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MS-65 SERVICES MARKETING

1. Give examples of services that are high in credence qualities. How do high credence qualities affect consumer behaviour for
there services? Explain giving examples.

Service:

Definition
A type of economic activity that is intangible, is not stored and does not result in ownership. A service is consumed at the
point of sale. Services are one of the two key components of economics, the other being goods. Examples of services include the
transfer of goods, such as the postal service delivering mail, and the use of expertise or experience, such as a person visiting a doctor.

Examples of services:

• Broadcasting • Social housing


• Education • Telecommunications
• Electricity • Town planning
• Fire service • Waste management
• Gas • Water services
• Health care • Public information and archiving, such as libraries
• Military • Social services
• Police service
• Environmental protection
• Public transportation
Services with Credence Properties:
• Services provided by specialized professionals such as medical diagnoses and legal services have credence properties, or
characteristics that the consumer may find impossible to evaluate even after purchase and consumption.
• To reduce the uncertainty created by credence properties, service consumers turn to personal sources of information such as
early adopters, opinion leaders, and reference group members during the purchase decision process.

High credence qualities affect consumer behaviour:


It is imperative that marketing messages strike a chord with their intended targets. Doing so is made easier by
thinking about the influences of buyer behavior - culture, society, individuality, and psychology. Of these four influencers, the
cultural influence is the strongest; if you intend to attract and keep clients of the highest quality, you will benefit from
understanding how cultures, subcultures, and social class affects buying decisions.
Culture:
Culture is the single largest factor in shaping desires and thus behavior. As a child grows up the culture in which he
lives impresses his mind with a general set of values and preferences. According to Leon Schiffman and Leslie Kanuk in their
book Consumer Behavior, American children receive the following values: achievement and success, activity, efficiency and
practicality, progress, material comfort, individualism, freedom, external comfort, humanitarianism, and youthfulness. Much of
these values are taught in the American school system - both public and private - where children spend a majority of their waking
hours.
Subculture:
Each culture consists of smaller subcultures that include nationality, religion, and geographic regions. The subculture
often reinforces the values instilled by the culture at large. For instance, children are taught in the culture, either deliberately or
covertly, that youthfulness is a higher value than old age. When they enter their subculture (in this case their general
neighborhood) and compare their quality of life to the quality of life in the local nursing home, the value of youthfulness is
reinforced. This is a general example; I am not using it to make a statement of any kind against nursing homes. I am only making
the point that Americans clearly value youthfulness.
When subcultures gain power and wealth, companies customize marketing messages and campaigns to serve them. This is known
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as diversity marketing, and has proven to be an effective marketing strategy. Think about the consequences of a group of
consumers who feel ignored by your message. They may fit your definition of a dream client, but if your campaign ignores the
subculture they identify themselves with, the message will fall on deaf ears.

Social Class:
Almost all societies have a social class system. The clearest example of this is in the Indian caste system where
members of different castes are brought up and trained for specific roles within society. Americans experience a class system,
from lower to upper class and all the levels in between. Each class is defined by a shared set of values and behavior. Class is not
defined solely by wealth. Other factors include occupation, education, and values. Unlike in India, Americans may move up and
down class systems throughout the course of their lifetime.

The application for marketers and salespeople is that your target market demands some sort of customization in your
marketing message. Your communication needs to be tailored to your target market at least to some extent. Budget demands will
always limit the amount of customization any company can afford, so carefully select the images and verbiage of your marketing
materials and your sales presentations to have the maximum impact within your market

The consumer’s shopping record is usually combined with demographic information (e.g., income, educational level of adults
in the household, occupations of adults, ages of children, and whether the family owns and rents) and the family’s television watching
habits. (Electronic equipment run by firms such as A. C. Nielsen will actually recognize the face of each family member when he or
she sits down to watch).

It is now possible to assess the relative impact of a number of factors on the consumer’s choice—e.g:

• What brand in a given product category was bought during the last, or a series of past, purchase occasions;
• Whether, and if so, how many times a consumer has seen an ad for the brand in question or a competing one;
• Whether the target brand (and/or a competing one) is on sale during the store visit;
• Whether any brand had preferential display space;
• The impact of income and/or family size on purchase patterns.
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2) Taking the examples of a business hotel differentiate between core, facilitating and supporting services. Would your answer
differ for an economy tourist hotel? Explain.

Hotel Industry:
Hotels are one of the most least restricted buildings in terms of access as they offer comfort and luxury and operate 24x7. The
luxurious surroundings make the guests and staff of the hotel industry less conscious to security threats in general and terrorist attacks
in particular.

Checkmate provides a range of services with proven reliability meeting needs of the conventional and unique security aspects
through an integrated approach.
Checkmate practices professional security planning and threat assessments from the perimeter, inspection of vehicles,
parking, surveillance detection, crisis management, fire safety & human safety linked emergency procedures, to open communication
and coordination with the hotel staff.

Core services is a bundle of benefits or activities- For example the State bank of India serves the customer with its core banking
services.

The placement facilities provided by the educational institution would be Facilitating service as its core facility is academic activities.

Whereas the supporting services of the education institute would include career counseling activities.

Effective elements begin at the core:

To keep abreast of the challenges in a fast-paced business industry, a reliable partner with expert knowledge and experience
is a must.

At Core Elements, we believe in strong and enduring relationships. We recognize that each company is unique and
understand the needs of every business and individual. So we provide tailor-made services and proven methodologies that ensure
success. And with support from our team of professionals, you are guaranteed effective and efficient service

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Generally speaking, the five needs of customers are:-


(a) Service
(b) Price
(c) Quality
(d) Action and
(e) Appreciation

Facilitating of tourist hotels:


Key issue confronting travel distributors, including online travel companies, is the attempted application of hotel occupancy
taxes to the compensation they receive for facilitating hotel bookings, i.e., enabling consumers to book their own hotel rooms online.
This effort, prompted frequently by plaintiffs' class action legal firms, is damaging to consumers, and to hotel bookings generally in
the destinations which try to apply this tax, whether through litigation or legislation, and threatens an industry that has been an
important driver of travel and tourism and the economic benefits that brings to localities everywhere. The articles below provide a
range of information that explains the issue, the industry, the business model and the counterproductive impact of these taxes.

