Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Marketing Strategies of Waitrose Based on the Responses from Customers and Employees
1.Introduction of the Research
Evaluation of the effectiveness of the marketing strategies of Waitrose based on the responses from customers and employees
This study evaluates the effectiveness of the marketing strategies of the Waitrose based on the responses from the customers and the employees. According to Hooley et al. (2009), companies will change the marketing strategy because they need to survive in the highly competitive market. Johnson et al. (2011) said, marketing strategy can be useful to look for creating new opportunities for the business. According to Von Stam (2008), innovation can lead the organisation to develop their marketing strategy. This report will identify the success or failure of the marketing strategy of the Waitrose and how it can be useful into the competitive market.
1.2 Rationale of doing this project:
The rationale of this study is to identify the existing marketing strategy of the Waitrose and how that strategy can be useful in future. On the basis of the views and responses from the employees and customers, this research will identify the best marketing strategy the Waitrose because the markets are now becoming more complex and uncertain (Hooley et al., 2009). Retail-Week (2014) states that, Waitrose is using differentiation marketing strategy for generating more sales and selling good quality products with comparatively higher prices than other superstores (Waitrose, 2014). This study will identify the benefits and challenges of the differentiation strategy and how that strategy can be useful for other organisations when they are implementing their marketing strategy. It will find out the opportunities for business growth by evaluating the existing marketing strategy in order to develop the potential strategy for the Waitrose.
2. Literature Review
This chapter is all about the theories and evidences regarding the topic. The key aim of this chapter is to provide detailed information regarding the literature of the topic undertaken to support the entire research obtained desired outcomes. However, this portion of the study is also helpful in conducting the appropriate data collection process that can help the researcher to fulfil the aims and objectives of the research. Here, this chapter provides a brief idea about the significance of marketing strategies to create customer perception. The researcher has selected Waitrose as the chosen company to conduct the research work.
2.1 Marketing strategy:
Marketing strategy is the way to know the market of the organisation, in order to develop the right mix of the organisational elements. In this context, Mayrhofer (2012) stated that marketing strategy is one of the organisational policies to identify the target customers of the firm. In continuation, Katsikeas et al. (2006) added that marketing strategy enables the firm to decide the process how the products and services could be marketed to earn profitability. Thus, effective marketing policy strengthens the competency of the organisation through attracting potential and suitable customer base. However, a potential market research needs to be identified before developing the marketing strategy to find out the most suitable and relevant marketing option towards attaining better market share in terms of customers.
2.2 Significance of Marketing strategy for business:
According to the William (2009), financial crisis and recession can impact on the marketing strategies of the organisation and it can make the changes of the marketing strategy. Lynch (2009) said, marketing strategies need to be updated in a dynamic business environment. Most importantly, Jobber (2010) said, marketing strategy development considers several stages to meet the customer’s expectations.Therefore, companies need to update their marketing strategies to sustain into the business.Douglas and Craig (2008) said, because of recession companies need to evaluate their strategy to be more successful. This research will identify the effectiveness of the existing marketing strategies of Waitrose because it can be useful to make the future marketing planning for the organisation (Coulter, 2010). CIM (2014) said, one of the successful marketing strategies is to create product differentiation which can change the products features and benefits to create more customers’ interests. Sibanda et al., (2011) states of the differentiation strategy can be challenging because consumer buying is changes and market competition is increasing (Barrow et al., 2008). Moreover, Paswan et al., (2011) said, assessment of the marketing channels is important to improve the marketing strategy. Hooley et al., (2009) said evaluation of the existing marketing strategy can improve sustainability of the businessand help to achieve the competitive advantage (Hooley et al., 2009). CIM (2014) mentioned that, effective customer service plan and evaluation of the pricing or promotional strategies can create effective future marketing strategy (Belch and Belch, 2009). Therefore, this project will evaluate the existing marketing strategies of the Waitrose and it will identify the potential areas of improvement for developing innovative marketing strategy for the Waitrose.
