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Back to Basics:
consumer-centric marketing or
target-centric marketing
Pedro Ferreira & André Vieira (eds)
International Conference on Marketing & Consumer Behaviour – 2013
Back to Basics: consumer-centric marketing or target-centric marketing
Porto, 16-17 May 2013
Title: Back to Basics: consumer-centric marketing or target-centric marketing
1st Edition: July, 2013
Editors: Pedro Ferreira, André Vieira
Edition and Property: Edições IPAM
Av. Boavista, 1102, 1ºDto
4000 - 113 Porto, Portugal
Design: André Vieira
ISBN: 978-989-98442-4-7
All rights reserved
The contents of the papers are the sole responsibility of their respective authors
Conference Manager
Pedro Ferreira
Themes Supervisor
Irina Saur-Amaral
Submissions Coordinator
André Vieira
Conference Secretariat Supervisor
Diana Barradas
Angel Herrero Crespo
Carlos Melo Brito
Cláudia Simões
Daniel Sá
Elisa Alen González
Elizabeth Real
Ferrão Filipe
Helena Alves
João Leitão
Luísa Agante
Maria José Silva
Maria Teresa Heath
Miguel Martin D’Ávila
Osmud Rahman
Paula Vicente
Raquel Reis
Vanessa Apaolaza Ibáñez
Universidad de Cantabria, Spain
Universidade do Porto, Portugal
UM, Portugal
IPAM – The Marketing School, Portugal
Universidade de Vigo, Spain
Universidade Lusíada de VNF, Portugal
IPAM – The Marketing School, Portugal
UBI, Portugal
IST, Portugal
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
UBI, Portugal
University of Nottingham, UK
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
School of Fashion, Ryerson University, Canada
ISCTE, Portugal
Universidade Lusíada de VNF, Portugal
Universidad del País Vasco, Spain
Adriana Brambilla
Adrienne Steffen
Alicia Blanco
Angel Herrero Crespo
Aruna Mesquita e Noronha
Bruno Sousa
Carmen Marques
Cigdem Sahin
Cláudia Carvalho
Cláudia Simões
Conceição Santos
Daniel Sá
Danilo de Oliveira Sampaio
Elídio Vanzella
Elisa Alen González
Elizabeth Real
Helena Alves
Ilham Uludag
Inês Veiga Pereira
Irina Saur-Amaral
Isabell Koinig
Ivonne Serna
João Leitão
Jolanta Tkaczyk
Jorge Marques
Kalender Özcan ATILGAN
Luísa Agante
Maria Fátima Salgueiro
Marek Prymon
Margarida Cardoso
Maria José Silva
Maria Puelles
Mark Ng
Martín Dávila
Nagy Katalin
Hochschule für Internationales Management Heidelberg
Universidade Rey Juan Carlos
Universidad de Cantabria
S.S.Dempo College of Commerce and Economics
Universidade do Minho / IPCA
Universidade de Aveiro
Okan University
Universidade Portucalense
Universidade do Minho
IPAM - The Marketing School
Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora/UFJF/Brasil
Universidade de Vigo
Universidade Lusíada
Ege University Faculty of Communication
Universidade da Beira Interior
Yalova University
IPAM - The Marketing School
Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt
Ryerson University
Instituto Superior Técnico
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra
University of Mersin
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
University of Economics, Wrocław
Universidade da Beira Interior
Universidade Complutense
Hong Kong Shue Yan University
IPAM - The Marketing School
University of Miskolc, Faculty of Economics
Osmud Rahman
Özgür Atilgan
Paula Odete
Paula Vicente
Pedro Ferreira
Pedro Mendes
Peter Atorough
Raquel Meneses
Raquel Reis
Ricardo Correia
Rosa Conde
Rui Pascoal
Sally McKechnie
Sandra Filipe
Sara Neves
Sérgio Dominique
Silvia Faria
Susana Marques
Susana Romero
Teresa Pereira Heath
Ugur Bakir
Vanessa Apaolaza Ibáñez
Verónica Rosendo
School of Fashion, Ryerson University
Istanbul Kultur University
Instituto Politécnico de Bragança
IPAM - The Marketing School
IPAM - The Marketing School
Robert Gordon University Aberdeen
Universidade do Porto (Faculdade de Economia)
Universidade Lusíada de VNF
Instituto Politécnico de Bragança
IPAM - The Marketing School
Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra
Nottingham University Business School
Universidade de Aveiro
Faculdade de Economia da UP
University of Cukurova
IPAM - The Marketing School
ISAG - Instituto Superior de Administração e Gestão
Universidade Rey Juan Carlos
Nottingham University Business School
Ege Üniversitesi
Universidad del País Vasco
Colégio de Estudos Financeiros
Back to Basics:
consumer-centric marketing or target-centric marketing
IPAM – The Marketing School
16-17 May 2013
Back to Basics:
consumer-centric marketing or target-centric marketing
Groups of consumers have been the main focus of marketing activity. As an example, the basic idea behind
segmentation, one of the most important marketing processes, is that consumers are not all alike. They have
different characteristics and lifestyles, which calls for the need to group them (and the market they
represent for a respective good) in homogeneous segments so that marketing actions can be better targeted
and obtain more effective results. We may call this type of marketing, target-centric marketing.
More recently there has been a growing concern with the consumer as an individual. Expressions such as
“personalization”, “relationship marketing”, and “co-creation” among others have gained considerable
attention from researchers and practitioners. The assumption that “consumers are not alike” takes a step
further and consumers are seen as human beings with very specific needs and desires, almost unique or
unrepeatable. Each consumer should feel that the marketing action targeted to reach him/her was designed
specifically for him/her. This may be called consumer-centric marketing.
These two approaches have significant (and different) impacts on marketing practices and marketing
In target-centric marketing, approaching consumers as a “market” means that companies need to look for
characteristics that group consumers and try to know them very well, as a group. In this context, operational
marketing tasks are directed to an “anonymous” mass, although a targeted one.
In consumer-centric marketing, seeing consumers as unique human beings, whose specific needs and desires
need to be fulfilled, demands for a different, more “surgical” approach, even in more operational marketing
Although the latter is gaining supporters, the operational support is much more demanding in terms of
processes, human and even financial resources, leaving it difficult for companies to being capable of
implementing such a marketing philosophy.
This duality was the main focus of our conference as it rises very important questions still unanswered that
we invited participants to address.
Pedro Ferreira & André Vieira (Editors)
SESSION 1 ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 11
M ODELING BRAND EQUITY IN RETAIL BANKING THROUGH COGNITION AND EMOTION...................................................................................12
SOME ASPECTS OF I NTEGRATED M ARKETING COMMUNICATIONS IN BUILDING BRAND EQUITY...................................................................24
PERCEPTION OF SOURCES OF BRAND VALUE TAP PORTUGAL BY THE PERSPECTIVE OF ITS USERS ...............................................................................30
SESSION 2 ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 43
USING THE EYE TRACKING FOR ANALYSIS OF PREFERENCE FOR VEHICLES......................................................................................................44
ANALYSIS OF THE USAGE AND ATTITUDES OF PAYMENT CARDS USERS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA.........................................................55
THE EFFECTS OF REVENUE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES IN CONSUMERS BEHAVIOUR .....................................................................................79
SESSION 3 ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 89
INTENT TO PURCHASE AND CONSUMPTION OF O RGANIC FOOD IN BRAZIL....................................................................................................90
AZERBAIJAN .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 115
SESSION 4 ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 125
BRAZIL .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 126
M OBILE PHONE SURVEYS TO MEASURE CONSUMER BEHAVIOR: EFFECTS ON DATA QUALITY ...................................................................... 140
COMPETING RESEARCH M ETHODS: WHAT ’S BEHIND IT ? ............................................................................................................................ 147
SESSION 5 ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 157
M ARKETING IN PUBLIC SERVICES: THE CITIZEN SERVICE POINTS IN PORTUGAL....................................................................................... 158
AVALIAÇÃO DA Q UALIDADE DOS SERVIÇOS EM UMA O RGANIZAÇÃO PÚBLICA BRASILEIRA........................................................................ 170
TERRITORIAL MARKETING : A KEY CONCEPT FOR THE PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT OF CITIES ................................................................ 181
SESSION 6 ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 193
EVALUATING THE USE OF AVATARS AS SOCIABILITY FACTOR IN E-COMMERCE........................................................................................... 194
INFLUENCES OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ON PRE-ADULT CONSUMERS.................................................................................................... 208
SESSION 7 ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 232
M ODELING ELECTRONIC AND TOTAL COMMERCE BY INNOVATION DIFFUSION GROWTH MODELS............................................................... 233
INNOVATION, DYNAMIC CAPABILITIES AND PERFORMANCE IN EXPORT MARKETS....................................................................................... 240
M ARKETING EVALUATION APPROACH IN THE HUNGARIAN MIDDLE-SIZED AND LARGE COMPANIES........................................................... 269
SESSION 8 ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 283
O RGANIZATIONS IN TURKEY......................................................................................................................................................................... 284
A MULTI -STAGE STUDY TO MEASURE CUSTOMER PERCEPTIONS OF CSR ..................................................................................................... 296
SESSION 9 ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 326
TERRORISM AND INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS .............................................................................................................................................. 334
THE CHOICE OF THE UNIVERSITY ABROAD: A CONCEPTUAL M ODEL.......................................................................................................... 342
THE IMPACT OF LOW COST AIRLINES ON TOURISM DEVELOPMENT ............................................................................................................ 352
SESSION 10 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 361
THE ELDERLY GO THE GYM: A LOOK AT MARKETING .................................................................................................................................... 362
CUSTOMER RESPONSE TO M ESSAGE FRAMING IN CAUSE RELATED M ARKETING ....................................................................................... 394
SESSION 11 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 404
CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR, CONSUMPTION AND SYMBOLISM: A THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENT ..................................................................... 419
SOCIAL SUPPORT EXPECTATIONS FROM HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS- ANTECEDENTS AND EMOTIONS........................................................... 430
SESSION 12 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 439
THE APPLICATION OF M ARKET BASKET ANALYSIS TO A FASHION RETAILER............................................................................................ 449
CONSUMER BEHAVIOR IN RETAIL: ONLINE AND OFFLINE – WHAT IS THE FUTURE? .................................................................................... 458
SESSION 13 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 475
THE LEVEL OF TECHNOLOGY ON SOCIAL CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP M ANAGEMENT.................................................................................. 476
THE INFLUENCE OF EWOM GENERATED BY THE REFERENCE GROUPS ON FACEBOOK, IN PORTUGAL........................................................ 500
SESSION 14 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 511
THE O THER CUSTOMER’S PRESENCE IN THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE: A CONCEPTUAL APPROACH .......................................................... 524
SESSION 15 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 543
D RIVERS OF INNOVATION UNDER TURBULENT TIMES IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY.......................................................................................... 544
INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIAL M ARKETING IN CULTURAL ROUTES O PERATION................................................................................................. 561
HOW TO M EASURE BRAND PERSONALITY OF A NATURE-BASED TOURIST D ESTINATION ......................................................................... 573
SERVICE Q UALITY M EASUREMENT IN THERMAL SPAS’ TOURISM............................................................................................................... 581
SESSION 16 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 593
THE INFLUENCE OF ETHNOCENTRICITY IN PURCHASE BEHAVIOR AND ETHNOCENTRIC ATTITUDES ........................................................... 632
SESSION 17 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 639
A STUDY OF FASHION M OBILE M ARKETING FROM THE USERS’ PERSPECTIVE ........................................................................................... 651
INTERNET AND CONSUMER EMPOWERMENT : THE ROLE OF DECISION AIDS AND SOCIAL MEDIA ................................................................. 663
SESSION 18 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 674
LIMITS TO TRANSPARENCY IN CORPORATE COMMUNICATION: A REFLECTION ON NEED TO EMBRACE SACRED IN SECULAR SPACE OF BSCHOOLS ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 691
LOCATION BASED SALES PROMOTION STRATEGIES..................................................................................................................................... 697
SESSION 19 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 721
M ARKETING STRATEGY AND THE FLOWERS TRADE WITH PORTUGAL........................................................................................................ 722
THE MARKETING PLAN IN THE WINE PRODUCING COMPANIES IN PORTUGAL.............................................................................................. 734
SESSION 20 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 772
COSTUMER’S VIEWS ON FOOD SAFETY IN FOOD SERVICES: A BRAZILIAN STUDY.......................................................................................... 773
THE EFFECT OF SERVICE CONTEXT IN CONSUMER RELATIONSHIP PRONENESS AND BEHAVIOR............................................................... 785
SESSION 21 .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 803
ESTÁDIO DO D RAGÃO (D RAGON STADIUM) CASE........................................................................................................................................ 804
Session 1
Modeling brand equity in retail banking
through cognition and emotion
Brand Equity; Brand Knowledge; Cognition; Emotions; Customer Satisfaction; Customer Loyalty.
Meena Rambocas, The University of the West Indies,
Vishnu Kirpalani, The University of the West Indies,
Errol Simms, The University of the West Indies,
Objectives: Through brand equity, brand owners can uplift public perceptions of products and services regarded as
commodities in saturated markets. But, how can brand equity be created? There is already an established relationship
between brand equity and customer knowledge, but to date, very little is known about how different aspects of knowledge
contribute to brand equity. This study addressed this theoretical deficit by investigating the influence of two aspects on
knowledge (thought processes-cognition, and feelings-emotion) on brand equity. Specifically, the study investigated: what
are the determinants of brand equity and how important are these determinants in explaining brand equity?
Methodology: Data were collected from two hundred and eighty-three (283) retail banking customers in Trinidad and
Tobago (T&T) through personally administered structured questionnaires and analyzed using Confirmatory Factor
Analysis (CFA) and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM).
Conclusions: The findings revealed that brand equity is a multidimensional construct created through a series of
interrelated relationships between cognitive and emotional knowledge structures. Cognitive knowledge through customer
loyalty and customer satisfaction mediated the relationships between brand equity and emotional aspects of knowledge.
The study concluded with a discussion on the impact of these findings on retail banks and other service providers.
Limitations: Our data collection efforts were limited to one country in one service sector and investigated only two
dimensions of customer knowledge. Future research can consider extending this research context to other countri es and
service sectors as well as investigating the moderating impact of customer characteristics.
1. Introduction
Retail banking service is a distinctive service category in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) primarily because of the size and
history. It is the largest service sector in the T&T economy accounting for nearly forty percent (40%) of total financial
assets (CSO, 2010). It contributes fourteen percent (14%) to T&T's Gross Domestic Product and employs approximately
eight percent (8%) of the T&T labor force. The sector operations have been stable with most services revolving on
traditional loans, deposits, and short-term credit facilities. In terms of internet banking, most banks offer the opportunity
to conduct approved transactions over the internet, but the consumer public makes very little use of this facility (Robinson
and Moore, 2010; Rambocas and Arjoon, 2012). The facility is most appealing to higher educated, younger customers for
basic services such as checking balances (Robinson and Moore, 2010). Customers mainly rely on personal interface to
conduct most of their transactions. However, the market is now facing challenges ranging from regulations to consumers
lifestyle. Additionally, the market is also changing structurally with recent acquisitions, and diminishing distinction with
other financial providers (insurance companies and credit unions). These changes coupled with the challenges from the
2008 financial crisis are propelling banks to find innovative ways of communicating with customers, b uild trust, and
maintain consumer confidence. Such changes can create new opportunities for banks but it can also lead to a threat of
commoditization. Successful branding can reduce this threat. The interest in branding is not only limited to banking but
extends to every facet of commerce, from software firms like Google to fast moving consumer goods like Nestle. However,
for services, branding plays a special role because it adds a face to an invisible purchase. Strong service brands create
favorable associations, reduce consumption risks, stimulate confidence, build loyalty, and generate trust. The value
customers assign to brands refers to brand equity (Keller, 1993). Brand equity exists when consumers prefer specific
brands and pay more for them just because of the name appeal.
However, while the consequences of brand equity are well established, there is little consensus on how this marketing
phenomenon is created. Some academics argue that brand equity developed through a combination of cognitive elements
such as, awareness, association, loyalty, and perceived quality (Aaker, 1991; Keller, 1993; Yoo and Donthu, 2001). Others
look at the social and personal elements of attachment and trustworthiness (Belen del Río, Vázquez, and Iglesias, 2001); as
well as brand image and brand attitude (Kim and Kim 2005). Nevertheless, despite the variation, the crucial role of brand
knowledge is common to all arguments (Keller, 1993). This study builds on this academic consensus and examines the
concept of brand equity through the lenses of consumer behavior and psychology theories. It decomposed consumer
brand knowledge into a dichotomous construct driven by ongoing cognitive (intelligent and rational) and emotional
(subjective) evaluation of marketing stimuli. There is a strong suspicion that both cognitive and emotional aspects play
different roles in predicting and explaining brand equity, but to date the nature of this relationship remains under
explored. This study addresses this theoretical deficit by investigating what are the determinants of brand equity, and how
important are these determinants in explaining and predicting brand equity? Specifically, the study examines the impact of
six specific aspects of cognition and emotion (brand awareness, perceived service quality, customer satisfaction, customer
loyalty, service experience and brand affinity) on brand equity.
The structure of our paper follows four main sections. Firstly, we examined the theoretical relationship between consumer
brand knowledge and brand equity. Secondly, we presented the conceptual model that guided our research design and our
research hypotheses. Thirdly, we presented the methodology and data analysis techniques and finally a discussion on the
implications of our findings and make recommendations for future research initiatives.
2. Literature Review
Branding is a widely researched topic in marketing (Berry, 2000). However, recent calls for a more integrative perspective
on the psychology of successful brands have brought the concept back to the forefront (Schmitt, 2012). This study
conceptualizes successful brands as the favorable association customers assign to a brand, referred to as brand equity
(Keller, 1993). Specifically, brand equity is the value a brand name brings to all stakeholders including producers, retailers,
and consumers. It exists when consumers gravitate towards a specific brand, or are willingly to pay more for the same
level of quality just because of the attractiveness of the name. The concept of brand equity draws on multiple constructs,
but common to all definitions is the fundamental value-added to a firm, or value-added to the customer (Aaker, 1991;
Simon and Sullivan, 1993; Keller, 1993; Kim et al., 2003). To the firm, brand equity presents a financial opportunity based
on the incremental cash flow or revenue over unbranded products (Simon and Sullivan, 1993). To the customer, brand
equity creates benefit by positive differential responses (Aaker, 1991; Keller 1993; Kim et al., 2003).
This study defines brand equity from a customer perspective. Our study builds on the premise that the power of a brand
lies on what customers learn, feel, see and hear about brands overtime. Our interest in brand equity from a customer
perspective is twofold. Firstly, motivated by the perspectives of Lasser et al. (1995) and Keller (2001) we believe that
customer brand equity is the driving force of economic and financial performance. Secondly, given escalating costs,
stagnated demand and increasing competition companies are seeking ways to maximize their returns from marketing
spend (Keller, 2001). We believe that understanding brand behavior from a psychological perspective can help. Studying
brand equity from a psychological perspective provides firms with the necessary tools to adopt tactical and
comprehensive marketing programs. We define brand equity as the aggregated benefits customers derive from a brand.
Brand equity helps customers interpret, store and retrieve large amount of information from memory. While the
marketing literature has already established a direct and positive link between brand equity and knowledge (Aaker, 1991;
Keller, 1993), there is general disagreement on the composition of brand equity. Some academics argue that brand equity
is developed through a combination of cognitive elements (Aaker, 1991; Keller, 1993), others look at the social and
personal elements (Belen del Río, Vázquez, and Iglesias, 2001), brand image and brand attitude (Kim and Kim 2005, Low
and Lamb, 2007). Lasser et al. (1995) suggested that consumers create brand equity through intangible and perceptual
dimensions like perceived performance, perceived value, image, trustworthiness, and commitment. On the other hand, Yoo
et al. (2001), proposed behavioral determinant of loyalty, perceived quality and brand awareness/association. Other
authors argue a more integrative hierarchical approach to brand equity. For instance, Keller (2001) suggested that brand
equity is a hierarchical phenomenon created through a sequential process that integrates brand salience, brand
performance, imagery, judgment, feelings, and resonance. Other studies (Netemeyer et al., 2004) suggested that brand
equity is behavioral, created by consumer willingness to pay extra for a specific brand and key brand related respons e
variables such as perceived service quality, perceived brand value for the cost and brand uniqueness. Recently, Taylor et
al. (2007) extended the Netemeyer (2004) model in the context of financial services to include customer satisfaction given
its strong correlation with customer repeat purchase intention in service markets (Oliver, 1997, 1999; Zeithaml and
Bitner, 2003). The authors admitted that the behavioral and attitudinal intentions (hedonic and utilitarian) influence
brand value.
According to the theory of cognitive psychology, the human mind engages in a series of sequential and systematic
information processing tasks, which starts with absorption of sensory input and ends with the way these inputs are used.
According to Osterlind (2006), sensory inputs are absorbed and elaboration into neurological energy, which are then
stored, recovered, and later used to shape human attitudes and behaviors. Knowledge is the outcome of this elaborated
process. Knowledge represents the structured collection of information obtained from experiences and exposure to
stimuli, base on senses and perception through learning and reasoning. Keller (1993) interpreted brand knowledge as a
brand node, linked to product attributes, benefits, and affective associations, created through ongoing cognitive and
affective evaluation of brand related information. This view suggests that brand knowledge is rational deductive
processing (cognition) as well as subjective personal meaning, feelings, and passions (emotion). Schmitt (2012) purported
a brand psychology model that addresses consumers underlining perceptions and judgments. Through integrating
cognitive and emotional knowledge components, the author presented different levels of psychological engagement
between the consumer and their brands, which depended on customer need, motivation, and goal.
However, the relationship between cognitions and emotions is complicated. Zajonc (1980) postulated that emotions and
cognitions are separate mental states. Emotions are autonomous responses that occur without cognition or conscious
interpretation of stimuli. Separate independent neurons control emotional outcomes like affection, admiration, hate, and
anger without extensive cognitive encoding. On the other hand, Lazarus (1984) argued that the autonomous relationship
between both structures reflect an oversimplification of the human mind. According to this argument, the relationship
between cognition and emotions is far more complex given their recursive relations. This view suggests that humans
engage in continuous evaluation of environmental stimuli from the perspective of their own interest and wellbeing, such
evaluation is subjective and guided by feelings and emotions. The section below presents a discussion on cognitive and
emotional aspects of knowledge.
2.1 Cognitive Knowledge
Cognitive knowledge promotes conscious evaluation of information and addresses the intelligent, systematic selection of
information for rational thought. Cognition requires retrieving knowledge from memory for intelligent judgment. Thinking
link elements of knowledge and beliefs and influence the type of inferences formed. Our conceptualization of cognitive
knowledge structure is motivated by Aaker (1991, 1993), Pappu, and Quester (2006) contributions to brand equity, and
view knowledge structures as an amalgamation of four constructs namely brand awareness, perceived service quality,
customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty.
2.1.1 Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is a rudimentary level of knowledge that ranges from basic recognition of a brand name to highly
developed cognitive structures based on detailed information (Hoyer and Brown, 1990). It reflects a combination of the
ability to recognize a brand among competing alternatives as well as the ability and motivation to remember exactly what
the brand stands for. Through brand awareness, customers gather information about brands and make purchases. Schmit
(2012) defined brand awareness as an important category in brand psychology. The relationship between brand
awareness and brand equity is supported theoretically (Aaker 1991) but the nature and magnitude of this relationship are
not clear. For instance, Yoo and Donthu (2001) support the positive and direct association between consumer brand
awareness and brand equity by pointing out that customers who remember and recognize a brand are more likely to
assign positive associations towards that brand. However, others have discounted this direct relationship by arguing that
while brand awareness is essential for brand equity, it is insufficient. Keller (2001), for instance conceptualized brand
awareness (and brand association) as the foundation for building brand equity by arguing that its presence create identity
and meaning, but brand awareness alone will not support brand equity. This argument contradicts the view purported by
Aaker (1991), Yoo and Donthu (2001), and motivated the construction of our first research hypothesis.
H1: Brand Awareness directly and positively predicts the level of Brand Equity customers assign to retail banks,
the greater the level of brand awareness the more brand equity customers will assign to retail banks.
2.1.2. Perceived Service Quality
Perceived service quality reflect short-term judgment of service attributes. A positive perception of service quality
increases the likelihood that future purchases and an essential determinant of the value assign to post purchase
evaluations (Aaker, 1991). Aaker (1991) suggested that perceived quality directly and positively relates to brand equity.
He argued that brands high quality brands are more attractive. However, not all theorists agree with this relationship. In
contrast, Bloemer et al, (1997) argued that the role of quality and brand equity is not direct but mediated by other
marketing outcomes like customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. This contradiction provided the motivation for our
second research hypothesis. Specifically, we expect:
H2: Perceived Service Quality directly and positively predicts the level of Brand Equity customers assign to
retail banks, the greater the level of perceived service quality the more brand equity customers will assign
to retail banks.
2.1.3. Customer Satisfaction
Satisfaction is a mental state of pleasurable fulfillment derived from consumption (Oliver, 1999). Satisfaction reflects the
overall judgment on a product superiority compared to others, a judgment that occurs only after consumption but based
on reference points set before consumption. Although satisfaction is related to perceived quality, it is considered
distinctive as it represents a more long-term evaluative state (Sureshchander et al. 2002; Gustafsson, Johnson and Roos,
2005). Empirical evidence already link customer satisfaction to a firm’s economic performance through profitability,
market share and return on investments (Oliver, 1999). Additionally, there is also evidence that link customer satisfaction
to intangible marketing outcomes such as, behavioral and attitudinal loyalty. Satisfied customers are likely to create and
sustain deep psychological bonds with their preferred brand. Given the strong and positive relationship, we expect
satisfaction to have a similar influence on other marketing phenomena like brand equity. Pappu and Quester (2006)
supported this assertion. However, the empirical model focused on aspects of cognitive knowledge structures such as
loyalty, awareness, and perceived quality and did not include emotional structures. Therefore, the influence of customer
satisfaction on brand equity is unclear when modeling emotional knowledge structure. This provided the motivation for
our third research hypothesis:
H 3:
Customer Satisfaction directly and positively predicts the level of Brand Equity customers assign to retail
banks, the greater the level of customer satisfaction the more brand equity customers will assign to retail
2.1.4. Customer Loyalty
Loyalty is a mental state driven by attitudinal and behavioral motives (Oliver, 1999). Behavioral motives reflect inertia
manifested through commitment and repeat purchase. Attitudinal motives are more involved; develop through intensive
cognition and affection. Attitudinal loyalty reflects a mental state that project a deep commitment towards brands (Keller,
2001). Cognitive aspect of brand loyalty suggests conscious commitment. It is more than habitual purchase or inertia, but
is a psychological bond that reduces brand vulnerability. The psychological bond contributes to brand value, predictable
sales, and lower marketing costs (Chaudhuri and Holbrook, 2001). However, the relationship between brand loyalty and
brand equity is not consensual. Lasser et al. (1995) for instance, suggest that brand equity determines brand loyalty. Brand
equity reflects the strength of one brand over competing brands and translates into customer confidence, loyalty, and
willingness to pay a price premium (Lasser et al., 1995; Tylor et. al, 2004). Aaker (1991) argued that brand loyalty is an
antecedent to brand equity given that loyal leads to marketing advantages of expanded customer base, positive word of
mouth with lower marketing cost. For Aaker (1991), loyalty reflects the probability of customer churn. Keller (2001) on
the other hand emphasized that the emotional aspects or resonance. Brand resonance reflects a deep psychologic al bond
with the brand, which manifest into attitudinal and behavioral loyalty, sense of community and active engagement. This
lack of consensus motivated the construction of our fourth research hypothesis:
H 4:
Customer Loyalty directly and positively predicts the level of Brand Equity customers assign to retail
banks, the greater the level customer loyalty the more brand equity customers will assign to retail banks.
2.2. Emotional Knowledge
Emotions are automatic responses to environment stimuli and reflect feelings of love, affection, hate, anger, and hurt.
Emotions are associated with a wide variety of “psychological factors such as temperament, personality, motivation and
categorical knowledge customers use to process and understand information regarding the benefit or consequences of
using a brand” (Ruth, 2001 p. 99). This automatic processing of environmental stimuli leads to sensual engagement and
cultivates affection and resentment. This study investigates two sources of emotional engagement (Berry , 2000; Ruth,
2001): emotions from service experience and emotions from brand affinity.
2.2.1. Service Experience
Experiences are “processes that include sensory perception of a brand, brand affect, and participatory experiences that a
consumer may seek from a brand” (Schmitt, 2012 p. 10). Epstein (1998) summarized experiential system as “a cognitive
system driven by emotions” (p. 125). He argued that although the rational system and experiential system of cognitive
processing are independent they influence each other. Emotional experiences feed into intellectual knowledge and
influence behavior. Emotional experiences depend on service encounters (Berry, 2000). Service experiences invoke
emotional connections, harness trust, and fulfillment. The evaluation of service experience affects the emotional and
psychological response towards the brand, which in turn influence attitudes and behaviors. This conclusion was supported
by Grace and O’cass (2004) who examined the impact of service experiences on the customer evaluation and concluded
that during a service experience, both behavioral and the emotional elements are evoked which ultimately affect the way
consumers rate the overall service encounter. The authors concluded that emotional enticement created through positive
service experiences lead to favorable dispositions towards a service brand and consequently lead to a greater amount of
equity assigned to preferred brands. Therefore, our fifth hypothesis is:
H 5:
Service Experience directly and positively predicts the level of Brand Equity customers assign to retail
banks, the greater the level of service experience the more brand equity customers will assign to retail
2.2.2. Brand Affinity
Consumers interact with hundreds of brands but consciously develop connections with only a few of them. Conscious
connection towards a brand refers to brand affinity. The level of brand affinity towards a brand is a result of two main
elements (1) affinity towards service attributes, and (2) affinity towards service benefits (Berry, 2000). Affinity towards
service attributes refers to the core service sought by consumers and attitude towards service benefits reflect the symbolic
aspects derived from consumption (Tuominen, 1999). Symbolic benefits relate to underlying need for social approval or
personal expression. Symbolic benefits are especially relevant for socially visible consumption, with value built on prestige
and exclusivity (Keller, 1993; Tuominen, 1999). Brands that are high on attributes and symbolic benefits will have high
levels of equity since both these elements influence the processes consumers employ in information processing, provide a
point of differentiation and a reason to buy (Keller, 1993). This study investigates this link between between brand affinity
and brand equity. We expect that brand affinity is a directly related to brand equity. Our sixth research hypothesis is:
H 6:
Brand Affinity directly and positively predicts the level of Brand Equity customers assign to retail banks, the
greater the level of brand affinity the more brand equity customers will assign to retail banks.
This study conceptualizes brand equity as a linear first-order model, predicted by six aspects of knowledge. Figure 1
presents our research model and six research hypotheses.
Figure 1: Research Model - Brand Equity Model
3. Methodology
The population of interest was citizens of Trinidad and Tobago who were eighteen (18) years and over and had a
preference towards a specific bank for service encounters. To collect data, the study used personal intercepts at randomly
selected banks and shopping malls. Data were collected using standardized questionnaires that consisted of fifty -(50)
items. The questionnaire comprised two sections. The first section solicited responses on six aspects of knowledge and
brand equity on a 5-point likert scale that ranged from 1-Strongly Disagree to 5- Strongly Agree. To measure each
construct, the study utilized scales developed and tested by previous studies (Parasuraman, et. al 1988; Las ser et al., 1995;
Yoo and Donthu, 2000; Grace and O’cass, 2004; Taylor et al. 2004; and Aziz and Yasin, 2010) but modified to fit the context
of the study using a pilot study of fifty-(50) banking customers. The second section solicited information on demographics.
From the three hundred and fifteen (315) questionnaires completed, we eliminated thirty -two (32) because of missing
data. Therefore, the effective sample consisted of two hundred and eighty -three (283) participants. In terms of profile,
fifty-one percent (51%) of the participants were male and forty-nine percent (49%) were female. The majority of
participants were between 25-44 years old (47%). Almost twenty-seven percent (27%) were between 45-64 years old,
eighteen percent (18%) were under 25 and the remaining eight percent (8%) were 65 years and older.
3.1. Data Analysis
The analysis of data followed two stages. Firstly, we used Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) to test the nature of each
construct in the research model. The measurement scale for Brand Awareness, the first aspect of knowledge consisted of
four (4) items. Both the MSA (0.742) and Bartlette test of Sphericity (p<0.05) were acceptable to warrant factor analysis.
From the CFA a single factor solution was generated which explained 56.5% of total variance with an acceptable reliability
coefficient (Cronbach’s α = 0.742). The measurement scale for Service Experience consisted of six (6) items. The MSA
(0.799) and Bartlett test of Sphericity (p<0.05) were acceptable, but two (2) items were deleted from further analysis
because of low factor communalities. These items were “my preferred bank has a modern layout” (0.434); and “The service
offered by my preferred bank is superior compared to alternative banks” (0.462). The retained items explained sixty-seven
percent (67%) of variance with strong reliability statistic (Cronbach’s α = 0.829). The third construct “Brand Affinity”
comprise six (6) indicators. The MSA (0.846) and Bartlett test of Sphericity (p<0.05) were also acceptable but two (2)
items were deleted from this scale because of low factor communalities. These items were “I feel emotionally connected to
my preferred bank” (0.497); and “I am happy with my preferred bank” (0.443). The retained indicators explained sixty-eight
percent (68%) of total variance and had strong reliability coefficient (Cronbach’s α = 0.839). The fourth construct labeled
“Perceived Service Quality” measured using nine (9) items. We deleted six (6) items because of insufficient shared variance
(factor communality < 0.50). These items were: “My preferred bank has a strong reputation” (0.348); “My bank perform
services right the first time” (0.402); “My preferred bank only makes promises it can achieve” (0.421); “I have confidence in
my preferred bank” (0.496); “I receive all the information I need from my preferred bank” (0.488); and “I get all the attention
I need from my preferred bank” (0.429). The retained explained 68.2% of total variance and had strong reliability
coefficient (Cronbach’s α = 0.764). The fifth construct labeled “Customer Satisfaction” measured using an eight (8)-item
scale. The MSA (0.908) and Bartlett test of Sphericity (p<0.05) were also acceptable. All eight items were retained and
explained 61.8% of total variance, which is above the minimum requirement (50%) in social science research. These eight
(8) items had strong reliability coefficient (Cronbach’s α = 0.909). The sixth construct “Customer Loyalty” measured on a
seven (7)-item scale. The MSA (0.846) and Bartlett test of Sphericity (p<0.05) were acceptable. Two items were dropped
from further analysis because of low factor communalities (p<0.50). These items were “If I have to do it all over again, I
would choose a different bank” (0.209); and “I would not switch banks even though the cost of services may be lower” (0.356).
The retained items explained approximately sixty-three percent (63%) of total variance and (Cronbach’s α = 0.822). The
seventh construct (the dependent construct in this model) was “Brand Equity” was measured with a four (4) item scale.
The MSA (0.777) and Bartlett test of Sphericity (p<0.05) were acceptable and items explained 63.7% of total variance with
strong reliability coefficient (Cronbach’s α = 0.792). The factor loadings for each construct are shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Factor Loadings from Confirmatory Factor Analysis
Personality Fit
Social Acceptance
Service Quality
Overall satisfaction
Variety of Banking Services
Right Bank
Best Choice
% of
The second stage in the analysis involved using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to specify the brand equity model on
AMOS 18. The specified model only explained only 47% of total brand equity variance, less than the recommended 50%
(Hair et al. 2010) Additionally, the chi-square (χ2 = 1168.68) was relatively high compared to degree of freedom (15) and
the goodness of fit indices (GFI, AGFI, NFI) were all less than acceptable level. This suggested that the data collected did not
fit the theoretical model tested. In order to improve the model, we re-specified the model through a series of iterative
procedures. Figure 2 presents the re-specified model.
Figure 2: Re-Specified SEM Model Using Factor Scores
From on the fit indices, the re-specified model achieved an acceptable fit since approximately 58% of brand equity
variance was explained and the model displayed accpetable fit indices (GFI 0.983, AFGI 0.947, NFI 0.988). The model maps
twelve (12) statistically significant (p<0.05) relationships. It shows brand equity as a direct and positive function of two
knowledge determinants: customer satisfaction (0.297) and customer loyalty (0.511), with customer loyalty having a
greater impact on brand equity than customer satisfaction. The model maps brand awareness as an indirect contributor to
brand equity, mediated by customer loyalty (0.51). The model also shows brand awareness, previously conceptualized as
an exogenous variable, as endogenous to these brand equity relationships. The level of awareness customers exhibited
towards their preferred bank is dependent on the level of brand affinity towards a bank (0.393) and perception of the
bank’s service quality (0.269). This suggests that brand awareness is not only determined by marketing communication
strategies (exogenous to this study) but is also a function of customer love, and perception of services offered by the bank.
The re specified model did not support our hypothesis that perceived service quality have a direct and positive
relationship to brand equity. The re-specified model mapped perceived service quality as an indirect contributor to brand
equity, mediated through brand awareness and customer loyalty. Additionally, model shows perceived service quality as
highly dependent on service experiences (0.416), customer satisfaction (0.333) and customer loyalty (0.135), suggesting
that customer evaluation of service encounters are driven by both rational judgmental and emotions during service
encounters. Customer satisfaction was hypothesized to have a. The re-specified model supported the direct and positive
relationship between customer satisfaction and brand equity (0.297). This suggests that T&T banking customers
perpetually compare their actual experiences with banking services to their expected experiences when deciding how
attractive one bank is to another. The more aligned actual experiences are to expected experiences, the more attractive
banks appear to customers, the more brand equity these customers will assign to their preferred bank. However, this find
maps customer satisfaction as a function of brand affinity and customer service experience. This suggests that cognitive
evaluation of actual and expected service encounters depends on emotional influences. The final hypothesis tested was the
relationship between customer loyalty and brand equity. The re-specified model supports a positive and direct
relationship. In fact, customer loyalty is the strongest predictor of brand equity (0.511). Unlike the conceptual model, the
revised model showed customer loyalty determined by two constructs customer satisfaction and brand awareness.
Relative to emotional influences, the re-specified model mapped service experience as an indirect determinant of brand
equity, mediated by customer satisfaction. The re-specified model shows that service experience has a direct and positive
impact on brand affinity and perception of the service quality. Service experience has the greatest impact on brand affinity
(0.662), followed by customers perception of service quality of retail banks (0.416) and the level of satisfaction with their
banking operations (0.336). Furthermore, the re-specified did not support the direct relationship between brand equity
and brand affinity, but maps brand affinity as an indirect predictor, mediated by customer satisfaction (0.57) and brand
awareness (0.393).
In summary,
indicates that
the results show that brand equity is a multifaceted, multilayered construct determined through a
of direct and indirect relationships. Brand equity is determined through several inter-dependent
mediated by two cognitive component of knowledge: customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. This
brand equity is a marketing outcome linked to both cognitions and emotions.
4. Discussion and Conclusions
There is no doubt, that the financial crisis of 2008 has an effect on the economic sustainability of many Caribbean
countries including T&T. Although the possible threat is still looming, the impact of the financial crisis on T&T's retail
banking institutions has been mild compared to its Caribbean neighbors. The abili ty of the sector to withstand this
economic challenge is still not clear. Many industry experts explained the stability of this sector by drawing on arguments
pertinent to the industry’s oligopolistic structure, bank’s management practices and government regulation (PECU, 2009;
BATT, 2008). However, the possible contributions customers make to the sector’s stability is underexplored. This study
addresses this gap. Through cognitive and emotive brand knowledge structures, the study concluded that brand equity is a
complex, multi-dimensional, hierarchical marketing phenomenon, created through a series of interdependent
relationships. The brand building block pyramid in Keller (2001) contribution supports this conclusion. However, unlike
previous contributions, our findings show the interdependent role of emotions and cognitions in creating and maintaining
brand attractiveness. The re-specified model mapped brand knowledge as a function of both direct and indirect
relationships created before, during and after service encounters and concludes that brand equity is a direct and positive
function of two cognitive knowledge determinants: customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. Other cognitive knowledge
dimensions such as perceived quality and brand awareness had an indirect and marginal impact on brand equity. The respecified model mapped the two emotional knowledge sources of brand affinity and service experience as indirect
predictors of brand equity. However, aspects of cognition mediated this impact, suggesti ng that strong brands reflect both
rational and emotional evaluation of marketing stimuli. It also suggests that cultivating feelings and emotions through
service experiences and brand relationships are essential building blocks for creating brand equity. This finding is
especially significant for banks, given that the service is classified as highly involved, driven by deliberate and rational
processing. Our findings suggest that emotional influences form the foundation for building brand equity and have direct
influences on how consumers deliberately process marketing stimuli.
This study provides meaningful insights into the relationship between knowledge and brand equity from a banking
perspective. However, we collected data in one country (T&T), in one s ervice sector (retail banking). Future research can
consider extending this study to other countries including Portugal and other European countries. This expansion would
also allow comparisons from both a cultural and operational perspective. It is a widely held view that individual
demographic and socio-economic traits can affect information processing and acquisition (Zurawicki, 2010). However, to
date, very little published material look at the impact of these differences on marketing outcomes and in particular brand
equity. Pertinent research questions relating to the extent to which consumer psychographic and demographic
characteristics on brand equity remain unanswered. Future research can build on this theoretical contribution by
examining the extent to which customer personal differences can affect the way they assign preferential value to brands.
Additionally, given that, we examined brand equity from a customer perception (Lasser, 1995); future researchers can
segment the distinctive antecedents into behavioral, attitudinal, and perceptual and examine the effects of each dimension
on brand equity process.
However, despite these limitations, our findings present relevant and practical implications for brand specialist and
marketing managers. By dissecting brand equity in retail banks, the study provides invaluable insights for managing longterm brand relationships with customers. For instance, if marketers invest in providing systems and infrastructure, that
encourages an environment of customer friendliness, staff responsiveness, care and courtesies, customers will assign
positive emotional appeals and stronger emotional connections. Such appeal will have a lasting influence on what
customers think and associate to the specific brand. Marketers should focus on making the service experience enjoyable to
customers. Critical to service experience is service delivery. Customers judge their experience by the efficiency and speed
of processing transactions. Bankers and by extension all service providers, should invest in systems that facilitate a quick
and convenient consumption of service. This will make banking services easier and less costly to consume. The evidence
suggested that customer emotional arousal is a function of the appearance and layout of a bank physical environment. The
perceived attractiveness of the service provider’s layout, physical surroundings and space are key contributors to the
overall customer experience. Customers rely on these non-service related cues in addition to other core service elements
when assigning meanings and associations to retail banks.
In conclusion, success in today’s challenging market space demands a customer centered approach to business. Businesses
should recognize the contribution customers make to their ov erall success. However, what factors explain the value
customers assign to brands? Framed within the context of retail banking in T&T, the study investigated factors that predict
and explain brand equity. We argue that customers assign value to brands through a rational appraisal of the brand’s
performance; however, feelings and affections drive this evaluation. Brand equity is emotionally driven and based on the
customer experiences, which in turn influence cognitive appraisals of the overall brand performance.
The authors have a keen interest in replicating a comparison study in Portugal and other European countries pending
contributions and support from interested stakeholders.
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Some aspects of Integrated Marketing
Communications in Building Brand Equity
Integrated marketing communication (IMC), Brand equity, Building brands.
Reza Safarinejad Fard, University Technology Malaysia,
Abu Bakar Bin Abdul Hamid, University Technology Malaysia,
Rozita Saadatmand, University Technology Malaysia,
Over the past decades business strategies face drastic changes. Modern technologies have been influential in many fields
and the field of business and marketing are not an exception. Validity of the old marketing strategies in today’s world is
dubious. Modern approaches have become critical for effective marketing strategies. Integrated Marketing
Communications (IMC) is one of these new emerging strategies which we are going to discuss about it in the proceeding.
This new approach of marketing is currently practising at the all big multinationals, and it plays an important role in
enhancing business. A process in which organizations make a beneficial and genuine relationship with their stakeholders
and customers is called IMC.
However, many factors have influence on brand equity such as, product, price, promotion and sale, but during this paper
we tend to considering the effect of IMC on Brand equity. During this paper we tend to provided a discussion about the
positive linkage between integrated marketing communication and brand equity. In this paper according to impact of IMC
on brand equity, we provide the details of the role of IMC in building and maintaining strong brand equity.
Prior studies have widely accepted IMC or integrated marketing communication. Basically, marketing is a dynamic and
evolving process that develops on the basis of a vision cantered on service (Vargo, Maglio, & Akaka, 2008) . Also, they
proposed that integrated marketing communication is replacing the manifold in a commercial focus and limited
management tools of the trade mark must be used to initiate and maintain an on going dialogue with customers and to
improve relations. The means for the development of strong, customer oriented brand equity can be provided by
marketing communications as Keller (2003) stated. In this study, the main focus is on the influence of IMC in creating
brand equity.
Integrated marketing communications (IMC)
There are various definitions of IMC and all of them enlighten some of the aspects of this subject. According to (Kliatchko,
2005) there is no single agreeable definition that covers all aspects of IMC. Two different reasons are the responsible for
such discrepancy, first confined number of researches in this field and second general disagreements toward the
emergence of IMC.
By the time past and IMC drew many attentions and thus researchers tried to reassess the basic notion and eventually the
today’s term was created. In order to have a comprehensive definition of varied applications of IMC, new ideas were added
to the sooner definitions of IMC. A general misunderstanding about IMC is that any organizations only require single
message and brand which is despite of implication of it. IMC, make managers capable of dealing with many targets and
guide them to attain integration of various brands and functions among only one company. (Fill, 2001; Grove, Carlson, &
Dorsch, 2002; Hartley & Picton, 1999; Lee, 2002; Phelps, Harris, & Johnson, 1996).
According to Shimp (2003), definition of IMC is a communication process that implies the integration, planning, creation
and implementation of various forms of adverts, publicity, sales promotion; those are delivered over time to a brand’s
targeted customers and prospects. In order to achieve a strong brand image and moving people to action, communications
should speak in one voice. Hence, coordination is crucial. Acting despite of aforementioned fact will lead to different things.
Building a relationship between brand and consumer requires regarding having a successful marketing communications.
It means all messages which issued by organizations should be closely supervised and controlled to make sure from their
effects, thus it urges to apply data driven technique. To state the matter differently, Duncan(2002) believed that IMC is the
fundamental part of the relationships that build brands. From aforementioned facts it concludes that IMC is considered as
part of marketing field which is the source of data correspondent to brands in such a way that create a mutual relationship
between stakeholders and customers.
Since that customer will only trust that particular organization this relationship not only secures a customer bu t it
guarantees the profitability of the relationship. In fact, voice of a brand is represented by marketing communications
(Keller, 2001). The aim of all IMC processes is a better understanding of the relationship between customer and
organization thus, discussion on IMC would remain incomplete without talking about brand because it is the same goal as
brand building process. Basically, IMCs’ strategies help to create and build brands. Accordi ng to the published literature
by Danziger (2006), happiness of the costumers should be on the centre of attention particularly during designing and
developing of marketing messages and products.
The evolution of IMC, regarding strategic role in brand equity plus its conceptual development and its significance is
overviewed in this section. In terms of its ability to strengthen brand equity there are two methods with which to evaluate
firms’ implementation of IMC including process control and output control (Duncan & Moriarty, 1998). The evaluation of
outside performance of firms such as the organization impact on brand awareness or on customer satisfaction, and its
sales outcomes has been referred to as output control.
Integrated marketing communication (IMC) has become generally avowed, has outspread varied levels inside the firms,
and has become an impartible component of brand. In the competitive market in 21 century, archive to a systematic brand
communication is the way to moving forward and increase the performance of the firms. Marketing communication has
important role to building and maintaining the shareholders communications and affect them on the terms of brand
equity. For the integrated marketing communication we can mention to brands as central IMC. Marketing communication
recognizes as voice of the brand and it is a way for any organization to make contact with consumers to introduce their
product. For developing the brand equity the best way is marketing communication, more ever marketing communication
help to the firms to receive the desirable responds from consumers.
Importance of Brand Equity
Definition of the concept brand equity was provided at the beginning of this section, followed by arguments for why it is
important to study the determinants of brand value. However, before turning to the comparable context of the work, it is
also important to answer the questions: what is determinant of brand equity? And what is customer-based brand equity.
Basically, brand equity embraces the following dimensions: brand loyalty, brand awareness, perceived quality of brand,
brand image and brand association (Hosseini & Zareebaf, 2011; Mihaela, 2012).
A priority for many firms based on Keller’s (2003) investigations is building and properly managing brand equity. He
stated that internal brand identity efforts are necessary to build brand equity. Afterwards, integration of brand identities
into the corporations marketing plans should be executed. In addition, he believed that the process of integration of brand
identities into the supporting marketing platforms is closely connected to the powerful of the corporations brand equity
from communications. Furthermore, he recomended having an efficient strategy for integrating marketing
communications in building and maintaining brand equity is kind of necessary.
All of the mentioned elements determine how the customer perceives a particular brand. Subsequently, customer-based
brand equity reflects the customers’ reactions to the marketing mix elements and activity of a particular brand (Keller,
1993). Keller (1993) further adds that consumer-based brand equity takes place solely when the consumer is well
acquainted with the brand and so holds sturdy brand associations in memory. With these definitions, it is known that a
valid measurement of customers’ perceptions can occur only provided that the individual has favourable and unique brand
associations in mind (Mihaela, 2012).
Camarero, Garrido, and Vicente (2010) aim to explore determinants of brand equity for cultural activities from the angle of
internal along with external visitors. Their analysis advocates four components for brand equity in inventive and cultural
activities (loyalty, brand image, perceived quality and brand values) and assesses them for the case of an itinerant art
exhibition staged over the past twenty years. Findings recommend that external visitors attach bigger significance to
brand image as a determinant of value than do internal visitors, whiles for the recent brand values are the principal source
of price.
Based on the published literatures, different marketing communications influence brand equity including sponsorship and
advertising as well as various alternative communication options (Aaker & Bid, 1993; Cobb-Walgren, Cathy J., Cynthia A.
Ruble, & Donthu, 1995; Cornwell, T. Bettina, Roy, & II, 2001; Joachimsthaler, Erich, & Aaker, 1997). The most advantage of
the brand equity is its positive impact on demand. It is predicted that the awareness, complete quality and the brand
loyalty causes the rise of brand market productivity. This facet of brand equity helps the organizations attract the
purchasers and keep them (Baldauf Artur, S, & Gudrun, 2003; chirani, Taleghani, & Moghadam, 2012). Some researchers
conjointly believe that the studies connected to the brand equity have a lot of established conceptual logic with the brand
performance as compared with various areas that creates it a viable phase for considering to organisational productivity.
