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2007:139

BACHELOR THESIS

Repositioning - A Brand Personality

Terése Norlander Malin Unander-Scharin

Luleå University of Technology Bachelor thesis Marketing Department of Business Administration and Social Sciences Division of Industrial marketing and e-commerce

2007:139 - ISSN: 1402-1773 - ISRN: LTU-CUPP--07/139--SE

Acknowledgements

During the spring term of 2007 we have been written our Bachelor thesis in the program of International Business at the division of Industrial Marketing at Luleå University of Technology. The last 10 weeks we have gain a greater understanding concerning benefits and risks with repositioning and its effects on brand personality. It has been very rewarding and its been worth all the late hours. Our supervisor Tim Foster has been of great help and support. We would like to thank him for being an inspiration to keep up the good work. We would also like to thank our focus group that helped us to the highest degree by giving us great data to analyze. Finally we would like to thank our families for putting up with the late nights and always supporting us whenever needed.

We hope that you enjoy reading this thesis and that it will be helpful for other students, researchers, and people just interested in this area.

Luleå University of Technology May 2007

Terése Norlander

Malin Unander-Scharin

ABSTRACT Markets for consumer products and customer demand changes rapidly and therefore a company has to change in a way that meets these new demands. A repositioning process can be a great strategy for companies to change their position in the marketplace. Repositioning can affect the brand personality, and it is important that this personality features can be compared with those for humans. For this reason, the purpose of this study is to provide a deeper understanding on how customers react to a brand when it is repositioned. In order to reach this purpose, research questions focused on looking at the concerning the strategic risks and benefits with the repositioning, as well as taking a look at how a brand's personality might change during such a repositioning. Based on these research questions, a review of the relevant literature was conducted, resulting in a conceptual framework. This framework was then used to guide this study's data collection. Using a qualitative, case study approach data was collected from a focus group consisting of eight female students at Luleå University of Technology, looking at the recent repositioning of the brand Hennes and Mauritz (H&M). The findings indicate that several benefits follow with repositioning. However, it is risky for the brand if it is not conducted correctly, resulting in the company losing their creditability and their loyal customers. The findings also show that it is less risky for a more established company to go through a repositioning process than for a small-sized, not well known brand. This is for the reason that larger companies have a tendency to control the market to some extent, and have a larger amount of loyal customers. The findings also show that it is important for a company to possess a significant brand personality. The consumer has to have the ability to relate to the personality if purchasing from the specific company. It is for this reason that customers are loyal to a brand. Brand personality can change for smaller sized companies, and it is harder for large, well established companies. The findings in this study view that the brand personality did not change after the repositioning process

SAMMANFATTNING Marknadens och kunders behov ändras snabbt och ofta, det är därför viktigt att möta dessa nya behov. Att om - positionera kan vara en strategi att få företaget att förflytta sig till en mer relevant position på marknaden. En om-positionering process kan påverka ett märkes personlighet, därför är det viktigt att dessa personlighetsdrag kan jämföras med en människas. På grund av denna anledning så är syftet med denna studie att få djupare förståelse angående hur konsumenter reagerar till ett märke när det blir ompositionerat. För att kunna nå detta syfte är forskiningsfrågorna fokuserade på de strategiska rikser och benefits med ompositionering, frågorna tittat också på hur ett märkes personlighet ändras under ompositionering. Baserat på dessa forskiningsfrågor gjordes en översikt på relevant litteratur i ämnet som sedan resulterade med en konceptuell struktur. Denna struktur användes sedan till att guida denna studies data insamling. Genom att använda en kvalitativ, fallstudie framtoning blev data insamlat genom en fokus grupp som bestod av åtta kvinnliga studenter vid Luleå Tekniska Univeristet, som tittade på den senaste ompositoneringen av märket Hennes & Mauritz (H&M). Slutsatserna i denna studie visar att det finns många fördelar med om-positionering. Det är dock riskfyllt och om processen inte utförs korrekt kan detta leda till att kunderna förlorar trovärdigheten för företaget. Uppsatsen visar även att det är mindre riskfyllt för ett mer etablerat företag att genomgå en om-positionering process än vad det kan innebära för ett mindre och inte lika välkänt företag. Anledningen till detta är att större företag har tendenser att kontrollera marknaden till en viss del, och har fler lojala konsumenter. Slutsatserna visar även att det ät viktigt för ett företag att ha en definierad märkes personlighet. Konsumenterna måste ha möjligheten att kunna relatera till personligheten när de konsumerar från ett specifikt företag, på grund av detta är kunderna lojala till ett märke. Ett märkes personlighet kan förändras vid om-positionering av ett mindre företag, och det är svårare för ett större och etablerat företag att göra detsamma. I denna studie är vår slutsats att det aktuella företaget i vårt fall inte ändrat sin personlighet efter deras om-positionering.

Table of contents

1. Introduction..................................................................................................................... 2 1.1 Background ............................................................................................................... 2 1.2 Problem discussion ................................................................................................... 3 1.3 Overall purpose and research questions.................................................................... 5 1.4 Outline of the thesis .................................................................................................. 5 2. Literature Review............................................................................................................ 6 2.1 Repositioning the brand, benefits and risks .............................................................. 6 2.2 Brand Personality...................................................................................................... 9 2.3 Conceptual framework............................................................................................ 12 2.3.1 Conceptualization- Repositioning the brand, benefits and risks...................... 12 2.3.2. Conceptualization - Brand personality............................................................ 13 3. Methodology ................................................................................................................. 15 3.1 Purpose of research: Primarily descriptive ............................................................. 15 3.2 Research approach: Qualitative .............................................................................. 16 3.3 Research strategy: Case study................................................................................. 17 3.4 Data collection: Focus group interview, observations & documentation ............... 17 3.5 Sample collection:................................................................................................... 19 3.5.1 Choice of respondents...................................................................................... 19 3.5.2 Access to documentation ................................................................................. 20 3.6 Data analysis: Reduce and display.......................................................................... 20 3.7 Validity and reliability ............................................................................................ 21 4. Empirical Data .............................................................................................................. 23 4.1 Repositioning the brand, benefits and risks ............................................................ 24 4.1.1 Benefits of repositioning a brand..................................................................... 24 4.1.2 Risks of repositioning a brand ......................................................................... 26 4.2 Brand Personality.................................................................................................... 27 5. Data Analysis ................................................................................................................ 30 5.1 Repositioning the brand, benefits and risks ............................................................ 30 5.1.1 Benefits of repositioning a brand..................................................................... 30 5.1.2 Risks of repositioning a brand ......................................................................... 32 5.2 Brand Personality.................................................................................................... 33 6. Findings and conclusions.............................................................................................. 37 6.1 What strategic benefits/risks follow with repositioning?........................................ 37 6.1.1 Benefits of repositioning a brand..................................................................... 37 6.1.2 Risks of repositioning a brand ......................................................................... 38 6.2 Can a brand personality changes when it is being repositioned?............................ 40 6.3 Implications for theory............................................................................................ 42 6.4 Implications for future research .............................................................................. 43 6.5 Implications for future practitioners ....................................................................... 42 List of References: ........................................................................................................ 44

Appendices 1-6:

Appendix 1A: Interview guide English Appendix 1B: Interview guide Swedish Appendix 2: Poster Anna Nicole Smith Appendix 3: Poster Claudia Schiffer Appendix 4: Poster Karl Lagerfeldt Appendix 5: Poster Victor & Rolf Appendix 6: Poster Kylie Minogue

Figures and tables

Chapter one

Figure 1.1: The semiotic relationship .......................................................................2 Figure 1.2: Different strategic groups.......................................................................4 Figure 1.3: Outline of the thesis................................................................................5

Chapter two

Figure 2.1: Stages in brand strategy development....................................................7 Figure 2.2: The principle of repositioning ................................................................8 Figure 2.3: A Brand Personality Framework............................................................10 Figure 2.4: Brand behaviors and possible personality trait inferences ....................11 Figure 2.5: Repositioning a brand personality..........................................................14

Chapter three

Figure 3.1: Methodology Overview..........................................................................15 Figure 3.2: Relevant Situations for Different Research Strategies...........................17 Figure 3.3: Six Sources of Evidence: Strengths and Weaknesses ............................18

Chapter five

Figure 5.1: Importance of benefits when repositioning for H&M............................31 Figure 5.2: Risks to consider for H&M when repositioning ....................................33 Figure 5.3: Brand personality match for H&M ........................................................36

INTRODUCTION

1. Introduction

This chapter explains the purpose of repositioning and how this can affect the brand personality. The chapter starts by explaining the concept of positioning and brand in the background and then lead you through the theories and strategies in the problem discussion. In the end of this chapter the problem is narrowed down into the overall purpose and research questions.

1.1 Background

The image of products or services is represented by different factors that are communicated to the customer; one of the communicated factors is the brand name. Brands tend to be equal overseas, and are therefore the easiest one to standardize in the product offering since they tend to be easy to understand (Czinkota & Ronkainen, 2004, p. 260). Brands are created by the producer and the brand bears their own chosen name and the marketing of the brand is the producer's responsibility (Jobber, 2001, p. 230). According to Jobber the brands value lies in the hand of the producer and by building great brands the producer can gain customer value (ibid). According to Pope, Cullwick & Kennelly (1998) designing a visual identity that is immediately recognizable is an important way of helping the customer to identify the unique benefits of a brand (p.167). Through a strong visual identity they will over time be associated with a certain standard, specifications and an image (p.167). To gain greater understanding concerning the image you can analyze it in a semiotic perspective (See figure 1.1).

The Object

The Semiotic Relationship The Sign/Image The Interpetation

Figure 1.1 The semiotic relationship SOURCE: Pope, Cullwick & Kennedy, 1998, p 72.

