1.0 Introduction   This  dissertation  is  a  study  of  magazine  publishing  as  marketing  communication,   where  marketing  communication  is  part  of  a  positioning  strategy  to  manage   corporate  reputation.  Brands  are  increasingly  using  branded  content  to  talk  to   their  customers.  In  terms  of  the  magazine  publishing  industry,  Morrish  &   Bradshaw  (2012,  p.16)  call  the  rise  of  contract  publishing  the  defining  feature  of   the  last  decade.  Magazines  offer  a  chance  for  brands  to  explain  to  consumers   what  the  company  is  all  about  by  providing  an  extended  period  of  engagement  to   communicate  their  marketing  messages.  Recent  turmoil  in  world  economics  has   left  many  people  wondering,  “what  is  the  company  all  about?”  Should  companies’   sole  purpose  be  the  pursuit  of  profit?    Should  they  exist  to  benefit  the   communities  of  stakeholders  that  their  operations  affect?  One  company  that  has   its  own  answer  to  these  questions  is  The  Co-­‐operative  Group,  who  believe  the   way  their  company  is  run  -­‐  and  even  a  share  of  its  profits  -­‐  should  be  in  the  hands   of  the  stakeholders  themselves.       1.1  Rationale   As  this  dissertation  will  later  show,  co-­‐operation  as  a  business  practice  is   increasingly  neglected  in  academia.  Therefore,  to  those  who  would  like  this   situation  appeased,  this  study  surrounding  the  marketing  of  co-­‐operation  as  a   business  practice  should  be  of  interest.  According  to  Roper  &  Fill  (2012,  p.24)   ‘corporate  reputation  as  an  academic  area  is  relatively  new’,  therefore  any   literature  that  adds  scope  to  this  field  would  be  of  benefit  to  those  invested  in  its   advancement.  The  findings  generated  from  this  dissertation  will  specifically   focus  on  how  communicating  a  company’s  guiding  operational  principles  might   improve  the  ethical  reputation  of  the  corporate  brand.  Sagar  et.  al.  (2011)  state   that  ‘ethics  has  been  studied  from  the  various  aspects  of  business  activities  but  it   remains  untouched  from  the  branding  perspective’,  and  that  ‘the  role  of  ethics  in   brand  positioning  is  a  completely  ignored  area’  within  the  discourse.  The  focus  of   this  dissertation  is  to  develop  this  ‘ignored  area’  by  precisely  studying  how   ethical  reputation  is  informed  by  a  positioning  strategy  based  on  co-­‐operative   operating  principles.  Investigating  the  uses  of  magazines  as  part  of  a  positioning  

 

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strategy  adds  a  niche  focus  to  this  study  and  should  further  understanding  of   magazines  as  tools  for  marketing  communication.       1.2  Research  questions   The  aim  of  this  project  is  to  fully  understand  The  Co-­‐operative  brand  in   conjunction  with  the  themes  of  differentiation,  positioning,  trust  and  corporate   reputation.  Thereafter,  to  produce  a  prototype  customer  magazine  that  utilises   the  acquired  knowledge,  and  to  test  this  prototype  publication’s  potential  for   fulfilling  a  positioning  strategy.     The  research  questions  that  this  dissertation  aims  to  answer  are:   1. Are  customer  magazines  an  effective  marketing  tool?   2. Could  co-­‐operatives  hold  the  key  to  consumer  trust?   3. Would  improved  understanding  of  the  practice  of  co-­‐operation  increase   differentiation  of  The  Co-­‐operative  Group?     1.3  Structure   The  dissertation  will  begin  with  a  brief  contextual  analysis  to  set  the  scene  for   the  subsequent  chapters.  A  literature  review  will  follow  which  will  combine  a   detailed  assessment  of  work  by  seminal  authors  and  from  recent  academic   journals  surrounding  the  themes  of  positioning,  corporate  reputation  and  trust   with  focus  on  The  Co-­‐operative  Group  -­‐  informed  by  both  primary  and  secondary   sources.  This  will  be  followed  by  a  rationale  of  the  research  design  and   methodology  including  an  explanation  of  how  the  artifact  was  informed  and   produced.  After  a  succinct  data  analysis  all  primary  and  secondary  sources  will   be  drawn  together  in  a  discussion  of  the  findings,  eliciting  rich  data  to  form  a   conclusion.  Finally  the  dissertation  will  end  with  a  set  of  recommendations  for   practical  application  of  the  findings  and  propose  areas  for  further  research.             2  

2.0  Context   Trust  in  brands  has  been  in  decline  for  some  time  (Yan,  2003),  and  the  trend   does  not  appear  to  be  abating.  Lantieri  &  Chiagouris  (2009)  report  that  ‘declines   in  trust  include  trust  in  the  companies  that  provide  branded  goods,  trust  in   business,  trust  in  business  leaders  and  trust  in  specific  industries’,  giving  the   pursuit  of  short  term  profits  to  satisfy  investors  as  a  main  reason.       Voicing  concerns  over  corporate  greed  and  the  mismanagement  of  the  banking   industry,  the  international  Occupy  movement  has  heralded  prominent  news   coverage  over  the  past  year,  even  encouraging  Time  magazine  to  deem  The   Protester  person  of  the  year  2011  (Andersen,  2011).  This  phenomenon  draws   mass  attention  to  a  debate  on  the  validity  of  neoliberal  policies  that  have   spurred-­‐on  the  current  mode  of  shareholder-­‐led,  free-­‐market  capitalism,  the   perfunctory  regulation  of  globalization  and  the  promotion  of  competitive   individualism.     The  ability  to  reverse  the  tide  of  neoliberalism  may  be  slipping  away  from   politicians  because  the  power  global  brands  exercise  -­‐  through  corporate   lobbying  –  has  displaced  the  role  of  elected  government  in  dictating  the  rules  of   the  global  economy.  In  the  words  of  Klein  (2010,  p.340)  ‘corporations  have   become  the  ruling  political  bodies  of  our  era.’  In  England,  this  shift  is  made   apparent  by  low  voter  turnout  in  both  national  and  local  elections  (The   Guardian,  2012),  indicative  of  a  mood  of  apathetic  cynicism  towards   conventional  politics.  O’Donnell  (2012)  suggests  the  ‘antidote  to  the  apathy  and   disengagement’  could  come  from  institutional  democracy  where  all  those  with  a   major  stake  in  an  institution  have  significant  decision-­‐making  power  in   determining  its  values,  goals  and  prominent  aspects  of  its  operation.     According  to  Roper  &  Fill  (2012,  p.20)  ‘Following  the  banking  crisis  there  is  little   doubt  that  the  reputation  of  international  capitalism  needs  to  be  rebuilt.’   Reassessing  the  foundations  of  how  corporations  function  may  be  required  for   brands  to  once  again  be  trusted.  The  banking  crisis  and  continued  global   inequality  appear  to  have  gone  some  way  to  discrediting  both  the  belief  in     3  

trickle-­‐down  economics  and  the  belief  that  a  business’s  only  responsibility  is  to   increase  profits.  This  new  mentality  provides  a  catalyst  for  the  re-­‐thinking  of   how  corporations  should  be  run:  what  is  right  and  wrong;  what  is  ethical.       Accordingly,  in  recognition  of  the  importance  of  co-­‐operatives  the  United   Nations  deemed  2012  the  ‘International  Year  of  Cooperatives’  to  highlight  the   strengths  of  the  co-­‐operative  business  model  as  an  alternative  means  of  doing   business  (United  Nations,  2012a).     The  precise  objectives  of  the  Year  are  to  increase  public  awareness  about  co-­‐ operatives  and  their  contributions  to  socio-­‐economic  development,  to  promote   the  formation  and  growth  of  co-­‐operatives  to  address  common  economic  needs   for  socio-­‐economic  empowerment,  and  to  encourage  governments  and   regulatory  bodies  to  establish  policies,  laws  and  regulation  conducive  to  co-­‐ operative  formation  and  growth  (United  Nations,  2012b).  This  dissertation  will   investigate  whether  co-­‐operatives  hold  the  key  to  trust  and  whether  a  magazine   could  help  that  key  to  turn.                                     4  

3.0  Literature  review   To  gain  a  full  understanding  of  The  Co-­‐operative  Group  it  is  important  to   understand  its  history,  values  and  principles.  In  order  to  achieve  this  an  analysis   of  The  Co-­‐operative’s  societal  context  will  follow,  first  exploring  the  historical   background  from  an  academic  perspective,  then  examining  contemporary  affairs   using  trade  body  reports,  Mintel  research,  company  data,  interviews  with   company  management  and  a  survey  undertaken  for  this  dissertation.  This   specific  literature  will  be  examined  alongside  recent  academic  papers  and  works   of  seminal  authors  surrounding  the  theme  of  differentiation.  Literature  will  be   examined  on  the  subject  of  how  positioning  and  corporate  communications  are   used  to  distinguish  ethical  reputations.  Trust  and  corporate  reputation  will  then   be  examined  with  linkages  to  loyalty  –  and  why  brand  loyalty  is  important  in   business.  Finally  loyalty-­‐building  magazine  communities  will  be  examined  with   linkages  to  the  overarching  mentality  surrounding  a  co-­‐operative  renaissance.     3.1  The  Co-­‐operative’s  beginnings   Co-­‐operation  can  be  identified  in  human  activity  throughout  history  but  for  the   purposes  of  this  study  co-­‐operation  shall  be  discussed  in  its  organised  form  –  as   the  co-­‐operative  movement  -­‐  and  in  particular  within  the  UK  context.     Birchall  (1997  p.3)  explains  how  before  the  industrial  revolution  the  market  had   been  an  adjunct  to  society,  then,  during  the  early  1800’s,  common  people  were   forced  from  the  land  into  wage  labour,  reconfiguring  society  to  a  point  where   society  became  an  adjunct  to  the  market.     ‘Once  the  protective  morality  of  the  old  society  had  been  swept  away   there  seemed  to  be  nothing  that  could  not  be  done  –  as  long  as  it  made  a   profit’  (Birchall,  1997  p.3).       This  meant  consumers  were  subject  to  heavily  adulterated  products  –  especially   flour.  In  1844  The  Rochdale  Pioneers  formed  a  co-­‐operative  society,  opened  a   shop  -­‐  to  sell  unadulterated  products  -­‐  and  formulated  ‘Several  principles  on  

 

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which  to  conduct  their  business  that  would  form  the  basis  for  a  worldwide  co-­‐ operative  movement.’  (Birchall,  1997  p.3)  ‘The  principles  that  underpinned  [The   Rochdale  Pioneer’s]  way  of  doing  business  are  still  accepted  today  as  the   foundations  upon  which  all  co-­‐operatives  operate’  (ICA,  2012a).     In  1995  The  International  Co-­‐operative  Alliance  –  ‘an  independent,  non-­‐ governmental  association  which  unites,  represents  and  serves  co-­‐operatives   worldwide’  (ICA,  2012b)  -­‐  meticulously  redefined  these  values  and  principles  to   serve  as  operational  guidelines  for  all  modern  co-­‐operatives  (see  appendix  1.0).   The  ICA  also  constructed  a  succinct  definition  for  co-­‐operative  identity:       ‘A  co-­‐operative  is  an  autonomous  association  of  persons  united   voluntarily  to  meet  their  common  economic,  social  and  cultural  needs  and   aspirations  through  a  jointly-­‐owned  and  democratically  controlled   enterprise’  (ICA,  2012c).     Birchall  (1997  p.5)  attributes  the  success  of  The  Rochdale  Pioneers,  beyond   other  similar  experiments  of  the  same  era,  to  ‘their  use  of  the  dividend  on   purchases  to  reward  members  not  as  workers  but  as  consumers.’  In  1863  The   Co-­‐operative  Wholesale  Society  (CWS)  was  formed  to  serve  a  growing  number  of   branch  stores  and  this,  in  time,  became  what  is  today  The  Co-­‐operative  Group   (New  Pioneers,  2011,  2  mins).  The  CWS  went  as  far  back  in  the  supply  chain  as   possible  owning  farms  and  tea  plantations  and  producing  the  basic  products   most  needed  by  the  working  classes  in  their  own  factories.  ‘By  the  end  of  the   First  World  War,  in  which  the  movement  had  distinguished  itself  by  campaigning   for  rationing  and  against  profiteering,  membership  stood  at  over  3  million,  with   a  turnover  of  £88  million’  (Birchall,  1997  p.8).  During  the  interwar  years  and   throughout  WWII  ‘The  Co-­‐op’  became  a  national  institution  upon  which  many   working  class  people  relied  for  their  dividend  or  share  in  the  profits  that  their   custom  contributed  to  (ICA,  2012a).             6  

3.2  Market  share  decline  and  a  rise  in  neoliberalism   ‘In  1965  co-­‐operative  trading  societies  had  the  largest  single  share  of  the  market   (36%),  but  by  2000  this  had  fallen  to  just  4.4%,  while  the  largest  scale  multiple   traders  such  as  Tesco,  Sainsbury,  Asda  and  Safeway  increased  their  combined   share  to  65%,  compared  to  30%  in  1965’  (Wilson,  2011,  p.19).     A  combined  range  of  factors  can  be  put  forward  to  explain  the  decline  of  the   CWS:     • • An  outdated  brand  image  (Wilson,  2011,  p.19).   The  increased  affluence  and  aspiration  of  post  war  years  leading  to  a   diminished  need  for  the  services  the  co-­‐operative  provided.  As  Grott,   Singerman  &  Gutknecht  (1987)  explain  ‘for  the  [consumer  co-­‐operative]   structure  to  be  appropriate,  certain  environmental  conditions  must  be   present.  These  include  a  real  need  for  a  product  or  service  and  the  presence   of  an  active  desire  for  social/economic  change.’   • Negative  perceptions  arising  from  The  Cold  War  discrediting  co-­‐operation   due  to  its  associations  with  socialism  (Webster  et  al.,  2011  p.3).       • The  Thatcher  government’s  commitment  to  free  market  capitalism,  ‘In   Britain,  the  social  democratic  model  for  managing  the  economy  was   abandoned  in  favour  of  a  neoliberal,  ‘free’  market  one.  Advocates  of  the  new   orthodoxy  tended  to  idealise  the  investor-­‐led  model  of  business  organization   over  alternatives  such  as  co-­‐operatives’  (Webster  et  al.,  2011  p.2).   • The  socio-­‐biological  theories  developed  by  William  Hamilton  and  George   Price  -­‐  subsequently  popularised  by  Richard  Dawkin’s  1976  book  'The  Selfish   Gene'  -­‐  leading  to  widespread  acceptance  in  the  notion  that  selfishness  was  a   natural  path  to  a  better  society  (Curtis,  2011)  &  (Curtis,  2007).            