(Baldauf Artur et al., 2003; chirani et al., 2012).
Customers could be a lot of eager to attend to extra communications for a brand. The power and equity of brand
advertising can completely influence the participation of customers in additional communication for that terribly brand.
Customers can process these communications in an approval manner and thus, they will have a larger capability to recall
the communications or their accompaniment cognitive or emotional reactions in the future. As a mediator or goal to
achieve alternative goals brand equity has the central role in advertising. Benefits of these communications only develop
under situation that company has a strong brand, thus it can be concluded that building powerful brand is a management
preference (Aaker, 1991, 1996; Kapferer & Jean-Noel, 1997). The correct data structure is the prospective consumers,
hence it is quite important to build a strong brand. Marketing communications have a vital role in determining that
knowledge of the customers because they are going to reaction positively to marketing actions of a well -known brand.
Brand equity and also the importance untouchable worth that brand bring to companies are became standard subjects of
studies lately. There are a few agreements amongst academics, this means brand equity ought to determine at conditions
of marketing influences and its distinctive registered to a brand. However, this concept may be approached by scholars in
different ways.
The majority of researchers believe that brand equity reflects the actual fact that brand plays a vital role in marketing of a
service or product delivered by organisation. There are also, general agreements like: brand equity delivers a possessed in
common denominator for rationalization promoting methods and measuring the value of a brand, value differentiation
among products and services are based on the past investments in the marketing for the brand, these values will be made
for a brand through several totally different ways and in the last, so as to profit of the organisation there are various way s
as to how the worth of a brand will be appear or exploited.
Thus, for maintain a position within the market and be easily recognizable and differentiated from the competition, brand
equity is necessary for a company. Brand equity can reduce search costs and the risk associated with purchasing the
product by representing value and quality to the consumer.
Some aspects of IMC in Brand equity
The challenge in marketing communications is to create the selling messages related, vital and supportive of a wider range
of reasons to place a buyer's confidence in an exceeedingly product or service. Some corporations, as revealed by analysis,
perceive this higher than most by supporting their complete message as a product message and an organizational
reputational message: their message is incorporated into an overall strategy of integrated communications (Caywood,
IMC, according to Kitchen et al. (2004), is no longer just a communication process. In fact, it is a progression that related to
management and brands. In addition, Kitchen et al. (2004) suggested that IMC involves managing marketing
communications to achieve strategic objectives by stress on functionality of the various part of an organization. The
published literature by Mcarthur et al. (1997) toward the responsibility for marketing communications and its role in an
interior, higher management affair recommended that IMC is developing to be strategically oriented instead of tactically
The idea that IMC offers several advantages for businesses has been supported by several researches (Naik & Raman,
2003; Reid, 2003). IMC is helping to create brand equity for companies’ products and render services through synergies
(Naik & Raman, 2003). Similarly, Reid (2003) recommended that the integration of marketing communications to brand
positively connected performance-based company.
Furthermore, it was indicated that the success of the IMC to generate desirable customer responses (Grove et al., 2002).
The conclusion of these researches propose that in order to achieve the potential business become more effective in
communicating with their target markets plus being able to help companies to superior financial results through higher
brand value, IMC plays the centric role. The strategy and brand identity as the vital components of IMC strategy have been
discussed in the following section.
Keller (2008) implied that brand knowledge is all regarding to the emotions, awareness, images, understandings and so on
that become linked to the brand within the awareness of customers, and it is not about the facts about the brand. These
types of information will be considered as a collection of associations data of brand in consumers’ minds. Janiszewski and
Osselaer (2000) defined he essential evidence of the customer based brand equity model. They believed the strong brand
equity in the minds of consumers and which means that the brand has accomplished in the widest common sense.
Integrated marketing communication has been extensively accepted by companies around the world. This may be a
marketing communications system that enables organizations to higher manage their brand pictures . Integrated
marketing communication ways are aimed toward combining or integrating the elements of the communication mix, like
advertising and public relations so as to make a balanced and constant marketing communications massage that
strengthens the brand. Integrated marketing communication, if managed properly provides a corporation a competitive
advantage because of its value efficiency and its ability to take full advantage of the impact of its product and services
development and also the communication of the organization's massages within the marketplace.
In the latest study Shown below with universities branding process about creating value through integrated marketing
communications by Omer et al. (2012). These variables were determined as organization resistance, brand development,
message consistency, strategic planning and staff development.
Figure1. IMC and Branding, Omer et al. (2012)
According to the published literatures it is firmly accepted that numerous marketing communications have an effect on
brand equity, as well as sponsorship, advertising and several various communication options (Walgren et al. 1995;
Joachimsthaler et al. 1997). This may be a marketing communications structure that enabl es organizations to higher
manage their brand images. It is quite clear that marketers access to varied marketing communication options which have
not been available in the past. In fact, a universal model of brand equity is required to perceive the role of all the various
sorts of marketing communications in building brand equity. Keller (2001, 2008) proposed a model as the customer based
brand equity, based on this model, brand equity is basically specific by the brand knowledge and marketing strategy are
responsible. Definition of brand equity according to this model is the derivative effects that customer knowledge has about
brand equity. Fanally we can consider, customers are absolutely in charge with the info they have or varied offerings that
they are inquisitive about. Regarding this situation, marketers may drop some management over what customers will do
with their action.
This study tried to show the dramatic changes which have happened in integrated marketing communications in recent
years, hence there are new challenges for build and manage their brands for marketers. In this complex new marketing
world the brand equity model that accentuates on significance of the customer brand awareness arrangements, measured
as means to assistance marketers explain the building brand special effects of marketing communications.
The brand resonance pyramid was determined means that to trace how marketing communications will make powerful,
dynamic loyalty connections and positive brand equity to provide better understanding of consumer brand knowledge
structures. Consumer brand knowledge can be affected in one or more ways by any marketing communication which
implies effects of marketing communication on brand equity. In order to create the favourite awareness and image in
understanding of customers, integrating marketing communications includes mixing and matching different
communication options. A significant development area in marketplace is identified as online, interactive marketing
communications. Any perspective of brand building will be just about addressed by collaborating marketing
communications to probably influence brand equity, and that is why collaborating marketing communications offers
marketers great versatility.
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Perception of sources of brand value TAP Portugal
by the perspective of its users
Brand Equity, Sources of Value, Loyalty, Perceived Quality, Reputation, Associations
Sara Alexandra Soares da Mata Nunes, Escola Secundária D. Pedro V - Agrupamento de Escolas das Laranjeiras
Júlia Fragoso da Fonseca, Escola Superior de Turismo e Tecnologia Do Mar – GITUR- IPL
In a global economy subject to changes in market dynamics and increasing competition, the role of brands has never been so important.
In recent years, we witnessed the apparent triumph of the brand concept: all are encouraged to self-identify. Its economic and social
The map marks serve as advisor to the buying behavior and, when managed correctly, result in significant value for their owne rs. There
are currently two approaches that direct studies in this area, determining the financial value of the brand and perceived value of a brand
The airlines face nowadays challenges, moreover they have been constant since the 80's, this has led to many companies adhere to
concentrations integrating into global alliances, thereby strengthening its position, thus also face competition of low -cost airlines.
Our study falls on the airline TAP Portugal, which is currently the Portuguese flag carrier and largest airline in Portugal thus occupying a
privileged position in commercial aviation landscape.
Despite fierce competition from low-cost airlines, charter flights and competition from large interna tional companies already
positioned, which is very conservative, the company continues to dominate, but how? What are the factors valued by consumers that
makes this company to choose and assign greater value? This is a question we want to answer with this study.
1. Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study focuses on the topic of brand value TAP Portugal, so we intend to get a response with regard to the cor relation
between good results and the company's vision of its customers with respect to sources of value your brand, or brand equity. That is, we
intend to identify and assess the factors explaining the brand equity of a successful brand as TAP Portugal, applying the con ceptual
model of David Aaker (1991), in order to investigate the relationship of brand equity with its dimensions, loyalty brand, perceived
quality, brand awareness and brand associations. The choice of this model is due to the fact that one of the referenced at va rious studies
and have often been tested by scholars (Yoo et al, 2000; Faircloth et al, 2001; Washburn and Plank, 2002; Atilgan et al, 2005) to verify
the dimensions of brand equity.
TAP Portugal is currently the Portuguese flag carrier and largest airline in Portugal thus occupying a privileged position in commercial
aviation landscape. In 1948 becomes member of IATA (International Air Transport Association) and in 2005 became a member of Star
Alliance, the first and largest group of airlines. Performs flights to Europe, North America, Latin America and Africa, in ad dition to
domestic flights. Throughout its existence was awarded in several areas, from medals and titles awarded by public entities. T he
company also stands out from the others by promoting initiatives among its consumers and the general public. Noted that TAP h ad at
the end of 2010, a dimension above double that seen in 2000, as its supply increased during this period, about 136%. Despite the
competition from low-cost and charter flights, the traditional companies continue to dominate on the number of passengers l anded at
Portuguese airports, as in the following graph shows.
Graphic nº 1.1 – Debark, type of flight - no, thousands (2nd quarter)
Source: Tourism of Portugal (2nd quarter 2011)
With regard to commercial traffic for companies, TAP Portugal ranks first with 9,298,073 million passengers, followed by two lowcost
airlines, Easyjet Airlines Co Ltd, with about 2,380,693 million passengers and Ryanair Ltd, with about 1,781,134 million pass engers,
according to the Annual Statistical Traffic, Airports ANA (2010).
Any investigation, beyond the general objective, as shown above, also has specific objectives fruits of empirical research, a s:
Objective 1. To study the relationship between the dimensions of brand equity according to the model of Aaker (1991, 1996) selected on
the brand equity of the brand of the airline TAP Portugal;
Objective 2. Identify the variables that best explain the brand equity of the brand of the airline TAP Portugal;
Objective 3. Assess the impact of brand loyalty on brand equity of the brand of the airline TAP Portugal;
Objective 4. To assess the impact of perceived quality on brand equity of the brand of the airline TAP Portugal;
Objective 5. Evaluate the impact of reputation and brand associations in the brand equity of the bra nd of the airline TAP Portugal;
Objective 6. To characterize the demographic variables of respondents;
Objective 7. Knowing the reasons why travel carry passengers;
Objective 8. Understanding what causes the passengers prefer to travel by TAP Portugal;
Objective 9. Understand whether passengers are always faithful to the company chosen and if they are not, understand why this
situation occurs;
Objective 10. Knowing the emotional connection between the TAP Portugal airline and its passengers;
Thus, for response to general objective and specific obejctivos, will present the relevant methodology to be used, which will allow us to
reach the desired results.
2. Methodology
According to Hill and Hill (2002:19), "an empirical investigation is an investigation in which they make observations to better understand
the phenomenon to study," the steps are of an empirical investigation "from the literature review establishes the General Hypothesis work,
and it becomes necessary, from here, to operationalize this hypothesis and select the methods of research. Only then will it be possible to
pass the collection and analysis of data and presentation of results. These will confirm or deny the hypothesis established a nd is operating
this confirmation or denial that will provide the conclusions of the work. "(Hill and Hill, 2002:32). There are however, many different steps
to consider in conducting empirical research, and to Quivy Campenhoudt (2003), there are about seven steps to follow, these b eing the
starting question, exploitation, problematic building a model of analysis, observation, information analysis and findings, and this will be
the methodology used for this work.
As regards the question of departure, according Quivy and Campenhoudt (2003:44) "the best way to get a job in social science research is
to endeavor to spell out the project in the form of a question starting. With this, the researcher tries to express as exactl y as possible what
you want to know”. Based on all this our starting question is: Does the good results of the company TAP Portugal are due to the
perception of its users, with regard to the sources of value of your brand?
Then the goal is to collect a certain quality of information about the object under study, so as to perform the exploratory w ork.
According Quivy and Campenhoudt (2003) it is composed of two parts conducted in parallel, these being a work of reading and
interviews or other appropriate methods. The preparatory readings allow the researcher to acknowledge about the investigation s
already carried out on the topic of your research, and do so to emphasize his new perspective and approach. Our review of the lite rature
was performed according to appropriate criteria. Then we have the exploratory interviews that will complement the readings a nd will
"allow the researcher to become aware of aspects of the issue for which his own experience and his reading, by itself, would not have
touched" Quivy and Campenhoudt (2003: 85). Some interviews were conducted so as to enrich the whole process to some customers
and employees of TAP Portugal.
According Quivy and Campenhoudt (2003:89) "the problem is the approach or theoretical perspective that we decided to adopt to treat
the problem posed by the question of departure. One way is to examine the phenomena being studied”. This study is of paramount
importance these days, due to fierce competition from low-cost airlines, as these have a high competitive level to flagship companies,
such as TAP Portugal. A study conducted by the company, published in Público newspaper on 23/06/2011, highlights the estimated
long-term losses, pointing to a revenue shortfall, "based on a year-cruise, the impact on future income can-will translate into a reduction of
more than billion, considering only the base of Easyjet, and more than two billion euros, if there is the entry of Ryanair, "says the study,
therefore, is to analyze all relevant the sources of brand value can cause the flagship companies stand out from the others, thus
implementing marketing strategies accordingly.
The authors Quivy and Campenhoudt state that (2003:150) "the analysis model is the natural extension of the problem, articulating in
operational milestones and the clues that will ultimately be retained to guide the work of observation and analysis consis tent." It consists of
the construction of concepts and the definition of falsifiable hypotheses, thereby achieving a coherent analytical framework. Quivy
Campenhoudt and show that (2003:136) "a hypothesis is a ratio that provides a relation between two ter ms, which, as the case may be
concepts or phenomena. One hypothesis is therefore a proportion provisional an assumption must be verified. " The hypothesis presents
itself as a provisional answer to the question of departure and that will confirm or deny the operational hypothesis (Hill and Hill, 1998).
So, we introduce the general hypothesis and the respective working hypothesis of our research.
General Hypothesis: The good results of the company TAP Portugal are due to the perception of its users, with rega rd to the
sources of its brand value or brand equity.
Then the general hypothesis should be translated into operational hypotheses, and these will be more specific and written to indicate
the nature of statistical operations necessary for the statistical a nalysis required, so that we achieve the goals we set ourselves for this
investigation (Hill and Hill, 1998). Before enumerating the working hypothesis of this research should provide some informati on about
the topic in question, which allowed us to thus arrive at the formulation of hypotheses presented later, which as we have said, will be
based on the conceptual model of David Aaker (1991), which examines the value of a mark second set of perceptions obtained by
consumers, which is the analysis to be developed in this investigation.
It is quite important to distinguish between product and brand. According to Cravens et al (1987:375) "a product is something that is
potentially valuable for a target market due to the benefits or satisfaction it provides, inc luding objects, services, organizations, places,
people and ideas," while a "brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or
services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them fro m their competitors," according to the American Marketing
In view of Holt (2005) considering a new product just released, although it has a name, a logo and own traits, characteristic signs of a
brand, this fact does not exist yet, because despite the signs, these are empty, because the product has not yet absorbed the history and
experiences of consumers. According to the same author, consumers value brands primarily by its identity value, ie, those cap able of
embodying the ideals they admire and brands that help them express what they want to be. A brand then arises when several "authors",
these being, companies, industries, intermediaries and consumers, tell stories about the same. According to Keller (1998) has a brand
value when consumers react more favorably to the product from the time they know and identify the brand. This differential effect
occurs at cognitive, affective and behavioral and facilitates the process of consumer decision.
According to Aaker (1991, 1996) the value of the brand is a set of assets, as, loyalty or brand loyalty, brand loyalty, which is the degree
of connection with the consumer and the brand that makes the client prefers not choose other competing brands, the reputation , brand
awareness, is the degree of brand awareness among consumers, the perceived quality, perceived quality, which is the value that the
consumer gives the product beyond the physical attributes and real good and which is reflected in the amount you're willing t o pay and
associations, brand associations, the set of meanings that the consumer attaches to the brand revealed in the ability to evoke a feeling in
the mind of the consumer. Thus the management of brand value has to contemplate investment strategies that create and maintai n
these assets (Aaker and Joachimstraler, 2000; Kotler and Keller, 2006). The strength of the mark depends on the integrated
management of all elements of the mark. These elements must be associated with the name and symbol of the brand. A change in one
can affect all other assets of the brand (Keller, 1998).
According to Caldas and Godinho (2007) fewer consumers choose their investments and acquisitions based on the technical
characteristics and specific to products or services. Due to the fact that nowadays it is possibl e to virtually all competitors rely on
technologies for the development and production of their products and services.
A listing of working hypotheses were prepared taking into account the four incorporating the active sources of the value of t he mark
previously made.
H1: There is a positive relationship between the perceived quality of the brand and brand equity TAP Portugal TAP Portugal brand.
Zeithaml et al (1996) argue that the perceived quality of a service is a result of the comparison of perceptions with customer
expectations. The perceived quality is related to the level of customer satisfaction, customer satisfaction logo is a functio n of perceived
performance and expectations (Kotler, 1998). To Grönroos (1995) perceived quality of a service may hav e two dimensions: technical
and functional dimension, for example, in the case of TAP Portugal, transport a client from one location to another is the re sult of a
service (technical dimension) and the perception of quality will depend on how the service wa s provided (functional dimension).
According to Chen and Green (2009) perceived quality is identified as a component of brand value and hence the high perceived quality
leads consumers to choose one brand over other competitors. Therefore, the level of qua lity that the brand is perceived positively
contributes to brand equity.
H2: There is a positive relationship between brand loyalty and brand equity TAP Portugal TAP Portugal brand.
The goal of any marketing manager is the value that represents your brand in the market, make your users become faithful (Bolton and
Kannan, 2000), thus bringing benefits to both parties (Zineldin, 2006, The 'O'Brien and Jones, 1995; Kivetz and Simonson, 200 2;
Dowling and Uncles, 1997 to Duffy, 2002). The main goal is that users increase the use / purchase of the products / services offered by
the company and accelerate the lifecycle of loyalty (to encourage customers with one or two years to behave like the older cl ients and
profitable) by value your brand, and it is therefore appropriate to examine this correlation exists, although this is advocated by
numerous authors who have studied this phenomenon (Reichheld and Kenny, 1990, Reichheld and Sasser, 1990; Bidault and Jarillo ,
1995; Keaveney, 1995 , O'Brien and Jones, 1995; Reichheld and Teal, 1996; Oliver, 1997; Anderson and Mittal, 2000; Brito and Ramos,
2000; Ganesh, Arnold and Reynolds, 2000; Lara and Casado, 2002; Felvey apud Kumar et al. 2,008; LaBarbera and Mazursky, 1983,
Taylor and Baker, 1994, Zeithaml et al.1996, Bolton, 1998; Hart and Johnson, 1999). Thus, to the extent that consumers are brand loyal
to provide an increase of brand equity (Datta, 2003).
H3: There is a positive relationship between reputation and brand associations and brand equity TAP Portugal TAP Port ugal brand.
The notoriety refers to "the strength of a brand's presence in the consumer's mind" (Aaker, 1996:10). The reputation (brand awareness)
is measured according to the different ways the consumer remembers the brand (Aaker, 1996). According to Kell er (1993, 2003), brand
awareness plays an important role in consumer decision making. The associations, according to Aaker (1996:25) "may include product
attributes, a famous spokesperson, or a particular symbol (...) and are from brand identity - what the organization wants the brand means
in the minds their consumers.” The author also believes that an association will be stronger, the more we rely on our experiences or
exposures to communications and more supported by other links, including the reputation or brand loyalty. Therefore, brand
associations underlie the phenomenon of brand image and has influence at the time of purchase. Soon companies will have to bu ild a
solid foundation in defining the value of brands, since they have an active role in making purchasing decisions and stay on brand loyalty
(Aaker, 1991; Keller, 1993, 1998; Kotler, 2005 ). The brand associations that result in high brand awareness are positively r elated to
brand equity (Walsh and Mitchell, 2005).
With respect to the observation Quivy and Campenhoudt say (2003:205) "Observation comprise all the operations by which the analysis
model is confronted with observable". In this step of research will have to be answered to 4 fundamental questions, these being what?
Who? How? Observe what? In our research we used the method of indirect observation, questionnaire survey which "consists in placing
a set of respondents, (...) a series of questions relating to their social, professional or family, their opinions, their att itude toward options or
human and social issues, their expectations, their level of knowledge or awareness of an event or condition "( Quivy and Campenhoudt,
2003:188) because all of this is doubtless , the one that is most used and the easiest to implement and analyze in a quantitative manner
(Hill and Hill, 1998).
The preparation of a questionnaire is a difficult task, because for "adequately test the hypotheses that these Operational should be
specified prior to conducting the data collection. This implies that, when preparing the questionnaire, should have to take on General
Assumptions and decide not only which questions used to measure the variables associated with it, but also what kind of respo nse is most
appropriate for each question, what kind of measurement scale is associated with answers and methods are correct to analyze the data
"(Hill and Hill 2002:83, 84).
As such, and after analyzing the above items, for the construction and presentation of the questionnaire for this investigati on, some key
rules were followed, these being the questions were prepared according to a logical sequence and theme, placing more general
questions at the beginning, where it is desired to obtain information about the characteristics of cases and more detailed qu estions at
the end, the existence of several types of questions throughout the questionnaire, these being identified questions, question information
and questions of rest, the number of QB answer is, enough and appropriate for the type of research required; were avoided mos t
sensitive issues to respondents, the issues included are clear and easy to understand terms with, the absence of hypothetical questi ons,
the instructions are clear and fill where necessary present, the level of presentation were taken into account aesthetic care with spacing
issues with the font and the type of question, placed in different sections depending on its nature, an introduction was plac ed at the
beginning the questionnaire to solicit a request for cooperation, the reason for its application, the applic ation of the nature of the
questionnaire, the name of the educational institution, the formal declaration of confidentiality and anonymous nature of the
Regarding the type of questions used were used close and semi-closed questions, due to the numerous advantages they offer in the
treatment of information collected, as the respondent have a limited number of typical responses that can choose. Some questi ons were
raised in the form of scales of attitudes, as the analysis of the reasons for the preference of TAP Portugal and the degree of satisfaction
and behavior towards the company, through Likert scales (presentation of a series of propositions that respondent indicates y our
agreement or inconcordância for each of them), being distributed in 5 points, strongly disagree, disagree, neither disagree nor agree,
agree and strongly agree, that will give the researcher the possibility to measure attitudes and opinions respondents and all ow the
qualitative characteristics are worked quantitative.
It has also prepared a pre-test questionnaire to ensure their applicability and determine if it is in accordance with the objectives set, poi
and second Carmo Ferreira (1998:145) "when a first version of the questionnaire is drafted, it is necessary to ensure its applicability in the
field and determine if it is in accordance with the objectives initially formulated by the investigator "working well with a pretest, which will
allow to establish whether all questions are understood by respondents, if the alterna tive responses to closed questions covering all the
answers possible if there are no issues useless, inadequate, too difficult, tendentious, if not lacking relevant issues and f inally test
whether the respondents do not consider the questionnaire too long, boring or difficult.
Our questionnaire was divided into two parts, the analysis of brand value or brand equity TAP Portugal and questions of perso nal
character. With regard to the value of the brand, are studied concepts such as loyalty, trust and commitment, organizational reputation
and image, perceived quality and associations. Perceived quality was studied through a closed question assessed on a Likert s cale of five
points, brand loyalty, through a semi-open question, notoriety and brand associations with a closed question assessed on a Likert scale
of five points and reasons why carry passengers travel with a semi-open question. The goals are to determine the degree of satisfaction
and user behavior in relation to the airline TAP Portugal, whether user s will always travel by TAP and reasons for performing the
journey. With regard to questions of a general nature, they serve to meet the sociodemographic characteristics of the members in the
obejtivo is knowing the age, sex, education level, occupation, monthly income and area of residence were studied through six questions,
five closed and one open question.
With regard to sampling the investigator has no effectively time nor resources sufficient to analyze each instance of the uni verse,
therefore, one should consider cases which constitute said universe, namely should choose a sample (Vilares and Coelho, 2005).
According to Ferreira and Carmo (1998) there are two major types of sampling techniques, the causal and probabilistic or non probabilistic causal or not, and, in our research we resort to a probabilistic sampling method does not / not causal, convenience
sampling, to we can get the results. The size of our sample of 201 responses, data were collected between February 15 and Mar ch 16,
2012, via internet, thus capturing a wider range of individuals and their characteristics.
Then we have the information analysis where we treat the information obtained in order to be able to compare the observed res ults
with those expected from the hypothesis. According Quivy and Campenhoudt (2003) this analysis comprises three operations, these
being the description of data, measurement of relationships between variables and finally, compare the observed relationships with
those expected from the hypothesis and measure the difference between the two, according to the authors (2003:239) "if it is zero or
very low, we conclude that the hypothesis is confirmed."
2.1. Characteristics of Users
With regard to issues of personal and for age, 3.1% of the sample has less than 20 years, 10.4% have more than 50 years, 24.4% are
between 41 and 50 years, 28.5 % is between 21 and 30 years and 33.7% between 31 and 40 years of age. Regarding the sex of the
sample is 47.7% male and 52.3% are female. According to the academic qualifications, 0.5% of the sample have basic education /
teaching other types of lower, 14.9% have a PhD / MSc, 19.6% have secondary education and 64.9% has the qualifications the
undergraduate level / bachelor. Finally, in terms of yield, 9% of the sample enjoys a monthly income of more than € 3,000, boasts 13.2%
between 2000 € and 3000 €, 19.6% enjoys an income between 1000 € and 2000 €, 27 5% gave no reference value and 30.7% of the
sample occupies less than 1000 € per month.
With regard to questions of a personal nature, we can conclude that most users are between 31-40 years, are female, have a qualification
to degree level / bachelor, have a monthly income of less than € 1,000 monthly and live primarily in large cities. Regarding occupation
72.5% are salaried workers, 7% are self-employed, 13% are students, 3.5% are unemployed and last about 4% are retired. This
question allowed the study objectives 6 and 9.
For the analysis of brand value TAP Portugal, began by studying the question always travels by the company, so check for the first
element that constitutes the brand value, loyalty and verified 42.6% of the sample presented always travels by TAP while the remaining
(57.4%), not always travel by this airline. As reasons for this situation are shown several, but the most mentioned is the price, with
42.5%. This question allowed the study objective 3.
2.2. Characterization of the reasons for members traveling by TAP
Regarding the reasons for traveling by the company, the main reason is the leisure with 58.5%, followed by business reason to 25.1%,
with 10.3% educational reasons, to visit relatives with 5.6% other reasons not listed with about 0.5%, this data will allow u s to study the
objective # 1. Then, we intend to know what are the main reasons for users to choose to travel to TAP, as elucidated in the next table
Table nº 1.1- Statistics that examine the reasons for traveling by TAP
Standard Deviation
Variation coefficient
4.1. High safety and confidence conveyed by the company.
4.2. Quality of service aboard.
4.3. Quality of Meals.
4.4. Prestige Company's aviation market.
4.5. For the price charged by the company.
4.6. Relationship between quality and price.
4.7. Relationship of customer proximity.
4.8. I get benefits outweigh the costs.
4.9. For the good image that is present in the minds of all consumers.
4.10. Compliance and respect for timetables.
4.11. Effective treatment of baggage.
4.12. Modernity and conservation status of its fleet.
4.13. Competence and efficiency of pilots.
4.14. High coverage of destinations.
4.15. Stocks of 2 different classes on their aircraft.
4.16. Speed in solving any problems and complaints management.
Note: The values refer to the measurement scale: 1 - Strongly Disagree 2 - Disagree 3 - Neither Agree nor Disagree, 4 - Agree, 5 - Strongly Agree.
Source: Author's Own
The two reasons are more marked 4.14 and 4.5. so we can conclude that the reasons to travel by company relate to the privileg ed place
that it occupies, or the notoriety, perceived quality and associations that customers are the brand. The analysis of this question al lowed
the study objective 2.
2.3. Analysis of patient satisfaction and behavior of members Victoria
It is also important to know the behavior of the users face the situations presented reveal that important data concerning the fairness
shown in the following table.
Table nº 1.2 – Results of the views of members on behaviors presented
7.1. I believe that, at the time, TAP Portugal, has offers greater value and higher quality compared with its
7.2. I will continue to travel by TAP Portugal is as profitable for me.
7.3. I am particularly attached to this company compared to its other competitors.
7.4. When I need to travel TAP Portugal is my first choice, although there are other companies that offer more
attractive prices.
7.5. Whenever my friends or family ask me for advice on airlines, I recommend TAP Portugal.
7.6. I intend to continue in the coming years to take advantage of the services offered by the current airline.
Note: The values refer to the measurement scale: 1 - Strongly Disagree 2 - Disagree 3 - Neither Agree nor Disagree, 4 - Agree, 5 - Strongly Agree.
Source: Author's Own
For average values, all items have a value higher than the average midpoint of the scale, which shows a behavior very positive view of
the company. The degree of agreement is thus superior to 7.2. I will continue to travel by TAP Portugal is as profitable for me, 7.6. I
intend to continue in the coming years to take advantage of the serv ices offered by the current airline and 7.3. I feel particularly
connected to this company compared to its other competitors. This question allowed the study objective # 4, so we may conclud e that
commitment that this relationship exists, since all items have an average value above the midpoint of the scale, as indeed we had
mentioned earlier.
2.4. Principal Component Factor Analysis
This method analyzes a set of variables in order to check whether it is possible to group the answers are interpreted identi cally by the
elements, determining your position in this set of variables. If so, the factors resulting from the analysis are associated w ith a set of
variables. Factor analysis allows proceed to the transformation of the variables that make up a scale in a smaller number of factors: the
major components. It becomes thus a set of initial variables correlated, in another set of uncorrelated variables, called the principal
Factor Analysis Principal Component-Reasons to Choose TAP: We begin by performing tests KMO and Bartlett test according to the
reasons for choosing the degree of TAP and behavior of members and concluded that the data are suitable for the application o f factor
analysis. Regarding the reasons for the choice of TAP, justified the establishment of six factors presented in the following table. For each
of the components can present a designation that reflects the summary of the content of the variables that constitute it. Fac tor 1
referred to as Quality, Safety and Prestige (4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 e 4.14), is associated with variables related to safety, quality of pilots and
aircraft and transmitted by the trust company. Factor 2 titled Benefits and Image (4.1, 4.9, 4.10 e 4.13), adds variables that relate to
income that consumers can get when traveling on TAP and the very image of the company. Regarding the third factor is bound attributes
relating to the company's ability to meet deadlines and effective treatment of luggage, considering this factor as efficacy (4.11 e 4.12).
Factor 4 was designated price (4.6 e 4.7), because here are grouped variables linked to the price of the company and value for money.
For the Factor 5 relates to the coverage of destinations and proximity (4.8 e 4.15) to customers. Finally got the Factor 6, designated as
Classes and Post-sale (4.16 e 4.17), where it is shown the existence of infrastructures that allow you to have two types of passengers
on planes, as well as infrastructure that relate to the ability to solve problems quickly manage complaints. Analyzing in isolation we find
that the attributes that passengers raise more agreement, is without doubt the existence of two classes in aircraft, baggage and effective
treatment of high coverage of destinations, as revealed in the next table.
Table nº 1.3 – Results of exploratory factor analysis - reasons choice of TAP
4.2. High safety and confidence conveyed by the company.
4.3. Quality of service aboard.
4.4. Quality of Meals.
4.5. Prestige Company's aviation market.
4.14. Competence and efficiency of pilots.
4.1. The advantages and benefits of the accumulation of miles are quite high.
4.9. I get benefits outweigh the costs.
4.10. For the good image that is present in the minds of all consumers.
4.13. Modernity and conservation status of its fleet.
4.11. Compliance and respect for timetables.
4.12. Effective treatment of baggage.
4.6. For the price charged by the company.
4.7. Relationship between quality and price.
4.8. Relationship of customer proximity.
4.15. High coverage of destinations.
4.16. Stocks of 2 different classes on their aircraft.
4.17. Speed in solving any problems and complaints management.
% Explained variance
Total variance explained
Note: Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser normalization. Rotation converged in 11 iterations. N = 200. The saturations great er than 0.4 are bolded.
Source: Author's Own
Factor Analysis Principal Component-Behavior Program members TAP Victoria: Regarding the behavior of members, justified the
creation of two factors presented in the following table. For each of the components can present a designation that reflects the summary
of the content of the variables that constitute it. Factor 1 called Loyalty (7.3, 7.4, 7.5 e 7.6), is associated with variable connection to
the company, either by repeat purchase intention and continuity, either by recommendation from friends and family. Factor 2 t itled
Opportunities (7.1 e 7.2), adds variables offer greater customer value offered by the company and an intention to continue to enjoy the
services of the company since it is justified. Analyzing in isolation we find that the attributes that passengers raise more agreement, is
without doubt continue to travel around while TAP is profitable for me when I need to travel and TAP Portugal is my first choice
although there are other companies that offer lower prices attractive, as revealed in the next table.
Table nº 1.4. - Results of exploratory factor analysis - behavior of members
7.3. I am particularly attached to this company compared with other competitors.
7.4. When I need to travel TAP Portugal is my first choice, although there are other companies that offer more attrac tive prices.
7.5. Whenever my friends or family ask me for advice about companies, I recommend TAP Portugal.
7.6. I intend to continue in the coming years to take advantage of the services offered by the company today.
7.1. I believe that, at the time, TAP Portugal / TAP Victoria Programme, has offers greater value and higher quality compared with
its competitors.
7.2. I will continue to travel by TAP Portugal is as profitable for me.
% Explained variance
Total variance explained
Note: Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser normalization. Rotation converged in 3 iterations. Source: Author's Own
After collecting and analyzing the data should be analyzed to confirm or deny whether the general hypothesis or hypotheses of
operational, so that will provide the conclusions of this research, as such, is present then the analysis of each hypothesis.
 H1: There is a positive relationship between the perceived quality of the brand and bra nd equity TAP Portugal TAP Portugal brand.
To test Hypothesis 1 is necessary to perform the following analysis: checking the reasons that lead the public to travel with the company
to understand whether they relate to the asset value of the perceived quality of the brand.
Conclusions: All items analyzed have an average value above the midpoint of the scale, indicating that they all show satisfactory and
relevant. The reasons most marked related to perceived quality are 4.3. quality of service aboard, 4.4. q uality of meals and 4.13.
modernity and conservation status of its fleet. Perceived quality creates satisfaction and value for the customer consistentl y and
profitably. Kotler (2000) and Kotler and Keller (2006) draw attention to the close connection betwe en the product and service quality,
customer satisfaction and profitability.
H2: There is a positive relationship between brand loyalty and brand equity TAP Portugal TAP Portugal brand.
To test Hypothesis 2 is necessary to perform the following analyzes: check the behavior of the public in relation to the company and
examine whether customers often travel always by TAP Portugal. We can also test if customer loyalty is related to the fact th at the same
hold a loyalty card loyalty program of the airline, TAP Victoria (Miles card, Silver and Gold Winner).
Conclusions: The percentage traveling by TAP is always inferior to the card holders Miles Winner and top for card holders and Gold
Winner Silver Winner. This analysis reinforces the hypothesis H2, because the holders of loyalty cards with more privileges are
traveling more than ever for TAP, then the benefits that are offered to customers, which are higher as the type of card incre ases, make
that retention is a reality. (Zineldin, 2006; O'Brien and Jones, 1995; Dowling and Uncles, 1997 to Duffy, 2002).
As regards the behavior of the members, all items have an average value greater than the midpoint of the scale, which shows a very good
behavior against the company. The degree of agreement is thus superior to the 7.2.continuarei while traveling by TAP Portugal is
profitable for me, 7.6 I intend to continue in the coming years to take advantage of the services offered by the company and 7.3 present
me feel particularly connected to this company compared with other competitors. The concept of commitment, which is the type of
behavior expected by any organization "is a psychological force that binds the customer to the organization with which it does business"
(Fullerton, 2005:100) and Wong and Sohal (2002:35) say in which "compromising appears to be one of the most important variables to be
used for understanding the strength of a relationship marketing, and is a useful concept to measure the likelihood of a custo mer loyalty, as
well as to predict the frequency of future purchase" . This attitude of commitment is reflected in the desire and intention of the partners in
the relationship of the organization and continue to feel emotionally attached to it, relying on the stability of this relati onship (Morgan
and Hunt, 1994). From what we can affirm that confirms Hypothesis 2.
H3: There is a positive relationship between reputation and brand associations and brand equity TAP Portugal TAP Portugal brand.
To test Hypothesis 3 is necessary to perform the following analysis: the reasons why the public to travel with the company to
understand whether they relate to assets representing the value of the brand, reputation and associations.
Conclusions: All items analyzed have an average value above the midpoint of the scale, indicating that they all show satisfactory and
relevant. The reasons are more marked 4.14. competence and efficiency of the pilots and 4.5. company's reputation in the avia tion
market, 4.2. high security and confidence conveyed by the company and 4.10. the good image that is present in the minds of all
consumers. These can be grouped according to the assets constituting the brand value, the notoriety (4.14, 4.5, 4.2) and asso ciations
According to Nguyen and LeBlanc (2001:228), the image of an organization can be "described as the overall impression established in the
public mind about a company". Which is related to several physical and behavioral attributes of the organization such as the company
name, organizational structure, the variety of products / services, tradition, ideology and sense of quality communicated by each person
who interacts with the customers of the company "among other aspects. The consumer to choose their supplier does so based on the
evaluation of image / corporate positioning (Deschamps and Nayak, 1996), as such, the picture is "one of the most valuable assets that an
organization can have" (Gomes and Shapiro, 1993:84) and whose competitive advantage resulting from this form of differentiation of
the product / service "is virtually impossible for a competitor to duplicate it" (Webster, 1994:104).
We can thus conclude that it is clear the weight of importance of the company in the aviation market, thus giving a high impo rtance on
organizational image (associations), which is much more powerful, the more the remaining sources of value if prenunciarem. From what
we can affirm that all confirm the hypotheses presented, which incidentally come so reinforce previous studies (Aaker, 1991, 1996;
Atilgan et al., 2005; Rundle-Thiele and Bennett, 2001; Bharadwaj, Varadarajan and Fahy , 1993; Alba and Hutchinson, 1987, Walsh and
Mitchell, 2005).
For the general hypothesis, which is that good results will be the company TAP Portugal are due to the perception of its user s, with
regard to the sources of value of your brand, as occur most operating assumptions, we can conclude that this is checks. Especially
because it has been proven that users exhibit high degrees of loyalty or brand loyalty, perceived quality, reputation and ass ociations,
which are assets that constitute the value of a brand, through positive references that carry the willingness to pay a price high whe n the
uncertainties are reduced or eliminated, value the quality factor and its relationship with the price, have intentions to continue enjoying
the services of the company and value the organizational image as it is mainly for these reasons that choose to travel by TAP Portugal.
3. Conclusion
The evaluation of brand equity is important for all business managers, as well as giving insights about brands, it is also a starting point
for the development of a specific system for monitoring them (Aaker, 1996). Due to this fact, there are several academic stud ies on the
problem of the evaluation of brand equity, but the models Aaker (1991) and Keller (1993) are the most referenced and used by
academic studies (Anselmsson et al., 2007), because, and according to these same authors, there are similarities between thes e two
models, with regard to the importance of brand awareness, quality and brand associations. As such, our study was focused on these
models and in four dimensions, these being, perceived quality, brand loyalty and reputation and brand associations.
Comparing the results obtained with the proposed objectives, we can conclude tha t there is a relationship between the dimensions of
brand equity, according to the model of Aaker (1991, 1996), with the brand equity of the brand TAP Portugal, where the variab les
concerned explain the success of the brand, as proven in the results presented above in that the main reasons why passengers choose
TAP relate to the influence that the company is in the aviation market, for more items listed relate to the competence and efficiency of
the pilots (4.14), the company's reputation in the aviation ma rket (4.5) and high security and confidence conveyed by the company
(4.2). Regarding the behavior of members concordance was highest for the items, I will continue to travel by TAP Portugal is as
profitable for me (7.2), I intend to continue in the coming years to take advantage of the services offered by the current airline (7.6) and
I feel particularly connected to this company compared to its other competitors (7.3). The last two items presented show an e motional
connection to the brand, because they reveal a strong connection and continuity.
According to several authors, brands are a combination of several elements like name, symbol, or design that identifies one o r a set of
products and / or services. All these elements will define the brand, ie, will g ive an identity to the brand, which in turn will give a
direction, a purpose and a meaning to the brand and that will serve to try to influence consumers to prefer our brand . In a review of a
brand, certain characteristics are always evaluated by consumers: brand loyalty, brand awareness, perceived quality and brand image,
so this was the philosophy that governed the construction of the questionnaires. Tried to assess these four points in order t o meet the
author who based my study.
Through all the presented results we can conclude that the good results presented by TAP Portugal relate to the sources of its brand
value, especially when active loyalty, because according to Aaker (1991), brand loyalty is a core dimension of brand equity i f customers
continue to buy the same brand, even when competitors improve the characteristics of their products, their price or convenience, then it
means that there is substantial value in this brand, its symbol and slogans.
A large number of loyal consumers is a heritage of the brand, and has been identified as a major determinant of Brand Value (Rundle Thiele and Bennett, 2001). It is she who will ensure that forecasts of future earnings and cash flows will be realized. The c hallenge for
management is therefore to transform the consumer's emotional connection with the repeated mark on purchases over time. Thus,
marketers are responsible for creating lifestyles, not just products or services, because every purchase is generated by emot ional
factors. From the standpoint of management, brand equity provides sustainable competitive advantage for the firm (Bharadwaj,
Varadarajan and Fahy, 1993). In fact, this study has demonstrated the importance of marketing efforts on building strong bran ds. The
top managers should improve their performance in marketing strategies aimed at strengthening the determinants of brand equity of its
brands, including loyalty, because that way will ensure the sustainability of its core asset, the brand.
4. Limitations and conclusions implications.
The study has some limitations, which offer opportunities for future research to improve the work done, which are now presented. We
can then call the limitations found throughout and after the completion of this investigation, as such, were not distinguishe d in the
study, the different categories of clients, individuals and corporate, the study only focused on users residing in Portugal a nd the
limitation of sample size 200 answers.
The fact that in this study have opted for a quantitative approach does not pre clude future studies will not adopt methodologies with
qualitative in-depth interviews with consumers and marketing managers, to better characterize the dimensions of the model and the
actual situation of different lovebrands, which would serve to deepen the theme. Also interesting would be the study of the impact of the
marketing mix variables in building a lovebrand may constitute an important step in the development of the work presented.
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Session 2
Using the eye tracking
preference for vehicles
Neuromarketing; Neuroeconomics; eye tracking; declared preference
Caissa V. Sousa, Faculdade Novos Horizontes,
José Edson Lara, Faculdades Pedro Leopoldo,
Erico Castro-Costa, Centro de Pesquisa Rene Rachou/Fiocruz,
Carlos Alberto Gonçalves, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais - UFMG/CEPEAD,
Henrique T. Akiba, Universidade de São Paulo – USP,
Rodrigo A. Bressan, Universidade Federal de São Paulo – UNIFESP,
Álvaro M. Dias, Universidade Federal de São Paulo – UNIFESP,
From the early 1980 on, the Neuroscience showed significant advances regarding the knowledge and analysis of the brain
in vivo. Among these possibilities, the eye tracking, the ability to infer the relativ e role of different parts of the same object
in the sensory appropriation carried out, providing suggestions about the establishment of preference, which may lie
beyond the conscious domain and cannot therefore be prospected by means of questionnaires. Therefore, the present
research aimed to identify the main points of high valence and salience when observing three photos of brand /model
vehicles, allowing to infer the preferred points or the points to be rejected in each vehicle. 30 volunteers were selected
through accessibility in the city of São Paulo Brasil. They were exposed to Visual stimuli of the vehicles – Fiat Bravo, Ford
Focus and Hyndai I30. Utilizing the ViewPoint equipment Tracker, the map of the eye movements of individuals were
captured, identifying points of higher valence - i.e. points observed per region and higher salience, which is the analysis of
the pupil diameter. The data was presented with a questionnaire filled out manually by volunteers, allowing the crossing
of the data observed through the analysis of the eye tracking and the information stated. Among the study findings, the
inter cars analysis does not allow to infer that there is relationship between the car observed and the mean of the pupil
diameter, however, there is a relationship between the pupil diameter mean and the result of each projected item.
1 Introduction
From the late 1980 on and, more markedly, the early 1990, the neurosciences presented advances in the
development of new techniques of evaluation of the brain in vivo, enabling to capture the changes in the brain functioning
during mental stimulation, from non-invasive techniques. Besides representing benefits related to its initial proposal
which is the medical science, such advances have also contributed to the development of various fields of knowledge,
especially those related to the human and social sciences, notably in the areas of Economics and Marketing.
Specifically in respect of the identification of the attributes related to the decision-making of the individuals.
Recent studies have proved to be important contributions of Neurosciences, broadening the scope of the researchers’
evaluations. This new research approach, which broadens the possibilities for the study commonly used, such as
questionnaires and focal groups, it is named by the marketing researchers, neuromarketing (Braidot, 2005, 2009;
Lindstrom, 2008, 2009; Zaltman, 2003, 2008).
When compared to the conventional research methods used in the areas of business administration and
economics, as quantitative and qualitative research, it is possible to affirm that the Neuroeconomics and Neuromarketing
is a new field of knowledge to be reaffirmed as a transdisciplinary research space, involving the interaction of areas such
as: Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Marketing, Economics, and, especially, the Neurosciences for the study of
consumer behavior (Dias, 2010b; Soares Neto, 2007; Zaltman, 2003).
According to Zaltman (2003) it is necessary to recognize that mental activity arises from the i nteraction between
social processes and biological processes, so it is possible to imagine new ways of collecting and processing the data from
the understanding of the importance and the complexity of the human brain in decision-making. In this sense, the
contribution of Neuroscience to assist in identifying difficult aspects of expression and knowledge rather than other
research techniques, due to its unconscious aspect to the consumer.
Among the most used techniques it is cited the neuroimaging methods s uch as functional magnetic resonance
imaging (fMRI) (Harlé and Sanfey, 2012; McCabe et al., 2001; McClure et al., 2004; Venkatraman et al., 2012; Xue, 2009),
electromyography (EMG) (Dias, 2010a; Ohme, Matukin & Pacula-Lesniak, 2011; Soleymani et al., 2009) and the
magnetoencephalography (MEG) (Lee et al., 2009; Trinity, 2004); central neurophysiology techniques, such as the
electroencephalogram (EEG) (Dias, 2012; Ariely & Berns, 2010); In addition to the peripheral, neurophysiology techniques
involving the electrocardiogram and the measurement of the heart rate variability (HRV) (Crozet, 2009; Dias, 2010a,
2010b, 2012), Galvanic Skin Response (GSP) (Crozet, 2009; Dias, 2010a, 2012) and the eye tracking (López -Gil et al., 2010;
Schiessl, 2003, Theuner, 2008), which is the method proposed for assessment in this study.
The eye tracking consists in tracing the iris to identify what draws the consumer's attention in a particular
advertisement - object, picture, web site, or any other point chosen by the consumer. The method enables to identify the
areas of greatest interest of the observer (López-Gil et al., 2010; Schiessl, 2003). The eye tracker cameras are able to
monitor any movement of the eyes during the visual process. This technology allows to measure the time that the
individual spends looking at each specific part of the object in question and to check what region draws more attention
and the order of observation of the regions of interest (Theuner, 2008).
Considering that every second 11 million bits of information is received by all the senses, of which only 50 are
processed (Wilson, 2002), the understanding of which factors are responsible for the capture of attention is fundamental
to the establishment of the preference in the case of visually analyzed objects (Plassman, 2012). In this study, more
specifically, the objects elected for analysis were three cars with distinct brands and models: Fiat Bravo, Ford Focus and
Hyundai I30, all of them were Hatch models and they are marketed in Brazil.
It is believed that the technique when applied to the analysis of preference for cars allows the suggestions about
the relative role on the different parts of the object (headlight, front glass, mirror, etc.) in the sensory appropriation
carried out, providing suggestions about the leitmotiv of the establishment of the preference, which may be placed beyond
the conscious domain and cannot, therefore be prospected by means of questionnaires.
Starting from the arguments presented, the present study had as the main objective to identify the points of
valence and salience on the observation of the photos of three brand/models vehicles allowing to infer the preference
points or the points to be rejected in each vehicles.
2 Metrics based on the eye tracking as the support for the consumer behavior study
In this section the assumptions supporting the use of eye tracking as the metric of the research in the social
sciences, more specifically, in the study of consumer behavior are developed.
2.1 The development of consumer behavior studies
With the end of the Second World War, some factors such as the rapid overcoming of the repressed demand, the
spread of television as a mean of communication and access to advertisements, the emergence of shopping malls and
discount stores and the economic growth have led to new arrangements in the development of Marketing strategies. In the
new scenario, consumers went on to play a more active role. It is appropriate to know the consumers’ profile and
understand the motivations and the expectations about the products and services. This led the Marketing theory to emerge
in 1950 at the school of consumer behavior (Engel, Blackwell & Miniard, 2000; Sheth, Gardner & Garret, 1998).
Two groups distinguish in elaborating models to analyze consumer behavior: stimulus-reaction models, which are
mathematical models and aim to answer a specific question; and the explanatory models which study the reasons involved
in consumer decision-making (Goldstein & Adams, 2000). According to the authors, despite the important contributions,
the integrative models of consumer behavior are still considered unknown phenomena. Thus, there is a holistic and
holographic integration trend that along with the support of the consumer behavior theory and other theories, s uch as
neural networks and mental processes, will be able to broaden the understanding of factors yet unknown.
In this context, Mowen and Minor (2003), even without addressing the term "Neuromarketing", specifically, have
already indicated the importance to pay attention to physiological aspects to the measurement of the level of attention
given to a stimulus. The authors state that the measurement of the level of excitement generated by the stimulus can be an
important measurement to assess the impact of advertising campaigns, a context in which the eye tracking is portrayed by
Zikmund and Babin (2011) as a technique capable of revolutionizing the process of gathering information for the research
in marketing. In this respect, it should be noted that the authors understand the neurophysiological measurements as
promising techniques, although still embryonic. Somehow, it can be justified by the cost of the application when comparing
the cost of the traditional research methods such as the qualitative interviews or the surveys.
2.2 measurement of neurophysiology peripheral: eye tracking
The interest in discoveries about visual system is not new. According to Li, Munn and Pelz (2008), since the
beginning of the 19th century researchers have undertaken efforts to develop techniques to describe the movement of the
eyes. However, it was in the last thirty years that such studies developed more. It may be indicated among these studies:
electrooculography development, reflection of the cornea, pupil dilatation and the development of contact lenses (Joyce et
al., 2002).
In the case of eye tracking, specifically, its use in research of cognitive processes has already exceeded 100 years.
Currently, it is considered a great power of prediction (Brown, Jay & Harper, 2010; López-Gil et al., 2010), especially when
used in conjunction with other techniques, allowing the researcher to identify which areas of the figure presented are
more salient — that is, attract more attention – and which areas are less salient (Brown, Jay & Harper, 2010). It should be
noted that the salience represents the importance assigned to an attribute, indicating the importance for the consumers,
unlike the valence, representing the fact of an attitude toward something (goods, service, brand, advertising campaign,
etc.) be positive, negative or neutral (Engel, Blackwell & Miniard, 2000).
The eye tracking is based on the use of cameras that detect the position, direction and the diameter of the pupil.
These cameras can be set in the ambient, in front of the participant or a pair of glasses. The mapping of eye movements
provides information relevant to the study of preference for objects, giving precise information about the most interesting
(salient) of a given stimulus.
The conventional model of eye tracker is composed of cameras that are set on a pair of sunglasses fixed on the face
of the observer. An infrared light diode is set beside the camera attached next to the eye (about 30-40 mm away from the
eye). The eye camera captures these images while the central camera captures the scene that the observer is seeing.
Infrared light is invisible to the human eye and do not disturb or distract the observer. It has the advantage of reflecting
strongly the iris, regardless of their color. There is a cable attached to the glass that transmits the information to the
software for later transcription and analysis of the data (Read, Munn & Pelz, 2010).
2.3 Research Hypotheses
From the theoretical development presented, it was possible to formulate the followi ng research hypotheses
tested from the experiment proposed in the third section:
H1- It is possible from the eye tracking to identify areas of interest that are differentially met and they are
statistically significant in each of the cars.
H2- It is possible from the eye tracking to identify regions of interest that produce different patterns on the
peripheral neurophysiological activity, statistically significant, measured through levels of pupil dilatation.
3 Experimental Design and method
In order to the conduct the experiment 30 volunteers were randomly selected and the following exclusion criteria:
under the age of 18 years; employees of any of the organizations responsible for the brands surveyed; and individuals who
claim to possess at the time of the study any of the three vehicles researched.
Since the measure of the salience presents the point that most caught the attention of the individuals, given the
presented stimuli, it was wise to include at this stage of the research a measurement of qualitative character, in order to
make it possible to compare the subjects declarative information about preferences, with the points observed from the eye
tracking. This provides greater reliability for the data submitted since it enables to argue about points of highest salience
as preferred or rejected by the individuals.
Thus, the eye tracking was divided into two moments. At first, the data collection of the tracking experiment itself,
and in the second, the volunteers filled out a questionnaire intended to identify parameters of preference between the
vehicles analyzed. The eye tracking data collection took place in the Department of Experimental Psychology (PSE) of the
University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil.
The equipment used was the ViewPoint of Arrington Tracker Research, composed by a pair of glasses equipped
with three cameras, two pointing at each of the individual's eyes capturing what he is watching (stimulus). Two led were
positioned just below the cameras, which film the eye, projecting an infrared light in the eyeball allowing the distinction
between the iris and the pupil. The center of the pupil can be detected in three different ways: by reflection of the cornea,
the difference in light between the iris and the pupil or a combination of both. The adjustment of the cameras to the
correct image capture of the eye is done manually. This process is carried out through mathematical algorithms that
automatically calibrate the location of the center of the pupil and provide information about its diameter, direction and
time of fixation. This data is stored by the program and exported in ‘txt’ format, capable of being opened in Excel program.
ViewPoint Eye Tracker also generates a video which features points showing the eye movement of each of the indiv iduals'
eyes as well as the time of the video in milliseconds, and presents the look fixation regions, distinct by the colors red and
yellow, for the left and right eyes respectively. It is noticed that there is a larger concentration of the look fixation in some
regions rather than in others.
In order to create the maps related to eye movements and subsequent the segmentation of those parts of the
stimulus in the regions of interest, a software using the MATLAB 2010 has been developed. Through the data provided by
ViewPoint Eye Tracker, the interface of the analysis program produces the map of eye movements of the individual that is
plotted on the static image of the screen seen by the individual. This procedure is done screen by screen selecting the data
according to the time interval in which was presented to the screen (10 seconds for images with three cars and 15 for
these individually), obtaining specific maps of eye movements during that period in which it was presented to the screen.
Once the maps were plotted on the screen, the program allows the adjustment of the dispersion of the points in
the image, thus preventing any calibration error, individual to individual. One adjustable mask makes the selection of the
points within the region of interest, which are added up and pre-tabled. Thus, it is obtained the data related to the
frequency of the points in the region and the mean the pupil diameter for each eye inside it. The height and the width of
the masks are also tabled as well as the time interval in which the data were obtained which can be readily exported and
then statistically analyzed. For the calculations, the software uses the look fixation time (time that the individual shall not
make saccadic movements calculated through algorithms) and the direction. The time varies according to each individual.
Figure 1 presents an example of selecting points tracked at a given time of the measurement. The color red
represents the left eye and the yellow the right eye. On the right side of the figure the exported data for the software
reading is presented and the export in Excel-compatible format.
Figure 1 – analysis of eye tracking inter stimuli and export to set the tables
Source: survey data
Before starting the observation of the images effectively, the volunteers were asked to observe the screen, where
black squares appeared at different points in order to calibrate the equipment. In order to the conduct of the experiment,
the photos of the three vehicle models analyzed were used, following these parameters: the photographs were produced
for use in the research with the help of a professional photographer; all vehicles photographed were brand new, 2012
model; the similarity between the angles were kept; the vehicles had similar colors, keepi ng the specifications of each car
Each volunteer observed a sequence of nine images, presented randomly, having one sequence with the three
vehicles showed separately, totaling three photos, plus a sequence with three vehicles displayed at the same time, for
which the order is reversed, comprising six more photos. The time of observation was10 seconds for images with three
simultaneous cars and 15 seconds for these individually.
Soon after ended the experiment data collection, a questionnaire was given to the volunteers in order to be filed
out. The purpose of the questionnaire was to collect information of those involved in the research, so that the data
observed through the eye tracking could be confronted. This procedure was adopted to have clarity on the salient points to
confront them with the points declared as preferred or rejected by the individuals of the research.
During the filling out of the questionnaire, the photos were again available for viewing, avoiding the need to evoke
memory, which could incur inconsistencies regarding the memories. The first question involved marking a point on a
continuous line, in a graphic rating scale, without attribution of values and with the extremes "did not like" and "liked a
lot". According to Cooper and Schindler (2011), the graphics rating scale allows the identification of the subtle differences
based on the record of the respondent. The markup should reflect the point that most approached the opinion about each
vehicle. Then, it was asked to point out three attributes the individual had most enjoyed and three attributes that he had
least enjoyed for each one of the vehicles. Some people said they ‘couldn’t find’ three attributes for marking, whether in
terms of "Most liked", "Least liked", or both. For these cases, it was allowed the markup of a smaller number of attributes.
In order to analyze the questionnaires, the quantitative content analysis technique was utilized. George (2006)
uses simple statistical techniques such as survey of frequency and percentages, allowing data to be presented in tables,
figures or models.
The results finding on the measurement of eye tracking were analyzed through Multivariate analysis of data. Hair
Jr. et al. (2005, p. 26), "refers to all statistical methods that simultaneously analyze multiple measures on each individual
or object of investigation. Any simultaneous analysis of more than two variables in a certain way can be considered
multivariate analysis ".
4 Results
4.1 Analysis of the self filled questionnaires
30 individuals were randomly chosen, respecting the exclusion criteria established. Of this total, 24 filled out the
‘age’ in the questionnaire. The composition has a minimum age of 18 years and a maximum of 59 years old. The age mean
was 26.96 and the standard deviation was 8.222.
On the scale of preference for each vehicle, there was an unnumbered straight line, ranging from 0 to 10
centimeters, for which the respondent should mark its level of preference. It may vary from one extreme to another. The
analysis of this scale consisted of marking (in centimeters), according to the measure pointed out by the respondent.
Regarding the preference, Hyundai I30 was the vehicle that obtained the highest mean, followed by Ford Focus and Fiat
Bravo. The highest minimum value was also observed for Hyundai I30 (4 cm), it was the only vehicle that got maximum
value of 10 centimeters, recalling that the 0 cm mark means that ‘didn't like’ anything and that the marking 10 cm means
you ‘liked it’ a lot.
Following the questionnaire, each individual was asked about the items that most enjoyed in each vehicle keeping
the descending order of what you liked the most to least. Considering the information for the Fiat Bravo, the items
declared as preferred, when grouping the three positions were: headlights (15.6); fog light (10) and design (7.8).
Concerning the items declared preferred for the Ford Focus: headlights (28.9); fog lights (13.3); and hood (10). For the
Hyundai I30, on the same note, we have: headlights (26.7) and design (20). It should be noted that the third classification,
in the case of Hyundai I30, appeared more pulverized: front design, logo, bumper and rearview mirror, with 6.7 markings
for each item.
Considering the question "didn't like it", for the Fiat Bravo, we have the following: 17.8 marked the rearview
mirror; 13.3% did not indicate any item; and 11.1% indicated the headlights (11.1%). For the Ford Focus remained the
rearview mirror as item that more displeases (16.7%), followed by the bumper (10%), and the front grille (6.7%).
The Hyundai I30 was the vehicle upon which more people abstained from presenting a rejected call. It is noted a
pulverization in markings when asked to indicate three items. For this vehicle, 24.4% of the respondents did not indicate
one or more items; the hood, the fog lights, the front grille and the rear view mirror were featured items indicated by 5.6%
of then people (each item).
4.2 eye tracking experiment analysis
The results of the measurement of the peripheral neurophysiology through eye tracking have involved intra and
inter cars analysis in relation to both, the heat maps and the pupil dilatation. The integration of both provides important
benefits to the definition of the aspects that most drew attention in the figures presented and through the crossing of the
data from the questionnaires, it was possible the "drawing" of the preferred or the rejected aspects in each one of the
vehicles. Before starting the presentation of the results, some clarifications are important to facilitate the understanding of
the metrics presented:
Eye1 – refers to the number of points traced into the mask (region of interest), in relation to all points
observed in the range of exposure of the image to the right eye (these points are shown in red).
Eye2 – number of points traced into the mask (region of interest), in relation to all points noted in the image
interval presented to the left eye (these points are shown in yellow).
Eye1P – pupil diameter mean into the mask in relation to the pupil diameter mean in the full sequence (all
images) for the right eye.
Eye2P – pupil diameter mean into the mask in relation to the pupil diameter mean in the full sequence (all
images) for the left eye.
From the descriptive statistical data, it is possible to observe the data close to both eyes the right and the left, for
the three vehicles. In order to verify the existence of comparable patterns between variables Eye1, Eye2, mean %, P eye 1,
P eye 2, P mean and the preference with the car variable (Fiat Bravo, Ford Focus or Hyundai I30), ANOVA was carried out.
Considering a 5% significance level, it is accepted the null hypothesis that there is equality between the variables Eye 1 (p
0.02747), Eye 2 (p 0.03885), mean (p 0.02986) and preference (p= 0.00014), as it can be seen in table 1, implying that they
are comparable considering the parameter given by the car.
Table 1 – comparison of variables tracked points and pupil diameter for the three vehicles
G. L.
Eye1% SS
Eye1% F
Eye1% p
Eye2% SS
Eye2% MS
Eye2% F
Eye2% p
%mean SS
%mean MS
%mean F
%mean p
Pref. SS
Pref. MS
Pref. F
Pref. p
Source: research data
In order to evaluate the discriminability between the variables Eye1, Eye2, mean% the and preference regarding
each car, the post hoc analysis and the Fischer test was carried out. The results permits to infer that there is discretionary
between the parameters analyzed between the Ford Focus and Hyundai I30, as well as between the Fiat Bravo and the
Hyundai I30, but there is no discriminability between the Fiat Bravo and the Ford Focus, considering p 0.05.
When comparing the inter cars it is possible to observe a difference between the I30 and the other cars, and the
difference is presented, especially in the variables: preference and observed points ratio (mean), in which the I30 has
higher results. The other two cars have similar results in terms of these variables, with a slight predominance of Ford
Focus over Fiat Bravo.
The variable pupil diameter (P) did not present statistically significant relationship with the car (Fiat Bravo, Ford
Focus and Hyundai I30).
Once you have analyzed the inter car parameter, the intra car analysis started in order to identify salient points
on each vehicle, making possible the comparison with data collected in the questionnaires filled out after the eye tracking.
To become possible the analysis, the figure of the cars was broken down into parts, from the identification of the regions
with the highest concentration of salient points. The following parts of the vehicles were considered: left headlight (LH)
right headlight (RH), manufacturer logo (LO), bumper (BO), front grille (FG), hood (HO) and rear view mirror (RV). In table
2, the descriptive statistics data were compiled, facilitating the comparison between items with larger and smaller mean
values, standard deviation, maximum and minimum variance.
Table 2 – comparison of descriptive statistics for cars
% mean
P mean
% mean
P mean
Bravo BO
Focus RH
Focus RV
Bravo RV
Bravo RH
I30 BO
Bravo RV
I30 FG
Bravo RH
I30 BO
Bravo RV
I30 FG
Bravo RH
Focus RH
I30 FG
Bravo RV
I30 RH
Focus BO
I30 RV
I30 HO
Source: research data
In table 3, we present the summary of the raw data by car/ point by region and the relationship of these with the
information stated and collected in the filled questionnaires on preferred or rejected aspects of each vehicle. One can see
that for the Fiat Bravo, the item "most liked" refers to the headlights, when putting together the right and left headlights,
they have obtained the highest mean points per region and pupil diameter. The same relationship was analyzed for the
Ford Focus, it appears in this case that the headlights reach higher scores on the salient points, and they were mostly
stated as preferred. As for the Fiat Bravo, the rear view mirrors also feature a level of rejection. In the case of Hyundai I30,
as already identified in the qualitative questionnaires, there seems to be greater dispersion among the categories "most
liked" and "didn't like it".
Table 3 - Summary of the raw data: points per parts versus stated preference
I 30
% mean
I 30
P mean
P mean
P mean
w/ +
w/ liked
w/ +
w/ +
w/ liked
w/ liked
Source: research data
Factorial Anova was performed to compare the mean% and
the mean P with the variables car and item
separately, and together. It was found relationship between mean % and cars, mean% and item separately and mean P and
item according to the results shown in table 4.
Table 4 – Comparative Factorial ANOVAf for mean% and Mean P versus car and isolate items
%mean SS
%mean MS
%mean F
%mean p
P mean SS
P mean MS
P mean F
P men p
Source: research data
It is observed that at the level of 5% of significance when factorial Anova compares car, items and these combined
items demonstrated a statistically significant relationship between the variable mean %, mean and cars; and mean% and
cars, when examined in isolation, but not when conjugated. In practice, this implies that it is possible, for example, to
compare the Hyundai I30 with the Fiat Bravo and the bumper with the front grille, but not Fiat Bravo bumper with the
front grille of the Hyundai I30. As in the inter car analysis, there is no relationship between the car and mean P. However,
there is a relationship of this with the results of each item.
The post hoc analysis along with the Fischer test was carried out, showing the discriminability between the
Hyundai I30 and the other cars regarding the variable mean %.
Using the same method, the item-by-item comparison analysis of the discriminability between items was
performed LH x BO; LH x FG; LH x HO; RH x BO; RH x FG; RH x HO; LO x BO; LO x FG; LO x HO; BO x RT; FG x RV; and HO x
RV, considering the variable mean. Yet, it was analyzed the discriminability between items LH x RH; RH x LO; RH x FG; RH
x HO; RH x RV; LO x BO; BO x FG; BO x HO; BO x RV regarding the P mean.
Of the test results of Fischer for the items, he noted the existence of three groups with regard to average variable:
(i) BO x LH x RH x LO x RV; (ii) FG x LH x RH x LO x RV; and (iii) HO x LH x RH x LO x RV. With regard to variable p average,
two groups were observed: (i) RH x LH x LO x FG x HO x RV and, (ii) BO x LO x FG x HO x RV.
The cluster analysis was performed, observing the existence of two independent groups: (1) car, preference and
mean%; and (2) item and P mean. This analysis pointed out the existence of two distinct sampling universes. One
composed by the variables car, preference and mean; and the other composed by the variables item and P mean. Due to its
approach with the preference, it can be inferred that the mean % is correlated to the stimulus of valence, whereas mean P
is a measure correlated to salience.
5 final considerations
Although the eye tracking experiment did not provide information on the profile designed for the vehicles
consumers, it can largely contribute when the purpose to be reached includes the identification of physical attri butes with
high engagement that are represented by high levels of salience. What makes this measurement interesting is the
possibility to identify aspects that may not easily be stated by individuals, as the different parts that compose each one of
the vehicles analyzed.
Managerial implications related to this type of analysis can reveal aspects not reported in focus groups, in-depth
interviews or surveys. This possible non- statement would not be on purpose but it would occur because of the difficulty in
decomposing into pieces the object analyzed by the respondents. It is as if it were offered a piece of apple to an individual .
Only by observing this "piece", it is already possible to know what this is about, even if the whole object is not effectivel y
observed. In this case, the image would be formed, from an external stimulus, with representations in different localities of
the cerebral cortex. Given that the image can be formed through personal experiences, recalls or perception, this could be
distorted, or rather, not quite remembered, before a question about it.
As Braidot (2005; 2009), Lindstrom (2009) and Zaltman (2003) state, some aspects are difficult to measure for
people. Yet, some memories are fragile and the methods used to identify them can change them (Zaltman, 2003).
Making a connection with the object of the research- the vehicles It is possible to infer that these may evoke the
memory of individuals, either presented in part or as a whole. However, these can at the same time evoke memories
related to brand and past experiences, which can represent both a positive and negative point for the vehicle.
From the analysis of the results, it is possible to conclude that the research hypothesis H1 and H2 were supported, as
H1- It is observed that at the level of 5% of significance when factorial Anova compares car, items and these
combined items demonstrated a statistically significant relationship between the variable mean %, mean and
cars; and mean% and cars, when examined separately, but not when conjugated. As in the inter car analysis,
there is no relationship between car and mean P. However, there is a relationship of this with the results of
each salient item.
H2 – there was a relationship between the salient points and preference information stated or not declared to
the vehicles analyzed.
As well as in other research, regardless of the attention needed to methodological formulation, limiting
implications can be explained. Among these limitations, the ones were were spotted in the course of the work and deserve
to be highlighted are:
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Analysis of the usage and attitudes of payment
cards users in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Payment cards, credit cards, debit cards, payment card market, Bosnia and Herzegovina, consumer behavior
Almir Pestek, School of Economics and Business in Sarajevo,
Lejla Helic-Dizdarevic, Intesa Sanpaolo bank BH,
In most countries of the world usage of payment cards is constantly growing, same as a number of payment cards. Card
business in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) began to develop more than 40 years ago. In that time card users could choose
between two payment card issuers, today there are 25 card issuers of many types of payment cards (Central Bank of
Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2011).
Since the beginning of 1970’s there has been a growing interest in the study of marketing in the payment card industry.
Already, there are many studies that analyze the relationship between the usage of payment cards or card selections and
attitudes of card users, and the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the card user. But, the conclusions of
these studies are often different, which disables generalizations about the behaviour of credit cards users.
The aim of this study was to investigate the current situation in B&H card market, establish payment card user profiles and
to explore opinions and attitudes of payment card users related to the card products they use. Except secondary data,
primary data were collected through the organization of two focus groups and through on-line questionnaire during 2012.
Payment card market of B&H is characterized by steady growth of number of payment cards and spending with payment
cards, but with 0.5 cards per capita, compared with countries in the region, B&H is a country with less number of cards,
and certainly represents a great potential for the payment card issuers. Among others, it was concluded that on the
payment card market of B&H leading payment cards brands are presented and the most common brand is Visa. The
respondents have one or two credit cards and they use all cards that they posses. The credit cards are mainly used for cash
withdrawals at ATMs and for payment at retail stores and least for online shopping. As most important benefits of using
credit cards are payment at retail stores and ATM cash withdrawals.
1. Introduction
Payment cards are important part of the financial and payment system of modern society. Payments cards are an
instrument of cashless payment, which allows the user to pay for goods and services, as well as to wi thdraw cash. Payment
cards are often referred to as credit cards, although not all cards offer the possibility of credit.
Wonglimpiyarat (2005) defines payment cards as variable repayment cards that offer a line of credit to its user; a payment
card user can spend money up to the pre-arranged spending limit. The payment card thus offers a self-service credit
without standard bank procedures. The spent amount must be repaid within a given period, or else an interest on the
remaining balance will be charged (Paxson and Wood, 1998). Lindsey (1994) defines the payment card as a plastic
payment card that has access to the revolving credit and cash. Accordingly, payment cards may also be used as an
identification document that identifies the user who has a credit account and allows him to make and accumulate
purchases, and pay the entire bill or part of it afterwards (Frazer, 1985). A contract on card use regulates terms of using
the card between the issuer and holder. Besides, the card-issuing bank also signs the contract on card acceptance with
retail outlets (Lindsey, 1994).
There are a few classifications of payment cards. According to Cirovic (2001), payment cards can be classified into three
Debit cards – are used so that the user can use the resources on their current account. They can be used in shops
that have the POS devices, or at ATM’s.
Credit cards – contain a defined credit limit that the holder can use when buying goods and services or
withdrawing cash. If the card holder does not pay off the debit balance at the end of the month, an interest is
Prepaid cards – cards with a money amount paid-in in advance.
Similar to Cirovic, Worthington (1996) also distinguished three types of payment cards: the ‘pay later’ cards (credit cards),
‘pay now’ cards (debit cards), and ‘pay in advance’ cards (prepaid cards).
Card business is dealt with by banks which, in cooperation with leading payment systems MasterCard Worldwide and Visa
International issue various types of debit, charge and revolving cards. Besides banks, there are also non-bank card systems
in the market, such as American Express and Diners, which also issue different types of payment cards.
Since the holding and use of cards have increased considerably over the past few years, payment cards have become the
main source of financing/lending and method of payment (Ausbel, 1991, Slocum and Matthews, 1970, Brito and Hartley,
1995, Stavins, 2000, Bar-Gill 2004). The popularity of payment cards as a means of payment is due to the convenience of
not carrying cash, limited liability in case of card loss or theft, additional benefits such as dispute resolution (Chakravorti
1997, 2003, Chakravorti and Emmons 2001, Whitesell 1992).
Originally, cards were used for paying for luxury goods such as travel and accommodation However, cards are now
increasingly used for everyday shopping (Lee, 2000).
Payment cards satisfy two different needs: they are a means of payment and a source of credit (Ausbel 1991, Slocum and
Matthews, 1970, Brito and Hartley, 1995, Stavins 2000, Lee and Kwon 2002, Bar-Gill 2004).
2. Usage of payment cards
Despite the financial crisis, the usage of cards in most countries has grown to 9.7% (Capgenini,The Royal Bank of Scotland
and Efma, 2011).
Although payment cards are becoming more and more frequent in global economy, there are still differences in the
number of card users in individual countries. In general, the number of users is larger in developed countries, where
income per capita and spending power are high, and in the countries with more developed infrastructure for electronic
payment processing (Kaynak and Harcar, 2001). Almost 80% of the payment card market consists of cards by three
issuers (O’Connell, 2011):
UnionPay 29.2%,
Visa 28.6% and
MasterCard 20.0%
UnionPay is a new card issuer in the market, which started issuing cards in 2002 (UnionPay, 2012) and, over less than ten
years, has become the largest card issuer in the world, with over $ 2.5 billion issued cards (Harper, 2012). The reason is
that it is a card issuer in the most populated world country – China, and 99.5% issued cards is in China itself (Harper,
3. Card business in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The first payment cards in B&H, i.e. former Yugoslavia, appeared in the 1960s. They were charge cards, Diners and
American Express (, 2012), while the first Visa card was issued in 1984 (Rts, 2010).
Due to the dissolution of Yugoslavia and war events, card business was interrupted in 1992, and re-established as late as in
1999, when Turkish Ziraat Bank started issuing Visa credit cards (Turkish Ziraat Bank, 2012). It marked the redevelopment of card business in B&H, although the business had to be re-started from scratch, since it required both
issuing cards and establishing the entire infrastructure that was to allow the acceptance of cards at retail outlets and
withdrawing cash at ATMs.
B&H registers the presence of leading payment card brands: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners, as well as two
local cards, BamCard and Moja kartica, which are issued by as many as 25 banks (Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
2011). Over the past six years, there has been a significant increase in the number of users in B&H , as well as in spending
using the cards. However, the number of issued cards per capita (about 0.5 cards) is below the region’s average. For
instance, the number of issued cards per capita in Croatia is 2.2, and the average for the region is 0.74 (Babic, 2008).
At the end of 2005, the number of users amounted to 942,874, and in 2010 – to 1,693,466, which is almost double. The
largest number of issued cards was registered at the end of 2009, 1,773,758, which is a 10% increase compared to the
previous year (1,612,219). Unfortunately, the growth trend was stopped in 2010, when a decrease in the num ber of cards
of 4.7% compared to the previous year was recorded. The main reason for the decrease is the world economic crisis. The
value of transactions in the observed period increased 3.7 times, from 1.47 billion KM (751 million EUR) at the end of
2005 to 5.47 billion KM (2,8 billion EUR) at the end of 2010 (Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2011).
Card business parameters include the development of acceptance network, i.e. the number of ATMs and POS terminals,
which also increased considerably. At the end of 2005, the number of ATMs amounted to 397, and of POS terminals to
8,947, while in 2010 the number increased considerably and amounted to 1098 ATMs and 17,834 POS terminals. Still, the
number of ATMs in 2010 decreased by 257 compared to 2009, which was due to the crisis and consequences of bank
restructuring (Simic, 2011). An interesting fact is that the number of POS terminals records permanent growth despite the
crisis and retail outlets closures.
With respect to the brand presence, the most frequently issued cards are Visa cards (about 70% cards), with the note that
data on the number of Visa debit and credit cards are not available. However, if we take into account the fact that 83%
issued cards are debit cards, we can conclude that most Visa cards are debit cards, i.e. Visa Electron cards. The second
largest card issuer in B&H is MasterCard with a 29% share, while other issuers are represented only with 1%.
In 2010, B&H citizens used payment cards to make payments amounting to 5,469,028,587 KM (2,796,269,915 EUR), which
is an increase of 594,568,227 KM (303,997,907 EUR) compared to 2009. By the structure of ATM/POS spending, the value
of spending is: ATM 4,679,626,544 KM (2,392,655,059 EUR), i.e. 85%, and POS only 789,402,042 KM (403,614,855 EUR),
i.e. 15%. This fact tells us that payment cards still mostly serve to withdraw cash, and are insufficiently used to pay for
goods and services at retail outlets.
The average value of a transaction amounted to 138 KM (70,55 EUR) and was 3 KM (1,53 EUR) lower than in the last year,
when it amounted to 141 KM (72,1 EUR). The average annual turnover per card amounted to 3,229 KM (1,651 EUR) and
was by 450 KM (230 EUR) higher than in 2009, when it amounted to 2,779 KM (1,421 EUR). The increase in annual
turnover was due to a decrease in the number of cards, while the decrease in the average transaction value was caused by
the crisis, due to which citizens use cards for lower amounts.
Out of the overall spending amount of 5,469,028,587 KM (2,796,269,915 EUR), B&H citizens spent 271,290,278 KM
(138,708,517 EUR) abroad. Interestingly, the ATM/POS spending structure abroad is quite different compared to spending
in B&H. Citizens tend to use cards abroad more than in the country, 59% for payments at retail outlets, and 41% for cash
4. Literature review
Since the 1970s, due to the accelerated growth of card industry, a growing interest is noticeable in marketing research in
card business, i.e. in payment card users’ behaviour. Consequently, we can now reliably say that consumers, when paying
with payment cards:
Make larger purchases in shops (Hirschman 1979),
Give higher tips (Feiberg 1986),
Underestimate or forget amounts of previous purchases (Soman 1999) and
Are more willing to purchase and have greater spending intent (Feinberg 1986).
Numerous studies showed that payment card users spend more compared to those who use cash or checks (Soman, 2001;
Feinberg, 1986; Hirschman, 1979). Feinberg (1986) concluded that payment cards make spending easier in terms of
motivation, probability and spent amounts. Besides, he concluded that the time of making the purchasing decision is
shorter when paying with a card compared to paying by cash. Chan (1997) discovered that for card users in Hong Kong,
when making a decision on using the card, the most important economic factors are: long interest-free term of payment
and low annual fee. Canner and Cyrnak (1986) showed that the main reason for using payment cards is convenience,
which in turn is in positive correlation with income and age. Kinsey (1981) established that the simplicity of payment and
risk of carrying cash are main reasons for using payment cards. Durkin (2001) observed that cards are favoured both due
to convenient use and as a source of revolving credit.
According to research conducted in Greece, there are five main factors that affect the selection of card: convenience of use
in Greece, security, cost-effectiveness, prestige and purchases abroad (Meidan and Davo, 1994). Gan et al. (2006)
concluded that in Singapore a low interest rate and absence of annual fee are the two factors that are valued the most
when selecting a credit card.
In the research conducted by Toner (1996), respondents were supposed to rank the most important characteristics when
choosing a new card. Results were as follows:
Free annual membership,
Competitive interest rate,
Choice of the way of payment,
Balance check at ATMs,
Added value and convenience of card,
Discount when switching to another card, and
Balance check over the phone.
When a user wants to pay for his purchase, he should both make a decision on the selection of paying with card, and decide
about the card he will use. The selection of card is conditioned by the following factors (Hirschman, 1979):
 Personal characteristics (income, age, lifestyle, stage of lifecycle),
 Payment card characteristics (interest rate, prestige, limit, debt repayment),
 Characteristics of the object of purchase (price, size, complexity),
 Retail outlet’s policy on the way of payment and
 Characteristics of the moment of purchase (time needed for the purchase, available resources on the card,
other short-term foreseeable card benefits).
There are many studies that analyze the relationship between the payment card usage or the selection of card and user
attitudes, and demographic and users’ socio-economic characteristics, such as Slocum and Matthews (1969, 1970), who
discovered that social class affects users’ views when using payment cards.
Income is one of demographic variables that has a significant correlation with payment cards and their usage. Thus, for
instance, Kinsey (1981) discovered that high income is the most important determinant in holding the number of cards.
Besides, studies by Gan et al. (2008), Barker and Sekerkaya (1992), Wasberg et al. (1992), Heck (1987), Arora (1987) and
Mandell (1972) showed that the number of cards held by a user and greater card usage depends on the user’s income.
Chan (1997) compared active and inactive bank card users in Hong Kong and discovered that inactive users have lower
income than active ones.
Although most authors found that income significantly correlated with cards, Awh and Waters (1974), Choi and DeVaney
(1995) found out that the level of income is not a significant determinant when using payment cards , while Danes and Hira
(1990) showed that medium-income families use payment cards more than high-income ones. Persons with high income
attach greater significance to the card convenience than to the credit feature (Barker and Sekerkaya, 1992). Kaynak,
Kucukemiroglu and Ozmen (1995) found that lower and medium-income users value the credit feature more than card
security and convenient use.
Sex and marital status are determinants that have a significant correlation with cards (Kinsey, 1981; Slocum and
Matthews, 1970; Gan et al., 2008). White (1975) learned that single males use cards more than females. Besides, Adcock,
Hirschman and Goldstucker (1977) found that bank card users are mostly males.
On the contrary, Kinsey (1981) and Arora (1987) in their studies showed that females use cards more. Armstrong and
Craven (1993) studied the average number of cards relative to sex and established that females have a larger average
number of cards than males. In their research conducted in Turkey, Kaynak and Harcar (2001) concluded that there is no
significant difference between males and females in terms of holding a card. Ingra, and Pugh (1981) concluded that the
lowest number of cards is held by singles, young couples and retirees.
Some studies showed that there is a significant correlation between the sex and the type of purchase. Lindley, Rudolph and
Selby (1989) found a positive correlation between card usage for purchasing household items and clothes in females.
Hayhoe et al. (2000) studied consumer habits and card usage in student population and learned that females use cards to
pay for clothes, while males use them for buying electronics and entertainment.
Numerous researchers found that education is one of the most important demographic variables that is in pos itive
correlation with card usage. Canner and Luckett (1992) found that users’ monthly spending increases with the degree of
education. Danes and Hira (1990) and Barker and Sekerkaya (1992) found that persons with higher education use cards
more often.
Slocum and Matthews (1969) found that persons of lower socio-economic class typically use their payment cards for
installment financing, while persons in higher socio-economic groups use payment cards for convenient usage – daily
Research conducted by Dosen and Vajda (2011) on the card usage in student population in Croatia concluded that the
number of cards held by students does not imply higher monthly spending. Besides, they concluded that cards are mostly
used for withdrawing cash at ATMs, and least for online shopping.
Carow and Staten (1993) conducted research on the way of consumer payment at gasoline stations, i.e. whether the
consumers pay in cash or with a card. They learned that a person with higher degree of education, higher income and a
larger number of cards tend to pay with a card rather than in cash.
6. Paper aim and methodology
Studies dealing with the analysis of payment cards and individual factors’ impact have not so far been conducted in B&H .
The paper is aimed at studying the existing conditions in the B&H card market, and research users’ views and attitudes
related to the card products they use. This research provides basic information on the card market, and serves as a starting
basis for further research in the area.
The field research of card market in B&H was conducted by means of focus groups and questioning by correspondence,
using the structured questionnaire:
Two focus groups were organized in Sarajevo. Respondent groups with 7 and 6 participants respectively were
formed so as to include men and women who use payment cards and who belong to 18-35 and 36-60 age groups
respectively. The interviews were audio and video recorded. The average duration of the interviews was 90
minutes. In order to collect data, an identification questionnaire for socio-demographic data on participants and
their habits was designed and used, as well as a guide for focus group moderator.
The structured questionnaire developed by the authors based on the presented theoretical concepts was available
to all B&H payment car users who have Internet access, and was distributed via website
Out of the 344 collected questionnaires, a total of 312 were assessed as valid. Sampling was done using the
snowball method. The research was conducted in June 2012.
7. Presentation of research results and discussion
The sample structure by socio-demographic characteristics:
Respondents of both sexes were represented, with female respondents prevailing (66.4%).
Most respondents were in the 26-35 age group (59.9%), followed by 36-45 (24.3%). The least represented age
group included respondents aged 55 to 65 (2.2%) and over 66 (2.6%).
Most respondents live with a partner/spouse and children (47%), followed by singles who live with parents
(17%). Out of the total number of respondents, 17.0% live with a partner/spouse without children, 14.1% are
singles who live in their own households, and only 4.1% respondents are single parents.
Most respondents are employed full-time (84.1%), followed by those employed occasionally (6.3%), unemployed
(4.1%), and the least represented groups are students (1.9%) and retirees (3.7%).
Most respondents have monthly income between 1,001 KM (512 EUR) and 1,500 KM (752 EUR) (29.6%), followed
by those with income between 501 KM (256 EUR) and 1,000 KM (512 EUR) (24.7%), and over 2,000 KM (1,002
EUR) (22.1%). The least represented respondents are those with income below 500 KM (255 UR) (3.7%).
According to official statistics, an average monthly salary in Bosnia and Herzegovina was 819 KM (418 EUR)
(Federal Office of Statistics, 2012).
Most respondents have university education (51.1%), then secondary education (21.5%). The percentage of
respondents with a master’s degree is 13.7%, and with vocational qualifications – 11.1%. Respondents with a PhD
were the least numerous (2.6%).
7.1. Number and type of payment cards
Analyzing the number of payment cards held by the respondents, it was concluded that over 60% respondents hold one or
two cards, i.e. one card is held by 33.7% and two by 33.7% respondents. Three payment cards are held by 20.2%
respondents, while fewest respondents hold more than five payment cards (1.6%). About 69.0% respondents claim to
actively use all the payment cards they hold.
Most respondents in the sample became users of their first card over five years ago (68.1%), followed by 3-5 year long
card users (23.3%), while fewest respondents have used their card for less than a year (1.1%).
As shown by data by Central Bank of B&H, the most represented card in the B&H market is Visa Electron, held by 85.9%
respondents. Maestro is held by 30.7%, while only 15.1% respondents hold the BamCard debit. Similar to debit cards, Visa
credit cards are again the most common. Thus most respondents use Visa credit card (65.3%), fol lowed by MasterCard
(44.4%), and American Express (25%). The least represented cards include Diners, with only 1.5% respondents, and
BamCard – 4.6%.
The analysis of the category of payment cards held by respondents revealed that most respondents have only a debit card
(49.8%), credit card is held only by 3.5% respondents, while 46.6% respondents have both types of card.
We were interested in the information as to whether the type of card (debit, credit) is affected by an independent variable,
and the application of linear regression to the dependent variable type of card concluded that respondents’ monthly
income has the strongest effect on the type of card they hold.
7.2. Analysis of factors affecting respondents’ satisfaction
Based on the results when assessing satisfaction with the card-issuing bank’s services, a ranking list of the service
importance can be created:
Number of retail outlets
Customer service (kindness, attention paid, accuracy and speed of providing information …),
Number and spread of ATMs,
Staff’s expertise,
Procedure of card issuance
Additional card benefits, and
Costs of card issuance.
T-test showed that there is a statistically significant difference in average rankings of the satisfaction with the bank and its
services, t=3.58; p=0.006.
Using the non-parameter Kruskal Wallis test, the analysis was performed of factors that affect satisfaction with the cardissuing bank’s service. Most respondents who have held the card for over 5 years are statistically significantly satisfied
with the number and spread of ATMs, while respondents with secondary education are less satisfied with additional card
benefits compared to respondents with other types of education. There is dissatisfaction with costs of card issuance
compared to the number of cards the respondents hold. The type of card does not affect satisfaction with the card-issuing
bank, while higher-income respondents are more satisfied with the number of retail outlets compared to respondents with
lower average monthly income. Frequency of card usage and the number of active cards does not affect user satisfaction
with the card-issuing bank’s service.
7.3. Analysis of the correlation between card usage and socio-demographic characteristics
Some of important findings follow:
Hi-square test (χ2=1.200; p=0.273) did not reveal a significant correlation between the employment status and the
number of cards, though the highest percentage of respondents has two payment cards.
Hi-square test (χ2=10.03; p=0,002) revealed a statistically significant difference in the number of payment card
the respondents hold and the respondent’s sex. Most male respondents hold two or three cards, while female
respondents hold one or two cards.
Hi-square test (χ2=44.38; p=0,002) revealed statistical significance between the number of cards respondents
hold and their monthly income. The number of cards held by respondents increases together with the increase in
monthly income. Most cards are held by respondents with income over 2,000 KM (1,002 EUR).
Hi-square test (χ2=7.36; p=0.007) confirmed the statistically significant difference in the number of payment cards
and education level, where respondents with a higher education level hold a greater number of payment cards.
Hi-square test (χ2=20.45; p=0.000) showed that there is a statistically significant difference in the number of cards
held by a respondent and the period of holding a card. Respondents who have held the card for over five years
also hold a greater number of cards.
Hi-square test (χ2=3.84; p=0.05) showed that there is no statistically significant difference in the number of cards
held by respondents and age groups, and that respondents in the 26-35 hold the greatest number of cards
(59.9%); the number of cards from one to five are held by this group of respondents while the highest percentage
of those who hold over five cards includes respondents in the 36-45 age group.
Hi-square test (χ2=1.606; p=0.205) revealed that there is no statistically significant difference between the
number of cards held by respondents and their marital status, and confirmed that the number of cards is the
greatest in respondents who are married and have children.
Application of linear regression to the dependent variable “number of cards” led to the conclusion that the greatest impact
on the number of cards is exerted by monthly income and time passed from obtaining the first card; other socio demographic factors do not have a statistically significant effect on the number of cards held by respondents.
7.4. Analysis of the way of card usage
Analysis of the place of using payment cards revealed that 60% respondents use the card both in B&H and abroad, 38.9%
use card only in B&H while only 1.1% respondents use the card only abroad.
The analysis found that most respondents (95.5%) use the debit card to withdraw cash at ATM, then for paying at retail
outlets (84.7%), while 28.0% respondents use the debit card for online shopping. Interestingly, as many as 84.7%
respondents use the debit card for payments at retail outlets. It is well known that card issuers pay a lot of attention to
educating users on the advantages of using debit cards at retail outlets, since debit cards are mostly used for withdrawing
cash at ATMs. Therefore, although research results are above expectations, they should be taken with a grain of salt since
data by the Central Bank of B&H show the opposite.
Analysis also included the most common usage of respondents’ credit card. The analysis established that most
respondents (83.6%) use the credit card for payments at the retail outlets, while the same number of respondents uses the
credit card for online shopping (37.4%) and withdrawing cash at ATMs (37.4%).
Viewed by the frequency of card usage, the sample includes most respondents who use their card 2-3 times a week
(38.0%), then a few times a month (35.5%). A total of 20.1% use the card daily, 6.1% once a month, while only 0.4% use
the card a few times a year.
Hi-square test (χ2=3.68; p=0.045) showed that there is a statistically significant difference between the frequency of
payment card usage and monthly income, and that respondents with higher income use payment cards more frequently.
Application of linear regression on the dependent variable “frequency of card usage” concluded that the greatest effect on
the frequency of card usage is exerted by respondents’ age, employment status, average monthly income and education
level, while marital status and time passed from obtaining the first card have no effect.
Most respondents claimed that, for payments, they use cash, then debit cards, and then credit cards. Kruskal Wallis nonparameter test showed that there is a statistically significant difference between the frequency of the ways of payment and
kind of costs, df=4; p=0.006.
The following graph shows the kinds of costs for which cards or cash are used.
Graph 1. Comparison of payment of costs
The analysis of average monthly spending using cards concluded that most respondents use from 255 EUR to 512 EUR
(39.3%), while 33.9% respondents spend less than 255 EUR. The smallest number of respondents spends over 1.002 EUR
(6.4%), while 7.1% spend from 752 to 1.002 EUR.
Most respondents with monthly spending below 255 EUR have one payment card (45.3%). Respondents with the 255 1.002 EUR monthly income typically hold two cards. Respondents with the spending over 1.002 EUR hold three or more
Hi-square test (χ2=39.17; p=0.000) shows a statistically significant correlation between the average monthly spending
using cards and the number of cards held by respondents. The increase in spending also increases the number of cards
held by respondents.
Application of Pearson’s correlation concluded that the number of cards is in positive correlation with active usage, time of
obtaining the first card, type of card, and monthly spending, p<0.05.
Active card usage correlates with the time of obtaining the card (p=0.019), and type of card (p<0.05).
Monthly spending using the card correlates with the number of cards the respondent holds (p<0.05), time of obtaining the
card (p<0.027) and type of card (p<0.05).
Hi-square test and Pearson’s correlation showed that the number of cards and monthly spending are in positive
correlation, and we can therefore conclude that spending using cards increases when the number of cards held by
respondents increases.
Table 1: Correlation between independent variables
of cards
Number of
Pearson Correlation
Sig. (2-tailed)
Pearson Correlation
Sig. (2-tailed)
Pearson Correlation
Sig. (2-tailed)
Pearson Correlation
Sig. (2-tailed)
Pearson Correlation
Sig. (2-tailed)
Time of
Analyzing the obtained responses about the efficiency of cost control using the card, it was concluded that 32%
respondents agree that card usage allows a better cost control, while 30.9% respondents disagree with this statement. Out
of the total number of respondents, 18% have no opinion, 15.1% strongly disagrees and 4.0% strongly agrees.
Hi-square test (χ2=84.00; p=0.000) showed that there is a statistically significant difference in the obtained answers, and
that opinions on whether card usage allows better cost control are divided. However, application of Anova test on
assessing responses concluded that the average ranking of 2.79±1.16 reveals that respondents do not have a clearly
articulated view on whether they agree or disagree with the statement, that there is no statistically significant difference
and that opinions are divided, F=0.697; p=0.628.
By ranking the benefits of card usage, the best rating was given to the possibility of paying at retail outlets 2.48±1.60,
followed by the possibility of withdrawing cash at ATMs 2.53±1.66. The lowest ranked benefit was that of online shopping,
3.15±1.50. Application of independent t-test concluded that there is no statistically significant difference in average ratings
of benefits offered by card usage, t=0.307, p=0.745. However, all benefit ratings are statistically significantly different f orm
rating 1 which, according to the ranking scale shows the most important benefit confirmed by the t-test, t1=25.58; p=0.000
(ranking follows the scale 1 – the most important, 5 – the least important).
Based on the obtained results, the ranking list of card benefits by importance can be derived as follows:
Payment at retail outlets.
Possibility of cash withdrawal at ATMs,
Lending possibility,
Installment purchases, and
Online shopping.
Most respondents in the sample claimed that they do not have a minimum amount when deciding on the bill payment with
the card (62.9%), while 37.1% respondents replied that there is a minimum amount when deciding about paying a bill
with the card.
8. Conclusions
Payment card market has a permanent growth tendency across the world and in B&H as well. The number of cards issued
in B&H has doubled since 2005, and the value of transactions increased 3.7 times, which was accompanied by the
development of acceptance network.
The development of card industry has been accompanied by the interest in research of marketing in card business, i.e.
interest in collecting and systematizing data on payment card users and their behaviour. In B&H, there is a lack of studies
on payment card usage, while international studies are mainly focused on, e.g. only on a given type of cards or on a special
population of card users. With respect to research on the topic, it can be claimed that payment card users spend more
compared to those who use cash, that they are more willing to buy and that they have a greater i ntent to spend and make
larger purchases in shops.
As the research reveals, the leading brands of payment cards are present in the card market of B&H. Patterns of card users’
behaviour are same or similar to patterns of behaviour in the global market, whic h is presented in the overview of
available literature. Respondents hold one or two cards and actively use mostly all the cards. Cards are used for
withdrawing cash at ATMs and for paying at retail outlets, and least for online shopping. Cards are used two to three times
a week, and are used both in B&H and abroad. Respondents have mostly held the cards for over five years. Monthly
spending using cards amounts to between 255 and 512 EUR. The most represented brand is Visa, and payments at retail
outlets and withdrawing cash at ATMs were rated as the most important card benefits.
B&H is a great potential for card issuers. Therefore, bank and card company managers should regularly conduct research
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Comércio eletrônico: perfil do consumidor de
Belo Horizonte/Brasil que realiza compras
Comércio Eletrônico, Internet, Oportunidades de Negócios, Comportamento do Consumidor, compras on line
Caissa V. Sousa, Faculdade Novos Horizontes,
Stephanie S. Nunes, Faculdade FEAD,
André F. A. Fagundes, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia/UF,
Danilo De O. Sampaio, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora/UFJF,
Erich V. Sousa, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais/PUC-MG,
Gustavo R. Cunha, Faculdade Novos Horizontes,
Desde o início do século XXI o uso da internet como forma de conhecer e concomitantemente atender as necessidades dos
consumidores tem se mostrado relevante para as organizações que usam a rede como meio de comercialização. Assim, a
confiança nesse meio de transmissão de informações e o relacionamento com o cliente se destacam como papel
fundamental para a manutenção e a ampliação do canal de comunicação. Portanto, faz-se interessante ampliar o
conhecimento acerca do perfil do consumidor que utiliza a internet para realizar suas compras, bem como a identificação
de estímulos que o motivam a utilizar o e-commerce. No presente trabalho, realizou-se uma pesquisa online na cidade de
Belo Horizonte/Brasil, a partir de um questionário composto por 29 questões, subdivididas em três partes: (i) a primeira
destinada a identificar os hábitos dos respondentes em relação ao uso da internet; (ii) a segunda em relação aos hábitos de
compras pela internet; e (iii) a terceira trata-se da caracterização do respondente. Dentre os entrevistados, 93,7%
afirmaram já ter comprado por meio da internet e pretendem continuar comprando, 5,7% nunca compraram e 0,6% já
compraram e não pretendem comprar mais. Entre os motivos destacado para nunca terem comprado, ou optado por não
comprar mais pela internet, destacam-se o medo que as informações sejam utilizadas de maneira indevida e
impossibilidade de experimentar o produto/serviço. Os respondentes consideram de maior importância ao optar por uma
loja virtual a segurança (55,5%), o preço (48,8%) e a variedade de opções de produtos (38,4%).
No atual cenário econômico, a evolução tecnológica impõe às organizações a necessidade de reformulação ou
adaptação de suas estratégias, com o propósito de adequar suas práticas de negócios à nova realidade comercial. Para
Kendzerki (2009), o final da década de 1990 marcou o início de uma nova era, na qual as empresas pas saram a conviver
com a utilização e disseminação do Marketing Digital, podendo esse representar um aliado à construção de
relacionamentos com os clientes e ampliação de seus negócios, independente de seu porte.
Desde o início do século XXI o uso da internet como forma de conhecer e concomitantemente atender as
necessidades dos consumidores tem se mostrado relevante para as organizações que usam a rede como meio de
comercialização, levando essas a investir em técnicas de marketing digital. (Duarte, 2002).
O Brasil configura como o 5º país com maior número de conexões à internet, com aproximadamente 76.000.000
usuários conectados à rede. A sua frente estão a China, os Estados Unidos, a Índia e o Japão (e-commerce, 2012a). O
faturamento do setor alcançou R$22,5 bilhões em 2012, o que representa um crescimento de 26% em relação ao ano
anterior e 2400% em relação ao ano de 2002 (e-commerce, 2012b).
Segundo Lindgreen Jr. (2001), a causa primária para a expansão do comércio eletrônico foi o grande impacto que
este causou em áreas cruciais nas práticas empresariais, entre as quais a melhoria dos serviços ao cliente, as
oportunidades de desenvolvimento de mercado e a redução de custos e estoques.
Costa e Marques (2011) afirmam que a necessidade de se reconhecer o caráter diferenciado da internet ao
proporcionar maior interação com o usuário, especialmente se considerada a velocidade de transmissão das informações e
a facilidade de uso, dada a disseminação desse tipo de conhecimento.