Furthermore, Lorenzo-Romero et al., (2013) said that, Waitrose is operating in a dynamic marketing environment where markets are continuously changing and business environment is becoming uncertain over the time period. In a competitive market, implementation of the effective strategy can bring the competitive advantage for the Waitrose (Jobber, 2010). Furthermore, Hooley et al., (2014) said, using of the continuous innovation to create more business opportunities for the Waitrose. Jobber (2014) said about effective segmentation and targeting strategy can improve the marketing strategy. Most notably,Marketing Magazine (2014), said it is difficult to satisfy the customers using a single marketing strategy. Marketing strategies need to be more effective so that it can successfully make the positioning of the products (William, 2009). Marketing Magazine (2014) said, companies need to develop innovative marketing strategy by understanding of the perception level of the consumers (Johnson et al., 2011). Therefore, the reasons for doing this research are to identify the potential opportunities by using the existing marketing strategy of the Waitrose and how this strategy can useful in real world.
According to the Hayer and MacInnis (2008), the marketing strategies need to sustain for long-terms and it requires to make forecasting of the changing demand of the customers which can develops the opportunities for increasing the market share. Therefore, Waitrose can develop their unique selling position by assessing their possible options. They can look at the areas of social relationships with the customers by increasing the communications levels (Belch and Belch, 2009). One of the key successes of the marketing strategy is to identify the demand of the customers. Jobber (2010) said, companies need to develop their competitive position by identifying the criteria of the consumer purchasing and need to make their key success factors for satisfying large numbers of the customers. Douglas and Craig (2008) said the key problems of implementing the new marketing strategy is higher level of uncertainty and lower level of support from the top level management. Management staff can also take part into the process of increasing the effectiveness of the marketing strategies of the organisation (Hughes and Fill, 2007).CIM (2014) said, a good marketing strategy can generates more revenues for the organisation. Therefore, evaluation of the existing marketing strategy can help to create a sustainable marketing strategy in future and help to generate more opportunities.
2.3 Impact of customers responses in shaping marketing strategy:
The key aim of marketing strategy is to satisfy the customers through meeting the requirements of the same through products and services. therefore, the marketing strategies of the organisation are developed on customer requirements. According to Christopher (2010), the customer responses has a significant impact on the marketing strategies based of individual preferences and needs. The following effects in marketing strategies because of the customers’ responses have been found.
Customers’ responses deliver the needs and product preferences on which the product and service portfolio is adapted within the organisation. In this context, Pasco and Le Ster-Beaumevieille (2007) acknowledged that marketing depart is responsible to conduct the market research to gather the suitable information regarding the market details.
Responses from different customer segments allow the firm to identify the differentiated needs of individuals that affects the organisations to develop diversified product ranges based on preferences and cultural background of the region (Nelson, 2011).
According to Skokan (2010), price is the key concern of the customers and thus pricing policies of particular product and services could be set through analysing the customers’ affordability and economic state of the nation.
The media of communication is also judged by the customer survey method where the current trend of the customers’ relation could be identified (Anderson and Narus, 2011). In specific, the technology through which the promotional campaigning could be run to attain greater volume of global customers in a cost effective way could also be spotted through gathering customers’ responses.
Redesigning the marketing strategy could be possibly performed by gathering customers’ feedback or reviews on the specific products and service specification (Jain, 2010). This could lead to enable the management to spot the pitfalls in the products and services portfolio that required and potential market mix could be redesigned to meet the customer needs.
2.4 Role of employee engagement in framing effective marketing strategy:
Employees are treated as the pillar of the organisation as the organisational aims and objectives are successfully met by the skilful performance of the employees. However, Reynolds et al. (2009) observed that the success of an organisation is dependent on combined performance of the employees working at different level. The role of employee engagement in framing marketing strategies could be demonstrated as follows:
Involvement of the marketing executive in a market research helps the firm to gather relevant and required information regarding the demand and supply statistics of concerned market. In this context, Reynolds, P. L., Day, J. and Lancaster (2009) stated that effective research on the marketing elements assist the management to design potential marketing strategies.
Employees in terms of team leaders lead the team to delegate the entire task into several responsibilities where the tasks are allocated on the basis of the capabilities and expertises.
Employees from the different cultural background deliver the information regarding the product and service preferences based on the local and national cultural base. In this context, Day (2009) stated that product and service portfolio, developed in different regions are different over the socio-cultural trend of the nation.
