What is a brand?

According to the AMA(American Marketing Association) brands are  names ,signs ,symbols ,designs or terms that are used to give indentify to products and services offered by different organizations. Brands therefore helps differentiate products and companies that produce them  for the consumers .On the other hand companies use Brands to  differentiate their products and services from those offered by their competition as well as to enhance their image and help their consumers and potential customers easier recognition of their products and services.Organizations use brands to create values for their products and services and therefore provide value to the consumers as well as the organizations. Therefore besides brands being used to provide products and services identities they are also used to create value by organization for their products and services at the same time intended to create value for the consumers as well. Brands are therefore used by organizations to gain competitive edges over their rivals.it is important therefore for companies to developed brands that can easily win consumer loyalty and be easily recognized by the consumers. The beverage market today has one of the most intense competition among the various companies both established and new entrants. Establishing easily brands in the industry can therefore make or break an organization especially since there are well established brand names in the industry.

Data Collection and Marketing Research

The process of data collection in the proposed study will be done by using two types of sources. The data will be collected from primary sources as well as from secondary sources. The secondary sources will be used to collect data supporting the identification of the company past practices to develop the brand value. The source will also be used for the collection of data providing information on the community practices. If quantitative and qualitative research is “conducted in tandem, the potential – and perhaps the likelihood – of unanticipated outcomes is multiplied”. Both qualitative and quantitative research approaches will be employed in this research. Quantitatively, the number of business organizations in the beverage industry that have achieved internationalization by making use of brand architecture will be determined. Moreover, one of the objectives of this study is to qualitatively determine the effectiveness of brand architecture in internationalizing a beverage product.

Every marketing research project utilizes a plethora of data and information. The most common source of these data and information are secondary sources. Data are defined secondary when they are collected from a source that has already been published and they are readily available Wilson. This research will make use of a number of secondary sources such as the academic journal, books, and corporate annual report available on line; data that will be collected, analyzed before they are used to complement the primary data. The secondary data will also be used to gain familiarity and also establish a context in which the primary data will be collected, analyzed and most importantly reported. Again, secondary sources of information will be used to access past information regarding the application of brand architecture as a means of brand internationalization in view of some chosen key players in the beverage industry. Further importance that will be drawn from secondary sources is that they are comparably cheaper and readily available for use in any research process.

Advantages of Secondary Data

Economy is the first main advantage to work with secondary data. Moreover, secondary data are easily accessible and ready available. It saves time and efforts. It is inconspicuous. It prevents any problem of data collection and it supplies a basis for comparison. [si potrebbe togliere il concetto compare anche prima]. Data can be analyzed straight away since they are already collected, and very much often also cleaned and stored in electronic format, therefore researcher can spend his or her time to analyze such data. Thirdly, the advantage in using secondary data is that often the data collection process is supported by expertise and professionalism that might not be available in case of smaller research projects. Besides, secondary data make primary data collection more specific since with the secondary data support, we can fill in the gaps and compensate the deficiencies and any other additional information needed to be collected.

Branding policies issues are very common in the marketing field being an important object of studies. Many marketers went through information in order to give a comprehensive and critical overview of the issues and challenges in branding in particular regarding brand architecture, brand portfolio. Moreover, being soft drinks mass market products and since the industries involved in this sector are big corporations such as Coca Cola and Pepsi, marketing issues regarding branding policies within the beverage sector and those companies have already been studied by many marketers. This improves the information availability within the international brand architecture in the beverage industry.

Disadvantages of Secondary Data

By assessing primary data there are some limitations in terms of availability, applicability, accuracy, comparability. Disadvantages are referred to the credibility of the source that published this info and the small nuances that might not adapt themselves to your research objectives. An additional disadvantage can be that the data might be obsolete. At the same time you have no control over the quality of data and you might not know how authentic the measures used for data collection are. Because of the above mentioned disadvantages it is necessary to evaluate the secondary data by analyzing the following factors:

Primary Data refers to data that have not been published before, i.e. the data derive from a new or original research study and collected at the source. The importance of primary sources in this study will be underscored to a great extent. These sources will be used extensively in order to facilitate the achievement of the objectives stated for this research. Primary data collection is needed whenever a researcher cannot find the data needed in secondary sources. Consumers of goods will be asked to answer the questions pertaining to their choice so as to assess the role that brand name and appearance play in influencing consumer’s choices.

Managers in the beverage industry will also be interviewed on the methods that they prefer to use as means of internationalizing a brand product. Additionally, their views concerning the centrality of brand architecture within brand internationalization will be collected and recorded to propose improvements that can be made to enhance the effectiveness of brand architecture in hitting international markets.

Primary data represents the information collected first-hand by researchers through the following channels:

Some of the primary data that the research will seek are:

  • Attitude of stakeholders towards brand architecture for brand internationalization
  • Stakeholders’ views on the effectiveness of brand architecture and how its effectiveness can be improved
  • Stakeholders’ awareness and knowledge about brand architecture within brand internationalization
  • Consumer’s views on those factors determining his/her choice of the various beverages brands.

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research collects information that is not in numerical form. Qualitative researchers aim to collect an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons ruling such a behavior. The qualitative method examines the how and why of decision making, and not only what, where, when. Therefore, smaller but focused samples are needed more often, rather than large samples. Qualitative data are typically descriptive data and as such they are more difficult to be analyzed than quantitative data, and require accurate description of participant’s responses.