Services of tourist hotel:

Hotel Support &Management Co. (HSMC) operates a comprehensive but customised service
delivery system informed by the set international standard and the quest for professionalism being
the force for meaningful economic advancement. The services are uniquely packaged to engender
investors' interests in the hospitality industry by guaranteeing optimum returns on their
investments.
By taking advantage of the professional services on offer, your business will experience High
Optimisation of Personnel Productivity, Operational Effectiveness/Efficiency, and of course Effective
Financial Control. Thus, your Risk Management Policies are transformed into Accurate Sales
Projection and Profitability Prediction using our Comprehensive and Analytical Feasibility Reports.
Take a peep at our Services Window, identify your Business Needs, and give us a Call to Fill the
Gap. HSMC at your service ANY TIME!

HSMC, a vision re-sharpened:

With the emergence of Hotel Support Services Ltd. In 1990, the Nigerian Hospitality Industry has experienced dramatic
reformation and markedly development. This was made possible by the wealth of experience and total commitment of the founding
directors and the Management Team of the Company who were envisioned with the new Hospitality Concept.

The re-sharpened Vision of Hotel Support & Management Company is to take the Industry to the next level through the
Internationalisation of our operations, redefinition of the Concept of Hospitality, and the sustained professional services rendered to
the investors and operators in the Industry using the best people, processes, and the right technology. We are already a household
name in the Business.

Mission Statement:

HSMC is to be the key player and one-stop International Company providing multi-disciplinary professional services for the
sustained growth and development of the Hospitality Industry. Ours is to engender international standards in the service delivery
systems in Nigerian Hotels and beyond.

Corporate Membership & Affiliations:

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For several years now, HSSL Global Limited has been a corporate member of a number of International Professional
Organisations and we have been actively participating in International Conferences, Seminars, Exhibitions, Job Fairs, Trade Missions,
etc.,

These include:

o Hotel, Catering and International Management Association (HCIMA), United Kingdom.

o The American Hotel and Motel Management Association (AH & MA), Washington, USA.

o World Tourism Organisation (WTO), Geneva.

These are the example of a business hotel difference between core, facilitating and supporting services.

3) Explain the role of non-monetary cost in pricing of services by taking the example of a service of your choice.
The role of non-monetary cost is very significant in services. Non-monetary costs are the sources of sacrifices perceived by
customers. They include time costs, search costs and psychic costs, which may sometimes become more important for the
customers than monetary costs.
Time costs refer to the spending of time by the service customer on travel to reach the service outlet, waiting time, service
process time and so on.
Search cost refer to the effort the service customer puts in collecting information relating to the service and the service
provider takes for making a correct decision.
Psychic costs refer to the psychological pressure the service customer undergoes in selecting a service provider.
Most people do not like to go to the doctor, undergo medical procedures, or stay in the hospital. Medical services are time-
consuming, inconvenient, and uncomfortable to patients. An economist would call these the non-monetary costs of obtaining health
care services.

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It is true that non-monetary costs of health care act as a restraint on demand. Non-monetary costs would be sufficient to keep
us from going berserk and rushing to get colonoscopies just because they are "on sale."

However, the fact that people face non-monetary costs does nothing to alleviate the inefficiency that arises when we are
insulated from the direct monetary costs of health care services. The cost-benefit analysis that people perform is still distorted by
incorrect incentives...

Suppose that the fee for a procedure is $500, and the non-monetary cost amounts to the equivalent of another $500. If the
health benefits from the service are only $750, then the service is a bad deal for the patient. The fact that the health benefits exceed the
fee is interesting, but it does not justify having the patient suffer through the service.

Widespread pricing mismanagement plagues service industries because too many services marketers ignore the special
challenges of pricing intangible products. The authors discuss the implications of this kind of pricing in today's highly competitive
conditions and offer a framework that reconciles the implications with customers' quest for value. Three distinct but related strategies
for services pricing -- satisfaction-based pricing, relationship pricing, and efficiency pricing – can help services marketers capture and
communicate value through their pricing. Pricing services effectively calls for a longer-term perspective than some executives may
feel is practical.

Implications of Pricing Intangibles

Unfortunately, little research exists on the pricing of services, and few people understand the special challenges involved. But
services are a special breed of product, and marketers need to treat them as such. Services are performances; therefore, they are
intangible. Goods, on the other hand, are objects; they can be seen and touched. Customers can see tangibles associated with the
service, such as the people who provide the service and the equipment, but they usually cannot see the service itself. Automobile
insurance "pays off" for customers only
when something bad happens. Recognizing this subtle but important distinction between tangibility and intangibility can provide
useful clues to understanding customers' reactions
to services prices. Take, for example, a plumbing company that charges $60 to fix a leaky toilet.

Satisfaction-Based, Relationship, and Efficiency Pricing Strategies


Pricing strategy Provides value by… Implemented as…

Satisfaction-based pricing Recognizing and reducing customers ‘perceptions of uncertainty, which the intangible nature of
services magnifies. Service guarantees Benefit-driven pricing Flat-rate pricing Relationship pricing Encouraging long-term
relationships with the company that customers view as beneficial. Long-term contracts Pricing bundling Efficiency pricing Sharing
with customers the cost savings that the company has achieved by understanding, managing, and reducing the costs of providing the
service. Cost-leader pricing By charging that amount, the plumber aims to recoup the fixed and variable costs of operating the
business (facilities, trucks, labor, telephones, insurance, gasoline), as well as to generate a profit.
Customers, on the other hand, might be shocked at a price of $60 for twenty-three minutes. They could have bought a new sweater or
some compact disks for that. They might say the psychology of the transaction is not favorable to the plumber.

Comparing Prices, Making Choices, Assessing Value.

