Creativity in Advertisement
This postulation is devoted to Allah, my Creator and my Master, and envoy, Mohammed (May Allah favor and give him), who showed us the motivation behind life. My country Pakistan is the hottest womb; Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad; my second wonderful home; My awesome guardians, who never quit giving of themselves in incalculable ways, My dearest friend, who drives me through the valley of dimness with the light of trust and support, My cherished siblings and sisters; especially my dearest sibling, who remains by me when things look disheartening, My beloved Parents: whom I can’t compel myself to quit loving. All the general population in my life who touch my heart, I commit to this research.
Nowadays, there are numerous companies operating in different industries all over the world, and competition among opposing companies is relentless. Every single year, several corporations invest a lot of resources in various activities in order to differentiate themselves from competitors and stimulate consumers to purchase their offerings. Advertising is one of those activities, as it plays an important role in facilitating firms in appealing to their target consumers. More importantly, no matter how much a company attempts to attract buyers, the final decision-makers are consumers. In short, understanding consumer behavior is the fundamental foundation of building an advertising strategy.
The main purpose of this thesis is to indicate how to build Creativity in Advertisements and advertising on the understanding of consumer behavior. On the basis of the theoretical part, an advertising strategy is proposed to help the case company, Lumene Oy, with the key product line Bright Now Vitamin C, establish brand awareness and evoke interest among the company’s target consumers in Vietnam, who is women aged from 30 to 60 with upper-middle income level.
Due to the nature of the study, a deductive approach and quantitative research methods are employed. Moreover, information and knowledge used in the study are acquired from both primary and secondary sources. In order to get insights into Vietnamese consumer behavior, a survey is conducted; and together with the author’s observation, is used as the primary source for the study. Secondary data comes from books, journals, articles, and electronic sources.
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In the theoretical part, the knowledge of consumer behavior, advertising, Creativity in Advertisement and advertising strategy are introduced. Moreover, the interrelationship between consumer behavior and advertising are also explicated. Next, besides general information on Vietnam and the Vietnamese cosmetics market, empirical research on the target group of consumers is carried out and analyzed. The findings of the empirical research are then used to establish an advertising strategy for the case company. In the long run, the author suggests the case company to study more the relationships among brand equity, word-of-mouth and consumer behavior; and how to build sustainable brand loyalty into the bargain.
Advertising is a non-personal communication of information about products, services or ideas, usually designed to persuade audiences to take action now or in the future, and normally paid by specific sponsors through a variety of media forms (Arens & Weigold 2011, 8; Richards & Curran 2002, 63-77). In particular, advertising aims at groups of people rather than at individuals; thus, advertising is non-personal. Furthermore, most advertising is persuasive in nature. However, some kinds of advertising are solely intended to inform, such as legal announcements, rather than to persuade. In addition, advertising promotes not only tangible goods, but also intangibles services. Advertising is also used to popularize economic, political, religious and social ideas. Moreover, almost every advertisement is paid by identified sponsors. Nonetheless, in the case of national organizations, such as the American Red Cross or the American Cancer Society, it is free of charge to advertise. Besides, one of the purposes of advertising is to identify its sponsors, and that is why they pay for advertising. Another point is that people are exposed to advertising through channels of communication called medium. In other words, an advertising medium is non-personal means of delivering advertising to audiences. There are many different forms of communication channels or media, including traditional mass media, addressable media (such as direct mail), interactive media (such as the Internet), or nontraditional media (such as shopping carts). In addition, there are a lot of different types of advertising, which are divided into eight categories: print advertising, guerrilla advertising, broadcast advertising, out-of-home advertising, public service advertising, product placement advertising, mobile advertising, and online/digital advertising. (Arens & Weigold 2011, 8-10.)
Many people think that advertising is just to encourage them to buy more products in the short run and they have to endure the overwhelmingness of advertising.