The market researcher within the organisation gathers the information regarding the pitfalls of the organisational marketing policies that could be effective addressed through a brain storming method. This could lead to motivate the employees through making the same feel important for the organisation. As a result, Ford (2008) acknowledged that better motivation improves the productivity and thus the market position compared to its rivals.
2.5 Current marketing strategy of Waitrose:
The basic marketing strategy of Waitrose is highly focused on the quality delivery irrespective to the price level. The management of the organisation believes that good product with high quality id requirements of most of the customers. Therefore, consistency in quality product and services could enable the firm to gain the maximum value, compared to Tesco and Sainsbury. According to Subramaniam and Venkatraman (2001), product quality in consistent manner could help engaging more customers resulting competitive market share. On the other hand, higher cost could also divert the price sensitive customers to the other cost effective brands that in turn could lead to decrease the profitability of the firm in future. Referring to this fact, Nelson (2011) acknowledged that competitive pricing helps retaining competitive number of customers for better market sustainability.
In-store redesigning policy has been executed within the organisation to attract the customers. Under this framework, Ford (2008) cited that departmental segmentation helps the customers to find out the required product without facing any problem. Thus, this could lead to accelerate the purchasing activities of the customers where comparatively higher number of customers could be covered by Waitrose to gain profitability.
At the end of 2013, Waitrose has started offering free coffee to its loyal customers where the loyalty discount is another marketing strategy to retain a significant number of potential customers for longer. Moreover, focusing on social media, contents and sponsorship, the firm is thinking about the affinity and effective customer relationship varying over the market movements.
2.6 Impact of Waitrose’s marketing strategy on customer perception:
Waitrose has been able to create customer loyalty through strategic use of the advertising, designing and creativity. The company has combined the convenience of a modern supermarket with the expertise of a specialist retailer. In this context, Day (2009) mentioned that the pricing strategy of Waitrose has been very much accurate. The company has prepared the pricing strategy under the tagline that: good food does not cost less. It creates an impact on the consumers’ mind that the company has not been compromising with the quality of the product even if the costs are relatively higher.
The company has been given enough importance to the advertising and promotional strategies in order to create impression on the minds of the consumers. With the innovative designing of the stores and the largest secondary shoppers of the country, Waitrose has tried to attract the customers. The company has organised the brand awareness programme to improve the brand awareness among the consumers. In this context, Ford (2008) mentioned that by improving the perception of the customers, the market share of the company can grow at faster rate. The brand communication strategy has motivated the employees and the suppliers. Therefore, the performance has improved and the consumers have started to relate with the brands.
The decision of Waitrose to establish fully integrated marketing strategies have helped the company to attract more customers. The first articulation strategy of the organisation has targeted new customers. Retail advertising strategies of Waitrose have impacted the message to the consumer that the quality is much more important than just the pricing. Greater utilisation of the photography and design features has impacted perceived values on the mind of the consumers. The in-house store promotional strategies have also enabled the company to attract more customers.
2.7 Suggestion for improving marketing strategy for positive customer perception:
The following strategies could be undertaken by Waitrose to improve its marketing strategy, in order to create positive customers perception towards the organisation.
Review of products and services:
The existing products and services could be reviewed on the customer feedbacks that the existing products could be redesign to enhance the acceptability in wider market region.
Assessing changes in promotional trend:
The promotional channels could be re-identified on the basis of market research to incorporate the changes in the promotional strategies. In that case, Day (2009) stated that social media is the best option to attain wider reach of potential customer volume across the globe.
Value added services to the customers:
Value added services like, free home delivery; weekend opening, technical support and free return of products could influence the customers to become loyal to the firm ensuring revisit of potential customers for longer future.
- Research Aim:
The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing strategies of the Waitrose
- Research Objectives:
The objectives of this study can be the following:-
- To identify the effectiveness of the marketing strategies used in Waitrose
- To analyse the success and failures of the marketing strategies used at Waitrose
- To evaluate the customer’s perception towards the marketing strategies used at Waitrose
Research methodology provides scientific and logical pathway to the researcher for conducting the study. As cited by Ivankova et al. (2006), the success and failure of the research depends on choosing potential research methodology. Research methodology deals with the philosophy and approach followed by the design of the research. However, data collection and sampling process also comes under research methodology and the same has been described by the researcher in this chapter. Also, the researcher has given special focus on the time frame in order to complete the study in a stipulated time period.