The intangibility of services makes it more difficult for customers to compare prices. In a supermarket, prices are affixed to
tangible products grouped by category, but the nonphysical nature of services impedes price and product comparisons. Since the
products are invisible, customers cannot easily see their costs. For example, they have no fast method for comparing AT&T, MCI, and
Sprint long distance services or prices before deciding which to select. Thus intangibility accentuates the complexity of services prices
for customers.
Services differ from goods in the degree to which they possess search, experience, and credence
attributes, three categories that help marketers distinguish among products customers often use price as a surrogate indicator of
quality. They assume that the least expensive lawyer may also be the least skilled, and vice versa. Legal services typically are high in
experience and credence attributes. The legal client evaluates quality and value when experiencing the service
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and, to some degree, may never know if the lawyer performed optimally. Services having credence properties usually are technical in
nature or are not performed in the customer's presence. Automobile repair, medical, marketing research, and many other services have
one or both of these characteristics.

Undifferentiated Offerings
The lack of physical differentiation among competing services is another factor that contributes to poorly executed pricing.
The styling of an automobile, the fit and feel of a pair of slacks, the color and pattern of a necktie, even the picture on a cereal package
differentiate a product from its competitors and give customers a reason not related to price for favoring it. Tangibles – for example,
the appearance of service facilities and providers -- play a role in differentiating services too, but often the tangibles associated with a
service are relatively unimportant to the purchase decision or differ little from the competition. For this reason, marketers try to
differentiate their service through nonphysical means -- quality or price, for example -- and, frequently, they concentrate on the price
tool. Price may seem easier to implement, faster in its effects, or more persuasive with targeted customers. The pricing of airline
services, which by and large are marketed as a commodity, is a case in point.
Value Strategies for Services Pricing
The key to improved services pricing is to dearly relate the price that customers pay to the value that they receive. A
customer may or may not look for the absolute lowest price available for a service, but everyone wants something worth the price hero
she pays. Services pricing strategies often derail because they lack any obvious association between price and value. For customers,
value means benefits received for burdens endured. No product is free of cost, which comes in two forms: monetary (the economic
price)and non-monetary (for example, time or physical or mental effort). When making purchasing decisions, customers want to feel
they are getting at least as much as what they are paying; that is, the benefits should be commensurate with the burdens. Not
understanding this trade-off, services marketers frequently undermine the effectiveness of their pricing strategies. Consider an
advertising campaign for a service that claims the lowest available prices but presents them in a complex series of combinations. That
kind of pricing message carries a heavier burden for customers than the advertiser realizes. Customers have to figure out how the
different pricing plans work, which one is the best, and whether any of them actually give them more value, or whether they are all
just hype. The non-monetary burden of such a pricing strategy increases the customers' overall burden and therefore weakens the
marketers benefits-to-burdens offer
The importance of considering non-monetary cost as part of the value message in services pricing is illustrated by the
avalanche of calling plans that the big long distance telephone companies have unleashed during the past few years. Collectively, they
spent hundreds of millions of advertising dollars for an unrelenting stream of lowest-price claims and pricing counterattacks. A 1995
study of customers' perceptions of long distance telephone providers conducted by CDB Research & Consulting found that 60 percent
of the respondents were confused by the many different calling plans. Among customers with incomes of $50,000 or more and those
aged 18 to34 -- two coveted markets -- 78 percent indicated they were tired of all the advertising and hype about long distance rates.
Satisfaction-Based Pricing
The intangible nature of services challenges both company and customer to dearly establish the value of the service. Some
uncertainty is associated
with any purchase, whether it is a service or a tangible product, but intangibility accentuates the uncertain. The goal of satisfaction-
based pricing strategies is to alleviate customers' uncertainty. Companies can do this in several ways, including service guarantees,
benefit-driven pricing, and flat rate pricing.
Service Guarantees.
Explicitly guaranteeing a service can be a powerful reassurance for
customers. Even if they end up dissatisfied with the service, the guarantee gives them a recourse -usually a reduced price or refund for
a burden that they have endured. When executed well, service guarantees symbolize both a company’s commitment to customer
satisfaction and the confidence it has in the quality of its service. Companies with poor or mediocre service should improve their
service significantly before considering a service guarantee.
Benefit-Driven Pricing.
Satisfaction-based pricing also can be based on how a service is used and
how it creates value. Benefit-driven pricing involves explicitly pricing the aspect of the service that directly benefits customers. The
result is that customers usually feel more satisfied and less uncertain than if a service's price is unrelated to the benefits it delivers.
While identifying what customers value in a service is crucially important for developing an effective benefit-driven pricing strategy,
determining what customers do not value is equally important.
One big complication arises from the possibility that valuations can vary significantly across