However, in fact, from the perspective of a business, advertising creates long-term effects by generating brand awareness and a positive brand attitude. Besides, advertising is significantly important for some following reasons. First of all, advertising facilitates firms in competing against each other. In a highly competitive market, companies have to keep providing consumers with better quality and more reasonable price. Through advertising, firms inform consumers what their brands want to deliver to consumers. In other words, advertising enables companies to communicate with consumers promptly and effectively. Hence, advertising plays an essential role in the battle between firms striving to get consumers’ attention, preferences and financial resources. Secondly, advertising is the means through which consumers get information about new or improved products. In the third place, advertising also supports the media in various countries. To be specific, people receive information or watch programs broadcasted through multiple media channels either with a small amount of fee or without having to pay anything. Advertisers fund media by paying media to display their advertisements. However, in some countries, for example Germany or the Netherlands, a public service broadcasting system, which is publicly financed, is maintained in order to reduce the dependence on advertising revenues. Finally, advertising is an enormous industry, which generates a huge amount of revenue and more employment opportunities. (Tellis 2004; Fennis & Stroebe 2010, 6.)
In the next part, the author would like to discuss the interrelationship between advertising and consumer behavior in order to give better understanding of how advertising exerts influence on consumer behavior and why holding the knowledge of consumer behavior is vital to building strong advertising strategies.
Interrelationship between Advertising and Consumer Behavior
In this part, the impacts of advertising on consumer behavior are explained first. After that, the author would like to explain the importance of understanding consumer behavior to advertising.
Impacts of Advertising on Consumer Behavior
As mentioned in chapter 2, the process of consumer behavior involves plenty of factors. Among these factors, marketing dominated stimuli play an important role in stimulating people to purchase and consume. As explained in the previous chapter, marketing dominated stimuli come from two kinds of sources: marketing sources (advertisements, brand symbols, sales people, and so on) and nonmarketing sources (product placement, media, word-of-mouth and others). It could easily be seen that advertising has significant impacts on consumer behavior. However, not all of these impacts are positive. In fact, advertising also receives many criticisms. In this section, the author discusses the two-sided effects of advertising on consumer behavior.
As mentioned in the previous chapter, advertising influences the whole process of consumer behavior. In other words, advertising draws the attention of consumers and increases brand awareness, and then raises their interest in the advertised product. When the consumers keep being exposed to those advertisements, they will have a tendency to store information related to the product in their memory and recall it when they are in need; and simultaneously, their interest are maintained and developed gradually to the extent that they desire to possess the product. On the contrary, when the attitude of the consumers toward the brand is negative, they will definitely refuse to the buy the product. Advertising is the tool that companies use to build brand awareness, deliver their messages and establish brand attitude. (Rai 2013, 74-79.)
However, it is said that advertising creates artificial needs. In other words, advertising is criticized for encouraging materialism. By understanding consumer behavior and psychology, advertisers can persuade people to buy what they do not really need or to purchase products that are not good for them, such as tobacco or alcohol. On the other hand, it is also said that before deciding to produce any product, manufacturers always need to research their target markets and to know what product can bring them profit and meet the demand of their consumers. There would be no companies manufacturing products that nobody needs and advertising is the means of delivering products information to consumers. Another question that has been raised by many people is whether advertising distorts the truth and misleads consumers or not. According to critics, advertising exaggerates the truth and aims at vulnerable consumers, including elderly people; those who lack some certain technical knowledge; or those who desire to solve their problem, such as overweight people trying to lose weight or smokers attempting to stop smoking. Nonetheless, many advertisers still understand that if they deceive consumers, the chance is that their brands will be impinged and consumers will not repurchase their products. (Percy & Elliot 2012, 16-17; Kherathithanakann 2010, 162-166.)
Impacts of Consumer Behavior on Advertising
As stated in the previous section, consumer behavior is under the influence of advertising, but at the same time, advertising is also impacted by consumer behavior. It is said that consumer behavior is the key to advertising strategy. It is also a part of the first and foremost step in establishing and developing a strategy for the advertising of a business. Many companies spend large amounts of money to keep consumers’ preference towards their product. In fact, in order to succeed, they ought to understand what makes consumers behave the way they do. In other words, advertisers need to collect sufficient data to build their consumers’ profiles accurately and to communicate with their buyers effectively. Therefore, the study of consumer behavior has a significant meaning to advertising and plays an important role in building an advertising strategy. (Arens & Weigold 2011, 158159.)
Moreover, according to a survey responded by 29,000 consumers from 58 countries and published in September 2013, recommendations from acquaintances are the most credible source of advertising. In other words, word-of-mouth is still an effective way of advertising. However, how to have existing consumers spread their words to potential buyers is not an easy task. Hence, building positive brand attitude is a vitally essential mission of a business. The following bar chart shows the percentage of completely or somewhat trust in different forms of advertising.