 

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Aside  from  the  combination  of  these  neoliberal  forces  perhaps  the  most   pertinent  factor  constituting  the  CWS’s  decline  can  be  found  in  the  internal   examination  of  The  Co-­‐operative  during  this  period  of  its  evolution.     ‘CWS  was  originally  a  wholesaler  owned  by  its  member  societies.  At  no   stage,  however,  were  these  members  obliged  to  buy  all  their  goods  from   CWS;  indeed,  local  retail  societies  continued  to  use  a  range  of  suppliers   with  whom  they  had  built  effective  relationships’  (Wilson,  2011  p.19).       Since  forming  in  1934  these  member  societies,  known  collectively  as  the  CWS   Retail  Services  (CRS),  had  been  growing  ever  more  independent  of  -­‐  and   increasingly  separate  from  -­‐  the  CWS,  leaving  both  split  factions  with  limited   prospects  (Wilson,  2011  p.21).  This  divide  was  eventually  remedied  in  2001   when  The  CWS  and  The  CRS  merged  to  form  The  Co-­‐operative  Group.     3.3  The  Co-­‐operative  Group  today   Since  2001  the  groups  sales  have  steadily  increased  and  by  2011  had  nearly   quadrupled,  with  the  number  of  outlets  increasing  from  1,287  to  3,652  (Mintel,   2012).  The  Co-­‐operative  Group  in  its  entirety  in  2012  consists  of  a  family  of   subsidiaries  operating  in  a  number  of  industries.       3.4  The  Co-­‐operative  Enterprise  Hub     The  Enterprise  Hub  is  a  scheme  set  up  in  2009  that  offers  free  advice,  training   and  access  to  finance  to  new  and  existing  co-­‐operatives  (independent  operations   existing  outside  The  Co-­‐operative  Group).  The  Enterprise  Hub’s  aim  is  ‘to   support  the  next  generation  of  co-­‐operators  to  build  sustainable,  co-­‐operative   enterprises  and  deliver  a  stronger  co-­‐operative  economy’  (Enterprise  Hub,   2011).  Although  The  Enterprise  Hub  is  reportedly  aimed  at  all  ages  (Warburton,   2012)  the  current  in-­‐store  promotion  appears  to  target  an  ageing  demographic   (see  appendix  2.0).           8  

The  Enterprise  Hub  website  offers  an  ‘about  us’  section,  an  ‘apply  now’  form  for   those  who  wish  to  benefit  from  the  service  and  ‘people  we’ve  helped’  featuring   short  case  studies  on  businesses  already  assisted  –  the  content  details  the   services  provided  and  the  help  received.     3.5  The  Co-­‐operative  Bank   The  Co-­‐operative  Bank  was  the  specific  subsidiary  brand  chosen  as  the  focus  of   this  study.  This  choice  was  made  because  the  banking  industry  has  become  the   center  of  media  scrutiny  since  the  recent  recession  in  the  UK  (Nicholson,  2009).   Controversy  has  recently  intensified  during  a  spate  of  bonuses  despite  taxpayer   bail-­‐outs  (BBC,  2012).  Amidst  this  furor  The  Co-­‐operative  Bank’s  advertising   campaigns  have  continued  to  highlight  only  the  services  they  offer  (see  appendix   3.0),  as  opposed  to  the  alternate  ethos  on  which  they  are  founded.      ‘The  Co-­‐operative  Bank  is  the  only  UK  high  street  bank  with  a  clear  Ethical   Policy  that  is  based  on  the  views  of  its  customers.  The  Policy  sets  out  the   businesses  that  the  Bank  will  and  will  not  provide  banking  services  and   investment  of  funds  to’  (The  Co-­‐operative,  2012a).  Moveyourmoney.org.uk   (2012)  agrees  that  they  are  the  sector  leader  in  ethical  policies  and  suggest  them   as  an  alternative  to  Barclays,  HSBC,  Lloyds,  RBS  and  Santander,  however  they  are   not  perfect.  Their  executives  have  tended  to  be  paid  significant  amounts,   although  not  to  the  same  degree  as  the  bigger  high  street  banks,  and  because   they  are  part  of  the  same  group  as  the  supermarket  -­‐  which  is  involved  in  the   retail  of  factory  farmed  meat,  the  retail  of  tobacco  and  other  activities  attracting   civil  society  criticism  –  moveyourmoney.org.uk  attributes  them  an  ethical  rating   of  13/20.          

 

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3.6  The  Co-­‐operative  Bank’s  competitors   Mintel  (2011)  research  into  consumer  attitudes  towards  green  and  ethical   finance  shows  The  Co-­‐operative  Bank  to  be  the  most  trusted  in  the  UK  in  regard   to  ethical  behaviour.  The  banks  rated  immediately  below  must  be  seen  as  The   Co-­‐operative  Bank’s  most  direct  competitors.  The  Nationwide  building  society   was  the  second  most  trusted,  followed  by  Barclays  and  then  HSBC.     Nationwide  is  a  mutual,  meaning  it  is  owned  by  and  run  for  the  benefit  of  its   members  (Nationwide,  2012a):  this  shows  an  alignment  between  member   ownership  with  trust,  but  also  makes  The  Co-­‐operative’s  differential  hard  to   discern.  The  same  Mintel  report  shows  under-­‐25s  to  be  the  segment  that  least   trusts  the  Co-­‐operative  Bank:  ‘among  the  under-­‐25s,  the  Co-­‐op  actually  loses  its   status  as  the  firm  that  is  most  trusted  to  behave  ethically’  (Mintel,  2011).     3.7  A  lack  of  understanding  of  co-­‐operation   A  possible  reason  why  this  demographic  may  be  less  willing  to  trust  the  co-­‐ operative  can  be  found  in  literature  on  public  awareness  of  co-­‐operation.  Ward   (2012)  indicates  that  Co-­‐operative  bank  staff  must  take  it  upon  themselves  to   educate  customers  about  the  company  they  are  buying  into.  Webster  et  al.  (2011,   p.5)  report  that  ‘what  little  public  awareness  there  is  of  co-­‐operation  tends  to   oscillate  between  rose-­‐tinted  memories  of  a  family  ‘divi’  number,  and  a  general   assumption  that  the  ‘Co-­‐op’  is  a  rather  outdated  shopping  chain,  on  the  brink  of   extinction.’       Discussing  the  co-­‐operative  business  model  Warburton  (2012)  wrote  ‘If  it  is  on   the  radar  of  young  people  at  all,  I  suspect  it  is  still  perceived  by  most  to  be   something  rather  old  fashioned  and  in  need  of  a  good  dust  down.’            

 

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A  survey  conducted  for  this  dissertation  (appendix  4.0)  asked  35  people  aged  16-­‐ 25  “What  do  you  think  a  co-­‐operative  business  is?”  The  majority  of  responses   demonstrated  a  clear  lack  of  understanding.  Where  alternate  responses  were   given  common  assumptions  were:   -­‐  A  business  that  works  with  other  businesses.   -­‐  Solely  The  Co-­‐operative  Group  itself  (This  echoing  Ward’s  (2012)  regret  that   customers  see  The  Co-­‐operative  as  just  another  brand  name  as  opposed  to  a  way   of  working.)   -­‐  A  business  possessing  a  vague  link  to  Fair-­‐trade  and  Green  movements.       Out  of  the  minority  who  displayed  a  basic  understanding  of  the  co-­‐operative   idea,  none  mentioned  the  principles  of  co-­‐operation.  All  this  points  to  a  lack  of   education  regarding  the  co-­‐operative  business  model,  and  multiple  sources  of   literature  substantiate  this  claim.  Kalmi  (2006)  studied  ‘The  disappearance  of  co-­‐ operatives  from  economics  textbooks’  and  found  that  references  to  co-­‐operatives   reduced  dramatically  post  WWII.  The  ICA  Digest  (2011)  reports  that;  ‘Many   young  people  are  not  educated  about  the  co-­‐operative  model.  Co-­‐operative   business  studies  is  not  found  in  school  curricula  and  rarely  covered  in  university   programmes.’  A  statement  that  Macpherson  (2011)  elaborates  upon  eloquently:        ‘There  are  no  universal,  widely  consulted  tomes  or  sustained  enquiries   coming  out  of  the  academy.  In  fact,  with  very  few  exceptions,  universities   have  totally  ignored  the  issues  and  possibilities  of  co-­‐operatives  and  co-­‐ operative  thought,  though  universally  they  construct  impressive  buildings   each  housing  scores  of  scholars  for  the  benefits  of  conventional  business.’       This  aligns  with  the  Mintel  (2011)  research  showing  ‘faith  in  the  Co-­‐op’s  ethical   credentials  is  much  weaker  among  younger  people’,  suggesting  a  parallel  may  be   drawn  between  the  two  phenomena.  The  65+  age  segment  trusted  The  Co-­‐ operative  bank  more  than  its  rivals  to  a  greater  extent  than  any  other   demographic  (Mintel,  2011),  emphasizing  that  the  understanding  of  co-­‐ operation  is  a  manifestation  reserved  for  an  ageing  generation.  The  Co-­‐operative   Group  demonstrate  their  recognition  that  this  is  a  cause  for  concern  when     11  

Warburton  (2012)  claims  they  are  ‘Seeking  to  educate  younger  people  in  the   benefits  of  the  co-­‐operative  model  and  are  presently  looking  to  develop  a  Young   People’s  Enterprise  programme  to  attract  a  new  generation  of  co-­‐operators.’     3.8  The  Co-­‐operative  Group’s  brand  values   The  brand  values  embodied  by  The  Co-­‐operative  combine  a  need  to  be   commercially  successful  with  being  an  ethical  leader,  whilst  directly  serving   stakeholder  communities.  A  mission  statement  identifies  that  their  purpose  is   ‘To  serve  our  members  by  carrying  on  business  as  a  co-­‐operative  in  accordance   with  co-­‐operative  values  and  principles’  (The  Co-­‐operative,  2012b).     3.9  Positioning   Aaker  (1991,  p.7)  describes  a  brand’s  purpose  being  to  differentiate  its  goods  or   services  from  those  offered  by  its  competitors.  Ries  &  Trout  (2001)  –  the   originators  of  positioning  theory  –  do  not  claim  the  purpose  of  branding  has   changed,  but  claim  that  society  has  changed  and  reached  a  point  of   ‘overcommunication’  where  a  product’s  features  or  a  brand’s  image  can  no   longer  successfully  serve  as  differentiators.       ‘To  succeed  in  our  overcommunicated  society,  a  company  must  create  a   position  in  the  prospect’s  mind,  a  position  that  takes  into  consideration   not  only  the  company’s  own  strengths  and  weaknesses,  but  those  of  its   competitors  as  well’  (Ries  &  Trout,  2001,  p.24).     Kotler  &  Armstrong  (2010,  p.216)  offer  a  comprehensive  definition  of   positioning  as  ‘arranging  for  a  market  offering  to  occupy  a  clear,  distinctive,  and   desirable  place  relative  to  competing  products  in  the  minds  of  target  consumers.’   Fill  (2009,  p.294)  affirms  the  importance  of  positioning  within  a  marketing   communications  context  by  stating  ‘positioning  is  the  key  strategic  framework   for  an  organisation’s  brand-­‐based  communications.’      