The three most ordinary qualitative methods, explained in detail in their respective modules, are in-depth interviews, participant’s observation and focus groups.

  • In-depth interviews are optimal to collect data on individuals’ personal histories, perspectives and experiences, in particular whenever sensitive topics are being investigated.
  • Participant’s observation is suitable to collect data on behaviors occurring naturally within his/her usual contexts.
  • Focus groups are efficient in drawing out data on the cultural rules of a group and in generating broad overviews of issues regarding the cultural groups or subgroups represented. Using focus groups therefore provides a general overview of brand perceptions.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research collects data in numerical form that can be sorted by categories, or by rank order, or measured in units of measurement. Quantitative research is suitable to measure both behavior and attitudes for instance how many people make use of a product or service or are interested in a new product concept, then quantitative research refers to what you need. Statistics is generated by quantitative research through the use of large-scale survey research, making use of methods such as structured interviews or questionnaires. Advanced statistical techniques such as regression, correlation, factor analysis or cluster analysis, can be the vehicle for quantitative research to be used to create models that predict whether or not someone holds a particular idea or would act in a certain way based on an observable characteristic.

Data collection methods

Data collection is a way to gather information to be used in different studies or decision making situations. Depending on the required outcome or information needed the methods of data collection can vary and even be combined to reach the needed results.

All data collection methods boil down to five basic types:

Each method of data collection has its pros and cons. By using more than one method can be useful thus to get better results and formulate proper findings. In order to be able to get valuable information about international brand architecture it is necessary to explore the topic through qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative data will be collected by interviewing managers who work in beverage companies whereas quantitative by designing a questionnaire for consumers.

The researcher will hold interviews with managers of the beverage industries thanks to personal contacts. In order to obtain statements and opinions concerning the role that brand architecture plays in brand internationalization. Phone calls will also be used to dig for the much needed primary data that will be necessary for drawing conclusion about this study in cases where one-on-one interviews will not be possible. Collecting data through interviews has an advantage in that the method seeks to answer questions that are preconceived and incorporated in the questionnaires that are designed this gives the researcher an upper hand in formulating questions that are intended to answer the specific research questions. The other advantage is that telephones can be used to conduct the interviews. This can enable researchers save time as well as the costs that would otherwise be incurred the chosen sample of the population is located in diverse locations. The method is therefore very convenient in terms of costs and times.

Use of Questionnaire

Data collection for this research will be mainly centered on the use of standardized questionnaires. According to Wilson (2003, p. 145) with regard to the design of the questionnaire, it is important to bear in mind that the questionnaire has to communicate to the respondents what the researcher is asking for. 

Questionnaires are the most convenient and inexpensive way to collect information from people and could be used to cover a large geographical area enough to permit statistically analysis of the results. Online questionnaire will be used since through social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter it is easy to reach a lot of consumers of soft drinks. For respondents who will be accessible, structured questionnaires will be preferred in which the respondent will be asked questions from the questionnaire by the researcher.Question can either be open ended  or close ended .In oreder to limit the respondent to the research question close ended questions are preffered because they require the respondents to either choose answers from multiple choices given or answer the questions with a simple yes or no.the implication here is that by using a close ended question the response can be limited to similar meanings and thus keep the respondents  focused on  the researchs question This also makes the data collected using close ended questions easier to analyze.addationally answers obtained from close ended questions can be given numerical or rankings making it possible to obtain quantative data that can be easily analysed .Unlike open ended question that do not limit the responts to given answers implying that they can lose the focus on the research question.

For uniformity, both the postal and structured questionnaires will have the same questions that will either be closed ended or open ended, with more of the questions being scaling questions to allow the researcher to obtain additional information as well as the respondents’ opinion on the topic.

By using an on-line questionnaire it is possible to get some advantages, it is inexpensive because the online research can be executed at a fraction of the cost of conventional research, fast since it takes a little time to put together a questionnaire, distribute it, collect and analyze the answers; consistent because all those responding work on the same questionnaire and they follow the same order, honest because all those responding the online survey prefer to give honest replies, avoiding the tendency of trying to please the interviewer and so give the answer the interviewer is looking for. In addition, questionnaires are a cheap way to collect data from a potentially large number of respondents. Often they represent the only feasible way to achieve a quite large number of reviewers allowing statistically analysis of the results.

Sampling Methods

Sampling methods can be divided in two different classes: probability and non-probability. In probability sampling every members of the population have an equal chance of being chosen in a sample. The sample chosen is usually without biases since the population traits can be accurately determined and the probability of these traits weighted accurately to ensure that biases are eliminated. The probability sampling is a technical sample where all samples are kept in practice that gives all the individuals same chances to be chosen. In this sampling method, the probability sampling assures that all individuals can be equally chosen for selection and this can be accomplished if the researcher uses randomization. According to Doherty, M., in order to define a probability sampling it is necessary that all elements of the frame have a certain chance of  being selected, and that it can be calculated the probability of selecting the sample to end up with.

On the other hand, with non probability sampling, the member of the sample are selected upon their availability, for instance because they are volunteered of because of the researcher’s personal judgment. As a consequence, a part of the population is not included in the research. The method therefore can easily be biased since members of the population with similar character traits can end up being chosen for the sample this therefore denies the researcher a a sample that gives the true representation of the population which implies that the data collected though this method only represents the characteristics of a segment of the population.

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