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Article

Charles Blankson, Seth Ketron and Joseph Darmoe

The purpose of this paper is to investigate employment of positioning strategies in the retail bank sector of Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically using Ghana as the study…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate employment of positioning strategies in the retail bank sector of Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically using Ghana as the study context. In addition, it explores the applicability of western-based typology of positioning strategies in the Sub-Saharan African environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Six retail banks – three national and three foreign – are studied, each through an in-depth case study method: covert and participant observation techniques; and face-to-face interviews of chief executive officers, marketing managers, and bank branch managers provided data for the study.

Findings

The results show that the “service” positioning strategy is the most popular strategy employed by retail banks. “Value for money,” “attractiveness,” “brand name,” and “country of origin” positioning strategies are also dominant. “Top of the range” and “selectivity” strategies are minimally pursued by the sample of banks studied. The results reveal that both foreign and national retail banks employ multiple positioning strategies in the face of competition. However, foreign retail banks consistently employ a; large number of strategies relative to national retail banks. This paper supports the applicability of a western-derived set of positioning strategies in the Sub-Saharan African marketplace.

Research limitations/implications

This study closes a gap in the understanding of positioning, as well as filling the empirical gap in the application of positioning. In addition, it helps resolve a contextual gap of knowledge in Sub-Saharan Africa’s retail banking sector.

Originality/value

This study responds to Porter (1996), Clancy and Trout (2002), and Knox (2004) for continued empirical research in positioning in service industries and specifically in Sub-Saharan African economies (Coffie, 2014, 2016; Coffie and Owusu-Frimpong, 2014). Moreover, this research adds value to the banking and marketing literatures through a qualitative case study method, which is an important yet overlooked research method (Yin, 2009).

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

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Article

Lu Xu, Victor Prybutok and Charles Blankson

This paper posits, develops and tests the effects of general environmental awareness factors on consumers’ intentions in the Environmental Awareness Purchasing Intention…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper posits, develops and tests the effects of general environmental awareness factors on consumers’ intentions in the Environmental Awareness Purchasing Intention Model. Environmental awareness is tested within the context of purchasing vehicles and, thus, vehicle relevant factors (perceived quality and self-image) are also included. Further, the purpose of this paper is to explain the relative contribution of general environmental awareness factors on purchasing intentions compared to quality and self-image.

Design/methodology/approach

The main thrust of the research involved a survey of 248 young automobile buyers from a large public university in Texas, USA. The data were analyzed using both multiple regression and partial least square-structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM).

Findings

Environmental attitude has a positive impact on purchasing intention, while perceived control toward environmentally responsible behavior has a negative impact. Results also show a positive impact of quality and self-image on intention to purchase environmentally friendly cars. Furthermore, the results reveal that environmental awareness factors explain less variance than perceived quality. At the same time, the results show that environmental factors, relatively, explain more variance in the decision-making process than self-image.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine the relationship between general environmental awareness and the intention to purchase an environmentally friendly car. This study contributes to sustainable consumption literature in operations management. The paper also provides insights for developing managerial guidelines for car manufacturers based on the understanding of factors influencing environmentally friendly car purchasing intentions.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 119 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article

Thuy D. Nguyen, Shih Yung Chou, Charles Blankson and Phillip Wilson

This paper aims to offer a systematic view of religious consumption and its iterative influences on consumers, as well as their differences in attitudes, values and behaviors.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer a systematic view of religious consumption and its iterative influences on consumers, as well as their differences in attitudes, values and behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a mixed-method approach – both qualitative and quantitative – the study develops religious self-transformation and self-categorization scales to empirically evaluate the hypotheses.

Findings

The convergence of consumption, self-identification and religious attitudes and behaviors proffer an essentially subjective concept useful in understanding the existential reflection and supernatural orientation that individuals may seek through consumption. Cluster analysis (based on product, services, media and practices) reveals four quadrants. The non-religious (religious) group has low (high) consumption in all four consumption categories Self-categorization (self-transformation) group has high (low) level of product consumption, but low (high) in all three other categories. This research presented four invisible identities that are visibly different in terms of life satisfaction, religious brand preference, dollars spending on religious products and monetary donation.

Research limitations/implications

This research only considers one medium-size city as opposed to all types of cities. All religious affiliated and nonaffiliated respondents are included in the total sample.

Practical implications

The study offers new insights into the triadic relationship between religious self-identification, religious consumption, and the marketplace that can be used in branding, segmentation, targeting, positioning, and persuasive advertising, public relation and social media, and services marketing.

Social implications

Religion addresses the nature of existence. In this religion–consumer–brand nexus, consumption is a way for consumers to experience and immense themselves in the sacred to solidify, communicate, transform, improve and transport who they are capitalizing on religious self-identification can affectively promote positive social change.