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INTRODUCTION The object is the product that is focusing on the message; the sign is the sensory image that represents the intended meanings with the object. The understanding of the meaning and image is divided (Solomon, 2007, p. 72). It can occur semantic variations since the Interpretation can differ between individuals. This can be a problem for the firm when positioning an offer (Czinkota & Ronkainen, 2004, p. 261). With contribution of the image and identity that the brand holds, the way of positioning will be a less complicated process. According to Jobber (2001) positioning is about creating a unique position in the target market the company has chosen and establish an obvious differential advantage in people's minds (p.234). This can be accomplished through brand names and image, service, design, guarantees, packaging and delivery. In today's exceedingly competitive marketplace these combined factors are important to create a unique positioning (ibid). The found of positioning is a product, service, company, institution or yourself, but it is not the offering you position, it is what you tend to achieve with the defined target market (Uggla, 2006, p.10). The main cause with positioning is to make the specific offering differ from others in peoples minds, and to be noticed in our over communicated society (ibid). According to Hankinson & Cowking (1993, p.1), when positioning an offering you classify the brand's point of position with regard to the competition, often determined by the price. Various brands want to attract a variety of consumers and therefore position themselves differently (ibid). It can be for the reason that a brand wish to be associated with luxury and quality or low-priced, but also classified by the product usage (Hankinson & Cowking, 1993). Repositioning can be required as the market changes and new opportunities occur. (Jobber, p.235) Through repositioning the company can reach customers they not intended to reach in the first place. (ibid) If a brand has been established at the market for some time and wish to change their image they can consider repositioning (Uggla, p.159). Although one of the hardest actions in marketing is to reposition a familiar brand (Berner, 2004). Some analyst argue that successfully reposition a establish brand name is almost impossible because repositioning of a brand can make the most loyal customer to switch brand (Strategic Directions p.10). There are no specific definition of repositioning according to Uggla (2006), but he state that repositioning involves transferring the brand towards a more attractive and relevant position than previously. (p.161)

1.2 Problem discussion

When moving the brand towards a more attractive position a change of segments can be necessary. A company might want to move from operating in several segments towards only one with a strong buying power. (Uggla 2006, p.30) It can also be the other way around. Companies change their segment to gain a cost leadership or strengthen their power in the competition of market shares. (ibid) To further understand why companies change segment is explained in the figure 1.2 below.

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INTRODUCTION

Low cost leadership Elfunk

Differentiation Samsung

Focus Bang- Olufsen

Figure 1.2: Different strategic groups Source: Adapted from Uggla 2006, p.31 As seen in the figure above there are three different stages to focus on, a company can decide which segment to focus on. It is more complex for a company to move right on the scale since the focus segment is harder to convince, and they are focused on the status of the brand. (Uggla 2006, p.30) When offering a product or service, segmenting has to be completed to make the positioning successful. Several ways of segmenting need to be taken under consideration, a company has to try different segmentation strategies alone or combined to find the superior way to view the target market (Kotler 2001, p.249). A target market is the chosen segment in the market that the company has determined to serve (Jobber p.185). According to Jobber (2001) repositioning can lead to a company finds new customers they have not intended to serve in the first place (p.235). Once the segmenting of a market is completed it is important to connect the target market with the personality of the brand. A brand personality is the set of characters that people attribute to a product as if it were a person. Therefore it is common with recognizable figures in popular culture and is often spokes characters for well known brands. (Solomon, 2007 p.205) During the existence of the brand, changes in the personality Have to be made to meet new demands and trends among the customers (ibid). When these changes occur understanding the elements of brand personality is of great importance, it consists of numerous of attributes and symbolic value. (Hankinson & Cowking, 2006, p.1) The attributes are functional and illustrate brands extrinsic, tangible properties, while symbolic value illustrates brands intrinsic, intangible properties. (ibid) According to Solomon (2007) position strategy is an essential part in the marketing efforts because companies have to use the elements in the marketing mix to influence the customers understanding of the position (p.74). During the movement from something less attractive and relevant towards a more attractive and relevant position several of strategic choices has to be made. (Uggla, p.161) The ones responsible for the repositioning have to evaluate why a reposition is necessary, and if the offer is the one who will change or just the brand name. (ibid) According to Uggla (2006) there are several risk factors that have to be taken in consideration when preparation for a repositioning of the offering or the brand. During repositioning, the risk of loosing the credibility and reliability is high and the need for a thorough strategy is therefore necessary to avoid this occurrence. (Uggla, 2006) But in some circumstances a repositioning is necessary to gain credibility if the brand is eroded. (p.180) 4

INTRODUCTION Whenever a reposition is in question it has to be of relevance from a customer perspective, is this achievable? (p.178). Some brands will on no account be thought on as a luxury brand and therefore an attempt to reposition will only damage the brand image or the actual company (ibid).

1.3 Overall purpose and research questions

Based on the discussion above the purpose of this study is to provide a deeper understanding on how customers react to a brand when it is repositioned. In order to reach this purpose will answer the following research questions. RQ 1: What strategic benefits/risks follow with repositioning? RQ 2: How can the changes in a brand personality from repositioning be described?

1.4 Outline of the thesis

This thesis consists of six chapters as demonstrated in the figure 1.2 below. Chapter one starts by explaining the background of this study and the background are narrowed down to a problem discussion. In this section the problem of this study will be explained in a more through way and this constricted out to the research problem and research questions. Chapter two will outline the conceptual framework that describes the theories that will be used in this thesis. Chapter three will describe what kind of methodology used for this study. Chapter four consists of the collected data through the focus group interview with female students. Chapter five will compare the selected theories for this study and the gathered data. In the sixth and final chapter the findings and conclusions for the two research questions that are made for this study will be illustrated.

Figure 1.3: Outline of the thesis

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LITERATURE REVIEW

2. Literature Review

In the previous chapter a broader discussion was presented concerning our research area and then the research questions were presented. In this chapter the area of research are narrowed down and to end up with a more specific topic. Before narrowing down the area of research the theories of repositioning and brand image will be presented to gain greater knowledge concerning them.

2.1 Repositioning the brand: benefits and risks

When a company wish to gain greater success and consider repositioning as an alternative they have to go through different stages to reach their intended objective. In the first stage they need to establish the brand proposition, this to gain a clear statement, functional attributes and value of symbols. (Hankinson, Cowking 1993, p.177) The major risks with the establishing are the possibility of loosing focus on the original proposition due to the personnel's lack of ability to analyze the market (ibid). There is also a risk that the original customers might be neglected, and that the expectations do not meet or exceed the expectations, and if this is the case, the proposition might not succeed (Uggla 2006, p.166-167). Selecting the appropriate marketing mix when repositioning a brand is often made by the help of the 4 P's, and the need to combine these four elements is of great importance if a company want accomplish a well planned repositioning (Hawkinson, Cowking 1993, p.178). The threat when reposition and changing the marketing mix is that, especially in mature markets that uncertainty can arise among the consumers in forms of confusing the brand in general with the function of a particular brand within its own market (Kapferer 2001, p.23). The strategy is rolled out in three stages, introductory, elaboration and fortification stages. This involves the introduction of a new or a repositioned brand, the seeking of underline the brands value over others, and to broaden the brand proposition. (Hankinson, Cowking 1993, p.180) According to Trout (1996) it is truly tough to change the customer's perceived attitude towards a brand, and therefore the risk is great that the attempt to repositioning might be unsuccessful (p.17). After rolling out the strategy it is time to modify the proposition, through update of the personality and through repositioning (Hankinson & Cowking 1993, p.177). There are benefits and risks with both of this segments and it is of great significance that they are truly evaluated when deciding the next step in the process (Trout 1996, p.54-56). To further understand the stages stated above figure 2.1 will guide you through the different phases that follow after establish a brand proposition.

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LITERATURE REVIEW

Figure 2.1: Stages in brand strategy development Source: Hankinson, Cowking 1993, p.177 The implication with the term repositioning is that you modify something that already is present at the market, and in the consumer's minds. All things existing, including yourself can be repositioned and be given a new image, meaning or a total make over. The definition of reposition changes among different individuals and professions.(Uggla 2006, p.159-161) To view the different definitions and perceive a greater understanding concerning this matter three examples of repositioning from Uggla (2006) is stated below by individuals with different professions (p.159-160). "Repositioning is a change, principally about trigging the vision, mission and value in a new direction that is more suited for the brand in the future" (Brand manager consultant) "Principally, reposition concerns change the consumer's perception of the brand" (PR- consultant) "Repositioning is built upon the change unique and differentiated associations with the brand in some kind of direction, it is about having a balance between the category party and differentiation when using reposition strategies" (Leading brand strategist) By means of the examples above, according to Uggla (2006) it is easier to understand that the definitions clearly differ from person to person, but from these ramblings it is obvious 7

LITERATURE REVIEW that all parts in fact believe that reposition is about moving something to a newer and hopefully to a more attractive and relevant position (p.161). The purpose of the movement differs with regards to what the company wants to achieve. A company might want to reach out to a larger target group, or be involved in several different positions at the market. There is also a visible relation between price and quantity aspects. When a company perceives the market as a demand curve, the purpose is to down stretch or up stretch in this curve (see figure 2.2). When moving down it is often spoken of as an expansion down wards, and when moving up and there is a need for reaching the premium segment and expand up wards. (Uggla 2006, p.161-164) Price

New position

Previous position Experienced quality Figure 2.2: The principle of repositioning Source: Uggla, 2006 p.162

When striving towards a new position at the market it is important to understand that consumer's minds are limited. People's minds select what to remember and it is therefore significant to convince the consumers with great arguments. (Trout 1996, p.9) The market demand changes rapidly (ibid) and therefore reposition can be necessary to meet this demands, newer and stronger arguments have to be established to convince them to stay as loyal customers (Ries 1985, p.44). According to Trout (1996) if companies do not meet new customer demands there is a risk that companies can loose sight of their specific markets and this will have consequences (p.51). The main reasons for this are: 1. 2. 3. 4. The fast pace of changing technology The quick and unpredictable shifting of consumers attitudes The increase of competition within the global economy The increase in competition among creative executives in U.S. companies since they are superior in competing with other companies

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LITERATURE REVIEW As stated in the literature repositioning is a very complicated matter and therefore there are no detailed theories or models. The aim with repositioning differ from person to person, and the only connection between all the different theories is that repositioning is moving something from somewhere towards a greater position at the market. (Uggla 2006, p.159-161) Uggla (2006) as well as Hankinson and Cowking (1993) have introduced models that make it easier to analyze repositioning and the stages necessary to achieve a successful repositioning.

