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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2020

Jagdish Sheth, Varsha Jain and Anupama Ambika

This paper aims to analyze the present status of customer support services (CSS) and advocate the re-positioning of support services from an administrative cost center to…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the present status of customer support services (CSS) and advocate the re-positioning of support services from an administrative cost center to a strategic profit center. Authors demonstrate how customer support or after sales services can be a source of competitive advantage and revenue generation for firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a conceptual approach grounded in theoretical foundations of service dominant logic, customer loyalty and customer centricity along with practical illustrations from the industry.

Findings

Following the tenets of theory, review of existing research and analysis of the industry practices, the authors propose a new framework to enable the repositioning of customer service function. The key propositions include establishing customer support as separate business unit and insights center, introducing a new role of a C-level chief customer support officer to lead the customer support unit, adopting a customer-centric culture and process, enabling frontline IT support and investing in frontline employee skills development.

Research limitations/implications

Academics should examine the potential of customer support, where the strategic importance is low at present, leading to customer dissatisfaction. The new approach and positioning of customer support calls for a new direction for research in this area focusing on enablers, challenges and further implications. To succeed in this competitive era, firms should be conscious of the value of customer service and undertake concrete actions to generate value for all stakeholders.

Practical implications

Industry can use the new framework and re-position CSS of the organizations. The CSS unit can be different from other business units in the organizations. The CSS would evolve and emerge from the live customer insights. CSS unit can be managed by the C level chief CSS officer. Customer-centric culture would be developed and front line processes can be made customer-oriented by the officer. Thus, this paper and framework would provide new customer-centric directions to the organizations for effective functioning.

Originality/value

This is the original piece that has emerged from the experience and expertise of the authors.

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Article
Publication date: 22 September 2020

Subhadip Roy and Varsha Jain

The purpose of this study is to construct and validate a generalizable scale to measure service induced perceived stress for customers of personal services with a high…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to construct and validate a generalizable scale to measure service induced perceived stress for customers of personal services with a high level of intangibles having both online and offline components.

Design/methodology/approach

Five studies were conducted to this end. The first was qualitative and the rest were quantitative (survey) with a total sample size of 1,300. The last study was conducted in a different country than the first four.

Findings

The studies resulted in a five-dimensional SERVSTRESS scale to measure service induced stress for customers with the following dimensions, namely, psychological stress; information stress; complexity stress; personnel stress and outcome stress. The scale was tested in a nomological network.

Research limitations/implications

The present study addresses a hitherto unaddressed gap in marketing literature with the construction and validation of a scale to measure service stress of a customer (named SERVSTRESS) using data from five studies spanning two countries.

Practical implications

The SERVSTRESS scale is relevant for the practitioners as it adds more value beyond the traditional service quality measures and allows the marketer to understand the nature of the stressors (with a specific focus on which is going right and which is going wrong) in the service delivery and allow him/her to take remedial actions.

Originality/value

The originality of the study is in the creation of a new scale to measure personal service stress and uncovering its underlying dimensions.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Varsha Jain, Christopher Pich, B.E. Ganesh and Guja Armannsdottir

The extant literature demands more insights into the elements for political branding in India. Thus, this paper aims to explore political branding in terms of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The extant literature demands more insights into the elements for political branding in India. Thus, this paper aims to explore political branding in terms of the influences of political branding.

Design/methodology/approach

The context is the young voters in an emerging country, India. Qualitative research was undertaken, and a total of 17 focus group discussions were conducted in the leading Indian cities.

Findings

This study found that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) developed a strong governance and connection with the people. This approach developed a comprehensive brand among the young voters, who emphasized on the proof of the performance by the party. During pre or post-election, the BJP and other political parties need to develop a comprehensive political branding plan to connect with the voters.

Research limitations/implications

This study was focused on the external perspective of political branding. Future research can focus on the internal perspective in terms of party members and politicians. This study has focused on India as a specific case. Future studies can focus on a cross-cultural and cross-national level.

Practical implications

The framework developed can be used by political parties and leaders to develop their political brand. The study’s framework can be used in a systematic and sequential format to verify the strength of their political branding exercise.