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customer segments. Once such information has-been gathered systematically, however, it can serve as a secure foundation for
implementing benefit driven pricing. Generally, the pricing must establish and communicate a dear association between the price and
the service attributes that customers value.
Flat-Rate Pricing.
An important source of uncertainty for some customers is the actual costs that they will incur. For many labor-intensive
services, the exact price cannot be established before delivery. The cost of legal representation, for example, often is influenced by
events that cannot be known fully in advance. Flat-rate pricing alleviates customers' uncertainty by agreeing on a price beforehand. In
effect, the service provider assumes the risk of any cost overruns. Flat-rate pricing can be an effective strategy for companies in
industries in which service prices are unpredictable and costs are badly managed, or in which competitors make low estimates to win
business but have no intention of honoring them.
Relationship Pricing
Relationship marketing, which involves “attracting, maintaining, and – in multi-service organizations enhancing customer
relationships is increasingly viewed as a desirable marketing strategy because of its profit potential and its appeal to customers.
Service companies dearly gain if they can do more business with existing customers for a longer
period of time. Equally important, customers gain if they can establish a relationship with a
competent, dependable provider of a high-risk service that presents a complex decision with
regard to purchase and is difficult to evaluate. A customer fortunate enough to have an excellent auto repair person, physician, or real
estate agent has a lower effort and risk burden than someone who needs the service but hasn't yet developed a satisfactory relationship.
Long-Term Contracts.
Marketers can use long term contracts that offer customers price and non price incentives to enter into multiyear
relationships, either to strengthen existing relationships or to develop new ones. Such contracts can alter fundamentally a service
provider’s relationships with its customers. They can transform business transactions from relatively isolated events to a series of
steady sustained interactions. Each transaction provides one more snapshot of customers' needs and therefore facilitates learning and
efficiency gains for the company -- which also may result in greater savings for customers as the relationship evolves. The steady
revenue stream from long-term relationships enables the service provider to concentrate more resources on widening the value gap
between what it offers and what competitors offer.
Price Bundling.
This strategy, which also aims to enhance and sustain customer relationships, involves selling two or more services bundled
together. Price incentives assure buyers that purchasing the services together is less expensive than buying them separately. Service
providers can benefit in two ways from price bundling. First, bundling can reduce costs. The cost structure of most service companies
is such that providing an additional service costs less than providing the second service alone. In a bank, for instance, shared account-
opening and computer-processing costs result in economies when the bank can sell a certificate of deposit and a savings account along
with a checking account. If the bank passes some or all of the economies to customers in the form of reduced fees or higher interest, it
is giving them an incentive to buy the bundled services. A second benefit of bundling that appeals to customers is purchasing related
services from one another.
Efficiency Pricing
Understanding, managing, and reducing costs are the cornerstones of efficiency pricing. Some or all of the resulting cost
savings are passed on to customers in the form of lower prices. To be effective, the leaner cost structure must be difficult for
competitors to imitate in the short run. Furthermore, cost savings passed on to customers must genuinely enhance their value
perceptions.
Activity-based costing (ABC), which focuses on resources consumed by specific activities that lead to the final product,
may be a more useful tool. Take, for example, a pizza delivery operation. ABC would estimate the cost of each activity in the service
chain, from taking the order to delivering the pizza. Once the cost elements were identified, cost-reduction efforts could be focused on
streamlining or eliminating activities that don't add enough value for customers.

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4) Select a service you are familiar with. Explain the service offered & develop a good service guarantee for it. Discuss why
your guarantee is a good one, and the possible benefits to the company in implementing it.
What is a good service guarantee?
With a good guarantee, you tell your customers where and how to complain, and that complaining is worth their time and
effort. It also shows that you care. A good guarantee is:
1)Unconditional Customers should not need a lawyer to explain the "ifs, ands and buts" of a guarantee because ideally there
should not be any conditions; a customer is either satisfied or is not. If a company cannot guarantee all elements of its service
unconditionally, it should unconditionally guarantee the elements that it can control. Airlines cannot promise on-time arrival, but they
can guarantee passengers will be satisfied with airport waiting areas, service on the ground and in the air, and food quality.
2)Easy to Understand and Communicate A guarantee should be written in simple, concise language that pinpoints the
promise. Customers then know precisely what they can expect and employees know precisely what is expected of them. "Five-minute"
lunch service, rather than "prompt" service, creates clear expectations.
3)Meaningful A good service guarantee is meaningful in two respects. First, it guarantees those aspects of your service that
are important to your customers. It may be speedy delivery at lunch time, when many customers are in a hurry to get back to the
office, but not at dinner, when fast service is not considered a priority to most patrons.
Second, a good guarantee is meaningful financially. It calls for a significant and fair pay out when the promise is not kept.
What should it be? A full refund? An offer of free service next time? The answer depends on factors such as the cost of the service,
the seriousness of the failure, and customers' perception of what is fair.

Example At one point, Domino's Pizza promised "delivery within 30 minutes or the pizza is free." Management found that
customers considered this too generous; they felt uncomfortable accepting a free pizza for a mere 5-to 15-minute delay and did not
always take advantage of the guarantee. Consequently, Domino's changed the guarantee to "delivery within 30 minutes or $3 off," and
customers appear to consider this commitment reasonable. The important point here is that you want your customers to use your
warranty as much as possible. It a sure way to discover cracks in your service or products and avoid customer defection.

4)Easy to Invoke A customer who is already dissatisfied should not have to jump through hoops to invoke a guarantee;
dissatisfaction is only exacerbated when the customer has to talk to different people, fill out forms, make telephone calls, send in
written proof of purchase with a full description of the events, wait for a written reply, and go somewhere else to see someone to
verify all the preceding facts, and so on.

Similarly, customers should not be made to feel guilty about invoking the guarantee. A company should encourage unhappy
customers to invoke the guarantee, not put up roadblocks to keep them from speaking up.

5)Easy to Collect Customers should not have to work hard to collect a pay out. The procedure should be easy and, equally
important, quick: on-the-spot, if possible.
In your guarantee, you should not: promise something your customers already expect
shroud a guarantee in so many conditions that it loses its point•offer a guarantee so mild that it is never invoked.

A guarantee that is essentially risk free to the company will be of little or no value to your customers, and may be a joke to
your employees.

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A guarantee is a powerful tool -both for marketing service quality and for achieving it -for five reasons.
1)A guarantee forces you to focus on customersKnowing what customers want is essential to offering a service guarantee. A
company that wants to guarantee its service, but that lacks this knowledge, may very well guarantee the wrong things.

2)A guarantee sets clear standardsA specific, unambiguous service guarantee sets standards for your organization. It tells
employees what the company stands for, and it forces the company to define each employee's role and responsibilities in delivering
the service. This clarity and sense of identity have the added advantage of creating employee team spirit and pride. A guarantee is far
more than a simple piece of paper that puts customers at ease. It sets the tone, externally and, perhaps more importantly, internally, for
your commitment to your customers and workers.

A pay out that creates financial pain when errors occur is also a powerful statement, to employees and customers alike, that
management demands customer satisfaction. A significant pay out ensures that both middle and upper management will take the
service guarantee seriously; it provides a strong incentive to take every step necessary to deliver. A manager who must bear the full
cost of mistakes has ample incentive to figure out how to prevent them from happening.