2.2 Brand Personality

A brand personality is defined as human characteristics that are associates with a brand (Aaker, 1997, p.347). When creating unique memory associations in the customers mind it is helpful if the brand personality has distinctive characteristics (Diamantopoulos, Smith & Grime 2005, p.129). According to Diamantopoulos, Smith and Grime (2005) the brand personality is important since the factors of choice and preference that the customers hold for a brand are needed for success (p.129). A strong personality of a brand is central if the customer has strong emotional ties to a brand, then they tend to perceive greater trust and loyalty towards the brand. When the consumer has strong emotional bonds towards the brand it gets more complicated for others to copy and the company can differentiate from competitors. (ibid) With the brand personality it is easier for a company to communicate with their customer concerning the brand and the personality has an important role in the advertising. The company has to maintain consistent, desirable and enduring for the brand personality to ensure long term success. (Diamantopoulos, Smith & Grime 2005, p.129) The consumer can associate the brands personality qualities in a direct way with the people that work with the brand. This can be the employees or CEO of the company or the celebrity endorsers that advertise the brand in media. (Aaker 1997, p. 348) There are also personality traits that are affecting the brand in an indirect way trough product category associations, brand name, symbol or logo, advertising style, price and distribution channels. If these brand personality traits are modified the brand personality can change. (ibid) To measure the brand personality the usage of the "big five - human personality structure" (see figure 2.3) is of great assistance to understand the companies brand personality. The structure consists of:

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LITERATURE REVIEW

- Down to earth - Honest - Wholesome - Cheerful

- Daring - Spirited - Imaginative - Up to date - Reliable - Intelligent - Succsessful

Sincerity

Excitement

Brand Personality

Competence

Sophistication

- Charming - Upper Class

Ruggedness Figure 2.3: A Brand Personality Framework Source: Adapted from Aaker 1997, p. 352

- Outdoorsy - Tough

In Aakers brand personality scale (BPS) you can measure to which extent brand posses any of the personality traits above (Freling, Forbes 2005, p.404). According to Aaker (1997) the big five model and the personality scale can be used to gain more insight regarding the consequences and background of a brand personality (p. 354). The personality of a brand is not a tangible item such as a product where the customer can use their five senses. This makes the personality a nonphysical part of the product knowledge and influence the perceptions about the products. To gain more insight in this matter According to Freling and Forbes (2005) the authors Sekuler and Blake have developed four ways that may influence the customer perceptions: 1. 2. 3. 4. By enabling categorization By controlling attention By guiding acquisition of sensory data By supplying for sensory data

According to Freling and Forbes (2005) the third step in this model is especially helpful when explaining how the knowledge about the brand personality might affect the perceptions of the product (p.405). Intrinsic cues involve the physical composition of a product and the cues can not be changed without changing the nature of the product (ibid). According to Solomon (2006) a brand's personality is created by the physical cues, however, the different marketing activities that companies accomplish for a product can 10

LITERATURE REVIEW influence the personality (p.206). Whenever a company brand is changed it influences the personality and how the customers react to the change (ibid). To further explain the behavior and outcome of a change in the brand see figure 2.4 below.

Figure 2.4: Brand behaviors and possible personality trait inferences Source: Adapted from Solomon 2006, p.206 Argued by Solomon (2006) it can be complicated for the consumer to assign the products and brands personal qualities, therefore it is often made by marketers. To create a unique brand personality that communicates with the customer is a marketer's primary way to make a product stand out from the competitors and from this get customer loyalty. (p.206) Solomon (2006) states that this personality process can be compared to animism, you make the product alive. Animism are in some countries a part of the religion, for example sacred places and animals, but in the society objects can be worshiped since people tend to believe that the product brings the owner desirable qualities. (ibid) There are two levels of animism: Level 1: The customer believes that the product is possessed by a soul of a being. This can occur if the company uses spokespersons in their advertising for a product. In this way the customer feels like they are buying a part of the spokespersons spirit and qualities when purchasing the product of this brand. (Solomon 2006, p.206) Level 2: The product is given human characteristics. The customer will observe the cartoon character or mythical creation as if it was a real person and they want to assume that the character has real human feelings.(Ibid)

-

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LITERATURE REVIEW

2.3 Conceptual framework

Conceptual frameworks explain in different perspectives, either lifts out and present graphically or in narrative form the basic areas to be studied (Miles and Huberman, 1994). Miles and Huberman (1994) argue that the research questions are prior to the conceptual framework, and the outline in this thesis is formed from this statement.

2.3.1 Conceptualization- Repositioning the brand, benefits and risks

Research question number one aims to understand the benefits and risks with repositioning. The main definition with repositioning is that you modify something already existing (Uggla 2006, p.159), and striving towards a greater position at the market (p.161). This thesis will put focus on the theory developed by Hankinson and Cowking (1993). The study are going to rely on this theory since it deeply investigates all stages that a company has to evaluate when repositioning a brand, and will be helpful when analyzing the benefits and risks that can occur within all the stages. To truly understand all phases concerning repositioning Hankinson and Cowking's theory is superior to other authors. Benefits · · · · Risks · · · · Loss of focus Neglecting original costumers Loosing credibility for the brand Confusing the brand Value over others Updated personality Relevant position "Up to date" image

The theory will be useful to gain greater understanding concerning the repositioning process (Hankinson,Cowking 1993, p.177) and the emphasis will be put on repositioning in the modifying the proposition stage.

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LITERATURE REVIEW

2.3.2. Conceptualization - Brand personality

Brand personality is discussed by several authors but in this study Aakers (1997) Brands Personality Scale and the big five model will be used. Aaker is superior since the author goes deeper into the concept of brand personality than the others. With contribution of the two models the possibility to gain deeper understanding regarding the background and consequences of the brand personality will be simplyfied. To examine and measure the relationship between brand and human personality and how the consumer preferences are driven by this Aaker (1997) models of the brand personality is useful (p.348).

Brand personality:

· Sincerity o Down to Earth o Honest o Wholesome o Cheerful Excitement o Daring o Spirited o Imaginative o Up to Date

·

· ·

·

Competence o Reliable o Intelligent o Successful Sophistication o Upper class o Charming Ruggedness o Outdoorsy o Tough

Aaker (1997) developed a framework of brand personalities and these distinctive dimensions versus treating brand personality as an un-dimensional construct. This made it easier to differentiate the special types of brand personalities.(p.348) Since the model explains the different ways of brand personalities and how they can influence the consumer preference, it will be less complicated to understand the preferences (ibid). In addition to the framework Aaker (1997) has developed a scale to provide a basis for theory building on symbolic use of brands (ibid). Aaker (1997) framework is general and makes it easier to use in different product categories. This contributes with greater understanding for the researcher about the brand personality in a particular product category. Furthermore this model can explain in theory why and when customers buy brands for self expression. (ibid) RQ 1 and RQ 2 engage with each other since the brand personality tend to change in the direction of the repositioning. The outline of the research questions is further explained in the figure 2.5 below.

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LITERATURE REVIEW

Repositioning a brand personality

RQ 1

Rely on Hawkinson and Cowking (1993), theory of repositioning stages:

Benefits · · · · Risks · · · · Value over others Updated personality Relevant position "Up to date" image Loss of focus Neglecting original costumers Loosing credibility for the brand Confusing the brand

RQ 2

Rely on Aaker (1997), measuring the brand personality theory: -Sincerity -Competence -Excitement -Sophistication -Ruggedness

Figure 2.5: Repositioning a brand personality

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METHODOLOGY

3. Methodology

In this chapter the methodology will be presented and how the data will be gathered in order to answer our research questions. After collecting the data to answer the research questions the purpose of this study will be accomplish. This chapter will commence by presenting the research purpose to continue on with the research approach. After examining these two sections the chapter will carry on with the research strategy followed by the data collection and sample collection. Figure 3.1 below show the outline of this chapter and how the headings fit together.

Research Purpose

Research Approach

Research Strategy

Data Collection

Sample Selection

Data Analysis

Quality Standards for Research (Validity/reliability)

Figure 3.1: Methodology Overview Source: Tim Foster 1998, p.81

3.1 Purpose of research: Primarily descriptive

The purpose of this research will be asserted with information concerning the achievement and how the results will be used. According to Kumar (1996) and Eriksson and Wiedersheim- Paul (1997), there are three definitions of accomplish a research within a specific topic. One can either choose an exploratory, descriptive or explanatory research. When the purpose of a research is to explore, one can use an exploratory research. This research is conducted since the aim is to formulate and precise a problem such as: why, how and when something take place. According to Kumar (1996) the exploratory research is conceded when a researcher wants to explore areas concerning something that the researcher has none or slightly knowledge about. Described by Olsson and Larsson, exploratory research is often performed by holding expert interviews, literature studies and case studies (p.20). A descriptive research is when you analyse motives and relations, and the explanation is made through different points of order, and therefore a descriptive research is not unprejudiced, it can also be looked at as a extension of the exploratory research. (Eriksson & Wiedersheim- Paul, 1997, p. 43) When you describe something you frequently registries, document or identify. When a study is descriptive it aims to analytically describe a situation, problem, phenomenon, service or programme, or 15

METHODOLOGY provides information regarding the living conditions of a community, or describes attitudes towards an issue. (Kumar 1996) When the purpose of a study is to explain the research is an explanatory research. A question in an explanatory research often leads to the use of a case study, histories, and experiments as the preferred research strategy. (Yin 2003, p. 6) The aim with this is the fact that the questions deal with operational research strategies. (ibid) According to Eriksson and Widerheims- Paul (1997) the explanations are made from different points of order that have to be precise and truly inform the reader concerning the aim and usage of the explanation. There is not just one model for this research, so different kinds of models might be preferred. (p.43) Explanatory research aims to further explain an outcome from a specific situation. (Kumar 1996) Based on the discussion above all these types of research will be appropriate to use in this thesis, since it involves all the purposes stated previous in this chapter. This thesis will be exploratory since the aim is to gain a greater understanding concerning repositioning and the effects on the brand personality. It is descriptive due to the fact that the research question seeks a description and data will be collect and analyzed, and finally explanatory since the thesis start to explain while answering our research questions.

3.2 Research approach: Qualitative

In this thesis a qualitative research is superior a quantitative research. According to Lundahl and Skärvad (1992) a qualitative research is concerning researches with focus on creating a conclusion based on qualitative analysis and qualitative data. Individuals are the main target to study, and the purpose is to analyse, describe and understand the behaviour with a starting point from those who are studied (p. 101) In the qualitative research, the conclusions put focus on a non quantifiable data, such as attitudes, values and perceptions.(ibid) Miles and Huberman (1994) discuss that a qualitative research is carried out through an concentrated or long-lasting contact with a field or life situation. The situations are standard and reflects the everyday life of individuals, groups, societies and organisations (p. 6). They believe that the researchers position is to perceive a holistic overview of the context under study, and that the researchers attempt to detain data on the perceptions of local authors from a process of deep attentiveness, of empathetic understanding, and of suspending or "bracketing" preconceptions about the topics under discussion (ibid). A qualitative research strategy will be employed since we are studying individual's perceptions. The qualitative research will help us to obtain more thoroughly information with the outcome of a deeper understanding to achieve the purpose of our thesis.