Originality/value

This study focuses on the post-election scenario. Secondly, it focuses on the non-Western context. Also, the study represents a unique combination of the best theories and observations from political marketing and digital leadership.

Details

Journal of Indian Business Research, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4195

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 21 November 2018

Varsha Jain, Meetu Chawla, B.E. Ganesh and Christopher Pich

This study aims to examine brand personality and its application to political branding. This study focuses on the brand personality of a political leader from the BJP…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine brand personality and its application to political branding. This study focuses on the brand personality of a political leader from the BJP Party brand (Bharatiya Janta Party). The development of a strong political brand personality is crucial for success at the polls. Little research has been dedicated to this phenomenon particularly beyond Western political and post-election contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

The scope and development of the study required a qualitative approach. The theoretical frameworks of the study acted as the deductive base of the study. The insights of the respondents were the inductive base of the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with external stakeholders [voters]. In addition, semi-structured interviews were also adopted to capture the branding activities used by internal stakeholders [BJP].

Findings

The brand personality dimensions such as sincerity; agreeableness, competence, energy, openness, conscientiousness and emotional stability were clearly associated with a political leader. Negative qualities such as dictatorial attitudes and arrogance affected the political leader’s brand personality. Religious partisanship was another strong negative trait affecting the brand personality of the political leader.

Originality/value

The study has an actionable framework for political brand personality in the post-election context. It offers negative qualities to be avoided in the development of the political brand personality of the leader. It offers insights about the political brand personality of the leader in terms of young digitally savvy voters.

Propósito

Este trabajo examina la aplicación de la personalidad de marca al ámbito del marketing político y de la marca personal política. Concretamente se centra en la personalidad de marca de un líder político del partido Bharantiya Janta Party (BJP). El desarrollo de una fuerte marca personal política es crucial para el éxito en las elecciones. Pocos trabajos se han centrado hasta el momento en este fenómeno más allá del contexto político occidental.

Diseño/metodología/enfoque

El alcance y desarrollo del estudio requirió la adopción de un enfoque cualitativo. El marco teórico sirvió de base deductiva al tiempo que las entrevistas realizadas sirvieron de base inductiva. Estas entrevistas fueron semi-estructuradas y dirigidas a grupos de interés externos del BJP (los votantes). Además, se realizaron entrevistas también semi-estructuradas para capturar las actividades de marca desarrolladas por los grupos de interés internos (candidatos, políticos, trabajadores y gerentes del partido).

Resultados

Las dimensiones de personalidad de marca sinceridad, competencia, energía, estabilidad emocional, franqueza y escrupulosidad están claramente asociadas con un líder político. Por el contrario, rasgos negativos como las actitudes arrogantes y dictatoriales dañan la personalidad de marca de dicho líder, pero sobretodo el partidismo religioso.

Originalidad/valor

El trabajo proporciona un marco de acción para la marca personal política en un contexto post-electoral. Proporciona indicaciones de los rasgos y cualidades negativas que deben de evitarse en el desarrollo de una marca personal para un líder político. Ofrece también evidencias sobre la personalidad de marca que tiene que desarrollar un líder de cara a los votantes más dinámicos y digitales.

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Subhadip Roy and Varsha Jain

The “meaning transfer model (MTM)” is one of the less researched models in celebrity endorsement. The purpose of this paper is to empirically measure and validate a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The “meaning transfer model (MTM)” is one of the less researched models in celebrity endorsement. The purpose of this paper is to empirically measure and validate a comprehensive model of meaning transfer in celebrity endorsements.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a conceptual model of meaning transfer that starts from celebrity identity as an antecedent of perceived celebrity meaning (CM), the study integrates CM, brand meaning (BM) and consumer behavior (CB) and two moderators leading to six studied hypotheses. The model is empirically tested using survey data (of 483 consumers) from India with the application of factor analysis and structural equation modeling.

Findings

Major results indicate a positive effect of CM on BM and BM on subsequent CB. The moderating effect of consumer knowledge and product involvement in successful meaning transfer is also observed.

Research limitations/implications

Contribution of the present study lies in the validation of a comprehensive model of meaning transfer in celebrity endorsements that may pave the way to the explanation of previous confounding results.