3.1 Research philosophy: Constructivism:
Research philosophy lies in the outer most layer of the whole research. As a matter of fact, the perspective of the research philosophy based on the practice sets and the shared values associated with it. Considering the fact, Bernard (2011) stated that research philosophy entails the mental framework of the researcher. Research philosophy is divided into few segments such as epistemology, axiology and ontology. The nature of all existing facts are described by using ontology philosophy whereas, axiology deals with the ethical consideration and traditional values. As cited by Bryman (2006), epistemology deals with the relative process and the nature associated with the facts. Furthermore, epistemology is subdivided into several types out of which the researcher has chosen constructivism philosophy to conduct the research.
3.1.1 Justifications for choosing constructivism research philosophy:
Constructivism philosophy is a subdivision of epistemology and it deals with the real facts and scientific events associated with the whole process. As cited by Bernard (2011), it explores different values of the research in a scientific and logical manner and main focus is to explain a sensory experience about the research. In this study, the researcher would evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing strategies of Waitrose as per the response of the customers and employees of the firm. To achieve potential result, the researcher would use constructive or interpretivism philosophy for evaluating the effectiveness of the marketing strategies for the Waitrose. Constructivism is based on subjective meaning of the world views and gave more importance to the individual’s experiences (Saunders et al., 2012). The meaning of the views can be varied and it can be multiple but the complexities of the views can be seen as positive in this philosophy (Bryman and Bell, 2007). This study considers constructivism because it involves the respondents to provide their views about the research topic and it will find out their responses towards the effectiveness of the marketing strategies used by the Waitrose (Creswell, 2014). Constructivism is an effective philosophy to get the responses from the customers and the employees of the Waitrose about their marketing strategies used to generate the economic growth (Keegan, 2009).
3.2 Research Approach: Inductive:
Research approach provides strategic path for conducting overall study. According to Ivankova et al. (2006), majority research fails due to inappropriate selection of the research approach. Research approach is further sub divided into two parts such as inductive and deductive approach. Inductive research approach is useful in areas where establishing new theories becomes necessary rather than nurturing past literatures. On the other hand, Gummesson (2006) argued that deductive research approach starts with evaluating past theories followed by generating new theories. To conduct this study, the researcher ahs chosen inductive research approach to conduct overall research.
3.2.1 Justification for choosing inductive research approach:
Most of the past research has been conducted based on evaluating past theories rather than developing new strategies and theories. In this research, the researcher would prioritise on developing ample of theories for analysing differential aspects of this research regarding the effectiveness of marketing strategies followed according to the concern of the employees and customers of Waitrose. As cited by Goldstein and Healy (2007), inductive research approach allows researcher to gather ample of primary data from regenerating new theories as per the given requirements.
For evaluating the effectiveness of the marketing strategies of the Waitrose, inductive research approach will be used. The reasons behind using the inductive approach is that, this research will use the interview method for collecting the data from the Waitrose (Creswell, 2014). Furthermore, inductive approach exactly looks at the context of the research. It is a good approach for implementing the analytical strategies for evaluating the patterns and trends came from the views of the respondents and academic theories (Gill and Johnson, 2010). Inductive approach uses the theories upfront and compares theories with the results for evaluating the effectiveness of the marketing strategies used by the Waitrose. It also uses the incremental approach for understanding of the meanings of the human attachment to the event (Bryman and Bell, 2007). Researcher will be within the part of the research process and provides more concern with the rich data. It also considers a flexible approach for the collection of the qualitative data and permit necessary changes while the research process. This approach is perfectly matches with the process for achieving the research objectives for this study (Collis and Hussey, 2009).
3.3 Research design: Descriptive:
Evaluation of the logical problem is done by utilising potential research design. According to Dubois (2006), research design helps researcher to control the flow of information at the time of conducting research. Research design is divided into three sections such as explanatory, exploratory and descriptive research design. Exploratory research design is used for exploring new theories rather than developing new theories in the cases where the required data becomes insufficient for the study. On the other hand, Bryman (2006) cited that explanatory research design is flowed where the past data are found insufficient for conducting the research. Furthermore, descriptive research design is used to analyse varied aspects of the research in order to develop new theories regarding the research. The researcher has chosen descriptive research design for conducting the present study.