3)A guarantee generates feedbackA guarantee creates the goal; it defines what you must do to satisfy your customers. Next,
you need to know when you go wrong. A guarantee forces you to create a system for discovering errors. (The Japanese call errors
"golden nuggets" because they are opportunities to learn).

4)A guarantee forces you to demand why you failIn developing a guarantee, managers must ask questions such as the
following: What failure points exist in the system? If failure points can be identified, can their origins be traced and avoided? A
company that wants to promise timely service delivery, for example, must first understand its operation's capability and the factors
limiting that capability. Many service executives, lacking understanding of such basic issues as system throughput time, capacity, and
process flow, tend to blame workers or customers -anything but the service-delivery process.

Even if workers are a problem, managers can do several things to "fix" the organization so that it can support a guarantee,
such as designing better recruiting, hiring and training processes.

5)A guarantee builds marketing muscle.Perhaps the most obvious reason for offering a strong service guarantee is that it can boost
marketing: it encourages consumers to buy your product or
service by reducing the risk of the purchase decision, and it generates more sales to existing customers by enhancing loyalty.

Do all companies need to offer a guarantee?

Of course, guarantees may not be effective or practical for all firms. In general, organizations that meet the following tests
probably have little to gain by offering a service guarantee:

The company is perceived by the market to be the quality leader in its industry.
Every employee is inculcated with the "absolute customer satisfaction" philosophy.

Employees are empowered to take whatever corrective action is necessary to handle complaints.

Errors are few.


A stated guarantee would be at odds with the company's image

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5) Explain the importance of branding of financial services giving suitable examples.

Building Your Brand

Branding is more than just a business buzzword. It has become the crux of selling in the new economy. If the old marketing
mantra was," Nothing happens until somebody sells something," the new philosophy could be" Nothing happens until somebody
brands something."

In its simplest form, a brand is a noun. It is the name attached to a product or service. However, upon close inspection, a
brand represents many more intangible aspects of a product or service: a collection of feelings and perceptions about quality, image,
lifestyle and status. It creates in the mind of customers and prospects the perception that there is no product or service on the market
that is quite like yours. In short, a brand offers the customer a guarantee and then delivers on it.

You might infer, then, that if you build a powerful brand, you will in turn be able to create a powerful marketing program.
However, if you can't convince customers that your product is worthy of purchasing, no amount of advertising dollars, fancy
packaging or public relations will help you achieve your sales goals. Therefore, successful branding programs begin with superior
products and services, backed by excellent customer service that permeates an entire organization.

The Importance of Branding

One of the truths of modern business is that there is almost nothing that your competitors can't duplicate in a matter of weeks
or months. If you have a great idea, you can be certain that somebody will copy it before long. And not only will they follow your
lead, but they may also be able to do a better job or sell the product or service at a lower price. The question then becomes, "What
competitive edge do I have to offer that cannot be copied by anyone else?"

The answer? Your brand.

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Creating a strong brand identity will build mind share — one of the strongest competitive advantages imaginable. As a result,
customers will think of your business first when they think of your product category. For example, when you think of tissues, more
likely than not, you think of the Kleenex brand. And when you're looking for tape to wrap a present, Scotch is the brand that springs to
mind. Likewise, when your child wants a hamburger, he will often say he wants to go to McDonald's. The reason behind these strong
brand-product associations is that these companies have built rock solid brand identities.

"A brand is the one thing that you can own that nobody can take away from you," says Howard Kosgrove, vice principal of
marketing at Lindsay, Stone and Briggs Advertising in Madison, Wis. "Everything else, they can steal. They can steal your trade
secrets. Eventually, your patents will expire. Your physical plant will wear out. Technology will change. But your brand can go on and
live. It creates a lasting value above and beyond all the other elements of your business."

That value is often called brand equity, or the worth of the brand. Brand equity, unlike other abstract marketing notions, can
be quantified. For instance, if you owned the Marlboro Company and wanted to sell it, you would begin to value the firm by looking
at the assets tied to the Marlboro brand. You would then identify the cost of the factories, patents, trucks, machines and staff." They
are worth a small fraction of what you can sell that brand for," says Kosgrove. "The value of that brand is huge compared to those
actual physical assets."

The importance and value of branding becomes apparent when an entrepreneur wants to sell his or her company or take it to
Wall Street for a public offering or other infusion of capital. It is often the brand that a business owner has to sell in such cases.

When Should You Brand?

Because of the competitive nature of business today, nearly all industries can benefit from a branded product. All of the
traditionally brand-conscious industries, including fashion, restaurants and consumer goods, are being forced to continue to brand
heavily — perhaps even more strategically than they ever have in the past. Financial services, which were one of the last frontiers, are
even beginning to see the importance of branding by tagging banking packages and even mutual funds with catchy names. Even
industrial markets, where cost is usually more of a loyalty building factor, has seen brand names creep in. For example, Tyvek, a
DuPont fiber, improbably one of the best known industrial branded products.

Other industries in which branding is a must include:

• Fast food
• High-tech
• Beverages
• Packaged Goods
• Petroleum
• Entertainment
• Retail
• Auto
• Pharmaceutical

Types of Brands

A brand cannot be all things to all people. By definition, no one brand is going to appeal to all customers. On the contrary,
branding is based on the concept of singularity — targeting individuals in a personal manner— and therefore precludes the concept of
universal appeal. This is why many brands broaden and widen their appeal by creating tertiary brands or line extenders.

Although most industries and products or services can benefit from a brand, not every product needs its own stand-alone brand.
Brands can be separated into three categories: primary, secondary and tertiary.

