This paper conducts research on a particular topic, where the topic is to analyze the effectiveness of brand image on consumer loyalty in the case of the UK fast-food sector. This research focused on a specific case, where the case name is McDonald. This research focused on four key objectives. The first objective is to understand the role of brand image in terms of the UK fast-food retail sector. The second objective is to investigate the role of customer loyalty in terms of the UK fast-food retail sector. The third objective is to determine the relationship between brand image and customer loyalty in terms of the UK fast-food retail sector. The fourth objective is to provide suggestions for the UK fast-food retail sector on how they can increase their customer loyalty by their brand image.
The explanatory and descriptive approaches are conducted for the research. Both approaches are applied in the research to maintain the relationship between the causes and effects of the research. Two key methods were used in this research: one is the survey method and another one is the case study method. Here, the survey method was used to collect quantitative data, and the case-study method was used to collect qualitative data.
The finding of this research shows that the majority (66%) of respondents think the brand image is important to them and they think McDonald’s has a good brand image. The finding of research shows that 11%, 22% and 35% of respondents visit McDonald’s daily, several times in a week, and several times in a month respectively. The finding of this research also shows that the majority numbers (59%) of participants recommend others. The finding of this research disclosing that McDonald’s brand attracts more male (55%) customers than female customers (45%).
The finding of this research also discloses that the majority numbers (60%) of McDonald’s customers are happy with its brand due to its quality products and services and 53% of participants feel them prestigious by eating at The similar finding is of this research outcome, where majority numbers (57%) of participants are influenced by McDonald’s brand image and make them loyal towards this brand. Additionally, 57% of respondents are very likely to be loyal for a long time towards the brand of McDonald’s due to its strong brand image. This means a stronger brand image significantly influences the customers to be loyal towards UK fast-food restaurants.
Chapter 1: Introduction
The term “Brand image” indicates the real picture of the brand in the consumer’s mind (Forozia et al., 2013). The brand image can be positive or negative. Only a positive brand image is very helpful for the firm to gain customers’ acceptability and profitability. A good image of the brand is ensured after meeting the desired level of expectation of the customers (Saleem and Raja, 2014). This means the achievement of customers’ satisfaction highly depends on brand image. For this reason; the image of the Brand is not only needed for customers’ satisfaction but also for increasing the loyalty of the customers (Kumar and Shiplap, 2014). The customers’ loyalty helps the firm to attract more and more customers and make them satisfied (Reichheld, 2013). This study analyzes the effect of brand image on customer loyalty of McDonald’s, UK.
1.2 Research background
In this globalized world; the production process is changing in nature with the change in the customers’ demand. The customers’ demand for the first food company is also changed. Dudovskiy (2016) stated that the popularity of the fast-food industry all over the world is increasing including in the UK due to its special features like foods with lower prices, smooth and due to time delivery, easy to consume, the safety of health and highly qualified goods. Humphries (2010) mentioned that the UK people are very much enjoying the food habits. The food companies also help the economy by reducing the unemployment problems in the UK. These companies have 200000 workers and provide 1.5 billion meals per year in 20,000 outlets. The most important point is the size of the UK food industry is double of the German food industry. In addition; three times of the French food industry. Hardwick (2014) revealed that UK people are also enjoying to expense for the food purpose and it has nearly £30 billion in every year.
McDonald’s is a popular fast-food company not only in the UK but also all over the world. In a day; McDonald’s provides food services to 40 million consumers. It has 30,000 restaurants. More than 75% of Mcdonald’s is run by local operators and most of the profits are coming from the US and European market. The strength of McDonald’s is the strong brand image in the UK and international market. McDonald’s is able to attract customers by properly caring, using hygiene car as well as quality foods with a smooth delivery system (McDonald, 2018). Warsinske (2017) said that McDonald’s has gained a positive response from the customers and gained the 6th position in the global market. McDonald’s has used various strategic strategies for gaining the top position in the market including market segmentation, market testing, and proper implementation of marketing mix strategies.