 

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Dibb  et  al.  (2009,  p251)  propose  the  method  of  positioning  to  be  through   development  of  a  distinctive  image  by  means  of  a  well-­‐honed  positioning   statement  and  to  establish  a  platform  to  effectively  communicate  the  message.   According  to  Roper  &  Fill  (2012,  p.252)  corporate  communications  that  express   an  organisation’s  values  and  beliefs  have  the  central  role  of  developing  an   organisation’s  image  and  positioning.  Ingenhoff  &  Fuher  (2010)  examined  how   corporations  used  mission  and  vision  statements  to  differentiate  and  position   their  brands,  finding  considerable  similarities  in  statement  content  across   industries.  The  Co-­‐operatives  own  vision  statement  reads:  ‘To  build  a  better   society  by  excelling  in  everything  we  do’  (The  Co-­‐operative,  2012b).  Its   broadness  falls  in  line  with  Ingenhoff  &  Fuher’s  (2010)  concerns  that  ‘companies   position  themselves  using  their  competitors  as  a  frame  of  reference.’  The  Co-­‐ operative’s  mission  statement  is  more  categorical,  reading:  ‘To  serve  our   members  by  carrying  on  business  as  a  co-­‐operative  in  accordance  with  co-­‐ operative  values  and  principles’  (The  Co-­‐operative,  2012b).  This  undoubtedly   varies  from  all  other  companies  that  are  not  run  as  co-­‐operatives,  but   considering  the  lack  of  understanding  of  co-­‐operation  it  cannot  satisfy  the  aim  of   positioning,  which  is  for  the  brand  to  occupy  a  clear  and  distinctive  place  relative   to  competing  offerings.     3.10  The  Co-­‐operative’s  current  positioning   The  Co-­‐operative’s  current  position  has  been  attributed  to  their  ethical  stance.   Roper  &  Fill  (2012,  p.127)  state  that  one-­‐third  of  The  Co-­‐operative  bank’s   customers  are  attracted  as  a  direct  result  of  its  ethical  policy  and  credentials,  and   the  bank  estimates  that  it  gains  24%  additional  revenue  from  its  ethical  position   on  the  marketplace.  Business  ethics  are  ‘moral  guidelines  for  the  conduct  of   business  based  on  notions  of  what  is  right,  wrong  and  fair’  (Collins,  2012).  These   notions  are  determined  by  accepted  public  perspectives  and  due  to  the  flux  and   subjective  nature  of  these  perspectives  there  can  be  no  definite  consensus  on   whether  something  is  right  or  wrong  (Gangone,  2010).    

 

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Regarding  the  ethical  position  that  the  bank  currently  occupies  a  question  arises   as  to  why  there  is  little  differentiation  within  the  16  –  25  demographic.  One   possibility  is  that  an  ethical  stance  could  be  confused  with  competing  companies’   Corporate  Social  Responsibility  (CSR)  which  Hoeffler  &  Keller  (2002)  noted  as   being  on  the  rise  in  accordance  with  its  vast  marketing  potential.  Popoli  (2011)   determines  that  CSR  is  still  on  the  rise  and  catagorises  CSR  activities  into  four   areas:  ‘Philanthropical:  ‘being  a  good  citizen’;  Ethical:  ‘being  aligned  with   society’s  values’;  Legal:  ‘obeying  the  law’;  Economical:  ‘being  profitable’.  The   business  conducted  by  The  Co-­‐operative  fits  these  categories  -­‐  thus  from  a   consumer’s  perspective  The  Co-­‐operative  may  appear  to  be  just  another  brand   employing  CSR  marketing  schemes  –  and  the  fact  that  CSR  embodies  ethical   standards  suggests  the  two  have  become  entangled.  Furthermore  Mintel  (2011)   data  showed  60%  of  interviewees  to  believe  that  ‘when  financial  services  firms   talk  about  their  ethical  credentials,  it’s  just  a  PR  stunt.’     Indicating  why  an  ethical  position  would  be  sought  after,  Green  &  Peloza  (2011)   propose  that  organisations  are  rewarded  with  positive  company  evaluations,   higher  purchase  intentions,  a  higher  resilience  to  negative  information  about  the   organisation,  positive  word  of  mouth  and  a  willingness  to  pay  higher  prices.   Inglehof  and  Fuher  (2010)  conclude  their  research  by  stating  ‘company   activities,  which  impact  differentiation,  might  be  found  in  the  field  of  corporate   social  responsibility’,  though  conversely  Green  &  Peloza  (2011)  suggest  that  CSR   is  now  well  established  and  that  it  is  common  for  companies  to  be  ‘expected  to   engage  in  some  form  of  CSR.’  This  raises  debate  into  whether  ethical  behavior   and  CSR  can  indeed  impact  differentiation  as  it  may  have  become  entrenched   and  overcommunicated.  The  Nationwide  –  Co-­‐operative  bank’s  closest   competitor  on  Mintel’s  (2011)  scale  of  ‘trusted  to  act  ethically’  –  runs  its  own   CSR  schemes.  It  offers  employees  two  days  paid  leave  to  support  charities  and   dedicates  1%  of  pre-­‐tax  profits  to  Corporate  Responsibility  activity  (Nationwide,   2012b).    

 

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3.11  Re-­‐assessing  The  Co-­‐operative’s  differential   In  a  market  littered  with  CSR  marketing,  do  The  Co-­‐operative’s  ethical  policies   offer  sufficient  differential  to  create  a  distinct  position?  Green  and  Pelazo  (2011)   suggest  that  ‘consumer  responses  to  CSR  depend  on  how  CSR  is  manifested.’  In   terms  of  the  Nationwide’s  CSR,  Anholt  &  Gelder  (2003  p.61)  note  that  ‘however   laudable  charity  may  be,  it  does  not  constitute  organizational  policy.’       Discussing  social  responsibility  and  ethics  Dibb  et  al.  (2009,  p.790)  investigate   what  makes  the  Co-­‐operative  Bank  unique:     ‘Many  companies  have  a  section  of  their  annual  report  and  website   devoted  to  stating  their  involvement  in  the  community  and  policies  for   good  corporate  citizenship,  but  the  Co-­‐operative  Bank  proclaims  that  it  is   ‘customer  led,  ethically  guided’  […]  The  bank  remains  the  only  high-­‐street   UK  retail  bank  to  offer  customers  a  say  in  how  their  money  is  used,  and   encourages  customers  to  have  an  input  in  the  evolution  of  the  company’s   ethical  policy.’     This  suggests  it  is  not  the  ethical  policies  per-­‐se  that  form  The  Co-­‐operative’s   differential,  but  the  fact  that  its  ethical  policies  are  defined  by  the  customers  –  in   short  ‘democratic  member  control’,  one  of  the  principles  of  co-­‐operation,  is  the   real  differential.  Additional  credibility  comes  from  The  Co-­‐operative’s  working   practices  and  operational  systems  being  orientated  around  the  chosen  policies,   with  an  independent  auditor  commissioned  to  report  on  their  implementation,   (Dibb  et  al.,  2009).  Spickett-­‐Jones,  Kitchen  &  Reast  (2004)  deem  this   indispensible  when  they  express  the  need  for  communication  strategies  which   convey  organisational  ethical  standards  that  are  recognised  as  credible  and   positive  and  based  on  genuine  characteristics  of  the  organisation,  rather  than   any  mirage  created  by  PR.  Kotler  &  Armstrong  (2010,  p.215)  define   differentiation  as  ‘actually  differentiating  the  market  offering  to  create  superior   customer  value.’  The  Nationwide  runs  CSR  schemes  and  is  member  owned;  the   value  that  The  Co-­‐operative  bank  offers  beyond  this  is  that  it  is  member  run.  

 

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3.12  Developing  a  new  positioning  strategy   According  to  Ries  and  Trout  (2001,  p.136)  ‘You  must  constantly  be  alert  to  keep   your  position  targeted  to  today’s  problems  and  today’s  markets.’  It  appears  The   Co-­‐operative’s  positioning  has  remained  static.  Neglecting  to  assert  its  position   in  light  of  the  Banking  Crisis  represents  a  failed  to  opportunity  to  capitalize  on   popular  sentiment.  Negative  appraisals  -­‐  notably  greed  -­‐  of  the  major  banks  are   prevalent  and  continue  to  be  communicated  throughout  news  channels:  See   commentators  such  as  Kar-­‐Gupta  (2012);  Chakrabortty  (2012);  BBC  (2012);   Daily  Mail  (2012);  Elliott  (2012)  and  websites  such  as  moveyourmoney.org.uk.   Blame  for  the  financial  crisis  and  the  furor  surrounding  excessive  bonuses  has   given  rise  to  negative  PR  for  the  major  banking  sector.  This  mismanagement   offers  the  potential  to  exploit  these  perceived  weaknesses  by  positioning  The  Co-­‐ operative  -­‐  who  offer  members  a  say  in  the  running  of  the  company  and  a  share   of  the  profits  –  as  offering  an  alternative  business  methodology  to  all  other   banks.  This  may  appear  to  be  an  extreme  position  for  The  Co-­‐operative  Bank  to   take,  but  it  can  already  be  found  manifest  elsewhere  within  the  group,  such  as  in   the  objectives  stated  in  The  Co-­‐operative  Enterprise  Hub’s  annual  report.     ‘We  will  promote  co-­‐operation  as  the  best  way  of  doing  business,  with  a   view  to  advancing,  strengthening  and  increasing  the  sustainability  of  the   UK  co-­‐operative  economy’  (Enterprise  Hub,  2011).       Hertz  (2011)  writes,  ‘The  conditions  are  in  place  for  a  markedly  different   economic  model  to  emerge  from  the  carnage  currently  being  wrought’  and   defines  the  traits  that  are  shaping  this  different  –  Co-­‐op  Capitalism  –  model  as   valuing  collaboration,  seeing  value  in  sharing  ideas,  pulling  together  in  common   cause  and  working  with  shared  purpose.  Regardless  of  whether  a  stakeholder-­‐ community  driven  model  has  yet  emerged,  the  carnage  currently  being  wrought   offers  an  opportunity  to  position  The  Co-­‐operative  as  an  alternative  to   everything  else:  to  the  banking  crisis,  to  profiteering,  to  the  ‘top-­‐down’   management  of  capitalism,  and  to  a  society  where  50%  of  the  people  in  the  UK   own  1%  of  the  wealth  and  20%  own  84%  (Co-­‐operatives  UK,  2011).  As  Yan   (2003,  p.218)  states  -­‐  when  discussing  the  emergence  of  ethical,  socially  aware,     16  

information  rich  consumers  –  ‘the  activist  brand  is  something  companies  need  to   build  today.’       Mintel  (2011)  provides  anecdotal  evidence  demonstrating  that  this  neglected   area  could  benefit  from  a  marketing  campaign:   ‘During  the  Occupy  London  protests,  we  took  the  opportunity  to   interview  a  number  of  protestors.  What  was  striking  was  the  number  of   people  who  were  prepared  to  camp  on  a  pavement  overnight  in  order  to   register  their  protest  against  the  financial  services  industry,  but  who  still   banked  with  one  of  the  very  banks  against  whom  they  were  protesting.’     3.13  The  beginning  of  a  co-­‐operative  renaissance:  in  numbers   As  already  discussed,  The  Co-­‐operative  Group’s  sales  have  been  increasing  since   2001  when  CWS  and  CRS  combined.  The  largest  year-­‐on-­‐year  increase  came   between  2007/08  and  2008/09  when  sales  doubled  (Mintel,  2012).  This  at  a   time,  and  possibly  due  to,  the  UK  entering  a  period  of  recession.    A  report  on  ‘The   UK  co-­‐operative  economy  2011’  by  Co-­‐operatives  UK  -­‐  the  national  co-­‐operative   trade  body  –  compares  the  turnover  year-­‐on-­‐year  of  the  co-­‐operative  economy   against  the  performance  of  the  British  economy  as  a  whole.  2008  saw  a  +5.4%   growth  in  The  Co-­‐operative  economy  against  a  -­‐0.1%  decline  in  the  British   economy.  2009  saw  a  +10.0%  growth  against  a  -­‐4.9%  decline.  2010  saw  a  +4.4%   growth  against  +1.3%  growth.     Over  the  same  time  period  the  report  shows  a  15.1%  increase  in  the  number  of   co-­‐operatives  in  the  UK  and  a  combined  membership  base  rising  by  18%  (Co-­‐ operatives  UK,  2011).  Growth  in  the  total  number  of  UK  co-­‐ops  in  existence  was   +1.8  in  2008.  In  2009  the  Enterprise  Hub  was  launched  and  the  number  rose  by   3.6%.  In  2010  the  growth  was  9.2%.  The  total  number  of  new  co-­‐ops  in  2010   being  458.  The  Enterprise  Hub  (2011)  annual  report  states  that  it  approved  686   co-­‐operative  enterprises  for  the  free  advice  on  offer  since  2009  suggesting  the   co-­‐operative  renaissance  is  being  lead  by  The  Enterprise  Hub.  