Many advertisers understand that audiences’ feelings about an ad are very important to the success of an ad or a brand. However, it does not mean that how much people like an ad is all required for that ad to be considered successful. To evaluate the effectiveness and meaningfulness of an advertisement, advertisers should take into account two dimensions: audience resonance and strategic relevance. Audience resonance means that a great advertisement must be capable of catching the attention of its audiences and stay for a long time in the audiences’ mind. The second dimension, strategic relevance, indicates that a good advertisement must be close to the company’s advertising strategy or fulfill a strategic mission. These two factors are inextricable and an ad cannot be successful if it lacks one of them. In this section, the author would like to explain what makes audience resonance – creativity and sticky advertising. In the next chapter, the definition and steps in building an advertising strategy will be introduced. (Arens & Weigold 2011, 339-341.)
Every single day, people are bombarded with an uncountable number of advertisements; and unfortunately, not all of them can catch the attention of consumers and stay in their memories. Hence, creativity is the required element that makes an advertisement remarkable and memorable. However, many people suspect that creative advertisements are not truly more effective in encouraging people to take action than advertisements that only list product attributes. In fact, as stated in research conducted in Germany from January 2005 to October 2010, creative advertising delivers messages that are more capable of influencing consumer buying behavior. A creative advertisement possesses the following qualities: connectedness, appropriateness, and novelty. Connectedness indicates that a creative advertisement must convey information and emotions compatible with those consumers are looking for or experiencing. In other words, an advertisement is regarded as creative when it could create a connection with its target audience. For instance, if the target consumers of an automobile brand care about social status, then the advertisement of the brand has to present the role of social status in order to be considered connected with the audience. The second characteristic of a creative advertisement is appropriateness. This means that creative advertising must provide information or a message that is capable of presenting the value proposition of the brand, and concurrently showing the brand’s relative advantages as well as disadvantages compared to its competitors. Further, all the elements of the message in an appropriate advertisement must work harmoniously to deliver a coherent and cogent message. The last component of a creative advertisement is a novelty. Novelty means that the advertisement needs to be unique and impressive. In spite of that, a bizarre and unusual advertisement cannot be considered creative, even if the ad itself is unique and unexpected. In fact, a truly creative advertisement, besides being unique, must contain information and reflect emotions that connect to its target consumers
(connectedness) and deliver the brand’s value proposition (appropriateness). In short, all the above elements: connectedness, appropriateness, and novelty, have to converge together to form the creativity of an advertisement. (Reinartz & Saffert 2013, 106-112; Shimp 2010, 209-210.)
Creativity is not the only factor that determines the success of an advertisement. Although a creative advertisement can demonstrate a unique and unexpected idea, making consumers comprehend the message behind the idea is a different matter. Therefore, another determinant of success is that the ad must stick to consumer mind. This means that the target audience could understand the delivered message, remember it, and adjust their behavior or brand attitude. A sticky advertisement has six features: simplicity, concreteness, unexpectedness, credibility, emotionality, and storytelling. (Shimp 2010, 210-212.)
First of all, a sticky advertising message needs to be simple and concise. Particularly, it must be able to convey the core idea or the value proposition of the brand. An advertisement should not leave out the simplicity feature, otherwise it will fail to present the brand’s intrinsic nature, or give unnecessary information that could distract the audience from the essential value of the brand. Moreover, it is easier for people to remember and recall messages that are concrete rather than those that are abstract. For example, when advertising a serious infection caused by staphylococcus bacteria, advertisers can use a more common name,
“Superbug”, instead of using the scientific name of the infection, which is Methicillin-resistent Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Researchers have pointed out that when comparing the two names: MRSA and Superbug, the former one sounds more abstract to the audiences than the latter. Nevertheless, there are opinions claiming that consumers with dissimilar mindsets are persuaded by advertisements operating at different levels (concrete versus abstract levels). Interestingly, according to the research, consumers tend to be more persuaded by advertising messages opening at a level that is inconsistent with their own thinking. To be specific, abstract consumers are reported to find concrete messages more engaging, and vice versa. (Yang et al. 2011.) The third feature of a sticky message is unexpectedness. In order to create interest and curiosity for the audiences, a sticky advertisement must be different from what its audiences normally expect to see. This feature is similar to the novelty feature in creativity, which means that the advertisement and the message need to be unique and innovative. Fourthly, the credibility of an advertisement means that the ad must be trustworthy. In order to increase the credibility of an advertising message, advertisers could use expert endorsers for some certain types of products. Expert endorsers are those whom audiences perceive to have specialized knowledge of a specific field. Besides, there are also two other kinds of endorser, which are celebrity and lay endorsers. (Tellis 2004.) In the fifth place, consumers have a tendency to pay attention to advertisements that generate emotions and connect with their feelings. Finally, storytelling is another feature that makes an advertising become attractive and unforgettable. Telling a story in an advertisement is not a new notion to advertisers and consumers. In addition, it is an effective way of creating positive brand image in the mind of consumers, especially when the story being told has the ability to touch its audiences’ emotions. (Shimp 2010, 210-212.)