Nesse prisma, a confiança nesse meio de transmissão de informações e relacionamento com o cliente se destaca
como papel fundamental para manutenção e ampliação do canal, o que segundo Hernandez, Ambrosina e Groh (2009, p.
13) as vezes pode ser dificultado, uma vez que “o comércio eletrônico é marcado pela natureza impessoal da internet em
que há pouca ou nenhuma presença física e contato pessoal, gerando pouca oportunidade para a criação e manutenção da
A partir das argumentações apresentadas, faz-se interessante ampliar o conhecimento acerca do perfil do
consumidor que utiliza a internet para realizar suas compras, bem como a identificação de estímulos que o motivam a
utilizar o e-commerce como meio de satisfazer suas necessidades de consumo (COSTA, 2009). Assim, limitando-se ao
estado de Minas Gerais, que é o segundo mais populoso do Brasil e sua capital, Belo Horizonte, compõe a terceira maior
aglomeração urbana do país, com aproximadamente 4,9 milhões de habitantes, em sua região metropolitana (Prefeitura de
Belo Horizonte, 2012), emerge a pergunta orientadora do trabalho: “Qual a percepção dos usuários da internet da região
de Belo Horizonte, em relação ao comércio eletrônico?”
O presente artigo tem como objetivo geral identificar as percepções relacionadas ao e-commerce, dos
consumidores da região metropolitana de Belo Horizonte. Para atingir tal objetivo, o trabalho propõe os seguintes
objetivos específicos: (a) identificar e caracterizar o perfil do consumidor virtual na região metropolitana de Belo
Horizonte; (b) investigar as razões que motivam o consumidor a comprar pela internet; (c) analisar as razões pelas quais
os usuários não utilizam o e-commerce; (d) conhecer os hábitos de consumo dos e-consumers da região de Belo Horizonte.
2.1 A Transição do Mecanicismo para Informacionalismo e o surgimento da internet
Como aborda Castells (2006), desde o início do século XX, o modelo tecnicista predominava nas organizações, no
qual o homem era considerado parte da máquina e sua função nas organizações era estritamente mecânica. As habilidades
intelectuais não eram interessantes para a organização, que por sua vez procurava extrair ao máximo sua capacidade em
realizar tarefas repetitivas que exigiam pouco do intelectual de cada indivíduo.
Para o autor esse modelo prevaleceu até meados da década de 1980, quando o modelo tecnicista/mecanicista deu
lugar a um novo paradigma, o informacionalismo. O desenvolvimento das tecnologias de informação e comunicação é visto
por Castells (1999; 2001; 2003) como o divisor de aguas entre um e outro paradigma, sendo o informacionalismo
essencial para o que chama de sociedade em rede. A sociedade em rede seria, nesse aspecto, uma sociedade conectada,
tanto cultural como economicamente.
Para Castells (2001) todo esse movimento conduziu as empresas a um modelo de gestão configurado pela
organização em redes. Nesse sentido, “a inovação tecnológica e a transformação organizacional com enfoque na
flexibilidade e na adaptabilidade foram absolutamente cruciais para garantir a velocidade e a eficiência da reestruturação”
(CASTELLS, 2006, p. 55).
Apesar de a internet não ser a o único representante desse novo paradigma caracterizado pelas tecnologias de
informação e comunicação, pode-se inferir que seja um dos mais importantes. Seu surgimento, – ou pelo menos a ideia do
que viria a ser internet – data do período compreendido entre a II Guerra Mundial, nos Estados Unidos. Na época o
engenheiro elétrico Vannevar Bush foi indicado para o escritório de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Científico, o qual era
responsável por reunir cientistas a fim de descobrir formas de criar operações de guerra modernas por meio da ciência. Ao
final da guerra, Vannevar Bush empenhou-se em formas de compartilhar informações mundialmente por meio da
comunidade científica (LINDGREN JR., 2001).
Quatro anos mais tarde a internet foi criada pelo Departamento de Defesa dos Estados Unidos como uma rede
denominada ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). Segundo Ellsworth e Ellsworth (1995), a rede
utilizava um protocolo que possibilitava a disseminação de dados por meio de vários caminhos de comunicações entre
diferentes sistemas. Como é conhecido atualmente, o TCP/IP (Protocolo de Controle de Transmissão/Protocolo Internet),
foi adotado por outras redes tendo em vista seu grande êxito na década de 1970 (CASTELLS, 1999).
No início da década de 1980, usando a tecnologia desenvolvida pela ARPANET, a Fundação Nacional de Ciências
criou uma rede semelhante, a NSFNet, a qual tinha o propósito de permitir que pesquisadores e acadêmicos pudessem
acessar a rede. Contudo, suas conexões começaram a ser usadas para transferência de informações e correio eletrônico
entre localidades. Esse fato trouxe à luz a necessidade de estabelecer e aprimorar os objetivos da internet e de quais
pessoas ou grupos deveriam acessá-la (CASTELLS, 1999).
A internet no Brasil teve seu marco em 1991, com o início de um sistema acadêmico chamado RNP (Rede Nacional
de Pesquisa), ligado ao MCT (Ministério de Ciência e Tecnologia). Três anos mais tarde, a empresa Embratel lançou o
acesso online, de forma experimental, porém somente em 1995 ocorreu a liberação de acesso à internet ao setor privado a
fim de estudar como explorar seus benefícios comerciais (MENDES, 2008).
Para Castells (2003) as relações entre as empresas e seus fornecedores e consumidores, a administração, o
processo de produção e cooperação com outras empresas estão passando por transformações ocasionadas pela internet.
Seu uso adequado resulta em produtividade e competitividade para os negócios atuais, sendo pequenos ou grandes
Como resultante desse processo de desenvolvimento, o comércio eletrônico passou a representar importante
canal de comunicação entre as empresas e seu público consumidor, seja ele composto por pessoas físicas, outras empresas
ou governo. A seção que segue tem por propósito apresentar características desse canal emergente.
2.2 Comércio Eletrônico: características e emergência
Segundo Novaes (2004, p. 75) o “comércio é a troca de produtos e de serviços por dinheiro”. Esse envolve
iniciativas de promoção do produto ou serviço ofertado, de capitação e fidelização de clientes por meio do relacionamento
estabelecido entre comprador e vendedor, envolve o pós-venda e o atendimento ao cliente. Nesse sentido, o comércio
engloba uma série de ações que as empresas utilizam, não somente como forma de vender o produto em si, mas conquistar
a confiança do cliente, para que este compre mais e possa contribuir como forma de propagação dos seus serviços
(marketing boca a boca).
Assim como as atividades envolvidas com o comércio sobrepõem a venda em si, o comércio online de mercadorias
e serviços abrange uma gama de atividades mais abrangente do que a troca, especificamente. Nesse aspecto, diversos
elementos como: o marketing, as vendas, o faturamento, os pedidos de compra, a escolha da forma de pagamento, e,
representando um caráter importante, a logística, estão envolvidos nesse tipo de comércio (MORAES, 2002).
Alguns elementos principais distinguem o comércio eletrônico do tradicional, e segundo Novaes (2004), podem
ser classificados em:
Comunicação – fornece suporte às trocas de informações entre vendedores e compradores;
Dados – permitem a criação e manutenção de bases de dados necessárias para o cliente, além de permitir o
levantamento e captação de informações sobre os consumidores;
Segurança – autentica a fonte da informação e garante a integridade e privacidade dos clientes. Ao contrário da
tradicional, nessa modalidade de comércio a segurança é de vital importância, uma vez que não há a proximidade
física entre consumidor e vendedor.
Na atualidade, a internet abrange a maior parte do comércio eletrônico. Segundo Turban, Rainer e Potter (2003),
existem vários tipos de comércio eletrônico, sendo os mais comuns o B2B (Business-to-business), o B2C (Business-toconsumer), o C2B (Consumers-to-business) e o C2C (Consumer-to-consumer).
O comércio B2B, segundo Novaes (2004, p. 82), “[...] se caracteriza por ter pessoas jurídicas nas duas pontas do
processo, ou seja, a comercialização não é dirigida às pessoas físicas.” Nesse tipo de comércio eletrônico, são desenvolvidos
sites na internet por empresas fornecedoras, possibilitando a troca de informações e obtenção de produtos pelas empresas
Para Felipini (2006), o comércio eletrônico B2B tende a se tornar uma necessidade nos mercados competitivos,
tendo em vista que a capacidade de proporcionar benefícios tangíveis, tais como: redução de custos na realização de
pedidos; redução do preço da matéria-prima; maior controle dos processos licitatórios; e, a diminuição de erros nesses
processos, além da maior agilidade nos procedimentos de escolha de fornecedores ou compradores.
O comércio eletrônico B2C se caracteriza por transações entre empresa e consumidor - pessoa física, o qual efetua
buscas em relação a um determinado bem e/ou serviço ofertado (NOVAES, 2004). Para o autor, este tipo de comércio é
altamente volátil, o que pode ser explicado por ser uma forma de compras, ainda recente – e por que não nova, para alguns
consumidores -, que atrai clientes por motivos variados. O cliente do comércio eletrônico B2C geralmente procura por
preço e qualidade do produto/serviço, além de dar grande importância aos fatores logísticos ao efetuar seu pedido de
Ao contrário da B2C, a transação C2B ocorre quando os consumidores vendem para empresas. É uma modalidade
não tão conhecida como as demais. Nela, uma empresa anuncia na internet a intenção sobre algo que deseja adquirir,
dessa forma, o consumidor que possui o que a empresa necessita faz uma oferta de venda (MENDES, 2008). Por outro lado,
o comércio C2C já constitui uma modalidade de negociação mais comum. Geralmente abrange várias negociações de
valores pequenos, tendo como exemplos sites como o
Os negócios C2C são realizados por meio de uma plataforma eletrônica na internet e intermediados por uma empresa que
oferece a infra-estrutura tecnológica e administrativa. Tanto o comprador quanto o vendedor devem estar cadastrados no
sistema e podem ser avaliados por todos os membros da comunidade de negócios pela quantidade de transações que já
realizaram e pelas notas que receberam em cada transação, numa espécie de ranking dos bons negociadores (FELIPINI,
O comércio eletrônico pode propiciar vantagens quando comparado ao comércio tradicional. Entre as principais
tem-se: a inserção instantânea no mercado – os produtos/serviços são expostos imediatamente, em nível nacional ou
internacional; relações mais ágeis – permite relações entre consumidores e vendedores de forma mais ágil; a redução da
assimetria informacional – a web possibilita análise rápida e abrangente de ofertas; redução da burocracia – diminuição do
uso de papéis, o que possibilita ganho de tempo, redução de custos e diminuição de erros; e por fim, análise mercadológica
facilitada – uso de informações dos clientes e transações possibilitam benefícios como definição de estratégias e
desenvolvimento de novos produtos/serviços (NOVAES, 2004).
Para Palácios e Sousa (2009, p. 207), as grandes vantagens dessa modalidade de comercialização são:
Capacidade de universalização das fontes de abastecimento;
Acesso pelo consumidor a todos os produtos de forma semelhante, independentemente de barreiras físicas;
Conveniência do canal, que está disponível 24 horas por dia;
Capacidade de aumento de sortimentos através de colaboração entre empresas;
Capacidade de acesso/comparação rápida, em tempo real, às diversas ofertas pelos consumidores,
possibilitando maiores opções de escolha;
Desenvolvimento de atividades de logística como elemento fundamental de todo o processo.
Novaes (2004) destaca possíveis problemas relacionados às transações eletrônicas dentre as quais tem -se as
fraudes, impostos (especialmente relacionados as transações que extrapolam fronteiras nacionais), risco à propriedade
intelectual, violação da confidencialidade e o afrouxamento da relação de confiança entre comprador e vendedor.
Entender a ascensão do comércio eletrônico não é uma tarefa trivial, dada a multiplicidade de fatores que podem
envolvê-la. No caso específico do Brasil, o e-commerce ganha destaque, especialmente, com a ascensão do poder aquisitivo
da classe C (considera-se classe C no Brasil a população com renda mensal entre 3 a 5 salários mínimos, o equivalente a
aproximadamente U$1030,0 a U$1720,0 mensais). Por meio do crédito fácil, os consumidores encontram na modalidade
de compra online conveniência, o que pode representar oportunidade para os empreendimentos (FELIPINI, 2010). Tal fato
é corroborado por Kayano (2008), que afirma que dado ao pouco tempo livre que as pessoas geralmente têm, a
modalidade de comércio eletrônico pode representar uma solução para o acesso às lojas, uma vez que, virtualmente,
permanecem abertas 24 horas por dias, durante todos os dias do ano.
Ressalta-se que o alto grau de penetração do e-commerce no varejo brasileiro está intimamente relacionado ao
acesso da população à internet , que apresentou significativo aumento nos últimos 10 anos, passando de 13,98 milhões de
internautas, em 2002, para aproximadamente 79,9 milhões, em janeiro de 2012 (e-commerce, 2012a).
Apesar do mercado em expansão para o canal, não se pode deixar de enfatizar os possíveis transtornos desse
comércio. Segundo Lopes (2011) foram registradas quase cinco mil reclamações relacionadas a problemas de entrega,
entre novembro de 2010 e janeiro de 2011. Kayano (2008) destaca a falta de normas de em vigor, no país, que versem
sobre o comércio eletrônico. Nesse aspecto, as leis que regulamentam o setor, via de regra, seguem os padrões das mesmas
normas de proteção ao consumidor para o comércio tradicional.
O autor ainda destaca o receio daqueles que não acessam a internet para promover suas compras por receios
relacionados às questões de segurança, como ação de hackers, pragas virtuais, como spywares e cavalos de troia, difíceis de
serem detectados por usuários comuns e que podem lesar o usuário a partir da cópia de senhas e dados pessoais.
Na última década diversas pesquisas foram desenvolvidas com o intuito de estudar as variáveis envolvidas na
intenção de compra online. Entre esses estudos destaca-se os trabalhos de Pavlou (2003), que investigou a confiança
relacionada aos construtos: facilidade de uso percebida, utilidade percebida e risco percebido, como determinantes da
intenção comportamental.
Nakagawa (2008) adaptou o modelo de Pavlou (2003) e investigou a percepção de confiança como decorrente das
variáveis: facilidade de uso percebida, utilidade percebida, risco percebido e influência social, sendo que todas essas
variáveis levariam a intenção de compra online.
A facilidade de uso e a percepção de risco também foram variáveis encontradas por Heidjen, Verhagen e Creemers
(2003) como influenciadoras da atitude em relação às compras online.
Fernandes e Ramos (2010), em pesquisa realizada no Brasil, encontraram que as percepções de facilidade de uso,
de utilidade, de risco, confiança e influência social influenciam a intenção de compra online. Ainda segundo os autores, a
confiança influencia a facilidade de uso percebida, a percepção de utilidade e o risco percebido.
Na seção que segue é apresentada a modalidade de compras coletivas, representante de um novo segmento do
mercado de compras online.
2.4 As Compras Coletivas
Representante de um novo segmento de negócios, as compras coletivas encaixam-se em uma lógica conhecida e
praticada anteriormente, na qual, produtos são ofertados com descontos com o intuito de conseguir uma quantidade
maior de compradores. Assim, o vendedor tem uma menor margem de l ucro em cada unidade de produto, contudo, ao
final, o lucro é maior, pois maiores quantidades de unidades são vendidas (FELIPINI, 2011).
Apesar de ser um setor de compras novo, principalmente no Brasil, aonde se registra vendas em sites de compras
coletivas há aproximadamente dois anos, o seu crescimento está ocorrendo de forma rápida. Felipini (2011) afirma que
em seu primeiro ano, o setor registrou mais de mil sites operando nesta modalidade, tendo sido investidos centenas de
milhões de reais por ano em recursos no setor, além da entrada de players como Facebook e Google, empresas que estão
estabelecidas solidamente na internet e possuem acesso a milhões de usuários.
Contudo, como toda relação de compra e venda, as compras coletivas também possuem revezes. No último ano,
alguns dos principais sites de compras coletivas receberam mais de 12 mil queixas no Reclame Aqui – um dos principais
sites para registrar reclamações a respeito de produtos e serviços do Brasil. As principais reclamações inerentes às
compras coletivas relacionam-se à qualidade dos serviços ofertados (LOPES, 2011).
Para Ladeira et al. (2012), dado aos escassos estudos sobre o tema, não se tem claro os motivos que influenciam os
consumidores a aderirem a esse tipo de demanda, contudo, algumas hipóteses podem ser elaboradas, se relacionando a:
comodidade, menor preço e agilidade. Os autores testaram um modelo, em consumidores brasileiros, que avaliou a
influência de alguns construtos na adesão as compras coletivas: comportamento impulsivo, estilo perfeccionista, consumo
conspícuo, busca por exclusividade e influências pessoais. Como resultados, os autores confirmaram a hipótese de que o
comportamento impulsivo está diretamente relacionado à adesão as compras coletivas. Apesar de mostrar uma pequena
relação, o estilo perfeccionista também foi observado como relacionado à adesão as compras por esse canal. O consumo
conspícuo foi o construto com maior relação à variável observada, devendo-se destacar a exibição destacada do produto e
o status de se comprar pelo canal online, como influenciadores. Observou-se também uma relação negativa entre a busca
por exclusividade e a influência de outras pessoas à adesão as compras online.
A presente pesquisa tem abordagem quantitativa e se classifica quanto aos fins como descritiva e quanto aos
meios como um estudo de campo. A coleta de dados se deu por meio da aplicação de questionário hospedado no site de
pesquisas ‘’. Ressalta-se que para a elaboração dos questionários dispensou-se a aplicação de técnicas
como grupos focais ou entrevistas em profundidade, uma vez que se tomou por referência os questionários adaptados dos
trabalhos de Costa (2009) e Duarte (2002).
O questionário aplicado foi composto de 29 questões, subdivididas em três partes: a primeira destinada a
identificar os hábitos dos respondentes em relação ao uso da internet, a segunda em relação aos hábitos de compras pela
internet e a terceira relacionada a aspectos sócio demográficos dos respondentes.
Como maneira de verificar a adequação do questionário e averiguar possíveis dúvidas com relação ao seu
preenchimento antes de iniciar a coleta de dados, foi aplicado um pré-teste para seis pessoas. Constatou-se que a escala
likert de 5 pontos estava mais adequada ao público pesquisado e que as questões permitiam fácil entendimento por parte
dos pesquisados. Após a adequação da escala do questionário, esse foi disponibilizado, ficando acessível por um período de
30 dias. A amostra foi constituída por acessibilidade, a partir de contatos dos pesquisadores nas redes sociais.
O total de 175 pessoas respondeu completamente ao questionário online, sendo que todos residiam, na ocasião da
pesquisa, na Região Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte. Desse total, 50,9% foram do sexo feminino e 49,1% do sexo
Quanto à faixa etária, os jovens de 18 a 24 anos somaram 33,1% das respostas, seguidos dos indivíduos entre 25 a
35 anos (30,9%), de 46 a 60 anos (24,0%) e por último os respondentes com idade entre 36 a 45 anos (12,0%). Com
relação ao estado civil, mais da metade são solteiros (52,6%), 39,4% são casados e 8% são separados/divorciados.
A maior parte dos entrevistados possui ensino superior incompleto (40,6%), seguidos de superior completo
(28,0%) e 22,9% especialização.
Mais da metade dos entrevistados trabalham fora de casa (52,9%), sendo que 36,2% trabalham e estudam
(36,2%). Na variável renda mensal familiar per capita os dados obtidos revelaram a participação significativa de classes
distintas: 37,6% entre U$680,0 a U$1360,0; 31,2% acima U$2750,0; 28,9% entre U$1720,0 a U$2400,0; e 2,3% com renda
de até U$340,0. Ainda, pode-se perceber a relevante participação da classe C nas compras virtuais.
Dos 175 respondentes, a maioria afirma acessar a internet diariamente, totalizando 94,9% das respostas. Quanto
ao local de acesso à internet, os locais mais acessados são: casa (93,7%) e trabalho (77,1%). Nota-se um percentual
considerável de respondentes que utilizam o telefone móvel para acessar a internet (23,4%), o que vem ao encontro com
as novas práticas dos consumidores com relação às mudanças e inovações tecnológicas, as quais possibilitam maior
acessibilidade de diferentes modos e de acordo com a disponibilidade dos consumidores.
Com relação às compras realizadas pela internet, 93,7% dos entrevistados afirmaram já ter comprado e que irão
comprar mais, 5,7% nunca compraram e 0,6% já compraram e não pretendem comprar mais. Dentre os principais motivos
para motivos para nunca ter comprado ou para ter parado de realizar compras online, apresentados pelos pesquisados:
medo que as informações sejam utilizadas de maneira indevida (90,9%) e impossibilidade de experimentar o
produto/serviço (90,9%). Sendo que a maioria não concorda com a afirmati va que as compras pela internet são difíceis e
complexas. Nota-se que os respondentes sabem que podem encontrar ofertas melhores nas lojas virtuais do que nas lojas
físicas, contudo quesitos como confiança e segurança os impedem de realizar compras pelo mo do virtual, o que corrobora
com os resultados apresentados por Nakagawa (2008), Pavlou (2003) e Heidjen, Verhagen e Creemers (2003).
A maior parte dos respondentes afirma comprar pela internet várias vezes ao ano (62,8%), de encontro a esse
dado, tem-se 1,2% que realizam compras online semanalmente, o que demonstra que o Comércio Eletrônico ainda não se
tornou um hábito nas compras dos consumidores da região estudada. Com relação ao gasto médio nas compras online,
48,2% gasta em média de U$50,0 a U$150,0, sendo que as compras acima de U$500,00 resultam na minoria das respostas
(6,1%). Pode-se inferir com base nestes dados que, sendo o Comércio Eletrônico um novo meio de comercialização de
produtos e serviços no país, possui barreiras com relação à mudança de hábitos e cultural, causando obstáculos a compras
de valores mais elevados.
Quanto aos sites utilizados para realizar compras pela internet, a questão deixou livre para assinalar quais e
quantos tipos de sites o respondente utiliza. Destes, 72,0% afirmam utilizar sites de compras que vendem produtos
generalizados, não pertencendo a uma loja específica; 61,6% realizam suas compras nos sites das próprias lojas; e, 41,5%
utilizam sites de compras coletivas. Os resultados permitem visualizar um número relati vamente importante de pessoas
que realizam compras por meio de sites de compras coletivas, especialmente por ser este um canal compra online
relativamente novo no Brasil.
Quando solicitado aos respondentes que indicassem o quanto concordam com algumas ass ertivas relacionadas à
internet e as compras realizadas por esse meio, 61,6% concordam totalmente que quando fazem compras não rotineiras
gostam de pesquisar na internet; 57,9% afirmam que compram pela internet se esta oferecer preço mais baixo do que a
loja física; e, 50,0% afirmam que compram pela internet se esta oferecer promoções e/ou descontos.
Dentre os produtos mais comprados pela internet tem-se: passagens aéreas (57,9%); artigos de informática
(55,5%); e eletrônicos (54,9%), para essa questão os entrevistados poderiam marcar mais de uma opção. Outros produtos
não especificados entre as opções disponíveis também foram citados, como: instrumentos musicais, lentes de contato e
hospedagem em hotel. Em relação aos produtos que não compraria pela internet, 62,8% dos entrevistados não
comprariam veículos; 48,2% produtos alimentícios; 43,9% sapatos; e 41,5% vestuário. Os dados completos sobre as
categorias de produtos que poderiam ou não ser comprados pela internet se encontram disponíveis na tabela 1.
Tabela 1 – Produtos que costuma comprar versus que não compraria pela internet
Categoria de produto que costuma
comprar pela Internet
Categoria de produto que não
compraria pela Internet
Opções de Respostas
% Respostas
Artigos de informática
Artigos para saúde & beleza
Artigos para bebês
Cama e banho
Livros e Revistas
Passagens aéreas
Produtos alimentícios
Utilidades domésticas
Outro (especifique)
CD's & DVD's
Cine & foto
Esporte & lazer
% Respostas
Fonte: Dados da pesquisa
Quando categorizado em relação ao gênero, as passagens aéreas continuam como o produto mais comprado, com
27,4% das marcações para o feminino e 30,5% para o masculino. Dentre produtos que não comprariam por esse canal, os
veículos continuam os mais rejeitados, com 31,7% para o feminino e 31,1% para o masculino. Os artigos de saúde e beleza
são predominantemente comprados pelas mulheres (22,0%), quando comparados aos homens que fazem esse tipo de
compra (3,7%).
A estratificação pela faixa etária permite identificar que os entrevistados com idades entre 18 a 24 anos compram
mais produtos eletrônicos e artigos de informática (17,7%); com idades entre 25 a 35 (18,3%) e entre 46 a 60 anos (8,5%)
compram mais passagens aéreas; e para os entrevistados com idades entre 36 a 45 anos predominam as compras de
passagens aéreas (8,5%) e livros e revistas (8,5%).
Os entrevistaram relataram dar muita importância a quesitos como informações sobre o produto disponíveis no
site (90,2%); prazo de entrega (75,6%); e conveniência (49,4%). Com relação a ser conveniente poder comprar pela
internet e retirar o produto em uma loja física 23,8% concordam parcialmente com a afirmativa e 66,5% concordam
totalmente que é conveniente poder devolver em uma loja física um produto comprado pela internet. 49,4% concordam
totalmente que a apresentação visual do site faz a diferença na hora de escolher a loja virtual, o que novamente remonta a
pesquisas anteriores (Heidjen, Verhagen & Creemers, 2003; Hor-Meyll, 2006; Nakagawa, 2008; Pavlou, 2003; Silva Jr.,
Figueiredo & Araújo, 2011) que discutem a segurança percebida como relacionada a intenção de comprar pelo canal
Sobre o caráter planejado das compras online, 37,8% dos entrevistados afirmaram que às vezes (porém nem
sempre) suas compras pela internet são planejadas; 27,4% afirmaram que fazem algum tipo de planejamento; 15,2%
afirmaram que raramente planejam; 12,8% afirmam que suas compras pela internet são sempre bem planejadas; e 6,7%
nunca planejam. Se somados os percentuais daqueles que às vezes (porém nem sempre) planejam, daqueles que
raramente planejam e daqueles que afirmam nunca planejar suas compras pela internet, tem-se o equivalente a 59,7%, o
que permite inferir que há relação positiva entre a impulsividade e a realização de compras pela internet, corroborando os
achados de Ladeira et al. (2008).
Dentre os principais motivos para comprar pela internet encontram-se: gostar de aproveitar as promoções
(36,6%) e conveniência (35,4%). Quando correlacionados os dados com o gênero dos respondentes, pode-se perceber que
para as mulheres, o principal motivo para comprar pela internet são as promoções (21,3%) e para os homens, a
conveniência é o principal motivo (20,1%). A tabela 2 apresenta os resultados estratificados pelo gênero.
Tabela 2 – Principal motivo para se comprar pela internet segundo o gênero
Opções de Respostas
Pouco tempo livre
Não gostar de ir à loja física
Pela conveniência
Gostar de aproveitar as promoções
Gostar de analisar as informações disponíveis
Fonte: Dados da pesquisa
Ao serem questionados os itens mais importantes na escolha de uma loja virtual, os entrevistados consideram de
maior importância a segurança (55,5%), o preço (48,8%) e a variedade de produto (38,4%), ressalta-se que para essa
questão havia a opção de marcação de mais de uma opção.
Foi perguntado para os entrevistados quais seriam, em uma opinião pessoal, os principais fatores que
conduziriam ao sucesso de uma loja virtual. Segurança e confiabili dade foi o item mais marcado na opção ‘concordo
totalmente’, com 67,1% de concordância; em sequência tem-se a credibilidade do fornecedor junto ao mercado com
64,6%. Percebe-se novamente a importância dada à segurança e confiabilidade as quais devem ser fornecidas pelo
vendedor. A tabela 3 apresenta os resultados compilados para o questionamento evidenciado.
Tabela 3 - Fatores relacionados ao sucesso do Comércio Eletrônico
Facilidade na utilização do site
0,6% (1)
1,8% (3)
2,4% (4)
36,0% (59)
59,1% (97)
Layout, facilidade de conexão e
disponibilidade de produtos
1,2% (2)
1,2% (2)
4,3% (7)
39,0% (64)
54,3% (89)
Qualidade dos produtos
0,6% (1)
0,6% (1)
15,9% (26)
25,0% (41)
57,9% (95)
Fidelização de clientes
1,8% (3)
6,7% (11)
25,0% (41)
35,4% (58)
31,1% (51)
Estar atrelado a uma grande
0,6% (1)
4,3% (7)
22,6% (37)
36,6% (60)
36,0% (59)
Segurança e confiabilidade
0,6% (1)
3,0% (5)
6,7% (11)
22,6% (37)
67,1% (110)
Credibilidade do
junto ao mercado
0,6% (1)
1,2% (2)
9,1% (15)
24,4% (40)
64,6% (106)
Fatores avaliados
Fonte: Dados da pesquisa
Quanto aos fatores relacionados às desvantagens do Comércio Eletrônico, conforme apresentado na tabela 4,
pode-se identificar que os respondentes ‘concordam totalmente’ com todas as assertivas relacionadas no questionário,
destacando-se a impossibilidade de experimentar o produto/serviço (58,5%) e a impossibilidade de realizar trocas
Tabela 4 – Fatores relacionados a desvantagem do comércio eletrônico
Totalmente Parcialmente
Demora nos prazos de entrega
7,3% (12)
19,5% (32)
11,0% (18)
29,3% (48)
32,9% (54)
3,0% (5)
13,4% (22)
9,1% (15)
36,6% (60)
37,8% (62)
2,4% (4)
8,5% (14)
4,9% (8)
36,0% (59)
48,2% (79)
3,7% (6)
11,6% (19)
9,8% (16)
36,6% (60)
38,4% (63)
Excesso de propagandas e de
detalhes nos sites
8,0% (13)
9,8% (16)
11,7% (19)
30,7% (50)
39,9% (65)
Impossibilidade de realizar trocas
3,7% (6)
9,8% (16)
9,8% (16)
26,2% (43)
50,6% (83)
Impossibilidade de experimentar o
2,4% (4)
5,5% (9)
11,0% (18)
22,6% (37)
58,5% (96)
Desconfiança em relação à qualidade
dos produtos
Receio de transmitir informações
Sites que mais dificultam do que
facilitam as compras
Fonte: Dados da pesquisa
O presente trabalho propôs identificar as percepções dos consumidores de Belo Horizonte/Brasil, em relação ao ecommerce. Entre os respondentes houve uma participação homogênea de pessoas do sexo feminino e do sexo masculino,
destacando-se a variação na faixa etária, com escolaridade superior a oito anos.
Quanto às razões que levam os consumidores a comprar pela internet, encontram-se principalmente as
promoções e descontos oferecidos, os preços mais baixos em relação a produtos vendidos em lojas físicas e comodidade
que esse modo de compra oferece. Uma vez que, realizando suas compras pela internet, o consumidor evita trânsito e filas,
além de poder comprar com mais facilidade em razão da sua falta de tempo diária. Em contrapartida, os usuários não
utilizam o e-commerce principalmente por receio de que as informações expostas sejam utilizadas de forma inadequada,
além de aspectos intangíveis relacionados às compras online, como a impossibilidade de ver (presencialmente) e tocar o
produto que está sendo comprado.
Considera-se que o lócus da pesquisa compreendeu uma limitação do estudo e sugere-se, nesse aspecto, que novas
pesquisas sejam realizadas, tanto em caráter longitudinal quanto em comparação a outras cidades e/ou países distintos,
uma vez que dada a facilidade de acesso, as compras online não estão restritas a um ambiente específico.
Sendo o Comércio Eletrônico um tema inovador e instigante, sugere-se para pesquisas futuras novas abordagens,
com relação às empresas (no âmbito de pequenas e grandes), que estão buscando no e-commerce novas oportunidades de
negócios. Concomitantemente estudar e analisar a preocupação em atender às demandas crescentes, em gerar e manter a
segurança nas transações, na qualidade dos produtos e serviços e no compromisso em realizar as entregas nos prazos
determinados. Neste contexto, cabe o estudo de treinamentos e capacitação dos novos perfis de empregados que o
Comércio Eletrônico exige. Outra vertente proposta seria a realização de estudos referentes às possibilidades que o
marketing agrega às organizações que têm o intuito de usar a plataforma eletrônica como canal de venda.
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The effects of revenue management strategies
in consumers behaviour
Revenue management; consumer behavior; loyalty; decision confidence; satisfaction with price.
María-Encarnación Andrés Martínez, UNIVERSIDAD DE CASTILLA-LA MANCHA,
The use of revenue management strategies has lead to an increased overall in the tourist sector and concretely in the
airlines and hotel. In this paper we consider the case of an online hotel booking studing different revenue management
strategies used in this sector to analyse the effect of these strategies in the consumer behavior measure in terms of
satisfaction with price, loyalty and decision confidence, that is, our analysis considers the effect of the consumer rate
election in the consumer behaviour.
Analyzing the web of different hotels that used revenue management strategies, we have devel oped a simulated context
where some Internet users have make an online simulated process of hotel booking and after they answer some questions
in relation to aspects related with the satisfaction with price, loyalty and decision confidence. The results sho w that the
hotel election considering the different revenue management strategies has an important effect in the consumer loyalty
and in the satisfaction with price. However, the effect over the decision confidence is not statistically significant. Moreov er,
the best results in terms of the three dimensions of consumer behavior considered have been obtained by the hotel that
used a strategy based on the length of stay, that is, the hotel in which the price of room decreases from a certain number of
nights onwards. Without doubt these aspects are very important to the hotel manager in order to take decision around the
revenue management strategies used in this company.
1. Introduction
In the last years, the use of revenue management strategies has lead to an increase. The main reason for this has been the
consolidation of the Internet as sale channel and the objective to maximize profit by sellers as consequence of the decline
in demand caused by the current economic crisis. The main sector where these strategies are more used is the tourist
sector overall in the airlines and hotel.
Furthermore, the situation of the economy has seen product prices take on a very important role in consumer purchase
decisions. In this sense, consumers spend more time trying to gain a more accurate knowledge of the price of the products
they buy. As a result, price rate has become a much more relevant factor. As a starting point, prices can be considered the
monetary effort that consumers must make in order to obtain the right to consume or to use a product or service,
however, prices sometimes act as an indication of quality. The prices, sometimes, regulate supply and demand, as a
qualitative property of the product (Velasco, 1994). Although prices are one of the costs faced by c onsumers in a purchase
decision, there are others, such as the time of purchase, displacement costs and psychological costs. Nevertheless, prices
are among the easiest for consumers to analyze, which is why they play such an important role in consumer purc hase
decisions. The findings of Agárdi and Bauer (2000) showed that buyers selected at a point of sale and a rate to make a
purchase considered the price of a product to be the most decisive factor in their purchase decision.
Thus, we consider different revenue management strategies used in the hotel sector to analyse the effect of these
strategies in the consumer behavior measure in terms of satisfaction with price, loyalty and decision confidence.
Concretely, we consider the change in the price as consequence of the application of these strategies distinguished
strategies that alter price on the basis of accepting certain restrictions (consumers benefit from lower prices if they accept
that the booking cannot be changed), day of week (prices are lower when the booking is made on week days), location
(prices are lower when the hotel room does not have a special location, such as sea views) and the length of stay (from a
certain number of nights onwards, the price of the room decreases). Therefore, our analys is considers the effect of the
consumer rate election in the consumer behavior.
Section 2 of this paper analyses the revenue management strategy from a theoretical viewpoint, as well as the main
strategies used in the hotel sector. Section 3 considers the factors that most influence consumer behavior and the
hypotheses to be tested in relation to the influence that the revenue management strategy has on consumer behavior.
Section 4 conducts an empirical application, which makes it possible to test the verac ity of the hypotheses considered and
the main results obtained. Finally, the conclusion section includes the main conclusions and the future research lines.
2. Revenue management strategies
Revenue management strategy began to be popular in airlines but now, the demand situation has motivated to adapt this
strategy to their business in many companies such as hotels, wholesale tourism operators, catering and restaurants; urban
and suburban transport; long-distance passenger rail transport; electricity supply and generation, infrastructure for
commodity transport, use of roads and public streets. One definition of revenue management can be seen in Kimes (1994)
that consider this as a “method that helps to sell the correct product to the appropriate consumer, at the suitable moment
and price”, allowing in this way to maximise income (Kimes, 1994). The revenue management application entails
understanding consumers’ purchasing behaviour in order to compare present demand with the demand that is anticipated
in the future. This strategy identifies sales opportunities and using the price, adjustments are made in order to secure the
balance between supply and demand (Relihan, 1989).
Revenue management techniques imply the allocation of a fixed capacity to different prices to segments of consumers with
the purpose of maximizing income. These consumers, in order to benefit from price discounts, need to accept restrictions,
as well as penalties if they decide to make any change in relation to the purchase. This strategy c an be used in several
sectors with some elements in common: limited capacity, perishable products or services, the possibility of segmenting
demand and high overheads.
Thus, Berman (2005) defines revenue management as an effective mechanism to assign a service that fixes capacity and a
great scale of discounts. Therefore, the main goal of revenue management is to fit prices with the purpose of completing
available capacity, because the marginal cost of considering one more consumer in many services is small . This practice
usually divides time into two periods: one with discounts on prices for bookings in advance; and another where the rest of
capacity is set aside for consumers who are less sensitive to prices, this strategy working better with non-sensitive
consumers (Desiraju and Shugan, 1999).
Revenue management techniques are based on the prior segmentation of the market aiming to later establish different
prices according to each segment and thereby maximise income and available capacity (Selmi, 2010). T herefore, the
success of revenue management depends mainly on consumers, as they are the basis. Consequently, decision making is
also consumer-based (Shaw, 1992). This means that is very important to study the consumer behavior in order to know
the possible impact of use this strategy for the company in both the short term and also the long term.
By analysing previous research, such as Kimes (1994), Kimes (2002), Kimes and Wirtz (2002) and Selmi (2010) and hotel
websites, it is possible to consider different types of revenue management strategies on the basis of accepting conditions
to obtain a lower price. When several restrictions are imposed to obtain a lower price, the strategy is normally referred to
as revenue management based on restrictions. The most frequent restrictions are based on penalising changes or
cancellations or not returning money. This paper considers that consumers can benefit from lower prices if they accept
that the booking cannot be changed, therefore we have named this strategy as revenue management based on no changes.
The second type are the revenue management strategies based on day of week, that is, prices are different if the booking is
on weekdays or at weekends. Analysing hotel websites, we have observed that most hotels set lower prices when the
booking is made on weekdays, so that is the scenario considered in this paper.
The third type of strategy implies lower prices on the basis of location. In this case, consumers can obtain lower prices
when the hotel room does not have a special location, for example, sea views. This strategy is named revenue management
based on location. Finally, revenue management based on the length of stay implies that from a certain number of nights
onwards, the price of the room decreases. Therefore, consumers can obtain a discount if the booking exceeds a minimum
purchase amount.
The table 1 summarizes the main revenue management strategies considered in this paper.
Table 1. Revenue management strategies according to different criteria
No changes
Day of week
Length of stay
Source: own elaboration
3. Consumer behavior
In the online purchasing process it is possible distinguish two phases (Cao et al., 2003). In the first phase, customers seek a
product in different pages and then they compare features, make a selection and finally order. This is known as ordering
process. Secondly, once done the order, when it comes to customers they can keep it or return it. This is known as
fulfillment process. In this paper we focus on the ordering process since although the information collection process
collects the entire purchase process, we never got to assess the situation once the reserve is made.
It should take into account that the channel in which the product is bought has a clear influence in the process price
perception (Yu 2008), tending online buyers to perceive higher prices in a more negative way than offline buyers. This
work has been developed in an online context so it must be taken into account that online buyers are well aware of the
price value, have a higher level of price awareness and have more propensities for buy than offline buyers.
The price perception generates a consumer behavior that it manifests in different responses and emotional reactions,
reactions which, in some cases can have consequences for the seller. In this paper we analyse the consumer behavior in
terms of satisfaction with price, loyalty and decision confidence measure since the price perception affects so consumer
satisfaction as in purchase intentions and actions (claims) developed against the seller (Campbell, 1999).
3.1. Decision confidence
Consumer confidence is defined as people feeling of being capable and safe regarding the decisions they made and their
behavior. It is the consequence of beliefs such as self-esteem, perception of control and dominion, as well as previous
Confidence is characterized for being multidimensional and consists of multiple levels. Thus, two factors can be
distinguished: on the one hand, the decision confidence considered as the ability to take decisions at the time of purchase
and use information; and, on the other hand, the protection defined as the ability to protect themselves from scams and
situations of unfairness (Bearden et al., 2001).
Consumer confidence is a variable that has more importance in the online channel than in the traditional channel due to
the fact that consumers make purchase decisions online always guided by the confidence (Urban et al., 2000). Anderson
and Srinivasan (2003) highlight decision confidence acquires great relevance on the Internet. It is because of that this
channel has greater risk to make purchases.
Garbarino and Lee (2003) conducted a study on the Internet to analyze consumer reactions to the use of dynamic pricing
and its influence on confidence. The results show that, as it had been noted in other studies (Dickson and Kalapurakal,
1994; Kahneman et al., 1986), consumers do not generally accept the changes in prices that are set according to demand,
considering how unfair and impacting negatively on confidence. Therefore, if customers come to believe that the price of a
product might go down in the very near future, and perhaps even on the same day, it is possible that some of them would
decide to hold off on a purchase. This reasoning allows us to establish the following hypothesis:
H1: The used revenue management strategy has an important effect in the decision confidence.
To measure decision confidence, we have used items for the different levels this variable comprises, namely: acquisition
and processing of information; formation of the set to consider and, finally, personal and social outcomes (Bearden et al.,
2001), using a seven-point likert scale (Chelminski and Coulter, 2007), these items appear in Table 2.
Table 2. Items used to measure: decision confidence, loyalty and satisfaction with price
Decision Confidence
I am confident about the decision
It was not very difficult for me to decide
I think that I have managed to find the best
option for me
I think that I have managed to gather all the
relevant information
I have made the right decision
I quickly identified the best option
Likert scale
Disagree (1)
and Strongly
Agree (7))
Adapted from
Bearden et al.
I would recommend the hotel I have chosen
If my friends or relatives were looking, I
would recommend this decision
If I had to choose again, I would choose the
same hotel
Although others offer lower prices, I think I
would still choose this hotel
Likert scale
Disagree (1)
and Strongly
Agree (7))
Adapted from
Maxham and
(2006); Cater
Adapted from
Maxham and
Satisfation with price
In general, I am satisfied with the purchase I
have made
I am satisfied with the price paid for the room
I think that I have got the best possible
conditions for the price paid
I am happy with the price paid
The price paid makes me feel the product is
The price paid makes me feel good about my
Likert scale
Disagree (1)
and Strongly
Agree (7))
Adapted from
Voss et al.
Ordóñez et al.
Kauffman et
al. (2010)
Source: own elaboration
We have used Likert-type scales as quantitative measurement because the scale’s points are equally spaced and the results
in Table 3 verify the fulfillment of conditions related with inter-ítems correlation higher than 0.3, correlations between
items and the average higher than 0.5 and a value of Cronbach alpha higher than 0.7 in the development of factorial
exploratory analysis.
Table 3. Conditions to use a summated scale for decision confidence
Cronbach alpha 0.900
Source: own elaboration. Note: ** statistically significant at 1% 1.
3.2. Loyalty
Loyalty can be defined as the desire to purchase again. This concept is particularly important for companies on the virtual
channel because loyal customers are the most profitable (Reichheld et al., 2000). As competition is increasing, companies
have to improve to maintain their customers’ loyalty (Bruhn and Grund, 2000).
Two types of loyalty can be distinguished: behavioural and attitudinal. Behavioral loyalty refers to the experience that has
been previously, while the attitudinal loyalty refers to the future behaviour (Zins, 2001). Auh et al. (2007) consider
attitudinal loyalty as the intentions to remain and the commitment to the organization. While behavioral loyalty refers
more to an effective behavior of repeat purchases. Thus, the attitudinal loyalty focuses more on the commitment of the
individual in relation to the behavior that will have in the future in relation with a brand or a service provider.
The use of these concepts of loyalty depends on the type of product concerned. Thus, in common consumer products it
uses behavioral loyalty, whereas products sporadic purchasing and services are convenient to use as measures of loyalty
both dimensions (Moliner and Berenguer, 2010). In this paper, we have considered the attitudinal loyalty that can be
linked to factors like word-of-mouth and repatronage (Söderlund, 2006).
Reynolds and Arnold (2000) pointed out that consumers tend to spread positive word-of mouth and make repeat
purchases when they feel they have a good relationship with the service provider. Benefits gained from such a relationship
include the discounts obtained with several revenue management strategies (Leisen and Prosser, 2004). Moreover,
Karkhanis (2013) established in the airline context that pricing play a moderating role in the process of building customer
loyalty. Chapuis (2005) showed that the revenue management strategy impacts on consumer’s loyalty. In this sense,
Shoemaker (2003) considered that revenue management destroys customer loyalty due to adverse effects on guests'
perception of the hotel because revenue management appears to be the type of opportunistic behavior that inhibits guests'
trust and loyalty. Therefore, the following hypotheses are proposed in this study
H2: The used revenue management strategy has an important effect in the loyalty.
Although some authors have distinguished three loyalty dimensions, namely word of mouth, price tolerance and
intentions to purchase again, we have focused on word of mouth and purchase intentions to measure loyalty, as in
Söderlund (2006). More specifically, we have used the items shown in Table 2. Moreover, Table 4 shows the compliance
with the conditions necessary to use a summated scale for loyalty.
The significant values in tables are indicative since the sample is non -probabilistic.
Table 4. Conditions to use a summated scale for loyalty
Cronbach alpha 0.856
Source: own elaboration. Note: ** statistically significant at 1%.
3.3. Satisfation with price
Consumer satisfaction emerges when expectations prior to purchasing are fulfilled or surpassed. Satisfaction also refers to
an emotional state that occurs as a result of interaction between the customer and the service provider (Crosby et al.,
Zielke (2008) defines satisfaction with price as "an emotional reaction resulting from the interaction of cognitive and
affective mental processes that are caused and activated by specific experiences that take place in the presence of different
dimensions of price perception".
Satisfaction with the price, in some studies, is regarded as a construct that consists of multiple dimensions, which are:
price transparency; price-quality ratio; relative price; confidence in the price; price reliability and price fairness (Matzler
et al., 2006). However, Campbell (1999) focuses only on price fairness; Fornell et al. (1996) consider the price-quality ratio
and Varki and Colgate (2001) analyze the effect that price perception has on satisfaction and behavior.
Bolton and Lemon (1999) made a study on two services to learn how influences consumer satisfaction with price
customer in general satisfaction. The results show them that satisfaction with price has a positive impact on satisfaction
with the service provided.
Chapuis (2012) explores the effects of perceptions of fairness and trust in the relationshi ps between the practice of
revenue management and consumer satisfaction. The main conclusion is that the consumer’s satisfaction, when
confronting discriminations during the buying process or the selling period, may decrease. Thus, we formulate the
following hypothesis:
H3: The used revenue management strategy has an important effect in satisfation with price.
To measure satisfaction, we have focused on satisfaction with price, using the items shown in Table 2 adapted from Voss et
al. (1998), Ordóñez et al. (2000) and Kauffman et al.. (2010). Furthermore, table 5 shows as the inte-ítems correlation is
higher than 0.3, the correlations between items and the average higher than 0.5 and a value of Cronbach alpha of 0.928.
Table 5. Conditions to use a summated scale for satisfaction with price
Cronbach alpha 0.928
Source: own elaboration. Note: ** statistically significant at 1%.
4. Empirical application
Analyzing the web of different hotels that used revenue management strategies, we hav e developed a simulated context in
order to obtain the sample information. Some Internet users purchase online have made an online simulated process of
hotel booking and after they answer some questions in relation to the perception of price fairness and aspects related with
the satisfaction with price, loyalty and decision confidence.
The study was undertaken by means of an online self-administered survey carried out between February, 29th 2012 and
March, 27th 2012 to a sample of 600 users. These users took the decision to book a hotel room in a simulated context of
five hotels with different revenue management strategies. The final number of questionnaires deemed valid once
incomplete ones had been ruled out was 541. The sample selection of individuals has been made considering quotas based
on the socio-demographic profile of Internet users who have bought sometimes on the Internet with aged between 16 and
74 years.
Taking into account the main objective of this paper we have calculated an indicator of deci sion confidence, loyalty and
satisfaction with price using an unweighted average of the value of each items used in order to measure these dimensions.
Using these averages we have used an univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA) to ascertain the differences in these
dimensions for hotels that use the different revenue management strategies analyzed in section 2. This analysis is a highly
versatile and powerful method of analysis in these cases and can be applied in different situations and with different
In the first place, Table 6 includes the homogeneity test of the variance within groups, a necessary requisite in order to
select the statistics that we can use to compare their averages (ANOVA). We can see how for decision confidence and
satisfaction with price the null hypothesis of homogeneity is rejected. Therefore, we have used in these cases the Welch
statistic and for loyalty the F statistic to compare the averages.
Table 6. Test of homogeneity of variance. Levene’s statistic.
Decision Confidence
Satisfaction with price
Source: own elaboration
The Welch or F statistics displayed in Table 7, at the critical level of 0.05, verify the existence of significant differences
between the groups of consumer established in base of the revenue strategy selected in the hotel booking for loyalty and
satisfaction with price. However, the differences in terms of decision confidence are not statistically significant and
therefore, we can consider that there are not a clear difference in decision confidence on the base of the rate selected.
Table 7. Test of average equality (ANOVA).
F or Welch statistic.
Decision Confidence
Satisfaction with price
Source: own elaboration
These results indicate that consumers have archive different level of loyalty and satisfaction based on the rate selected.
Therefore, the hotel election considering the different revenue management strategies has an important effect in the
consumer loyalty and in the satisfaction with price, therefore we must accept the hypotheses two and three. However, the
effect over the decision confidence is not statistically significant, thus the first hypothesis is rejected. Furthermore, we are
interested in comparing each strategy to the rest in order to ascertain which strategies are the furthest apart and which
record the highest levels on average for each variable. For this, the Table 8 shows the average of loyalty and satisfaction
for each revenue management strategy.
Table 8. Average for each revenue management strategy.