 

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3.14  A  climate  for  a  co-­‐operative  renaissance  to  flourish   In  January  2012  British  Prime-­‐Minister  David  Cameron  revealed  plans  to  ‘bring   together  all  the  legislation  currently  covering  co-­‐operatives  into  one   consolidated  co-­‐operatives  bill’  (Wardle,  2012).  Consolidation  of  the  17  separate   pieces  of  legislation  that  currently  govern  co-­‐operative  business  should  allow   greater  ease  of  operation  by  simplifying  the  process  of  setting  up  a  co-­‐operative,     reducing  the  legal  costs  and  thus  creating  a  more  level  playing  field  with  other   business  models.     The  current  intellectual  climate  is  paving  the  way  for  a  resurgence  of  co-­‐ operative  principles  and  offers  hints  that  collectivity  may  become  the  zeitgeist.   As  Hertz  (2011,  p.6)  summarises,  ‘Whilst  for  a  period  of  30  odd  years,  neoliberal   economics  and  monetarist  economic  policy  were  seen  as  the  only  credible  ways   of  thinking  about  the  economy,  the  financial  crisis  has  prompted  a  whole  rush  of   new  thinking  about  how  an  economy  should  be  structured,  organised  and  valued   and  how  the  state,  market  and  society  should  best  interact.’  This  coincides  with   scientists  re-­‐thinking  the  theoretical  foundations  of  sociobiology  that  ‘The  Selfish   Gene’  popularised,  and  that  many  ‘neoliberal’  economic  assertions  were  based   upon.  As  eminent  sociobiologist  Wilson  (2007)  asserts  ‘Selfishness  beats   altruism  within  groups.  Altruistic  groups  beat  selfish  groups.  Everything  else  is   commentary.’  In  2012,  in  conjunction  with  the  UN’s  International  Year,  Wilson   himself  reformulated  his  assertion  to  ‘Selfishness  might  beat  co-­‐operation  within   groups,  but  co-­‐operative  groups  beat  selfish  groups’  (Murray,  2012).       An  increased  importance  is  being  attributed  to  concern  for  community  which   itself  is  one  of  the  co-­‐operative  principles.  Drawing  on  social-­‐capital  research   Gauntlett  (2011,  pp.128-­‐161)  shows  how  social  connections,  communication  and   working  together  on  shared  projects  must  not  be  considered  arbitrary  but   essential  both  for  personal  well-­‐being  and  for  a  healthy,  secure,  trustworthy   society.  The  possibilities  afforded  by  the  Internet  must  not  be  underplayed  as   this  technology  sets  community  movements  of  today  apart  from  movements  of   the  past.    According  to  Tapscott  (2009,  p280)  ‘The  Net  is  becoming  a  medium  for   good  citizenship  and  social  awakening.’  And  Hertz  (2011)  uses  multiple     18  

examples  of  ‘sharing’  sites  being  signs  of  ‘a  new  form  of  capitalism  where   collaboration,  community  and  the  collective  count’  (Hertz,  2011,  p.13).       3.15  Magazine  community  formation   In  their  paper  on  magazine  communities  Davidson,  McNeill  &  Ferguson  (2007)   identify  magazines  as  a  brand  community  formation  tool.  Schau,  Muñiz  &   Arnould  (2009)  ascertained  that  interactions  within  brand  communities  add  to  a   brand’s  existing  value  proposition.  Interviewed  about  the  Enterprise  Hub,  Jo   Warburton  –  Co-­‐operative  Development  Advisor  at  The  Co-­‐operative  Group  –   mentioned  an  impending  launch  of  a  ‘stay  connected’  information  sharing   section  on  the  Enterprise  Hub’s  website  and  discussed  the  importance  of  online   communities  to  the  future  of  co-­‐operatives:       ‘Social  networking  is  absolutely  key  for  engaging  a  new  generation  of  co-­‐ operators  and  one  can  see  just  how  readily  networks  can  be  used  to   promote  both  the  co-­‐operative  value  of  solidarity  and  the  principle  of  ‘co-­‐ operation  amongst  co-­‐operatives’.    Social  networking  resonates  with  co-­‐ operation  on  all  sorts  of  levels  –  after  all,  on  a  social  network,  everyone  is   equal,  everyone  has  their  opportunity  to  have  their  say,  people  share   interests  and  common  purposes.  It’s  quite  possible  to  conceive  of   members  coming  together  on  social  networking  platforms  to  take  part  in   discussions  and  make  decisions  pertaining  to  their  co-­‐operative,  without   having  to  attend  meetings,  with  a  network  of  co-­‐operative  suppliers  being   created,  with  networks  actually  becoming  the  very  bond  that  bring  people   who  want  to  set  up  a  co-­‐operative  together  in  the  first  place’  (Warburton,   2012).     A  magazine  would  form  a  community  that  could  interact  within  this  branded   ‘stay  connected’  section  of  the  Enterprise  Hub’s  website.  This  could  be  a  space   for  important  interactions  and  decision-­‐making,  actualising  Lusch  &  Webster’s   (2011)  specification  that  contemporary  organisations  ‘should  be  an  effective  and   efficient  service  support  system  for  helping  all  stakeholders,  beginning  with  the  

 

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customer,  become  effective  and  efficient  in  value  cocreation’,  their  stakeholder-­‐ unifying,  cocreation  philosophy  of  marketing  aims  to  improve  customer  well-­‐ being  ‘by  helping  them  develop  or  codevelop  solutions  to  problems.’  Indeed   social  capital  arising  from  community  interaction  is  valuable  in  itself,  as  Sicilia  &   Palazon  (2008)  found,  ‘A  virtual  community  supported  by  a  web  site  will  serve  to   improve  the  relationships  between  individual  consumers,  as  well  as  among  the   consumers  and  the  brand.  As  a  result,  intense  relationships  will  emerge   voluntarily  fostering  both  consumer  loyalty  and  trust.’     3.16  Trust   Sirdeshmukh  et  al.  (2002)  define  general  consumer  trust  as  ‘the  expectations   held  by  the  consumer  that  the  service  provider  is  dependable  and  can  be  relied   on  to  deliver  on  its  promises.’  Sagar  et  al.  (2011)  suggest  it  is  compatibility  of   ethical  beliefs  held  by  the  consumer  and  the  brand  that  forms  a  prerequisite  for   trust.  The  fact  that  The  Co-­‐operative’s  ethical  policies  are  voted  for  by  the   consumer  resonates  with  this  suggestion,  and  the  fact  the  implementation  of   these  policies  is  independently  audited  offers  persuasive  evidence  that  The  Co-­‐ operative  can  be  relied  upon  to  deliver  on  these  promises.     Yan  (2003)  notes  that  the  world  has  become  a  place  where  companies  are   increasingly  held  accountable  for  the  way  they  operate  due  to  increased  sharing   of  information  and  websites  like  corpwatch.org  that  are  ‘holding  corporations   accountable’  (CorpWatch,  2012).  Trust  in  the  corporation  and  the  way  it  will  be   expected  to  behave  as  a  whole  is  commonly  referred  to  as  corporate  reputation,   which  is  managed  through  corporate  branding.  Lynch  (2003,  p.177)  defines   corporate  reputation  as  being  ‘the  sum  of  customer  knowledge  developed  about   an  organization  over  time.’  This  knowledge  may  come  from  company   communications  or  from  outside  sources.  Fan  (2005)  distinguishes  between   corporate  branding  and  product  branding,  deeming  the  purpose  of  product   branding  to  be  aiding  sales  and  profitability,  whereas  that  of  corporate  branding   is  to  embody  the  value  system  of  the  company  to  help  promote  and  enhance   corporate  reputation.  According  to  Fan  (2005)  the  products  or  services  of  the   corporation  cannot  be  separated  from  the  organisational  context  in  which  they     20  

are  created.  This  domino  effect  is  reiterated  specifically  in  terms  of  trust  by   Roper  &  Fill  (2012,  p.113  –  p.116)  who  claim  a  brand  that  is  trusted  in  one   strategic  area  -­‐  based  on  principles  and  a  value  system  -­‐  is  more  likely  to  be   trusted  across  the  entire  range  of  the  organisation’s  offerings.  The  implications   in  regard  to  The  Co-­‐operative  are  that  a  measured  improvement  of  trust  in  one   area  of  the  group  would  reverberate  throughout  its  multiple  offerings.       3.17  Trust  in  relation  to  loyalty                                                                                                                                                                           The  importance  of  brand  loyalty  is  widely  recognized.  Aaker  (1991,  p.39)  notes   that  ‘The  brand  loyalty  of  the  customer  base  is  often  the  core  of  a  brand’s  equity’   and  Riechheld  (2001)  shows  that  loyalty  creates  a  competitive  advantage,  builds   growth  and  profit,  increases  productivity  and  improves  sustainability.  ‘Loyalty   has  its  implications  that  extend  into  every  corner  of  every  business  system  that   seeks  the  benefit  of  steady  customers’  (Reichheld,  2001,  p.3).   The  importance  attributed  to  loyalty  has  caused  it  to  be  a  much-­‐studied  area,   however  no  fixed  definition  has  been  agreed  upon  due  to  ‘loyalty’  occupying   multiple  meanings  and  being  expressed  in  different  forms.  The  variety  of   loyalty’s  definitions  include  positive  feelings  towards  a  brand,  buying  the  brand   more  than  others,  or  continuing  to  buy  the  brand  over  long  periods  of  time:  these   forms  are  not  necessarily  related  and  may  conflict  (East,  1997,  p.30-­‐31).  For   example  it  is  possible  for  a  consumer  to  purchase  a  product  multiple  times  over  a   long  period  -­‐  out  of  necessity  -­‐  without  liking  the  brand.  Measuring  brand  loyalty   then  depends  on  the  exact  form  of  loyalty  being  measured.  Alhabeeb  (2007)   demonstrates  how  the  many  forms  of  loyalty  can  been  categorized  into  two   branches:  behavioural  and  attitudinal.  Chaudhuri  &  Holbrook  (2001)  propose   that  brand  trust  can  implement  a  chain  of  effects  that  pre-­‐determines  both   behavioural  loyalty  and  attitudinal  loyalty.  And  according  to  Alhabeeb  (2007)   trust  can  be  identified  merely  by  the  intention  to  perform  the  diverse  set  of   behaviours  that  signal  a  motivation  to  maintain  a  loyal  relationship,  these   behaviours  including  allocation  of  a  higher  share  of  budget  to  the  specific  service   provider,  repeat  purchasing  and  engaging  in  positive  word-­‐of-­‐mouth  appraisals.  

 

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3.18  Findings   The  Co-­‐operative  Group  has  a  heritage  extending  from  the  beginnings  of   organised  co-­‐operation  and  continues  to  follow  the  principles  that  define  this   movement.  Widespread  acceptance  of  neoliberalism  since  the  late  1960s  caused   The  Co-­‐operative  to  lose  its  relevance  and  market  share.  Within  contemporary   UK  society  there  is  a  lack  of  understanding,  and  lack  of  education,  into  how  co-­‐ operative  businesses  are  structured  and  run.  This  lack  of  understanding  is   particularly  pronounced  within  a  young  demographic.       The  Co-­‐operative  bank  is  currently  differentiated  by  its  ethical  policies  but  -­‐  in  a   market  overcommunicated  with  CSR  marketing  -­‐  highlighting  the  uniqueness  of   their  democratic  member  control  could  achieve  a  more  distinct  position.  Trust   was  found  to  be  related  to  ethical  reputation  when  organisations  and  consumers   hold  compatible  beliefs  -­‐  this  resonates  with  The  Co-­‐operative’s  democratic   formulation  of  ethical  policies.  In  order  to  further  emphasise  the  differential,  the   capacity  of  negative  feelings  towards  the  mismanagement  of  competing  banks   could  be  harnessed.       There  has  been  a  recent  increase  in  co-­‐operative  enterprises  and  the  UK  co-­‐ operative  economy  is  growing  –  social  factors  are  in  place  for  this  trend  to   continue.  The  Co-­‐operative  Group  have  themselves  enjoyed  recent  success  but   this  is  largely  derived  from  the  merging  of  two  internal  factions  (the  CWS  and   CRS),  rather  than  reawakened  comprehension  of  the  co-­‐operative  ideal.     Magazines  form  communities,  and  developing  communities  alongside  a   magazine  for  the  Enterprise  Hub  would  be  an  additional  strategy  to  improve   trust.  Trust  in  corporate  brands  comes  from  consumers  recognising  the   organisational  context  in  which  products  or  services  are  created,  and  if  there  is  a   compatibility  of  beliefs  between  the  brand  and  the  consumer  trust  will  be   transferred  to  all  the  organisation’s  offerings.  Trust  is  important,  as  it  is  a   precursor  to  loyalty,  which  gives  companies  competitive  advantages.         22  

