• Title, Summary, Keyword: Customer Involvement

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A Study on the Relationship Between Online Community Characteristics and Loyalty : Focused on Mediating Roles of Self-Congruency, Consumer Experience, and Consumer to Consumer Interactivity (온라인 커뮤니티 특성과 충성도 간의 관계에 대한 연구: 자아일치성, 소비자 체험, 상호작용성의 매개적 역할을 중심으로)

  • Kim, Moon-Tae;Ock, Jung-Won
    • Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science
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    • v.18 no.4
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    • pp.157-194
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    • 2008
  • The popularity of communities on the internet has captured the attention of marketing scholars and practitioners. By adapting to the culture of the internet, however, and providing consumer with the ability to interact with one another in addition to the company, businesses can build new and deeper relationships with customers. The economic potential of online communities has been discussed with much hope in the many popular papers. In contrast to this enthusiastic prognostications, empirical and practical evidence regarding the economic potential of the online community has shown a little different conclusion. To date, even communities with high levels of membership and vibrant social arenas have failed to build financial viability. In this perspective, this study investigates the role of various kinds of influencing factors to online community loyalty and basically suggests the framework that explains the process of building purchase loyalty. Even though the importance of building loyalty in an online environment has been emphasized from the marketing theorists and practitioners, there is no sufficient research conclusion about what is the process of building purchase loyalty and the most powerful factors that influence to it. In this study, the process of building purchase loyalty is divided into three levels; characteristics of community site such as content superiority, site vividness, navigation easiness, and customerization, the mediating variables such as self congruency, consumer experience, and consumer to consumer interactivity, and finally various factors about online community loyalty such as visit loyalty, affect, trust, and purchase loyalty are those things. And the findings of this research are as follows. First, consumer-to-consumer interactivity is an important factor to online community purchase loyalty and other loyalty factors. This means, in order to interact with other people more actively, many participants in online community have the willingness to buy some kinds of products such as music, content, avatar, and etc. From this perspective, marketers of online community have to create some online environments in order that consumers can easily interact with other consumers and make some site environments in order that consumer can feel experience in this site is interesting and self congruency is higher than at other community sites. It has been argued that giving consumers a good experience is vital in cyber space, and websites create an active (rather than passive) customer by their nature. Some researchers have tried to pin down the positive experience, with limited success and less empirical support. Web sites can provide a cognitively stimulating experience for the user. We define the online community experience as playfulness based on the past studies. Playfulness is created by the excitement generated through a website's content and measured using three descriptors Marketers can promote using and visiting online communities, which deliver a superior web experience, to influence their customers' attitudes and actions, encouraging high involvement with those communities. Specially, we suggest that transcendent customer experiences(TCEs) which have aspects of flow and/or peak experience, can generate lasting shifts in beliefs and attitudes including subjective self-transformation and facilitate strong consumer's ties to a online community. And we find that website success is closely related to positive website experiences: consumers will spend more time on the site, interacting with other users. As we can see figure 2, visit loyalty and consumer affect toward the online community site didn't directly influence to purchase loyalty. This implies that there may be a little different situations here in online community site compared to online shopping mall studies that shows close relations between revisit intention and purchase intention. There are so many alternative sites on web, consumers do not want to spend money to buy content and etc. In this sense, marketers of community websites must know consumers' affect toward online community site is not a last goal and important factor to influnece consumers' purchase. Third, building good content environment can be a really important marketing tool to create a competitive advantage in cyberspace. For example, Cyworld, Korea's number one community site shows distinctive superiority in the consumer evaluations of content characteristics such as content superiority, site vividness, and customerization. Particularly, comsumer evaluation about customerization was remarkably higher than the other sites. In this point, we can conclude that providing comsumers with good, unique and highly customized content will be urgent and important task directly and indirectly impacting to self congruency, consumer experience, c-to-c interactivity, and various loyalty factors of online community. By creating enjoyable, useful, and unique online community environments, online community portals such as Daum, Naver, and Cyworld are able to build customer loyalty to a degree that many of today's online marketer can only dream of these loyalty, in turn, generates strong economic returns. Another way to build good online community site is to provide consumers with an interactive, fun, experience-oriented or experiential Web site. Elements that can make a dot.com's Web site experiential include graphics, 3-D images, animation, video and audio capabilities. In addition, chat rooms and real-time customer service applications (which link site visitors directly to other visitors, or with company support personnel, respectively) are also being used to make web sites more interactive. Researchers note that online communities are increasingly incorporating such applications in their Web sites, in order to make consumers' online shopping experience more similar to that of an offline store. That is, if consumers are able to experience sensory stimulation (e.g. via 3-D images and audio sound), interact with other consumers (e.g., via chat rooms), and interact with sales or support people (e.g. via a real-time chat interface or e-mail), then they are likely to have a more positive dot.com experience, and develop a more positive image toward the online company itself). Analysts caution, however, that, while high quality graphics, animation and the like may create a fun experience for consumers, when heavily used, they can slow site navigation, resulting in frustrated consumers, who may never return to a site. Consequently, some analysts suggest that, at least with current technology, the rule-of-thumb is that less is more. That is, while graphics etc. can draw consumers to a site, they should be kept to a minimum, so as not to impact negatively on consumers' overall site experience.