Originality/value

This work proposes four invisible identities that are different in consumption of religious products and services in terms of patterns and purposes. These groups of consumers shape the marketplace through the derived utility of their religious consumption based on their self-identification, which in turn influences their religious brand preference.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article

Otto Afiuc, Samuel K. Bonsu, Franklyn Manu, Casey Brett Knight, Swati Panda and Charles Blankson

Using social exchange theory as a contextual backdrop, this study aims to better understand how corporate social responsibility (CSR) can contribute to customer retention…

Abstract

Purpose

Using social exchange theory as a contextual backdrop, this study aims to better understand how corporate social responsibility (CSR) can contribute to customer retention (CR). A conceptual framework is developed to illustrate the proposed relationship and the influence of mediating factors. The telecommunication industry in Ghana is used to operationalize the conceptual framework.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative and quantitative data were collected through face-to-face interviews with CSR managers and through a structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed using qualitative analysis and structural equation modeling.

Findings

Findings suggest that CSR, corporate image and service quality have significant relationships with both corporate image and CR. Corporate image also mediates the relationship between CSR, customer value and service quality with that of CR. The authors also find that CSR strengthens the relationship between customer value and service quality with that of corporate image, which subsequently leads to enhanced CR.

Originality/value

Thus far, the mediating variables that help explain and predict the relationship between CSR activities and CR have been overlooked in the extant literature. The results of this study will help fill a critical knowledge gap in marketing and CSR literature.

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Article

Kwabena G. Boakye, Charles Blankson, Victor R. Prybutok and Hong Qin

The purpose of this paper is to propose and test a healthcare framework of service quality, perceived value, and satisfaction in Ghana. More specifically, this study…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose and test a healthcare framework of service quality, perceived value, and satisfaction in Ghana. More specifically, this study investigates the role and effect of service quality on patient satisfaction and perceived value in Ghana’s healthcare delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered through surveys administered to 113 healthcare patients in Ghana. partial least square-structural equation modeling analysis was used to empirically test the research model.

Findings

Results show healthcare quality significantly influences satisfaction and perceived value of healthcare delivery. Additionally, perceived value’s impact on satisfaction and behavioral intention shows that increasing perceived benefits while reducing perceived costs leads to repeat behavior and paves the way for retention strategy for healthcare management.

Research limitations/implications

This study yields a series of limitations in its results and conclusions. These limitations and future research are discussed in Section 7 of the study.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature by examining the effects of healthcare service quality on patient satisfaction and perceived value, determining the effect of healthcare service quality on patients’ behavioral intention, and testing the proposed framework in Ghana, a fast growing and economically liberalized emerging country in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article

Stavros P. Kalafatis, Charles Blankson, Marvyn Luxly Boatswain and Markos H. Tsogas

Grounded in regulatory mode theory (RMT), this study aims to investigate the impact of managers’ orientation for action (locomotion and assessment) in business-to-business…

Abstract

Purpose

Grounded in regulatory mode theory (RMT), this study aims to investigate the impact of managers’ orientation for action (locomotion and assessment) in business-to-business positioning decision-making.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are collected using a scenario-based experimental design. Study 1 examines whether interest and involvement in recommending a positioning strategy depends on a manager’s regulatory mode orientation. The impact of such orientations on the likelihood of changing a recommended positioning strategy is the focus of Study 2. The moderating effects of task motivation (expected rewards resulting from a recommendation), market feedback and the line manager’s leadership style are examined.

Findings

Both assessment and locomotion are significant determinants of involvement in recommending a positioning strategy. The introduction of motivation as a moderator helps explain differences in level of interest in positioning decision-making. Locomotion, but not assessment, affects the likelihood of changing a recommended positioning strategy. Assessment amplifies the impact of locomotion, while none of the interaction effects between regulatory mode orientation and contextual factors is a significant determinant of changing a positioning strategy.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first application of RMT on positioning decision-making. Results from two experiments provide novel insights into the predictive relevance of managers’ preference in terms of involvement with the decision-making process and the likelihood of altering positioning.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article

Roseline Barbara Easmon, Adelaide Naa Amerley Kastner, Charles Blankson and Mahmoud Abdulai Mahmoud

The purpose of this paper is to understand the direct impact of social capital and the influence of market-based capabilities as intervening variables on the export…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the direct impact of social capital and the influence of market-based capabilities as intervening variables on the export performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire-based survey was used to collect data from top executives and senior managers of exporting companies in Ghana. Data obtained were analysed using the structural equation modelling.

Findings

The findings revealed that social capital of SMEs exert the greatest influence on their export performance. Innovation and marketing capabilities are also key drivers of export performance among SMEs as they fully mediate the social capital–export performance relationship. Notwithstanding, marketing capabilities appear to exert a greater influence than innovation capabilities on the export performance of SMEs.

Research limitations/implications

The study used perceptual measures of international performance by managers of SMEs in the Ghanaian exporting sector making it difficult to determine respondent bias.

Practical implications

Managers of exporting firms should build stronger relationships with their customers and suppliers who contribute significantly to their export performance. SMEs would also have to hone their innovation and marketing skills as strategic components in enhancing their export performance.

Social implications

Market-based resources such as marketing and innovation should not be taken for granted by SMEs in the export business.

Originality/value

The study offers some lessons on how small firms can sharpen their marketing and innovation capabilities to derive export performance benefits from social capital. Theoretically, while the findings offer strong evidence reinforcing the DC theory, an exploration of the nexus of the theories brings to the fore the need to reassess the resource-based view and SC theories.