4.0  Research  Design   This  chapter  will  clarify  the  research  objectives  based  upon  findings  from  the   literature  review.  The  research  design  will  be  explained  including  theory   surrounding  the  production  of  the  artifact.  The  methodology  will  then  be   justified  with  reference  to  academically  accepted  practices.  Finally  limitations   will  be  taken  into  consideration.     4.1  Research  objectives   The  research  seeks  to  test  the  hypothesis  that  a  magazine  educating  16-­‐25  year   olds  about  co-­‐operation  would  be  advantageous  to  the  brand.     The  objectives  of  the  primary  research  are  to  discover:   1.  Whether  educating  targeted  readers  about  the  principles  of  co-­‐operation   would  lead  to  increased  differentiation.   2.  Whether  awareness  of  the  principles  of  co-­‐operation  would  reinforce  trust  in   the  company’s  ethical  reputation.   3.  The  ability  of  a  business  enterprise  customer  magazine  to  fulfill  such  a   marketing  strategy.     4.2  Concepts,  Indicators  and  Variables   The  key  concepts  that  this  dissertation  is  concerned  with  are  trust  and   differentiation.  Walliman  (2004)  shows  how  concepts  are  abstract  by  nature  and   require  indicators:  perceivable  phenomena  that  give  an  indication  the  concept  is   present.  In  order  to  gauge  the  degree  of  an  indicator  variables  are  needed:   components  of  the  indicators  that  can  be  measured  (Walliman,  2004,  pp.40-­‐43).   The  indicators  will  fit  a  qualitative  framework  and  therefore  will  be  determined   by  insights  that  are  ‘expressed  in  words  describing  attitudes,  feelings,  opinions,   ideas,  customs  and  beliefs’  (Greetham,  2009,  p.180-­‐181).  Below  is  a  table  of  the   concepts,  variables  and  indicators  for  this  dissertation  –  this  will  inform  the   interview  schedule  design  and  develop  a  provisional  coding  frame.  ‘Discovering   important  variables  relevant  to  the  topic’  is  one  of  the  purposes  given  by   Randolph  (2009)  for  a  literature  review.       23  

Table  1.0  –  Eliciting  a  provisional  coding  framework  from  key  concepts,   variables  and  indicators  arising  from  the  literature  review.     Concept   Trust   (Trust  in  The  Co-­‐operative   bank  to  behave  ethically)   Indicators   Expectations  that  the  service   provider  is  dependable  and   can  be  relied  on  to  deliver  on   its  ethical  promises.     The  intention  to  engage  in   positive  word-­‐of-­‐mouth   appraisals.       Variables   Expressions  of  expectation  in   promises  made  concerning   ethical  behavior.     Likelihood  of  advocating  The   Co-­‐operative  corporate  brand.                 Differentiation   (Perception  of  The     Co-­‐operative’s  position  relative   to  that  of  its  competitors)   Understanding  of  the  principles   of  co-­‐operation  as  the  values   that  govern  co-­‐operative   businesses  and  that  The     Co-­‐operative  Bank  is  such  a   business.     Identification  of  co-­‐operation  as   an  alternative  to  generic   capitalism.   Accuracy  of  descriptions  given     Expressions  of  The  Co-­‐operative   operating  differently  to  other   non  co-­‐operative  companies.  

The  Co-­‐operative  to  deliver  on   as  to  the  nature  of  co-­‐operation.  

 

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4.3  Simplified  outline  of  research  design   The  research  will  consist  of  interviews  with  a  number  of  participants  aged  16  -­‐   25.  Initial  interviews  will  determine  each  participant’s  current  understanding  of   co-­‐operation  and  attitudes  towards  the  ethical  reputation  of  the  banking   industry.  Each  participant  will  then  be  given  the  prototype  business-­‐enterprise   customer-­‐magazine  to  read.  After  spending  time  with  the  magazine  subsequent   interviews  will  determine  its  effects.     4.4  Production  of  artifact   In  order  to  satisfy  the  research  objectives  a  prototype  magazine  has  been   produced  (See  artifact).  Involving  practical  magazine  publishing  should  ensure   the  research  findings  are  as  specific  and  focused  as  possible  to  this  subject  area.   The  following  is  a  discussion  of  the  type  of  marketing  communications  this   magazine  falls  under,  and  the  editorial  strategy  of  the  magazine  that  has  been   created.     4.5  Defining  a  business  enterprise  magazine   The  term  ‘business  enterprise  magazine’  refers  to  a  collection  of  content   surrounding  the  theme  of  starting  a  business,  otherwise  referred  to  as   entrepreneurship.  Although  not  a  successful  genre  in  its  own  right,  it  is  common   practice  for  general  business  titles  to  include  sections  on  business  enterprise.  A   competitors’  analysis  has  been  created  regarding  such  titles  that  strategically   investigates  their  offerings  (see  appendix  7.0).  Despite  the  dearth  of  specifically   enterprise-­‐oriented  magazines,  there  have  been  recent  examples  within  other   areas  of  popular  culture  where  themes  of  enterprise  and  entrepreneurship  have   been  central.  The  television  shows  ‘Dragon’s  Den’  and  ‘The  Apprentice’  are  two   of  the  most  compelling  examples  and  have  both  achieved  successful  ratings  and   occupied  prime-­‐time  slots  for  several  years  (Plunkett,  2011;  The  Observer,   2011).      

 

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4.6  Customer  magazines   Customer  magazines  are  publications  created  for  the  customers  of  brands  whose   main  business  is  not  publishing.  Customer  magazines  are  predominantly  the   remit  of  a  content  agency  that  produces  these  publications  under  contractual   obligations  to  service  the  client  brand’s  objectives.  The  latest  ABC  figures   identify  all  three  of  the  highest  circulating  magazines  in  the  UK  to  be  customer   magazines  (Ponsford,  2012)  and  Barnett  (2011)  claims  ‘the  content  created  by   many  brands  now  exerts  more  influence  than  the  content  put  out  by  many   traditional  media  owners.’       Key  Note  (2001)  define  customer  magazines  as  ‘primarily  a  marketing  tool’  and   according  to  Benjamin  (2011)  they  are  increasingly  used  as  part  of  a   multichannel  content  strategy  –  the  printed  content  providing  a  tactile  encounter   and  working  in  combination  with  social  media.  The  custom  content  industry  is   growing  as  brands  continue  to  realise  the  importance  of  dialogue  with  customers   (APA,  2011).  Therefore  any  magazine  should  not  be  a  stand-­‐alone  publication   but  part  of  a  multi-­‐platform  conversation.     4.7  Target  audience   Mintel  (2010)  research  indicates  that  ‘Youth  interests  reflect  the  kind  of  content   that  would  typically  be  found  within  teen  magazines,  suggesting  that  while   consumers  in  their  twenties  might  be  expected  to  move  onto  the  world  of   newspapers,  current  affairs  and  business,  that  in  many  cases  they  are  still   interested  in  a  style  of  editorial  perhaps  befitting  a  younger  audience.’  For  this   reason  the  artifact  -­‐  while  retaining  business  related  editorial  -­‐  has  been   designed  in  a  youthful  style  that  is  image  led  and  avoids  text-­‐heavy  content.   Where  appropriate,  brief  snatches  of  information  are  given  -­‐  conforming  to   Mintel  (2010)  research  that  shows  16-­‐24  year  olds  prefer  short  bullet  points  of   information  that  allow  the  reader  the  power  to  have  the  information  at  speed   and  without  unnecessary  editorial  clutter.    

 

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4.8  Editorial  strategy   The  magazine  will  be  a  promotional  tool  for  The  Enterprise  Hub  and  as  such   should  service  its  objectives.  Objectives  stated  in  The  Enterprise  Hub’s  annual   review  include:  Stimulating  the  creation  of  new  co-­‐operatives,  inspiring  young   people  and  promoting  co-­‐operation  as  the  best  way  of  doing  business   (Enterprise  Hub,  2011).  In  fulfilling  these  objectives  the  magazine  aims  to  serve   the  additional  purpose  of  differentiating  the  corporate  brand  by  educating  the   reader  about  the  principles  of  co-­‐operation.  The  bulk  of  the  content  will  relay  the   work  of  the  Enterprise  Hub  by  providing  case-­‐studies  of  the  businesses  they   have  helped  to  develop.  The  Co-­‐operative’s  current  'Join  the  Revolution'  slogan   will  be  used  on  the  front  cover  to  provide  continuity  through  all  brand  messages;   consistency  being  deemed  highly  important  for  successful  positioning  by  Roper   &  Fill  (2012,  p.252).  The  editor’s  letter  will  advocate  advancement  of  the  co-­‐ operative  economy  in  the  context  of  the  Occupy  Movement;  a  map  will  serve  to   highlight  the  international  relevance  of  co-­‐operation.  The  UN  International  Year   grants  authority  to  this  message,  so  official  International  Year  stickers  will  be   placed  on  the  front  cover  and  the  official  poster  will  constitute  the  back  cover.     Additional  content  will  revolve  around  a  lifestyle  theme  including  lighthearted   features  in  areas  such  as  fashion.  Dyson  (2007)  analysed  the  way  in  which   contract  publishers  use  the  power  of  editorial  to  achieve  the  brand  management   objective  of  clients.  One  finding  was  that  customer  magazines  mimic  the  format   and  content  of  ‘glossies’.  Ideas  for  lay-­‐outs  and  features  have  been  taken  from   ‘glossies’  and  re-­‐appropriated  to  the  objectives  of  this  magazine.  The   competitors’  analysis  yielded  further  opportunities  for  mimicking  style:  Monocle   was  chosen  specifically  with  the  intention  of  appropriating  its  aspirational   quality.     In  summary,  the  magazine  will  be  published  with  the  explicit  aim  of  highlighting   the  work  and  objectives  of  the  Enterprise  Hub.  The  aim  of  differentiating  the   brand  by  educating  readers  about  co-­‐operation  should  therefore  remain   relatively  implicit.  

 

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4.9  Justification  of  chosen  methodology   Blaxter,  Hughes  &  Tight  (2006,  p.61)  broke  research  down  into  families,   approaches  and  techniques,  defining  the  family  as  the  strategy,  the  approach  as   the  design,  and  the  technique  as  the  data  collection  method.  Within  each   category  this  discussion  will  provide  justification  as  to  why  every  choice  made   was  the  most  appropriate.  Finally  the  limitations  of  the  research  will  be   considered.     4.10  Family   Barbour  (2008,  p.12)  suggests  that  ‘by  employing  qualitative  methods  it  is   possible  to  study  how  people  understand  concepts.’  the  main  concern  of  this   research  is  how  the  participants  understand  and  construct  the  concepts  of   differentiation  and  trust  concerning  The  Co-­‐operative.  Qualitative  research  is  the   most  appropriate  to  answer  the  research  questions  as  they  concern  complex   attitudes  and  views:  specifically,  how  individuals  interpret  the  marketing   communications  of  the  magazine.  Blaxter,  Hughes  &  Tight  (2006,  p.63)  note  that   the  qualitative  approach  emphasises  the  importance  of  the  subjective  experience   of  individuals  and  how  individuals  create  meaning  from  evaluating  phenomena.   The  complexity  of  the  formulation  of  trust  and  differentiation  requires  a   qualitative  analysis  because  it  is  concerned  with  achieving  ‘depth’  as  opposed  to   the  ‘breadth’  achieved  by  a  quantitive  approach  (Blaxter,  Hughes  &  Tight,  2006,   p.64).  It  is  this  depth  that  allows  the  insight  required  for  this  research.  According   to  Greetham  (2009,  p.212)  deeper  responses  that  are  rich  in  implications  are  the   most  significant  advantage  of  qualitative  research.     4.11  Approach   Following  Blaxter,  Hughes  &  Tight’s  (2006,  p.75)  definitions,  the  chosen   approach  is  an  experiment.  This  involves  comparing  the  effects  of  exposure  to  an   experiment  with  the  denial  of  exposure  to  the  same  experiment.  In  this  context,   responses  elicited  prior  to  the  magazine’s  being  read  correspond  with  denial  of   exposure,  and  vice  versa.    