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• Primary Brands - This is a company's core brand or umbrella brand. Primary brands typically garner a large percentage of a
company's revenue potential and therefore need to be given priority and have a sufficient amount of advertising in order to
root them firmly.
• Secondary Brands - These are often line extenders, or "flankers," for a core brand. Secondary brands don't need to have their
own name; usually a modifier to the brand name will suffice and strengthen the core brand. Take, for instance, a toothbrush
called the Crest Deep Sweep. Crest is the core brand, and Deep Sweep is the secondary brand. Line extenders are
characterized by having a descriptive term that allows the base brand to be the true selling proposition and the flanker to
really designate to the audience what that particular product's key feature or benefits are.
• Tertiary brands - These brands typically have insignificant revenue potentials or expectations, but they contribute to the
company's overall image in some way. Therefore, they sometimes don't sport registered brand names, but just descriptors.
For example, a garbage bag manufacturer may make a generic-brand bag in addition to its flagship brand. The generic line
may bring in minimal revenue for the company, but it fills a need within a niche market so the company continues to
manufacture it under the unregistered name Household Trash Bags. Therefore, the generic line is considered a tertiary brand
for this company.

What Goes Into a Brand?

If your product or service is new or unique, thetas of branding are made easier. Since there are no pre-existing biases toward
the product or service, it will be easy to manipulate customer attitudes.

More often, your product or service will have been in existence for a while and have direct competition. And if it doesn't, it
probably soon will. Therefore, products that may be roughly equivalent in terms of their features need to have a brand identity that
will impact consumer choice.

Brand identity is comprised of:

• Pricing - a component of value; higher prices may signify to consumers higher quality, and lower prices may suggest
decreased value.
• Distribution - availability; limited distribution of a product or service may imply exclusivity to discerning consumers.
• Quality - which impacts satisfaction; obviously, higher quality will translate to more satisfied customers who come back
again and again to purchase your offerings.
• Presence - prominence in the paid and unpaid media; products or services with a high-profile market presence will lead to
brand recognition and increased sales.
• Awareness - top-of-mind awareness, residual awareness and recognition, which are directly related to presence; the higher
your offering's awareness, the better your sales results will be.
• Reputation - enduring public opinion of brand character, which is built over time and difficult to change once established.
• Image - perceptions of brand traits or prototypical buyers; often represented by qualities the consumer relates to. Like
reputation, image is difficult to change once established.
• Benefits - consumers may equate certain positive and negative consequences with use of your product or service; these may
be warranted or unwarranted.
• Positioning salience - differentiation from the competition, which is established by a combination of all elements of the
brand.
• Preference - a predisposition to buy displayed by consumers who are establishing brand loyalty.
• Share of market - increased market share is a direct result of a successful branding campaign.
• Customer commitment - loyalty is built through long-term branding and close consumer contact.

Building Brand Personality

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Brands that carry with them a true persona, and the beliefs and experiences similar to a personality make a brand rise to a
new level. After all, it's hard not to like someone with a good personality. In matters of branding, a personality helps to humanize an
otherwise inanimate object or service so that a prospect's defenses are lowered. An attractive brand personality can pre-sell the
prospect before the purchase, reinforce the purchase decision, and help forge an emotional link that binds the buyer to the brand for
years to come. In such cases, "you are more willing to overlook flaws and search for strengths," writes Upshaw.

According to Kosgrove, small-company brands usually take on the personality of the entrepreneur who owns them. It's hard,
he says, for an entrepreneur to create a brand that is a 180-degree turn against what the founder is like. Therefore, if the founder is a
high adventure sports enthusiast, the brand will probably not be the favorite of a conservative investment banker. "A brand is
everything that your customers know about you," says Kosgrove. Every contact they have with you helps to build that brand, good or
bad. An entrepreneur or founder, to a large extent, is the brand because the personality and the interest of the founder is going to have
a lot to do with the way that the company is perceived by others."

One entrepreneur whose personality permeates every aspect of his brand is Nicholas Graham, founder of Joe Boxer. The off-
beat, humorous line of boxer shorts and loungewear that the company produces bears the distinctive image of the zany Graham
himself, who is best known for unorthodox marketing antics like shooting an underwear-laden rocket into space and holding an
undergarments "fashion show" on a transatlantic flight on Virgin Airways.

A brand's personality can offer the single most important reason why one brand will be chosen over another, particularly
when there are few product or service features that are different between competing brands. The personality gives the consumer
something to relate to that can be more vivid than the perceived positioning of the brand.

The personality, in some ways, is much more real than the other aspects of the brand because it is the outstretched hand that
touches the customer as an individual.

Although a strong identifiable personality is not imperative, it can make it easier for customers and prospects alike to understand
what the marketer has to offer. Even more important, a brand with a distinctive personality presents the would-be buyer with
something he or she can relate to as an individual, a practical prerequisite for success in an increasingly individual-driven marketplace.
Personality is usually shown in three ways.

1. Provider-driven - Provider-driven images are popular with services because there is a greater need to build confidence
between the provider and seller since there is usually an intangible product on the table. Brands that lean heavily on the
provider image include insurance companies and financial institutions. Prudential's "The Rock" and Allstate's "You're in
good hands," show that the brand is trustworthy and their brands reflect the same attitude.
2. Image of the user - Other brands like to show that the people who use the brands are people that you could be friends with,
relate to, or want to be like. Many companies with branded products geared toward Generation X and Y use this tactic.
However, these generations are also skeptical of marketers and are keenly aware of when a brand is targeting them.
3. Image of the product or service - As strange as it may sound, packaged products often take on a personality that consumers
can relate to. Whether through a mascot or an animated figurine, products come to life to give consumers more than just a
brand to trust, but also a face. For instance, the Pillsbury Doughboy's laugh reinforces that the product will make your family
feel good.

What’s so special about Logo and Brand Identity in the Financial Services:

In the Financial Services industry there are many levels of organizations and each practices very different approach to
brand identity due to consumer demand, popularity, marketing methods and so on. In other words what large bank does, small
advisory firm can’t and should not try to do. It’s important to put your organization into context of your competition to do due analysis
of identity on the market and take into consideration latest events which have influenced consumer view of many brands.

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Main test of good brand identity is if the user can remember it and if it alters or supports his decision to use your
organizations services or products. Not having a professional branding essentially puts your company outside of ones that do and any
shortcuts directly influence your bottom line as your marketing expenses are not effective.