Details

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-0705

Keywords

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Article

Charles Blankson and Ogenyi E. Omar

Presents an assessment of the marketing practices among African and Caribbean small businesses in London. Findings reveal the patchy application of an adapted market…

Abstract

Presents an assessment of the marketing practices among African and Caribbean small businesses in London. Findings reveal the patchy application of an adapted market orientation framework; also indicates “informal” marketing deliberations taking place and is consistent with Stokes and Blackburn’s assertion that marketing in the small business sector seems to be an informal and unplanned activity that relies on the intuition and energy of the owner‐manager. The study was undertaken in response to calls for marketing‐related research in this sector and the results provide valuable insights into the UK’s intercultural dynamics. The study reveals considerable degree of evenness between the ease or difficulty of securing bank loans. The paper concludes by drawing attention to managerial implications and future research directions.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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Article

Charles Blankson, Audhesh Paswan and Kwabena G. Boakye

The importance of and viability of the college student cohort for credit card firms and banks are well documented and so are the challenges facing marketers interested in…

Abstract

Purpose

The importance of and viability of the college student cohort for credit card firms and banks are well documented and so are the challenges facing marketers interested in this target market. The first purpose of this paper is to examine college students’ motivation for consuming credit cards and the usefulness of the latter to them. The second purpose relies on marketing scholars’ advice by replicating and then validating an extant scale that measures college students’ decision criteria for credit cards. Specifically, the paper attempts to answer two questions: what is the compelling reason for a college student to want to own and use a credit card? In addition, how important is the credit card to the college student?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopted the classical multi‐step scale development procedure, which demands that thorough attention is paid to every step of the process. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to assess the reliability and validity of the results.

Findings

This study has replicated and validated an extant scale measuring college students’ consumption of credit cards. The findings confirm four key factors: “customer service;” “incentives;” “need for credit;” and “buying power.” In addition, 66 per cent of the respondents claim that credit cards provide a sense of security for them. Furthermore, while 49 per cent of the sample uses their cards up to three purchases monthly, 51 per cent use their cards more than four times in a month. Moreover, 25 per cent of the respondents regularly use their cards (i.e. more than seven purchases or more per month).

Research limitations/implications

The cross‐sectional research basis and convenience samples are weaknesses of this study, as they pose generalizability questions. Although the study is consistent with the literature and directions from academic and practitioner experts, the authors acknowledge the lack of (true experimental) control over the identified factors.

Practical implications

Credit card marketers and bank managers may assess the dimensions in this study and adapt them as the basis for marketing and positioning strategies, marketing communication tactics, and brand management, particularly within the college student and the youth target markets. This can lead to the basis upon which credit card policies, i.e. college students’ compulsive buying habits, college students’ credit card debt, and banks’ marketing activities may be proposed.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a rigorously validated scale that reflects both psychometric and parsimonious measures dealing with college students’ consumption of credit cards. In view of the scarce stream of empirical studies dealing with college students’ consumption of credit cards, this paper comes at an opportune time as scholars continue to debate and research about college students’ credit card debt and credit card firms’ ethical practices on college campuses. Moreover, the paper supports the importance of generalizability of findings and replication studies.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article

Charles Blankson, Stavros P. Kalafatis, Stanley Coffie and Markos H. Tsogas

The purpose of this paper is to undertake a comparative examination of the media types used in projecting positioning strategies of service brands, and to establish…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to undertake a comparative examination of the media types used in projecting positioning strategies of service brands, and to establish whether there is evidence of congruence/fit between managerial decisions, adopted communications and target audience perceptions of positioning strategies of the brands. The relative congruence among intended, conveyed and perceived brand positions is an important research task. Also, how to ensure such synergy and minimize incongruence is an important research question both to theory and to practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Following extensive review of the literature, triangulation research method (face-to-face long interviews, survey and content analysis) characterized this study.

Findings

The findings reveal that overall parity between the three media (TV; newspaper; and pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and billboards) is evident in terms of failure to translate managerial decisions into corresponding positioning messages. The findings also show that fit or congruence between managerial decision and communicated message fails to deliver the desired message in 19 per cent of the observations. Further 23 per cent of the adopted strategies are neither present in communications nor perceived by the target audience. Irrespective of a positioning strategy being adopted or not, there is total congruence/fit between messages in newspapers and target audience’s perceptions, while the corresponding results for TV and other media are moderate. Moreover, channels for positioning offerings can be multifaceted and they do not strictly have to occur via communications. Only “brand name” positioning strategy demonstrates total fit, while “top of the range” shows high frequency of failure to translate managerial decisions into appropriate communication messages.

Originality/value

This paper offers useful insights into the overall differences between the three media (TV; newspaper; and pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and billboards) in the positioning of service brands. The study is a step forward in the diagnosis of the congruence/fit or coherence in the positioning activities between managers, firm practices and consumers’ perceptions. Without this knowledge, executives may encounter difficulties and challenges in their efforts at establishing, maintaining or reframing market “positions” for their offerings.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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