 

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4.12  Technique   The  technique  that  has  been  chosen  is  a  series  of  seven  semi-­‐structured   interviews.  Greetham  (2009,  p.214)  highlights  the  benefits  of  semi-­‐structured   interviews,  writing  that  ‘The  interviewer  has  a  schedule  of  questions,  some   tightly  phrased  to  elicit  clear,  simple  responses  and  others  open  so  that  the   issues  can  be  explored  more  freely.’  An  interview  schedule  will  be  drawn  up  that   allows  participants  to  elaborate  where  necessary  and  allows  the  interviewer  the   flexibility  to  probe  areas  of  interest.  The  schedule  will  include  pre-­‐ordained   prompts  to  facilitate  the  subject’s  talking  at  length,  and  the  significance  of  the   semi-­‐structured  approach  is  that  these  prompts  may  be  altered  to  allow  for  more   natural  discussion.  The  reason  for  maintaining  some  level  of  structure  in  the   interviews  is  to  avoid  leading  the  interviewee.  As  Greetham  (2009,  p.215)   stresses,  ‘Above  all,  try  to  phrases  your  questions  and  prompts  to  avoid  leading   the  interviewee  one  way  or  the  other.  You  have  to  avoid  giving  any  indication   that  there  is  a  response  you  want.’  For  this  reason  it  is  important  that  The  Co-­‐ operative  not  be  mentioned  until  the  appropriate  stage  of  the  interview.     Potential  participants  will  first  need  to  be  identified  to  fit  the  target  demographic   (16-­‐25).  Following  this,  their  current  opinions  on  the  banking  industry  will  be   assessed  and  four  pre-­‐selected  banks  plotted  on  a  perceptual  map,  as   recommended  by  Franzen  &  Bouwman  (2001,  p.236)  as  a  tool  for  categorising   and  analysing  brand  positioning.  Understanding  of  co-­‐operation  will  then  be   evaluated.  They  will  next  be  shown  the  magazine  and  given  as  much  time  as  they   want  to  spend  with  it.  After  indicating  that  they  are  finished  reading,  subsequent   interviews  and  perceptual  mapping  will  determine  if  the  magazine  has  improved   their  understanding  of  co-­‐operation  and  if  their  opinions  of  The  Co-­‐operative’s   trustworthiness  have  been  altered.  From  this  data  it  should  be  possible  to  draw   parallels  between  the  concepts  of  trust  and  differentiation.  Questions  will  also  be   asked  to  discover  how  participants  found  the  magazine  in  order  to  satisfy  the   third  research  objective:  whether  a  magazine  would  be  an  effective  marketing   communications  tool.      

 

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4.13  Sampling   According  to  Blaxter,  Hughes  and  Tight  (2006,  p.165)  the  sampling  strategy  that   is  chosen  will  often  be  dependent  on  the  resources  at  the  researchers  disposal.   For  this  reason  a  voluntary  stratified  sampling  strategy  was  chosen  out  of   necessity.  Participants  will  be  self-­‐selected  from  within  the  population  grouped   within  the  London  College  of  Communication.       4.14  Limitations     Time  and  resource  limitations  present  in  the  choice  of  sampling  strategy  may   narrow  the  variety  of  social  backgrounds  of  participants  included  in  the  sample,   which  will  also  be  limited  by  the  geographic  location.  The  size  of  the  sample  is   also  relatively  small,  but  qualitative  research  is  concerned  with  the  subjective   experience  and  insights  provided  by  individuals.  The  depth  of  the  information  is   more  important  than  the  breadth.     Although  every  effort  will  be  made  to  not  lead  participants,  we  are  necessarily   limited  by  the  problem  identified  by  Blaxter,  Hughes  &  Tight  (2006,  p.83),  who   conclude  that  ‘As  a  researcher,  you  will  have  certain  opinions  and  views  about  a   wide  range  of  issues,  and  these  are  likely  to  find  some  expression  in  your   research  and  your  reporting  of  it.’  Awareness  of  this  issue  should  help  to   minimize  its  effect.                        

 

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5.0  Data  analysis   This  chapter  will  interrogate  the  interview  transcripts  and  perceptual  maps  by   employing  a  coding  framework  to  categorise  key  issues  into  section  headings.   Within  these  sections  patterns,  exceptions  and  contradictions  will  be  highlighted   to  interpret  and  make  sense  of  the  data  collected.     For  full  interview  transcripts  see  appendix  8.0  –  8.7   For  perceptual  maps  see  appendix  9.0  –  9.7     5.1  Lack  of  understanding  of  co-­‐operation  reaffirmed   The  participants  when  unexposed  were  almost  entirely  unaware  of  the  structure   of  organised  co-­‐operation.  Many  participants  understood  co-­‐operation  in  only  its   literal  meaning  and  there  was  little  to  no  understanding  of  it  as  a  business  model   or  movement.     5.2  Co-­‐operation  not  easily  explained   After  exposure  to  the  magazine,  Participant  3  exclaimed  “I  know  some  examples   but  I  think  the  whole  definition  bit  would  be  a  bit  like  I  can’t  really  describe  it,  I   just  get  a  gist  of  it.”     It  was  observed  that  the  complexities  of  an  adaptable  business  model  like  co-­‐ operation,  with  its  many  forms,  was  hard  to  explain.  The  succinct  definition   provided  in  the  magazine  covers  all  forms  of  co-­‐operation  –  both  workers  co-­‐ops   and  consumer  co-­‐ops  -­‐  but  the  broadness  of  the  definition  seems  to  undermine   the  precision  of  its  meaning.  After  reading  the  magazine,  participant  7   demonstrated  awareness  of  this  definition  and  the  principles  of  co-­‐operation  but   was  still  not  clear  on  the  practical  application  of  the  theory.  Further  to  explaining   co-­‐operation  unsatisfactorily,  observations  showed  the  magazine  content  to  fail   on  a  second  count  in  this  respect:  the  box-­‐out  that  held  the  ICA  definition  and   principles  was  often  skipped  over  and  the  box-­‐out  in  the  fashion  feature  was  not   read  either.  The  interview  with  Participant  5  best  shows  this:  when  the   definition  was  pointed  out  to  her  she  commented,  “Oh  I  didn’t  even  see  that.  I     31  

don’t  know  I  was  so  focused  on  everybody  else’s  answer,  I  was  just  interested  to   see  what  they  said.”    This  then  is  not  the  way  to  go  about  explaining  co-­‐ operatives.  As  Participant  1  explains,  “I  think  if  you  just  went  out  and  said  like   “This  is  how  a  co-­‐operative  business  model  works  then  like  next  page  [motions   the  rapid  turning  of  pages].”     The  way  the  content  did  manage  to  educate  the  readers  about  co-­‐operation  was   through  the  case-­‐study  of  The  Sail  Boat  Project.  When  asked  what  the  magazine   was  about,  participant  4  answered  “the  co-­‐operative  model  and  how  people  are   using  it  in  different  areas  in  different  businesses”,  indicating  the  successful   communication  of  understanding  via  practical  demonstration  of  the  co-­‐operative   model.  Participant  1  describes  this  success  directly;  “It  was  a  magazine  detailing   how  co-­‐operative  businesses  work  and  how  they  can  be  applied  to  other  areas  of   business.  Like  the  boating  school  you  had  in  there.  […]  if  you  had  it  just   explaining  what  [co-­‐operative]  businesses  were  you  would  like  kind  of  alienate   some  people  from  really  caring.  But  the  fact  you  had  the  explanation  of  the  way  it   works  in  that  boating  school  was  a  good  way  of  explaining  it  at  a  different  level.”     5.3  Improved  understanding  of  co-­‐operation   Although  the  principles  of  co-­‐operation  were  neglected  by  all  but  one   participant,  overall  the  understanding  of  co-­‐operation  was  improved  upon  after   exposure  to  the  magazine.  Participant  7  noted  that  “It’s  about  essentially   working  towards  a  common  goal.”  Participant  6  said  it  was  “a  chance  for  people   to  work  together  and  all  benefit  as  opposed  to  one  person  or  one  company.”  The   principle  of  ‘Concern  for  community’  was  picked  up  upon  by  Participant  2  who  -­‐   having  read  the  magazine  -­‐  said  “I  strongly  believe  in  community  and  I  think   whatever  you  do  if  you  are  doing  it  for  good  sakes,  like  with  good  wills,  it  will   only  turn  out  right  if  you  involve  more  people,  so  I  always  support  co-­‐operative   ideas  in  a  way”        

 

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One  general  misconception  prevalent  both  before  and  after  the  experiment  was   the  idea  of  co-­‐operation  as  businesses  working  together.  This  is  not  an  entirely   wrong  assumption,  as  it  can  exemplify  the  principle  of  ‘Co-­‐operation  among  co-­‐ operatives’.  The  fact  that  the  magazine  is  about  The  Co-­‐operative  assisting  new   businesses  may  add  to  these  assumptions.     5.4  Democratic  perceptions  bolster  trust   The  perceptual  mapping  showed  in  numerous  instances  that  after  the  magazine   was  read  The  Co-­‐operative  reached  optimum  levels  for  both  variables.   Importantly  it  also  showed  a  correlation  between  perceptions  of  the  level  of  a   corporation’s  democratic  tendencies  and  the  extent  to  which  the  brand  was   deemed  trustworthy.  When  a  participant’s  expectations  that  their  opinion  would   inform  the  management’s  decisions  rose,  they  also  placed  more  trust  in  the   brand  to  act  ethically.  Participant  1  summarised  this,  commenting,  “Now  I  know   that  they’re  ethical  and  democratic  from  the  start  I  think  its  like  maybe  I  could   trust  them  a  bit  more.”     5.5  A  position  as  an  alternative   The  perceptual  maps  showed  The  Co-­‐operative  reaching  a  position  of  greater   distinction  after  the  magazine  was  read.  Perceptions  of  the  competing  banks   were  often  lowered  after  reading  the  magazine,  offering  indications  that,  post-­‐ experiment,  co-­‐operation  was  coming  to  be  seen  as  a  viable  alternative  to   conventional  capitalism.  Participant  1’s  expressions  indicated  a  move  in  this   direction  -­‐  “its  got  me  thinking  more  about  how  these  businesses  work”  -­‐  and   participant  4  opined  that  “it’s  a  utopia  kind  of  a  business  thing  if  it  works  which   it  looks  like  it  does.”     5.6  Word  of  mouth   All  interviewees  agreed  that  the  magazine  and  the  ideas  it  contained  would   present  a  probable  talking  point.  The  likelihood  of  the  magazine  leading  to   positive  word-­‐of-­‐mouth  and  brand  advocacy  is  another  indicator  of  trust.  Some     33  

participants  would  talk  about  it  if  it  occurred  naturally  in  conversation.  Others   would  actively  bring  it  up  themselves:  Participant  2  declared,  “if  I  was  having  a   chat  with  my  friends  I  would  go  like  “Oh  do  you  know  that  The  Co-­‐operative  are   doing  this  and  this  now.”  Participant  1  noted  feelings  of  being  ‘in-­‐the-­‐know’   saying  “I’d  definitely  talk  about  it.  […]  I  mean  like  I  think  its  one  of  those  things   that  now  I’ve  learnt  about  it  I  will  talk  to  people  about  it  and  act  like  they’re   stupid  for  not  knowing  about  it.  Even  though  I  just  learnt  about  it  just  today.”     5.7  Prompting  curiosity  /  online  search   There  were  strong  indications  that  the  magazine  would  lead  to  readers  wanting   to  know  more  and  actively  intending  to  search  for  that  information.  Participant  3   remarked,  “I  didn’t  know  about  this  Enterprise  Hub  of  Co-­‐operative.  I  only  knew   the  things  you  know  you  see  everyday  like  the  shop,  the  bank,  the  funeral  care  so   I  might  actually  Google  it  and  talk  to  people  about  it  if  I  find  something   interesting  there.  [and  …]  I  ask  myself  why,  if  The  Co-­‐operative  does  things  like   this  why  they  don’t  show  it  more,  you  know  make  it  obvious  to  people.”   Participant  7  said,  “I  didn’t  read  loads  and  I’d  have  to  read  more  about  starting  as   a  co-­‐operative.  I  probably  would  look  into  it  to  find  out  more  of  what  like  the   benefits  would  be.”  Participant  1  agreed:  “I  know  enough  to  have  like  a  short   conversation  but  also  I  don’t  know  enough  which  makes  me  want  to  know  more.   If  you  know  what  I  mean?  I  know  there’s  more  to  it  than  what  I  read  in  those,   what,  fifteen  pages.  So  I  want  to  read  more.”     5.8  Switching  costs   Many  participants  spoke  of  their  having  not  put  much  consideration  to  the  idea   of  switching  from  one  bank  to  another.  Participant  4  said  “I’ve  had  Barclays  since   I  was  a  kid  so  I’ve  just  stuck  with  one  bank.”  Participant  1  was  in  a  similar   situation:  “I  bank  with  Nationwide.  Yeah  that’s  just  because  I  have  been  banking   with  them  for  a  long  time.”  Participant  6  was  of  the  same  mind,  stating,  “Halifax   I’m  only  with  because  I’ve  been  with  them  since  I  was  like,  that’s  who  my  child,   childhood  account  was  with  and  its  progressed  as  I’ve  gotten  older.  HSBC  I  

 

