Kodak and Nike.
Despite the variations in definitions, relationship marketing borrows heavily from studies on customer service and customer retention. Scholars suggest that more than single-sale transactions, it is often desirable for companies to establish a longer-term, mutually beneficial (value-creating) relationship between the organization and its customers (Stone, Woodcock, & Machtynger, 2000). Blattberg & Deighton (1996) posit that the growth of a business may be viewed as acquiring and retaining customers so as to realize the full potential value of the customer base.
From the seller’s point of view, such relationships serve as effective entry barriers, improve differentiation, and in the long-term, result in more profitable returns. (Venetis & Ghauri, 2004). Relationship marketing and profitability. Perhaps the high degree of interest in relationship marketing is owed to growing empirical evidence which links relationship marketing with profitability. Relationship marketing’s promise of lifetime value and increased profitability per customer provide substantial reason for organizations to keep taking note and continue their organizational learning, despite setbacks.
Customer retention has been high correlated with profitability in service situations (Reichheld & Sasser, 1990). Reichheld’s findings were dramatic: a five percent increase in customer retention resulted in increased profitability in the range of 20 percent to 125 percent. In a similar vein, Gupta and Lehmann (2003) estimated an “increase of 22% to 37% in a customer lifetime value for a 5 % increase in customer retention for Capital One and E*trade”.
As it seems, longer-term, mutually beneficial relationships between the organization, customers, and other parties may be the key to overcoming the hospitality industry’s current challenges. Branding. Increasing competition in a globalized economy has intensified the importance of identifying the drivers of sustainable competitive advantages. The search for such drivers is no longer restricted to tangible factors, but has been expanded to include intangibles.
Indeed, the importance of intangibles such as ‘corporate reputation,’ ‘brand equity’ and ‘customer-relationship management’ (CRM) has grown rapidly in recent years as managers have recognized the significance of these factors in making their offerings stand out, and in continuously attracting and retaining customers. Many scholars argue that ‘brand equity’, like ‘corporate reputation’, should be viewed as a strategic asset of a firm because brand names (such as ‘Coke’, ‘Kodak’ and ‘Nike’) add value to a product or service through their effects on the purchasing and non-purchasing behaviors of customers (Priem and Butler, 2001).
The value of the brand to a company can be measured more than just its financial value of customer goodwill. It is seen as a strategic asset (Heigh 1997) that offers differentiating factor in the marketplace (Levitt 1980) and brand as functional device trusted for its quality (Riezbos 2002). Problem Statement The current paper then will attempt to assess the factors which are deemed important by consumers of the fashion eyewear industry in the UK. Specifically, the researcher shall attempt to answer the following sub-questions.