Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Direct and Indirect Effects of Marketing Mix Elements on Satisfaction

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Direct and Indirect Effects of Marketing Mix Elements on Satisfaction

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

India is an emerging economy. The rapid expansion in its consumer durable market is one of the main driving forces behind the country's economic boom. According to Census of India (2011), more than half of the nation's population has an average age of less than 30 years. The capacity to spend of its youth and middle class is increasing day by day. Moreover, finance options are easily available now. All this is giving a needed fillip to the consumer durable market. With decrease in control of government over manufacturing and business sector and with the advent of policies related to liberalisation, privatisation and globalization, there has been a tremendous increase in competition. Technology has also improved manifold. Commoditisation is giving way to branding on a large scale. In order to create a market for consumer durables, the marketers are laying huge emphasis on marketing mix elements and creation of brand awareness.

Creating awareness about a brand is as important as enhancing customer's experience of the product/service. Without brand awareness, customers cannot or will not buy the brand, because they are simply not aware of brand's existence (Peter and Olson, 1996). Brand awareness and product-related attributes tend to create and reinforce the relationship between the customer and the brand (Suresh et al., 2012). The recall of a brand or its knowledge can be decisive in incorporating it into the small group of alternatives that will be in mind at the moment of choosing goods. Macdonald and Sharp (2000) have reiterated that brand awareness is an important factor that influences the purchase decision of customers. Customers' purchase intentions and decisions can also be influenced more if a product has higher brand awareness (Dodds et al., 1991; Grewal et al., 1998, Chi et al., 2009, Malik et al., 2013). According to Aaker and Day (1974), brand awareness, influenced by the advertising recall, affects the decision of purchase not only in the aspect of behaviour, but even at affective level. It forms positive attitudes towards the product that lead to the purchase of the product and to obtain major quotas for the company.

Prior to choosing a product, many factors cross the mind of a consumer. Product features can also help customers to have a subjective judgment on overall product quality that make a product hold a salient differentiation and become a selective brand in customer's minds (Aaker, 1991). Products with higher brand awareness generally have higher market share and better quality perception.

Customer satisfaction is essential to long-term business success (Jones & Suh, 2000; Pappu & Quester, 2006). It is undoubtedly the key towards sustainable business development. A better understanding of the customers' priorities and needs amongst various quality dimensions is essential in effectively designing marketing mix elements. It may help organisations to understand how strategies can be altered or improved in order to satisfy customers. Ultimately, tryst with satisfaction aims at satisfying all such parameters that cross the mind of customers and creating a perception that a particular product best serves the needs of a customer.

A satisfied customer is lesser price sensitive; least influenced by competitors' attacks and remains loyal to the firm longer as compared to a dissatisfied customer (Kellar et al., 2012). Some researchers have indicated that the customers will be more satisfied by being able to find their brands in a high number of establishments (Ferris, Oliver & Kluiver, 1989; Smith, 1992). Ahmed & Rahman (2015) have emphasized that satisfaction of the customer can be increased through product differentiation. According to Dhurup et al. (2014), the marketing success of businesses depend on their ability to continuously enhance their products with competitive pricing and brand awareness strategies in order to improve brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. …

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