16

METHODOLOGY

3.3 Research strategy: Case study

According to Yin (2003) there are three conditions of deciding which research strategy to use, these are the type of research questions asked, the extent of control the researcher has over the behavioural events, and the degree of focus on contemporary as opposed to historical events. (p.5)There are five types of strategies that can be used based on the three conditions explained above; these strategies are experiment, survey, archival analysis, history and case studies.

Strategy

Form of Research questions

How, why?

Requires Focuses on control over Contemporary Behavior Events Events

No Yes

Case study

Figure: 3.2: Relevant Situations for Different Research Strategies Source: Adapted from Robert K.Yin 2003 p.5 Since the research questions this study will apply on Yin's reasoning to this thesis one could either use a survey or a case study since our research questions rely on "how" and "why" questions. Our research will rely on a case study due to our research questions and that our research is qualitative. Case studies are to prefer when a research focus on few objectives, which are being looked at in many respects. (Eriksson and Wiedersheim- Paul 1997) This implies that one has little control over the actual behaviour and our focus will be put on a modern event.

3.4 Data collection: Focus group interview, observations & documentation

When collecting information regarding a situation, person, phenomenon or problem there are two different methods to use. The first method is when the information that is needed already exists and only need to be extracted, and in the other method the information has to be assembled. (Kumar, 1996) According to Kumar (1996) these two methods can be divided in to primary and secondary data. New data, never collected earlier is primary data, secondary data already exists (Eriksson & Wiedersheim-Paul, 2001). The researcher has to decide which method to use and secondary data collection is often used in the making of a new case study and are often the most suitable method (ibid). According to Yin (2003) when collecting data for a case study there are six different sources to gather information from. However, this thesis will primarily use four of the six sources: Documentation, interviews, direct observations and participant observation. To show the strengths and weaknesses of these four sources further they will be explained in a figure (see the figure 3.3 below). Yin (2003) also states that these sources can be combined and the author describes that as triangulation. When using triangulation the researcher obtains an opportunity to gain multiple evidence concerning the same purpose (ibid). 17

METHODOLOGY

Source of Evidence

Documentation

Strengths

· Stable: can be reviewed repeatedly · Unobtrusive: not created as a result of the case · Exact: contains exact names, references, and details of the event · Broad coverage: long span of time, many events, and many settings · Targeted: focuses directly on case study topic · Insightful: provides perceived causal inferences

Weaknesses

· Retrievability: can be low · Biased selectivity: if collection is incomplete · Reporting bias: reflects (unknown) bias of author · Access: may be deliberately blocked · Bias due to poorly constructed questionnaires · Response bias · Inaccuracies due to poor recall · Reflexivity: interviewee gives what interviewer wants to hear · Time consuming · Selectivity: unless broad coverage · Reflexivity: event may proceed differently because it is being observed · Cost: hours needed by human observers · (Same as for direct observations) · Bias due to investigator's manipulation of events

Interviews

Direct Observations

· Reality: covers events in real time · Contextual: covers context of event

Participant Observation

· (Same as for direct observation) · Insightful into interpersonal behaviour and motives

Figure 3.3: Six Sources of Evidence: Strengths and Weaknesses Source: Adapted from Robert K. Yin 2003, p. 86 According to Yin (2003) there are three different ways of outlining an interview: Openended, focused and structured. In this thesis focused interview will be used and an interview guide (Appendix 1A & 1B) will be applied to create a discussion that is related with the issues in the conceptual framework that is presented in section 2.3. When you have a strict timeline the focused interview is the best approach (Yin 2003, p.90). According to Yin (2003) information from different documents are most likely relevant to every case study (p.85). This type of information can take many forms and should be take to consideration when making your data collection plans (ibid). To find information for this study following sources will be used: Academic and professional literature, that are reliable sources of documentation (Yin 2003, p.87) . According Lundahl and Skärvad (1992) observations are generally used when studying human behavior in different situations, observations can also be used as a data collecting method (p.123). There are two different types of observations direct and participant 18

METHODOLOGY observation and both can be used to collect primary data (ibid). Observations are a great assistance when collection additional facts for a case study (Yin 2003, p.93). To get the best result from the focus group one direct observer and one participant observer that ask the questions to the group and participate in the discussions will be used. The direct observer will just study the discussions that the focus group engages. The focus group discussion will help to dismiss and concur with the theories that are applied in this study. The interview is one of the most important sources when collecting data for the case study (Yin 2003, p.89). An interview that is performed face to face with a focus group makes the observer obtain personal contact with the group and observe reactions from the respondents (Lundahl & Skärvad, 1992). Focus groups are commonly composed of 6-10 participants that are similar, but unfamiliar to each other. The nature of the group's homogeneity is decided by the purpose of the case study. Focus groups produce qualitative data that give insights into the attitudes, perceptions and opinions of the participants in the group (Krueger 1994, p.17).It is significant to consider the size of the focus group so all individuals are given the opportunity to be a part of the conversation. (ibid) With this information this study will use eight females in the focus group.

3.5 Sample collection:

This section it will be presented how the respondents were chosen to the focus group interview and the advertisement that was shown during the focus group discussion.

3.5.1 Choice of respondents

The respondents in our focus group are Swedish females from Luleå University of Technology. Female students are selected for this study since the chosen company's primary target market is women. Students are often used in different types of academic research. This is due to that students are more available and that they are relative homogeneity because of their economic situation, age and lifestyle. (Olsson & Larsson, 2005) According to Morgan (1997) it is of great importance that the group is homogeneity since it is significant that the participants feel that they can have a conversation which can overcome the gaps in the social background and lifestyle. Morgan (1997) also states that the emphasis is put on the homogeneity in the background not in attitudes. The information in section 3.4 assisted us when choosing our focus group for this thesis. A smaller group is superior to a large one as because one discussion in the entire group is preferred and this will be applied in this study. When using larger groups the respondents can start their own small conversation with their neighbor and not with the whole group. (Morgan 1997)

19

METHODOLOGY

3.5.2 Access to documentation

During the focus group session the participants will be shown five different advertising posters form a selected company that been occurring in the Swedish market. The company that will be used in this study is Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), this since a clear repositioning process can be observed in their different advertising campaigns. These posters were chosen since they illustrate the changes that H&M has done over the last years. The purpose of showing the posters for the focus group are to start a discussion amongst the participants. The posters will be revealed at the same time to the whole group because of a strict time limit.

3.6 Data analysis: Reduce and display

Prior to investigate the data from the case study you have to decide which analyzing strategy to use. The strategy will help to treat the evidence fairly, produce compelling analytic conclusions, and rule out alternative interpretations. There are three different general strategies to use when analyzing the data from a case study (Yin 2003, p.111): 1. Relying on theoretical propositions: According to Yin (2003) this is the most preferred strategy to use. The strategy is to follow the information that led to the case. The information is based on the research questions and literature reviews concerning the case. (p.112) 2. Thinking about rival explanations: The second strategy is related to the first one. This strategy strives to define and test rival explanations about a case study (ibid). 3. Developing a case description: This last strategy is to identify and develop a descriptive outline for organizing the case study. This strategy is not superior, but if the researcher has difficulties to find information about the case study, this is the best approach. (Yin 2003, p.114) After deciding which analyzing strategy to use, and after the researcher has collected all the data that are needed, he or she can start to process the data in an analytic way (Miles & Huberman 1994). A qualitative research approach consists of three simultaneous occurring flows of activities: · Data reduction: The reason for reducing data is to make it organized, focused and discarded to make it easier for the researcher to draw conclusions and verify them. In this stage it is common to use with-in-case analysis to compare the collected data with the theories that are used in the study. (Miles & Huberman 1994) Data display: After reducing the data in the first stage the researcher displays it in an organized and dense way to make it easier to draw conclusions (Ibid). Conclusions drawing and verification: This is the last activity flow in qualitative research. In this stage the researcher has to interpret what in the study is that is needed to be specified. This he/she perform by noting the regularities, patterns, 20

· ·

METHODOLOGY explanations, possible configurations, casual flows, and proportions. (Miles & Huberman 1994). To analyze the collected data the three stages that Miles & Huberman (1994) has developed are going to be used for this thesis.

3.7 Validity and reliability

When measuring if a study is of high or low quality the use of the terms validity and reliability is of superior help. When these concepts are high within a research there is a greater chance to gain scientific acceptance. (Denscombe, 2003) Validity is often used to symbolise the occurrence of the research, validity measurements are used in all scientific research. To gain high validity the literature has to be representative and accurate (Eriksson & Wiedersheim- Paul, 2001 p. 53). Validity is the degree to which the procedure really measures what it proposes to measure. The problem is that people is some situations are non trustful, and in some cases they will give the answers that seems to be the best in that specific situation. (Krueger 1994, p.31) This study will collect several sources of evidence to increase the validity, these are: · · · Focus group interviews Direct and participants observation Documentation (Yin, 1994)

To further increase the validity the interview guide constructed for the focus group will be evaluated by other people prior to the interview, this to avoid misunderstandings. The moderators will also record the interview and at the same time take notes so that the chance of missing valid information is highly reduced. As stated by Krueger (1994) "Focus groups are valid if they are used carefully for a problem that is suitable for focus group inquiry" and this is how the moderators will conduct the interview with the focus group to gain greater validity. The interview will be conducted on Swedish since it is the mother of tongue for the individuals in the focus group and the discussion will be more intense. There is a risk of translations mistakes but to avoid this and gain greater reliability the moderators will go through the interview on several occasions and use a dictionary to our help. To gain high reliability in a research there is a need for constructing the research in a way that it will give the same results in other occasions, and that the measuring tools are neutral, and a reliable study need to be consequent and trustworthy (Denscombe 2003 p. 250). Discussed by Yin (1994), the aim is to make the next research within the same area containing the same conclusions followed by the same procedures (ibid). To increase the reliability in this thesis the moderators will avoid leading questions and therefore use a more structured interview guide. When analyzing the answers, there is a risk that the reliability decreases due to personal prejudice. To avoid this if uncertainty arises, all the 21

METHODOLOGY documentation from the interview will be saved, and both researchers will analyze all the documentation to gain additional reliability to this thesis. Further more, the interview focus on individual's perceptions and they tend to vary over time. Due to this fact it can be hard for other researchers to get the same results.