In this part, we should like to provide a brief profile of the case company – Lumene Oy. After that, based on the knowledge of the target market and consumers, the author would like to suggest an advertising strategy for Lumene Oy when they intend to enter the Vietnamese market.
Introduction to Case Company – Lumene Oy
The brand Lumene was established in 1970 and used to belong to the cosmetics company – Noiro Oy, which was a part of Orion Company – a pharmaceutical company. After only three years of establishment, Lumene became the leading brand in the Finnish cosmetics industry. In 2008, Lumene was separated into an independent company. Especially, it was the first company in the word to use wild Arctic berries as its ingredients. The very fact that Lumene combines finest organic ingredients with innovative technology to create bioactive products has brought success to the business. Through high-quality products, the company attempts to bring natural beauty to consumers, which is also affirmed in its mission and vision. (Lumene Oy 2015.)
- Mission: “We illuminate the beauty of all.”
- Vision: “With pioneering technology, Lumene transforms what wild Arctic nature has perfected, to create bioactive skincare and cosmetics that illuminate your natural beauty.”
Nowadays, Lumene Oy possesses four different brands: Lumene, Lumene LAB, Natural Code, and Cutrin (a haircare brand). Among these brands, Lumene has been the most popular brand of the company since its foundation and this brand is now available internationally. On the other hand, Lumene LAB is a pharmaceutical cosmetics brand focusing on anti-aging products and sold exclusively in pharmacies. In addition, Natural Code is a brand for young women who want to create their own style. All of these brands provide products made from natural ingredients. Besides Finland, Lumene Oy also operates in other markets, including the USA, Scandinavia, and Russia. In 2013, the company’s net sales were 90 million Euros, and half of it was from the homeland market, Finland. The rest of the net sales came from the other markets. There are approximately 530 employees working for Lumene and 330 of them are in Finland. (Lumene Oy 2015.)
Advertising Strategy for Case Company
According to the process of building an advertising strategy there are four steps needed to be completed.
Step 1: Conducting advertising research
There are two research approaches used to facilitate the process of carrying out advertising research. These two approaches are product-oriented and consumer oriented researches.
- Product-specific research
As stated above, the author would like to introduce the product line Bright Now Vitamin C to the Vietnamese market. This product line is renowned for its outstanding benefits, such as brightening, strengthening, detoxifying, and antiaging effects. The second factor that differentiates this product line from its competitors’ goods is its natural ingredient, cloudberry, with high concentration level of vitamin C and omega acids. The organic ingredients in Lumene products are refined by groundbreaking technology to give the best efficiency. In short, the key elements of the product line that could be promoted and create impression to the target consumers are natural ingredients from fresh cloudberry that are purified and transformed by innovative technology to generate multiple benefits.
In addition, according to the author’s observation of the Vietnamese cosmetics market, based on the prices of this product line in particular (about 20 Euros on average) and those of Lumene products in general (ranging from about 10 to 30 Euros), some direct competitors of Lumene in Vietnam are Laneige (a brand from Amore Pacific Group in South Korea), M.A.C, and Bobbi Brown.
As claimed in the previous chapter, the main target of consumers for the product line Bright Now Vitamin C in Vietnam is women from 30 to 60 years old with upper-middle income level. They are those who pay a lot of attention to beauty care product and have the ability to afford premium cosmetics products. Information regarding this target group of consumers has been meticulously studied in the previous chapter. In this chapter, the author would like to remind some features in the behavior of Vietnamese consumers.
