another 6 respondents
(12%) argued that the usage of the product is less than once in a month.
According to Rubinstein and Griffiths (2007), frequency of usage of the product will provide a
clear picture about the market capabilities of different brand. The provided information of the
target group of customer in the UK market clears the fact that the frequency of usage of
mobile is mostly once in a month. Not only that another group of customer mentioned that
the frequency of the usage of the product is few times a week. So there is a contradictory
about the frequency of usage of the product. The entire brand present in the UK mobile
phone market should concern about this things.
Q.14. which of the following promotional campaigns are you aware of?
Which of the following promotional
campaigns are you aware of?
i. TV ads 25 50 50
ii. Newspaper print 15 50 30
Once a week Few times a
Once a month
Once a week
Few times a week
Less than once a month
iii. Point of sales 10 50 20
Table 15: Customer awareness about the promotional campaign
Fig 23: Customer awareness about the promotional campaign
Answer to Q.14:
The graphical presentation of the information provided by the target group of customer
shows that 25 respondents (50%) mentioned TV ads is the main promotional tools which
provide the awareness about the product. On the other hand, 15 respondents (30%) argued
newspaper print is the most important promotional tools whereas 10 respondents (20%)
mentioned that point of sale is the main promotional tools about the product.
Promotional campaign is very much needed in the modern market to enhance the sales
volume (Sekaran and Bougie 2010). The information provided by the customer clears that
TV ads is the most important powerful promotional campaign which will increase the
awareness about the product which implies that the entire brand present in the market
should take more initiative in this section. Not only that, newspaper also plays equal
important role to enhance the customer awareness.
Q.15. how did you form this brand association?
TV ads Newspaper print Point of sales
Point of sales
How did you form this brand association? # of
i. By coming in touch with the employees of the
21 50 42
ii. Through advertisements 12 50 24
iii. Through the association with the owners of
10 50 20
iv. Word of mouth publicity 7 50 14
Table 16: Customer engagement in the brand association
Fig 24: Customer engagement in the brand association
Answer to Q.15:
From the above figure it is found that 21 respondents (42%) mentioned they form the brand
association by coming touch with the employees of the firm whereas 12 respondents (24%)
argued that they form the brand association throughout the advertisement. On the other
hand, 10 respondents (20%) told that throughout the association with the owners of the
company, they form the brand association whereas 7 respondents (14%) argued they form
the brand association through word of mouth publicity.
According to Sunde and Brodie (2008) customer engagement is very much needed in case
of brand association. There are several ways through which customer can engage in the
By coming in
touch with the
employees of the
the owners of the
Word of mouth
brand association (Simon and Sullivan (2007). The above information clarifies that most of
the customer of UK mobile phone industry engage themselves by coming in touch with the
employees of the firm. The entire brand should take initiatives so that the other ways
available in the market also plays equal role for customer engagement in the brand
1. Gamma distribution (Z-test):
Fig 25: Gamma distribution of the response over all the variables.
Answer to Q.1:
Ref to the questioner in the appendix, the above result illustrate the value of Z is -2.281 with
p value 0.02257< 0.05 at 1% significance level and the result also implies that the z value (-
2.281) indicates that at 5% level of significance standard Z (1.96) value is more than the
Therefore, the value of p<0.05 indicates that at 5% level of significance the null hypothesis is
rejected but at 1% significance level it is accepted. This shows that these entire variables are
independent to each other. Not only have that, this entire variable had either an individual or
combined effect on the customer brand retention process.
2. Normal distribution-chi square test (test of homogeneity):
Fig 26: Normal distribution of all the customer response with respect to all the
Answer to Q.2:
Ref to the questioner in the appendix, the above result illustrate the value of chi square
(4.009), P=0.1347 (p>0.05). It shows that both at 5% and 1% level; of significance all these
variables are independent to each other.
The above information indicates that the null hypothesis set up in chapter-1 is accepted. This
result also confirms the significance of gamma distribution. Therefore it can be said that
competitive positioning plays a significant role in strategic brand management.
3. Regression analysis- A cause effect relationship between brand retention with
respect to all the independent variables:
Ref to the appendix, the R-square value 0.6836 indicates that 68% of the dependent
variables can be explained with the help of these independent variables. According to ()
Beta coefficient value determine the level of relative impact of independent variables on the
dependent one. Again F value 0.8248 at P (0.5930)> 0.05 indicates that variance across the
group is not constant.
With the help of graphical interpretation as well as the statistical analysis, all the information
collected from the target group of customer is analyzed sequentially throughout this chapter.