Revenue Management
Satisfation with
Strategy based on
price average
No changes
Day of week
No revenue management
Length of stay
Source: own elaboration
Moreover, the best results in terms of the three dimensions of consumer behavior considered have been obtained by the
hotel that used a strategy based on the length of stay, that is, the hotel in which the price of room decreases from a certai n
number of nights onwards.
5. Conclusions and future research lines
The increase in the use of different revenue management strategies in the hotel sector makes neccesary consider the effect
of this strategies in consumer behaviour. In an effort to understand consumers’ behaviors, this paper explores the
influences of different revenue management strategies on consumer behavior in terms of decision confidence, loyalty and
satisfation with price.
The results of the study indicate that the hotel election considering the different revenue management strategies has an
important effect in the consumer loyalty and in the satisfaction with price. However, the effect over the decision
confidence is not statistically significant. Moreover, the best results in terms of the three dimensions of co nsumer behavior
considered have been obtained by the hotel that used a strategy based on the length of stay, that is, the hotel in which the
price of room decreases from a certain number of nights onwards. Without doubt these aspects are very important to the
hotel manager in order to take decision around the revenue management strategies used in this company.
This paper opens new future research lines such as: considering others elements related with the consumer behavior
besides decision confidence, loyalty and satisfaction with price, taking into account this study for other products or
services different of hotels and include one element so important as familiarity in order to make clear if the best results
obtained for the hotel whose strategy is based on the length of stay is conditioned by the familiarity of consumers with this
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Session 3
Intent to Purchase and Consumption of Organic
Food in Brazil
Consumer Behaviour. Organic Food. Sustainability. Marketing Research.
Danilo Sampaio, Federal University of Juiz de Fora,
Marlusa Gosling, Federal University of Minas Gerais,
The objective of the research was to propose and test a model to assess the impact of variables affecting the intention to
purchase/consumption of organic food from the perspective of the consumer of this type of food. To meet the goals and
hypotheses of this research was developed two focus groups and a transverse survey with 560 consumers of organic food
in Brazil. After the construction of the adjusted scale to the purposes of this research, a model of consumer behavior of
organic food has been prepared based on the technique of structural equation modeling (HAIR et al., 2012). It can be
concluded that the only endogenous construct this model, intent to purchase/consumption, showed a correlation
coefficient (R2) of 41%, indicating that 41% of their variations are explained by exogenous constructs and the other 59%
reflect other things that influence the intention to purchase / consumption, but were not addressed in the model. With
respect to academic and managerial contributions, there is the rescue of a theoretical updated on the consumer behavior
of organic foods and suggestions for improvements to create actions that retails for advertising and sales promotion
including a message of appreciation to the environment the quality and availability of organic food. As a suggestion for
future research, while differentiating marketing strategy can be used in view of the various types of organic foods, pointing
purchasing behavior and consumer product-specific (both fresh and processed) enabling the improvement of the
proposed model.
1. Introduction
What makes a person to buy a organic food? What are the variables that are considered by supporters of organic
food? The objective of this paper: What are the factors that determine significantly the intention to purchase/consumption
of organic food and what the relationship of these factors with each other? The consumer of organic food is in line with the
concept of sustainable development. For the United Nations (UN, 2012), sustainability is defined as "a principle of a society
that maintains the characteristics necessary for a fair social system, environmentally balanced and economically
prosperous for a long period of time and indefinitely".
Organic food has a supply chain, which brings agroecological concepts, protecting the environment, rural workers
and providing a fair income. The organic consumer is considered a green consumer with more rigidity principles.
According to Jia et al. (2002), there are differences in the standards used to define hazard free, green and organic food. Chu
and Rahman (2012) organizations are appealing to the concept "green" in the sense that there is greater synergy between
associate the color to factor ecological awareness. The authors conclude that there is a relationship between association of
color and marketing strategy, including environmental issues.
With respect to the statistics, there is the increased production and consumption of foods organic worldwide. In
the United States, organic food and beverage sales increased from $3.6 billion in 1997 to $26.7 billion in 2010. Just
considering the year 2010, U.S. organic food sales grew 8% (OTA - Organic Trade Association, 2012). In Europe, Germany
is pointed out as an important market, totalling 6.6 billion euros, followed by France with 3.8 billion euros. With respect to
organic farms, 80% of them (1.8 million properties) are in developing countries, like India, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil
(IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, 2013).
2. Hypotheses and Constructs
Before starting the theoretical framework, it is important to mention the hypotheses of this research, which are
based on the studies of internationally renowned authors and, to a lesser extent, based on focus groups (figure 1).
H1: Concern for the environment has a positive impact on belief in
the buying of organic food
Archanjo et al. (2001), Ceschim and Marchetti (2009), Kim and
Chung (2011), Krischke and Tomiello (2009), Madaets (2003),
Sluzzs et al. (2008), Smith et al. (2009)
H2: Healthy eating habits have positive impact on belief in the
buying of organic food
Aertsens et al. (2011), Giddens (1996), Tarkiainen and Sundqvist
(2005), Pino et al. (2012)
H3: The perception of the price paid for organic food has a positive
impact on the attribute
Stringheta e Muniz (2003), Vilas Boas et al. (2008), Yin et al. (2010) e
Zakowska-Biemans (2011)
H4: The perception of the brand of product of organic origin has a
positive impact on the attribute
Della Lucia et al. (2007), Krischke and Tomiello (2009)
H5: The perception of quality has a positive impact on the attribute
Janssen e Hamm (2012), OECD (2011), Ribeiro (2010), Thorton
(2002), Pimenta e Vilas Boas (2008), Yin et al. (2010)
H6: The availability of organic food has a positive impact on the
Aertsens et al. (2011), Hoppe et al. (2010), Tarkiainen e Sundqvist
H7: Media and health professionals have a positive impact on
reference groups
Della Lucia et al. (2007), Guivant, (2003), Madaets (2003),
Cuperschmid e Tavares (2002)
H8: The household has a positive impact on reference groups
Della Lucia et al. (2007), Guivant, (2003), Madaets (2003),
Cuperschmid e Tavares (2002)
H9: Acquaintances of the consumers of organic food have a positive
impact on reference groups
Cuperschmid e Tavares (2002), Della Lucia et al. (2007), Guivant,
(2003), Madaets (2003) e Zakowska-Biemans (2011)
H10: The belief of consumers of organic food has a positive impact
on the intent to purchase/consume food
Aertsens et al. (2011), Giddens (1996), Tarkiainen e Sundqvist
(2005), Pino et al. (2012)
H11: The attitude of consumers of organic food has a positive impact
on the intent to purchase/consume this kind of food
Janssen e Hamm (2012), Thorton (2002), Vilas Boas et al.(2006), Yin
et al. (2010) e Zakowska-Biemans (2011)
H12: The reference groups of consumers of organic foods have a
positive impact on their intent to purchase/consume this kind of
Della Lucia et al. (2007), Guivant, (2003), Madaets (2003),
Cuperschmid e Tavares (2002)
Figure 1 – Hypotheses and authors studied.
Source: Prepared by the authors of the research.
3 Literature Review
3.1 Behaviour of the Organic Food Consumer
The consumer behaviour researches usually studying variables such as attitudes, beliefs, values and intentions of
purchase and consumption. Yin et al. (2010) developed a survey with 432 organic food consumers in China. The Chinese
purchase intention is strongly affected by factors such as income, level of confidence in the organic food, degree of
acceptance regarding price and health concerns. The consumers call themselves confident on the concept of organic food
and believe that this type of food results in a healthier life. The authors also mention that the purchase intention of organic
food is slightly affected by age, level of education and environmental concern.
Another contemporary research can be seen in Tarkiainen and Sundqvist (2005). The authors investigated the
behaviour of organic food consumers (bread and organic flour) in Finland. The authors appli ed the structural equation
modelling technique to understand the relationship between subjective norms, attitudes and purchase intentions of
organic food consumers. Aertsens et al. (2011) developed their survey in Belgium and found that the attitudes of
consumers towards the consumption of organic vegetables are generally positive, and the most positive factor was that the
consumers recognize that the organics are produced without synthetic pesticides.
Hsieh and Stiegert (2011), in the United States, report that the organic consumers are susceptible to price changes,
are more concerned with the quality of the food when compared to traditional consumers and purchase organics both in
specialty stores and in supermarkets. The authors mention that large organi zations have increased their organic food
sales. In Brazil, research on consumer behavior of organic food is limited. The few studies are mostly developed in the
south and southeast. Regarding the research approach in this country, qualitative studies were prioritized in articles from
journals. In articles presented at scientific meetings, some authors have used quantitative methods along with qualitative
ones. The research methods most used by Brazilian researchers are in-depth interviews, content analysis, scaling /
laddering, survey, and lastly, focal groups.
Some of the major Brazilian researchers of consumer behavior of organic foods are Archanjo et al. (2001),
Cuperschmid and Tavares (2002), Ruchinski and Brandenburg (2002), Zamberlan et al., Büttenbender (2006), Sluzzs et al.
(2008), Ceschim and Marchetti (2009) and Krischke and Tomiello (2009). These authors researching consumer behavior
in order especially as variable attributes and values.
Ruchinski and Brandenburg (2002) report that consumers of organic food internalizes the movement in favor of
ecology and has awareness of environmental preservation, a fact that was verified when consumers found that is willing to
pay a higher price for organic. Krischke and Tomiello (2009) found that this type of consumer has average income of
around 4.000 U.S. dollars, representing in Brazil, a premium segment of the market.
Zamberlan et al. (2006) and Rucinski and Brandenburg (2002) point out that organic food consumers have a
higher income and a higher educational level when compared to organic food non-consumers, and are also more aware in
terms of environmental preservation. For the authors, consumers of organic foods appreciate the care with personal and
family health, being guided by values terminals as longevity, happiness and tranquillity.
3.2 Constructs Research
Considering the importance of hypotheses, they are flagged according to the explanations of each construct of the
model, as well as contributions from the focus groups. The central constructs studied were: Beliefs, Attributes, Reference
Groups and Intent to Purchase/Consume. Each of these constructs is indicated in terms of conceptual and operational
definition below (figure 2).
Conceptual Definition
Operational Definition
Beliefs of the consumer of
organic foods buying /
consuming this type of food
"[...] of the consumer beliefs come from cognitive
learning" The belief for the consumer is that they
have knowledge about objects, their attributes and
benefits (MOWEN; MINOR, 2003, p. 141)
The belief in organic food was measured by Hoppe et
al. (2012) with seven-point Likert scale. The belief by
organic food was measured by Chryssohoidis and
Krystallis (2005) with five-point Likert scale
Attributes are characteristics of a product that
consumers can store in memory or not knowledge of
such attributes. Attributes can be tangible (physical
and tangible as a type of wood for a particular
product) or abstract (intangible subjective
characteristics such as quality) (PETER; OLSON,
The variable attribute in relation to organic food was
measured by Hoppe et al. (2012) from a seven-point
Likert scale. The variable attribute in relation to
organic food was measured by Chryssohoidis and
Krystallis (2005) from five-point Likert scale. The
variable attribute in relation to organic food was
measured by Zakowska-Biemans (2011) from a sevenpoint Likert scale
A reference group influential in a given society may
suggest to the consumer that this change your
attitude or behavior (SCHIFFMAN; KANUK, 2009)
Variable Reference Groups in relation to organic food
was measured by Chryssohoidis and Krystallis (2005)
with five-point Likert scale. Variable Reference Groups
in relation to organic food was measured by Kim and
Chung (2011) with seven-point Likert scale
"The intentions of behavior are defined as
expectations to behave in a certain way in relation to
the acquisition, disposal, and use of products and
services" (MOWEN; MINOR, 2003)
"The intentions of behavior are defined as
expectations to behave in a certain way in relation to
the acquisition, disposal, and use of products and
services" (MOWEN; MINOR, 2003)
Attributes that consumers
of organic foods judges as
needed for the purchase /
consumption of the same
Reference groups that
influence the consumer of
organic foods in the
purchase / consumption of
the same
Intention to purchase /
consumption of organic
Figure 2 – Constructs and conceptual/operational definition.
Source: Prepared by the authors of the research.
Regarding construct belief, a consumer who is concerned about health in terms of eating habits and the
preservation of the environment (VILAS BOAS et al. 2008). The construct belief finds support in Alternative Medicine and
Nutrition, because these sciences point, according Zanoli and Naspetti (2001), that organic food has nutrients and vitamins
that help fight disease and provide better quality of life to people.
In this research, the construct attribute is related to four variables: price perception, brand awareness, perceived
quality and availability. As for the variable price, in the case of organic food, its higher price compared to non-organic
foods impacts greater market segmentation and positioning involves a related individuals belonging to the higher social
classes in terms of income (ZAKOWSKA-BIEMANS, 2011).
The variable perception of price is related to the symbolic issue that involves organic food, as this differentiated
food that favours because of their cropping system, ecology, respect the proper methods of handling and production, with
the call to provide a healthier life for consumers (STRINGHETA; MUNIZ, 2003; VILAS BOAS, 2005).
The brand or origin of organic food is a motivating factor in consumer purchase. Della Lucia et al. (2007) found
that consumers of organic coffee notes, in the area of retail sales, the brand of the product and its origin, pointing this fact
as important in the acquisition process. According Krischke and Tomiello (2009), trust in the brand is present in more
mature consumers and the elderly, who affirm that the brand generates a value important tradition at the time of
purchase. For Thorton et al. (2002), consuming organic food, ecological and certified means having an attitude and correct
behavior, i.e., the consumer in this case feels like a social actor essential to the preservation of the environment.
The organic food, in respect of their chemical and nutritional characteristics, positions as a nutritionally superior
food. The nutritional quality and certification of organic food are factors identified in the research as fundamental as it
consolidates the consumer's perception of the quality you are looking for is audited and monitored (VILAS BOAS et al.,
So important to the consumer, as realizing the value of organic food is finding it on the shelves of supermarkets,
open-air markets and specialty stores. For Hoppe et al. (2010), availability is a critical factor in the purchase decision of
the consumer. In developed countries such as in Holland and England, organic foods are offered in many open-air markets
and retails traditional and specialized. Aertsens et al. (2011) corroborate Hoppe et al. (2010) and indicate the availability
factor of objective intention to purchase organic foods. Tarkiainen and Sundqvist (2005) indicate how necessary the
availability of organic food in supermarkets. The authors while researching the purchase intention of consumers in
relation to organic tomato, referred to the variable availability as critical to consumers.
The central construct Reference Groups is appointed in view of the close relationship of the consumer of organic
food with people and organizations around you, like relatives, friends, media and professional somehow connected to the
issue of health. According Madaets (2003), consumers of organic food feels more comfortable as a member of a targeted
group of consumers, aware of ecological responsibility. Noteworthy is the construct Reference Groups as a form of
socialization. The research of consumer behaviour must once again take a special look at trends in social groups and the
objects of desire of these groups. Consumers of organic foods develop a relationship group around the concept of a healthy
lifestyle and even alternative in order to be recognized as consumers that protect the environment and preserve health
Dahl et al. (2001) conducted a survey on how the consumer is confused to make purchases due to the influences of
family and social presence. For the authors, the confusion (or embarrassment) means the social interaction and the forces
involved in the action of purchase. The embarrassment or confusion can occur before, during and after purchase. The
authors conducted focus groups and field tests purchase to individuals, which received a sum of money to carry out
specific acquisitions. As a result, it was found that the presence of family and social groups influence the purchase,
confusing the consumer in the sense that some issues were raised - What I really (consumer) desire? What I (the
consumer) actually bought?
Influences of parents and relatives, friends, colleagues, media and other organic consumers have no power of
decision-making, but have supporting role in encouraging consumers to buy organic food (GUIVANT, 2003; DELLA LUCIA
et al., 2007). The organic consumer can make a purchase decision, both based on the relationship you have with the people
around you, as to the power of the media that reinforces daily information about organic foods that can be stored in the
memory of the consumer. Cuperschmid and Tavares (2002) pointed out that the consumer of organic food it is also
considered a green consumer, with strong ecological awareness, influencing even others to raise awareness of the issue of
the ecological organic food.
4. Methodological Aspects
The conception of this research is considered to be descriptive, but also includes an exploratory phase. Regarding
the methods of research, two focus groups were developed in the qualitative phase, and then used a cross-sectional survey
in quantitative research.
In the qualitative phase of this study, two focus groups were worked, one with seven participants (Focus Group A FGA: organic food consumers) and the other with six participants (Focus Group B - FGB: non-organic, traditional food
consumers). The purpose of choosing two different focus groups was to compare and verify the groups' knowledge of
organic food and their characteristics. In both FGA and FGB, a term of free consent and authorization for participants' data,
voice and image was written in, which allowed for filming, voice recording and collection of socio -economic data of all
invited consumers. The city of Juiz de Fora, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, city with 517,872 inhabitants, was chosen
for the implementation of the focus groups, due to the convenience for the researcher and the appropriateness of the site
for the work. An advantage in choosing the focus group was the rapidity in providing results and the opportunity to c ollect
data from the interaction of groups (KRUEGER, 1994; MORGAN, 1988).
In the quantitative study, from the total of 560 elements randomly choose, three of them were excluded, since they
presented data from the questionnaires with validation problems. Therefore, 557 elements were considered. The survey
was limited to the city of Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, with about 2,375 million inhabitants, in Brazil (IB GE,
2012), which in fact made the survey viable due to the easy access of the res earcher in being close to the phenomenon
(COLLIS; HUSSEY, 2005; MALHOTRA, 2006; MARCONI; LAKATOS, 2009; VIEIRA, 2002). The survey occurred during the
months of September to November of the year 2011.
The proposed scale was based on the conceptual and operational definitions of the variables and the perusal of the
authors mentioned in this thesis, referred to the behaviour of consumers of organic food. Reference groups also
contributed to the elaboration of the items that formed the survey questionnaire. The final questionnaire contains itens
regarding the addition of variables, issues-filter and socioeconomic issues in order to characterize the respondent.
The agreement scale used in the questionnaire of the survey was the eleven point Likert scale (0 = stro ngly
disagree to 11 = strongly agree). This scale considered unforced (no type options do not know if any of the above) means
that presupposed that the respondents were buyers of organic food (Malhotra, 2006). In this way, it is worth informing the
interviewers approached the respondents when they caught organic food and put it in the shopping cart. With regard to
the scale of the questionnaire items, it was decided to implement the 11-point Likert scale, because, according to Monteiro
(2010), this can reduce measurement errors. As the research was conducted in Brazil, the decimal system facilitates
understanding by the respondent.
5. Data Analysis and Results: Focus Groups
In the reports of the focus groups (FGs), the frequent words and terms, which were s elected and grouped under
the following categories: (a) terms: health, nutrition, quality of life, (b) values: human, economic, (c) opinion: favorable,
unfavorable. Prior to the tabulation of the data, participants' speech and debates were verified by means of the recording.
We developed a report with the transcriptions of both FGs, which gave a good cross section of data with the recordings
and images generated in the group meetings. Regarding the frequency with which the words most frequently mentioned
by participants are measured (Stone et al., 1970; Bardin, 1977), can note FGA's situation 65 words/terms were mentioned
by participants.
Regarding the frequency of words/terms used in the FGA, we observe that the habit of organic food consumption
was the most mentioned by the interviewees (f = 53), followed by the importance of small organic food producers (f = 13),
the need for certification of organic food (f = 12), organic food is good for health (f = 12), and the importance of having
retail/access/variety of organic food (f = 12).
In the case of the word/term: habit of organic food consumption, it was cited by participants who pointed out the
preference for this type of food knowing the benefits that organic food offers for human health. By analyzing the frequency
of the FGA participants' words selected from the voice recording, we can infer that the organic food consumer investigated
in this study is concerned with: (i) the term organic food, (ii) who produces organic food, (iii) the organic food quality, (iv)
how good organic food is for health and, (v) access to organic food retail and the fact that there could be a wider variety o f
organic food available.
The organic foods most often mentioned by the FGA participants were sugar, green vegetables, chocol ate and
brown rice. For the interviewees organic food is not easily found in retail establishments in Brazil. Participants referred to
certified organic foods, with a quality seal and both industrialized and non-industrialized organic products.
Participants also mentioned people's and retail staff's (employees) lack of knowledge about the concept of organic
food, its characteristics, as well as the location / availability of organic food in the retail outlet.
When asked if they consume industrialized organic products other than those found in open markets or in the
supermarket green vegetable section, the FGA participants mentioned that they consume these foods from different kinds
of retail establishments: supermarkets, specialized stores or open markets. The FGA participants pointed out that they
look for different types of organic food, such as fruits, vegetables, green vegetables, pasta, among others.
The participants also commented that when travelling abroad she brings back all types of organic food which, in
Brazil, are more expensive or not easily found. Both by means of the video and voice recording, and by observing the
participants, we found that all participants’ attitudes go beyond the use of organic food only, that is, participants live their
lives in a conscious way, concerned with their eating habits and with their education, as well as with the preservation of
nature and quality of life.
Participants also complain about the location of organic products in retail outlets, or mention that organi c food
has no specific location like other products in the retail outlet layout. It is difficult to find a section specifically for organic
products. For the consumers participating in the FGA, organic foods are even mixed with other foods such as light and diet
When asked by the moderator about the most important features of organic food, participants indicated in
decreasing order: (a) health, (b) quality of life/wellness/lifestyle, (c) respect for the environment/respect for
others/respect for the ecosystem. Regarding the FGB, that is, the FG composed of consumers who do not have the habit of
consuming organic food, a greater number of words/terms was transcribed when compared with the FGA. While the FGA
mentioned 65 words/terms, the FGB mentioned 77. The most often mentioned products by the FGB participants were
sweets (regardless of flavour) coffee, bread and sugar.
The FGB participants showed lack of knowledge about the meaning of organic food, however, some consumers
said that organic food is the one that has no pesticides. The FGB participants did not mention factors such as
environmental protection and ecosystem, the importance of agro ecological agriculture and concern for the rural
population working with crops.
In the FGB health problems regarding high cholesterol (f = 16) was the most common term, followed by the habit
of consuming traditional sweets (f = 10); the exchange of a food brand occurs when the price is high (f = 8); habit of
consumption regarding traditional coffee (f = 7); and lack of knowledge about organic food (f = 7). Besides these most
common terms, matters concerning fast food meals in cafeterias, such as fast food chains, were also highlighted in the FGB
participants' speech.
At the beginning of the FGB meeting, participants also emphasized problems related to poor health, sometimes
due to hereditary issues, other times because of an unhealthy diet. The major diseases mentioned by the consumers
interviewed were related to high cholesterol and a predisposition to hypertension. For the FGB participants it is important
to have a healthier diet, as is the case of people who eat organic products and play sports more regularly.
The fact that most FGB consumers have high cholesterol contributed to a greater interest in the present study,
since, according to the participants themselves, they are considering changing their eating habits to include the
consumption of organic food. Another fact observed when filming the FGB, was that participants are willing to eat organic,
however, the price variable should be observed. When FGB participants were asked about how much more they would pay
for organic food, they mentioned that they could afford up to 20% more to eat better.
Both in the FGA and FGB, participants indicate a greater need to learn more about organic food, or better
understand the concept and characteristics of such food, as well as what organic food can mean for people's health and
quality of life. Regarding the socio-economic profile, comparing the two FGs, it was found that FGA participants had a
higher family monthly income than the participants in the FGB, which corroborates other studies already conducted on the
consumption of organic food (COLTRO, 2006; KRISCHKE; TOMIELLO, 2009). Out of the seven participants of the FGA, one
is attending higher education, two have completed postgraduate studies, another has a higher specialization course and
three others have finished higher education. Such information indicates that in the present study all organic food
consumers are highly educated.
It is important to mention that before beginning the discussions in the FGs, the researcher distributed and then
collected the socioeconomic questionnaire filled in by all participants. Even though the FG is a simplified picture of the
reality in terms of sampling and taking into account that the FG should not be considered a conclusive result as a
qualitative research technique (Malhotra, 2006), the fact that consumers with better education have better financial
conditions and information on diet, indicates that the organic food consumer is educated, conscious, critical and concerned
about his or her own health and well being.
The relationship between education, family income and organic food consumption is also addressed in research
by Ceschim and Marchetti (2009) and Coltro (2006), where the authors cite that high education levels and family income
awaken consumer's consciousness for the better quality of life provided by organic food. Rucinski and Brandenburg
(2002), Shepherd et al. (2005), Tarkiainen and Sundqvist (2005), and Zamberlan et al. (2006) point out that organic food
consumers have a higher income and a higher educational level when compared to organic food non-consumers and are
also more aware in terms of environmental preservation.
When studying the behaviour of organic food consumers, Pimenta and Vilas Boas (2008) noted that consumption
was higher among those aged over 30 with advanced education and a monthly income of more than four times the
minimum wage. Krischke and Tomiello (2009) also revealed in their research that the better education of organic food
consumers favours the extent of knowledge regarding the agro ecological benefits of organic food. When checking the
second focus group, the FGB, we note that the educational level is lower than in the focus group of consumers who eat
organic food (FGA). Such information may influence the income variable as previously seen.
Regarding gender, of the seven participants in the FGA, two of them are male (28.57%) and five of them are fem ale
(71.43%). In the FGB there are two males (33.33%) and four females (66.67%) out of a total of six participants.
In conclusion, when analysing the factors that lead to a certain type of consumer, in the FGA a greater awareness
regarding the importance of organic food as a source of better quality of life was observed. On the other hand, despite
perceiving organic food as being healthier, participants of the FGB are not aware of the concept of organic food and of the
fact that this kind of food provides a better quality of life.
6. Data Analysis and Results: Survey
A conceptual and operational definition of variables allowed the construction of the proposed model of consumer
behaviour of organic food. According to Malhotra (2006), the correct definition of variables allows researchers to the
creation of a scale and questionnaires that are faithful to the purpose of the research. In this way, the four variables that
were studied are: beliefs; attributes; reference groups; intent to purchase/consumption.
Firstly, it is important to show the sample profile in this study. The survey was limited to the city of Belo
Horizonte, in Brazil, with about 2,4 million inhabitants (IBGE, 2012). This research occurred during the months of
September to November of the year 2011, comprising 560 food consumers, and three of them were excluded, since they
presented data from the questionnaires with validation problems.
About the gender of the respondents, 74% were women and 26% were men. The frequency distribution with
respect to the age of the interviewees pointed out those between ages 46 to 55 (27%) as prevalent followed by the range
between 36 and 45 (21%) and 56-65 years old (19%). In the education level, 37% respondents had completed a college
degree, 63% were postgraduates, including master and doctoral degrees. About marital status, 52% were married, 29%
were single, 13% were divorced or separated and only 6% consumers of organic food are widowed. About income
question, 34% have a household income monthly above 10,375.01 BRL (5,239 U.S. dollars in Feb. 28, 2013) and 32% with
incomes between 6,225.01 (3,143 U.S. dollars) to 10,375.00 BRL (5,239 U.S. dollars).
In this item each variable and its corresponding descriptive statistics are presented. All tables were generated by
the SPSS® software, version 13.0. With respect to the 'belief' construct, one can notice that the means for the scale were
elevated, showing a positive positioning of consumers of organic foods. Moreover, the standard deviation, which is the
average of the variability data, was above 2.50, which is considered high by the scale used, indicating there is some degree
of divergence of opinion among the respondents.
The variables with the greatest distance from the average values were: HAS2 (I usually eat portions of meals at
short intervals throughout the day), MA2 (I avoid using plastic bags when I buy/consume food at retailers); MA3 (When I
know that a company pollutes the environment, I avoid buying/consuming their products) MA4 (I separate packages made
of metal, glass and plastic for recycling).
Out of the 14 variables of the 'attribute' construct studied, the six which showed high standard deviation above
2.50, were: PQ2 (the smell of the organic food is different from non-organic food); FP4 (the appearance of organic food is
better than non-organic food); PM1 (I have a habit of buying/consuming organic food of known brands or sources), PM2 (I
have a habit of buying/consuming organic food from companies that associate their brand with the environment); PM3 (I
prefer to buy/consume organic food from companies that associate the brand/source to health); D4 (if there is a
restaurant specializing in organic food in my town I intend to go there). With respect to 'attribute' construct, it was found
that the averages were also high, being closer to the maximum scale value.
By analysing the 'reference group' construct, the variables GR5 (I usually ask people who eat organic products
before purchasing/consuming) and GR6 (most of my friends are people who also feed on organic products, not those that
feed on non-organic foods) showed averages near the minimum of the scale and with high standard deviation compared to
other variables. Variables GR5 and GR6 indicate that consumers of organic foods tend not to ask other individuals that feed
on organic food and is not necessarily friends with such individuals.
The GR4 variables (health professionals, such as doctors or nutritionists approve of my purchase/consumption of
organic food) and GR7 (I am interested in news stories about organic foods) had lower standard deviation and average
values closer to the maximum of the scale. These facts indicate that the consumers of organic food surveyed place high
importance in the views of health professionals and the media as they are providing information and advice on the use of
organic food.
Three other variables demonstrate an average close to the maximum range and standard deviation above 2.50.
They are: GR1 (in my family there are other people like me who feed on organic foods); GR2 (influential people such as
athletes, political leaders and renowned artists who advocate the consumption/purchase of organic food approve my
purchase/consumption); GR3 (my parents, relatives and friends would approve of my purchase/consumption of organic
food). Thus, it is understood that, despite there being variables accepted by consumers as influencing the purchase and
consumption of organic foods, they do not have the same degree of significance as the GR4 and GR7 variables. In the 'intent
to purchase/consume' construct, the averages of the three variables were close to the maximum value of the scale, with a
standard deviation lower than 2.50. Therefore, the intent to purchase/consume is one of the most significant constructs
indicated in the survey.
7. Structural model
After verifying the Outer Model of the constructs of the first and second orders, it was possible to attest that they
have adequate validity and reliability. That is because it only makes sense to evaluate the Inner Path Model after ensuring
that the Outer Model has validity (convergent and discriminant) and reliability because if the measures representing the
constructs of interest are inadequate, there is no reason to examine relationships between the constructs (HAIR, RINGLE;
SARSTEDT, 2011). Thus, further analysis of the Inner Path Model was carried out.
The structural model of this study, also defined by the Behaviour Model of the Consumer of Organic Food
(MCCAO) can be seen in figure 3. In this model, loads for each exogenous construct in relation to intent to
purchase/consume of organic food (endogenous construct) are presented, as well as the correlation coefficients between
each exogenous construct.
Figure 3 - Inner Path Model (structural model) - Behaviour Model of the Consumer of Organic Food (MCCAO).
Source: Prepared by the authors of the research with data from the survey worked in SmartPLS.
(i) ** p value <1%, (ii) * p value <5%; Ɨ p value <10%, the dotted arrow indicates that the relationship showed
a p value> 10%, (iii) caption: CI = intent to purchase/consume - questionnaire items).
The only endogenous construct of MCCAO, 'Intent to Purchase/Consume', presented a R² of 41% (table 1),
indicating that 41% of their variations are explained by exogenous constructs, and the other 59% reflect other things that
influence the intent to purchase/consume, but were not addressed in the model. This size of R² indicates a moderate to
substantial power of prediction, according to Chin (1998), who highlights that the construct is explained by only one or
two variables, therefore, a moderate value is acceptable. According to Lohmöller (1984), an appropriate model should
provide an R² of at least 50% (DIAS, 2004). The MCCAO proposed in this study showed a value very close to that, which
can be justified because it is an exploratory research on the subject.
Construct Exogenous Construct Endogenous Sample
T Value
Reference Group
Intent to
R² = 41%
> 10%
Table 1 - Results of the hypotheses of the Inner Path Model proposed.
Source: Prepared by the authors of the research with data from the survey worked on in SmartPLS.
a) Sample: standard weight obtained for the full sample, b) Pop.: is the average weight obtained in the population c)Dev.: th e standard
deviation of the estimate d)Error: the error is estimated from the estimate e)T Value: the ratio of weight not standardized by its standard error.
Out of the three exogenous constructs, only two showed statistically significant impact, and these were the Belief
and Attribute constructs. Both loads were positive, and the impact of the Attribute construct (standardized loads of 0.50, p
value <1%) was greater than the magnitude of the impact of the Belief construct (loads standardized 0.20, p value <1 %),
for being closer to one. The Reference Groups construct had an impact of 0.05 (load very close to zero, although positive),
not significant at 10%, indicating it does not exert influence on the intent to Purchase/Consume.
In the case of the Belief construct, the Environment variable has a greater weight than the Healthy Eating Habits
variable. This indicates that the Beliefs construct undergoes major changes when the consumer has a tendency to worry
about the environment if this concern is similar to his/her health. Apparently, the belief linked to the environment has a
greater weight than the belief related to the consumer’s own health, which indirectly impacts the Intent to
As for the case of the Attribute construct, there is the perception of price, and availabili ty has greater weight than
the perception of the brand and quality. This reveals that changes in the Attribute construct are more perceived when
there is less concern about the price and an increased habit of buying/consuming in places that sell/offer organic
products, than the importance given to smell, taste, brand or origin of the organic food. Indirectly, the first two (Perceived
Price and Availability) are also more closely attached to the intent to purchase/consume.
The major variable in the Reference Groups construct was Media and Health Professionals, followed by Family
Unity, and then Acquaintances. This reveals that despite the media, health professionals, family and acquaintances
approving of or consuming organic foods, this is not reflected in a higher intention on the part of the respondent to
generate an intention to buy/consume this type of food.
Besides verifying the relationships between exogenous and endogenous constructs, Hair et al. (2012) also
suggest examining the relationships between the exogenous constructs of the model through correlation coefficients. All
pairs of exogenous constructs of the model show significant correlations at the 1% level. The highest ratios were observed
for the pairs P1, between the Belief and Attribute constructs, 46%, and P3, between the Attribute and Reference Groups
constructs, with a coefficient of 45%. However, the relationship between Belief and Reference Groups was lower (24%),
although it was also significant. Note that all coefficients were positive, indicating that the variables are correlated in the
same direction.
Besides the nomological validity, it is also important to check the quality of the fit, and the prediction ability of the
model. In order to check the goodness of the adjustment the Goodness of fit (GoF) was used, and it can be calculated using
the formula proposed by Amato, Esposito Vinzi and Tenenhaus (2004), according to which the averages of AVEs and R² of
the constructs of the model should be checked and the geometric sequence verified. This measure ranges from 0% to
100% and, so far, there are no limits for considering a fit as good or bad. However, the closer to 100%, the better the fit,
and the GoF model was 48%.
In order to check the predictive ability of the model the measure called Stone-Geisser's (Q²) was used. This
measure reflects whether the model was able to adequately predict the endogenous constructs as suggested by Hair,
Ringle, and Sarstedt (2011). In SmartPLS, this measure is obtained through the procedure called blindfolding, where the
value d requested by the test should be between five (5) and ten (10), as the authors suggest. Furthermore, the authors
point out that the measure must check the cross-validated redundancy measure and not the so-called cross validated
communality measure. The endogenous variable has an adequate predictive capacity when Q² has a value greater than zero
(HENSELER et al., 2009). Therefore, we adopted a d of seven (7) and performed such analysis for the only endogenous
construct of MCCAO, the Intent to Purchase/Consume, which presented a Q² of 0.31 (> 0.00), indicating that MCCAO was
able to adequately predict the construct.
About the twelve hypotheses tested proposed by MCCAO, only the H12 has not been confirmed. The others were
accepted. All correlation coefficients between the exogenous constructs (first order) were positive. The most significant
correlation coefficients occurred between the Belief and Attribute (46%) constructs, and Attribute Groups and Reference
(45%), whereas the correlation between Belief and Reference Groups was less pronounced (24%). Accordingly, with
respect to Beliefs construct, both the hypothesis H1 and H2 are confirmed, but the weight was greater in H1, as consumers
of organic food are more prone to consume/buy this type of food, more motivated by a belief in preserving and respecting
the environment than in improving their health.
With regard to the Attribute construct, the Perception of Price (H3) and availability (H6) influence over the
consumer of organic foods to acquire/consume such foods at the expense of quality perception variables (H4) and brand
(H5), even though these influence the consumer decision process, however, to a lesser degree.
Regarding the Reference Groups construct, it did not have the same satisfactory results compared to the other
constructs of the MCCAO. The statistics of the Reference Groups construct were less striking than the other constructs of
the first order. The influence of the media, health professionals, the family core and acquaintances to the consumer of
organic foods occurs, however, it is less impressive than the other constructs (Belief and Attributes). Thus, the H7, H8 and
H9 hypotheses were confirmed by the MCCAO.
With respect to the latter construct and, in this case considered endogenous of the model proposed, the Intent to
purchase/consume proved to have a stronger correlation with the Attribute construct (50%) and (20%) with the Belief
construct. With the Reference Groups construct, the correlation was not considered in terms of explanation (5%). In this
case, the H10 and H11 hypotheses of this construct, Intent to purchase/consume, were considered confirmed, while the
H12 hypothesis, due to the low correlation with that construct, was not confirmed.
8. Conclusions
This descriptive study that included a qualitative phase was adequate to the purpose of this work. The model
proposed to assess the impact of variables affecting the intention to purchase/consumption of organic food from the
perspective of the consumer of this type of food was valid. Only one of twelve hypotheses of this research wasn't
confirmed. The focus groups provided important information for the development of the questionnaire used in the survey.
Studies on the consumer behaviour of organic foods mentioned in the theoretical framework contribute to a review of
research on the topic and provide opportunities for researchers in future research advances.
The endogenous construct Intent to purchase/consume showed a correlation coefficient of 41% (R ² = 41%),
indicating that 41% of their variations are explained by the exogenous constructs which, according to Chin (1998), is
justified in view of this being an exploratory survey on the topic at hand.
It can be considered that one of the academic contributions of this research was to develop a model that could
drive how the purchasing behaviour/consumer consumption of organic food in Brazil occurs. Another important
contribution was a revision of a theoretical framework on consumer behaviour, most especially, the behaviour of
consumers of organic food. Other researchers interested in the subject can use this framework developed here and apply it
in their surveys.
The profile of the consumer of organic food identified in the survey, as well as the analysis of their buying
behaviour/consumption can contribute to the formulation of marketing actions related to current and prospective
customers. Retailers can create advertising campaigns that have the appreciation for the environment and quality and
availability in relation to organic food as the message content, because these variables motivate the consumer's intent to
purchase, as seen in this study.
It is also suggested that the layout of the sales area in the retailers highlights the organic food on the shelves and
places that allow access to materials that show the consumer information and data on the benefits of this type of food. It is
the retailer's job to define the associations to the brands of organic foods and choose brands that value health and well being. According to the research, the customers' intent to purchase/consume organic food takes into account the
perceived value and brand awareness.
Since this is a descriptive survey with an exploratory phase aiming to reveal new insights about the consumer of
organic food, it is noteworthy that the proposed Behaviour Model of the Consumer of Organic Food (MCCAO) has a
predictive power assessed as moderate to substantial. It should then be considered a valid model in view of the objective
of this survey (CHIN, 1998).
One of limitations refers to the period of conducting the survey. A longitudinal research in this direction can be a
good alternative. Doing this research in other cities, even in different countries, may reveal specifics not found in the
present study. Extending the research to other countries is crucial to compare data.
It is also advisable to develop a research aimed at targeting different types of organic foods. In this survey we
studied organic foods without specifying the types. A final suggestion for further studies rests with the selection of more
variables and constructs that might engage or develop and refine the model proposed in this work. One of the possible
options is to increase the number of individuals surveyed, thereby having a sample that allows making new correlations
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Recent Trends in Consumer Behavior
Concerning Foods with Health Benefits in
Consumer behavior, transitional economy, Russia, food with health benefits, functional food, health.
Irina Dolgopolova, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe,
Ramona Teuber, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe,
Viola Bruschi, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe,
Developing Russian food market and the transitional character of Russian economy requires timely knowledge
about Russian consumers’ behavior and nutrition patterns. Until now very little research has been done on the topic.
Besides, the potential of Russian market for functional foods poses additional questions for marketing of such products.
We feel this gap by discussing recent trends in consumer behavior concerning functional products in an emerging postsoviet economy.
Four semi-structured focus group interviews were performed in two Russian cities (Moscow and Irkutsk) in
December 2012. In total 30 people participated in the discussions. Topics discussed included general patterns in food
consumption behavior, connection between food and health, and consumers’ perception of health-related products.
Results of our study suggest the following hypotheses that describe trends in consumer behavior concerning
health-related foods in Russia:
1. Existing income inequality does not change nutrition patterns significantly.
2. Institutional uncertainty in the food sector led to consumers’ loss of trust in formal institutions.
3. Russian consumers have little knowledge about functional foods and determine healthiness by sensory
characteristics, norms and traditions, and family members’ recommendations.
4. Regional differences in consumption behavior are created by the level of market development, income
inequality and natural conditions.
In general, Russian consumers’ behavior reflects the transitional character of the economy. Consumers are still
developing preferences and attitudes, allocating to the different parts of the market, creating strategies to keep traditional
diet and maximize utility that arise country specific questions for food marketing.
“…food is the most important and frequently
encountered material object that translates
regulatory regimes and power relationships
into lived experience. Thus food has the
almost magical property of jumping scale:
as it moves, it links the global economy
and household economies, political bodies
and the bodies of individuals, the world and the self”
(Dunn, 2009).
Emerging economies are characterized by profound changes in economic and social order of a country that
involve transformations in life-styles and life quality for all segments of the society. Major socio-economic trends
influencing consumer behavior in Russia which have developed during the transition process are: growing income
inequality, deteriorating health, increasing variety of food with prevalence of imported products and institutional
uncertainty. These processes were complemented by few country-specific idiosyncrasies which resulted in a complex stillevolving behavior at consumer markets.
Although some research has been done about Russian consumers’ behavior, nonetheless its transitional character
requires constant monitoring. Besides, Russian food market in general and specifically market for functional foods (or
foods with health benefits) are reported to grow in the future, which poses additional questions for marketing of healthrelated products. We feel this gap by discussing socio-economic factors influencing consumer behavior concerning
functional products in an emerging post-soviet economy.
The structure of this article is as follows. It opens with an overview of recent research concerning soci o-economic
factors of consumer behavior in transitional economies that is followed by the description of methods in this research. The
third section demonstrates the main hypotheses that were created from the analysis of literature and results and section
five concludes.
An overview of recent research concerning socio-economic factors influencing consumer behavior in
transitional economies
Studies about food patterns in transitional post-Soviet economies show similar trends in adjusting to economic
and institutional uncertainties at the food markets. Most important factors that influence shifts in food demand in a
transitional economy were pointed out by Brosig & Ratinger (1999) in their study of Czech households. Those factors
include: “a) the range of food products available on the market; b) changed purchasing power and relative prices; c)
continuous changes in consumer preferences; and d) structural breaks in consumer preferences”. Other evidence suggests
that since transitional countries in post-Soviet sphere share socio-economic characteristics like low incomes and income
inequality the economic determinants of food choice (price, income) become very important (Petrovici, Ritson, & Ness,
Indeed, huge inequality gap stayed high during the transition period and even increased recently in Russia. This
inequality is formed by the difference between the top decile that gets 30% of total monetary income and the rest of the
population (Denisova, 2012). According to Credit Suisse Emerging Consumer survey 39% of households in Russia have
income of less than 1000 USD per month, besides one third of the household income is spent on food (Credit Suisse, 2011).
Although many aspects of Russian economic growth and improvements in life-quality of Russian citizens seem to
be controversial, statistical reports show growth in the disposable income and food consumption (Rosstat, IMF). Together
with the income increases the demand for more expensive and quality goods. Russians spent US $142.0 bn on food in 2009
and in 2014 they are expected to spend US $204 bn, or 43.7% more (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2010).
Also, the range of available food products has changed dramatically during transition. Decrease in food production
was compensated by imports. In 1996 imported food accounted for 35% of all the food consumption in the country
(Овчарова, 2008). Recently, food production is concentrated in the central Russia with Moscow and St. Petersburg regions
as producers of most food products (Kotilainen, Rajalahti, Ragasa, & Pehu, 2006), although 40% of total food consumption
is still imported (Kotilainen et al., 2006).
Besides, first years of liberalization process were characterized by very quick prices growth. However, prices
were growing not in equal proportions. More quick growth was reported for dairy and bread when prices for vegetables
and potatoes were growing more slowly because people started to produce them in their own garden plots (Овчарова,
Influenced by these factors and often faced with scarce resources consumers in transition economies can apply
two basic strategies: increasing their incomes or optimizing their consumption. In general Russian consumers
demonstrate the same way of adjusting to new economic conditions as other post-Soviet countries like Hungary and
Poland. Consumers in all these three countries have very strong positive consensus on changing consumption basket and
becoming more price conscious although Russian consumers stand out by demonstrating more strong opinion than Poles
and Hungarians on the topic of using informal networks for getting products and services (Shama, 1992).
Studies about household behavior in Bulgaria and Russia demonstrate that consumers apply similar strategies to
keep the dietary patterns during transition times. They tend to produce more food in the household, especially at the
private garden plots – the tradition that seems to be very persistent in the times of change (see e.g. Seeth, Chachnov,
Surinov, & Von Braun, 1998; Kostov & Lingard, 2002; Ivanova, Dimitrov, Ovcharova, Dellava, Hoffman, 2006) . Same
tendency was also observed for Czech Republic (Dofkova, Kopriva, Resova, Rehurkova, & Ruprich, 2007).
Despite significant common characteristics some country-specific idiosyncrasies also influence the developments
at the Russian food market. One of them is rapidly growing market of functional foods or foods with health benefits that is
usually connected with the deterioration of health in Russia. Although some studies on this topic have been completed, the
results and factors influencing health-related behavior in Russia still seem to be controversial.
Health crisis of Russian population introduced itself in the late 1990’s and has deep historical and cultural roots,
some of which are also responsible for the current attitude of Russians towards health in general and health food in
particular. As Tragakes & Lessof (2003) point out: “The paternalistic Soviet philosophy did not encourage the development
of responsibility of the individual with respect to lifestyle issues that have a major bearing on health (alcohol use, smoking,
diet, etc.), a situation exacerbated by the heavy dependence on alcohol sales as a means of circulating currency in a country
with little access to consumer goods”.
The deterioration of health that accompanied economic growth in Russia was reported to have as the leading
cause of death non-communicable diseases followed by external causes of injury and poisoning all being consequences of
poor diet, smoking and alcohol consumption (see e.g. Tragakes & Lessof, 2003; Marquez, Suhrcke, McKee, & Rocco, 2007).
Alarming health statistic therefore is reflected in Russians’ self-rated health that also does not change a lot over
the years, keeping high-rates of average and poor health (see table 1).
Table 1. Russians' self-rated health (%)
Bobak (1998)
Very good
Perlman (2008)
Rosstat (2008)
Very poor
No answer
Sources: VCIOM (ВЦИОМ) monitoring “Russians’ Health Status”, press issue No. 1912; Bobak,
Pikhart, Hertzman, Rose, & Marmot (1998); Perlman & Bobak (2008); Goskomstat
Transitional character of Russians’ perception of their health is reflected in several recent studies that report
growing interest and more care about health. Federal Service of State Statistics (Rosstat) in 2008 performed selective
survey “The influence of behavioral factors on health status of the population”. The results show that good health is now
one of the most important values for Russian people. Most respondents (84,2%) realize that their health status mostly
depend on themselves. This is consistent with the results of consumer focus group interviews by (Popova, Frewer, Jonge,
Fischer, & Kleef, 2010) that recently Russians are more attentive to their health and health-related food issues than in the
past. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (2010) also identifies that in 2007-2009 82% of Russians started to pay more
attention to their health.
Although, according to the same Rosstat survey, most Russians do not care about their health in a way of
sustaining healthy life-style, visiting doctor regularly or eating healthy foods. Most people are not used to the healthy lifestyle, and are influenced by negative social norms and traditions. Typical answers to the questions like: “Why do you
smoke?” or “Why do you drink alcohol?” are: “Out of habit” or “Because of traditions”. When feeling sick, 62,7% of Russians
prefer self-treatment with the use of medicine or folk methods and 24,9% of people who prefer self-treatment consider
alcohol as folk medicine for cold or other sicknesses.
Contradiction of results demonstrates that Russian consumers still heavily depend on Soviet norms and traditions
and at the same are not excluded from the global trends of food consumption that emphasize more healthy nutrition. Sales
of functional foods in Russia are increasing with bakery and dairy being products sold the most (see table 2). Russians
demonstrated extremely quick adaptation to functional ingredients in dairy products, although the demand is mostly
concentrated at higher income group (Kotilainen et al., 2006), which is logical considering the fact that people with higher
incomes are more involved in global food consumption trends.
Table 2. Functional Foods Sales in Russia, 2006-2010 bn rubles (bn euros)2
41.19 (1.2)
49.73 (1.4)
65.79 (1.6)
61.12 (1.4)
65.81 (1.6)
27.78 (0.8)
33.39 (0.93)
44.62 (1.08)
36.74 (0.85)
40.56 (0.99)
8.90 (0.26)
11.00 (0.31)
13.64 (0.33)
16.37 (0.38)
15.58 (0.38)
0.40 (0.01)
0.32 (0.01)
0.45 (0.01)
0.49 (0.01)
0.61 (0.01)
4.12 (0.12)
5.02 (0.14)
7.07 (0.17)
7.51 (0.17)
9.06 (0.22)
By product type:
Source: BusinesStat (2011)
Rapid market growth caused some consumer behavior research at the functional food market. For example, the
survey of consumer preferences in Altai region demonstrated very little knowledge of consumers about functional foods
and enriched foods. 56% of respondents consider their knowledge about functional foods as insufficient and 10% as nonexistent. 44% of respondents know about enriched products. Mostly people consider functional products as products with
unclear ingredients and low quality. Also people mention that advertised product characteristics are very often not
present in reality. Survey also shows low frequency of functional and enriched product purchases, so that they are not a
part of normal diet. Most popular functional products are: dairy products, beverages, and bakery. Due to the lack of
knowledge people consider alcohol as enriched product. Most popular information source about functional foods are
friends and acquaintances (29%), although respondents show low trust for this group. More people trust doctors (52%),
but only 9% get information from this source (Маюрникова, Новоселов, & Болховитина, 2010).
Another research about consumer behavior at functional foods market was conducted at the city Nakhodka in
Primorskiy Kray. At first, respondents were asked to evaluate their health status: only 24% think they are healthy, 61%
confirm the presence of some diseases and 15% do not have clear opinion about that. Among the reasons for poor health
Numbers are converted into euros according to yearly exchange rate.