3.3.1 Justification for choosing descriptive research design:
Present study is based on analysis the effectiveness on the marketing strategy followed by the Waitrose in accordance with the response based on the customer and the employees of the firm. Hence, the researcher would analyse several aspects of the research while conducting the study. Not only this, it would help researcher doing intense case analysis of the research. As cited by Bernard (2011), an intense case analysis of the research would be done by using only descriptive research design. Hence, choosing descriptive research design would be considered as more convenient to conduct the study.
3.4 Research Strategy:
Case study research strategy will be used by the research because it is effective for looking into several examples and makes the in-depth analysis on the research areas (Yin, 2011). Case study strategies also create alignment with the inductive approach by giving more emphasis on the academic research, in-depth analysis and multiple sources of information (Creswell, 2014). Case study strategy can use multiple research methods and explore the research topic by looking at the specific areas. The benefits of using the multiple sources are that it can maximise the reliability and validity of the results (Collis and Hussey, 2009). In this study, past academic theories and examples of marketing strategies will be used to identify the effectiveness of the marketing strategies used at the Waitrose (Bryman and Bell, 2007).
Mixed research method will be used in this study because qualitative analysis is effective for exploring the research topic by collecting the views from the respondents. Qualitative analysis can interpret the views of the respondents and makes the views in an acceptable format (Collis and Hussey, 2009). The results of the research will depend on the views and perception of the respondents in terms of management level staffs which is effective for making in-depth analysis of the results (Creswell, 2014). Qualitative analysis will find out organisational practices regarding the concerned facts to gauge the effectiveness insights, in order to make in-depth analysis on the research topic and analysis of their experiences to reach the conclusion (Gill and Johnson, 2010). In this study, the presentation of the qualitative analysis will be made by using pattern analysis and by using in-depth analysis.
Furthermore, this study will make the quantitative analysis will be made based on the results from this study and a presentation will be made by using tabular ad graphical representation via excel application software. Collis and Hussey (2009) said quantitative analysis also known as the numerical analysis which can provide numerical data and percentage representation of the results in numerical terms. The benefits of representing the data in numerical format is to deliver effective representation of the concerned scenario so that the interpretation of the outcomes could be eased (Saunders et al., 2012). Finally, using of the mixed method is more effective that using a single method because it can increase the level of accuracy and acceptability of the results (Bryman and Bell, 2007). However, it can increase the complexities for presenting the results.
- Time Horizon:
Researcher will use cross-sectional time horizon for this study because it is an effective process for making the in-depth research analysis. It is an effective time horizon for finishing the research within a small time period (Saunders et al., 2012). Researcher will collect the data within a small time period and it will analyse the data regarding the areas of implementing an effective marketing strategies for the Waitrose. Researcher will not go for testing the hypothesis for this study and want to collect the data within 10 weeks’ time period that’s why cross-sectional time horizon can be effective for this study (Bryman and Bell, 2007). This study will be limited to one branch so that the data collection process will take short time period and able to represent the results effectively.
- Data Type:
Ample of primary and secondary data have been analysed by the researcher to successfully conduct the study. Primary data used in this study is quantitative and qualitative in nature. Qualitative data consists of the responses gathered from the responses of 5 members of the organisation. On the other hand, quantitative data consists of the responses of the employees of the Waitrose, the UK. However, Cameron (2009) argued that primary data alone cannot create sufficient result about the study and it would be done by gathering ample of secondary data. Secondary data related to this research, has been gathered by using various sources such as journals, books and other sources.
3.8 Data Collection Method:
Two types of data collection methods will be used in this study such as:-
a. Primary Data:
Primary data will be collected by using probability sampling method. Primary data is the new collected data which is effective for making in-depth research analysis (Yin, 2011). The presentation of the primary data will be made by using pattern analysis, tables, graphs and using SPSS. Interview method will be used to collect the data by using the interview questionnaires. Open-ended questionnaires will be used to get the views from the respondents and to make the pattern analysis of the results. In addition, closed-ended questionnaires will be used to make the numerical analysis or to make the quantitative analysis (Collis and Hussey, 2009).
b. Secondary Data:
This study will use the secondary data to make the in-depth analysis of the research topic. Secondary data can make the critical evaluation of the topic by using multiple sources. This study will use the academic journals, books, online resources to make the in-depth analysis of the research topic (Gill and Johnson, 2010).