After analyzing all these information different argument are found which will supported the
brand positioning as well as sometimes criticize the brand positioning. However, all these
information gives a clear idea about what have to do regarding competitive positioning in
strategic brand management in UK mobile phone market and these are discussed in a
proper way throughout the next chapter.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The objectives of the research had to evaluate the important factors that are largely
governed by assurance and responsiveness from different mobile companies. The
researcher attempts to measure the relative importance of each of these factors and tried to
correlate its interdependency with the strategic brand management process (Kapferer,
Hatch and Schultz (2008) highlighted that UK Telecom sector is considered to be one of the
largest industrial sector in entire Europe. This market is already characterized due its fierce
competition among different market players. Innovative broad band services, immense
competition enforce price elasticity to increase at a considerable extent. As a result of this,
the mobile connection has comfortably gone much ahead of the European average.
Statistics show that Consumer surplus has increased rapidly, which indirectly enable to
expand the market base and investment.
In the current scenario the present research uncovered the elements of brand value and its
essence among consumers. Considering the need, demand and status of the consumers,
industry establishes few important notions that are invariably, associated with customer
perception in the UK market. Research unfolds and satisfies the objectives that have been
set up in the beginning in chapter-1 and mentioned below.
Linking the objectives with the conclusion:
5.1 To analyse the essence of Strategic Brand Management for building brand equity.
(Ref to Question no-1)
To establish a particular brand in the market, brand value should be explicitly communicated
among the target audience. The senior management of the organization should seriously
formulate the brand positioning strategy and communicate it clearly among the brand
management team (Keller and Jacob, 2011). Ref to the questionnaire (part-b) Q.2 reveals
that product attributes and performance of the product are quite important factors that
influence customer attraction towards a particular brand. Klein and Dewar (2004, p.214)
opine, “Organisation should portray its image/personality in such a manner so that the
customer can understand its growing impact not only in the market but also within the
organisation. Therefore it is imperative to set up a benchmark to define the profitable
segment need in the market.”
5.2 To find out the benefits of competitive positioning for building a brand (Ref to
In most industrial and business to business (B2B) markets, during brand positioning an
organisation should take care about the message which a brand transfers through its
product or services. Customer perception about a particular brand is governed by numerous
elements. According to customer based brand equity model, brand feelings, personality and
imagery allow to develop a bonding between consumer and organisation. It creates a long
lasting relationship which later develops loyalty among them. There are several factors that
control customer retention in the telecom sectors (Berger, 2008). Present study reveals that
few factors like quality of voice, network connectivity, billing errors and attractive contract
plan of the organisation works as an important ingredient. Positioning of the brand would be
such so that it can explain and cater the need of the customer. Keller and Lehmann (2006)
proposed that Continuous product differentiation in terms benefit, features, and attributes
allow a consumer to think differently about the company’s brand. Ref to question Q3, (part-
C) explained that most of the managers are not well agree on the fact that the promotional
mechanism executed by their present organisation is ethical and result oriented. Manager
now days believe that customer likelihood of product purchase is an important instrument to
measure the product benefit.
5.3To evaluate the dynamics of the UK mobile phone market (Ref to Question no-3)
Ref to the Q.no.1, 2 and 3 (Part-C) the dynamics of the market is measured by the brand
image , likelihood of purchase and customer sales and support system are the important
elements that controls the dynamics of the brand elements. Analysis revealed that managers
of different organisation are feeling that trust is an important issue to develop brand loyalty
among customers. Employee of the organisation is the internal customer (Haig, 2008). They
develop brand equity through an extraordinary customer interaction process. Demographics
profile of the market normally assessed to give an idea about the targeted segment. As too
many players have entered in the last few years therefore the market is highly fragmented
and competitive. In such dynamic business environment it is imperative to examine the
consumer’s purchase frequency on a continuous basis. In the line of this discussion it is
essential for any organisation to identify the specific segment needs. Ref to the Fig no-(19),
result describes the nature of the forecast against the actual demand. Ref to the fig-
1forecast graph is showing a downward trend, which indirectly means that mobile companies
are losing their customer brand loyalty.
5.4 To find out how competitive positioning is an important element of strategic brand
management (Ref to Question no-4)
Ref to (4.3.3) multiple regression analysis- result explains that the ( R2
) coefficient of
determination (0.6846) is statistically robust and significant at 5% level of significance. Ref to
annexure-2, the main reason (68%) of any particular brand retention process can be
explained with the help of all the independent variables. The beta coefficient value (at 5%
level of significance) has illustrated a statistically significant result in favour of v1 (ref
annexure-2).So the relative impact of customer need fulfilment is quite imperative to explain
the brand retention mechanism. In fact chi square test result [(4.00) p>0.05] illustrates that
these variables are completely independent with each other. Therefore researcher
concludes that brand building exercise and customer retention are interlinked and that need
to be managed with careful monitoring of these key variables. Hooley et al. (2008) explain
that fulfilling the customers’ current need by choosing the right perspective is the need of the
hour. Therefore meticulous planning and aggressive brand building exercise can only
visualise the need, demand and wants of the customer for any telecom player in UK market.
Ref to chapter-1(1.3) researcher has designed the following hypothesis
H0: Competitive positioning does not play a vital role in Strategic Brand Management.
H1: Competitive positioning plays a vital role in Strategic Brand Management.