63% of respondents mention bad ecological situation and 24% - unbalanced diet. Most of the respondents (88%) agree
that balanced diet can help reducing unfavorable environmental influence and reduce the risk of some diseases.
Surprisingly big difference exists between consumers’ understanding of the connection between diet and health and
practical steps about it: 47% do not pay attention to the information on the food labels, only 18% buy vitamins, 16% minerals and 12% - food supplements; 36% of respondents never buy any micronutrients. Respondents also show little
knowledge about what micronutrients contained in food products can prevent diseases: 54% had information only about
the lack of iodine; 23% about ferrum as a source of hemoglobin and 20% about calcium for bone structure (Табакаева,
In light of growing incomes and forming attitudes functional foods show a good potential at Russian market. But
since these products are somehow innovative for Russian consumers the main constraints for market growth will
probably be lack of knowledge and informal institutions of food consumption.
Since the knowledge about Russian consumers’ behavior is still scarce we’ve attempted to get more insights into
recent trends and performed qualitative study in the form of focus groups. This method has proved to be effective at the
first stages of research for gaining preliminary overview of general aspects.
Four focus group interviews were conducted in two Russian cities, Moscow and Irkutsk, with 30 participants in
total. The selection of the cities was aimed at representing the difference between capital city and periphery. Participants
were recruited through personal connections. The following criteria were used to select participants: gender, age,
educational and income levels. The structure of the groups was heterogeneous, displaying differences in main selection
criteria (see table). The number of participants in the groups varied from 5 to 9. Participants were asked to identify their
income level according to the following income groups: up to 750 euros per month, 751-1500 euros per month, 1501-2250
euros per month, more than 2251 rubles per month. Respectively, we can identify 4 societal classes: low income class, low
middle income class, middle income class, and high income class.
Table 3. Focus Groups Characteristics
Range of
participants’ age
from 26 to 61 years old
from 24 to 44 years old
from 25 to 73 years old
from 22 to 70 years old
Range of
income level3
from up to 750 to more
than 2251 euros per
from up to 750 to 2251
euros per month
from up to 750 to 2251
euros per month
from up to 750 to 2251
euros per month
Besides, participants were asked to complete short questionnaire before the interviews with questions about the
presence of children, food-related chronic diseases, smoking and alcohol consumption.
The interviews were semi-structured and performed using the guide based on (Barrios, Bayarri, Carbonell,
Izquierdo, & Costell, 2008; Chambers, Lobb, & Mortimer, 2006; Honkanen, 2006). Topics discussed included general
Participants were asked about their income level in rubles. Corresponding amount in euros is presented in the table and in the text
patterns in consumption behavior, connection between food and health, and consumers’ perception of foods with health
Each interview took 70 to 90 minutes and was video and audio recorded. All the interviews were conducted in
Russian by one of the authors who is a native Russian speaker. All recorded data were transcribed and translated from
Russian into English.
Data were analyzed using classical content and comparative analysis and contextualized counts of categories.
Results of the analysis were organized as research hypotheses that possibly define consumer behavior trends.
Discussion of results
Hypothesis 1: Despite existing income inequality consumers seem to share tradition al preferences for food
and nutrition patterns do not differ much between different income groups.
In times of economic uncertainty and growing income inequality price is usually considered to be one of the most
important factors that influence food consumption behavior. For example, price was proved to be one of the most
important factors for food choice in Russia by Honkanen (2006), Honkanen & Frewer (2009). Another important food
choice factor coming from changing economic conditions is availability of food. In particular (Liefert, 2004) shows that
there exist inadequate access to food by certain socio-economic groups caused by low-income, garden plot availability and
high income inequality.
All that being true, decrease of income does not necessarily imply diet changes. Soviet norms of healthy nutrition
were not based on expensive products, but rather on a basic livestock products and cereals. These products are still low priced and available for production at the garden plots. Consequently, when faced wi th the decreased income, consumers
do not change their diet – they change the strategies of household food supply. Dore, Adair, Popkin, & Al (2003)
demonstrate that income and healthy diet are not directly related for some consumers, who switch to cheaper foods and
household food preparation to keep existing eating patterns.
Therefore, while strategies vary, the composition of diet for different income groups is the same. Irrelevant of the
income level, focus group participants mentioned the same range of products they usually consume, that mostly included:
meat, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and cereals. Price as the most important factor influencing food choice was named by only
one participant. Among the other most important factors of food choice were: time, presence of children, healthiness of
food, diversity of food, climate and traditions (see table 4).
“My choice of products depends mostly on traditions, Russian traditions and price and I prefer more healthy food:
soups, porridges, lard, meat – everything that is necessary in our region… Also my family eats a lot of self -grown food. We eat
our own meat, vegetables, so I don’t pay for it” – female, 25 years old, graduate, income up to 750 euros per month.
Table 4. Diet, factors of food choice, and income level of focus groups participants
List of Products
Factors influencing food choice (in a
descending order)
Income Level
(euros per month)
cereals, porridge, dairy products
pasta, bread, cereals, pizza, vegetables
up to 750
meat, fish, soups, porridges
vegetables, meat and fruits
healthy lifestyle, philosophy
more than 2251
different, less fatty, fried
diversity, healthy lifestyle
pasta, bread, cabbage, potatoes, fruits, beer
meat, vegetables, cheese, bread
same as M.2.4.
meat, grains, vegetables, fruits
quality, price
meat, grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy
up to 750
bread, oat meal, vegetables, soups
grains, meat, fish, processed food
diversity, price, time
meat, fruits, vegetables, grains
healthiness, price, climate, children
soups, porridges, bacon, meat, cabbage, borsh
traditions, price, climate
up to 750
fruits, sour cheese, sour cream, meat, borsh,
sour cabbage, bread
up to 750
shi, porridge, meat, chicken, fish and dairy
children, knowledge, climate
soups, porridges,
vegetables, meat
quality, price, children
sour cheese, buckwheat, peas, beans, chicken
sport, time
tea, soup, second courses
time, garden plot
up to 750
meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, porridges, eggs
freshness, price
up to 750
processed food, meat
quality, price, time, climate
porridges, fish, meat, processed foods, dairy,
sauerkraut, cabbage, cucumbers
freshness, price
up to 750
anything, milk, bread, meat, fruits
healthiness, price, time
same as I.2.6.
appearance of the product
meat, vegetables, fruits, processed food, salads,
freshness, price
healthiness and freshness, price
very diverse diet, meat, vegetables, fruits
quality and taste, family
Hypothesis 2: Institutional uncertainty in the food sector led to consumers’ loss of trust in formal
institutions, including medical ones. Russian consumers tend to trust only themselves and close personal informal
networks. This tendency has another implication - since consumer choice is mostly determined by informal
institutions (family values, friends’ opinions, etc.) trends in consumer behavior have multidirectional character that
increases the complexity of consumer behavior at Russian food markets.
Post-communist societies and especially Russia are characterized by low trust in formal institutions.
Consequently, institutions of family and friends play the major role (Pehlivanova, 2009). According to Bobak et al. (1998)
49% of Russian men and 38% of women trust only themselves; 38% and 48% respectively trust informal institutions only.
“I’m sitting here and thinking that I would gladly buy new product not because of advertisements on TV, but if I would
find it by myself somewhere at the corner of a shop and tell my friends later: “Look, what a cool thing I have found!” But if I see
it on TV – then immediately I would say “No”. I would like to find it by myself and then whisper to a friend” – female, 38 years
old, graduate, income not specified.
The legacy of Soviet regime – distrust in formal government institutions – makes consumers trust only themselves
or their personal connections. In the food sector this tendency is reflected i n the wide networks of personal connections
between farmers and consumers, between owners of garden plots, etc.
“The only reliable information channel in our country is word of mouth. So I would gather a group of retired people
and give them new product for free, tell them about all the health benefits, and later these retired people, when they visit
hospitals…, when they are in a line…, tell each other, and it will be advertisement for free. They will also tell their
grandchildren and their children…” - female, 31 years old, graduate, income level 1500- 2250 euros per month.
Since food-related institutions in Russia are not reliable consumers compensate lack of institutional trust via
developing personal knowledge and acquiring additional information about the products (Popova et al., 2010).
“…we don’t buy anything in the supermarket, but my husband goes to the market and also makes social contacts
there – this is very comfortable… he has stable contacts to buy better products at lower prices, sometimes sellers even call him
and say when certain product arrives and at which price” – female, 62 years old, graduate, income level 750-1500 euros per
Hypothesis 3: Russian consumers have little knowledge about foods with health benefits. The healthiness of
food for Russians is mostly determined by sensory characteristics, Soviet norms and traditions, and family members’
When asked about functional foods or about health effects of food products almost no participant could give a
complete response. One exception was a woman with medical background. Mostly the knowledge of foods with health
benefits is limited to dairy and cereal products that are the most developed sectors at Russian functional foods market.
Perhaps, Soviet recommended “norms” of food consumption have strengthened the tradition of livestock products
(meat, eggs, dairy products) oriented diet preferences of Russian consumers (as mentioned by Liefert, 2004) and being
transferred through family institution take responsibility for the understanding of healthy food by Russian consumers.
“Porridges are healthy because we were taught from the childhood – you should eat porridge, it is healthy!” – female,
31 years old, graduate, income level 1501-2250 euros per month.
“Our parents were feeding us with this food, and we are used to it now. People who now go abroad more, they try
something new, who lives such a life… globalization, you kno w… Those who don’t go, they still eat potatoes with meatballs.” –
female 39 years old, graduate, income up to 750 euros per month.
Sensory motives as the most important determinant of food choice for Russian consumers are noted by Honkanen
(2006), Honkanen & Frewer (2009). Results of our focus group study show that participants emphasize taste as a product
attribute that is most attractive for them and sometimes can be even a criterion of the product healthiness.
“I suppose that the more nutritious is the food and the tastier, the better it is metabolized and influence moral and
physical health. If the food is tasty then it doesn’t matter if it is soup, meat, fish or anything else. The point is for it to be tasty
and look good”. – male, 60 years old, graduate, income 1501-2250 euros per month.
“Taste is a criterion of product’s healthiness” – male, 61 years old, graduate, income up to 750 euros per month.
It is also interesting how the connection between food and health is perceived by Russian consumers. The
connection with health is mostly defined by avoiding fatty and sugar foods in order not to gain weight and avoiding foods
with a lot of additives (Honkanen, 2006).
“I try to buy healthy food, not processed somewhere at the factory. To say so, products in their clean form, clean meat
without fat, preferably beef, grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, also without any additiv es. I also try to watch my weight, not to
buy sweets… I tend more to natural products” – female, 39 years old, graduate, income up to 750 euros per month.
The fact that health considerations are far not the main motives for food choice (Honkanen, 2010) supports the
idea that food is not seen by Russian consumers as a way to improve health.
“You know, to me the main criteria for grain products are physical characteristics. Elasticity, how fresh it is. If I see a
bread like a stone, there can be a picture of anyone on its label, I will not take it. More important is that it is crispy, so that I
feel it… So, if it really would be fresh and with these physical characteristics – I would choose it. And would pay more. May be”
– male, 52 years old, graduate, income more than 2251 euros per month.
One more important characteristic is the fact that Russians are also cautious in their consumption of imported
foods, despite (or because of) significant share of imported product at the market. Thelen & Ford (2006)demonstrate that
Russian consumers tend to prefer domestic products over imported ones. Domestic food is considered to be more natural,
contain less chemicals and preservatives and appeal to Russian traditions.
“I think that it is better to orient on traditional products because they are checked by time, by tens, hundreds of years.
With new products you should be careful” – male, 52 years old, graduate, income more than 2251 euros per month.
Hypothesis 4: Regional differences in consumption behavior are created by the level of market development,
income inequality and natural conditions.
Recent economic situation in Russia is characterized by notable difference in incomes between geographical
areas, where Moscow presents the exceptional case of higher incomes and diversified consumer choices (Kotilainen et al.,
2006). Projections for market growth of organic and healthy foods also show that markets for health-related food will
most probably stay limited to high-income groups of consumers in Moscow and St. Petersburg (Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada, 2010). And although our data show that price was not the most important food choice factor both in Moscow and
Irkutsk, it is clear that consumers in Irkutsk region have less purchasing power and food choice. This makes them create
specific strategies for expenditure reduction.
“I prefer to buy less… I can buy only 3 apples and divide it for my children, but they will smell like real apples…” –
female, 34 years old, graduate, income 751-1500 euros per month
“If you can buy grains by kilos or in a package, it’s better to buy by kilos, because why would you pay more money fo r
a package?” – male, 36 years old, undergraduate, income not specified.
Living in a difficult natural conditions make Irkutsk consumers more aware about the specific nutrition needs and
their diet is more livestock products oriented (see table 1).
“As my grandfather used to say the best fruit is a sausage, or meat. We live in a cold climate, we need a lot of energy
and positive spirit, so the more proteins – the better, so it’s meat” – male, 23 years old, graduate, income 751-1500 euros per
Due to lower incomes and greater place of traditions consumers at the periphery markets show more skeptical
perception of functional foods and new products in general. Compared to metropolitan area, periphery consumers lean
more towards domestically produced traditional Russian food.
In general, Russian consumers’ behavior reflects the transitional character of the economy. Consumers are still
developing preferences and attitudes, allocating to the different parts of the market, creating strategies to keep traditional
diet and maximize utility.
The results of our focus group study show that price might play not as important role as is usually assumed for
transitional economy with high income inequality. In the case of post-communist countries where the role of Soviet norms
and institutions is still high, healthy nutrition is perceived as a combination of not expensive products that are also
available for production at the garden plots, like grains and vegetables. Consequently, when faced by decreasing income,
instead of changing diet consumers change strategies of household food production.
Our research also shows that despite the fact that Russian consumers share some behavioral trends with other
transitional post-Soviet counties, there also exist some country-specific trends. First, consumers are highly diversified by
incomes, regions, nationalities, cultures. Attempts to distinguish segments among Russian consumers show that different
groups significantly vary in their preferences (see e.g. Honkanen, 2010). Second, important role of informal institutions
that highly influence consumer behavior make this behavior more complex and pose additional challenges for marketing
strategies. Third, the success of new food products at the periphery markets will mostly depend on the ability to fit
traditional diet and face such barriers as low incomes and conservatism of consumers.
Next steps of our research involve performing quantitative analysis to prove the above-mentioned hypotheses.
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The Importance of Country of Origin (COO) on
Consumers Preference: Study on Packaged
Butter in the Food Market of Azerbaijan
Country of Origin (COO), Conjoint Analysis, Butter Brands, Purchase Decision Making.
Kanan Amirov, University of Bonn,
The consumer decision making process is real complex system that requires a lot of factors such as economical, social,
personal and demographical to be taking account. In last decades, an importance of country of origin is increasing
relatively to other factor in the perception of consumers. It is one of the most investigated concepts in the field of
marketing as well as in consumer behavior. Basically, the role of country of origin becomes paramount important in
purchase decisions and often it is also considered as a fifth element of product mix.
In spite of fact that several scientists pay remarkable attention to the factor of country of origin (COO), no final conclusi on
was made regarding to the exact effect of COO on product evaluations in previous studies. The most of these studies
provide evidence that COO’s influence on product evaluations and perception is moderated when encountered alongside
with other extrinsic cues (Price, brand, packaging and so on). However, it is really difficult to consider also intrinsic cues
such as quality, taste, and smell with extrinsic cues in the same research work.
In this paper, I will find out the importance of country of origin among other extrinsic attributes of product. The second
hypothesis is to determine the relationship between social-economic furthers and preference of consumers for COO.
Butter was selected as an objected product because of high usage of it in Azerbaijan (author’s home country).
Nevertheless, only packaged butter brand are involved in this research because of incom parability of packaged and
unpackaged brands. Five well-know characteristics of packaged butter brands were determined as a main product cues;
they are weight, price, package type, COO and brand name.
As a method, conjoint (trade off) analysis is used in order to offer respondents a situation that contain multi-attributed
judgments. This method allows measuring the degree that consumer value among all of given butter attributes in the Food
Market of Azerbaijan. On this purpose, questionnaire is made regarding to several butter brands that contains various
extrinsic attributes and asked to targeted sample. Afterwards, software program SPSS is used to analyze the data and make
final conclusion regarding to the research questions.
Problem Background
The effect of country-of-origin on consumer’s preference became the main objective of researches after the first known
article of Robert Schooler on this topic in 1965. Later on, different studies have shown that country of origin (briefly as
COO) effect plays paramount role on purchase decision making process and scholars started to pay more attention on it in
the context of product perception and evaluation (BAUGHN and YAPRAK 1993). The concept of COO was defined by
NAGASHIMA (1970) as
“The picture, the reputation, the stereotype that businessmen and consumers attach to products of a specific country”.
In spite of the fact that several scientists pay remarkable attention to the factor of country of origin (COO), no final
conclusion had been made regarding to the exact effect of COO on product evaluations in previous studies. Most of these
studies provide evidence that the influence of COO’s on product evaluations and perception is moderated when encoun115
tered with other extrinsic cues such as price, brand, packaging (URBONAVIČIUS and GINEIKIENĖ 2009). However, it is really
difficult to consider also intrinsic cues such as quality, taste, and smell with extrinsic cues in the same research work.
In last decades, researchers have suggested that cues affecting decision processes are product specific. This issue puts
forward that all products contain a set of specific attributes as well as COO that affect consumer’s choice. It is on this
rationale that several scientists including HAN and TERPSTRA made a suggestion that the examination of the effect of
country of origin on consumer’s choice be done in the term of specific products and attributes (HAN and TERPSTRA 1988).
However, the search for relevant information about cues of the chosen product would require further search for
information which originates not from the implicit or explicit nature of a product. Usually, consumers collect this required
information cues from various sources including media (advertisements), social environment and different agencies. This
group of information includes the search for other information, where the product originated from or ‘ place of origin’ of
the objected product (GUDERO 2001). More concretely, a specific product and its characteristics have to be identified and
rated (or ranked) for making conclusion on importance of them to consumers. For this purpose, this study being
conducted to determine the importance of COO in the purchase process of butter in the food market of Azerbaijan.
Theoretical background and state of the art
Plenty of analyses were implemented on the purpose of COO in the last few decades. Based on the main purposes of these
papers, the importance of country of origin was analyzed in three types of studies, which also reveal the chronological
development of researches in the area of marketing: Single-cue; Multiple-cue; High complexity studies (SULAIMAN 2008, p.
Single-cue study was the first method that proves the existence of country of origin effect on the consumer’s preference.
General products, different classes of products (NAGASHIMA 1970&1977), as well as specific products (TONGBERG 1972;
WHITE 1979) were analyzed by this study.
The country of origin effect was investigated by CAI and coworkers (2004) and final conclusion was that COO is better
implemented and understood in a multi-cue study. The multi-cue environment became the essential option in today’s
marketplace because of the fact that consumers have various accesses to required information regarding existent products
(CAI et al. 2004). More realistically, KNIGHT demonstrated that image of country acts as just one of known extrinsic cues of
product that buyers take account on the perception of product quality (KNIGHT et al. 2007).
In the literature, the big share of the previous studies on COO was conducted in different developed countries including
USA and Canada. This issue implies that inferences drawn from such studies may suffer lack of cross -cultural
considerations; in this case, it limits the validity and generalization of final results (BAKER and BALLINGTON, 2002).
In spite of several scientific studies on COO, only few of such studies were conducted on food products in literature; they
have mostly been on cars, TV channels, etc. Industrial products and appliances were the main focus of such studies. KNIGHT
et al. (2007) stated that people usually purchase food products with “low involvement” because of product durability.
Differently, HOYER and M ACINNIS (2000) was not satisfied with this statement; in low involved products, usually purchas er
don’t engage in long information processing (in COO as well). However, the majority of scholars indicate that food
products category contains the most important product that requires frequent purchases. Indirectly, it implies that small
change in the COO perception as a result of changes in the economic and political conditions as well as in several other
issues will strongly affect purchase intention of consumers (PHILIPPIDIS and HUBBARD 2003).
1. Main Objectives
Azerbaijan is one of the countries that basically meet its demand for food products by imports. In this situation, consumers
have various perceptions regarding local and foreign brands depending on which country they come from. However, COO
is not the only cue that consumers take into account in the period of decision making and this is why other essential
product cues were also considered in this research. Basically, the main objective of my thesis was to define the role of
country of origin as essential factor in the decision of consumers in Azerbaijani on butter brands.
Initially, it seemed much more complex to measure this effect in terms of all food products. Due to this issue and literature
preference, this study concentrates on a specific product. Packaged butter is selected because of its high consumption and
existence of several foreign brands in Azerbaijan. According to statistics, 60 grams of butter is consumed per person per
day on average in Azerbaijan (HAYDAROVA 2012). In relevant food market, there are various packaged and unpackaged
butter brands available for sale. Moreover, only packaged butter is considered in this study because of its inherent
packaging cost that makes it incomparable with unpackaged butter brands in the market. Therefore, only packaged butter
brands are being selected as the products on interest for this study, with concept of “packaged” been emphasized in the
title of the thesis as well.
In the course of time, the main attributes of packaged butter and their existing alternatives would be selected in the
market. On this point, different cues believed to effect the decision of consumers are portrayed in the Figure 1 as below.
Figure 1. The important attributes in butter purchase
Source: Constructed by author
Generally, the study claims that COO is one of the essential cues in the evaluation and perception of butter purchase;
however, the main objective is to figure out how strong this effect is in presence of other attributes. Secondly, qualitative
analysis would be performed to investigate the relationship between consumer’s choice and their social-demographic and
personal characteristics. Due to the multi-cues nature of this research, conjoint analysis is selected as the most appropriate
method that allows making judgment among several attributes.
Hypothesis and Research questions
This research aims to define the extent to which COO is important for consumers among other attributes of butter brands
in purchasing process. More concretely, two research questions are considered;
What is the real effect of COO on buyers in the process of decision making for butter brands? This question is
based on quantitative analysis.
What is the interrelation between social-demographic and personal characteristics of consumers and their choice
regarding the factor COO? Quantitative analysis is conducted for this part as well.
Firstly, based on a pilot survey with few respondents, general information and the main extrinsic cues of butter brands
were collected in Azerbaijan. On this purpose, more cues were considered in the list of important attributes in purchase
process of butter. For instance, brand name, COO, organic, weight, protein and fat content, price, packaging types was
included in the first list of main product attributes of butter. Afterwards, small qualitative analysis was conducted with 20
people in order to determine the most important attributes among them in Azerbaijan. Respondents were asked “what
attributes are important for you when you purchase butter?” and 4 product attributes were determined as the most
important cues at the end. Moreover, conjoint analysis is usually done with 4 (ideal) or 5 (max.) attributes in SPSS
program. The eliminated attributes and their reasons are described below:
Table 1. Eliminated attributes
Eliminated Attributes
Possible interaction between price and weight
Protein and fat content
Not having standard measurement on packages. On different brands, it is indicated
with gram or percentage (%).
Organic and Inorganic
All selected brands are produced naturally.
Source: Constructed by author.
The remaining cues namely country of origin (COO), brands, price, and packaging were selected as the main product
attributes for butter. Subsequently, alternatives of each attributes were found and added to the final list.
Table 2. Attributes and alternatives
Azerbaijan (local), New Zealand, France, Russia, Finland
Brands names
PalSud, Anchor, President, Doyarushka, Fin
1.8; 1.9; 2.0; 2.1 (AZN)
Plastic; Waxed paper
Source: Constructed by author.
As mentioned above, conjoint analysis is the quantitative analytical tool for this research. Simply, this analysis is a metho d
that allows measuring consumer preferences regarding the attributes of service or a product. By conjoint analysis,
researchers usually can find answers to questions such as: “What product attributes are important or unimportant to the
consumer?, What levels of product attributes are the most or least desirable in the consumer’s mind?” (SPSS INC. 1997).
Here, the main interest is to know how the various constructs would be traded off in different combinations; for example
to decide whether one feature of product is desirable enough to sacrifice another (M ALHOTRA and BIRKS 2003).
Basically, a research aims to follow the stages for constructing conjoint analysis as below: formulate the problem,
construct the stimuli, decide the form of input data, select conjoint analysis procedure, interpret the results and assess
reliability and validity (M ALHOTRA and BIRKS 2003).
On purpose of data collection, the content and design of questionnaire was done in line with the basic requirements of
conjoint analysis. Generally, SPSS uses the “full-concept approach” for conjoint analysis. In this approach, respondents have
to rate or rank given alternative products defined by selected alternatives of all attributes (SPSS INC. 1997). In my case,
having 4 attributes; COO, brand names, price and packaging and respectively, 5, 5, 4, 2 alternativ es in each, 200 (5*5*4*2)
cards or profiles can be made as different combinations in full concept approach. More realistically, “ fractional factorial
designs” can be used and it presents a suitable fraction and number of all possible combinations. This des ign helps to
prevent problems associated with high time-consuming, high cost, fatigue with respondent and thereby potentially
invalidating responses. In SPSS, the “Generate Orthogonal Design” automatically generates the certain number of
orthogonal fractional plans. Using this procedure, 25 different product profiles of butter were generated. Each product
profiles contained different combination of attributes. On the second hand, 25 profiles also seem ideal when it is calculated
according to formula established by AUTY (1995).
Cards/parameters ≥ 1.5
Parameter= number of alternatives-number of attributes= (5+5+4+2) - 4= 12
If we assume card/parameters ratio is equal to 2, then number of cards has to be equal to 24 (12*2). Dues to generation of
orthogonal design, 25 cards were included in the quantitative part of the questionnaire in order to collect the respondent’s
preference. Nevertheless, these profiles don’t mean that all of described products exist in the market.
Each profile contains four attributes and it will be asked of the respondents to rate profile on a 7 point scale. Due to the
fact that a normal a 9 point scale used for previous studies were problematic for respondents in terms of rating their
preferences, a 7 point scale has been chosen.
In qualitative analysis, I included 8 questions concerning to social, demographical, personal characteristics of respondents
to questionnaire. Initially, questions about sex, age, education and occupation were added to question list. Then, the
following questions were constructed based on different hypothesis:
-How much do you spend on food products per month? Number of households in the family? The intervals for these
questions were taken from the master thesis that was done by GULIYEV (2007) on the similar topic.
-How often do you purchase butter? It aims to figure out a relationship between purchase frequency and decisions made
on butter brands.
-Are you basically weekend shopper? This question is based on idea that people can evaluate and consi der more factors
(attributes) in the purchase decision making process at weekends than in regular days.
In contrast to several related research I did not include question regarding the income level of respondents; objected
country has a problem of corruption and usually people do not have stable monthly income.
Totally, questionnaire contains 33 questions and its preliminary list is attached at the end of this document. At least 150
respondents will be interviewed online via the internet. Unfortunately, it is not possible to make identical sampling for an
online survey. However, questions concerning social demographic characteristics of people help to make conclusion on
population characteristics.
In SPSS, the procedure of conjoint analysis uses the ordinary least-squares estimation. It was found that this method
performs as well as other methods, and additionally it has the advantage of being easier to use and interpret (SPSS INC.
1997). The data coding and process of analysis is elaborated on at the end of data collection. Coded data would be entered
in the software package SPSS in order to get output of conjoint analysis. Finally, the program will guide me in making a
final conclusion on importance of COO in the midst of other 3 attributes of butter in the food market of Azerbaijan.
Expected Result
Using procedure of conjoint analysis, part worth utility will be calculated for each level of attributes in selected profiles. By
SPSS program, coefficients of variables and utility scores can be used to make comment on the relative importance of each
attributes for all attributes. More detailed, utility scores (or ratings) in outputs shows how important each product
characteristic is to the respondent’s overall preference of a product. Afterwards, it will enable the researcher to make a
conclusion on extent of attention people attach to COO in buying process of butter brands.
The final result of this research will help me to conclude as to whether or not country of origin (COO) plays an important
role in effecting the attitudinal change of the consumers by creating perceptional competitive differences between
products in the mind of a consumer.
Below questionnaire is designed in order to investigate in important factors of purchasing process in the food
market of Azerbaijan. The main objective of research is butter brands.
Collected data will be used only for this research.
Thanks for your valuable time.
1. Questions concerning to different product profiles.
Please, cross the name on the scale that best reflects the extent you prefer the product described. You can use one
number between “1” and “7” to indicate your preference. In product profiles, “COO” is abbreviation of Country of
Origin factor.
Please, notice that there is not any true or false answer.
Profile 1.
Brand- Palsud; COO- New Zealand; Price- 2.1; Packaging- Plastic
Most Preferred
Profile 2.
Brand- Fin; COO- France; Price- 2.0; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 3.
Brand- President; COO- Azerbaijan; Price- 2.1; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 4.
Brand- Palsud; COO- Finland; Price- 2.0; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 5.
Brand- Fin; COO- Azerbaijan; Price- 1.9; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 6.
Brand- Anchor; COO- France; Price- 1.8; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most referred
Profile 7.
Brand- Doyarushka; COO- Azerbaijan; Price- 2.0; Packaging- Plastic
Most Preferred
Profile 8.
Brand- Fin; COO- Finland; Price- 2.1; Packaging- Plastic
Most Preferred
Profile 9.
Brand- Anchor; COO- Azerbaijan; Price- 1.8; Packaging- Plastic
Most Preferred
Profile 10.
Brand- Doyarushka; COO- Russia; Price- 1.9; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 11.
Brand- Doyarushka; COO- France; Price- 2.1; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most referred
Profile 12.
Brand- Palsud; COO- France; Price- 1.9; Packaging- Plastic
Most Preferred
Profile 13.
Brand- President; COO- France; Price- 1.8; Packaging- Plastic
Most Preferred
Profile 14.
Brand- Palsud; COO- Azerbaijan; Price- 1.9; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 15.
Brand- President; COO- Russia; Price- 2.0; Packaging- Plastic
Most Preferred
Profile 16.
Brand- Fin; COO- New Zealand; Price- 1.8; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 17.
Brand- President; COO- New Zealand; Price- 1.9; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 18.
Brand- Doyarushka; COO- New Zealand; Price- 1.8; Packaging- Plastic
Most Preferred
Profile 19.
Brand- Anchor; COO- New Zealand; Price- 2.0; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 20.
Brand- Palsud; COO- Russia; Price- 1.8; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 21.
Brand- President; COO- Finland; Price- 1.8; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 22.
Brand- Anchor; COO- Russia; Price- 2.1; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
Profile 23.
Brand- Anchor; COO- Finland; Price- 1.9; Packaging- Plastic
Most Preferred
Profile 24.
Brand- Fin; COO- Russia; Price- 1.8; Packaging- Plastic
Most Preferred
Profile 25.
Brand- Doyarushka; COO- Finland; Price- 1.8; Packaging- Waxed Paper
Most Preferred
2. Questions concerning to Social, Demographical, Personal characteristics of respondents.
Please, cross one of the boxes in order to give answer to following questions. And write down your occupation in 4 th
16- 25
36- 45
46- 55
56 ≤
High School;
Occupation: ………………
How much do you spend on food products per month?
Number of Hauseholds in the family?
How often do you purchase butter?
Less than once in a month
Once in a week
1-2 times in a month
More than 1 time in a week
Are you weekend shopper?
I am not sure
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the context of globalization”, Vilnius University Faculty of Economics, Ekonomika, 2009.
WHITE, P. D. (1979): "Attitudes of U.S. Purchasing Managers Toward Industrial Products Manufactured in Selected
European Nations." Journal of International Business Studies Spr/Sum, p. 81-90.
Session 4
Determinants for Purchases of Agricultural
Pesticides: a study on the buying behavior of
rural producer of coffee in Brazil
Consumer. Organizational consumer behavior. Agriculture. Coffee Producer. Attributes of Buying.
Wendel Alex Castro Silva, Faculdade Novos Horizontes,
Ricardo William Pinheiro, UNICERP, ricardo.pinheiro@mestrado.
Gustavo Rodrigues Cunha, Faculdade Novos Horizontes,
This research is driven by the existence of a theoretic gap which gathers studies on the behavior of an
organizational consumer. Having the Sheth, Mittal and Newman (2001) model, a research instrument was developed and
applied in a survey considering the agriculture consumer behavior of an organizational consumer. The univariate statistic
analysis was conducted to describe the subjects’ characteristics establishing relation among these characteristics.
Individual components which formed the instrument were divided into 5 parts, obeying the model proposed.
Subsequently to this division, a cluster analysis was applied to obtain the best variables possible, contained in each part –
according to its similarities. Once the results of cluster analysis came up, was possible to elaborate the hypothesis of the
research. Afterwards, the qui square test was performed to judge formulated hypothesis and to valid the formation of
clusters. To verify the level of similarity contained in the attributes analyzed on the research, especially the ones presented
in the hypothesis, simple and multiple correspondences analysis were done. Throughout this procedure, was possible to
consider the model of Sheth, Mittal and Newman (2001) as being suitable. Therefore, was viable to identify, based on
Alpert rating scale (1971), the determining attributes of purchase of coffee producers in the region of Patrocínio/MG. The
results of the research showed that the attributes linked to the salesperson are meaningful to a coffee producer and must
to taken into account by distributors of defensive products. Finally, the model can be helpful for investigate the consumer
behavior in agribusiness.
It recognized its importance to the Brazilian trade balance and the economy as a whole, because moves billions of dollars
per year in various supply chains, highlighting those in which there is worldwide recognition, such as beef, soy, corn, milk
and coffee.
One of the most prominent cities in the Brazilian agribusiness – Patrocínio - is Located 400 kilometers from Belo
Horizonte state of Minas Gerais (MG). Agribusiness generated for the city in 2006, something around 22% of its Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), which represents over 100% of GDP generated by local industry. Among the activities of
agribusiness in the city are dairy farming and cutting, production of corn, soybeans and coffee production, which is
featured on the national level. Coffee plantations in Patrocínio occupying 29,000 hectares produced 672,000 sacks in 2008
- it brought as the first city to the country - generating approximately R$ 119 million in production value (IBGE, 2008).
Due to the presence of many coffee growers, Patrocínio receives the largest companies in the field of
agrochemicals in the world with high value billing and product diversification. This provides ideal conditions for this
research that focuses on the consumer agricultural producer of coffee while buyer of agrochemicals used in its production.
The farmer, for the purpose of purchase inputs required for the production of coffee, should resemble the buyer of
an industry with regard to their purchasing behavior. Therefore, to assume the position of buyer for a rural business, your
property, should assume a professional role in analyzing the alternatives very carefully at all stages of the buying process,
making it one of the best examples of customer organization. See Martins (2001), Rossi, Neves and Carvalho (2003), Castro
naves (2007), Silva, Scare and Casanova (2008).
A crucial aspect to consider this assumption is emergence of doubt about what are the most important attributes
for these producers. The intuition behind has several implications, particularly, creating the need to understand how the
coffee farmer behaves in the process of buying pesticides. Moreover, it is also important to include this analysis in
scientific discussions, basing research on buying behavior and contributing to strengthening business. Thus, the problem
focus of this research is delineated from the following question: What are the attributes of factors in the decision to
purchase pesticides by farmers in the coffee region of Patrocínio - MG?
In this paper aims to identify and describe the attributes that are decisive for the purchase of pesticides by
farmers of the region's coffee of Patricínio - MG, and also verify that the buying behavior of rural producer of coffee in this
region can be explained from the perspective of theoretical Sheth, Mittal and Newman (2001), exposed in its model of
buying behavior of the customer organization.
2. Consumer Behavior
Consumer behavior is defined by Engel, Blackwell and Miniard (1995) as those activities directly involved in
obtaining, consuming and disposing of products and services, including the decision process that precedes and follows
these actions. Seeks to show how people make decisions, what the factors that guide their behavior are and what the
attributes that influence them are.
Studies of consumer behavior analysis focus not only on the purchase, but everything that can somehow interfere
with it. The analysis is done prior to purchase, to show the consumer that led to this act and after this acquisition, to sho w
how it behaves before using the product. See Holbrok (1987) and Engel and Miniard Blackwell (1995).
From a physical or mental activity, the customer gives signals whether will behave as before the supply. Physical
activities are performed, for example, when a customer goes to a store, talking to vendors and issue purchase orders.
Example of mental activity is the association of quality to a particular brand, due to its previous experience with it (Sheth,
Mittal and Newnan, 2001).
2.1 Organizational Purchases
Often, one has used the term consumer to set only those who are part of the consumer market, excluding the
organizational market, for which is the term more applied client. In general, the client is a person or organizational unit
that plays a role in the consummation of a transaction with the marketer or an entity (Sheth, Mittal and Newman, 2001).
The consumer is the one who acquires a product or service that will be consumed or used in some other way. The
market organization is formed by all organizations that produce goods and services used in the production of other goods
or services that are sold, leased or given to third parties. The company dedicated to agriculture is a classic example of a
component of this type of market (Sheth, Mittal and Newman, 2001).
The purchasing organization is defined by Webster and Wind (1972) as the decision-making process through
which organizations establish the need for purchased products and services and identify, evaluate and choose between
brands and suppliers available what is the best option. The organizational purchase has character more professional than
the purchase made by the consumer. There is a higher number of procedures and expertise of those involved in the
process. Indeed, it happens according to a standardization of procedures, providi ng the strategic and operational
requirements of the organization.
The organizational buyer makes decisions in relation to the complex problem to be solved by analyzing whether
the purchase is made for the first time, considering the number of people involved and the deadline to be met (Candido,
2.2 Attributes and purchase their classification
When a consumer wants to describe a product, he does it reporting its characteristics, particularities, utilities and
accessories that are purchased together. In short, discriminates product attributes. When he is processing information
with respect to the purchase, the product attributes are the main stimuli that influence this process. For this reason, will
always advantageous to work these attributes in order to make customers perceive a real need of purchase (Joas, 2002,
Tibola, Sanzovo and Vieira, 2004). A peculiar issue stands out clearly, that is, by analyzing the background consumer
perceptions regarding the attributes of a product is possible to understand how the customer feels about him (Assael,
In the specific case of agricultural consumers, the package size is, for example, an attribute that can reflect the
benefit of avoiding residue or facilitate handling. These benefits can only be reali zed after using the package (Rossi, Neves
and Carvalho, 2003). A set of attributes highly valued by consumers farming is the full solution, that is, the possibility of
acquiring a set of inputs in a single resale, which may increase their bargaining power, incurring assistance in the
application and subsequently facilitate marketing (Neves et al., 2001).
There are several classifications of attributes, with many different classifications, but with the same coverage. The
classification of Alpert (1971), to be widely used in various studies on consumer behavior, was chosen for this study.
Alpert (1971) argues that consumers do not realize all the attributes in the same way, and they attach greater importance
to some as their beliefs and values.
There are several classifications of attributes, with many different classifications, but with the same coverage. The
classification of Alpert (1971), to be widely used in various studies on consumer behavior, is also relevant for this study.
Alpert (1971) argues that consumers do not realize all the attributes in the same way, and they attach greater importance
to some as their beliefs and values.
He assumed key concepts to compare the predictive validity of this assumption and dealing with issues of
determinant attributes in purchasing. According to him, ‘salient attributes’ are easily perceived by the consumer, not
influence the process of purchase and will only be used as a tiebreaker. That is, if all other attributes equate themselves.
‘Important attributes’ are not taken into consideration by some consumers, because they believe are present in all offers.
Other groups consider important when choosing the product, but exert little or no influence in determining the purchase.
‘Attributes determinants’ are the most important to the goal of marketers. In the consumers' eyes, make a difference and
are crucial in making purchasing decision. In the eyes of customers, means satisfaction.
2.3 Model of organizational buying behavior Sheth, Mittal and Newman
Figure 1 - Model of customer behavior encompassing organizational
Source: Sheth, Mittal and Newman (2001)
Sheth, Mittal and Newman (2001) proposed a model, shown in Figure 1, assembling the individual components of
industrial acquisition system, which helps to understand the relationships within that system and its impact on buying
behavior of the customer organization. According Candido (2004), the model proposed by Sheth, Mittal and Newman
(2001) is considered comprehensive concepts by showing multiple other theoretical models. Silveira (2000) states that
the original version of Sheth, Mittal and Newman, published in 1999, this is a more complete and systematic than its
predecessors, depicting an evolution of the academic understanding of the subject. Perhaps the only shortcoming of the
model of Sheth, Mittal and Newman (2001) is the fact stop staring macro environmental relations, including economic,
political, legal, cultural, technological and market (Silveira, 2000 and Candido, 2004).
Precisely because it is more recent and complete their proposals on organizational buying behavior, we decided to
test the hypotheses in this research model Sheth, Mittal and Newman (2001) for the coffee farmers of the region of
Patrocínio below.
3. Research Hypotheses and Methodological Aspects
The main hypothesis of this research can be presented as follows:
Ho: The theoretical perspective of Sheth, Mittal and Newman is appropriate to analyze and describe the attributes
determinants for the purchase of pesticides by farmers Coffee of Patrocínio region.
To be able to achieve the goals of the research, the analyzes were performed according to blocks A, B, C, D and E
shown in Table 1, which tried to find greatest similarity relationship between the components of the questionnaire and a
set of variables descriptive that were associated through multiple correspondence analysis.
Assumption A.1 Type of buyer refers to anyone who makes purchases for application of pesticides in the
cultivation of coffee - in other words - owner, employee, family members and another. Amount of properties refers to the
number of farms each producer, being 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 or more.
Assumption A.2 Centralized purchasing refers to the degree of centralization of purchases of chemicals for the
properties of a single grower, either; the purchase can be performed separately for each property or for all properties in
Assumption A.3 By means of the adoption of rules and procedure, you can identify if the buyer of pesticides
follows rules or procedures when making purchases.
Assumption B.1 Speed in attendance refers to the speed of service perceived by the producer in relation to the
resale of pesticides. Service in general refers to care provided by the retail coffee producer in all its aspects, namely in
product sales, negotiating financial and technical assistance.
Assumption B.2 Service-level property relates to service done on the farm producer of coffee, which is a type of
care usually provided by the resale of pesticides to their customers. The tracking and monitoring of applications and
results of products is a service provided by the reseller when sending a technician to monitor the implementation of
products in the fields and to measure the results after such application.
Assumption B.3 In the event the price charged in general refers to the vision of the producer of coffee in relation to
prices for resale, i.e., whether it is a resale that adopts a policy of low prices or high prices. Price (SRP) refers to the
product value. Discount for cash payment refers to the special conditions given to producers effecting their payments upon
Assumption B.4 Payment deadline concerns the payment deadline for the reseller offers the producer called
normal negotiations, negotiations with deadlines that are small, usually 30 days, to purchase in small quantities. Payment
deadline extended refers to the payment terms for purchases of larger volumes, when retailers offer extended deadlines
for payments after harvest, called the "harvest plans." A variety of forms of payment refers to diversity in the way the
producer can pay for their purchases, so credit card payments, check and bank in duplicate, among others.
Assumptions C.1 and C.2 refer to sources of information and arising direct relationship with the sellers at the time
of purchase. D.1 In the event the active product used is the substance of pesticide that will exert the expected effect
according to your specifications. The concern with environmental aspects of resale refers to the level of attention of
producer in relation to the shares of resale to combat the misuse of pesticides to avoid contamination of people and the
Assumptions E.1 experience with previous use concerns that the producer had experience in the past when it used
the pesticide in its plantations. Technical assistance linked to the sale of product refers to conditions of technical support
offered to purchase some pesticides. Assumption E.2 to coffee producer satisfaction with the resale is the level of
satisfaction with the service producer of resale in general, not only in selling products. Service quality refers to the ability
to distinguish a resale service provided by another. Product quality relates only to the product approval and product
3.1 Characterization and Research Instruments
This research aims to expose the buying behavior of rural producer of coffee and provide greater familiarity with
this behavior in order to make it explicit. It is also a study aimed hypothetical-deductive, because by supporting the
theoretical analysis and the results of quantitative evaluations, test the research hypotheses presented earlier (Martins
and Teófilo, 2009).
The instrument used for this research was built on the model of Sheth, Mittal and Newman (2001) and divided
into 3 parts with the first consisting of 14 questions designed to characterize the unit of analysis. We sought to identify the
size of the organization, the orientation of purchase, the existence of rules and procedures and the level of centralization in
the buying process.
The second part consists of three issues in which the respondents are prompted to assign importance level
attributes through ordinal scales staggered type and interval of ten points, with the higher the value the greater the
numerical value. To facilitate the visualization of these levels, these subcategories were grouped into categories, such as:
no importance (level zero); little importance (levels 1, 2 and 3); average importance (levels 4, 5, 6 and 7) and very
importance (levels 8, 9 and 10). The attributes of the second half were related based on the application of the concepts of
technical and educational background, satisfaction / dissatisfaction with previous experience of purchasing, buying and
nature of information sources, also exposed in the model of Sheth, Mittal and Newman (2001). The third part consists of
the same attributes of the second part, but that the subject is asked to select those attributes that are necessary for the
purchase of pesticides used in coffee production.
The population consists of farmers who purchase their products at the dealerships of Patrocínio, whose properties
are also located in the same municipality or in smaller municipalities that are part this grower pole. The probability
sampling methods allows the sample to establish the basis of a predetermined measure of accuracy (Mattar, 2001). Thus,
according to IBGE (2006), there are 1,421 agricultural establishments which have coffee plantation in the municipalities
that are part of the productive pole Coffee of Patrocínio (Patrocínio, Serra do Salitre, Guimarânia and Coromandel).
Proceeding to the calculations came up with a sampling of 107 instruments that were applied between 01 August and 30
September 2009, which, with a margin of error of 5% resulting in 85.4% confidence.
Table 1 shows the separation of the individual components that comprised the research instrument in five blocks.
Bloc A – Organizational Characteristics
Number of properties
Type of Purchase
Bloc C – Sources of Information
Quantity Production
Bloc B – Nature of Purchase
View of other producers
Time of performance in the market
What are the multinationals that
View of other producers
to the
Practical knowledge of techniques
Product Knowledge
Variety of Products
Price charged (generally)
Deadline for Payment
Attendance at the level of property
Treatment (generally)
Variety of products that offers
Concern with environmental aspects
Bloc D – Technical Background and Educational
Type of application
Fast in attendance
Delivery takes place in the farm
Active Principle
Speed in invoice issuance and recipe
Deadline for payment extended
Discount for cash payment
Variety of methods of payment
Bloc E – Satisfaction/dissatisfaction with previous
experience of buying
Ease in the release of credit
Easy to find it on the market
Quickly in the release of credit
Experience with previous use
Technical assistance related to the sale
of the product
Fact is satisfied with the resale
Service Quality
Ease in the release of the product
Hours of operation
Table 1 - Description of Blocks
Origination: Prepared by the author on the basis of the research
In data analysis, the univariate and bivariate descriptive statistics describes the characteristics of Coffee farms and
its owners, focusing in establishing relationships between them and determinants of purchase. The model of Sheth, Mittal
and Newman (2001) is consisting of individual components which were separated into five sections, Table 1:
organizational characteristics, nature of purchase, sources information, technical and educational background, and
satisfaction / dissatisfaction with experiences previous purchase. Thus, after selecting only relevant variables (presented
in blocks) used the analysis of clusters. After forming clusters, it was held the Chi -square test between pairs of variables
contained in the groups or classes resulting from step before. The goal was to validate the formation of these obtained
clusters and, thus, confirm the existence of a possible association of the main variables of interest contained in each
grouping formed.
The aim was to get a better grouping of possible variables contained in each block, according to their major
similarities. The chi-square test was used in order to judge the assumptions made for, then check whether it was
recommended to use correspondence analysis.
In this sense, the similarity levels contained in attributes relating to organizational characteristics and the degree
of importance that each respondent gave to each attribute is related to pesticide used in the cultivation of coffee, resale
and the seller. Particularly, aims showing the similarity degree in the variables displayed in the hypotheses.
4. Results and Discussion
4.1 Formulation, validation and testing of hypotheses of the research
The results presented were obtained from cluster analysis of the variables of the blocks A, B, C, D and E (see Table
For block A, composed of the variables related to organizational characteristics, the final partition results in four
clusters. “Size” refers to the number of acres of property, joined or associated “quantity”, which is related to the amount of
coffee trees planted on the property, forms a small cluster.
The variables "buyer" which relates to the person who does the buying defensives, "rules" if the buyer informs
that follows rules and procedures for purchase, "property number" number of farms each respondent and "kind of
purchase" if the purchase is made for each property separately or for all, unite in another cluster. “Number of bags of
coffee” produced on the farm, alone constitutes a cluster, so does the “strategy”, which shows whether the respondent
believes that the purchase of pesticides is a strategic function.
The clusters formed from the association between the variables related to the nature of the purchase, that
compose the block B, showed that “packaging”, “location” (resale), and “promotion variety of products” (offered by resale)
in separate clusters and other block B variables are together in another cluster.
Regarding the clusters formed with the variables in block C, connected to sources of information, the variables
related to the seller: “honesty”, “information”, “friendliness”, “product knowledge”, “education”, “competence”, “simplicity”,
“reliability”, “experience”, for resale: availability of information the producer, and the product: the company's “reputation”
and “manufacturer” formed a cluster.
“Operating time on the market” and “multinational representative”, both related to the resale, are associated with
other body as brand (product) and the opinion of other producers (in relation to resale). The variable opinion of other
producers (for the product) is isolated in another grouping.
The groupings for the variables that make up the D block, linked to technical and educational background, showed
that concern about environmental issues (for resale) and active ingredient (product) are l inked and form a cluster. The
variables type of application and recommendations, both related to the product, are isolated each in its cluster.
Regarding the E block, consisting of variables related to satisfaction with previous purchase experiences, the
results were: “facility of finding it in the market” (product) is in a separate cluster. “Experience with prior use” (product)
and “technical assistance” linked to the sale of the product are in another cluster. Quality (for the product), the fact of
being satisfied with resale and “quality service” (provided by resale) are contained in a third cluster.
Based on the results of cluster analysis are formulated hypotheses of the research listed in section 3. After the
formation of clusters of hypotheses and construction preceded the Chi-square test, from which it was concluded that the
10% significance level, there is an association between the variables described in the hypotheses, because the p-values
were lower above this level. After confirming the existence of association between variables, we used the simple
correspondence analysis and multiple correspondence analyses, to verify the type of pattern similarity contained in the
variables listed in the events. Based on analyzes of correspondence, one can summarize the results of the verifications
hypothesis presented in Table 2.
