Marketing can be defined as a bundle of activities and processes that are used to “create, keep and satisfy” the target audience. Most organizations rely on this process so that they can increase the overall awareness level of the target audience relating to the products or services that are being offered by them in the dynamic market setting.
The report has been structured to cover various aspects of marketing including brand-customer relations, decisions that are taken by the business undertakings, the role of the competitors in the concerned industry and the customer behavioural challenges that have been highlighted by using a case study. The fundamental intention of the report is to understand the exact role of marketing that helps business entities to strengthen their relationship with the customers and the potential customers.
Marketing is an indispensable component that all organizations need to do in order to have a sustainable existence in the dynamic business setting. The fundamental element that companies need to understand before functioning in the market is that the customers are the primary stakeholders of the business. In order to exist in the market, they need to align the needs of the customers with the business objectives and strengthen the connection between the brand and the customers.
The relationship that is developed between a brand and its customers is of critical significance as it helps the business to create a loyal base of customers who purchase its products or services in the highly competitive market setting. The “brand-customer relationship” starts when the customer is aware of the offerings of the particular supplier. As per Hsiao, Shen & Chao (2015), a business organization creates its name, decides upon its target customers and uses the relevant advertising and communication model so that the brand awareness can be increased and the brand-customer relationship can be strengthened in the process (Hsiao, Shen & Chao, 2015).
A poor relationship with the customers can have an adverse impact on a brand and its overall sustainability. Some of the core concepts of the brand-customer relationship include clearly articulating the brand identity, establishing the customer value proposition, and ultimately enhancing the quality of the customer experience (Habibi, Laroche & Richard, 2014).
Many reputed business organizations such as Apple Inc. Thomas Cook, Vodafone, RS Components, Walmart, Amazon.com Inc, etc try to enhance the relationship between their customers and the brand so that the business can create value for the target audience and they can also help the business to have a sustainable existence in the intensely competitive market setting (Jeon & Baeck, 2016).
The AO.com business is an e-commerce retailer that fundamentally specializes in electronic goods and commodities. It is a popular brand that operates in London and offers a wide variety of electrical items including television, gaming products, audio and computing products, mobile phones, software and many more offerings that are needed by tech-dependent customers.
As per the selected case, AO.com has been able to expand its offering base in the dynamic market environment by acknowledging the customers and their needs. Whenever the brand introduces a new electrical item on its shelf, it first assesses the needs and requirements of the target audience so that the user experience can be improved in the process. Such an approach helps it to strengthen the “brand-customer relationship” in the process. In this case, it has been highlighted that the business undertaking makes a sincere attempt to understand its customers’ journey (MacInnis, Park & Priester, 2014).
Such an approach gives it an insight into the specific expectations of the customers. Currently, the business has been facing a number of challenges due to the evolving nature of the market and the unpredictable needs of the target customers. In spite of these existing challenges, the business tries to attract customers by focusing on innovative technology and thus by creating value for the customers in the process (Nyadzayo & Khajehzadeh, 2016).
Some of the most common strategic models that are used by business undertakings to strengthen the brand-customer relationship include listening to the customers and identifying their exact needs, establishing a direct interaction with the customers to identify their unfulfilled needs that can be satisfied by the online retailer. Similarly, other models that are used by firms include communicating frequently with the customers, expanding the loyalty rewards, providing customers with free and quality information relating to the company offerings (Pearson, 2016).
AO.com believes in strengthening its brand-customer relationship because it can positively influence the customers and their buying behaviour. Some of the main advantages of customer relationship marketing include higher communication levels and improved levels of customer satisfaction. The customers that have a strong relationship with brands have interaction with them on a frequent basis.
The AO.com firm believes in strengthening its interaction with the target audience by using customer data platforms (Schultz et al., 2015). Such an approach plays an important role for the company as it is able to save money by creating strong relationships with the existing customers instead of spending additional finance to attract new customers in the dynamic market setting. The core benefits of an effective “brand-customer relationship” include the ability of the brand to deliver consistent customer experience, gathering relevant customer feedback about the brand offering, improving the overall customer profitability, and creating customer advocates (Sajtos, Kreis & Brodie, 2015).
One of the most critical components of the “brand-customer relationship” is getting the necessary level of attention of the customers at the right time. Grabbing the interest of the target audience is highly crucial for a marketer so that it can establish a long-lasting relationship with the customers that exist in the dynamic and evolving setting. “Brand customer relationship” has the power to revolutionize the customer experience by adopting a friendly and interactive model (So et al., 2016). Before strengthening this relationship, the business entities need to make their presence known in the huge market environment so that the customers would be interested to know about the exact offerings that are being made by a marketer in the market.
According to Kotler, the branding process is a highly critical function that a marketer needs to focus on before trying to create a relationship with the target customers (Kotler & Keller, 2006). A reputed brand always has more chance of having a strong connection with its customers as compared a new and fresh brand. The very first step that a business needs to work upon is to grab the attention of the customers in the market so that they would be aware of the presence of the particular brand. Then it must have interactions with them on a frequent basis to keep them updated about the unique and innovative offerings that are being made by the business undertaking (Kotler & Keller, 2006).
The “brand-customer relationships” can be observed in all the industries that exist in the evolving market setting including retail, manufacturing, service and banking. All the industries exist in order to serve the target audience in the best way possible. So they try to strengthen the association that exists between the brand and the target audience so that the sustainability and profitability of the brand can be improved for the better. Banks generally offer valuable financial services that are designed to strengthen the financial stability of the target audience (Jeon & Baeck, 2016).