Practical implications

The present study provided an actionable model for marketers that would lead to successful meaning transfer and the various factors that need to be controlled.

Originality/value

This is the first study to validate the MTM that integrates the basic tenets of celebrity endorsement theory.

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

Keywords

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Case study
Publication date: 14 November 2013

Varsha Jain, Subhadip Roy and Ashok Ranchhod

The present field-based case study is related to topics in marketing area, more specifically brand management, strategic marketing and business strategy.

Abstract

Subject area

The present field-based case study is related to topics in marketing area, more specifically brand management, strategic marketing and business strategy.

Study level/applicability

This case is primarily meant for second-year students in a postgraduate program in business management (MBA). The case could also be discussed in an executive development program on marketing/business strategy.

Case overview

The present case is based on Aava natural mineral water, the brainchild of Mr Behram Mehta, Chairman of Shelpee Enterprises. The case explores at the various marketing strategies adopted by Aava in India. The case traces the brand's foray into the Indian bottled water market as a regional players and its growth as a pan Indian brand. However, in early 2012, the majority of Aava's sales were coming through institutional sales. The brand was facing a challenge of trying to find a foothold in the retail market. The balance between becoming a mass and a premium brand was also looming large. The major question that Aava needed to answer is whether it should restrict itself to the B2B market or whether it should try to penetrate the retail market. Given the latter is more beneficial for the company, the issues of product, pricing and brand communication needed to be revisited since these are not similar for B2B and B2C brands.

Expected learning outcomes

The various learning outcomes of the case include: understanding the differences between B2B and B2C marketing and the need for different strategies for both, apply marketing research findings to introduce a product in a market, evaluate and execute marketing communication strategies based on human behaviour for more effectiveness, evaluate alternatives leading to the right choice of branding/marketing strategy, understand the role of 4Ps of marketing for successful business and industry analysis.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email support@emeraldinsight.com to request teaching notes.

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 3 no. 6
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Subhadip Roy, Varsha Jain and Nikita Matta

The purpose of this paper is to empirically validate a model of luxury fashion consumption that integrates the antecedents and consequences of luxury buying in a…

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2585

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically validate a model of luxury fashion consumption that integrates the antecedents and consequences of luxury buying in a developing nation context.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses developed in the conceptual model are tested using survey data collected through mall intercept survey of real consumers (with sample sizes 382 and 544). Factor analysis and structural equation modeling are used to analyze the data.

Findings

Major results suggest a significant impact of consumer’s local/global orientation on the motivations and associations behind the luxury buying. Motivations and associations are found to influence luxury consumption, which in turn is found to have a positive effect on post-purchase thoughts/feelings. Social influence is found to have a moderating impact on the effects of motivations and associations on luxury consumption, respectively.

Research limitations/implications

The study is restricted to a developing nation context. However, this is one of the novel attempts to validate a comprehensive model of luxury consumption that could be replicated in other contexts.

Practical implications

The findings provide guidelines for a luxury marketer on the factors to consider and monitor while marketing a luxury fashion brand.

Originality/value

The present study adds a new perspective to the literature on luxury buying behavior with its empirically validated comprehensive model.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 2 April 2021

Varsha Jain, Preeti Shroff, Altaf Merchant and Subhalakshmi Bezbaruah

A place brand is a culmination of its exclusive history, people and traditions that affect customer and community experiences. Place branding has become increasingly…

Abstract

Purpose

A place brand is a culmination of its exclusive history, people and traditions that affect customer and community experiences. Place branding has become increasingly important for collective heritage brand strategy, as stakeholders undertake efforts to create an aura of a distinctive geographic location. Though place branding has received considerable scholarly attention, there is a lacuna: the role of residents as co-creators of a place and its heritage. Accordingly, this paper aims to develop a “bi-directional participatory place branding” model by applying the stimulus–organism–response approach grounded theory.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory approach with multi-sited ethnography, personal interviews (with residents and city leaders) and observational techniques were adopted in a UNESCO world heritage city of India, Ahmedabad.

Findings

The findings indicate that the people (residents) aspect of place branding is associated with their life stories, past experiences, feelings and aspirations. However, the place acts as a nostalgia enabler, disseminating symbolic and heritage metaphors to residents and visitors as place brand ambassadors. When the place and people components are perceived positively, residents participate involve themselves with the place and thus, in turn, become the place ambassadors.

