The influence of a vertical service line extension on existing customers’ perceived brand image in the case of Capitec and Absa Bank

Conradie, Mia (2014-04)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the financial service sector, specifically the banking sector, the competition for market share has become fierce. South Africas‟ Big Four banks (Absa, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank) are currently threatened by Capitec‟s simplified business strategy. Capitec is not just retaining customers, but also attracting new-to-bank customers and customers from other banks. Capitec‟s strategy has led to an increase in competitive rivalry among the banks. The Big Four banks are struggling to retaliate against Capitec‟s innovation, creating a situation where only the strongest will survive. The reason for this competition is Capitec‟s move to target the higher-income market, since they are changing the profile of their original customer base. On the other hand, Absa is counter-attacking by targeting Capitec‟s primary market that consists of lower-income groups. Both Capitec and Absa are initiating vertical service line extensions (VSLE). The difference between the two banks‟ strategies is the direction of the vertical extension, where Capitec is utilising an upward VSLE, and Absa is utilising a downward VSLE. Not enough attention has been given to service line extensions compared to extensions of tangible products. In this study the focus is on vertical line extensions within the service sector and more specifically the banking sector. The primary objective is to investigate the influence attitudes towards a vertical service line extension (VSLE) have on current customers‟ perceived brand image. Furthermore, the difference between customers‟ attitudes towards a bank pursuing an upward vertical service line extension and one pursuing a downward vertical service line extension, is investigated. The secondary objectives of the study are to assess whether or not (1) perceived quality influence customers‟ attitudes towards a VSLE; (2) perceived status fit influence customers‟ attitudes towards a VSLE; (3) customers‟ perceived fit between their self-image and the communication, influence attitudes towards a VSLE; (4) attitudes towards a VSLE influence brand image; (5) there is a difference between customers‟ brand image, perceived quality, perceived fit, and self-brand communication fit of a bank that introduced an upward extension and one that introduced a downward extension. In the case of an upward VSLE (Capitec), the results suggest that perceived quality was the only variable that significantly influenced attitudes towards the VLSE. On the other hand, in the case of a downward VSLE (Absa), perceived quality and communication fit significantly influenced attitudes towards a VSLE. Furthermore, attitudes towards the VSLE did significantly influence brand image in both an upward and downward extension. Perceived status fit was the only variable that did not significantly influence attitudes towards a VSLE in both an upward and a downward extension. It emerged that the attitudes of customers from a bank initiating an upward extension (Capitec) differ from customers from a bank initiating a downward extension (Absa). Capitec and Absa customers differ in their evaluation of perceived quality, status fit, communication fit and brand image. The greatest difference among the two customer groups were caused by communication fit and perceived brand image. In this study Capitec customers evaluated their bank more favourably than Absa customers did. This result can be attributed to the direction of the extension and customers feelings towards it. It was advised that managers should thoroughly investigate the benefits and risks in implementing an upward or downward VSLE, since this study concludes that in either case brand image will be influenced.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die Suid-Afrikaanse mark het die kompitiese tussen banke geweldig gestyg soos die banke meeding om mark aandeel. Die Groot Vier banke (Absa, FNB, Standard Bank en Nedbank) word tans uitgedaag deur Capitec se eenvoudige dienslewering strategieë. Capitec is besig om dienste te lewer aan hul huidige kliënte, asook die gedeelte in die mark wat nog nooit voorheen van bankdiense gebruik gemaak het nie. Verder, is Capitec besig om kliënte van ander banke af te rokkel. Die Groot Vier sukkel om mee te ding met Capitec se innovasie rondom algemene bankdienste. Dus, word daar nou 'n situasie in die finansiële sektor geskep waar net die sterkstes sal oorleef. Die rede vir hierdie mededinging in die mark is as gevolg van Capitec se beweging na 'n hoër-inkomste mark. Die oorspronklike kliënte-profiel van Capitec word nou op ʼn prominente wyse verander. Absa, daarteenoor is besig om Capitec teë te werk deurdat hul laer-inkomste markte infiltreer. In beide gevalle is Capitec en Absa besig om 'n "vertical service line extension (VSLE" te implementeer. Die verskil tussen die twee banke is die rigting van die VSLE, waar Capitec 'n opwaartse VSLE implementeer het en Absa 'n afwaardse VSLE implementeer het. In die huidige literatuur word daar nie genoeg aandag gegee aan "service line extension" in vergelyking met "product line extensions" nie. Dus, die fokus van hierdie studie is op VSLE in die bankdienste sektor. Die primêre doelwit is om te bepaal of huidige kliënte se houdings teenoor die VSLE 'n beduidende invloed het op die handelsmerk. Verder, is ondersoek ingestel om te bepaal of daar 'n verskil is tussen 'n bank se kliënte wat 'n opwaartse VSLE implementeer en een wat 'n afwaartse VSLE implementeer. Die sekondêre doelwitte was om vas te stel of (1) kliënte se gehalte persepsie 'n effek het op hul houding teenoor 'n VSLE; (2) status ooreenstemming 'n effek het op kliënte se houding teenoor 'n VSLE; (3) ooreenstemming tussen kliënte se self-persepsie en die bank se kommunikasie 'n effek het op hul houding teenoor die VSLE; (4) kliënte se houding teenoor die VSLE 'n effek het op die handelsmerk; (5) daar 'n verskil is tussen kliënte van 'n bank wat 'n opwaarse VSLE implementeer en een wat 'n afwaarste VSLE implementeer interme van, gehalte persepsie, status ooreenstemming en hul ooreenstemming tussen self-persepsie en kommunikasie. In die geval van 'n opwaartse VSLE (Capitec) is dit bevind dat net kliënte se gehalte persepsie 'n beduidende invloed het op hul houdings teenoor die VSLE. In die geval van 'n afwaartse VSLE (Absa) is daar bevind dat kliënte se gehalte persepsie en kommunikasie „n beduidene invloed het op hul houdings teenoor die VSLE. In beide 'n opwaarste en afwaarste VSLE het kliënte se houdings teenoor die VSLE „n beduidende effek op die handelsmerkbeeld gehad. Status ooreenstemming tussen die huidige kliëntebasis en die kliëntebasis wat bereik wil word deur die VSLE, het geen effek gehad op kliënte se houding teenoor die VSLE nie. Verder, was dit bevind dat kliënte wat betrokke is by 'n bank wat 'n opwaarste VSLE implementeer (Capitec) verskil van die kliënte wat betrokke is by 'n bank wat 'n afwaarste VSLE implementeer (Absa). Capitec en Absa kliënte verskil in hul evaluasie van die betrokke bank se gehalte persepsie, status ooreenstemming, kommunikasie en handelsmerk evaluasie. Die grootste verskil tussen die twee steekproewe is by kommunikasie evaluasie en handelsmerk evaluasie. Daar is onder andere bevind dat Capitec kliënte hul bank beter evalueer as Absa kliënte. Hierdie bevinding kan verduidelik word deur die rigting van die twee banke se VSLE. Die gevolgtrekking is dat handelsmerkbeeld, ongeag die rigitng van die VSLE, beïnvloed word deur huidige kliënte se houdings teenoor die VSLE. Dus, moet bestuurders al die voordele en nadele in verband met 'n VSLE opgeweeg voordat 'n VSLE strategie geïmplemteer word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86460
This item appears in the following collections: