CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, Volume 16, Issue 2
As I finish writing this Editorial the bells of Big Ben are chiming in 2013. It reminds me that while, like others I am welcoming in the New Year and new challenges, I am also looking forward to seeing this issue in print in 2013. The contributors for this issue come from ten different countries and draw on academic and practitioner backgrounds. The issue has a richness of qualitative contents across a range of different topics. There is a healthy curiosity which the researchers from the different countries bring to their work along with their keen insights about consumers and organisations.
The first paper on “Using netnography research method to reveal the underlying dimensions of the customer/tourist experience” is a welcome addition to qualitative market research. As the authors based in Malaysia, Britain and the USA have noted, while interest in customer experience has grown phenomenally, this has not been the case in the use of netnography as a marketing research tool. Ahmed Rageh, T.C. Melewar and Arch Woodside identify aspects of importance to consumers and explores eight underlying dimensions within a growing tourism sector with implications for managers. They propose an evaluative technique to gain deeper understanding of the contexts of customer experience.
Anne-Louise Morton, Cheryl Rivers, Stephen Charters and Wendy Spinks set the scene for “Champagne purchasing: the influence of kudos and sentimentality” in the second paper about a sample of Australian consumers in their purchasing and drinking of Champagne. The authors from Australia, France and New Zealand make use of interviews with Champagne marketers, sellers, educators, connoisseurs and consumers to research variables such as those concerning “kudos” and “sentimentality”. This is exploratory research and the authors acknowledge its limitations while explaining that it confirms their preliminary findings supported by aspects of the wine consumer behaviour literature.
On the subject of consumption, the third paper is about research in Brazil undertaken in five cities about theoretical perspectives and researches concerning the bacalhau dish as linked to and symptomatic of strong cultural, religious and traditional values. Chunyan Xie, Lúcia de Fátima Martins Guilhoto, Kjell Grønhaug and Jens Østli in a joint paper from Norway and Brazil, “An identity approach to bacalhau prosumption”, presents a multi-faceted approach to discussing social and role-based identities and the building of cultural capital as a result of the preparation and consumption of this uniquely, traditional food. The authors make a contribution to the literature about how consumers build and extend their social and role-based identities in focus group research.
Moving from consumption to fashion, the fourth paper by Rosanna Hale and Nancy Hodges from the USA on “Men’s branded underwear: an investigation of factors important to product choice”, delves into consumer choices and processes of decision-making for men’s branded underwear. More unusually, men’s underwear features far less in the marketing and market research literature, despite this being an important mainstay within the clothing industry. Qualitative interviewing and interpretation of the interview data provide the authors with three thematic areas covering the exploration of emerging issues. A typology of consumer profiles based on “involvement level, brand loyalty, gender, evaluative criteria and silhouette preference” is applied in a usefully by the authors.
In retailing, this time on the non-foods sector, the fifth paper by Anne Rindell, “Time in corporate images: introducing image heritage and image-in-use” is an evaluation of how past experiences of a company can affect consumers and generate certain “current image-construction processes”. Critically, historical associations, especially recent ones are vivid reminders for consumers. The author, in her Finnish study, asserts that such images created from previous associations have direct relevance as influential inputs into “real-time corporate image formation”. This paper presents a novel way of considering consumers’ image formation with lessons for a company’s current corporate branding strategy.
A lengthy and thought provoking paper about four high-performing companies and their competitive priorities shifts the focus to supply chain strategies in the fashion industry This sixth paper about maintaining and increasing competitiveness comes from Bowon Kim of Korea who argues the case for substantiating the close integration of competitive priorities with a firm’s choice of target market. This, in turn, influences its strategy in its supply chain to affect priorities in channel development and processes. This last paper, “Competitive priorities and supply chain strategy in the fashion industry”, is implicitly qualitative following the in-depth case study route with suggestions for management on best practices in determining sourcing and supply chain strategies with regard to the fashion industry.
Given the complexities in uncovering consumer motives and relationships with products and suppliers it is important that research objectives and propositions could address such areas effectively. The collection of papers for this normal issue affords an insightful contribution into the different perceptions of implementing qualitative research and its techniques to uncover effects on consumers, businesses and their brands. I end this Editorial with thanks to all the contributors and QMR reviewers to make this a successful issue.
Happy New Year to all,
Len Tiu Wright