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EMPIRICAL DATA

4. Empirical Data

In this chapter the collected data will be presented. The data was collected in order to answer the research questions made for this study. The collected data has been assembled from one focus group interview, consisted of eight female students. The focus group consisted of eight female students in the ages from 20 to 28 years old. All eight females are studying at Luleå University of Technology in different programs and grades. Before starting the focus group session the aim of the session was explained and the participants were briefly introduced with information concerning the study. The interview was located in one of the moderator's home and coffee, tea and cookies was served, this to create a more relaxed environment. The session started by introducing the five different advertising posters (Appendix 2-6) of the selected company. The conceptual framework and interview guide was the leading objective for the discussion. In the next sections the discussion from the focus group will be presented.

4.1 Introduction and background about the company

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) opened its first store in Sweden in 1947 and now in 2006 the company had 1345 stores in 24 countries. H&M offers a broad, varied range of fashions for women, men, teenagers and children. There are more than 100 designers, buyers and pattern makers in the Design and Purchasing Department that create the company's several collections. The departments goal is to offer their consumer the latest fashion and a wide, varied product assortment from which all customers can create own personal style. H&M does also sell cosmetics under its own brand name in the company's stores. The company has daily deliveries with new merchandise to the stores and in the Nordic countries the company offers catalogue and online shopping. H&M does not own any factories; instead they work with 700 independent suppliers mainly from Asia and Europe. H&M also has 20 production offices around the world and they are primarily located in Europe and Asia were most are the suppliers are situated. H&M BUSINESS CONCEPT H&M's business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. To maintain the company's best price policy H&M uses: · Limited number of middlemen. · Buying lager volumes. · Relying on their extensive, in- expertise within the design, fashion and textile industries. · Buying the right merchandise from the right production markets. · Being cost-conscious at all levels · Maintaining effective distribution procedures.

23

EMPIRICAL DATA H&M's growth target is to increase the number of retail stores by 10 and 15 percent per year as well as to boost sales in existing stores. It is the company's stores locations that are determining the expansion rate. H&M stores are always situated in the best locations on shopping streets and in malls in almost every city. H&M stays flexible by renting its store place since in this way they can ensure they have the best retail stores in the best possible location. H&M's brand name is one of the company's greatest assets. The purpose of all the H&M's communication is to build the brand name on both a short and long-term basis. Through communication, H&M conveys its profile and image as a fashion house, as well as a responsible company. An important part of building the brand name is integrated communication. H&M customers should recognize the brand, and the message should be the same no matter where the customer comes across it ­ in launches, sales campaigns, advertising, the media, in the stores or at fashion shows. The stores are H&M's primary channels of communication, as this is where the company meet their customers every day. H&M's goal is to use communication as an invitation into the stores. H&M has grown significantly since it was founded 60 years ago. At the end of the 2006 fiscal year, the company had just over 60,000 employees. The average number was 40,368 (translated into full-time jobs) of which 80 percent were women. The H&M spirit has been present in the company since the days of Erling Persson, H&M's founder. "It stands for a belief in the individual and in our employees' ability to use common sense, assume responsibility and rely on personal initiative".

4.2 Repositioning the brand, benefits and risks

The broad question of repositioning benefits and risks was asked, but the participants wanted to get an explanation of repositioning before starting the interview. A discussion was held concerning the objects of repositioning to engage the focus group with more knowledge in the area. The discussion was formed with references to the five posters from Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) to show the participants an example of a repositioning brand. The discussion started with the benefits of repositioning which are: Value over others, Updated personality, Relevant position and "Up to Date" Image.

4.2.1 Benefits of repositioning a brand

All participants in the focus group agree that if a company wants to gain value over others through repositioning they have the possibility to do this. This since repositioning opens up a whole new market for the company and can increase the company's income. However the focus group argued that if a low-price brand aims to be a high-price brand the company will most certainly be associated with low price. Therefore the repositioned company can not get value over other competitive companies in the market. When using H&M and their unique cooperation with different fashion and celebrity designers as an example, their designer clothes have a low price and therefore their repositioning has been successful. H&M's advantage is that the ordinary people can buy designer clothes to a reduced price than in exclusive boutiques. The focus group believes that another 24

EMPIRICAL DATA advantage H&M has with their designer cooperation is that all clothes at H&M feels more luxurious than before the designer collaborations. The participants also believe that H&M's collaborations with designers are unique and no other companies in the market today have taking the same move. One participant's opinion is that the designer cooperation's are not repositioning, however she believes that H&M is using this as a clever promotion trick to attract more people to the stores. The discussion continued with updated personality and how important it is to follow the customer's preferences. The focus group agrees that in today's society celebrities have an important part in the consumer's life and their preferences are constantly changing. Therefore it is of great importance for a company to keep up with the different trends to remain their position and compete with similar brands. The participants in the group believe that it is important which celebrity the company chose to be associated with and how he or she affects the company image. For example one participant described an example concerning one of H&M's competitors, Top Shop. They use the model Kate Moss as their spokesperson/designer and she is associated with appalling lifestyle, drugs and alcohol. Whereas H&M uses Kylie Minogue as their latest spokesperson/designer and she is associated with high-class, hard-work and a fighter against breast cancer. The focus group feels that she is a good role model for young women which increases H&M's credibility. When the focus group discussed relevant position at the market they argued that it is important to move towards a position at the market that meets the customer's needs. One participant brought up an example that a jacket at H&M's new Madonna collection has a price over 4000 SEK and that this kind of price is not suitable for the company's original customers, only people with high income purchase clothes in this price range. The participant believed that a person with more money would rather purchase a jacket from an exclusive brand than H&M. The focus group argued that it can be a great threat for the company if they operate at the same market place for a long time since the customer changes their preferences. If this situation arises for a company they will not be able to compete with newer companies at the market since they are more innovative. In the case of H&M the participants believe that the movement from the time when Anna Nicole Smith was their spokesperson to Kylie Minogue in 2007 has been successful and H&M are today associated with higher status. The participants also believe that if H&M will return to their old position with only basic clothes they will loose market shares. It is great that H&M still offer the basic line but that they mix it with more luxurious clothes. For a company or brand to reach a relevant position they have to create a unique position at the market to succeed. One participant brought up an example that H&M through their intense marketing and repositioning have really reach their goal to a great position since they now have a store located at one of New York's exclusive streets 5th avenue, next to brands such as Gucci. The moderator continued the discussion with "Up To Date Image". The participants argued that the image during the 1990's when Anna Nicole and Claudia Schiffer were the models that the image was more associated with nudity and sexiness. With H&M's new collection they show a new, more updated personality that suits the markets preferences 25

EMPIRICAL DATA today in a higher scale. This has been made through using models such as Madonna and Kylie Minogue that are strong and respected women in today's society. It seems that H&M have understood the customer's preferences that nudity is not as acceptable in the society. Furthermore, the focus group do not believe that if Anna Nicole Smith commercials would be used today, it would not have the same affect, like cars driving of the road.

4.2.2 Risks of repositioning a brand

The focus group discussion continued with the risks of repositioning. One of the moderators led the discussion by using the theory in conceptual framework which are: Lose focus, Neglecting the original customers, Lost credibility for the brand, Confusing brand. The participants argued that there is a possibility for H&M to lose focus with the collaboration with fashion designers. During a period of three years they have had several designers working with them, and this with great success. If H&M continue in this pace there is a risk that the market will be saturated and H&M will lose customers. They also believe that H&M have worked hard to establish their new image at the market, and that the outcome of this can be that they lose their focus on the original idea. One participant does not think that there is a risk for H&M to lose focus since they are such a large company and they have kept the same logo and the same character since the start. However, if this was the case for a small sized company, the risk of losing focus is higher. The main cause for this is the lack of ability to attract a new market because they are not as established and well known, and they do not have the same control over the market as H&M have. The focus group considers that H&M have narrowed down their original selection of clothes, and have therefore neglected some of their original customers. The competition at the market increases rapidly and H&M risks to lose their customers to other low price brands. If H&M would choose to position themselves as a high class brand, the focus group believe that the customer loyalty would decrease. They also argued that H&M would not be the same company and brand; therefore the customers could switch to another low price brand and be loyal to them instead of H&M. The focus group believe that a repositioning of H&M will open a whole new market for the company and that another type of consumers will purchase products from H&M, however they still believe that the original consumers will continue to purchase from the company. The discussion continued with the risk of Losing credibility for the brand. The participants consider it to be a great risk if a high class brand establish a low class products. To further clarify the problem, one participant brought up an example about Levi´s. A couple of years ago, the jeans brand Levi´s, made a collection for the low budget store Wal-Mart in the U.S. The consumers felt confused and question what was wrong with the jeans since they where so cheap, and they wondered what the differenced was between the jeans. Through this, Levi´s lost the credibility as a high quality brand among several of their customers. All participants in the focus group agreed that it is a

26

EMPIRICAL DATA greater risk to move from a high class brand to a low class since the threat of losing credibility is higher. Generally speaking, to much and intense repositioning can Confuse the brand, and the consumers prefer to purchase products from a brand that are consistent in their message. However, the participants do not believe that this is the case for H&M since they are constantly consistent in their messages. On the other hand, the participants believe that companies, not as established at the market as H&M are risking confusing the brand due to the fact that the consumers to not yet understand the company's standpoint.