3.8.1 Data Analysis plan:
Gathered quantitative data has been described in a tabular and graphical manner. The researcher has described percentage response of the respondents by using MS Word and the percentage has been drawn by utilising MS Excel. On the other side, qualitative data analysis has been done in by describing the responses in a descriptive manner.
3.9 Sampling Techniques:
This study will use the probability sampling strategy to evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing strategy of Waitrose because the total population sizes are known to the researcher. In the probability sampling strategy the total population sizes are known to the researcher (Gill and Johnson, 2010). The total population sizes for this study is 30 and the sample sizes for this research is 25 where 25 sample sizes can provide 95% accuracy of the results for this study. Out of these 25 respondents there will be 5 employees and 20 customers from the Waitrose of Canary Wharf branch.The data will be collected by using the interview questionnaires which considers both open-ended and closed-ended questionnaires. Under the probability sampling strategy, researcher will use simple random sampling which can systematically select the sample from the table (Collis and Hussey, 2009). It is an effective sampling method because it can easily ignore the repeated numbers from the table and select the cases using the random numbers which can achieve the expected results from the research (Saunders et al., 2012).
3.9.1 Sample Size:
Proper sampling size is required to generate authentic result of the research. Otherwise, it might create ethical issues of the research. As cited by Brannen (2009), choosing sample size below 40 could create integrity issue about the research outcome. Due to time constrain, the researcher has failed to gather data from more respondents and the number of respondent chosen for quantitative data is 20, while, number of respondents for qualitative data is 5. Hence, the total sample size of the research would be 25.
3.10 Ethical Issues:
Ethical issues will be considered in this research by using reliable sources of information. This study will take the informed consent from the respondents and respect the privacy of the respondents. Researcher will explain the reasons for doing this research and respondents can get the copy of the research if they required. This study will use the reliable publication for analysing the data and to present the research appropriately (Creswell, 2014).
3.10.1 Academic Integrity:
This research will use the valid data for doing the research. Reliable academic sources including the online resources, company data and academic journals will be used in this study (Keegan, 2009).
3.10.2 Data Protection Act:
Researcher will protect the data according to the data protection act such as it will not disclose the personal information to any others without taking the permission from the respondents. In addition, this data will not be passed to any other countries where the data protection Act is not considered (Malhotra and Dash, 2010).
3.11 Access Issues:
In order to gain access to the company for collecting the data the following areas will be considered by the researcher such as a correspondence letter will be send to the manager of Waitrose and sufficient time will be allowed to get the responses. Researcher will make the familiarity and understanding of the research topic and use some of the existing contracts to develop new contracts. Appropriate forms of communications including the e-mail communications will be taken into consideration. The credibility of the researcher will be explained to the respondents and informed consent will be taken before collecting the data. Possible organisational benefits will be explained to the respondents and a clear outline will be provided to the respondents with the interview questionnaires (Saunders et al., 2012).
3.12 Future scope of the research:
This study has been made considering the case of Waitrose. A comparative study can be made on the same by considering several organisations of the retail industry as well as other industry also. Furthermore, the outcomes and the newly made strategies can also be implemented on other organisations in order to improve present marketing strategies followed by the majority organisations of the overall retail industry, the UK.
3.13 Limitation of the research:
Quantitative data has been gathered by involving only 20 customers of the firm. On the other hand, Goldstein and Healy (2007) cited that choosing sample size less than 40 might create ethical issue of the research. Responses drawn from 20 customers might not create potential result of the research and it might lead to failure of the overall project. On the other hand, while conducting qualitative study, the researcher has involved only 5 employees from the organisation and a descriptive response has been drawn by analysing the gathered response of the employees. On the other hand, it is a proven fact that choosing more than 10 respondents could provide potential result of the research and the absence of which might fail to achieve the success of the research.
4.1 Time Plan:
This research will take 10 weeks’ time period and the time plan for this study can be explained by the following Gantt chart:
|Amendments of the Questionnaires|
|Data collection from the customers|
|Data collection from the Employees|
|Results and Analysis|
|First Draft Copy|
|Second Draft copy creation|
|Final copy Submission|
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