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A Study on the Born Global Venture Corporation's Characteristics and Performance ('본글로벌(born global)전략'을 추구하는 벤처기업의 특성과 성과에 관한 연구)

  • Kim, Hyung-Jun;Jung, Duk-Hwa
    • Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science
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    • v.17 no.3
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    • pp.39-59
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    • 2007
  • The international involvement of a firm has been described as a gradual development process "a process in which the enterprise gradually increases its international involvement in many studies. This process evolves in the interplay between the development of knowledge about foreign markets and operations on one hand and increasing commitment of resources to foreign markets on the other." On the basis of Uppsala internationalization model, many studies strengthen strong theoretical and empirical support. According to the predictions of the classic stages theory, the internationalization process of firms have been recognized and characterized gradual evolution to foreign markets, so called stage theory: indirect & direct export, strategic alliance and foreign direct investment. However, termed "international new ventures" (McDougall, Shane, and Oviatt 1994), "born globals" (Knight 1997; Knight and Cavusgil 1996; Madsen and Servais 1997), "instant internationals" (Preece, Miles, and Baetz 1999), or "global startups" (Oviatt and McDougall 1994) have been used and come into spotlight in internationalization study of technology intensity venture companies. Recent researches focused on venture company have suggested the phenomenons of 'born global' firms as a contradiction to the stages theory. Especially the article by Oviatt and McDougall threw the spotlight on international entrepreneurs, on international new ventures, and on their importance in the globalising world economy. Since venture companies have, by definition. lack of economies of scale, lack of resources (financial and knowledge), and aversion to risk taking, they have a difficulty in expanding their market to abroad and pursue internalization gradually and step by step. However many venture companies have pursued 'Born Global Strategy', which is different from process strategy, because corporate's environment has been rapidly changing to globalization. The existing studies investigate that (1) why the ventures enter into overseas market in those early stage, even in infancy, (2) what make the different international strategy among ventures and the born global strategy is better to the infant ventures. However, as for venture's performance(growth and profitability), the existing results do not correspond each other. They also, don't include marketing strategy (differentiation, low price, market breadth and market pioneer) that is important factors in studying of BGV's performance. In this paper I aim to delineate the appearance of international new ventures and the phenomenons of venture companies' internationalization strategy. In order to verify research problems, I develop a resource-based model and marketing strategies for analyzing the effects of the born global venture firms. In this paper, I suggested 3 research problems. First, do the korean venture companies take some advantages in the aspects of corporate's performances (growth, profitability and overall market performances) when they pursue internationalization from inception? Second, do the korean BGV have firm specific assets (foreign experiences, foreign orientation, organizational absorptive capacity)? Third, What are the marketing strategies of korean BGV and is it different from others? Under these problems, I test then (1) whether the BGV that a firm started its internationalization activity almost from inception, has more intangible resources(foreign experience of corporate members, foreign orientation, technological competences and absorptive capacity) than any other venture firms(Non_BGV) and (2) also whether the BGV's marketing strategies-differentiation, low price, market diversification and preemption strategy are different from Non_BGV. Above all, the main purpose of this research is that results achieved by BGV are indeed better than those obtained by Non_BGV firms with respect to firm's growth rate and efficiency. To do this research, I surveyed venture companies located in Seoul and Deajeon in Korea during November to December, 2005. I gather the data from 200 venture companies and then selected 84 samples, which have been founded during 1999${\sim}$2000. To compare BGV's characteristics with those of Non_BGV, I also had to classify BGV by export intensity over 50% among five or six aged venture firms. Many other researches tried to classify BGV and