Table 2 - Result of the Chi-square test for the variables described in the hypotheses
Type of buyer in relation to
Nº. property
The quantity of properties in relation to the
of 72.1842
of 72.1842
The number of properties in relation to the
The rapidity in the service in relation to
The service in terms of property in relation to
The price (in general) in relation to
The deadline for payment for the
The education of the seller for the
The experience of the seller for the
The active principle of the product used in relation to
Experience with previous use in relation to
The importance given to the satisfaction of the QA
producer of coffee with the resale in relation to
of liberty
Source: Prepared by the authors using simulation by means of the method of Monte Carlo suggested by Maroco (2007)
Based on these results we observe that the assumptions are acceptable from 1.1 to 5.2, due to the existence of an
association between the variables that compose them. It also accepts the hypothesis, since the proof of existence of an
association between the variables analyzed, constructed based on the theoretical perspective of Sheth, Mittal and Newman
(2001), makes the appropriate model to analyze and describe the attributes determinants for the purchase of pesticides
agricultural by coffee farmers in the region of Patrocínio.
4.2 Levels of importance given to the attributes of buying pesticides used in the cultivation of coffee
Following will be the presentation of the results collected through the survey regarding the level of importance
given by farmers to purchase attributes of agrochemicals used in its activity. According to the sum of concordant opinions,
attributes were classified as follows: unimportant (level 0), minor (levels 1, 2 and 3), medium importance (levels 4, 5, 6
and 7) and very important (levels 8, 9 and 10). Among the attributes that were classified as very important are considered
extremely important those who obtained more than 80% agreement among respondents.
4.2.1 Levels of importance given to product attributes
Farmers consider the attributes of price, quality, recommendation, reputation of the manufacturer, active
ingredient, using previous experience and technical assistance linked to the sale, all related to the product, as extremely
important. Quality showed the highest proportion of concordant: 98.13%, among the attributes of great importance.
Opinion by other producers showed the lowest proportion of concordant: 55.14%.
4.2.2 Levels of importance given to the attributes of resale
Among the attributes of the resale of pesticides, farmers indicated care (in general), variety of products it offers,
the fact that he was satisfied with the resale price charged (in general), payment term, concern about environmental issues
, call the property level, tracking and monitoring of applications and performance of the products, quality service, fast
service, held on the farm delivery, quick issuance of invoice, availability of information to the producer, extended payment
term, discounted payment in cash, credit facility in the release, quick release credit facility in the product release schedule
and functioning as being extremely important.
Among the attributes extremely important, discount for cash payments is what got greater agreement among
respondents: 98.14%. Only the attributes of time in the market, which are multinationals represent, location, view from
other producers and variety of payment arrangements were not considered of utmost importance.
4.2.3 Levels of importance attributes of the data vendor
Farmers agree that the attributes honesty, information, knowledge of techniques, product knowledge, education,
expertise and reliability are extremely important when analyzing the seller of agricultural pesticides. All were considered
extremely important. Moreover, proportionally, the attribute less agreement among respondents was the friendliness of
the salesperson.
4.3 Attributes that make impracticable the purchase
After surveying the levels of importance accorded to product attributes, and the resale of the seller up to the
grower asked what are the attributes that once nonexistent make impracticable the purchase. Attributes that were
considered as unfeasible to buying are those that obtained a degree of correlation exceeding 80%.
Respondents agreed on over 80%, which attributes the price, quality and active principle, related to the product,
are of high importance; to the point of nonexistence make impracticable the purchase. Regarding the attributes of the
resale were identified price charged (in general), and deadline for payment discount for cash payments.
The attributes linked to the salesperson were stood out, with 8 of the 10 being obtained above 80% agreement.
According to respondents the lack of honesty, information, knowledge of techniques, product knowledge, education,
competence, simplicity and seriousness on the part of the seller would make impracticable the purchase of pesticides for
the cultivation of coffee.
4.4 salient attributes, and important determinants for farmer Coffee
In Table 3, we present a comparison between the attributes with higher assignment of importance and those
which, once nonexistent, makes impracticable the purchase.
Table 3 - Attributes that, once a non-existent, precluded the purchase of agricultural pesticides used in the culture
of coffee.
Variety of Products
Easy to find it on the market
Type of application
View of other producers
Repute of the company manufacturer
Active Principle
Experience with previous use
Technical assistance related to the sale of the product.
Time of performance in the market
What are the multinationals that represents
Care (generally)
View of other producers
Variety of products that offers
Fact is satisfied with the resale
Price charged (generally)
Deadline for payment
Concern with environmental aspects
Attendance at the level of property
Monitoring and monitoring of applications and results of the product
Service Quality
Fast in attendance
Delivery takes place in the farm
Speed in invoice issuance and recipe
Availability of information to the producer
Deadline for payment extended
Discount for cash payment
Variety of methods of payment
Ease in the release of credit
Quickly in the release of credit
Ease in the release of the product
Hours of operation
Practical knowledge of technical
Product Knowledge
Source: Prepared by the authors on the basis of the research
From the results presented in Table 3, it is possible to identify what are important attributes and attributes
determining, according to the classification of Alpert (1971), exposed on basis of this research. The attributes highlighted
in Table 3 are considered extremely important, that is, those whose proportions of importance levels were greater than
80%. Also, were considered an essential point that his absences make impracticable the purchase.
As for the other attributes listed in Table 3, were considered important attributes those to which coffee farmers
attributed utmost importance. But when asked whether the absence of this attribute would make the purchase, less than
80% thought so. Through approach of Alpert (1971), besides the important attributes and determinants, there are also the
attributes that are salient attributes easily perceived by the consumer and does not influence the purchasing process.
Framed up here who were not identified as extremely important, nor that their absence would make impracticable the
4.5 Analysis of the classification of salient, important and determinants attributes
Table 4, allows us to observe that among the 14 attributes considered determinants, 8 attributes are linked to the
seller of agricultural pesticides; 3 connected to the product and other 3 connected to the resale.
From a total of 10 attributes related to the seller of pesticides, 8 were considered determinants, demonstrating
that the coffee farmer values the information received by the seller (i.e., the technical knowledge about the product).
Those 25 attributes related to the resale of pesticides only 3 were considered crucial by coffee farmers, being
delivery price, deadline for payment and discount for cash payment. All three linked to economic factors.
Of the 13 attributes related to the product, only 3 were considered crucial, and 2 refer to technical factors, and
quality active and 1 to economic factors, the price of the product. Considering the attributes determinants related to resale
and the product together, it is observed that most, 4 to 6 is on the offered price and payment terms, which reflects a major
concern to the rural producer of coffee with economic factors as for purchasing pesticides.
Among the 48 attributes analyzed in the study, 22 were classified as "important", 4 linked to the product, 16
linked to 2 other resale and the seller. Attributes related to product, 1 refers to technical factors, recommendations, 2 the
factors of supply, adequacy of the manufacturer and technical assistance linked to the sale of the product, and 1 refers to
factors of satisfaction and dissatisfaction with previous experience of buying, experience with previous use. Notice that
none of the four are linked to economic factors. With regard to the attributes Associated with resale, of a total of 25, 16
were classified the Significant, noting That the Majority Refers to factors of care and only 2 refer to economic factors,
Which are extended the deadline for payment and credit facility in the release. Only two attributes linked to the seller
were rated the important: experience and sympathy.
Attributes Determinants
Important Attributes
Active Principle
Price charged (generally)
Deadline for payment
Discount for cash payment
Practical knowledge of technical
Product Knowledge
Repute of the company manufacturer
Experience with previous use
Technical assistance related to the sale of the product
Care (generally)
Variety of products that offers
Fact is satisfied with the resale
Concern with environmental aspects
Attendance at the level of property
Monitoring and monitoring of applications and results of the
Service Quality
Fast in attendance
Delivery takes place in the farm
Speed in invoice issuance and recipe
Availability of information to the producer
Deadline for payment extended
Ease in the release of credit
Quickly in the release of credit
Ease in the release of the product
Hours of operation
Easy to find it on the market
Type of application
View of other producers
Salient Attributes
Variety of Products
Time of performance in the market
What are the multinationals that represents
View of other producers
Variety of methods of payment (can i pay with a check card,
duplicate in bank, etc.)
Table 4 – Classification of attributes analyzed in the study in salient, important and crucial
Source: Prepared by the authors on the basis of the research
Among the attributes classed as "salient", none is connected to the seller, which proves that the vendor factor is
highly valued by farmers of coffee. Of the total of 12 attributes this classification, 5 are connected to the product and 7 are
connected to resale. Linked to product attributes, 4 are linked to market factors: branding, packaging, ease of finding it in
the market and opinion from other producers. The rest is on the technical factors of the product, type of application.
Among the seven attributes related to resale, only 1 Refers to economic factors, variety of payment arrangements (e.g., can
I pay by check, card, bank bills).
For studies of buying behavior of the consumer farm, although I agree that the consumer should professionalize,
some studies have shown different results (Martins, 2001 and Silva, Scare and Casanova, 2008). The first states that the
consumer has already farming resembles industrial consumer when it comes to buying process, while the latter argue that
the professionalization of rural enterprises still do not occur in a structured and effective. Rossi, Neves and Carvalho
(2003) had already wounded to a conclusion similar to Silva, Scare and Casanova (2008), stating that the small and
medium producers have a purchasing behavior characteristics much closer to buying individual than organizational. They
admit that this can be explained by the familiar character and centralize the management of these properties. In our study
we showed that for agricultural users during the evaluation of alternatives, commercial aspects tend to exert more
influence than technical, because it does not seem to be consolidated in the minds of the producer. The producers seem to
have difficulty answering about which attributes are most important in choosing the product to be purchased, no choice of
parameters. Some emphasize aspects of the company manufacturing the product, other aspects of the product and its
features, and other prices. But, most of the evidence was the value assigned to the professional rather than technical
specifications resale.
5. Conclusion
Based on data collected with the survey and shown in Table 5, it was possible to answer the research problem,
defining which attributes are determinants of purchase for the coffee farmers of the region of Patrocínio. This delineation
was based on the definition of determinant attribute exposed by Alpert (1971) that classifies this type of attribute as
extremely important enough to that their absence makes impractical a purchase. From the theoretical perspective of
Sheth, Mittal and Newman (2001) exposed in its comprehensive model of buying behavior of the customer organization
was possible to get search results, better understanding the buying behavior of rural producer of coffee.
The analysis based on this approach was adequate and can generate, through a qualitative and exploratory
research, the development of a specific model that has focused on the buying behavior of consumers agricultural. Such a
model would be of great relevance for Brazilian agribusiness and fill a theoretical gap, currently busy with adaptations of
imported models that focus on the consumer industry. Regarding the model used, this research is limited because it is not
developed an etymological analysis of the concepts presented, restricting the analysis of the results of the theoretical
perspective Sheth, Mittal and Newman (2001). The most anticipated academic implication is that this study serves as a
means to instigate and motivate other researchers to develop studies on rural producers in general. It is hoped that this
study can serve as a model for research involving farmers in their various activities. With the instrument used in this
research, scholars can study this reproof for other agricultural consumers, since it is a general questionnaire and consists
of attributes common to most farmers, regardless of their activity. Although some authors suggest that the purchasing
decisions of consumers being confused agricultural and behavior resemble the behavior of the consumer rather than the
consumer behavior intermediary (ROSSI; NEVES and CARVALHO, 2003), in this study the determinant variables could be
adjusted in an interesting theoretical construct. Consumer agricultural is still far from the professionalism achieved by the
consumer industrial. However, the determinants represent a way of organizing themselves adaptable to social and
environmental condition of these farmers.
A recurring challenge for the development of this research was the lack of publications that have focused on
agriculture consumer behavior. Were rare research found that the main objective is to study this type of client. For this
reason, it is expected that this research should encourage research to understand the peculiarities of this important
consumer not only for Brazil but for all countries that have a significant agricultural base constituting its economy. Finally,
the analysis developed in this study indicate that there is a vast field to be investigated to better understanding about
consumer behavior agriculture, especially in business to business relations or organizational buying model.
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ASSAEL, H. (1992). Consumer Behavior and Marketing Action (4th ed.). Boston: BWS Kent.
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Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.
ENGEL, J., BALCKWELL, R., & MINIARD, P. (1995). Consumer Behavior (8th ed.). Chicago: Dryden-Press.
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JOAS, L.F.K. (2002). Atributos Determinantes para Compra de Medicamentos Via Internet. Dissertação de Mestrado,
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.
MARTINS, A. C. C. (2001). Valor para o cliente: uma análise no ramo de agronegócios. Dissertação de Mestrado em
Administração, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.
MARTINS, G. A., & THEÓPHILO, A. R. (2009). Metodologia da investigação científica para ciências sociais aplicadas. 2ª ed.
São Paulo: Atlas.
MATTAR N. F. (2001). Pesquisa de Marketing. 3ª ed. São Paulo: Atlas.
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Editora Atlas.
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Economia e Sociologia Rural – SOBER - Recife - PE.
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paulistas em relação a fertilizantes foliares. In: XLI SOBER, Juiz de Fora - MG: Sociedade Brasileira de Economia,
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do Rio Grande do Sul. Dissertação de Mestrado em Administração, Programa de Pós-Graduação em
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Mobile phone surveys to measure consumer
behavior: effects on data quality
Consumer behavior, mobile phones, surveys, data quality
Paula Vicente, ISCTE-IUL, BRU-IUL,
Inês Lopes, BRU-IUL,
The rapid growth of mobile phone ownership has opened up new opportunities for collecting data about
consumers. Mobile phones are increasingly used to conduct surveys and this trend is likely to continue. However, the use
of mobile phones to conduct surveys may pose some problems to data quality due to the specific characteristics of mobile
phone communications.
This paper evaluates the effect of mobile phones on data quality. Specifically, it is investigated whether the
respondent’s location at the time of the interview - at home vs. elsewhere - affects the accuracy of response, completeness
and interview length.
Evidence was found that when the respondent is not at home during the interview data quality may be negatively
affected. The study also highlights the importance of considering several indicators of response quality when assessing
data quality.
1. Introduction
Marketing researchers strive to find the best way to reach consumers in order to collect information that allows
their choices and attitudes to be analyzed (Adamowicz et al. 2008). Over time, data collection methods have changed but
telephone surveys have become the dominant mode in the marketing survey field since the mid 1980s, especially in North
America and Western European countries where high rates of telephone coverage have been achieved. The preference for
telephone over face-to-face surveys is justified for several reasons: low cost, speed, simplicity of control, homogeneity in
completing the questionnaire and elimination of difficulties in contacting people or households being surveyed (Zickmund
& Babin 2007). The use of fixed phone as a tool to conduct surveys implies that the households equipped with fixed
telephones are representative of the whole population; in other words, on one hand it assumes that the fixed telephone
equipment rate is high, and on the other that households not equipped with a fixed telephone do not demonstrate atypical
behavior for the variables under study.
Changes in the configuration of telephone coverage reveal that telephone surveys are becoming less viable.
Statistics on telephone access show that the coverage provided by fixed phone in some European countries has already
fallen below 60% and is tending to decrease (European Commission 2008). In a scenario of decreased validity of fixed
phone surveys mobile phones appear as a “natural” alternative to fixed phones. Communication is essentially the same 
both modes rely on oral conversation , CATI systems developed for fixed phone surveys are applicable to mobile phones
and the speed of fieldwork completion, which is given as the major advantage of telephone surveys, is likely to be
maintained with mobile phones (Kuusela et al. 2008). Although the cost of calling mobile phones is even higher than
calling fixed phones, it is going down. Additionally, the mobile phone is a personal device carried at all times, thus making
the person accessible at any moment of the day. As a result, consumers who were previously difficult to reach may now be
more accessible (Kuusela & Simpanen 2002, Döring 2009). Given that mobile phone surveys are likely to become
increasingly prevalent as a marketing research tool, it is relevant to investigate the methodological issues associated with
this survey mode.
The use of mobile phones to conduct surveys may pose some problems for data quality which result for example
from audio quality, the location of the respondent at the time of the interview or other activities in which the mobile phone
respondents may be engaged during the interview (AAPOR 2010). Whereas a person who answers the telephone at a fixed
number is almost certainly at home, possibly available and even willing to give the time required to answer the survey
questions, someone contacted by mobile phone may be in the street, in a public place or in an environment with many
distractions. The noise and the surrounding people can be the cause of confusion and a lack of privacy that interferes w ith
concentration and may consciously or unconsciously inhibit responses (Steeh 2004). Furthermore, as people engage in
more multitasking when speaking on mobile phones, respondents give the question-answering task less attention and this
may encourage satisficing in mobile surveys (Lavrakas et al. 2007). Additionally, if respondents are in a public place
surrounded by others, they may also feel pressured to give socially desirable answers (Brick et al. 2007, Lynn & Kaminska
2011). Concern for data quality may also be heightened by the bad quality of the connection due to poor network coverage
in certain areas or by sudden interruptions to conversations due to battery failure. These specific characteristics of mobile
phone communications are sufficient to hypothesize that data quality may be affected in mobile phone surveys.
Prior research on data quality in mobile phone surveys has focused on making a comparison with fixed phone
surveys in order to reveal mode differences. A number of studies have found few differences between data collected via
mobile phones and fixed phones. Roy and Vanheuverzwyn (2002) found consistency in results between mobile and fixed
phone surveys in a survey comparing radio listening estimates. The level of detail and richness of information in openended responses was studied by Dipko et al. (2005) and no significant differences were found between mobile and fixed
phone responses. Brick et al. (2007) investigated duration of the interviews, response to sensitive questions, the
percentage of items with missing data and response to open-ended questions and found significant differences only for the
first two issues. The comparison of survey estimates from the mobile and fixed phone survey in the research by Link et al.
(2007) revealed significant differences in only two of the ten variables examined.
Although the existing research suggests that the mobile phone can be treated in the same way as the fixed phone
when designing and implementing surveys, there has not yet been enough research into the mobile phone as an
interviewing device (Callegaro & Poggio 2004; Brick et al. 2007; Lavrakas et al. 2007) to permit conclusive knowledge
about it effects on data quality.
Surveys are of great importance in marketing and consumer behavior research but in most cases the investigation
is more focused on response rates and its determinants and less on the accuracy and usefulness of the data (e.g. Furse et al.
1982, Fox et al. 1988, Deutskens et al. 2004). The particular characteristics of mobile phone surveys and mobile phone
respondents can lead to specific results and influence data quality. This study evaluates how the use of mobile phones to
conduct surveys affects data quality. Specifically, it is investigated whether the respondent’s location at the time of the
interview - at home vs. elsewhere - affects the responses to a set of behavior and attitudinal items. If differences are found,
decision-makers should give careful thought to the use of data from mobile phone interviews, especially when the location
of the respondent at the time of the interview is not controlled.
2. Methodology
A mobile phone survey was conducted in 2012 to collect information on the use and attitudes towards mobile
phones of Portuguese mobile phone users (aged  15 years). Sample selection was not list-assisted as there is no database
of listed mobile phone numbers. Instead, the numbers to contact were randomly generated. Among the 11,470 numbers
dialed, 1,808 were found to non eligible (because they were not working, were disconnected or not attributed or were
owned/used by someone aged below 15 years).
Marktest was identified as the survey sponsor and this had a positive effect on cooperation since Marktest is one
of the most well known survey companies operating in Portugal. The interviews were conducted from the company’s CATI
centre. A total of n=1,501 completed interviews was obtained, 1,083 of which were conducted with mobile phone users
that were at home at the time of interview.
The questionnaire included: (1) a section on mobile phone ownership with questions about the number of mobile
phones owned/used, type of contract, monthly expense, (2) a section on mobile phone use with questions about number of
calls and SMS sent and received, and a battery of 13 items using an ordinal scale of 4 categories (never to always)
regarding the frequency of turning the mobile phone off or setting on silent mode, (3) a section on attitudes towards
mobile phones which included a battery of 20 attitudinal items using an ordinal scale of 4 categories (totally disagree to
totally agree), and (4) a section of demographics. The questionnaire also contained the question: “Are you at home or
somewhere else at this moment?” A response of “somewhere else” was followed up with the question “Where are you?”
The answers obtained included at work, in someone else’s home, in the car, in the street, in the shopping center, at a
Data quality was analyzed considering two types of indicator of response quality: (1) indicators of satisficing,
which reveal the respondent’s failure either to devote sufficient attention to the interview or to make sufficient effort to
fully complete the questionnaire and (2) indicators of socially desirable answers, which reveal the respondent’s
unwillingness to give true answers (Lynn & Kaminska 2011). The indicators of satisficing examined were: (a) item
omissions, (b) agreeing, i.e., the tendency to answer “agree” in ordinal measured items, (c) rounding answers, i.e., the
tendency to give round answers instead of accurate answers and (d) interview length.
Item omission has frequently been used as an indicator of poor data quality as it is measured by the “don’t know”
or “no opinion” responses (De Leeuw & van der Zouwen 1988). Item omissions was estimated by the proportion of “don’t
know” or “no opinion” responses that each respondent gave to the monthly expense question, to the 4 items of mobile
phone use (open-ended questions), to the 13 items of mobile phone use (ordinal scale questions) and to the 20 attitudinal
The questions with ordinal scale response categories in a battery of “agree/disagree” items were found to be
particularly susceptible to acquiescence bias, in which respondents tended to agree with assertions in the question,
irrespective of their content (Krosnick et al. 2005). Therefore, agreeing was estimated as the proportion of “agree”
answers across the 20 attitudinal items.
The tendency to round answers was measured by a binary indicator of whether the response to the monthly
expense question was a multiple of five Euros; for the 2 items concerning the number of calls made and received per day
the proportion of answers multiple of ten was computed; the same computation was made for the 2 items regarding the
number of SMS’s sent and received per day. Interview length was measured in minutes.
Ten indicators of social desirability bias based on 10 questionnaire items were evaluated. A dichotomous indicator
of the (more) socially desirable answer was constructed for each item believed to have social desirability connotations.
The proportion of socially desirable answers was computed for each item.
The analysis began by comparing the demographic characteristics of mobile phone users interviewed at home and
mobile phone users interviewed elsewhere. The latter group included respondents that were in the street, at work, in
another person’s home, shopping, in the car (not driving), on public transport.
Second, the various response quality indicators were analyzed across the two groups of respondents. In general, it
was expected to see more satisficing and more socially desirable answers in interviews conducted somewhere other than
at home. Several binary logistic regression models were estimated using as dependent variable the “interview location”,
coded as 1 for at home and 0 for elsewhere, and each of the data quality indicators as independent variables.
3. Results
3.1 Demographic characteristics of mobile phone users
Our analysis began with an evaluation of subsample equivalence in terms of demographic characteristics of
mobile phone users at home and elsewhere. Table 1 shows the percentage distribution of five demographic characteristics
for each sample.
A significant association was found between interview location and demographics (p<0. 01), concerning sex, age
and occupation. Overall, the associations are summarized as follows:
 Sex – a higher percentage of males (61.5%) was found in the elsewhere group; in the at home group only
46.5% are males;
 Age – the at home group has a higher percentage of older people (26.1%) than the elsewhere group (19.1%)
and a lower percentage of 25-34 year old people (18.5% vs. 25.5%);
 Occupation – the elsewhere group has higher percentages of people with an occupation, either boss (6.7% vs.
4.1% in the at home group), self-employed (10.8% vs. 7.7% in the at home group) or employed (60.3% vs.
46.8% in the at home group); a lower percentage of people in another situation (retired people, housewives,
students) was found in the elsewhere group than in the at home group (22.2% vs. 41.5%).
Table 1 – Selected demographic characteristics of mobile phone users interviewed at home
vs. elsewhere (%)
Educational level
Boss (with employees)
Other situation
Region of residence
Metropolitan Area of Lisbon
Metropolitan Area of Porto
Archipelagos of Madeira and
At home
2(1) =27.00; p=0.000
2(4) =16.12; p=0.003
2(2) =4.12; p=0.128
2(3) =49.42; p=0.000
2(5) =2.70; p=0.747
Because there are compositional differences between at home and elsewhere respondents it will be necessary to
account for those differences when making the comparisons regarding data qual ity. Occupation is the demographic
characteristic more strongly associated with interview location (2(3)=49.42; p=0.000) and in consequence will be included
as a covariate in all subsequent analyses. Despite the significant association found between interview location and sex and
age, these variables will not be included as covariates because a significant correlation was detected between them and
3.2 Response quality
Significant differences were found between the two groups in four indicators of satisficing (Table 2): the
proportion of don’t knows regarding monthly expense of the mobile phone was lower in at home interviews (p<0.1), the
proportion of don’t knows across the 13 items on the frequency with which the mobile phone is set on silent mode or
turned off was higher in at home interviews (p<0.1), the proportion of “agree” responses was lower in at home interviews
(p<0.1) and the proportion of rounded answers about the number of calls made and received per day items was lower in
at home interviews. These indicators suggest less satisficing in at home interviews, with the exception of the proportion of
don’t knows across the 13 ordinal items.
Table 2 – Differences in indicators of satisficing between interviews at home and elsewhere
Don’t knows “monthly expense” item
Don’t knows “4 items of mobile phone use”
Don’t knows “13 ordinal scale items of mobile phone use”
Don’t knows “20 attitudinal items”
Rounding “calls made/received”
Rounding “SMS’s sent/received”
Rounding “monthly expense”
Interview length (minutes)
When comparing indicators of socially desirable answers, differences were found in four items (Table 3). The
proportion of mobile phone users saying the bill of the mobile phone is paid by the company in which they work
(p<0.001), the proportion of mobile phone users saying they are intensive/heavy users of the mobile phone (p<0.1), the
proportion of mobile phone users that reported a high number (more than 6) of calls made per day (p<0.001) and the
proportion of mobile phone users that reported a high number (more than 8) of calls received per day (p<0.01) is lower
among at home interviews, suggesting a tendency to give more socially desirable answers in elsewhere interviews.
Table 3 – Differences in indicators of socially desirable answers between interviews at home and elsewhere
Number of mobile phones used regularly: 2+
Type of contract : monthly
Mobile phone expenses: paid by the company
Type of use of mobile phone: “intensive or heavy”
Main contributor to household income: the respondent
Expense per month (> 3rd quartile = 20 euros)
Number of calls made/day (> 3rd quartile = 6 calls)
Number of calls received/day (> 3rd quartile = 8 calls)
Number of SMS sent/day (> 3rd quartile = 10 SMS)
Number of SMS received/day (> 3rd quartile = 10 SMS)
4. Conclusions and Implications
The outcomes suggest that there are differences between the demographic characteristics of people interviewed
at home and those interviewed outside home. The tests conducted reveal that respondents who were not at home at the
time of the interview were more likely to have an occupation than those interviewed at home.
The outcomes suggest that there are differences between the data quality of interviews conducted at home and
those conducted elsewhere. The tests revealed significant differences in terms of indicators of satisficing and suggest that
data quality tends to be lower in interviews conducted outside the respondent’s home: there was a greater tendency for
elsewhere respondents to round answers about the number of calls made and received, not to give the monthly mobile
phone expenses and to agree with attitudinal items. Contrary to expectations, interview length did not vary with interview
location. We expected elsewhere interviews to take longer to complete due to communication problems which could cause
difficulties for example in hearing and answering questions but this was not verified. This probably indicates that, when
taking a call, respondents move to a quieter place at the start of the interview, or only agree to cooperate with the survey if
they feel they are somewhere that does not hinder conversation.
The differences found suggest a greater social desirability bias in elsewhere interviews. Despite a correlation
between the four items of socially desirable answers and occupation has been detected, the analysis reveals that the
differences in data quality between at home and elsewhere interviews are beyond occupation differences. This suggests
that the characteristics of the interview setting are different at home and out of home, and this affects the way people
answer the questions.
The differences identified suggest that, when collecting data in mobile phone surveys, data quality issues warrant
at least as much attention as response rate issues. The fact that there were significant differences in several data quality
indicators indicates that researchers should consider multiple indicators when assessing data quality and that reliance
upon a single indicator may lead to simplistic and inaccurate conclusions.
This work received financial support from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia through the PTDC/EGEGES/116934/2010 project.
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Competing Research Methods: What’s behind
Methodology; Research Methods; Qualitative; Quantitative; Triangulation.
Ivo Cardoso, Universidades Lusíada,
Raquel Reis, Universidades Lusíada,
Researchers can choose between three types of methods: qualitative, quantitative or triangulation. However, there is some
controversy among those preferring either qualitative or quantitative research approaches. Undoubtedly, each one has its
own advantages and disadvantages. So, the main question is to understand which methodology is preferred by researchers
and what the main motivation behind it is. Therefore, this paper aims to find out what is the research method, or methods,
employed by researchers from a University in the North of Portugal. Moreover, this study aims to find out if there is any
relation between participants’ preferences and their respective background.
In this exploratory research, it was used a qualitative methodology, 9 semi-structured interviews being conducted with
lecturers in the management and marketing field.
It was found that quantitative research is the most applied methodology. However, interviewees would theoretically
prefer either qualitative research or triangulation. This seems to be explained by lecturers when arguing that quantitative
research is “easier” to conduct and, generally, more accepted in academic journals and conferences. Thus, lecturers who
would prefer to employ qualitative methods decide to do triangulation. At same time, it was noticeable that lecturers who
prefer quantitative methods also start to employ triangulation since they believe that academia needs to move on from the
“quantitative only research”.
Thus, these findings indicate that qualitative research is not so used due to some constraints, such as time and financ ial
resources to conduct the research and difficulty in organizing data and access.
Companies focused on customers’ needs should have a good marketing management. This means that they should collect
much information as possible from their customers and their competitors.
Only this way, organizations can plan, execute, control and outline strategies to pursue in order to obtain maximum
efficiency. In this context, market studies play a key role as a process of providing the information necessary and essential
to the achievement of marketing objectives.
This study aims to find out what is the most used research method by lecturers from a University in North of Portugal,
particularly, if they prefer to use qualitative research, quantitative research or the triangulation method.
Thus, this paper starts with a literature review on market research, followed by the description of the methodology
applied in this study, results achieved and discussion, research limitations, future research and, finally, the conclusions.
2. Literature Review
2.1. Market Research
The increasingly competitive markets lead to the need of establishment and achievement of clear goals by enterprises. As
such, the market research, also known as marketing research, is an essential tool to collect the information necessary to
achieve these goals.
According to Mattar (1995) the first market studies are from 1910 in the U.S.A,. as a result of the Industrial Revolution.
Thereafter, the market studies evolved registering a higher growth in the 50 and 60 decades (Mattar, 1995). Various
authors had contributed to this development, among which are Evrard, Pras & Roux (1993), Churchill (1987), Lambin
(1990) and Marchetti (1996).
According to the American Marketing Association (1987, 1, 14), Marketing research is defined as:
“the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information --information used to identify
and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing a ctions; monitor marketing
performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to
address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collec tion process,
analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications. ”
Green & Tull (1974) had concisely defined the process of marketing research as the collection and analysis of relevant data
to the identification and resolution of marketing problems of an organization.
2.2. Phases of Market research
Accordingly to Kotler & Keller (2008), the development of a market study should consist of four key steps:
1) definition of the market study problem and aims
2) development of the research plan for data collection.
3) implementation of market research - Collection and analysis of data.
4) interpretation and presentation of results.
Although many other authors have proposed other methods in the specification of each stage, all of them turn out to be
quite similar.
2.2.1. Definition of market study problem and aims
To Mcdaniel & Gates (2005) the crucial step of the process is the correct definition of the problem. A wrongly defined
problem means that the remaining developed process will be incorrect, causing poorly defined objectives and
consequently a loss of financial resources and time. Malhotra, Rock, Laudisio, Altheman, & Borges (2005) add that the
research can be made after both, researcher and marketer, correctly define and agree on the problem for research.
Lopes (2010) also refers that the lack of information that allows marketers to take appropriate decisions are, in most
cases, the reasons and problems that lead to the market study execution. The problems may be related to the consumer,
packaging, product, distribution channels, advertising or market itself. After defining the problem it should be set the
goal(s) of the market study.
2.2.2. Types of market research
Even during the 1st phase, the researcher should choose the type of research that best fits his objectives: exploratory
research, descriptive research or causal research. According to Vieira (2002) exploratory research aims to improve the
relationship between the researcher and the problem under investigation, trying to simplify complex problems through
the exploration of ideas. To Malhotra et al (2005) the exploratory research aims at the discovery of ideas and information.
For these authors the main features of exploratory research are flexibility and versatility. The methods used to conduct
this type of research are surveys and pilot studies, case studies, secondary data and qualitative research.
To Churchill (1987) descriptive research consists of understanding and interpreting reality as it is, without interfering or
modifying it. Vieira (2002) adds that descriptive research is typically used for large samples and is based on the use of
questionnaires. Malhotra et al (2005) state that the purpose of descriptive research is to describe features or functions of
the market, which has as main characteristics the previous formulation of specific hypotheses (pre-planned and structured
model). The methods used to conduct this type of research are secondary data, surveys, panels and observation data.
For Vieira (2002: 65) the causal/experimental research "deliberately manipulates some aspect of reality. It is used to obtain
evidence of cause and effect.” Malhotra et al (2005) argues that the goal is to determine relationships of cause - effect and
that its main features are the manipulation of one or more independent variables and the control of other measurement
variables. The most used method for performing this type of research are the formulations and testing of hypotheses.
After the description of these three types of research modes the following question could be raised: What type of research
is currently used predominantly by researchers? In this sense, Sampaio, Perin,, Luce, Saints, Santini, Oliveira and Lenz
(2012: 463, fig. 2) conducted a study in order to get an answer to this question in Brazil. Their results showed that in the
90s the descriptive and exploratory studies were the most used empirical studies. However, from 2000 causal studies
began gaining preference. As a result of this change, nowadays it seems that the three types of research are similar in
terms of preference of marketing researchers.
2.3. Implementation of market research - data collection and analysis
At this stage, the 3rd phase of the process of the market study preparation, the researcher must choose one of the forms of
primary data collection. He should choose between quantitative research, qualitative research or triangulation (mix of
qualitative / quantitative methods).
2.3.1. Qualitative research
Lopes (2010), Malhotra et al (2005) and Mcdaniel & Gates (2005) stated that qualitative research is the one that is based
on understanding. It seeks information through interviews and group discussions. The interviews generally do not have a
pre-defined structure, i.e. the researcher may choose to use structured, semi-structured or unstructured interviews in
accordance with the objectives and purpose of the research. Thus, using semi-structured or unstructured interviews the
researcher can change the questions as the interview proceeds, in order to achieve greater efficiency in data collection.
This freedom allows the researcher to perceive the thoughts, behaviors and attitudes of interviewees. Sometimes, there is
the need to employ qualitative research methods due to the need to understand the factors underlying the research
problem. This kind of research usually explores small sample sizes typically ranging from 10 to 30 interviews.
2.3.2. Quantitative research
According to Lopes (2010) and Malhotra et al (2005) this research method is based on facts. It attends to quantify data
resulting from large samples using statistical analysis. In this research method, unlike qualitative method, it may be harder
to understand thoughts, opinions, behaviors and attitudes of interviewees. The same questions are made to all
interviewees, generalizing the results obtained.
2.3.3. Quantitative versus qualitative research
Malhotra et al (2005) and Mcdaniel & Gates (2005) summarize the main differences between these research methods
(Tables 1 and 2). However, Mcdaniel & Gates (2005) go deeper over the theme since they compare a bigger number of
research characteristics compared to Malhotra et al (2005).
Table 1: Differences between qualitative and quantitative research according to Malhotra et al (2005: 114, table 6.1)
Data collection
Data analysis
Qualitative Research
Obtain a qualitative understanding of the
reasons and the basic motives
Number of non-representative cases
Develop an initial understanding
Quantitative Research
Quantify the data and generalize sample
results to the population of interest
Great number of representative cases
Recommend a course of action end
Table 2: Differences between qualitative and quantitative research according to Mcdaniel & Gates (2005: 46, table 4.1)
Question type
Sample size
Amount of information
from each interviewee
Management requirements
Type of analysis
Level of replicability
Qualitative Research
Quantitative Research
Narrowly investigative
Interviewer with special abilities
Subjective, interpretive
Tape recorders, projection devices, video,
pictures, discussion guides
Interviewer with less special abilities
Statistical, calculations
Questionnaires, computers, printed, book
Statistical, decision models, decision
support systems, computer programming,
marketing, marketing research
Descriptive or causal
Researcher Training
Psychology, sociology, consumer behavior,
marketing, marketing research
Research type
2.3.4. Triangulation
According Mcdaniel & Gates (2005) the combination of qualitative and quantitative research in a single study is becoming
common for marketing researchers. This is due to the fact that both methods, used in the same study, improve the
efficiency of both. The use of quantitative research, preceding the qualitative research, allows the researcher to develop
smaller and targeted questionnaires, obtaining greater research efficiency and less costly. However, depending on the
research objectives, the two methods can be employed in reverse order. To Malhotra et al (2005: 115), "quantitative
research needs to be preceded by the appropriate qualitative research ... Sometimes qualitative re search is undertaken to
explain the findings obtained by quantitative research." In contrast, Mcdaniel & Gates (2005: 47) consider that "the patterns
shown in quantitative research can be enriched with the addition of qualitative information on the reasons and motivations of
3. Methodology
3.1. Research Design
The purpose of this study is to show which research methods, qualitative research, quantitative and / or triangulation is
the most employed by researchers from a University in the North of Portugal. Likewise, this study aims to find out if there
is any relation between participants’ preferences and their respective background. In order to obtain information about
the researchers’ perceptions and opinions on this issue, this exploratory research was applied a qualitative methodology,
including 9 semi-structured interviews.
3.2. Definition and sample selection
Data was collected from the university academic services, the total population size being 27 researchers. The sample was
purposeful and consisted of 9 researchers who were selected by the researcher to obtain as much information as possible
about the purpose of the study (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2000).
The researchers selected were invited to participate in this study by e-mail in which the interview guide was attached.
Therefore, all the selected researchers had the opportunity to be familiarized with the topic of the interview. After
confirmation of acceptance by researchers it was scheduled individual interviews with each participant.
Thus, this study was focused on a non-probabilistic sample, purposeful and included 33.3% of the total population, which
corresponds to 9 professors, 5 females and 4 males, all with a PhD degree.
3.3. Data Collection
For the collection of data an individual and semi-structured interview with each participant was conducted. The interview
was recorded for further analysis. In order to safeguard the identity of each participant a numeric code was used for each
interviewee. The interview guide included the following questions:
1. What are the courses that you are currently teaching as a professor in the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the
2. What is your training area in graduation?
3. What is your training area in the Master?
4. What is your training area in PhD?
5. Which of the research methods presented did you use in your master's thesis?
6. Which of the research methods presented did you use in your PhD thesis?
7. If the interviewee has changed the research method used in the master's thesis for the PhD thesis, ask why this change.
8. If the interviewee method was the same in both ask why the maintenance method of study?
9. What is your preference in terms of research methods: quantitative research, qualitative research or triangulation?
10. What is the research method that can be more effectively to obtain the necessary information for the identification of
customer needs?
3.4. Analysis of data collected
The information collected was analyzed in order to contemplate the research aims. The information was treated following
the tables of data reduction proposed by Miles and Huberman (1994), following these steps: a) reduction of information,
b) disposal and transformation of information, c) results achievement.
3.5. Public policy and ethics
To ensure confidentiality and ethics of this study, participants were asked if they would allow the use of their identity and
agree to record the interview in audio format. All participants authorized both. However, in order to guarantee the
identities of participants interviewed it was decided to replace their names by numerical references.
4. Results
In table 3 the summarized data on the interviewees is presented. Below, the summary of each interview is presented.
Table 3: Summary of interviewees information
Degree in:
Master in:
management and
PhD in:
Master thesis
PhD thesis
Economy and
social policy
management and
Social economy and
management and
economy and
1 – The interviewee # 1 states that the research methods "are like a toolbox", so you must use the research method that
best suits the purpose, the object of the problem and the constraints of the research, as time and resources available. He
also states that "has no membership card of any search method", i.e. he does not have preference for any of the methods, he
uses that or those methods that are more convenient for the study in order to obtain the maximum possible information
needed. As a reflex of this viewpoint there was a change in the method of research between master's thesis and the PhD
thesis since, according to the interviewee, the circumstances demanded it. The interviewee recognizes that he feels most
comfortable in the use of quantitative methods. He also states that his training in sociology allowed him to experience the
use of various methods and he acknowledges that the training area is undoubtedly a very strong influence in the
use/choice of research methods. In the current market context, the interviewee mentions that the best way to obtain
customer information is through qualitative research since "the consumer lies" when answering to quantitative
questionnaires. So, the only way to avoid this is through the use of qualitative research methods, such as observation in the
"consumers´ habitat, at the time of purchase, in the act of consuming the product."
During the interview the interviewee was always very comfortable and very secure in his opinions. He proved to be always
available and reported several examples.
2 – The interviewee #2 refers that his preference is the use of triangulation because he considers it to be the most
comprehensive research method. However, states that if due to constraints, such as time and resources, he will choose to
use just one research method. In this case, he would use the quantitative method. The interviewee says that "in marketing
we have to make decisions based on actual data, quantified goals" and therefore one should not exclude the use of the
quantitative method. However, when possible it should be used triangulation. The interviewee also notes that the
academic training has influence in the use and preference of a research method. In the current market context, the
participant states that to internally analyze an organization it will be enough the use of qualitative research. But, to analyze
the external market it will be required the use of triangulation or quantitative research due to the size of the
The interviewee was always very confident, sure of his opinions and sincere.
3 – To the interviewee # 3 the preferred research method to use is the qualitative research because this method is more
focused to his areas of interest: the Management. He refers that firstly the investigator should identify the purpose of the
study and then define the methodology to use. The interviewee mentions that "there is the idea that qualitative research is
not scientific, it is to talk about some things without scientific rigor." He also states that in England, unlike in Portugal,
qualitative research has a more "scientific" credibility and acceptance by academic community and publishers.
Interestingly, he also mentions that, in some universities of Portugal, the students in a doctoral program have classes of
quantitative methods but not on qualitative methods. Thus, these students are somehow being influenced to follow the
quantitative method which is harming science by making it less rich and more uniform. Thus, the academic area and even
the country of graduation, appears to influence the preference for the research method. It is also noticed that some
students choose to use the quantitative research because they consider it easier for analysis and processing. In the current
market context, the interviewee states that, “depending on the sample size, the qualitative research or triangulation are the
most appropriate methods due to new market trends such as co-creation of value.”
Throughout the interview the interviewee showed interest in this study, showing a preference for qualitative research.
4 - The interviewee #4 refers that the first degree? has a high influence on the use/choice of the research method. In
engineering everything has to be quantified, everything has to be measured, because it is based on those measurements
that one can make decisions. He considers that in the engineering field there are not many opportunities for the use of
qualitative methods. "The numbers are measurable, they are forever." However, the interviewee also referred that "it really
depends on the background?; we should not be too closed." He agues that lecturers with degrees in math areas have default
preference for quantitative research, while researchers with social sciences degrees have per si a preference for qualitative
methods. The participant also says that there is an additional difficulty in publishing articles entirely qualitative. In the
current market context, the interviewee understands the use of the method of qualitative research by the marketers, but
believes that triangulation might be more appropriate, as it contains quantified data that support the decisions. So, the
preference of using the research method by this participant falls on quantitative research methods.
During the interview, the participant showed up interested, convinced of his opinions but also flexible to other points of
5 - The interviewee #5 has a preference towards qualitative research, but recognizes that “we cannot always do what we
prefer due to constraints, such as time”. It also acknowledges that "there are surveys that ask purely quantitative methods."
The choice of method can be "influenced by personality, by involvement between the investigator and the research ".
Researchers with more relational personalities may feel more comfortable with qualitative research. The participant
demonstrates some concern about the quality of research that students tend to do – the "research fast food". Sometimes,
students choose more the quantitative method because it is quicker and easier to analyze. The interviewee emphasizes
that the trend of marketing research in other countries is the qualitative method. Nevertheless, Portugal is still a little
behind and, therefore, it has been highlighted the use of triangulation, a result of a "fashion" that is being installed. It´ s
common the difficulty in publish articles entirely qualitative and therefore researchers feel obliged to use triangulation.
The “quantitative researchers” want to follow this fashion and they will also want to use the triangulation method. This
situation will continue until the researchers realize that they must do what they like and what is more appropriate for the
research aims. In the current market context, the interviewee stated that "I would be very unfair if I said that the ideal
method of research to identify customer needs is the qualitative method”. Therefore, it seems that it all depends on the
purpose of the study. The marketer should use the research method that best suits his goals, the theme and the respective
During the interview, the interviewee expressed himself with some emotion that reveals his appreciation and interest in
this topic. He was confident and comfortable in addressing the issues discussed.
6 – The interviewee #6 refers the difficulty in publishing qualitative data in scientific journals, noting that to have
quantitative data is always a requisite to publish. Therefore, it seems that it is easier to publish quantitative than
qualitative research. He argues that "any good scientific work should contain both parts: the quantitative and qualitative"
and that "a lecturer must always do research because he is not satisfied with what just come in manuals prepared by others."
The interviewee says that "creation is a profoundly human thing.... Scientific articles are not emotional; they are rational and
always try to prove something". It was noted that the participant have a preference for the use of triangulation. However,
that the participant highlights that he uses several research methods, using the one that is more appropriate regarding the
purpose and object of the study.
7 – To participant #7 the preferred research method is the qualitative because he considers it to be the most
comprehensive research method and because he "likes dealing with people". In quantitative research data is obtained
faster. Yet he considers that these studies are always limited and has doubts in the honesty of respondents’ answers. In
addition to the researchers’ background, he also believes that personality and personal characteristics are important in the
selection of the research method. Whenever possible, this researcher likes to use the triangulation method, since he
considers that the mix of two research methods complement each other. Regarding the difficulty in publishing, the
interviewee admits that "sometimes we have to submit ourselves to the game rules and we must draw up articles containing
quantitative data”. The interviewee gives an example concerning the identification of consumer needs, considering that the
best method to be used is the qualitative since only through direct observation the researcher can ensure that consumers
do not lie.
Throughout the interview the participant always maintained a confident and participative attitude.
8 - The interviewee # 8 argues that the research method to be applied in a study depends on the purpose of the same. For
example, macroeconomic studies with data from reputable international databases need to be worked through the
quantitative research method. For queries related to consumer perceptions, the qualitative method is more appropriate.
However, the use of triangulation enriches the study given that both methods are complementary. He also says that "there
is no fundamental method or one better than the other". The use of research methods depend on the scope of the study
itself, depend on whether “we study the level of human behavior or if we study the level of a sector activity”. The participant
also notes that by using the triangulation method, if the results of both research methods are very different, the
investigator should formulate a new research question; i.e. he should do more research and find out the reasons for those
results. Also she refers that, mainly in economic databases, the statisticians need to use qualitative studies to formulate
and create indexes. This seems to reflect that both research methods are essential and they both complement each other.
The interviewee also says that, in fact, there is pressure, by the journals where researchers attempt to publish, to use
quantitative methods. However, he considers that this situation will change whereas the trend is the use of triangulation
and also that qualitative methods will gain greater acceptance in scientific journals.
Throughout the interview the participant always maintained a confident stance, always giving opinions based on a lot of
examples, including examples of studies prepared by him.
9 – The researcher # 9 prefers to use quantitative methods due to his background area being closely related to
mathematics and statistics. Also, he justifies his choice saying that he is better able to use these methods and also believes
that these methods are easier to treat. Despite this, the interviewee argues that there is no better method than the other,
but that nowadays he feels the need to work the qualitative methods, using whenever possible the triangulation "lately I
consider that all methods should work complementarily". The use of this method is a result of current market needs, "human
behavior has a very large degree of unpredictability". Thus, it seems that the use of qualitative methods helps in addressing
gaps that arise in the use of quantitative methods. "I try to pass the idea to my students that whenever possible they should
take the questionnaires", since the collected data will be worked out to improve a product or service in order to create
value for both parts. The interviewee also refers the difficulty in publishing articles 100% qualitative.
Throughout the interview the interviewee showed to have a high experience in the use of quantitative methods and was
confident and comfortable in addressing the suggested topics.
5. Discussion
5.1. The research method most used and why
With the data obtained it appears that the most used study method is the quantitative method due to the following factors:
- Lack of time and financial resources available for the development of the qualitative research.
- Difficulty in publishing qualitative articles.
- Personality of the researcher.
- Object of study, research aims, sample size and data to be analyzed.
- Ease in data analysis (quantitative seems to be easier than qualitative)
- Background area of the researcher.
- Researcher´s personal skills in the use of various research methods.
5.2. The use of triangulation and why it is becoming a trend
It is important to note that it seems that researchers who choose a quantitative methodology recognize that nowadays it is
also required to use qualitative methods due to the current needs of the market. In turn, researchers who opt for a
qualitative methodology recognize the need of using quantitative methods to get their articles published. Thus, there is a
tendency to use the triangulation method both to “quantitative researchers” and “qualitative researchers”.
5.3. The influence of first degree? area in the use of a particular research method
It is possible to verify that researchers who have a background in the field of mathematics and statistics (interviewees # 4
and # 9) prefer the use of quantitative methods. Instead, the researchers who have an area in the field of management
(interviewees # 3, # 5 and # 7) prefer to use qualitative methods. Researchers who have an education level in the field of
economy (interviewees # 1, # 6 and # 8) do not have a preference for the use of methods, i.e. they use the method(s)
required for the development of an effective and enriching research. They consider all research methods as indispensable
tools to be used. The interviewee # 2, despite having a training area related to management, prefers to use the
triangulation method. However, if there is the requisite to choose just one method, he prefers the quantitative research.
Thus, one can consider that scientific areas related to mathematics induce the use of quantitative research method, while
the scientific areas related to social sciences and humanities induce the use of qualitative research and triangulation
6. Research limitations
The main limitations of this research are the time needed to have an answer from the sample in order to arrange the
interviews at a convenient time for both parts, interviewer and interviewee. Moreover, the data analysis was a slow
process due to the high amount of data, as usual in qualitative research. Another limitation was the small sample size due
to the small number of available researchers with a PhD degree. Finally, there was insufficient time available to use the
triangulation method, namely in other Universities in the North of Portugal due to lack of time to analyze all the data
collected in the 9 semi-structured interviews.
7. Future Research
It seems crucial to continue this research on the type of methodologies preferred and used by researchers. From this
study, some important issues emerge that should be considered in future research, such as:
-Fast food research.
-Difficulty in publishing articles that is purely qualitative.
-Quantitative methods are easier to handle.
-Why some training areas do not include qualitative methods in their study plan? What is the reason for the focus on
quantitative research in Portugal?