- Facial cleansers and moisturizers are the products most used by the target consumers. Besides, the usage of moisturizers and anti-aging products has a tendency to rise as many women start to care more about making their skin moist and youthful.
- The most popular sources, from which the target consumers get to know about a product, are recommendations from acquaintances (word-of-mouth advertising), advertisements in beauty magazines and websites, on social networking sites, and at shopping malls/centers.
- When choosing a brand, consumers from this segment are concerned about brand reputation and country-of-origin; the number of positive reviews of the brand; and not to mention the quality and the efficiency.
- When considering a product, the target group’s sources of information for evaluation include recommendations from acquaintances that have used the product, reviews on the Internet, and information from beauty magazines and websites.
- As Vietnamese consumer has a strong sense of community, they usually value advice from the people surrounding them. Therefore, most of their purchases are impacted by others’ recommendations. This means that word-of-mouth advertising is essential to Lumene and building a good brand image is required. Furthermore, Vietnamese consumers are open to new things and can easily adapt to changes, which is a chance for Lumene to introduce its products.
Step 2: Selecting advertising goals
According to the theoretical part, there are five primary goals of advertising: building brand awareness, providing information, persuading, supporting other marketing functions, and stimulating consumers to take action. Some of them are parts of a bigger one, such as building brand awareness and providing information belong to persuading consumers. Moreover, these goals are connected with each other in a chain; thus, one goal can be a result of another. For example, the action of persuading consumers is to encourage them to purchase a certain product. Therefore, instead of going into detail about each goal, the author decides to discuss some practical and basic goals that Lumene Oy should first accomplish when operating and advertising in Vietnam and proposes some ideas on how to attain those goals.
- Building brand awareness
Lumene Oy is still a new player in the Vietnamese cosmetics industry. Moreover, the brand awareness of consumers is still low, as shown in the results of the survey. Therefore, the first and foremost goal of Lumene Oy is to raise the Vietnamese consumer awareness of the brand. In order to build brand awareness, the company should show advertisements in places where the target consumers are exposed most to cosmetics ads. As stated in the author’s study of the target segment, advertisements in magazines and websites, on social network platforms, and at shopping malls or shopping centers are most seen by the target consumers.
Hence, these places are where the case company should advertise most often. Moreover, before officially promoting the brand in Vietnam, pre-opening advertisement could be used to evoke consumers’ curiosity; for example, backdrops, posters or images displayed at shopping malls/centers, in magazines, or on social media platforms showing a big question mark with a message: “A secret from Arctic nature is coming soon”. Impressive introduction can help increase the foot traffic for Lumene’s counters and generate consumer interest and resonance.
After the brand awareness has been established, the process of forming brand attitude will take place. Importantly, the factor that exerts influence on consumer attitude is the image of a brand in their mind. Thus, building a positive brand image is the next goal that Lumene needs to achieve through advertising.
Building brand image
Basically, the Lumene brand has been famous in its markets with the image of an affordable premium brand, which is the first one in the world to use berries as its ingredients and combine them with science to create a high-quality products. This is also the image that Lumene Oy should deliver to its consumers. In short, some keywords used to describe the image of the Lumene brand is Arctic Skin Science, Arctic berries, natural and nutritious ingredients, multi-task beautifier, groundbreaking technology, and affordable premium brand.
A positive brand image is affected by many factors and it used to distinguish one brand with another. For potential consumers, word-of-mouth plays an important role in influencing the image of a brand in their mind. (Sallam 2014.) Besides, the factor that impacts the effect of word-of-mouth is brand loyalty (Court et al. 2009). However, in the case of Lumene Oy, the brand is still new to many consumers in Vietnam and only a small number of buyers have tried their products. Therefore, brand loyalty is what the company should invest in building in the long run and word-of-mouth in this situation does not come from brand loyalty. Instead, positive word-of-mouth or brand image should be formed through advertising and other methods. For example, the company can organize events where buyers can come and try Lumene products, and give them samples to test the product quality. Having good impression also makes consumers spread their words to other people.