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banked  with  them  initially  because  when  I  was  looking  for  a  student  bank   account  I  was  told  different  things  about  different  banks  and  HSBC  I  was  told   were  quiet  good.”     5.9  Appealing  to  the  16-­‐25  demographic   All  participants  showed  some  interest  in  the  magazine  and  it  appealed  to  the  vast   majority.  Explaining  its  draw,  Participant  1  said,  “The  fact  that  the  front  cover  is   like  covered  in  people  my  age  would  be  more  appealing  than  […]  something  less   youthful”.    The  content  was  designed  around  the  Mintel  (2010)  research,  which   found  the  16-­‐25  demographic  to  prefer  content  that  supplies  information  at   speed  without  unnecessary  editorial  clutter.  This  strategy  appears  to  have   constituted  the  appeal:  Participant  7  complemented  it  as  being  “easy  to  read…   wasn’t  too  text  based,  kind  of  with  pictures  and  everything’s  spaced  out”.     5.10  Trust  inseparable  from  context  of  entire  Co-­‐operative  Group     The  ethical  rating  of  The  Co-­‐operative  bank  on  Moveyourmoney.org.uk  (2012)  is   lowered  because  of  its  connections  to  The  Co-­‐operative  Supermarket.  This   connection  also  affected  Participant  2:  when  asked  why  she  believed  The  Co-­‐ operative  would  only  behave  responsibly  if  it  suited  their  interests  she  said   ‘They  don’t  really  have  anything  in  their  shops  that  would  actually  be  co-­‐ operative  [...]  I  know  that  they  have  Fairtrade  but  they  will  sell  just  loads  of   trashy  stuff  and  just  one  Fairtrade  thing.’  Nevertheless,  her  opinion  of  the  co-­‐ operative  bank’s  ethical  standards  was  raised  after  the  experiment  and  her   opinion  of  Barclays  as  ethically  trustworthy  was  lowered.                     35  

6.0  Discussion   This  discussion  will  combine  all  the  elements  of  the  dissertation  to  provide  a   comprehensive  analytical  evaluation  and  should  generate  answers  to  the   research  questions.     6.1  Positioning   All  evidence  gathered  supports  the  theory  that  improved  understanding  of  the   practice  of  co-­‐operation  would  increase  differentiation  of  The  Co-­‐operative  bank.   After  the  magazine  was  read,  perception  of  The  Co-­‐operative’s  current  stance  of   being  ethically  trustworthy  was  improved  and  in  some  instances  that  of   competing  banks  was  devaluated.  In  three  cases  The  Co-­‐operative  achieved  both   the  maximum  levels  of  trust  and  maximum  perception  of  democratic  operation.   Also,  in  six  out  of  seven  instances  The  Co-­‐operative  came  to  be  seen  as  a  more   distinctly  democratic  company.  The  Enterprise  Hub  assists  numerous   independent  co-­‐operatives:  magazine  content  that  demonstrates  co-­‐operative   principles  in  practice  educates  readers  as  they  come  to  learn  about  co-­‐operation   through  the  Enterprise  Hub’s  commitment  to  the  co-­‐operative  economy.  The   magazine  solidifies  a  positive  alternative,  which  might  otherwise  be  difficult  to   harness,  and  by  this  process  it  helps  to  establish  a  counterpoint  to  the  negative   sentiment  held  towards  competing  banks.  This  conjunction  helps  to  mobilise  the   negativity  and  functions  as  a  sound  process  to  distinguish  The  Co-­‐operative   bank.       6.2  Perceived  democratic  stakeholder  involvement  improves  trust   After  the  experiment  a  correlation  was  noticeable  between  trust  and  perception   of  democratic  tendencies.  Improved  expectations  that  management  decisions   would  be  affected  by  stakeholder  opinions  increased  trust  in  the  brand  to  act   ethically.  Trusting  a  brand’s  ethics  means  trusting  them  to  behave  in  a  way  that   is  generally  believed  to  be  right  (Collins,  2012).  Implications  that  ‘democratic   member  control’  could  hold  the  key  to  developing  ethically  trusted  brands   should  be  of  interest  to  brands  beyond  The  Co-­‐operative,  as  trust  can  result  in   additional  loyalty  (Chaudhuri  &  Holbrook,  2001)  and  consequently  greater     36  

competitive  advantage  (Reichheld,  2001).    This  adds  weight  to  O’Donnell’s   (2012)  call  for  institutional  democracy,  as  it  should  offer  private  sector  brands   an  incentive  to  involve  stakeholders’  decision-­‐making  power.     Declining  trust  in  corporate  brands  is  coextensive  with  the  sense  of  their   increased  power  over  elected  government,  and  their  potential  creation  of   problems  within  their  host  societies  for  which  they  will  escape  accountability.   Integrating  democratic  control  into  corporate  operations  could  then  become  a   positive  form  of  marketing  in  itself.  Where  brands  seek  to  be  trusted  ethically,   offering  stakeholders  a  say  in  how  they  are  run  could  help  this  to  be   accomplished.  This  draws  parallels  to  the  fact  ethical  trust  comes  from   compatible  ethical  beliefs  (Sagar  et  al.,  2011)  and  Lusch  &  Webster’s  (2011)   stakeholder-­‐unifying,  co-­‐creation  philosophy  of  marketing,  where  value  is   cocreated  by  customers  and  brands  as  they  codevelop  solutions  to  problems.     6.3  Customer  magazines  are  effective  marketing  tools:  when  carefully   constructed   The  prototype  magazine  achieved  its  objective  of  improving  understanding  of   The  Co-­‐operative’s  core  values  and  principles.  It  was  also  ascertained  that  this   improved  trust  in  the  bank  and  achieved  the  brand  a  clearer,  more  distinct   position  in  relation  to  competing  banks.  If  consumers  trust  a  company’s  value-­‐set   they  will  transfer  this  trust  across  the  entire  range  of  the  organisation’s  offerings   (Roper  &  Fill,  2012,  p.116).  If  constructed  correctly  a  business  enterprise   magazine  promoting  the  Enterprise  Hub  could,  cost-­‐effectively,  improve  trust   across  the  entire  Co-­‐operative  family  of  subsidiary  brands.  This  may  be   especially  important  for  the  bank  because  its  connection  to  the  supermarket  is   detrimental  to  its  stance  as  an  ethical  leader.  Moveyourmoney.org.uk  (2012)   gives  the  ‘civil  societal  criticism’  of  the  supermarket’s  activities  as  a  downside  of   The  Co-­‐operative  bank,  and  Participant  2’s  opinions  of  the  bank  were  based  on   negative  feelings  towards  the  supermarket.  By  improving  readers’  knowledge  of   co-­‐operation,  the  Enterprise  Hub  magazine  should  correspondingly  improve  the   opinions  across  the  entire  range  of  the  organisation’s  offerings:  indeed,  

 

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Participant  2  trusted  The  Co-­‐operative  to  act  ethically  to  a  greater  extent  having   read  the  magazine.     Aimed  specifically  at  a  youth  audience,  the  content  that  worked  best  was   designed  for  ease  of  reading  and  showed  photographs  of  persons  within  the  16-­‐ 25  segment.  The  prototype  magazine  included  many  forms  of  content,  not  all  of  it   successful:  when  printed  in  full  as  a  box-­‐out  the  complete  set  of  co-­‐operative   principles  were  largely  ignored.  However,  the  Sail  Boat  Project  article  proved   particularly  effective.  The  Enterprise  Hub  website  features  similar  case  studies   but  these  do  not  show  the  structure  of  the  assisted  companies  –  which  was  found   to  be  an  efficient  way  of  educating  readers  about  co-­‐operation  as  a  business   practice.  Recalling  the  literary  maxim  that  good  writing  should  show  not  tell.       Content  centered  on  the  work  of  the  Enterprise  Hub  provides  an  ideal   vehicle  for  showing  how  co-­‐operation  can  work  in  its  many  forms.  A   magazine  allows  for  clear  delivery  of  this  type  of  content.       According  to  Roper  &  Fill  (2012,  p.252)  corporate  communications  that  express   an  organisation’s  values  and  beliefs  are  central  in  developing  an  organisation’s   image  and  positioning.  Numerous  data  sources  show  a  16-­‐25  demographic  to   lack  understanding  co-­‐operation  and  consequently  of  The  Co-­‐operative’s  values   and  beliefs,  expressing  a  need  for  corporate  communications  that  specifically   position  the  brand  in  the  minds  of  this  age  group:  such  communications  are   currently  non-­‐existent.       Even  amongst  those  willing  to  protest  against  the  excesses  of  the  banking   industry,  it  is  uncommon  for  people  to  switch  from  the  very  banks  they  are   protesting  against  (Mintel,  2012).  Further  reason  for  targeting  16-­‐25s  comes   from  a  rare  juncture  for  acquiring  new  customers  presenting  itself  when   consumers  consider  taking  a  student  account.  Participant  6’s  comments  were   demonstrative  of  the  fact  that  banking  choices  made  during  one’s  student  years   can  prove  to  foster  an  ongoing  relationship,  “HSBC  I  banked  with  them  initially   because  when  I  was  looking  for  a  student  bank  account  I  was  told  different     38  

things  about  different  banks  and  HSBC  I  was  told  were  quiet  good.”  This   comment  also  hints  to  why  magazines  are  effective  marketing  tools  because,  as   the  interviews  show,  positive  word-­‐of-­‐mouth  and  brand  advocacy  came  from   reading  the  magazine.       6.4  Creating  conversations     The  contract  publishing  industry  is  no  longer  magazine-­‐centric;  instead   emphasis  is  placed  on  digital  dialogue  (APA,  2011)  and  the  importance  of   content.  Benjamin  (2011)  determines  that  brands  now  demand  a  multichannel   content  strategy.  The  precise  benefits  offered  by  the  magazine  -­‐  with  a  view  of   publishing  a  magazine  as  part  of  such  a  multi-­‐channel  strategy  -­‐  include  word-­‐of-­‐ mouth  advocacy,  offline  engagement  and  driving  online  search  by  creating   curiosity.  The  Enterprise  Hub  plans  to  develop  information  sharing  capabilities   on  its  website,  meaning  a  branded  platform  for  digital  dialogue  would  likely  be   the  outcome  of  an  online  search.  This  and  a  magazine’s  propensity  for   community  formation  (Davidson,  McNeill  &  Ferguson,  2007)  offer   complimentary  channels  for  creating  and  building  conversations,  resulting  in   intense  relationships  that  foster  both  consumer  loyalty  and  trust  (Sicilia  &   Palazon,  2008).  The  nature  of  these  conversations  could  also  re-­‐engage  a   disenchanted  youth  with  democracy  and  its  application  beyond  a  vote  once   every  four  years.  Developing  a  community  and  encouraging  community   involvement  of  all  kinds  would  further  promote  co-­‐operative  principles,   especially  that  of  ‘concern  for  community’.  These  types  of  collective  activities   should  intrinsically  educate  and  increase  understanding  of  the  practice  of  co-­‐ operation.  The  Co-­‐operative  Group  are  currently  developing  a  Young  People’s   Enterprise  programme  (Warburton,  2012)  with  educational  aims  aligning  to   those  of  the  prototype  magazine.  Developing  the  magazine  alongside  such  a   programme  could  be  a  place  to  express  educationally  rich  interactions  arising   therein.        