Logo Design and Brand Identity for Banks and Banking Industry:

Logos for banks over long time were focused on solid, serious and conservative message stressing their stability. This key
concept started gradually to deteriorate over past 10 years into more modern visual message which stresses how personal banking can
be Personal aspect vs. stability is an obvious challenge and smaller banks and institutions try to appeal to local markets maintaining
conservative branding as opposed to more aggressive and personal logos you can see from top nation’s banks

Let’s look at few examples:

Regional and National brands

Time to rebrand financial institutions:

Not without exception, but we can identify certain trends in the examples above. Specifically local
small banks rely heavily in textual treatment and more conservative use of color and in our view lack personal appeal which large
national banks are able to create due to more friendly use of colors and design. While its important to maintain message of stability
during these tough times, banking industry may be better served if the brands weren’t depreciated even further by appearing not
friendly. Perhaps now is a good time to change the approach to banking branding and re-brand some local and regional financial
institutions. Not that it will help to change the image, at least may present banks more friendly.

Related Posts:

• Logo design for small business, branding, identity for small businesses
• Fiserv updates corporate identity and visual style
• Co-branding, how to co-brand your company products and services online
• Website design samples - designing sample web sites
• Website design pricing - prices for web design services.

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6. Case situation:

a) Evaluate the ‘preferred guest card’ scheme and give your recommendations to the management.

The ‘Preferred guest card’ scheme is very good scheme which the amusement park is availing in its organization. This
scheme can be utilized only during the peak season. And by this the management tries to help the people who are coming especially
family and high class group of people.

They can highlight this method and convey to the members of family and officers line by providing pamphlets, newsletters
and magazines…..

The recommendations:

The amusement park management can follow the following recommendations if they like to follow for their parks growth and
to get high return from their investment. They are as follows

“Nobody needs to pay full price.”

It means the people who are having the preferred guest card they need not to pay full amount at the time of entry to the park.

“You’ll spend half your day standing in line.”

If you get preferred guest card you will be given preference to enter in to the park otherwise you may have to stand in line for
half day.

“It’s a class-conscious world, after all.”

They can provide a slogan that it is a class-conscious world, after all.

“Our waterslide isn’t exactly a kiddie ride.”

They can encourage the children by telling that our waterslide is not exactly a kiddie ride.

“Welcome to the Tragic Kingdom.”

They can mention their park in to a different attractive name like this.

b) Describe the demand patterns that you would expect at an amusement park and the underlying causes.

The demand pattern that we can expect at an amusement park and the underlying causes are mainly based on the Price
Discrimination. If the management provides some price variations it can get lot of people to visit their amusement park. Otherwise if
they are going to have a standard and fixed price for the entry fee they cannot gain in the business. Also it is one of the way to attract
the people towards them.

Price Discrimination

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Most businesses charge different prices to different groups of consumers for what is more or less the same good or service!
This is price discrimination and it has become widespread in nearly every market. This note looks at variations of price discrimination
and evaluates who gains and who loses?

What is price discrimination?

Price discrimination or yield management occurs when a firm charges a different price to different groups of consumers
for an identical good or service, for reasons not associated with costs.

It is important to stress that charging different prices for similar goods is not pure price discrimination.

We must be careful to distinguish between price discrimination and product differentiation – differentiation of the product
gives the supplier greater control over price and the potential to charge consumers a premium price because of actual or perceived
differences in the quality / performance of a good or service.

Conditions necessary for price discrimination to work

Essentially there are two main conditions required for discriminatory pricing

o Differences in price elasticity of demand between markets: There must be a different price elasticity of demand from each
group of consumers. The firm is then able to charge a higher price to the group with a more price inelastic demand and a
relatively lower price to the group with a more elastic demand. By adopting such a strategy, the firm can increase its total
revenue and profits (i.e. achieve a higher level of producer surplus). To profit maximise, the firm will seek to set marginal
revenue = to marginal cost in each separate (segmented) market.
o Barriers to prevent consumers switching from one supplier to another: The firm must be able to prevent “market
seepage” or “consumer switching” – defined as a process whereby consumers who have purchased a good or service at a
lower price are able to re-sell it to those consumers who would have normally paid the expensive price. This can be done in a
number of ways, – and is probably easier to achieve with the provision of a unique service such as a haircut rather than with
the exchange of tangible goods. Seepage might be prevented by selling a product to consumers at unique and different points
in time – for example with the use of time specific airline tickets that cannot be resold under any circumstances.

Examples of price discrimination

Price discrimination is an extremely common type of pricing strategy operated by virtually every business with some
discretionary pricing power. It is a classic part of price competition between firms seeking a market advantage or to protect an
established market position.

(a) Perfect Price Discrimination – charging whatever the market will bear
Sometimes known as optimal pricing, with perfect price discrimination, the firm separates the whole market into each individual
consumer and charges them the price they are willing and able to pay. If successful, the firm can extract all consumer surplus that lies
beneath the demand curve and turn it into extra producer revenue (or producer surplus). This is impossible to achieve unless the firm
knows every consumer’s preferences and, as a result, is unlikely to occur in the real world. The transactions costs involved in
finding out through market research what each buyer is prepared to pay is the main block or barrier to a businesses engaging in this
form of price discrimination.

If the monopolist is able to perfectly segment the market, then the average revenue curve effectively becomes the marginal revenue
curve for the firm. The monopolist will continue to see extra units as long as the extra revenue exceeds the marginal cost of
production.
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The reality is that, although optimal pricing can and does take place in the real world, most suppliers and consumers prefer to
work with price lists and price menus from which trade can take place rather than having to negotiate a price for each unit of a
product bought and sold.

Second Degree Price Discrimination

This type of price discrimination involves businesses selling off packages of a product deemed to be surplus capacity at lower
prices than the previously published/advertised price.

Examples of this can often be found in the hotel and airline industries where spare rooms and seats are sold on a last minute
standby basis. In these types of industry, the fixed costs of production are high. At the same time the marginal or variable costs are
small and predictable. If there are unsold airline tickets or hotel rooms, it is often in the businesses best interest to offload any spare
capacity at a discount prices, always providing that the cheaper price that adds to revenue at least covers the marginal cost of each
unit.