- Providing information
One element that helps deliver the brand image is information related to the brand and the product line in an advertisement. In other words, an advertisement needs to provide its audiences with the key characteristics of a product. In some kinds of advertisements, such as ads in magazines, the location where the brand is sold and the working hours should be shown clearly.
Besides, the advertising of the brand should also be able to attain other goals. This means that the ads must be persuasive enough to stimulate consumers to purchase.
This goal can be fulfilled through effective and impressive advertising messages.
Furthermore, convincing advertising also supports other functions of advertising, such as boosting selling activities.
Step 3: Formulating advertising budget
The budgeting method suitable for the company is the objective-and-task method. According to this method, the advertising budget is estimated based on the costs of the required tasks. Some tasks needed for the advertising activities are renting and establishing counters to sell and promote Lumene products; advertising on beauty magazines (such as Harper’s Bazaar, F Fashion Magazine, and P Magazine); forming and managing activities on social media platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube); designing and creating advertising videos and images (some existing videos of Lumene can be used for the Vietnamese market, as long as the Vietnamese subtitle must be added to the videos).
About renting and establishing Lumene counters, the renting cost in a department store in a central district of Ho Chi Minh City is relatively high. For instance, the renting price in Diamond Plaza Department Store is approximately 200 million VND (equivalent to 8,000 Euros) per month (VnEconomy 2010). In addition, the prices for advertising in magazines also need taking into account. The advertising prices vary according to different magazines. For example, Harper’s Bazaar is a foreign magazine, and its reputation has been accredited in the world. Therefore, the prices for placing advertisements in this magazine is comparatively high, and range from 43 to 157 million VND (equal to 1,720-6,280 Euros) per quarter (Lua Viet Group 2013). However, the number of audiences of this magazine is also a great figure (Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam 2015); hence, in return, advertising in this magazine can attract a lot of consumers’ attention. The costs of conducting the other two tasks can be adjusted based on the ability of the company.
Step 4: Creating advertising messages
The structure of an advertising message consists of three components: appeal, value proposition, and slogan. These three elements must be combined to create an advertising message in an advertisement.
There are several cosmetics brand names in the Vietnamese market, and many of them concentrate on selecting beautiful models to represent their brands. In other words, they are using sexual appeals. Among different types of appeals, rational appeals seem to be the most suitable type for the brand Lumene to create differentiation. Rational appeals emphasize the characteristics of the brand products and how beneficial the products are to the consumers. Another reason for utilizing rational appeals is because the image of bioactive products applied to innovative Arctic Skin Science invented by pioneering scientists can easily build trust in the audiences. In other words, Arctic Skin Science can be used as the theme of the advertisement. In addition, the advertising message of the product line must be able to convey the benefits of the products, such as brightening, strengthening, detoxifying and anti-aging. Using keywords is a way to generate focal points in an advertisement and make the ad more impressive and memorable. The keywords that could be used in the advertisement of the brand are smooth, bright, and firm to describe the quality of the skin nourished by the products.
Besides, using some main colors in advertising is another way of making it easier for consumers to remind of an advertisement and a brand. This means that color advertising creates an association between the colors and the brand or the product. The theme color of the product line Bright Now Vitamin C is white and orange, while the dominant color of the Lumene brand is blue. These three colors should be the main colors of the brand’s advertisements, especially print advertisements. In video advertisements, showing the beauty of Arctic nature is a good idea to appeal to the target consumers.
- Value proposition
The value proposition is the value that the brand promises to deliver to its consumers. As stated in the mission, the brand wants to bring natural beauty to its consumers through its finest organic products refined by Arctic Skin Sciences.
Step 5: Selecting Media
As mentioned above, the prior goal is to form brand awareness for LUMENE Oy and some channels through which the company can use to reach its target consumers are beauty magazines or websites, social media platforms, and shopping malls/centers.
Some suggested magazines include Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE Magazine, F Fashion Magazine, Her World, or P Magazine. These magazines are available both in print and digital forms. Among these magazines, Harper’s Bazaar is one of the most well-known beauty magazines in Vietnam, with the number of regular audiences of 150,000 people. Additionally, these magazines also corporate with some popular fashion TV programs in Vietnam, such as Harper’s Bazaar and Project Runway Vietnam (Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam 2015), Her World, F Fashion and Vietnam’s Next Top Model (Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2015), which helps these magazines increase the number of viewers.