Originality/value

No prior studies have analyzed the association between residents, the place where they reside and the resultant behavior toward the place. The unique contribution is the bi-directional participatory place branding model, especially involving a UNESCO world heritage city rather than solely a site.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2019

Christopher Pich, Guja Armannsdottir, Dianne Dean, Louise Spry and Varsha Jain

There are explicit calls for research devoted to how political actors present their brand to the electorate and how this is interpreted. Responding to this, the purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

There are explicit calls for research devoted to how political actors present their brand to the electorate and how this is interpreted. Responding to this, the purpose of this paper is to build an understanding of how political brand messages and values are received and aligned with voter expectations, which in turn shapes the consistency of a political brand.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an interpretivist perspective, this two-stage approach first focuses on semi-structured interviews with internal stakeholders of the UK Conservative Party and second uses focus group discussions with external stakeholders (voters) of age 18-24 years. Data was collected between 1 December 2014 and 6 May 2015.

Findings

The findings suggest that the UK Conservative brand had recovered from the “nasty party” reputation. Further, the Conservative brand was perceived as credible, trustworthy and responsible, with positive associations of “economic competence”. However, while the nasty party imagery has declined, the UK Conservative brand continues to face challenges particularly in terms of longstanding negative associations perceived by both internal and external markets.

Research limitations/implications

It must be acknowledged that all research methods have their own limitations, and acknowledging these will strengthen the ability to draw conclusions. In this study, for example, due to time constraints during the election campaign period, 7 participants supported stage one of the study and 25 participants supported stage two of the study. However, participants from stage one of the study represented all three elements of the UK Conservative Party (Parliamentary, Professional and Voluntary). In addition, the elite interviews were longer in duration and this provided a greater opportunity to capture detailed stories of their life experiences and how this affected their brand relationship. Similarly, participants for stage two focussed on young voters of age 18-24 years, a segment actively targeted by the UK Conservative Party.

Practical implications

The brand alignment framework can help practitioners illuminate components of the political brand and how it is interpreted by the electorate. The increasing polarisation in politics has made this a vital area for study, as we see need to understand if, how or why citizens are persuaded by a more polarised brand message. There are also social media issues for the political brand which can distort the carefully constructed brand. There are opportunities to evaluate and operationalize this framework in other political contexts.

Originality/value

The brand alignment model extends current branding theory first by building on an understanding of the complexities of creating brand meaning, second, by operationalizing differences between the brand and how it is interpreted by the electorate, finally, by identifying if internal divisions within the political party pose a threat to the consistency of the brand.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Varsha Jain and Subhadip Roy

Of the three major streams of research in celebrity endorsements, the “Meaning Transfer Model (MTM)” has received the least attention from researchers. In the present…

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Abstract

Purpose

Of the three major streams of research in celebrity endorsements, the “Meaning Transfer Model (MTM)” has received the least attention from researchers. In the present study, the authors aim to investigate the basic components of the “Meaning Transfer Model” proposed by McCracken (1986, 1989) and outcome of the flow of meaning through celebrity endorsements.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used an interpretive approach to address four broad research questions framed after a comprehensive literature review. Eight focus group discussions (FGD) (along with embedded word association techniques) were conducted among audience from heterogeneous demographic backgrounds from India. Content and thematic analysis were carried out on the FGD transcripts and the word association test results to generate findings.

Findings

The findings indicate seven themes of celebrity meaning, namely, personality, credibility, physical appearance, feelings, performance, values and cogent power. Most meanings were found to be transferred to a brand via the endorsement. The possibility of reverse meaning transfer and the change of celebrity meanings overtime were also observed.

Research limitations/implications

The major contribution of the present study is the development of a measurable and applicable model of meaning transfer in celebrity endorsements, along with a set of testable propositions.

Practical implications

The findings provide a guiding framework for practitioners who would like to use a celebrity endorsement strategy.

Originality/value

This is one of the first attempts to develop a comprehensive model of meaning transfer in celebrity endorsements that includes sub-constructs of “meaning” and the moderators in the process.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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