In order to create a strong relationship between the banking business and the target customer, they focus on creating new and better financial products and offerings that can help customers to have access to the required capital at the time of requirement. In order to strengthen the bond between the business and the target audience, the customers can avail loans and other financial assistance at a reasonable rate of interest. According to the research paper “Building Strong Customer Relationships through Brand Orientation in Small Service Firms – An Empirical Investigation” by Christian Nedu Osakwe, the branding model that is used by banks and other financial institutions plays a vital role to influence the customer relationship performance relating to the micro-sized enterprises, small-sized enterprises and medium-sized enterprises (Chovancová, Osakwe & Ogbonna, 2015).
The market setting is known to be highly dynamic and uncertain in nature where the competitors and rivals are always on their toes to strengthen their brand position as compared to that of their industrial rivals. When business undertakings observe that the “brand-customer relationships” is healthy of an industry participant, they work on their own business approach so that they can strengthen the bond between their business and their customers in the process (Habibi, Laroche & Richard, 2014).
The healthy relationship between a firm and its customers naturally increases the chances of survival and profitability for the business. Thus it is naturally a threat for its rivals that operate in the market setting. Hence when a robust and effective BCR is established, the competitors try to work on their “brand-customer relationships” so that they can get an edge against their competitors and have a larger customer base.
All the marketers that function in the dynamic market context have to face the main challenge relating to the behaviour and attitude of the customers. In order to get a better insight into the customer needs and preferences that keep on changing the unpredictable market environment, most business firms try to establish a transparent and effective communication networking system so that they can have direct interaction with the target audience which will help them to understand their e needs and preferences (Hsiao, Shen & Chao, 2015). Today the business setting is filled with complexities that have made the marketing function complex in nature.
There is cut-throat competition among the market players and any wrong move by a marketer can cost him his position in the market (MacInnis, Park & Priester, 2014). Thus in order to enhance sustainability and profitability in the dynamic market context, business undertakings try to use the traditional marketing model along with the non-traditional marketing model so that they can target a larger set of audiences. Robust and transparent communication is a necessity in the current market setting as it can help business firms to understand how the behaviour and needs of the customers evolve which further changes their purchasing behaviour (Schultz et al., 2015).
For the purpose of having a sustainable existence in the dynamic market environment, it is highly important for all the business undertakings to keep up with the changing customer behaviour and the technological changes that take place in the macro setting. The role of all the external factors is highly crucial but these two components have been undergoing a drastic change in recent years (Sajtos, Kreis & Brodie, 2015). Thus business concerns must take the extra step to observe and assess the external setting that can have a direct influence on the marketer and his performance in the market context. There is the need for a strong connection between the customers and the marketers so that both of them can create value for one another and strengthen the relationship that exists between them.
The “Brand customer relationship” must be strong so that both the involved parties will face a win-win situation. Business organizations need to understand the identify the main changes that take place in customers in the dynamic market context so that they can make the necessary changes to create value for the end-users and thus strengthen their brand name and brand position. In most of the successful and reputed business concerns, one thing that is common is that they understand the significance of the brand-customer relationship and its impact on the sustainability of the organization.
The various elements that have been covered in the report include the model that businesses use to attract the target customers, the significance of different products and offerings that can help the business organization, the role of the competitors in the dynamic industrial context and the reasons to strengthen the brand position in the intensely competitive market environment. Similarly, the main customer behavioural challenges that business undertakings must take into consideration have been highlighted in the report so that it can help the firm to develop a stronger brand-customer relationship.
Chovancová, M., Osakwe, C.N. and Ogbonna, B.U., 2015. Building strong customer relationships through brand orientation in small service firms: An empirical investigation. Croatian Economic Survey, 17(1), pp.111-138.
Hsiao, C.H., Shen, G.C. and Chao, P.J., 2015. How does brand misconduct affect the brand-customer relationship?. Journal of Business Research, 68(4), pp.862-866.
Habibi, M.R., Laroche, M. and Richard, M.O., 2014. The roles of brand community and community engagement in building brand trust on social media. Computers in Human Behavior, 37, pp.152-161.
Jeon, J.O. and Baeck, S., 2016. What drives consumers’ responses to brand crisis? The moderating roles of brand associations and brand-customer relationship strength. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 25(6), pp.550-567.
Kotler, P. and Keller, K.L., 2006. Marketing Manaaemen.
MacInnis, D.J., Park, C.W. and Priester, J.W., 2014. Handbook of brand relationships. Routledge.
Nyadzayo, M.W. and Khajehzadeh, S., 2016. The antecedents of customer loyalty: A moderated mediation model of customer relationship management quality and brand image. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 30, pp.262-270.
Pearson, S., 2016. Building brands directly: creating business value from customer relationships. Springer.
Schultz, D.E., Barnes, B.E., Schultz, H.F. and Azzaro, M., 2015. Building customer-brand relationships. Routledge.
Sajtos, L., Kreis, H. and Brodie, R., 2015. Image, brand relationships and customer value: Exploring the moderating role of advertising spending-and labour-intensity in customer loyalty. Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 25(1), pp.51-74.
So, K.K.F., King, C., Sparks, B.A. and Wang, Y., 2016. Enhancing customer relationships with retail service brands: The role of customer engagement. Journal of Service Management, 27(2), pp.170-193.Order Now