There is nearly always some supplementary profit to be made from this strategy. And, it can also be an effective way of
securing additional market share within an oligopoly as the main suppliers’ battle for market dominance. Firms may be quite happy
to accept a smaller profit margin if it means that they manage to steal an advantage on their rival firms.

The expansion of e-commerce by both well established businesses and new entrants to online retailing has seen a further
growth in second degree price discrimination.

Early-bird discounts – extra cash-flow

The low cost airlines follow a different pricing strategy to the one outlined above. Customers booking early with carriers such as
EasyJet will normally find lower prices if they are prepared to commit themselves to a flight by booking early. This gives the airline
the advantage of knowing how full their flights are likely to be and a source of cash-flow in the weeks and months prior to the service
being provided. Closer to the date and time of the scheduled service, the price rises, on the simple justification that consumer’s
demand for a flight becomes more inelastic the nearer to the time of the service. People who book late often regard travel to their
intended destination as a necessity and they are therefore likely to be willing and able to pay a much higher price very close to
departure.

Peak and Off-Peak Pricing

Peak and off-peak pricing and is common in the telecommunications industry, leisure retailing and in the travel sector.
Telephone and electricity companies separate markets by time: There are three rates for telephone calls: a daytime peak rate, and an
off peak evening rate and a cheaper weekend rate. Electricity suppliers also offer cheaper off-peak electricity during the night.

At off-peak times, there is plenty of spare capacity and marginal costs of production are low (the supply curve is elastic)
whereas at peak times when demand is high, we expect that short run supply becomes relatively inelastic as the supplier reaches
capacity constraints. A combination of higher demand and rising costs forces up the profit maximising price.

c) Suggest some ways of managing waiting lines at amusement parks.

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How do you let a cashier know that you're in a hurry when you're waiting in line?

a) Look at your watch and shake your head


b) Sigh, huff, and roll your eyes
c) Complain to others in the line
d) Say to the person at the till, "We're in a hurry here!"
e) All of the above

If you answered positively to any of these options, then you're like most of us who definitely do mind waiting. Lineups are
frustrating. They are barriers that prevent customers from fulfilling necessary and often tedious tasks. That means that if you don't
manage your lineups properly, you'll lose business due to customer frustration. Not to mention your staff will be stressed-out. That's
a lose/lose scenario.

Most managers think the best way to manage a lineup is to get the staff to work faster. Often, this only creates worse problems.
Consider the impact on your staff of trying to work at full speed. It's impossible to go flat-out without eventual burn-out. Morale
drops. Turnover increases. Tired employees make more mistakes; which take even more time to fix.

Ditto for the negative impact of working faster on your customers. Only a fool would want tired, aggravated employees interacting
with customers. Working faster to get through a line-up cuts short the human interaction that creates customer feelings of loyalty.

In the long term, working faster doesn't work. Instead, we need ways to reduce the stress of lineups for both customers and staff --
without working faster. Here are ten:

1. Warn the customer in advance.

Ever been frustrated by the long waiting-room lineup to see a doctor? (I, know -- stupid question). Though delays can
happen for legitimate medical reasons, some doctor's offices reduce patient frustration by phoning in advance and warning them of the
delay.

If your customer calls and says that they plan to come in, suggest the best times for them to drop-in to avoid waiting.

2. Schedule time for preparatory tasks.

If you know the customer will have some "preliminaries" when they arrive -- such as filling out forms, suggest that they
arrive early to complete them before the scheduled appointment or event.

3. Acknowledge people entering the line.

Too often, the first time the employee acknowledges the customer is when they get to the front of the line. That means a
person who wants to spend money is being deliberately ignored. Lousy strategy. Instead, acknowledge customers with a "Hi there!"
or "I'll be with you in just a few minutes!" as they enter the lineup.

4. Organize the line.

Often, people don't mind waiting if they can avoid standing in line and yet still keep their place. Some restaurants and
medical offices give customers pagers so they can go shopping while they wait. They're paged just before it's their turn.

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5. Distract and entertain the customer.

A sociology experiment found that the best way to speed-up a slow elevator was not to add a faster motor. Instead, they
added mirrors to the inside of the elevator. People got so caught-up in looking at themselves they thought the ride was twice as fast.
Lesson: you can reduce the perceived length of the lineup with a distraction.

Examples:

• Restaurants could offer reading material to people who are dining alone.
• Disney theme parks provide video updates about the ride you waiting for.
• Any unusual conversation piece will take your customer on a mental holiday.
• An Orlando hotel distracts guests waiting to register by herding live ducks to the fountain in the lobby.

6. Provide comfort.

Provide seating, food and drink. On busy Saturdays, a Calgary car wash brings you free pop and hot dogs while you wait in
your vehicle.

7. Amuse the kids.

Prevent frazzled nerves for everyone by providing a play area for toddlers. Parents will love you for it.

8. Update the customer of progress.

Even if you're not completely ready for the customer, you can still let them know you're working on their behalf. A travel
agent, for example, can phone the client to inform them that they've booked the flights, and are working on the hotel.

9. Explain unusual delays.

If it's an unusually long delay, apologize to the customer, explain the delay and thank them for waiting. When a pharmacist
explained to me that his assistant had quit that day, so he was short staffed, I didn't mind the wait. If he hadn't pointed that out, I
wouldn't have returned.

10. Increase staff at no extra cost.

If your lineups are sporadic you can increase capacity on the spot without spending extra money. Carol Chuback, manager of
a Greyhound Courier Depot, installed a doorbell under the cashier's counter. When the teller notices more than two people in line, he
discretely rings the doorbell signaling to a co-worker in the back to come to assist at the front counter.

Bottom line -- no one likes lineups.

But that's no reason to ask staff to burn themselves out. By getting creative you'll boost your repeat business, and you'll make
the buying experience more pleasant for everyone. That's what I call win/win.

Thus these are the suggestion which can be given to the management

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