4.3 Brand Personality

The broad question if a brand personality can change was asked and the different kinds of personality, sincerity, excitement, competence, sophisticated, ruggedness was being explained. To further get the participants to understand what a brand personality is, the moderator compared it to a human personality. The five pictures from H&M where used to answer the research question, since the company have a strong brand image. The focus group discussion started with the first personality trait sincerity. The participants in the group felt that most of the subtitles under sincerity are associated with H&M more or less, and the overall impression is that H&M is a sincere company. The focus group discussed that prior to the designer cooperation, H&M wanted their clothes to be inspired from ordinary people, and this made H&M a company that felt as a part of ones life. Therefore the participants believe that H&M was more down-to-earth before the designer collaborations. After the designer cooperation's, they believe that the company have lost some of their personality in this matter. They also believe that nowadays, fashion directors have great power over the world of fashion, and girls today follow their opinions and so do H&M, they want to be right in time. The discussion continued with one of the participants own stories. She had bought a pair of jeans at H&M, almost two years ago, and now the jeans had been shabby. She took the jeans to the store and got them replaced with no problems or questions, therefore she feels that H&M are honest. All participants in the group agreed and they all had the same experience with the company, there is no problem to return, get a discount or replace incorrect clothes. Even though H&M is honest and they treat their costumers in the best way, the focus group feels that the company is not cheerful. They believe that when the customers visits the company stores the personnel of H&M do not reflect the on image and personality of H&M. This since they are not service minded, and the stores feels like an ordinary workplace. The personality of H&M is mostly reflected on the commercials and actions taken by the company. The participants had different opinions rather H&M is wholesome or not. Most of the participants felt that H&M are wholesome because of their new way of display women. Nowadays the company uses strong, successful women as their spokespersons and this sends a positive message to their customers. However some participants felt that H&M are not wholesome because they are using child labour and under paid workers to create their clothing lines. 27

EMPIRICAL DATA

The conversation continued whether H&M is connected with an excitement personality. The participants argued that H&M has become more daring over the years. Prior, H&M had more basic clothes and now they have trendy and modern clothes to offer the customer. The focus group believe that nowadays H&M dares to change and do it often to be superior in their market. The participants consider H&M to be spirited since the company choose to go there own way in the market and do not follow other companies and that H&M are respected by competitors. That H&M is imaginative the group agreed to some part. They believed that the company are imaginative when it comes to the way they manage the company and to some extent when it comes to fashion. The group believes this since H&M often create clothes that are remakes of trends and designs from exclusive designers, to a lower price. Therefore the participants consider that H&M always are up-to-date with all their fashion and clothes, this since the company constantly listens and follow their costumer needs. The participants were asked what they believed the personality features of H&M are associated with and they answered that they are fashionable. When looking through the different types of personalities, all the participants agreed that H&M are a competent company which are always reliable and successful. Trend comes and goes, and the participants believe that the fact that H&M always follow new trends with clothes to a lower price make them reliable and "Up To Date". They believe that H&M are not competing with clothes; they are competing with their company and brand. One participant thought that H&M is an old retainer that has always been a part of ones life. Further more, even if H&M have changed in a drastic way, from very sexy to sophisticated, the participants believe that H&M are reliable. The company are consistent with the style of their collection of clothes, although they have changed their image, one can always find the basic line of clothes that have always been a part of H&M. They continued to discuss H&M as a competent company and the group believe that H&M is an exceptionally intelligent company that always follows their customer's needs. The company have smart and intelligent commercial that attract the modern women today. The participants believe that if viewing the pictures, H&M have moved from a sexy approach to a sophisticated. All the participants in the group believed that H&M are sophisticated because the company is charming, trendy and they feel that H&M suite the modern women's preferences. The focus group consider H&M as middle class and not upper class, however with the new design collaborations the brand H&M feels more luxurious. They also believe that the first pictures viewed a unreal reality, that the women looked like dolls, and nowadays they are more real and look more fashion and expensive. It is not in time today to have commercials with women in their underwear, more clothes is to prefer. The last brand personality feature ruggedness was argued by the focus group as a non suitable image for H&M. They believe that H&M are not outdoorsy; the company are more about fashion, business and party, not girls in the woods. That H&M is tough the participants associate with a cool male store and not H&M with their feminine image.

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EMPIRICAL DATA When the participants were asked if they had anything else to add to this discussion the participants agreed that personality is a very important part of a brand. If a brand do not have a significant personality, consumers feel that they do not gain anything by shopping that brand or from that company. They also believe that when cooperate with celebrities or fashion designers, their personality is reflected in the clothes you buy, and the consumer might feel that they will gain some of the celebrity's personality when wearing the same clothes as they do. The personality of a brand is affected by the actions of the celebrities. The participants in the focus group believe that it is possible to change a brand personality, but not often and too radical. They believe that it is enhanced to take small steps when a change of the brand is what a company aim for. For example, it is easier to go from a sophisticated brand to a unexcited brand, that sophisticated to ruggedness. The focus group believe that the repositioning of H&M have changed their image but not their personality, they are still a competent brand.

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DATA ANALYSIS

5. Data Analysis

In this chapter the empirical data will be compared with the conceptual framework that was developed in chapter two. In order to answer the research questions used in this study a within-case will be conducted. The within-case analysis will help to compare the data with the theory used in the conceptual framework. The research questions will be answered in order to draw conclusions in the final chapter.

5.1 Repositioning the brand, benefits and risks

5.1.1 Benefits of repositioning a brand

According to Hankinson & Cowking (1993) the possibility to gain value over others when repositioning is of great importance. The focus group believes that H&M have accomplished this through their campaigns with fashion designers, since they are the only low price company at the market using this strategy. This movement towards a new position has made H&M unique and this has given them a higher status and a broader market. The participants also stated that it is essential to use a famous person that can be associated with the company's image, and this decreases the risk of a celebrity damaging the company's image. All participants argued that it is nearly impracticable for a company with a low price strategy to become a high price brand, this since the brand will most certainly be associated with low class. The consumers in this segment will prefer purchasing a product from a company that have the reputation of being of a higher price range and higher status. When updating the personality, following the customer's preferences is very significant. Hankinson & Cowking (1993) argue that an updated personality is one of the benefits that follow with repositioning. All the participants in the focus group agreed that a company has to trail the changing customer needs to update the personality in a superior way. The participants believe that H&M have accomplished this through using famous celebrities and fashion designers cooperation's. Celebrities is an important part of peoples life in today's society and using famous persons to collaborate with is a way for the company to meet the changing customers preferences, people in H&M's primary target market tend to follow the fashion that celebrities pursue. Updating the personality is also an approach to compete with similar brands, and to remain at the best position at the market. As Hankinson & Cowking (1993) discussed, obtaining a relevant position at the market is of great significance when competing with other companies. In the case of H&M, the focus group all agreed that they will not purchase very expensive clothes at H&M since they are not associated with high class. Consumers with great economy would rather buy clothes from exclusive stores since this tend to give them higher status. The participants do not consider that it is the right position for H&M to sell high price clothes; this since their original customers is people from the middle class. Furthermore, it is important not 30

DATA ANALYSIS to operate at the same position for a long time. The preferences for consumers are always changing and it is very important for a company to recognize these changes, otherwise they can loose customers to more innovative companies. When discussing Hankinson & Cowking's (1993) statement that an "Up To Date" image is significant for a company's success, all the participants agreed that this was the case. In the 1990's H&M used models associated with sexiness and nudity, and this was accepted during that time, and therefore a great success followed by their commercials. However, customers preferences are constantly changing and it would not be appropriated to use commercials of this character in today's society. H&M have moved from a brand associated with sexiness towards a more respected brand. These suites the market preferences today and this is one of the components that have made H&M repositioning to be a success. The figure below view the overall importance of benefits from H&M's repositioning.

Not important Value over others

Important

Very important

Updated personality

Relevant position

Up to date image

Figure 5.1: Importance of benefits when repositioning for H&M

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DATA ANALYSIS

5.1.2 Risks of repositioning a brand

According to Hankinson & Cowking (1993) a risk with repositioning is that a company can lose focus on the original idea. The participants do not believe that this is the case for H&M, although they believe that there is a great risk for this to occur through their several collaborations with fashion designers. H&M have over a short period of time used several designers to design clothesline for them with a great success. The risk is that due to this success they can fail to see that the market is beginning to be saturated and that H&M's customers choose a competitor instead. When a company, such as H&M are working hard to establish a new image at the market there is a great risk that they will lose focus on their original idea and missing out on newer customer demands. Larger companies such as H&M possess a smaller risk to lose focus since they have great control over the market and that they have kept the same logo and character since the beginning. Furthermore, small sized companies tend to risk losing focus since they do not have the same capability to attract new markets because they are not as well known and do not contain any control over the market. When repositioning a brand, Hankinson & Cowking (1993) argue that a new strategy can include the risk of neglecting the original customers. H&M have narrowed down their selection of clothes and the participants that this have made the lose some of their customers to competing brands. Although they have lost some of their customers, the repositioning have opened a whole new market and new consumers will purchase products for H&M, and the participants believe that most of the original customers will continue to purchase from H&M. However, if H&M choose to change their position towards an overall high class brand, most of their customers will prefer another company similar to H&M. Losing credibility for the brand is a great risk when repositioning according to Hankinson & Cowking (1993), but the participants do not believe that it is considered to be a large threat for H&M since they are not trying to change their overall image. However, the focus group agree with Hankinson & Cowking that a company risk losing credibility for the brand if reposition in the wrong way. A company is facing a great risk of losing credibility if the movement with some products is towards a low class brand from a high class brand. Consumers that purchase a product from a brand with a high price want to be unique in a way that not "ordinary" people can afford the same brand. If the same brand launches the same product for a lower price, the credibility will decrease with the outcome of disappointed customers. Another risk of repositioning according to Hankinson & Cowking is the threat of confusing the brand. Argued by the focus group, too much and intense repositioning can confuse the brand in a way that the consumers do not understand the position of the company. Therefore they prefer to purchase products from a company that is more consistent in their message. The focus group does not believe that this is a risk for H&M since they have always been consistent in their message.

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DATA ANALYSIS The figure 5.2 below explains the importance of the risks to take in consideration for H&M when repositioning

Not important Loss focus Neglecting original customers Loosing credability for the brand Confusing the brand

Important

Very important

Figure 5.2: Risks to consider for H&M when repositioning

5.2 Brand Personality

According to Aaker (1997) there are five different types of human personality traits that also can be used as describing a brands personality these are, sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication and ruggedness. Aaker (1997) also states that by using the brand personality scale (BPS) one can measure to which extent brand posses any of these personality traits. In this study H&M are used as an example. After exposing the focus group to the five pictures of different advertising campaign from H&M, a discussion followed. Looking at the first of Aaker (1997) personality feature sincerity the participants agreed that H&M are sincere, but when investigating the subtitles to the trait a discussion started. They believed that H&M were more down-to-earth prior to the different designer collaborations, when the company got their inspiration from the ordinary person. The focus group believes that the designer collaboration made H&M loose some of their personality. The participants felt that the company listen too much on fashion directors at different magazines to follow their customers and therefore they have lost some of their personality. One of the participants continued the discussion with her story about H&M. She told us about a pair of jeans that she bought two years ago and that they now had been torn, she went back to the store and got them replaced. Therefore she believes that 33