Non_BGV, but there were various criterion as many as researchers studied on this topic. Some of them use time gap, which is time difference of establishment and it's first internationalization experience and others use export intensity, ration of export sales amount divided by total sales amount. Although using a mixed criterion of prior research in my case, I do think this kinds of criterion is subjective and arbitrary rather than objective, so I do mention my research has some critical limitation in the classification of BGV and Non_BGV. The first purpose of research is the test of difference of performance between BGV and Non_BGV. As a result of t-test, the research show that there are statistically efficient difference not only in the growth rate (sales growth rate compared to competitors and 3 years averaged sales growth rate) but also in general market performance of BGV. But in case of profitability performance, the hypothesis that is BGV is more profit (return on investment(ROI) compared to competitors and 3 years averaged ROI) than Non-BGV was not supported. From these results, this paper concludes that BGV grows rapidly and gets a high market performance (in aspect of market share and customer loyalty) but there is no profitability difference between BGV and Non_BGV. The second result is that BGV have more absorptive capacity especially, knowledge competence, and entrepreneur's international experience than Non_BGV. And this paper also found BGV search for product differentiation, exemption strategy and market diversification strategy while Non_BGV search for low price strategy. These results have never been dealt with other existing studies. This research has some limitations. First limitation is concerned about the definition of BGV, as I mentioned above. Conceptually speaking, BGV is defined as company pursue internationalization from inception, but in empirical study, it's very difficult to classify between BGV and Non_BGV. I tried to classify on the basis of time difference and export intensity, this criterions are so subjective and arbitrary that the results are not robust if the criterion were changed. Second limitation is concerned about sample used in this research. I surveyed venture companies just located in Seoul and Daejeon and also use only 84 samples which more or less provoke sample bias problem and generalization of results. I think the more following studies that focus on ventures located in other region, the better to verify the results of this paper.

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Brand Equity and Purchase Intention in Fashion Products: A Cross-Cultural Study in Asia and Europe (상표자산과 구매의도와의 관계에 관한 국제비교연구 - 아시아와 유럽의 의류시장을 중심으로 -)

  • Kim, Kyung-Hoon;Ko, Eun-Ju;Graham, Hooley;Lee, Nick;Lee, Dong-Hae;Jung, Hong-Seob;Jeon, Byung-Joo;Moon, Hak-Il
    • Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science
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    • v.18 no.4
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    • pp.245-276
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    • 2008
  • Brand equity is one of the most important concepts in business practice as well as in academic research. Successful brands can allow marketers to gain competitive advantage (Lassar et al.,1995), including the opportunity for successful extensions, resilience against competitors' promotional pressures, and the ability to create barriers to competitive entry (Farquhar, 1989). Branding plays a special role in service firms because strong brands increase trust in intangible products (Berry, 2000), enabling customers to better visualize and understand them. They reduce customers' perceived monetary, social, and safety risks in buying services, which are obstacles to evaluating a service correctly before purchase. Also, a high level of brand equity increases consumer satisfaction, repurchasing intent, and degree of loyalty. Brand equity can be considered as a mixture that includes both financial assets and relationships. Actually, brand equity can be viewed as the value added to the product (Keller, 1993), or the perceived value of the product in consumers' minds. Mahajan et al. (1990) claim that customer-based brand equity can be measured by the level of consumers' perceptions. Several researchers discuss brand equity based on two dimensions: consumer perception and consumer behavior. Aaker (1991) suggests measuring brand equity through price premium, loyalty, perceived quality, and brand associations. Viewing brand equity as the consumer's behavior toward a brand, Keller (1993) proposes similar dimensions: brand awareness and brand knowledge. Thus, past studies tend to identify brand equity as a multidimensional construct consisted of brand loyalty, brand awareness, brand knowledge, customer satisfaction, perceived