Besides, Facebook is the most popular social media platform in Vietnam with more than 12 million users (estimated in March 2013) (Tech in Asia 2013). Within only one year (from October 2011 to October 2012), the number of Facebook users increased by 200%, which made this social networking site surpass its local competitor and become the number one social media site in Vietnam (Tuoi Tre News 2012). This is the channel that many cosmetics brands use to interact with consumers in Vietnam, such as Laneige, Clinique, or L’Or al. Moreover, with the help of the Internet and social networking sites, advertisements or any promotional, marketing campaigns can go viral, which is so-called viral marketing. In addition to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are emerging social networking sites that attract the attention of many Vietnamese users (BDG Asia 2014). Facebook or any other social media platform is where companies inform promotion events or campaigns, communicate and answer consumers’ questions over and above some activities relating to providing product information. Sharing beauty tips with consumers is another approach to attracting and educating consumers about using cosmetics in a proper way. This approach can be conducted with the facilitation of not only Facebook but also Youtube – one of the top entertainment sites in Vietnam (Tech in Asia 2013).
The strategy has been formed, the next steps are carrying out and evaluating the advertising campaign. During the campaign, it is possible for any problem or issue to occur, which requires adjustments. Observing competitors is also a good point that needs to be taken into account. Based on the result of the campaign, the company can gain experience and has an appropriate modification for the next campaign.
Data collection methods
The research question determines the choice of research strategy, data collection, and analysis technique. There are many types of research strategies, and none of them is superior or inferior to the others. (Saunders et al. 2009, 136.) The research question of the thesis is how to develop an advertising strategy based on the understanding of consumer behavior to make creativity in the advertisement. Therefore, information related to the behavior of the target consumers needs to be collected and analyzed. Based on the nature of the research question of this thesis, the survey is selected as the research strategy to help answer that question. In general, a survey is an effective tool for collecting primary information from individuals. It allows researchers to gather quantitative data and analyze them quantitatively by using descriptive and inferential statistics. In addition, a survey allows researchers to collect data in a relatively short period of time, and collected information normally belongs to a wide range of issues. (Ghauri & Grønhaug 2010.)
According to the knowledge from the theoretical part, the survey was constructed with two parts: consumers’ personal information and consumption habits; as well as consumers’ attitudes toward advertising and their habits in using media. This survey was built in order to examine the following issues:
- What are the habits of the target consumer in using and buying cosmetics?
- Based on what criterion does the target consumer choose a brand?
- From which sources does the target consumer know about a particular product?
- From which sources do target consumers find information for product evaluation?
- Is there any opportunity for Lumene to penetrate this market?
The survey includes both open-ended and close-ended questions, with a concentration on the latter. Open-ended questions encourage respondents to freely express their own opinions or thoughts (Fink 2003, according to Saunders et al. 2009). In contrast, close-ended questions offer limited options (defaults 2002, according to Saunders et al. 2009). In some questions, there is an optional space for respondents to give their own answers besides other given options. The survey structure consists of 16 questions in total. After the first draft of the survey had been completed, it was sent to 10 people via the Internet with the purpose of testing the questionnaires. After receiving feedback from those participants, the survey was then modified to be more suitable and goal-oriented.
The survey was sent via the social network platforms, Facebook, and through the network of the author’s acquaintances. As the target group of this survey were women from 30 to 60 years old, the questionnaires were mainly sent to office workers, teachers, and some freelancers. In order for the author to get all the answers from the respondents, the respondents were asked to fill in all questions as a requirement before they could submit their answers. Among 200 people to whom the survey was sent, only 121 of them responded and three responses were invalid. In the next section, the data collected from the survey will be analyzed in more detail.
Understanding the business environment and the needs of interested parties should certainly be part of an organization’s strengths. Using their organizational knowledge to analyze these strengths should hopefully assist the organization to identify business improvement opportunities.
We have placed the new Annex SL structure requirements for ISO 9001:2015 in this section to highlight the need for an honest appraisal of where the organization is at ‘viz-a-viz’ the additional ISO 9001:2015 standard requirements (i.e. a ‘gap analysis). Addressing these gaps is likely to be where the challenge lies for most ‘transitioning’ and/or ‘new registrant’ organizations.