DATA ANALYSIS H&M are honest, rest of the focus group agreed that they had the similar stories and you can always trust H&M. However the participants believe that H&M are not cheerful since the company employees do not reflect the personality of H&M. This they believe since the company stores feels like just an ordinary workplace and from the spirit that the personnel reflect. When discussing the description wholesome, the participants' opinions were diverse. Almost the entire focus group felt that H&M are wholesome because of the women they use in their campaigns. They feel that the company use strong, successful women to be H&M spokespersons that the participants believe sends a positive message to the consumers. However, some of the participants felt since H&M use child labor and under paid workers to create their clothing lines, that the company is not wholesome. Aakers (1997) second brand personality trait is excitement and the focus group session continued whether H&M are associates with excitement or not. The participants believe that H&M has turned out to be more daring over the past years. A few years ago the company's main clothing line consisted of basic clothes. However now H&M offers the customer trendy and modern clothes although the company still have some parts left of the original basic clothing line. The focus group believes that H&M nowadays dare to change often to be the superior low price cloth store in the market. The group also consider H&M to be spirited since the company often goes their own way and to not follow the competitors in the market. They also believe that H&M are respected by the other companies in the market as a large competitor. Whether H&M is imaginative the participants believe is accurate to some level. The group consider the company to be imaginative when it comes to manage the company and to some extent when it comes to fashion. The participants believe this since H&M often produce clothes that are remakes of trends and designs from exclusive designers, but to a much lower price. Therefore the focus group believe that H&M constantly are up-to-date with all their fashion and clothes, this since the company continuously listens to their consumers need. The participants were asked what they believe that H&M has for a personality feature and they answered that the company are fashionable, modern and trendy. When looking through the different types of personalities, all the participants agreed that H&M are a competent company which according to Aaker (1997) is the third brand personality feature is competent. The focus group believes that H&M is a competent company because they are always reliable and successful. The participants believe that H&M are reliable since they constantly create trendy clothes to a low price. They also argue that H&M are not competing with the clothes and fashion, they believes that they competes with their brand and company. One of the participants considers H&M as an old friend that has been a part of her entire life. Even though H&M have change their image and personality in a drastically way the focus group still consider the company to be reliable. This since the company is consistent with the style of their collection of clothes. Although they have changed their image, one can always find the basic line of clothes that have always been a part of H&M. The focus group believes that the company have smart and intelligent commercial that attract the modern women. That H&M are an intelligent company all the participants agree with and this since they always follow their customers needs.

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DATA ANALYSIS The participants believe that if only viewing the pictures from different campaigns, H&M have moved from a sexy approach to a sophisticated. According to Aaker (1997) sophisticated is the fourth feature in the brand personality model. The entire focus group believed that H&M are sophisticated because the company is charming, trendy and they feel that H&M suits the modern women. That H&M are associated with upper class the focus group does not agree with, they consider the company as middle class. However they experience that the designer collaborations has made H&M clothes to feel more luxurious. The participants in the group consider that the first campaign pictures viewed an unreal reality. They believe that the women looked like dolls, and nowadays they are more real and look more fashion and expensive. It is not in time today to have commercials with women in their underwear, more clothes are to prefer. Aaker's (1997) last personality trait is ruggedness. This feature the focus group do not associate with H&M. They believe that H&M are not outdoorsy; the company is more about fashion. The participants consider that H&M has a feminine image and therefore they do not associate a tough image with the brand. The figure 5.2 below show how much of each personality traits match the brand H&M according to the focus group.

35

DATA ANALYSIS

Perfect Match Sincerity

Down to earth Honest Cheerful Wholesome

Close Match

No Match

Excitement

Daring Spirited Imaginative Up-to-date

Competence

Reliable Successful Intelligent

Sophistication

Charming Upper Class

Ruggedness

Outdoorsy Tough

Figure 5.3: Brand Personality Match for H&M

36

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

6. Findings and conclusions

In the previous chapter the empirical data was analyzed and compared with already existing theories. In this final chapter the research questions will be answered in order to reach the overall purpose for this study, which is to provide a deeper understanding on how customers react to a brand when it is repositioned.

6.1 What strategic benefits/risks follow with repositioning?

6.1.1 Benefits of repositioning a brand

Repositioning is an immense way for a company to move towards a greater position at the market and meet new customer demands. Repositioning is complicated and needs great planning and market analysis to succeed. There are several benefits that follow with repositioning and a company can become more attractive at the market. The study has viewed that repositioning is a great way for a company to keep up with the competition as increases rapidly with more and more companies operating at the market. A company have to change in some ways to meet this new competition, it do not have to be in the form of reposition, although reposition is somewhat one of the mostly implemented strategy. It is generally hard to find the most beneficial outcome of repositioning since it tend to differ between companies and the type of products or services they provide their customers with. Furthermore our findings view that all of the benefits are more or less important for all kinds of companies. Value over others is hard to accomplish for small sized companies since they tend to have more established companies as competitors. Although, if a company possesses a unique position at the market, even if they are small sized, value over others can be a possibility when repositioning a brand. Updated personality is something that all companies have to take in consideration, and this is easily done by repositioning. This thesis argues that customer's preferences are always changing and it is of great importance to follow these trends to gain a great position. If a company do not follow new customer demands they will be excluded in the competition and the customers will chose to purchase products from a company that suites these new preferences. When repositioning, the company can move towards a more relevant position at the market, and this will certainly increase success for the company. This study view that overall repositioning is about moving something to somewhere when a company can operate in the most superior way. Furthermore, this is also a way for a company to meet new customer preferences. Trends change over time and customers are searching for the most relevant product at the market. When reaching out for the best position, companies have to analyse the market and the new demands, and followed by this, the company can 37

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS evaluate what the customer's aims for and change their products in a way that meet the preference in today's society. Up to date image is linked to an updated personality but differ in the way that an updated image is more visible from a customer perspective. This study view that it is of great importance for a company to obtain an image that fits the society's preferences; otherwise they can loose their credibility and be view on as a non serious company. People want to recognise themselves in an image that a company possesses and therefore it is very important to have an overall understanding of what image the consumers prefer. Repositioning the image in a way that meet the markets requirements will most likely make the company more attractive and able to compete with similar companies. Outline of the final conclusions regarding benefits in research question one: Repositioning is a strategy for companies to reach a relevant position at the market. The more they reposition, the more relevant they become. A repositioning can be a splendid way of competing with the new competition at the market. Repositioning can open a whole new market for the company. To gain value over others is complicated for small sized companies, although if they have a unique position at the market they can reach this state. A unique position is when a company provide their customers with a unique product or service. Customer's preferences change rapidly, and therefore a repositioning to update the personality is a way to meet these new demands. The image a company holds is visible from a customer perspective, and therefore it is very important for a company's success to possess the image that customers prefer, and that the customers can recognize themselves in that image. Repositioning of an image can attract new customers.

6.1.2 Risks of repositioning a brand

When repositioning a brand several risks can occur on their way of becoming more successful. There is always risks when a company want to change in some way, but with reposition, it can be somewhat more risky since it is such a significantly change for the company. The market has to be truly analyzed and evaluated prior to the repositioning to gain great success, otherwise the company can lose their credibility and the consumers might be disappointed on the changes and prefer a similar brand instead of the repositioning company. According to this study, if the process of repositioning is in progress for a long time, and that the market is truly analyzed, it is likely that the reposition will be a positive change for the company. However, this study view that if the repositioning process is to rapidly the company risk losing focus on the original idea and this can be a great threat for the company's existence, truly if the company is of a small size. It is harder for companies 38

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS that are not yet truly established at the market to gain credibility once more after misplacing it. Larger companies have more loyal customers that can overlook a mistake, when smaller companies to not obtain this advantage and therefore risk losing all of their customers. If a company wants to keep the same customers but change their image, they need to evaluate if this is something that the customers prefer. If they have not completed this properly they risk losing their original customers and this is the ones that tend to be the most loyal customers that the customers have. The findings of this thesis view that if a company are neglecting the original customers it is a great risk that the customers prefer another brand instead and they will lose their credibility. It is most likely that the company will have a hard time make the customers trust them again, perhaps even impossible. Losing the credibility for a brand or company is the most threatening situating for a company to be within. Customers tend to value credibility for a brand as one of the most important feature. This is a threat for all types and size of companies. Loyal customers are always the ones that make the company successful and the ones that prefer the specific brand over others. As findings of this thesis explain, new competitions are always entering the market and this make the credibility very important due to the great supply for similar products at the market. A customer wants to feel that the company is working for their requirements and that they can trust the company to always meet their changing demands. Another risk with repositioning that this thesis argues is the possibility of confusing the brand. If a company carries out a drastic change, the consumers can be confused and not be able to understand the company's standpoint. It is hard for a company to move from a low class brand to a high class brand and vice versa. It is a greater risk for a company to move towards a low class from a high class. The customers that can afford more expensive products want to be some kind of unique, and this is not the case if low income consumers can buy the same product. If a company actually does this movement explained above, it is very hard, if not impossible to gain the same status again, and this is not a situation a high class company wants to be in. It is also hard to move a low class brand towards a high class brand, but the loss of credibility is not as high as for the other example, but this will indeed confuse the brand and the consumers. Outline of the final conclusions regarding risks in research question one: If the repositioning process is too intense, the company can risk losing focus on the original idea. If the repositioning process is not evaluated correctly, the company can lose their credibility and their loyal customers. For small sized companies there is a greater risk that repositioning can cause loss of credibility since they do not have a large amount of loyal customers. Neglecting the original customers when repositioning can make these customers prefer another brand. 39

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS High credibility for a brand is the most important factor for consumers when evaluating where to purchase from. Confusing the brand can occur if a high class brand produce low class products and vice versa. The largest threat to confuse the brand is when a high class moves towards low class, and this will make consumers prefer another brand that makes them feel unique.