 

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7.0  Conclusion   Brands  may  strive  for  trust  -­‐  and  the  competitive  advantages  it  offers  -­‐  but   consumers  have  become  blasé  when  confronted  with  skin-­‐deep  CSR  marketing   schemes.  Organisational  policy  must  run  deep  for  a  brand  to  be  trusted  ethically.   The  Co-­‐operative  uniquely  offers  transparent  customer-­‐driven  policies  in   conventionally  opaque  industries  like  the  banking  sector,  which  should  be  proof   of  their  distinctiveness  as  a  brand.  However,  this  needs  to  be  clearly   communicated  to  capture  today’s  youth.     The  Co-­‐operative  Group  has  a  heritage  of  being  there  for  the  working  classes.   Although  a  self-­‐identifying  working-­‐class  may  not  exist  today  in  such  profusion   as  it  did  in  The  Co-­‐operative’s  heyday,  the  collective  sense  of  disenfranchisement   in  the  face  of  corporate  politics,  pervasive  inequality  and  greedy  bankers   somewhat  replicates  the  original  situation.  An  emerging  youth  demographic   subliminally  recognises  its  own  powerlessness  but  has  little  to  no  understanding   of  organised  co-­‐operation.  A  magazine  that  showcases  the  work  of  the  Enterprise   Hub  and  the  businesses  it  assists  would  engage  young  readers  whilst  educating   them  about  the  foundations  of  organised  co-­‐operation  and  demonstrating   democratic  member  control  in  application  across  numerous  examples  of  co-­‐ operative  enterprises.     Macro  conditions  and  an  intellectual  climate  are  in  place  for  co-­‐operation  to   regain  its  past  prowess.  The  Co-­‐operative  Group  –  being  the  largest  co-­‐operative   in  the  UK  -­‐  could  provide  an  additional  catalyst  by  providing  a  magazine  that   teaches  its  readers  about  co-­‐operation.  A  well  informed  business-­‐enterprise   magazine  and  multi-­‐platform  branded  content  strategy  could  re-­‐engage  people   with  the  concept  of  democracy  and  build  a  community  united  by  a  desire  to   manifest  democratic  principles  within  the  enterprises  emerging  throughout  the   UK:  Promoting  The  Co-­‐operative  as  champions  of  democracy  in  business,  of   community  empowerment  and  of  co-­‐operation  amongst  co-­‐operatives;  gaining   the  brand  the  distinct  position  of  leaders  of  this  co-­‐operative  renaissance.         40  

7.1  Recommendations     • The  Co-­‐operative’s  current  ethical  stance  should  not  be  abandoned  but   should  be  complemented  by  a  marketing  strategy  that  emphasizes  co-­‐ operative  principles,  especially  ‘democratic  member  control’,  ‘concern  for   community’  and  ‘co-­‐operation  amongst  co-­‐operatives’     • The  Co-­‐operative  should  look  for  innovative  ways  of  educating  a  youth   audience  about  the  practice  of  co-­‐operation.  This  information  when  branded   would  position  The  Co-­‐operative  in  the  vanguard  of  a  renaissance  of   principled  business  practices.     •   • Primarily  the  case  studies  on  The  Enterprise  Hub  website  should  be  updated   to  clearly  show  how  each  independent  co-­‐operative  they  have  assisted  is   structured  and  run.     •   •   •               41   Further  academic  research  is  recommended  to  investigate  the  potential  of   democratic  involvement  in  the  marketing  of  brands  in  general.   Launching  a  fully  researched  magazine  should  coincide  with  the  launch  of  -­‐   and  run  parallel  with  -­‐  the  Young  People’s  Enterprise  programme.   Further  prototype  magazines  should  be  created  and  rigorously  tested  until   the  content  is  completely  fit  for  purpose.   Content  should  be  aimed  at  a  16-­‐25  demographic  and  should  assume  no   previous  understanding  of  co-­‐operation,  educating  readers  accordingly.  

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The  Co-­‐operative  (2012b)  Vision  and  aims.  [Internet]  Available  from   <http://www.co-­‐ operative.coop/corporate/aboutus/ourvisionandaims/>[Accessed  22/03/2012]     The  Guardian  (2012)  Local  elections  2012:  fed  up,  not  fired  up.  [Internet]   Available  from   <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/04/editorial-­‐local-­‐ elections-­‐fed-­‐up>  [Accessed  14/05/2012]     The  Observer.  (2011)  Record  numbers  to  see  Apprentice  climax.  [Internet]   Available  from  <http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-­‐and-­‐ radio/2011/jul/17/apprentice-­‐enjoys-­‐record-­‐viewing-­‐figures>  [Accessed   26/11/2011]     The  trap:  What  happened  to  our  dream  of  freedom.  Ep  2.  The  lonely  robot.  (2007)   Adam  Curtis.  London:  BBC,  18  March  2007  [video:  DVD]     Walliman,  N.  (2004)  Your  undergraduate  dissertation:  The  essential  guide  for   success.  London:  Sage  Publications  Ltd.     Warburton,  J.  (2012)  Interview  questions  for  the  co-­‐operative  enterprise  hub.  E-­‐ mail,  06/03/2012.  [See  appendix  5.0]   Ward,  A.  (2012)  Interview  with  the  co-­‐operative  bank  customer  relationship   advisor.  London,  22/02/2012.  [See  appendix  6.0]     Wardle,  L.  (2012)  Co-­‐operatives  bill  is  a  step  in  the  right  direction  for  the  sector.   [Internet]  Available  from  <http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-­‐ business/david-­‐cameron-­‐cooperatives-­‐bill-­‐consolidated-­‐legislation>  [Accessed   22/03/2012]     Webster,  A.  et  al.  (2011)  The  hidden  alternative:  Co-­‐operative  values,  past,  present   and  future.  Manchester:  Manchester  University  Press.     Wilson,  D.  S.  (2007)  Rethinking  the  theoretical  foundation  of  sociobiology.  The   Quarterly  Review  of  Biology.  Vol.  82,  No.  4.  December  2007.     Wilson,  J.  F.  (2011)  Co-­‐operativism  meets  city  ethics:  the  1997  Lanica  take-­‐over   bid  for  CWS.  In:  Webster,  A.  et  al.  eds.  The  hidden  alternative:  Co-­‐operative  values,   past,  present  and  future.  Manchester:  Manchester  University  Press.    

 

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Yan,  J.  (2003)  The  brand  manifesto:  why  brands  must  act  now  or  alienate  the   future’s  primary  consumer  group.  In:  Ind,  N.  ed.  Beyond  branding.  Great  Britain:   Kogan  Page.     United  Nations  (2012a)  IYC:  Welcome.  [Internet]  Available  from   <http://social.un.org/coopsyear/>  [Accessed  22/03/2012]     United  Nations  (2012b)  IYC:  What  are  the  Objectives  of  the  Year?  [Internet]   Available  from  <http://social.un.org/coopsyear/objectives-­‐of-­‐the-­‐year.html>   Accessed  22/03/2012]                                                    

 

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Appendix   The  following  section  contains  additional  material  that  supports  the  main  body   of  the  dissertation.  

 

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1.0  -­‐  The  Co-­‐operative  Principles   2.0  -­‐  Current  Enterprise  Hub  promotional  material   3.0  -­‐  Example  of  recent  advertising  campaign  for  The  Co-­‐operative  bank   4.0  -­‐  Survey  to  determine  the  knowledge  of  co-­‐operatives  held  by  the   general  public.   5.0  -­‐  Interview  with  Jo  Warburton,  Co-­‐operative  Development  Advisor  for   The  Co-­‐operative  Group  (6/3/2012)   6.0  -­‐  Interview  with  Ash  Ward  –  Customer  relationships  advisor  at  The  Co-­‐ operative  bank  (22/2/2012)   7.0  -­‐  Competitors’  analysis   8.0  –  Interview  transcripts   8.1  -­‐  Interview  with  John,  Participant  1   8.2  –  Interview  with  Rasa,  Participant  2   8.3  –  Interview  with  Annika,  Participant  3   8.4  –  Interview  with  Ahmed,  Participant  4   8.5  -­‐  Interview  with  Jessica,  Participant  5   8.6  –  Interview  with  Georgina,  Participant  6   8.7  –  Interview  with  Joachim,  Participant  7   9.0  –  Perceptual  maps   9.1  Participant  1  compared  perceptions   9.2  Participant  1  compared  perceptions   9.3  Participant  1  compared  perceptions   9.4  Participant  1  compared  perceptions  

 

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9.5  Participant  1  compared  perceptions   9.6  Participant  1  compared  perceptions   9.7  Participant  1  compared  perceptions                                                               52  

Table  of  Contents     1.0   INTRODUCTION   1.1  RATIONALE   1.2  RESEARCH  QUESTIONS   1.3  STRUCTURE   2.0  CONTEXT   3.0  LITERATURE  REVIEW   3.1  THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE’S  BEGINNINGS   3.2  MARKET  SHARE  DECLINE  AND  A  RISE  IN  NEO-­‐LIBERALISM   3.3  THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  GROUP  TODAY   3.4  THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  ENTERPRISE  HUB   3.5  THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  BANK   3.6  THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  BANK’S  COMPETITORS   3.7  A  LACK  OF  UNDERSTANDING  OF  CO-­‐OPERATION   3.8  THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  GROUP’S  BRAND  VALUES   3.9  POSITIONING   3.10  THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE’S  CURRENT  POSITIONING   3.11  RE-­‐ASSESSING  THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE’S  DIFFERENTIAL   3.12  DEVELOPING  A  NEW  POSITIONING  STRATEGY   3.13  THE  BEGINNING  OF  A  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  RENAISSANCE:  IN  NUMBERS   3.14  A  CLIMATE  FOR  A  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  RENAISSANCE  TO  FLOURISH   3.15  MAGAZINE  COMMUNITY  FORMATION   3.16  TRUST   3.17  TRUST  IN  RELATION  TO  LOYALTY   3.18  FINDINGS   4.0  RESEARCH  DESIGN   4.1  RESEARCH  OBJECTIVES   4.2  CONCEPTS,  INDICATORS  AND  VARIABLES   4.3  SIMPLIFIED  OUTLINE  OF  RESEARCH  DESIGN     1   1   2   2   3   5   5   7   8   8   9   10   10   12   12   13   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   23   23   25   53  

4.4  PRODUCTION  OF  ARTIFACT   4.5  DEFINING  A  BUSINESS  ENTERPRISE  MAGAZINE   4.6  CUSTOMER  MAGAZINES   4.7  TARGET  AUDIENCE   4.8  EDITORIAL  STRATEGY   4.9  JUSTIFICATION  OF  CHOSEN  METHODOLOGY   4.10  FAMILY   4.11  APPROACH   4.12  TECHNIQUE   4.13  SAMPLING   4.14  LIMITATIONS   5.0  DATA  ANALYSIS   5.1  LACK  OF  UNDERSTANDING  OF  CO-­‐OPERATION  REAFFIRMED   5.2  CO-­‐OPERATION  NOT  EASILY  EXPLAINED   5.3  IMPROVED  UNDERSTANDING  OF  CO-­‐OPERATION   5.4  DEMOCRATIC  PERCEPTIONS  BOLSTER  TRUST   5.5  A  POSITION  AS  AN  ALTERNATIVE   5.6  WORD  OF  MOUTH   5.7  PROMPTING  CURIOSITY  /  ONLINE  SEARCH   5.8  SWITCHING  COSTS   5.9  APPEALING  TO  THE  16-­‐25  DEMOGRAPHIC   5.10  TRUST  INSEPARABLE  FROM  CONTEXT  OF  ENTIRE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  GROUP   6.0  DISCUSSION   6.1  POSITIONING   6.2  PERCEIVED  DEMOCRATIC  STAKEHOLDER  INVOLVEMENT  IMPROVES  TRUST   6.3  CUSTOMER  MAGAZINES  ARE  EFFECTIVE  MARKETING  TOOLS:  WHEN  CAREFULLY  
CONSTRUCTED  

25   25   26   26   27   28   28   28   29   30   30   31   31   31   32   33   33   33   34   34   35   35   36   36   36   37   39   40   41  

6.4  CREATING  CONVERSATIONS   7.0  CONCLUSION   7.1  RECOMMENDATIONS  

 

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8.0  REFERENCES     APPENDIX   1.0  -­‐  THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  PRINCIPLES   2.0  -­‐  CURRENT  ENTERPRISE  HUB  PROMOTIONAL  MATERIAL   3.0  -­‐  EXAMPLE  OF  RECENT  ADVERTISING  CAMPAIGN  FOR  THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  BANK  

42  

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4.0  -­‐  SURVEY  TO  DETERMINE  THE  KNOWLEDGE  OF  CO-­‐OPERATIVES  HELD  BY  THE  GENERAL  
PUBLIC.  

5.0  -­‐  INTERVIEW  WITH  JO  WARBURTON,  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  DEVELOPMENT  ADVISOR  FOR     THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  GROUP  (6/3/2012)   6.0  -­‐  INTERVIEW  WITH  ASH  WARD  –  CUSTOMER  RELATIONSHIPS  ADVISOR  AT     THE  CO-­‐OPERATIVE  BANK  (22/2/2012)   7.0  -­‐  COMPETITORS’  ANALYSIS   8.0  –  INTERVIEW  TRANSCRIPTS   8.1  -­‐  INTERVIEW  WITH  JOHN,  PARTICIPANT  1   8.2  –  INTERVIEW  WITH  RASA,  PARTICIPANT  2   8.3  –  INTERVIEW  WITH  ANNIKA,  PARTICIPANT  3   8.4  –  INTERVIEW  WITH  AHMED,  PARTICIPANT  4   8.5  -­‐  INTERVIEW  WITH  JESSICA,  PARTICIPANT  5   8.6  –  INTERVIEW  WITH  GEORGINA,  PARTICIPANT  6   8.7  –  INTERVIEW  WITH  JOACHIM,  PARTICIPANT  7   9.0  –  PERCEPTUAL  MAPS   9.1  PARTICIPANT  1  COMPARED  PERCEPTIONS   9.2  PARTICIPANT  1  COMPARED  PERCEPTIONS   9.3  PARTICIPANT  1  COMPARED  PERCEPTIONS   9.4  PARTICIPANT  1  COMPARED  PERCEPTIONS   9.5  PARTICIPANT  1  COMPARED  PERCEPTIONS   9.6  PARTICIPANT  1  COMPARED  PERCEPTIONS   9.7  PARTICIPANT  1  COMPARED  PERCEPTIONS      

 

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