8. Conclusion
The objective of this study was to identify which research method – qualitative research, quantitative or triangulation – is
the most used by researchers from a University in the North of Portugal. Also, it was aimed to find out any relationship
between the preference of research method by researchers and their background areas. It is clear in this study that the
most advocated methodology is the use of triangulation, mixing qualitative and quantitative methods in order to get the
best of both worlds. However, it seems important to understand better if this choice is considered the most “effective” or
the most “convenient”. It seems that the difficulty in publishing qualitative research is a crucial factor for avoiding
choosing qualitative research. Given this scenario, all the interviewees, regardless of their academic background, think that
the best choice is to perform a research based on triangulation, which can overcome the shortcomings of each
methodology mentioned. It also seems that researchers are not doing exactly what they consider more appropriate in
terms of research aims but what is more accepted by the academic community. It is intended to continue this important
and innovative research, using the triangulation method, to investigate other Universities in the North of Portugal.
The work reported in this paper was co-financed by FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal (PEstOE/EME/UI4005/2011) and carried out within the research centre Centro Lusíada de Investigação e Desenvolvimento em
Engenharia e Gestão Industrial (CLEGI).
9. References
American Marketing Association, “New Marketing Research Definition Approved,” Marketing News (January 2, 1987), pp.
1, 14.
Churchill Jr., G.A. (1987) Marketing research: methodological foundations. Chicago: The Dryden Press.
Evrard, Y.; Pras, B.; Roux, E. (1993) Market: étudos et recherché en marketing. Paris: Nathan.
Green, P. E. & Tull, P. S. (1974) Recherche et décisions en marketing. Presses Universitaires de Grenoble.
Lambin, J. J. (1990) La recherché marketing. Paris: McGraw-Hill.
Lopes, J. L. P. (2010). Fundamental dos Estudos de Mercado, 2ª edição, Sílabo.
Malhotra, N. K., Rocha, I., Laudisio, M. C., Altheman, E. & Borges, F. M. (2005). Introdução à PESQUISA DE MARKETING,
Pearson Prentice Hall.
Marchetti, R. Z. (1996) Globalização e análise do consumidor: aspectos metodológicos da pesquisa de marketing
intercultural. Tese (Professor Titular), Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR), Curitiba.
Mattar, N. F. (1995). Pesquisa de marketing, 2ª edição, São Paulo: Atlas, V. 2.
Mcdaniel, C. & Gates, R. (2005). FUNDAMENTOS DE PESQUISA DE MARKETING, 4ª edição, LTC.
Miles, M.B, and Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis, 2nd Ed., p. 10-12. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Sampaio, C. H., Perin, M. G., Luce, F. B., Santos, M. J., Santini, F. O., Oliveira, M. O. R., Lenz, G. S. (2012) Pesquisa Científica da
Área de Marketing no Brasil: uma Revisão da Primeira Década do Século 21, RAC, Rio de Janeiro, V. 16, n. 3, pp.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2000) Research methods for business students. 2nd Ed. Harlow: Financial Times
Prentice Hall.
Vieira, V. A. (2002). As tipologias, variações e características da pesquisa de marketing, Rev. FAE, Curitiba, V.5, n.1, p.61-70.
Session 5
Marketing in Public Services: The Citizen
Service Points in Portugal
Public Service; Citizen Service Points; Efficacy; Interoperability; Satisfaction.
Maria De Fátima Fontoura, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança,
Paula Odete Fernandes, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança; NECE (UBI),
The Agency for Administrative Modernisation, IP is integrated in indirect Administration and aims to operationalize
initiatives to modernize and boost the participation and involvement of different stakeholders, whether internally or in
their relationship with citizens, aimed the simplification and innovation in achieving the change Public Admini stration.
The Citizen Service Points (PAC) are multiservice with personalized service, installed in Local Municipalities, as extensions
of Citizen Shops, which equip the regions of greatest interiority of a multichannel network ensuring greater proximity w ith
the requirements and due diligence for Public Administration.
In this respect, with the assumption the paradigm change in the delivery of public services, the objective of this study was
based on measuring citizen satisfaction regarding the services provided in the PAC. To this end, descriptive univariate and
bivariate analysis was performed for the treatment of data collected and in order to meet the main goal of the present
research. All inference analysis was carried to determine if the differences and/or relationships found between the
features in the sample are extrapolated to the population, considering a significance level of 5%. For this purpose, the
object of study focused on Citizen, a sample of 306 users, that go to the 54 PAC distributed by Portugal.
According to the results achieved, it can be said that citizens are very satisfied with the efficacy of the PAC. Also showed
that the variables related to Accessibility, Products and Services and Involvement and Participation of the citizen have the
greatest weight when we trying to measure global satisfaction of the citizen while PAC users.
In the context of actions leading to a greater proximity from citizens to the state appeared in 2002, in the wake of Citizens ’
Shops, a new awareness: The Citizen Service Points (PAC). The Citizen Service Points implemented in Portugal reflect the
actions of various governments for the implementation of the new paradigm of decentralized public services, closer to the
citizen and all economic agents. Additionally, the analysis of the public service value to society made clear the relevance of
the physical distribution model focused public services, in a complementary logic in relation to other distribution
channels. It also allowed understanding their own catalytic role in administrative modernization, as well as the direct and
indirect effects for citizens, businesses and the own image of the country.
In this context arises the present research work which intends to analyse the impact and proficiency of this channel of
public services, the Citizen Service Points with increasing importance in everyday life and quality of life of the populations
they serve. Strategically located in regions with lower population density and installed in municipalities, but still very little
studied, despite the multiplicity of interests and material available for research. Thus, the objective of this study is based
on certifying the satisfaction of citizens using PAC, in its many valences. It was understood also to investigate on this
subject would be a disclosure of the PAC and the services provided therein, because, unfortunately, it appears that there is
still a lack of knowledge of this type of service in one part of population. Thus, it is believed that the reach of this study is a
way to validate and promote what has been done and is being done in the administrative modernization in Portugal, as
well as to identify how the public perceives the good practices and how these positively influence their relationship with
the state and their quality of life.
The purpose of this research study was focused on citizens who used one of the 54 Citizen Service Points in Portugal
Continental. The PAC on the islands of Madeira and Azores not included in this study because of speci fic circumstances of
coordination of respective Regional Governments what would take much more time to collect data.
We chose to use a descriptive and quantitative methodology. The instrument for data collection was based on the model
CAF (Common Assessment Framework), builds on the excellence model of EFQM (European Foundation for Quality
Management) and in order to contribute to the public services improvement through self-assessment based on a model
consisting of criteria based on principles of excellence. We applied a questionnaire titled “Satisfaction Questionnaire for
Citizens/Clients”, divided into 4 components with which it was intended to obtain information on the Global Image
Organization, Involvement and Participation, Accessibility, Products and Services. The set of information collected identify
the importance attached to the service, the satisfaction of citizens and consequently the perceived quality of the PAC.
In this sense, this study is organized into six points. After this point where it i s made a brief introduction to the topic under
study, in the following section it will be studied the public services specificity. In the third section is presented the
organizational model adopted for decentralization and public service improvement. Subsequently the fourth point
addresses the issue of the Citizen Service Points impact in Portugal. Under points five and six, it is made, the empirical
analysis on the study subject, is intended to meet the target of empirical study and validate the research hypotheses, will
be described the data collection methods instruments and research techniques, data collection process and the procedure
for its collection and sample selection, processing, analysis, discussion and interpretation of results. Lastly will b e
presented the main conclusions of this study.
Currently, there is a wide range of services available to citizens, whose choice left to fall back on the amount, to give
importance to aspects such as the quality and satisfaction that they get from those services.
The most classical vision of the aspects that characterize the services is based on five essential characteristics to qualify
them (Coelho, 1998; Lopes, 2006):
 Intangibility: translates into the inability of the customer to experience or enjoy a service before the purchase,
originating insecurity moments and uncertainty in its acquisition. As regards Lopes (2006), to prevent these levels
of indecision, organizations should develop a perception about safety and quality of service, trying to turn his offer
intangible, tangible as possible in some aspects that represent the service, particularly in what concerns the contact
with the customer, such as pleasant physical infrastructure, staff professionalism, proper equipment, catchy
advertising, etc.
 Inseparability: production, distribution and consumption are made in a single process the service cannot be
separated from the person who is consuming nor the person who is paying. This fact underlines the importance that
the physical and human factors have to services, including the customer, the employees involved and the entire
physical environment in which the service occurs. Lopes (2006), underlines that the success of this feature requires
organizations to remember that employees who provide services are an integral part of that service. In this sense,
should be formed competent: people, not neglecting the physical environment appearance which is one aspect that
determines the quality of that service.
 Heterogeneity: is defined, according to Lopes (2006), by the variability of services may be different each time
they are rendered. The level of quality of a service is strongly influenced by: who, when, where and how it is
provided. The level of quality of a service is strongly influenced by: who, when, where and how it is provided. The
parties concerned are able to introduce service changes, varying depending on the service provider, the customer
and the environment, which has impact on the quality of service, and affects all agents.
 Perishability: In turn, perishability, demonstrates the fact that services, by their nature, cannot be stored in stock
they are extinguished at the moment of its realization (Coelho, 1998). Consequently, organizations have to cope
with situations of seasonality, between periods of high and low demand. Information technologies can completely
change this situation and conceive other ways to better serve the customer.
 Lack of ownership: considers not having an ownership sense, because the client only has access or benefit but
doesn’t possess the installation or activity property as referred by Lopes (2006).
Correia and Brito (2007), consider that the practical results of these characteristics are manifested in the complexity
analysis of the process of consumption by each user. In this evaluation the user account only with their expectations,
resulting in a variety of information sources (experience, past experiences, etc.). In turn, from the perspective of the
organization, this can only anticipate promises that may or may not be fulfilled. We conclude, therefore, that the effects of
service depend on the shape and intensity of the expectations created by the client and the promises made by the
Organization are in harmony.
Services that have no direct substitutes (competition) put the Public Administration in a monopoly situation, susceptible
to benefits and, often, inertia in providing efficient and effective services to the citizens (Carapeto & Fonseca, 2006).
However, the role of public administration is based on providing services that satisfy the citizen, i.e., that fulfil their needs
and expectations regardless the level of complexity of the service, supply and demand, because the citizen cannot be
Due to what was described, it is concluded that the concept and measurement of perceptions of service quality is one of
the most controversial issues in the services marketing literature (Brady & Cronin, 2001). Indeed, measuring the quality of
services is an issue more complex than in the context of products, because “it is not due to statistical measures of quality,
including physical defects or judgments of management, conversely, is a function of customer perceptions about services”
(Cunningham & Young, 2002, p.5).
Furthermore, services are in essence behaviours rather than physical entities as described by Berry (1980), as 'deeds, acts
or performances' (shares, acts and performances), which makes it fairly complex to measure their quality. In fact, this
added difficulty stems from the outset of the actual characteristics of the services identified above, and widely reported in
the literature of marketing services. In public services the task is even more difficult given the complexity and specificity of
the whole machine that provides these services.
One of the main conclusions of ‘Putting Citizens First’, a study conducted by the Public Administration Committee of the
OECD (1996), on administrative modernization in Portugal, showed that the orientation of the citizen was the engine of
change management. One of the most successful examples of the close relations between citizens and the administration
was the creation of local services, including the Citizen Shop and Citizen Service Points, at the level of central government
and the Municipal Services Assistance, at local government.
In this context, the municipal service comes embodied in a new organizational unit to facilitate the relationship between
citizens and the municipality, providing better access to information. This new unit, commonly known as Municipal
Services Assistance, or even the Citizen Office, functions as the municipality ‘front office’.
Its main tasks are: the treatment of various issues related to licensing and payment of fees and licens es, assignments
within the city, the receipt and delivery of documents and several citizen requests, forwarding all applications to the
various municipal services , providing information on the status of specific processes and other matters useful to citiz ens,
as in the case of the valences of the Citizen Service Points and other branches or portals that are normally installed in these
physical spaces, it is therefore within the municipal service that develops throughout the service Public Administration
(PA ) decentralized services.
There is no doubt, however, that local government became more coordinator and less service provider and operates in a
more increasingly competitive and dynamic environment. The coordination calls for new policy instruments and
strategies, such as public/private partnerships and networks participation among politicians, employees and citizens.
It is time for the Public Administration to convince himself that his existence is justified by citizens and not by its mere
existence. It exists to help promote the citizens and economic agents’ initiative in constructing a dynamic and social
entrepreneur environment. A civically engaged society requires facilitator Administration in what concerns the initiative
of citizens and economic agents.
It is in this context that the progressive implementation of new information technologies is constituted as a crucial lever
for creating an environment conducive to universal infrastructure for e-Government, allowing the society to encourage the
sharing of public responsibilities. The construction of this new society involves the continuous production of new
Based on all the above, and based on the information the Agency for Administrative Modernisation (AMA), was establish to
enunciate some Portals in operation or being implemented nationwide:
 Citizen's Portal and Portal Enterprise;
 BMS - Multiservice Counter;
 Citizen Shop Mobile;
 One Stop Shop - Let's Have A Child;
 Balcony I Lost my Wallet;
 Simplex MAR;
 Senior Balcony;
 Entrepreneur Balcony.
As Junqueiro (2002) states “The e-government, besides and providing a significant reduction in public expenditure, also
means greater transparency in relations between citizens and civil society” (pp. 336-337). This author also notes, with
emphasis, that the start of digital technologies in Public Administration offers a real opportunity to increase efficiency,
quality and cost-effectiveness. Also believes that states need to invest heavily in how public services are provided, using
new tools and digital technologies and reshaping its inner workings, breaking interdepartmental barriers and redesigning
new methods and organizational forms.
According to information released by the General Agency for Administrative Modernisation, through various channels you
have access to the image of the PAC and its impact on the lives of citizens and businesses is very relevant, the services near
to economic and social agents is extremely important and qualitatively changes qualitatively the lives of everyone.
Without knowing a study concerning this subject, it is known that the PAC has inferred a degree of quality public services.
A good perception of the service is created, not only by a technically correct work, but also by the successful interaction
between user and employee. Even though there are among the population very different reasons for evaluating the PAC,
the new service units are cosy, unlike the old public office, the new are characterized by a healthy, cl ean and ventilated
environment which provides comfort and welfare to the citizen, with high functionality and structured to allow the
integration of various organizational services installed on them, to all this it is added the standardization of clothing and
identification of officials/employees. The location in strategic areas is one of the key factors, it is intended for citizen easy
access to the service, near parking areas served by public transport, and these are very relevant indicators to the
population who uses the PAC and for Local Authorities that received them.
The access to services for people with special needs, particularly with regard to architectural barriers is also a factor of
quality and equity of services to all citizens. Modern computer technology allows rapid communication between different
actors in the network and access to databases, which gives citizens a feeling of security and certainty that their process is
not simply on paper. The fact that users can make payments electronically is one of the advantages pointed to this service.
People who integrate these units are selected for their expertise and sensitivity to serve. The continuous training equally
concerns the use of knowledge, as in the behavioural area.
The citizen/user perceives the review and continuous improvement, a permanent search for greater efficiency, simplicity,
speed and quality of service, with attitudes and innovative procedures, example of this is the extended hours of service in
some existing PAC and highly valued by citizens, so that it can serve a greater number of people, in their spare time, it is
imperative to extend the opening hours beyond the normal working hours of the vast majority of the population.
Disclosure of services is definitely the weak point of this service, through information provided by the AMA, it appears that
a portion of the population does not know the existence of such a service in his area, so the strong use of the media, with
extensive informative advertising that enables the citizen to be informed of all the features and types of services offered in
the PAC, that was never properly implemented, it remains a bad example for the process that the AMA is to be undertaken
and already in very advanced stage, that is transforming the PAC in Multiservice Counter-Citizen Shops 2nd Generation, in
order to a proper disclosure will be made. Since this type of service is even more important for the citizen, the number of
valences in BMS more than doubled compared to the PAC, so, disclosure is vital for citizens.
When the services provided meet or exceed the desires and needs, responding to their expectations with value many times
higher than expected, the user is satisfied and acknowledges what is being provided, such as 'Dazzling of Customer'
(Kotler, 2009). Thus, the citizens' satisfaction with public services is improved governance in order to place it in the centre
of attention of the public organization. Thus, the citizen is anyone (person or entity) seen as the beginning and end of
public sector activity. Another very important aspect to understand the complexity of the role of public administration, are
the periodic changes of leadership, which requires greater effort to manage public machine.
Relevant also is to involve stakeholders in the process, either in the internal environment (those within the organization,
whether departments or employees) and external environment (those receiving services: citizens, public partnerships,
etc.) , is an important strategy to achieve the desired results (Drucker, 2001), since, as is well known face of so many
unfulfilled promises many citizens were inflexible, suspicious and resistant to discourses of a public sector more
interested in services more modern efficient (Klibsberg, 2009).
In this respect, the public organization must disclose to the society in fact what can be done and, in particular, what it has
done to achieve citizen satisfaction, attract him to participate in the change process to improve it, for it is through him that
many disorders are identified, and thus coherent measures can be applied.
However satisfy the requirements of its users has been an on-going concern of private and public organizations, which
come from the late twentieth century, to adapt their structures, changing their management practices and invest in
training their employees.
In this context, appear each time administrative and technological innovations that result in improved quality of products
and services offered to citizens who are increasingly demanding and aware of their rights, especially in developing
As regards the public sector, the Portuguese government, according to a retrospective compiled from the Citizen Shops,
initiated efforts to enter the public administration in the context of quality management through a number of initiatives
where the most outstanding successive openings of Citizen Service Points, Citizen Shops and Portals, managing sow some
methods and techniques of Quality Management, which served to sensitize public organizations to focus on the citizen.
The PAC project arose to dictate alternatives , to change the image of public administration characterized by excessive
formalism, units unable to meet the demand for services, poor and uncomfortable physical facilities attendance by
privilege and servers disinterested and unmotivated. This outlook reflects what was characterized as the dysfunctions of
bureaucracy. Too much formality and impersonality bring as a result an inefficient system, dominated by paperwork and
narrow minded professionals, unable to make decisions and think for themselves.
The increasing demand for services and the public satisfaction and compliment signalised the feasibility of transforming
what was temporary into permanent. The PAC project has become an organizer and conductor of a proximity public
service to citizens who perceived their quality.
The first PAC was inaugurated in the municipality of Cascais in July 2004. This type of service has become a showcase
where the successes and mistakes are common knowledge. Transparency strengthens the commitment of employees and
partners, and alert to the need to review and adapt the adopted procedures.
Networks are new forms of organizational life that are incorporated into all organizational levels, to meet the challenges of
today, since traditional forms of organization, hierarchy and bureaucracy, are not sufficient to overcome them, as said
Lipnack (1994).
The Citizen Service Points cover the whole Portuguese territory, as already mentioned this study included the referenced
posts in Portuguese mainland. These multiservice posts with personalized service are located in places with lower
population density. The services available at the PAC want to respond to the specific needs of populations in relation to
services provided by central authorities.
The PAC are installed in autarchies, they indicate in which physical space the citizen can take added value service, as
already mentioned, with the creation of the Municipal Assistance Offices, the two services have appreciated even more
because the Municipal services centralization also began also to contemplate, in the same space, the central state services.
Employees assigned to PAC service are human resources from the entities that receive the PAC, i.e. Local Administratio n
human resources, these people are who, because of their proximity to the citizen, do a remarkable job of answering and
routing, some training gaps , unfamiliarity with new tools in portals, imprecise information about some central services
and poor leadership, do not prevent them from turning the gaps into challenges and in favour of the best citizen interests,
provide a friendly and effective work, in which citizens perceive the quality and effort and apprehends satisfaction.
This is another example of how the People Management not being brought to its real meaning, which is to work with
people and not use them passively as mere objects to obtain results, makes this large set of collaborators overcome many
constraints, and being themselves aware of their responsibilities and public function, take the initiative to equip
themselves with skills to serve the citizen.
4.1. Study aim and research hypothesis
The main objective of this work is based on assure the satisfaction of citizens using PAC, in its many valences, studying in a
systematic way what the actual impacts of implementing a set of services in Citizen Service Points are reflected in citizens
satisfaction . To such, it was opted to select as its subject one of the 54 Citizen Service Points users in Portuguese mainland.
Emphasized that the services offered through the Citizen Service Points reflect the concern to answer to the needs felt by
most people living in areas far from the Central Administration.
In order to assist and guide the empirical study and taking into account the above objectives as a way to respond to the
latent variable, overall satisfaction with the services provided, it was made up a division by 4 of the same components,
namely: Global Image Organization, Involvement and Participation, Accessibility and Products and Services.
In this sense and to meet the main goal of the study were formulated and tested the following research hypotheses:
Research Hypothesis 1: The citizens are generally satisfied with the services provided in the PAC.
Research Hypothesis 2: The components of Global Image Organization, Involvement and Participation, Accessibility
and Products and Services are correlated with Citizens Global Satisfaction.
4.2. Methods and methodology
The data collection instrument used in this study was the CAF Model 2006, Common Assessment Framework, for Quality
Public Administrations Quality on the European Union. Note that the CAF analyses the organization from different
perspectives, providing a holistic analysis of its performance. In the present study was based on the perspective of
The application of the questionnaire survey allowed the collection a sample of the knowledge, attitudes, values and
behaviours of the respondents. The questionnaire consists of 40 questions and is divided into two large groups, one group
is composed by all the 4 components (total of 35 items) and related items, namely: Global Organization Image with 7
items, Involvement and Participation with 5 items, Accessibility with 15 items and Products and Services with 8 items. A
2nd group with 5 socio demographic questions, which aims to characterize the citizens, name, age, sex, occupation and
Aiming the measurement of different items it was used the Likert five points scale that is to say 5 possible answers. Thus,
the scale requires respondents to indicate their level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with statements regarding the
situation that is being measured through numeric values, since the answers reflect the strength and direction of the
respondent's reaction to the statement. The statements of satisfaction should receive positive values or high while the
statements of dissatisfaction should receive low or negative values, so the scale in this questionnaire comprises: 1 = Very
Dissatisfied, 2 = Dissatisfied, 3 = Moderately Satisfied, 4 = Satisfied and 5 = Very Satisfied. It should be noted that all items
were directed in the same direction, so there was no need to reverse the scale to compare results.
As for the process of data collection, it took place between April and December 2011. The questionnaires were distributed
proportionally in districts where they are installed the 54 PAC. In total 306 inquiries (nf) were collected corresponding
approximately to 57% of the 557 (n2) and 70% of the initial sample of 450 inquiries (n1), according to data presented in
Table 1. Note that a first approach to the issue of the size of the initial sample of 450 citizens having taken was a sample
error of 4.62% and a confidence interval of 95%. Later and since it was not possible to collect the 450 questionnaires but
only 306, the final sample error was 5.6% assuming a significance level of 5%.
Table1. Population and sample under study.
Initial Sample
Final Sample
Castelo Branco
Vila Real
After the data collection and its creation of the database was necessary to assess the degree of internal consistency of data
collection (Hill & Hill, 2002). For this we used the Cronbach's alpha, having been obtained for the present study an internal
consistency coefficient of 0.958, which according to the authors Gageiro and Pestana (2008) is a very good internal
consistency allowing to note that the reliability of the questionnaire is very good.
Descriptive univariate analysis was performed, bivariate for the treatment of data collected and in order to meet the
primary objective of the present study. Univariate analysis focused on descriptive statistical results related to the study
sample socio demographic variables (e.g. gender, age, occupation, region and educational attainment). Moreover, the
bivariate descriptive analysis aimed to explore the relationship between certain pairs of variables to realize the level of
citizen involvement with the PAC. All inference analysis is performed to determine whether the differences and/or
relationships between features found in the sample are extrapolated to the population, considering a confidence interval
of 95%.
4.3. Sample Characterization
Regarding the distribution of the sample by geographic zone the data can be identified reading Fig. 1, where one can
observe that the area of Portuguese Mainland with increased demand for services from what is demo nstrated by the
highest concentration of Citizen Service Points is the centre, with a percentage of 62.4%, clearly more than the sum of the
other two zones, the North with 3,3% and the South with 4.2%.
Geographical zone
Figure 1. Percentage of citizens by geographical area.
Regarding the gender of users who demand the services of the PAC (Fig. 2), it can be seen that the sample consists of
58.1% female users and 41.9% male users.
Figure 2. Percentage of citizens by gender.
The majority of the interviewed 41% have secondary education, including the ancient courses of Commercial and
Industrial Schools and High Schools. Interestingly the fact that 24.3% of respondents have degrees or higher education or
are attending university. Holders of basic education accounted 34.7%% of respondents (Fig. 3).
High school
Higher education
Figure 3. Percentage of citizens per academic qualifications.
According to the results it can be seen a diversified distribution of age of respondents (Fig. 4). Thus, the age bracket whic h
has a higher concentration of respondents is between 31 to 40 years, 24.2%, followed by ages 41 to 50 years, with 22.1%
the echelon 51to 60 registers 17.7% and the opposite between 21 to 30 points out 16%. The age of 61-70 shows a
considerable percentage of users, 11.7%, and from 71 years and between 18 and 20 years are those who have a lower
value, 6.5% and 1.7% respectively.
Regarding the professions socio-demographic variable to be noted that the set of occupations is 65. It was given some
evidence only to those of greater numerical relevance. The number of respondents who did not answer this question was
99, which represents 32.4% of the total. The retired characterizes 10.5% with a number of 32 users, the administrative
profession is represented by 8.5% with a value of 27 users, the public official has a significance of 4.9% in demand for
services with number 15 individuals, the teacher and the domestic have the same weight in the professions, 3.3% with 10
participants. The remaining jobs are distributed with numbers and percentages indicated below.
Less than 20
Greater than
Age group
Figure 4. Percentage of citizens by age group.
5.1. The citizen’s global satisfaction
In response to the latent variable global satisfaction of citizens with the PAC, the main hypothesis of this research study hypothesis 1, it can be said that the analysis and interpretation of the data presented in Fig. 5, it is considered that the
summary of a Mean value of 3.99 and standard deviation (SD) of 0.619, shows satisfactory results with respect to the
satisfaction of citizens using the PAC.
In fact, the idea of a generalized inability of public entities to respond promptly and appropriately to requests from citizens
seems to persist, partly attributed to the persistence of bureaucratic constraints and, in some cases, of abuse of power.
Although it has been observed an increase in the level of demand from users for services provided by PAC, there is still the
existence of a certain degree of compromise in situations less satisfactory, because users find that certain service aspects,
including the physical concentration of services and the courtesy of the staff service, compensate, to some extent, the most
unsatisfactory factors.
However the citizens of a country, as a whole, are able to identify, or at leas t feel the quality of its service delivery system,
when it is perceived and result on common benefits, derives also from this factor requirement of accessible, fair and
equitable, quality, effective management in problem solving and efficient use of public resources, which the AP responds as
it is an example the PAC model although it displays a set of standard features, seeks to adapt to characteristics of the
localities in which it operates, particularly in terms of physical facilities, type of care and communication, the results of all
the synergies is that the citizen/customer wants and recognizes the public service.
The result referred to in the previous paragraph are the outcomes of the 4 components, especially those with higher
averages, such as the component Products and Services and Global Image Organization that have a greater weight in
satisfaction, which respectively have an mean of 4.29 and 4.26, with a SD of 0.77 and 0.82.
Thus, all the analysis described above and displayed briefly in Fig. 5 all ows us to confirm the first research hypothesis.
Allows also to state that the optimum result of the satisfaction of PAC users shows that this study is indeed the result of a
concentrated presence attendance model with an important place in the distribution of public service. As well as the
distribution model focused public service that reveals itself a catalyst for administrative modernization at various levels:
promoting transparency and efficiency of public action, citizen orientation, promotion of technological innovation and
working methods and adopting new models of leadership.
Standard Deviation
Global Image
Products and Services
Involvement and
Figure 5. Summary of the Global Mean and Global Standard Deviation of Components.
Table 2 complements and enhances the overall satisfaction of citizens and translates a result that shows positively their
satisfaction, with higher values considered in its presentation. In this sense, and once again through this analysis attests to
the first hypothesis. Well, it turns out that the empirical averages are higher than the theoretical average in all
components, which shows that citizens make a very positive and supportive appreciation of the PAC. Still, the deviations
are small which shows a reasonable agreement of responses. In Global Satisfaction scores for the empirical average is
128.657 (SD=25.405) than the predicted value for the theoretical average is 105, then the values make a right answer to
the main question of this study, it was important to get a demonstration that could meet the Citizen Service Points users
satisfaction and that associated with other evidence could complete its effectiveness.
Table 2. Descriptive Results for Global Satisfaction and for Components.
Z score
Global Image Organization
Products and Services
Global Satisfaction
This research was guided by the purpose of reaching values of Global Satisfaction clearly identifiers from what the
citizens think about the PAC, from these derive: positive perception of services, assertive behaviours, the notion of service
quality and above all customer satisfaction and effectiveness.
5.2. Analysis of Existing Relationship between Components and Global Satisfaction.
In order to answer the second research hypothesis examined the correlation between the four major components that
enabled investigation of citizens' satisfaction and ascertain the weight that each one contributes to the Global Satisfaction
of citizens (Table 3). After the analysis of normality, where there was a violation of this assumption, it was necessary to
resort to the Spearman correlation coefficient to measure the strength and direction of the relationship between the
components, the closer to 1 are more correlated. All correlation coefficients are shown in Table 3 significant ( p-value
<0.001). Thus, the values shown in Table 3, it can be said that there is a strong correlation between all components,
particularly between variables Accessibility and Involvement and Participation (r=0.7076), Products and Services with
Global Image Organization (r=0.6595) and the Accessibility (r=0.6413).
Although one can observe that any of the components have strong and statistically significant correlations with the Global
Satisfaction, and the accessibility component (r=0.8908) is the largest contributor and which has a strong and direct
correlation followed by component Products and Services (r=0.805). It should be noted that as the accessibility component
that has the highest weight is the global component and that citizens are less satisfied, the PAC must begin to pay more
attention to this component so that to not go against the citizens expectations .
On the other hand the component with the lowest weight is the Global Satisfaction is the Global Image Organization
because as we have found citizens showed a very high level of satisfaction, but should not overlook this situation because
the image of an organization leads to reputation and brand and that is what is in the mind and ears of citizens. Still, this set
of information should be used to plot a strategy for quality improvement and to implement actions that actually improve
citizen satisfaction generating a greater return on Global Image Organization. Contributes to effect a good measurement
and monitoring system of citizen satisfaction, which can pass through, identification of expectation, satisfaction
measurement, preparation of quality improvement strategies and their implementation of improvements. This study
revealed that only the existence of a system of management of the effectiveness of services and satisfaction of its users
allows the sustainability of implemented measures and implement administrative modernization.
Moreover, the study also reveals that what is intended is nothing more than working with a new management culture
focused for the citizen and for the improvement of organizational performance.
Table 3. Spearman Correlation Coefficient.
Involvement and Participation
Global Image Organization
Products and Services
Global Satisfaction
Involvement and
Global Image
Products and
The empirical study accomplished infers that at this time is not possible, just, make the legislative initi ative the only engine
of change in the public service, is the way of good management and proximity to the citizen who gives this, trust us
services and in public institutions. In addition to building a modern legal structure, implement, monitor and promote good
practices and invest in the training of human resources, it is necessary to reassess their own administrative processes and
procedures, build networks to support modernization initiatives, share knowledge and join it to new technologies, the
simplification of regulatory environments and streamlining administrative practices.
Thus, all the analysis described above and displayed briefly proves the first research hypothesis and allows also to state
that the optimum result for the satisfaction of users of PAC this study shows that this is indeed the result of a model
focused to an important place in the distribution of public service, as well as the concentrated distribution model utility
that reveals itself a catalyst for administrative modernization at various levels: promoting transparency and efficiency of
public action, citizen orientation, promotion of innovation technology and working methods and adopting new models of
The results declared also that the variables related to Accessibility, Products and Services and Involvement and
Participation have the greatest weight when you want to measure PAC user Citizen Global Satisfaction.
From the research now ended, and by the results obtained, it can be said that the effectiveness of the Citizen Service
Points, spread across Portuguese mainland, determine the satisfaction of their clients and that the path for the public
administration modernization must continue to be considered as an essential part of the growth strategy for the country, a
tool that should help to improve the relationship with citizens and reduce the costs of context for all interveners. The
results are very satisfactory with citizens who use the PAC.
The present study reinforces the idea that is not new, a Brand Image for Public Administration, an image translated above
all, in a new attitude. The main objective should be a culture of service determined by the effectiveness and quality of what
is offered as a final product. The brand 'Public Administration' that would enhance its recognition should to be identical to
that of other renowned brands from the private sector, as is the case of wine, oil, shoes, textiles, among others. The concept
of branding 'Public Administration' assume a strategic dimension, not only as a way to honour the mission of public
administration, but also as a way to attract the best human resources to carry out the strategies and objectives defined in
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Avaliação da Qualidade dos Serviços em uma
Organização Pública Brasileira
Qualidade do Serviço. Percepção. Expectativa. Satisfação. SERVQUAL. Choque de Gestão.
Caissa Sousa, Faculdade Novos Horizontes,
Cristiane A. Santos, Faculdade FEAD,
Danilo De O. Sampaio, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora / UFJF,
Andre F. A. Fagundes, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia / UFU,
Erich V. Sousa, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais / PUC-MG,
A reflexão sobre a qualidade dos serviços prestados pelas organizações públicas tem se apresentado como um tema de
interesse acadêmico e de gestão, a medida que alguns setores transpõem para o campo público parâmetros de
atendimento e mensuração de seus resultados, utilizados pela gestão das organizações privadas. Nesse âmbito, o presente
trabalho tem como tema a percepção da qualidade dos serviços prestados por uma organização pública brasileira,
responsável pelo licenciamento e fiscalização de veículos e trânsito. Para atender ao objetivo formulado, a presente
pesquisa, de cunho quantitativo, utilizou o instrumento validado por Parasuraman, Zeithaml e Berry (1988), cunhado de
escala SERVQUAL, que avalia cinco dimensões: tangibilidade, confiabilidade, atendimento, segurança e empatia. Dadas as
características da organização em análise, elegeu-se as dimensões tangibilidade, atendimento e empatia para composição
da pesquisa. Os resultados permitem inferir que as dimensões “atendimento” e “empatia” apresentam resultados
satisfatórios quando comparados expectativas e percepções. Contudo, ressalta-se que a análise dos dados deve envolver
outros critérios de igual importância, tais como a análise da expectativa e da percepção em separado, uma vez que a baixa
expectativa quanto a qualidade do serviço pode incorrer em valores similares entre expectativa e percepção. Como
sugestão para estudos futuros, acredita-se ser relevante aplicar a escala em outras organizações do setor público, inclusive
em órgãos públicos que prestam o mesmo serviço em estados ou municípios distintos no território brasileiro, ou ainda em
comparação com a prestação de serviços similares em distintos países.
1 Introdução
O presente trabalho tem como tema a qualidade do atendimento aos clientes nas organizações públicas
brasileiras. De acordo com Lovelock, Wright e Hemzo (2011), as organizações, sejam estas públicas ou privadas, vêm
passando ao longo dos últimos anos por constantes mudanças na prestação de serviços. Algumas dessas mudanças se
originam do maior nível de exigência dos clientes, principalmente devido ao aumento da concorrência, globalização e
desenvolvimento tecnológico (Castells, 2007; Keen, 2009).
No que diz respeito às organizações públicas, a reflexão sobre a qualidade dos serviços prestados tem se
apresentado como um tema de interesse acadêmico e dos gestores envolvidos, a medida que alguns setores transpõem
para o campo público parâmetros de atendimento e mensuração de seus resultados, utilizados pela gestão das
organizações privadas, o que para Borges, Freitas Júnior e Oliveira (2008) pode ser feito por meio de abordagens distintas.
No caso específico do Brasil, os autores associam o processo de redemocratização, ocorrido a partir da década de
1980, como promotor de intensos movimentos de reforma do Estado, “que levou à construção de um modelo de gestão
pública capaz de atender, de modo mais adequado, às necessidades da sociedade, voltado ao interesse público e à
eficiência na coordenação da economia e dos serviços públicos” (Borges, Freitas Júnior & Oliveira, 2008, p. 81). Para os
autores, o movimento de reestruturação da gestão pública, visa, especial mente, a redução dos gastos públicos e o aumento
da amplitude da prestação dos serviços à população.
Como exemplo tem-se no estado de Minas Gerais, que é o segundo mais populoso do Brasil, a reforma gerencial
promovida desde 2003, conhecida como “Choque de Gestão” (Rodrigues et al., 2008). O Choque de Gestão, que apesar de
não promover um consenso sobre sua eficácia, pode, em determinados aspectos, ser considerado uma ação inovadora do
governo (Queiroz & Ckagnazaroff, 2009), ao trazer para a gestão pública modernas técnicas de gestão originárias das
organizações privadas, o que contribuiu para intensificar as cobranças sobre o quadro gerencial dessas organizações,
especialmente na eminência de uma realidade operacional mais competitiva (Paiva & Couto, 2008).
Ainda nesse preâmbulo é possível observar, sobre o prisma do consumidor ou usuário dos serviços públicos, uma
exigência maior pela prestação de serviços de melhor qualidade, o diretamente influencia a satisfação. Segundo Lovelock e
Wright (2011), a organização, seja essa pública ou privada, com ou sem fins lucrativos, deve trabalhar tendo o cliente como
o foco das suas ações, adequando-se às mudanças de perfil dos seus consumidores. Ademais, torna-se primordial que a
organização invista em criatividade, inovação e, principalmente, treinamento, para aperfeiçoar os seus processos e
oferecer serviços de melhor qualidade e que atendam de forma efetiva às necessidades do seu público alvo.
Muitas empresas públicas não possuem concorrentes em suas áreas de atuação, sendo que essa nula ou pequena
competição implica, muitas vezes, em um baixo comprometimento com a satisfação dos seus usuários, ou melhor, clientes.
Assim, não é raro se encontrar funcionários – servidores públicos – pouco preparados e motivados, o que acaba por
influenciar na insatisfação dos usuários desses serviços.
Para Gil (2009), a qualidade no atendimento começa, principalmente, dentro da própria instituição, pois os
funcionários são peças fundamentais para um bom desempenho da organização, a satisfação desses normalmente
influencia no resultado dos seus trabalhos. Nesse sentido, destaca-se, de acordo com Tachizawa (2004), que o treinamento
é um recurso comumente utilizado para aperfeiçoar o desempenho do funcionário, mas que também apresenta res ultados
motivacionais, com isto pode impactar no aumentando da produtividade do funcionário, e, por conseguinte, da
organização. Assim, de acordo com a autora, a excelência no atendimento se traduz pela busca da economia de tempo,
dinheiro e esforço do cliente, com a oferta de informações corretas, atualizadas e com o objetivo de gerar satisfação ao
usuário. Compreender as necessidades do consumidor para atendê-lo com qualidade implica, além de um tratamento
adequado, acrescentar benefícios aos serviços, atendendo ou superando as suas expectativas (Albrecht, 2002; Sebrae,
Considerando-se a relevância das organizações públicas prestarem serviços de qualidade, desenvolveu-se no
presente trabalho um estudo de caso de uma organização pública do estado de Minas Gerais/Brasil, responsável pelo
licenciamento e fiscalização de veículos e trânsito, aqui denominada de empresa Alfa. A escolha da organização e do locus
do trabalho se justificam dada a intensificação das políticas desse estado da federal brasileira, correlatas à implantação do
“Choque de Gestão”, que tem, entre outros propósitos, ofertar serviços de melhor qualidade aos usuários. Para tanto,
elaborou-se, como questão norteadora o seguinte questionamento: “como é percebida pelos usuários qualidade da
prestação dos serviços na Empresa Pública Alfa?”.
Para atender ao problema de pesquisa, elaborou-se um questionário, a partir das dimensões propostas na escala
SERVQUAL (Parasuraman, Zeithalm & Berry, 1985 & 1988), que foi aplicada a usuários Organização Pública Alfa, que teve
como objetivo principal identificar variáveis em que os usuários apresentem percepções distintas de suas expectativas em
relação aos serviços prestados pela organização, além de identificar fatores críticos, passíveis de revisão pela instituição,
no que tange à prestação do serviço.
2 Desenvolvimento teórico
2.1 Serviços, qualidade dos serviços e satisfação do consumidor
Conforme Lovelock e Wright (2003), serviços são atividades econômicas que criam valor e fornecem benefícios
aos clientes, contudo o foco não é a transferência de um bem ou produto tangível, uma vez que o serviço é intangível.
O setor de Serviços é a parte da economia de uma nação representada por serviços de todos os
tipos, incluindo os oferecidos por organização publicas e sem fins lucrativos (LOVELOCK;
WRIGHT, 2003, p. 5).
Kotler, Hayes e Bloom (2002, p. 283), definem serviço como “uma ação, desempenho ou ato que é essencialmente
intangível e não acarreta necessariamente a propriedade do que quer que seja. Sua criação pode ou não estar vinculada a
um produto material”.
Nesse sentido, cabe-se destacar o significado de bens, que são objetos tangíveis – físicos – que garantem benefício
por meio de sua propriedade. Conforme Lovelock e Wright (2003, 2011), bens são objetos ou dispositivos físicos que
propiciam benefícios aos clientes por meio de sua propriedade ou uso. O bem pode ser demonstrado antes da compra,
podendo inclusive ser estocado. Ao contrário, os serviços são intangíveis e podem ou não acompanhar um bem, co ntudo
não são passíveis de serem estocados ou armazenados. Para os autores, serviços são atividades nas quais, geralmente, há
um envolvimento entre clientes, funcionários e prestador de serviços para o atendimento das necessidades dos clientes.
De acordo com Corrêa e Caon (2002) e Hoffman e Bateson (2003), o setor de serviços tem ocupado posição de
destaque na economia mundial, pois, além de ser responsável pela maior parcela do Produto Interno Bruto (PIB) mundial,
sua participação no PIB e o número de empregos no setor crescem a taxas mais elevadas do que nos demais setores da
No Brasil, essa tendência não é diferente, a maioria da população dedica-se a atividades relacionadas ao setor de
serviços – 54,2% da mão de obra empregada – e substancial parcela da riqueza gerada no País advém deste setor,
responsável por 58,7% do PIB do Brasil em 2012 (Boletim de Conjuntura, 2012).
Os principais fatores responsáveis por esse crescimento são de ordem político-social e tecnológica, quais sejam:
(a) urbanização – que torna indispensável alguns serviços; (b) mudanças demográficas – que apontam para o aumento do
número de crianças e/ou idosos, que, por sua vez, demandam maior variedade de serviços; (c) mudanças socioeconômicas
–aumento da participação da mulher no mercado de trabalho e pressões sobre o tempo pessoal, que criam a necessidade
de serviços domésticos prestados por terceiros; (d) avanço da sofisticação dos consumidores – que leva a necessidades
mais amplas de serviços; e (e) mudanças tecnológicas – que induzem ao aumento da qualidade dos serviços, e, ainda, à
criação de serviços completamente novos (Corrêa & Caon, 2002; Hoffman & Bateson, 2003).
Parasuraman, Zeithaml e Berry (1988), Hoffman e Bateson (2003), Lovelock e Wright (2003) e Zeithaml & Bitner
(2003) definem quatro características principais dos serviços que afetam a elaboração de programas de marketing das
organizações: (i) intangibilidade – o serviço não pode ser tocado ou sentido; (ii) inseparabilidade – a produção é
simultânea à entrega do serviço; (iii) variabilidade – a qualidade dos serviços é heterogênea; e (iv) perecibilidade – o
serviço não pode ser estocado, ou seja, ele é consumido assim que produzido.
Diferentemente de quando se comercializa um bem, para o qual se consideram basicamente os 4Ps – elementos
que compõem o mix de marketing: preço, praça, promoção e produto – a estratégia de serviços envolve o cliente com o
meio de produção, com isto pode-se incluir outros elementos nesse composto, chegando-se a formulação de 8Ps. De uma
forma mais detalhada, os 8 Ps dos serviços envolvem: (i) elementos do produto – todos os componentes do desempenho
do serviço que criam valor para os clientes; (ii) lugar e tempo – decisões gerenciais sobre quando, onde e como entregar os
serviços ao cliente; (iii) processo – estratégia de como entregar elementos dos produtos aos clientes; (iv) produtividade e
qualidade – grau de eficiência em que os insumos são transformados em produtos que agregam valor aos clientes; (v)
pessoas – são os colaboradores da empresa e os clientes, que interagem na produção do serviço; (vi) promoção e educação
– sendo a promoção um meio de comunicação para um público alvo que tende a aumentar e atrair a preferência dos
clientes para um determinado produto; (vii) evidência física – como a aparência de toda infraestrutura do fornecedor do
serviço, como estrutura física, equipamentos, quadro de funcionários, material de marketing e outras indicações visíveis
ao cliente sobre qualidade do serviço na organização; e (viii) preço e outros custos do serviço – componentes do serviço
que remetem administração aos custos incorridos pelos clientes para obterem um determinado beneficio ou serviço
(Kotler, Hayes & Bloom, 2002).
Normalmente, as empresas buscam constantes melhorias na prestação de serviços, sendo os clientes peças chave
para a implementação de mudanças nas organizações, tanto nas organizações públicas como as privadas. Quando se trata
de organizações prestadoras de serviços, o cliente (ou usuário) passa a apresentar um papel ai nda mais importante do que
o exercido em organizações de outros setores, pois ele também participa do serviço, sendo, assim, peça fundamental para
o a eficácia de seus resultados (Zeithaml & Bitner, 2003).
Conforme os mesmos autores, a expectativa do cliente sobre o serviço pode variar em três etapas: (a) serviço
desejado – representa o nível de serviço que o cliente almeja receber ou nível de serviço que o cliente acredita que poderia
estar recebendo da empresa; (b) serviço adequado – nível do serviço que o cliente aceitará em receber, pois suas
expectativas em relação ao serviço eram altas, mas ao recebê-lo notou que atingir a sua expectativa naquele momento não
seria possível; e (c) zona de tolerância – região formada entre a variação do nível de serviço desejado e o nível de serviço
adequado, representa a margem na qual os clientes não percebem a forma como o serviço é prestado.
Pelo fato de os serviços apresentarem predominância de atributos de experiência – que podem ser avaliados pelo
consumidor somente na utilização – e credenciamento – que são difíceis de avaliar mesmo depois da utilização – sua
aquisição representa um risco maior. Desse modo, torna-se essencial a criação de diferenciais que sejam claramente
percebidos pelos consumidores (Bronze Jr. et al., 2012; Churchill Jr. & Peter, 2005; Neves & Mota, 2008).
Apesar da dificuldade de se perceber uma qualidade homogênea dos serviços, os administradores de marketing
podem manusear uma forma de buscar tal diferenciação com base na ênfase na qualidade da oferta. Existem cinco fatores
que são determinantes para o melhor desempenho dessa dimensão: confiabilidade – desempenhar o serviço exatamente
como prometido; presteza – atender com agilidade; garantia – transmitir confiança e segurança aos clientes por meio do
conhecimento e cortesia dos funcionários; empatia – dar atenção individualizada aos clientes; e aspectos tangíveis –
prover instalações físicas, equipamentos, funcionários e material de comunicação com boa aparência e funcionalidade
(Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry, 1988).
Empresas prestadoras de serviços podem ganhar vantagem competitiva ao executarem um serviço com qualidade
superior à dos concorrentes, superando as expectativas dos clientes, o que pode influenciá-los a procurar novamente a
mesma empresa (Hoffman & Bateson, 2003; Vieira, Troccoli & Silva, 2012).
Por se tratar de uma oferta no qual o produto principal é incontrolável, as organizações que promovem serviços
devem ter um cuidado especial com as pessoas que contratam, pois são elas que estarão em contato direto com o cliente,
influenciando, assim, a percepção deles com relação à qualidade do serviço recebido (Theodorakis et al., 2001; Troccoli &
Guerra, 2012).
Os clientes estabelecem expectativas referentes ao serviço que estão adquirindo considerando as experiências
passadas ou recomendações de terceiros. Se o serviço for além do esperado, ficará acima das expectativas, sendo o
contrário também verdade. Ao superar a expectativa do consumidor, segundo Lovelock e Wright (2003, 2011), o serv iço é
considerado de qualidade superior. Caso a qualidade do serviço seja inferior ao esperado, o cliente criará expectativas
negativas sobre a empresa que o prestou. Nesse aspecto, discutir a qualidade da prestação de um serviço envolve mais do
que simples mensurações, uma vez que essa é, em grande parte, percebida subjetivamente (Grönroos, 2009).
Ainda a respeito da qualidade, cabe ressaltar os três tipos de qualidade sugeridos por Spiller et al. (2004):
qualidade técnica, qualidade de relacionamento e qualidade intelectual. A primeira é de caráter mensurável, a qualidade
de relacionamento é impactada pela competência emocional, tanto dos funcionários da organização como do cliente, e a
terceira – qualidade intelectual – envolve questões e crenças referentes a ética e valores.
Nesse sentido, cabe ressaltar que a percepção da qualidade afetará a satisfação do consumidor, que é definida por
Oliver (1997, p. 13) como “a resposta ao contentamento do consumidor. É o julgamento de que uma característica do
produto ou serviço, ou o produto ou serviço em si, proporcionou (ou está proporcionando) um nível prazeroso de
contentamento relacionado ao consumo, incluindo níveis menores ou maiores de contentamento”.
McCarthy e Perreault (1997) corroboram com esse pensamento, ao afirmarem que a eficácia de marketing deve
ser mensurada pelo grau de satisfação do consumidor, pois esse deve ser o principal objetivo da organização. Contudo, os
autores destacam a dificuldade de se mensurar a satisfação dos consumidores.
Dessa forma, pode-se considerar que uma instituição pública, ao desempenhar um bom atendimento e com
agilidade nos serviços prestados, contribuirá para garantir a satisfação dos cidadãos que utilizam os seus serviços. Nesse
sentido, ainda destaca-se o fato que, conforme Lovelock e Wright (2011), clientes altamente satisfeitos disseminam
informações positivas da empresa e se tornam um exemplo positivo de propaganda boca-a-boca.
Assim, Spiller et al. (2004) ressaltam que para a empresa se manter competitiva é importante apresentarem altos
níveis de motivação dos seus funcionários. Para tanto, ela deve proporcionar um ambiente harmônico, com qualidade de
vida para o funcionário, pois este – chamado de cliente interno – reflete a imagem da empresa para o cliente externo.
Lovelock e Wright (2003) destacam que o papel do pessoal de linha de frente nas organizaç