6.2 How can the changes in a brand personality from repositioning be described?

A brand personality is significant for a company to use since the customer has to relate to company and brand as if it was a human being. If a company neglect to define the brand personality the consumer feels like they do not gain anything by purchase from that brand or company. If a company lacks the ability to create a personality for the brand they can use celebrities as spokespersons. This will make the customers relate to the celebrity and assume that the company and brand personality are the same as the spokespersons personality. However, it is of great importance to choose the right celebrity as a spokesperson since the actions of the celebrity affects the personality of the brand. The company in this study has used different types of celebrities to be their spokespersons. They have used fashion designers, famous models and well-known female singers, to be associated with the company's brand personality. Furthermore, in this case the chosen brand and company are excessively well-know to be affected to a large extent by the celebrity actions. In this study the brand more or less affects the spokesperson more than the spokesperson affects the brand personality. In this thesis a general model has been used to narrow down the number of different personality features. By using this model one can measure how much of the personality features that a brand can possess. Many brands have a piece of every personality feature, although some match more that others. When a company repositions and the brands personality has to change, the company should consider changing to a personality feature they already possess to some extent. Therefore the customers will adjust to the change and the repositioning process will be less complicated. If changing a brands personality to a feature that the company do not possess, the company have to take in consideration not to this too intense or radical. In this case the company possessed to some extent all the personality traits from the model, except the last trait ruggedness. This since the company is considered to be a feminine brand and is not associated with outdoor life. All the other personality features affects the company's brand personality. Even if just one of the personalities is a perfect match for the brand it does not mean that the other features affect the brand less. When the company in this thesis repositioned they went from a sexy approach to a sophisticated image. The company already possessed some of the attributes needed to have a sophisticated personality, however when the repositioning occurred the brand possessed more of this particular feature. At the time that the sexier image were used it was more acceptable in the society, than it would be today. Therefore, even if the company uses a 40

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS more sophisticated approach than before, the change has not been radical and the consumer preferences have change over the years. This means that the repositioning has not changed the personality in the consumers "point of view". Another personality trait is that the company possessed before the repositioning is excitement and over the past years this personality feature has increased. According to this study the company has become more daring and up to date than they were before the repositioning, this since the company continuously listens to their consumers needs and preferences. It is of great importance to analyze and understand the consumer when changing the personality; therefore the changes are not as noticeable, from a customer perspective. One trait that the company has lost over time is sincerity this since the company has change their source of inspiration form the ordinary person to a high fashion designer. This study argues that since the repositioning and the loss of being down to earth has made the company lose some of their previous personality. For the company in this study the feature that matches the brand personality in a superior way are competence and fashionable. The chosen company has repositioned but this brand personality trait is still the same. This has been accomplished through the changing consumer preferences over the years, therefore the company is still considered to be a reliable brand. This also views that if a company is a very intelligent and successful brand, that understands their customers well and are able to follow the consumer preferences. In this particular case the repositioning of this company did not change the brands personality. This means that the chosen company has changed their image but not their personality; they are still a competent brand. Outline of the final conclusions for research question number two: It is significant to have a defined brand personality, as a result the consumers feel like they are gaining value when purchasing from the company. Celebrities can be used to create a personality for the brand; however the celebrity's actions can affect the company negative and therefore also affect the personality. A well-known brand is not as affected by a celebrity personality like less known brand. Brands can, like humans possess more than one personality feature, but one specific feature is always the dominated. When changing a brands personality, the company should consider using features that the brand already possesses to still be themselves, this to minimize the confusions amongst the customers. Customers preferences tend to change over time, and therefore a company can change their personality to meet these new demands. If a company want to possess a personality trait that the brand has not been associated with before, it is necessary not to change the personality too radically and rapidly since the customers have to adjust to the changes. When the well-known company repositions, the brand personality do not changed.

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FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

6.3 Implications and recommendations

This section will describe how the purpose of this thesis has been reached and how managers can use the conclusion as proposals in the future. This section will also provide guidelines for future research.

6.3.1 Implications for theory

The purpose of this thesis is to provide a deeper understanding on how customers react to a brand when it is repositioned. This has been accomplished by exploring, primarily describing and beginning to explain by answering our research questions through following the conceptual framework and collecting data. This made it possible to answer the two research question designed for this thesis. A focus group analyzed posters to explore the purpose of the study. This thesis has described by analyzing the benefits and risks with repositioning, as well as if a brand personality can change. The thesis begins to explain the conclusions made after analyzing the data gathered from the focus group session. The findings and conclusions made it possible to answer the research questions and no connection was found between repositioning and the changing brand personality. Through the findings and conclusions one has gained the ability to compare reality with theory. This thesis ought to have future research consideration.

6.3.2 Implications for practitioners

Implications for practitioners can be looked at as a form of proposals to management and are based on this thesis data and findings. The proposals following below are based on the empirical data, analysis and conclusions that have been completed during this study. As mentioned earlier in this thesis, repositioning is a great way to increase a company's incomes by opening a whole new market. There are risks and benefits with this process and it is important to truly analyse the market prior to the repositioning. The personality is a great part of a company and it is important to have a personality that meets the customer's preferences in the society, and this has to be taken in consideration when repositioning. Repositioning is a process that moves a company towards a more relevant position at the market, this to gain higher market shares and an extended target market. Repositioning can open up new markets for a company and increase their income. This can occur when the company investigate the market and the consumers to understand what they need to accomplish to succeed with their repositioning. If the repositioning is not managed in a customer perspective, it can make the company lose its creditability since it does not meet the customer preferences. It is important for a company to possess a significant personality that customers can relate to, this to make them feel comfortable when purchasing a specific product or service. This since the customers has to relate to the company as it was a human being. A company can have different types of personality features, like a human personality where the personality tend to change over the time. This can be factors 42

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS such as developing different factors, change of style, new preferences and new demands.

6.3.3 Implications for future research

During the research for this thesis a number of factors has been discover that are not implemented in this study. These factors are interesting to consider for further research within this area. Repositioning of a non profit organization can be of great success, but if this will not succeed what can be the consequences for the company when it rely on individual's charity. This can be an interesting topic to investigate due to the increased will within individuals to give money to charity. If a brand personality is easier to change for a non established company can be a area of research. Which affect can a celebrity spokesperson have on a brand personality could be an interesting topic. Investigate within a group of males what they prefer a brand to be associate with could be an interesting topic for research. Do the preferences differ between older and younger individuals regarding repositioning and brand personality? It can be a topic for future researchers to explore. Investigate the differences between males and females preferences for a brand's personality is a possible research topic. Can repositioning change customers buying behaviour can be interesting area to investigate. Another type of collecting data can be used for future research in the same area of research. The different communication factors to create an image of a product or service can be a future topic to investigate. An interesting area to explore for future research is how to design a visual identity. How a company change their segment to gain a cost leadership or how to strengthen their power in the competition of market shares, can be an interesting area of research. Analyze why companies decide to operate towards different strategic groups.

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LIST OF REFERENCES

List of References:

Aaker, J.L. (1997) Dimensions of brand personality. Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 4, August, p 347-356. Berner, R. (2004) Extreme Makeover. Business Week, Issue 3906, November. Czinkota, M. R. & Ronkainen, I. A. (2004) International Marketing. (7 th Ed.) Maison, Ohio. Thomson/South Western. Denscombe, M. (2000) Forskningshandboken - för småskaliga forskningsprojekt inom samhällsvetenskaperna. Lund. Studentlitteratur. Diamantopoulos, A., Smith, G. & Grime, I. (2005) Impact of brand extensions on brand personality: experimental evidence. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39, Febuary, p 129-149. Freling, T.H. & Forbes, L.P. (2005) An empirical analysis of the brand personality effect. Journal of Product & Brand Management, July, p 404-413. Foster, T. (1998) Industrial Marketing Communication: An empirical Investigation on the Use of Marketing Communication Tools. Licentiate Thesis. Luleå University of Technology. Hankinson, G. & Cowking, P. (1993) Branding in action: cases and strategies for profitable brand management. London. McGraw-Hill marketing for professional series Hart, S.& Murphy J.M. (1998) Brands: the new wealth creators. Basingstoke. Macmillian. (Pope, Cullwick & Kennelly p. 167) Jobber, D. (2001) Principles and Practise of marketing (3 rd Ed.) London: McGraw-Hill International (UK) Ltd Kapferer, J.N. (1995) Bygga och vårda starka Dagligvarulerverantörernas förbund: Delfi företagen. varumärken. Stockholm.

Kapferer, J.N. (2001) (Re)inventing the brand: can top brands survive the new market realities?. London. Kogan Page. Kotler, P. (2001) Principles of marketing. (9 th Ed.) Upper Saddle River, N.J. Prentice Hall International. Krueger, R.A. (1994) Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research. (2nd Ed.) Thousand Oakes. Sage Publications, inc. 44

LIST OF REFERENCES

Miles, M.B. & Huberman, M.A. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis. (2 nd Ed.) London: SAGE Publications. Morgan, D.L. (1997) Focus groups as a qualitative research. (2nd Ed.) Thousand Oaks. Sage Publications, inc. Olsson, V. & Larsson, Å. (2005) Humor in Advertisning. Bachelor's Thesis. Luleå University of Technology. Ries, A. (1985) Positionering: kampen om ditt medvetande. Lund. Studentlitteratur. Solomon, M.R. (2007) Consumer behaviour: Buying, selling and being. (7 th Ed.) Upper Saddle River, N.J. Pearson Prentice Hall

Strategic direction (2005) McDonald's and healthy eating. Emerald group publishing limited Vol. 21, April, p 9-12. Trout, J. (1996) The new positioning: the latest on world's 1business strategy. New York. McGraw-Hill. Uggla, H. (2006) Positionering: Teori, trend & Strategi. (1 a Uppl.) Malmö. Liber.

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APPENDIX APPENDIX 1A Interview guide, Focus group- English

Questions for RQ1: What strategic benefits/risks follow with repositioning?

Repositioning

Benefits · Value over others · Updated personality · Relevant position · "Up to date" image Risks · Loss of focus · Neglecting original costumers · Loosing credibility for the brand · Confusing the brand · Anything else?

Questions for RQ2: How can the changes in a brand personality from

repositioning be described?

Brand personality:

· Sincerity o Down to Earth o Honest o Wholesome o Cheerful Excitement o Daring o Spirited o Imaginative o Up to Date · Anything else? · Competence o Reliable o Intelligent o Successful Sophistication o Upper class o Charming Ruggedness o Outdoorsy o Tough

·

· ·

APPENDIX APPENDIX 1B Intervju guide, Fokus grupp- Svenska

Forskningsfråga 1: Vilka strategiska fördelar/nackdelar kan om- positionering

innebära?

Om- positionering

Fördelar · · · · Risker · · · · · Förlora fokus Försumma original kunderna Förlorad trovärdighet för märket Förvirrande märke Högre värde över andra Uppdaterad personlighet Relevant position "Up to date" image

Någonting annat?

Forskningsfråga 2: Hur kan förändringarna i ett märkes personlighet genom

ompositionering beskrivas?

Märkes personlighet:

· Uppriktighet o Jordnära o Ärlig o Välgörande o Inbjudande Spänning o Vågat o Kraftfull o Fanasifull o Up to Date · Kompetens o Pålitlig o Intelligent o Framgångsrik Sofistikerad o Överklass o Charmigt Grov o Friluftsliv o Tufft

·

·

·

·

Någonting annat?

APPENDIX APPENDIX 2: Poster Anna Nicole Smith

APPENDIX APPENDIX 3:Poster Claudia Schiffer

APPENDIX APPENDIX 4: Poster Karl Lagerfeldt

APPENDIX APPENDIX 5: Poster Victor & Rolf

APPENDIX APPENDIX 6: Poster Kylie Minogue

Information

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