ISO 9001:2015 provides the opportunity for an organization’s top management to fully engage with the quality management system and formulate their business (quality) objectives in line with the quality policy and business strategy. Importantly, the standard also provides the opportunity for an organization to communicate awareness of the quality policy and objectives (a) at all levels and (b) to everyone who carries out the organization’s work. Further, the standard requires an organization to seek out opportunities for proactive improvement, not just to correct things when they go wrong!
Risk is defined as “the effect of uncertainty” (ISO 9001:2015), which can be positive as well as negative, therefore it is essential that the organization:
- Identifies its significant business risks
- Assesses the potential impacts of those risks
- Engages in risk prevention measures and activities
- Monitors the situation for adverse trends
The standard’s focus on ‘risk-based thinking’ means that the organization needs to identify the risks to their products, services, and processes as well as the risks to their quality management system.
To make Creativity in Advertisement advertising strategy, in general, has five stages: conducting advertising research, selecting advertising goals, formulating budgets, creating advertising messages, and selecting media.
The advertising strategy for Lumene Oy when entering the Vietnamese market also goes through these five steps.
In the first step, the company needs to carry out product-specific and consumer-oriented research. Bright Now Vitamin C is the main product line that is chosen to be advertised in Vietnam. In order to impress the audience, some key characteristics and benefits of the product line are highlighted. Besides, a study about the target consumer behavior is also conducted to give a better understanding of the Vietnamese consumer.
The next step is setting advertising goals. The first and foremost goal that the case company should achieve is building brand awareness, as the brand is still new to the market
The Process of building brand awareness must be based on the knowledge of the target consumers’ behavior. For example, advertisements should be placed where the target consumers are exposed most often, such as shopping centers, beauty magazines, or social media platforms. In addition, building a positive brand image is the next goal. Based on the key attributes of the product line build a suitable brand image that can catch the attention and create a trust for consumers. Besides, other goals, including providing information (the location of stores or counters, working hours, and product information), persuading, supporting other marketing functions, and encouraging consumers to take action, also need to be accomplished.
The third step is formulating an advertising budget. The objective and task method is the rule of thumb used for budgeting advertising activities of the case company. According to this approach, the budget is formulated based on the costs of conducting tasks required for attaining advertising goals.
Fourthly, the case company needs to create advertising messages. An advertising message consists of three
Components: appeals, value proposition, and slogan. The chosen appeal type is a rational appeal. Moreover, the value proposition of the case company is providing superior bioactive cosmetics that illuminate natural beauty, while the slogan is “Wild Arctic Nature – Refined by Science”.
The final stage is selecting media. The three most popular media forms among the target consumers are advertisements at shopping malls/centers; beauty magazines and websites; and social networking sites. These are also the target media forms that the case company can use to advertise its brand and products.
After having a good image in the consumer’s mind, Lumene needs to take further steps to build and retain brand loyalty. This thesis does not mention how to build brand loyalty through advertising although there is a correlation between them (Ramiz et al. 2014). This is because even though advertising can help build a positive brand image and initial trust from the consumers, the quality of the products is the key that determines the buyers’ loyalty. In addition, other marketing and promotional tools also play a significant role in maintaining the relationship with the consumers. Therefore, advertising only distorts the truth if the above elements do not meet the consumers’ expectations.
The Creativity in Advertisement proposed in this thesis is built with the fundamental purpose of introducing the Lumene brand to the Vietnamese market, building positive brand image, stimulating the target group to take action, and connecting them with the brand. As mentioned above, establishing and developing brand loyalty is the goal on which the firm should spend more resources in the future. In particular, brand loyalty affects word-of-mouth, brand image, and other issues. However, according to different studies, the relationships among word-of-mouth, brand loyalty, and brand image are multidimensional correlation, which involves many other aspects. More importantly, they exert influence on the decision-making process. (Kazemi 2013; Sallam 2014; Ramiz et al. 2014.) For further research, the interrelationship between branding and consumer behavior could be studied more in detail. Based on that knowledge, the case company can build strong brand equity that makes existing consumers committed to the brand and simultaneously attracts more consumers. In addition, there are also different interesting parts of advertising that the thesis does not discuss due to the broadness of the advertising study. Moreover, the knowledge and trends in both advertising and consumer behavior keep updated year after year. Therefore, companies should carefully observe those changes and adapt themselves according to different situations.
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