Ref to annexure-2 the result indicates that all the variables are independent with each
other, and bears a statistically significant result at 10% level of significance. Further ref to
(annexure-1) part-C, vide (Fig no-18) explains the nature of gamma distribution. Cameron
(2009) explains that the unsymmetrical nature of the gamma distribution curve reveals that
the variance across all the subgroups (e.g. age, income, educational qualification etc) is
constant. It shows the absence of heterskedacity. So the strategic posture of the
organisation should be different from one organisation to the other. The negative Z value
indicates (p<0.05) that the null hypothesis is rejected. So it can be concluded that
Competitive positioning plays a vital role in Strategic Brand Management process.
Telecom industry in the recent past has undergone a rapid change in the business policy
making process to combat the competitors in the market. The concept of brand
management exercise and its element has passed through a change mechanism to attain
the future sustainability. Researcher has delivered few important guidelines and ideas that
need to be reemphasized for an organization’s sustainability.
5.6.1 Actionable plan -1
There should be an enhancement in the number of distributers. Distribution strategy should
upgrade to overcome the location disadvantage. More the number of distributors more will
be the chances of earning revenue for the organization. Besides this, it also helps to
address customer reprisals mechanism process in the long run.
5.6.2 Actionable plan-2
Business complexity has increased to a considerable extent in the last few years. The
versatility of the product segment in the market has invited lot many options and
alternatives. Nowadays, consumers, to certain extent are confused and muddled by the
brand paranoia. Perplexed consumer is now forced to develop an impulsive buying
decision. Such unrestrained behaviour adds more complexity in the brand building
mechanism process. Quality now becomes a very abstract term to the consumer. During
brand encounter process customers face the reality which allows them to develop a certain
level of interest or disinterest about the brand. Customer pyramid model explains that
customers, who reside at the top of the level is more profitable for the firm. In any given
situation these customers are mainly influenced by the value offered to them. It signifies
that attributes, quality and features are more important for them as compared to price while
selecting a particular brand. Therefore retention mechanism is largely controlled by this
5.6.3 Actionable plan-3
Organizations nowadays are more interested to elevate the services in terms of value
addition. As value delivery process is the most critical element that normally control the
behaviour of the consumers. Therefore mobile service providers must specify the need of
the consumers and cater it accordingly. Customer with higher qualification and professional
experience are more equipped to understand and handle the technological advancement.
Therefore it is important for the organisation to train the staff (both technical and non
technical) adequately so that they can understand and fulfil the needs of the customer. As
mentioned in chapter-4, author recommends that most of the customers both inside and
outside the organisation are influenced largely by feature, attributes and performance of the
products. Therefore the mobile phone companies should develop a separate strategy to
cater the specific needs of each customer.
5.6.4 Actionable plan-4
In the developed countries such as UK, almost all the companies deliver attractive
packages to their customers under a contractual obligation that the customer has to
continue the service for at least a minimum period of 12 to 18 months. Therefore researcher
suggests that organisations should prepare a lucrative contract agreement to entice the
customer easily. Strong legal system of the country (UK) will assist to materialize such plan
for its appropriate fulfilment. As far as IT solution is concerned, the official should figure out
the new advancement tool for designing, formulating and maintenance for the ICT service.
At the same time, non –technical staff should deliver uninterrupted services and assure that
the service will provide adequate solution with all the desired features and quality.
5.6.5 Future Implication of the research
Though the study has intervened the factors controlling the brand loyalty both from the
customer and organisation point of view, but ironically the result is still complete unless it
examines the details. Various components like - attributes, ethical issues, cost component
factors, promotional and advertisement tools and techniques are not considered in details.
The entire study revealed that loyalty programme offered by the service providers have not
delivered a substantial effect on the customer. The factors that are considered to identify its
effect on the dependent ones are quite limited in number. There are numerous variables
that may control or influence brand retention is not considered in the present research.
Therefore exercising this study, programs about customer retention can provide a better
result to others. Secondly the research is carried out in the consumer market but as such
corporate communication market is not covered in this study. This is an area where
organisations can optimise their resources if demand continues.
Study conducted with a very small number of samples. Therefore the level of standard error
is quite high. The coronach alpha test has not been executed in an unidirectional manner.
Therefore the data set considered for analysis has failed to demonstrate adequate reliability
Data collection time frame was limited. The entire study was conducted within a span of 3
months. In fact collection of data was executed within a span of 1-4 weeks.
During study the data was collected through the stratified sampling process. The result
could have also been obtained by using the cluster sampling too. This option has not been
executed in the present study.
Researcher observes that comparatively higher ranked factors such as product attributes,
performance, quality components associated with service design and delivery process are
mainly controlled through people contribution. Therefore result indicates that service
providers should spend adequate time to improve the skills of people in increasing the
customer retention. The findings of the research can be summarised as the loyalty building
program and customer retention mechanism are not separated inseparable elements of
strategic brand management process.