Retail images

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1.1 Introduction

Retail images in today’s global marketplace are subject to increased competition and rapidly changing dynamics. As competition continues to increase, the role of retail images in relation to profits has never been greater. When managed properly, market oriented measures such as awareness and esteem to sell products increase company value.

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The concept of “think global, act local” has become the business phrase of the twentieth century and will continue into the twenty first century. It is the mantra for retail image positioning the firm’s marketing mix (Tomkins, 2004).

The long term effect after satisfaction is loyalty or brand loyalty in brand-retailing context. Brand loyalty has become the battlefield for retailers, as they try to attract shoppers to their outlets (Simon, 2003). Brand loyalty means that consumers like and habitually visit the same brand to purchase a type of merchandise. Brand loyalty can be defined as “the consumer inclination to patronize a given brands or chain of brands overtime”.

Brand loyalty is of interest because it describes a consistency of commercial behavior that is likely to be advantageous to retailers. Patrons with high loyalty may be the object of strategies designed to retain their custom, while those with low loyalty may be persuaded to give more of their spending to a brand by the use of appropriate promotions and loyalty schemes. Since the consumer patronage results in revenue for the firm, brand loyalty is related to the firm’s profit objectives. Brands with a larger share of loyal customers tend to be more profitable because they attract a larger share of consumer expenditures. In addition, loyal customers are less costly to serve than non-loyal shoppers (Tischler, 2004).

Securing consumer loyalty is cost effective, due to acquiring a new consumer can cost five to twelve times as much as keeping existing one. Loyal consumers encouraged by the relationship building of loyalty-driven companies, increase their purchasing over time. Presently the term “image” is used in a variety of contexts such as brand image, public image, self-image, corporate image, brand image and so on. In general image can be defined as “the sum of beliefs, ideas and impressions that a person has of an object”. Thus, image as discriminative stimuli for an actions expected reinforcement.

Defining brand image is not as simple as the term. One could easily substitute the word “brand” for the word “brand” for simplicity due to it associate with the attribute of the features in the image concept. Martineau (1958) is attributed with being one of the first to discuss “brand personality”. Lindquist (1974-75) develops the distinction between “functional qualities” and “psychological attributes”, brand image is a structure of some sort that tying together the dimensions that are at work.

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