equity, brand associations, and other proprietary assets (Aaker, 1991, 1996; Blackston, 1995; Cobb-Walgren et al., 1995; Na, 1995). Other studies tend to regard brand equity and other brand assets, such as brand knowledge, brand awareness, brand image, brand loyalty, perceived quality, and so on, as independent but related constructs (Keller, 1993; Kirmani and Zeithaml, 1993). Walters(1978) defined information search as, "A psychological or physical action a consumer takes in order to acquire information about a product or store." But, each consumer has different methods for informationsearch. There are two methods of information search, internal and external search. Internal search is, "Search of information already saved in the memory of the individual consumer"(Engel, Blackwell, 1982) which is, "memory of a previous purchase experience or information from a previous search."(Beales, Mazis, Salop, and Staelin, 1981). External search is "A completely voluntary decision made in order to obtain new information"(Engel & Blackwell, 1982) which is, "Actions of a consumer to acquire necessary information by such methods as intentionally exposing oneself to advertisements, taking to friends or family or visiting a store."(Beales, Mazis, Salop, and Staelin, 1981). There are many sources for consumers' information search including advertisement sources such as the internet, radio, television, newspapers and magazines, information supplied by businesses such as sales people, packaging and in-store information, consumer sources such as family, friends and colleagues, and mass media sources such as consumer protection agencies, government agencies and mass media sources. Understanding consumers' purchasing behavior is a key factor of a firm to attract and retain customers and improving the firm's prospects for survival and growth, and enhancing shareholder's value. Therefore, marketers should understand consumer as individual and market segment. One theory of consumer behavior supports the belief that individuals are rational. Individuals think and move through stages when making a purchase decision. This means that rational thinkers have led to the identification of a consumer buying decision process. This decision process with its different levels of involvement and influencing factors has been widely accepted and is fundamental to the understanding purchase intention represent to what consumers think they will buy. Brand equity is not only companies but also very important asset more than product itself. This paper studies brand equity model and influencing factors including information process such as information searching and information resources in the fashion market in Asia and Europe. Information searching and information resources are influencing brand knowledge that influences consumers purchase decision. Nine research hypotheses are drawn to test the relationships among antecedents of brand equity and purchase intention and relationships among brand knowledge, brand value, brand attitude, and brand loyalty. H1. Information searching influences brand knowledge positively. H2. Information sources influence brand knowledge positively. H3. Brand knowledge influences brand attitude. H4. Brand knowledge influences brand value. H5. Brand attitude influences brand loyalty. H6. Brand attitude influences brand value. H7. Brand loyalty influences purchase intention. H8. Brand value influence purchase intention. H9. There will be the same research model in Asia and Europe. We performed structural equation model analysis in order to test hypotheses suggested in this study. The model fitting index of the research model in Asia was $X^2$=195.19(p=0.0), NFI=0.90, NNFI=0.87, CFI=0.90, GFI=0.90, RMR=0.083, AGFI=0.85, which means the model fitting of the model is good enough. In Europe, it was $X^2$=133.25(p=0.0), NFI=0.81, NNFI=0.85, CFI=0.89, GFI=0.90, RMR=0.073, AGFI=0.85, which means the model fitting of the model is good enough. From the test results, hypotheses were accepted. All of these hypotheses except one are supported. In Europe, information search is not an antecedent of brand knowledge. This means that sales of global fashion brands like jeans in Europe are not expanding as rapidly as in Asian markets such as China, Japan, and South Korea. Young consumers in European countries are not more brand and fashion conscious than their counter partners in Asia. The results have theoretical, practical meaning and contributions. In the fashion jeans industry, relatively few studies examining the viability of cross-national brand equity has been studied. This study provides insight on building global brand equity and suggests information process elements like information search and information resources are working differently in Asia and Europe for fashion jean market.

