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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2019

Ekta Duggal and Harsh V. Verma

Cool has been studied mostly in consumer samples drawn from Western countries. This study was inspired by paucity of literature on “cool” in an Indian context. There is…

Abstract

Purpose

Cool has been studied mostly in consumer samples drawn from Western countries. This study was inspired by paucity of literature on “cool” in an Indian context. There is certainty that “cool” adds value and bestows desirability but there is uncertainty about what “cool” means. Since “cool” is a cultural phenomenon, the purpose of this paper is to explore its meaning in the Indian context.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were obtained on an open-ended questionnaire followed by depth probes on a sample of young consumers. The obtained scripts were coded and classified into semantic categories based on the grounded theory.

Findings

The study found that cool is indicated by seven facets, including being oneself, living life to the fullest, sense of humor and socially networked, and calm disposition. Unlike Western notions, in India, cool is not being deviant and hedonistic. The cultural and religious imprints are palpable in what is construed as cool in India.

Research limitations/implications

Transplanting the Western notions of cool for brand building is likely to be a risky proposition. It may not resonate with the inner cords of the Indian youth. The implication of this study is that it reveals possible ways in which cool can be incorporated in brand identity.

Practical implications

Cool is valued because it bestows distinction in subtle ways. Brands can gain traction among consumers by incorporating cool symbolism in their identity.

Originality/value

This study expands the understanding of cool in the context of an emerging market. This is one of the first studies to have probed the concept of “cool” in India.

Details

South Asian Journal of Business Studies, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-628X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 February 2022

Ekta Duggal and Harsh Vardhan Verma

Research studies have attributed customer shift from offline to online retail to primarily functional reasons. Indian retailing differs from western counterparts in terms…

Abstract

Purpose

Research studies have attributed customer shift from offline to online retail to primarily functional reasons. Indian retailing differs from western counterparts in terms of structure and socio-cultural-historical-economic context. The purpose of this paper is to find whether this shift is instigated by positive or negative drive.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected through group discussions and reflective experiential accounts in the form of text. The textual material was thematically analyzed to develop thematic networks. By this method, the text’s patent structures were explored, and underlying hidden patterns were identified.

Findings

Two global themes of “volition” and “violation” were discovered. At the patent level, customers are attracted to online in volition as it allows them to move to higher or desired value space. However, at the deeper level, customer shifted to online as a means to escape from violations involved in human-to-human dealings with offline retailers.

Practical implications

The way forward for offline retailers is to build their advantage based on human interactions. The salvation of offline retailing does not lie in trying to beat online retailers on their position of strength but in leveraging interactions to build social capital.

Originality/value

This study sought to explore and apprehend the meaning of customer shift from offline to online retail at deeper psycho-socio-cultural level.

Details

Journal of Indian Business Research, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4195

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Harsh V Verma and Ekta Duggal

Service quality is a perceptual construct that is likely to differ across industries, customer segments and markets. The purpose of this paper is to explore the construct…

Abstract

Purpose

Service quality is a perceptual construct that is likely to differ across industries, customer segments and markets. The purpose of this paper is to explore the construct of retail service quality in the Indian context, and identifies quality components as a precursor to developing a quality measure.

Design/methodology/approach

Initially, the construct comprehension was done using exploratory research involving customer depth probes and juxtaposing it with the available literature. After defining the broad contours of retail service quality and surface considerations, the study attempted to discover retail service quality dimensions by factor analyzing the collected data.

Findings

It was found that retail service quality construct is composed of seven critical dimensions – ambience and layout, salespeople, merchandise, convenience, services, prices and customer care.

Research limitations/implications

The specific quality component structure found in this study highlights the need for managers to prioritise their retail operation and marketing efforts in sync with the uncovered quality dimensions.

Originality/value

This paper explored the quality phenomenon in the Indian retail context using a bottom-up approach. This paper provides the much-needed insights to firms that are entering the Indian market on what the quality means and the components it is made up of.

Details

South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2045-4457

Keywords

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