In this competitive age; fast-food companies set new strategies to establish the brand image and competitive advantages. The long-term vision is also considered by the food industry to develop the position of the firm. The challenges are also considered by the food industry to attract and retain potential consumers in the UK market. At this time; the food industry has used various strategic strategies for gaining the brand image and customers’ loyalty in the market including market segmentation, market testing, and proper implementation of marketing mix strategies……
1.3 Research rationale
According to Moss (2017), a good brand image plays a significant role to build a strong relationship with a target audience of a business. Sun (2016) stated that a good brand image contributes to market share, attracts food lovers, and retains customers for longer time periods. Colyer (2013) said brand image including its products and services increases business prosperity and provides sustainable competitive advantages. On the other hand, Gilligan and Wilson (2013) said customer loyalty plays an important role increase business sales and revenue, profits and wealth. Kotler et al. (2016) said loyal consumers express their feeling regarding a brand with others that in turn increase the brand image of a business. According to Eakuru and Mat (2016).
loyal customers play advertising roles and can motivate others to purchase products and services from a particular brand that maximizes the sales and profits of a business. For example, Visionsharp (2017) claimed that McDonald’s is a popular and recognizable brand not only in UK fast-food sector but also in the global food industry. This brand reputation and brand image help McDonald’s to attract its target customers and gain expected revenue and profits. Fleming (2018) stated that McDonald’s brand image helps it to increase its customer loyalty and post its best sales figures for ages. A similar finding is seen in the primary research outcome, where the majority numbers (57%) of participants are influenced by McDonald’s brand image and make them loyal towards this brand. Additionally, 57% of respondents are very likely to be loyal for a long time towards the brand of McDonald’s due to its strong brand image…….
1.4 Research problem
According to King (2013), the popularity of the fast-food industry all over the world is increasing including the UK due to its special features like foods with lower prices, smooth and due to time delivery, easy to consume, the safety of health and highly qualified goods. According to Eromonitor International (2017), the future vision of the food company is to gain £17.8 billion in revenue by 2021. According to the research of Dudovskiy (2016), 95% of people are familiar with Pizza Hut and McDonald’s, where 90% of people are familiar with the brand of Subway, KFC and other food companies in the UK. In the UK; McDonald’s has a strong image of the brand and attracted more than one-third of the total customers in the UK. But at present; the Food industry has faced various threats and barriers for running the operation in the UK market especially McDonald due to the huge competition level, bargaining power of the customers, and availability of substitutions. McDonald’s has a 13% share in the UK market but, Greggs holds 18% shares as well as and Subway holds 16% shares in the UK market.
According to a survey by Statista (2017), more than 57% of people are visiting McDonald’s whereas 42% of people are visiting KFC for meeting their desired food needs. However, the huge competition level, bargaining power of the customers, and availability of substitutions affect the profitability and brand image of McDonald’s negatively (Statista, 2017). The new food companies including Franco Manca and Dunkin’ Donuts are also very much active to attract new customers and establish brand image in the UK market (Statista, 2018). Additionally; the existing fast food companies especially Mcdonald’s fail to attract new customers as well as remove the effect of new food companies in the UK market. In China market; McDonald’s faced various problems and challenges due to its poor quality of foods (Monaghan, 2015). The food scandal of McDonald’s in the TV report also negatively affects the brand image of Mcdonald’s. Steve (2015) mentioned that it is crucial time for McDonald’s to survive in the market. For this reason; McDonald’s has used various strategic strategies for gaining the top position in the market including market segmentation, market testing, and proper implementation of marketing mix strategies (Buss, 2014).
1.5 Research aims and objectives
This study aims to analyze how brand image affects customer loyalty in the fast-food retail sector of the UK. The study aims to focus on McDonald’s case. Based on the finding the study aims to provide suggestions for the fast-food retailers on how they can increase their customer loyalty by their brand image…………….