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An Empirical Study on the Determinants of Supply Chain Management Systems Success from Vendor's Perspective (참여자관점에서 공급사슬관리 시스템의 성공에 영향을 미치는 요인에 관한 실증연구)

  • Kang, Sung-Bae;Moon, Tae-Soo;Chung, Yoon
    • Asia pacific journal of information systems
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    • v.20 no.3
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    • pp.139-166
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    • 2010
  • The supply chain management (SCM) systems have emerged as strong managerial tools for manufacturing firms in enhancing competitive strength. Despite of large investments in the SCM systems, many companies are not fully realizing the promised benefits from the systems. A review of literature on adoption, implementation and success factor of IOS (inter-organization systems), EDI (electronic data interchange) systems, shows that this issue has been examined from multiple theoretic perspectives. And many researchers have attempted to identify the factors which influence the success of system implementation. However, the existing studies have two drawbacks in revealing the determinants of systems implementation success. First, previous researches raise questions as to the appropriateness of research subjects selected. Most SCM systems are operating in the form of private industrial networks, where the participants of the systems consist of two distinct groups: focus companies and vendors. The focus companies are the primary actors in developing and operating the systems, while vendors are passive participants which are connected to the system in order to supply raw materials and parts to the focus companies. Under the circumstance, there are three ways in selecting the research subjects; focus companies only, vendors only, or two parties grouped together. It is hard to find researches that use the focus companies exclusively as the subjects probably due to the insufficient sample size for statistic analysis. Most researches have been conducted using the data collected from both groups. We argue that the SCM success factors cannot be correctly indentified in this case. The focus companies and the vendors are in different positions in many areas regarding the system implementation: firm size, managerial resources, bargaining power, organizational maturity, and etc. There are no obvious reasons to believe that the success factors of the two groups are identical. Grouping the two groups also raises questions on measuring the system success. The benefits from utilizing the systems may not be commonly distributed to the two groups. One group's benefits might be realized at the expenses of the other group considering the situation where vendors participating in SCM systems are under continuous pressures from the focus companies with respect to prices, quality, and delivery time. Therefore, by combining the system outcomes of both groups we cannot measure the system benefits obtained by each group correctly. Second, the measures of system success adopted in the previous researches have shortcoming in measuring the SCM success. User satisfaction, system utilization, and user attitudes toward the systems are most commonly used success measures in the existing studies. These measures have been developed as proxy variables in the studies of decision support systems (DSS) where the contribution of the systems to the organization performance is very difficult to measure. Unlike the DSS, the SCM systems have more specific goals, such as cost saving, inventory reduction, quality improvement, rapid time, and higher customer service. We maintain that more specific measures can be developed instead of proxy variables in order to measure the system benefits correctly. The purpose of this study is to find the determinants of SCM systems success in the perspective of vendor companies. In developing the research model, we have focused on selecting the success factors appropriate for the vendors through reviewing past researches and on developing more accurate success measures. The variables can be classified into following: technological, organizational, and environmental factors on the basis of TOE (Technology-Organization-Environment) framework. The model consists of three independent variables (competition intensity, top management support, and information system maturity), one mediating variable (collaboration), one moderating variable (government support), and a dependent variable (system success). The systems success measures have been developed to reflect the operational benefits of the SCM systems; improvement in planning and analysis capabilities, faster throughput, cost reduction, task integration, and improved product and customer service. The model has been validated using the survey data collected from 122 vendors participating in the SCM systems in Korea. To test for mediation, one should estimate the hierarchical regression analysis on the collaboration. And moderating effect analysis should estimate the moderated multiple regression, examines the effect of the government support. The result shows that information system maturity and top management support are the most important determinants of SCM system success. Supply chain technologies that standardize data formats and enhance information sharing may be adopted by supply chain leader organization because of the influence of focal company in the private industrial networks in order to streamline transactions and improve inter-organization communication. Specially, the need to develop and sustain an information system maturity will provide the focus and purpose to successfully overcome information system obstacles and resistance to innovation diffusion within the supply chain network organization. The support of top management will help focus efforts toward the realization of inter-organizational benefits and lend credibility to functional managers responsible for its implementation. The active involvement, vision, and direction of high level executives provide the impetus needed to sustain the implementation of SCM. The quality of collaboration relationships also is positively related to outcome variable. Collaboration variable is found to have a mediation effect between on influencing factors and implementation success. Higher levels of inter-organizational collaboration behaviors such as shared planning and flexibility in coordinating activities were found to be strongly linked to the vendors trust in the supply chain network. Government support moderates the effect of the IS maturity, competitive intensity, top management support on collaboration and implementation success of SCM. In general, the vendor companies face substantially greater risks in SCM implementation than the larger companies do because of severe constraints on financial and human resources and limited education on SCM systems. Besides resources, Vendors generally lack computer experience and do not have sufficient internal SCM expertise. For these reasons, government supports may establish requirements for firms doing business with the government or provide incentives to adopt, implementation SCM or practices. Government support provides significant improvements in implementation success of SCM when IS maturity, competitive intensity, top management support and collaboration are low. The environmental characteristic of competition intensity has no direct effect on vendor perspective of SCM system success. But, vendors facing above average competition intensity will have a greater need for changing technology. This suggests that companies trying to implement SCM systems should set up compatible supply chain networks and a high-quality collaboration relationship for implementation and performance.