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hmv: top dog

or jack of all?
An investigation into the growing expansion
of HMV’s offerings, and consumers' resultant
brand perceptions.
Introduction ............................................................................. 3
hmv’s Problem ........................................................................ 5
Market decline............................................................................................... 5
Comparison to Competitors ........................................................................... 6
What Needs to Be Understood ...................................................................... 6
The Need for Research ................................................................................... 6
Research Objectives ............................................................... 7
Essential Aims of the Investigation ................................................................ 7
Essential Questions for the Investigation ....................................................... 7
Methods of Research and Design ......................................... 8
Primary Methods: Questionnaire Survey ....................................................... 8
Primary Methods: Consumer Interviews ........................................................ 9
Primary Methods: Industry Professional Interview ...................................... 10
Secondary Research Methods ...................................................................... 11
Research Limitations .................................................................................... 11
Current Literature .................................................................. 12
HMV’s curent state ...................................................................................... 12
Loss of Competitors ..................................................................................... 13
HMV’s Current Competitors ......................................................................... 13
Experience Engagement ............................................................................... 14
Methods of Data Access ....................................................... 15
Questionnaire Surveys ................................................................................. 15
Interviews: Professional............................................................................... 15
Questionnaire, Poll and Interview: Design and Objectives
................................................................................................ 16
Questionnaire Survey .................................................................................. 16
Consumer Interview .................................................................................... 16
Professional Interview ................................................................................. 16
Discussion Analysis of Survey Results .............................. 17
Questionnaire Screening: Users/non-users and the gender ......................... 17
Reason for not buying at HMV ..................................................................... 18
Customer profiles and the competition........................................................ 19
Product awareness ...................................................................................... 21
Strongest parts of the product mix .............................................................. 22
Product-led brand or experience-led brand? ................................................ 23
Shopping experience.................................................................................... 24
Brand personality ........................................................................................ 26
Discussion Analysis of Interview Results .......................... 27
Analysis of Consumer Interviews ................................................................. 27
Analysis of Professional Respondent Interview ............................................ 27
Conclusions and Implications for hmv ............................... 29
In store experience must change ................................................................. 29
More branding and awareness campaigns of other services ........................ 29
Opportunities for future research ................................................................ 30
References ............................................................................. 31
Annual reports ............................................................................................. 31
Industry reports ........................................................................................... 31
Trade press .................................................................................................. 31
News ........................................................................................................... 31
Academic Journals ....................................................................................... 32
Books ........................................................................................................... 32
Appendices ............................................................................ 33
Frequency tables.......................................................................................... 33
Consumer Interviews ................................................................................... 43
Professional Interview ................................................................................. 60
Questionnaire .............................................................................................. 62

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Acknowledgements
I would like to thank the following, Laima, Rasa and Preena for their super work researching
and co-authoring this paper with me. My especial thanks goes to Ian and Nick for their
interest, insight and enthusiasm.

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Introduction
Against a backdrop of an economic downturn and erratic media reports of HMV’s strengths,
this study was conducted to investigate the (not the overall group) brand perception of
HMV Stores amongst a target demographic of media savvy consumers aged between 18-32,
or ‘Generation Y’.

Prior to the research, informally there appeared to be misalignment between the


demographic’s perception of the brand and the image proposed by HMV itself, particularly
within its annual reports.

The study focused specifically on verifying this hypothesis. To achieve this, measurements of
four key aspects of HMV’s brand perception were sought: how aware this demographic was
of the expanding range of products and services offered by HMV, HMV’s popularity in
comparison to current competitors, the demographic’s feelings about the brand experience
in-store and online, and finally their general views of HMV and its future. The study
discusses the results and is intended to provide possible recommendations for improvement
for HMV.

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hmv’s Problem
Market decline
In the 18 weeks to the 29th of August 2009, the first weeks of its financial year, HMV posted
a 1.8 percent fall in underlying sales (Potter, 2009). A one year analysis of the business saw
its shares plummet by 20% and level off in the run up to Christmas 09. To alleviate the long
term decline of the original megastore market, HMV is now repositioning itself as a
multichannel entertainment provider. Not only selling music, games and films, but now also
offering live music venues, in-store cinemas (HMVCurzon), digital music distribution and
ticketing.

HMV's Shares Over 3 years

Source: Google Finance


HMV’s shares against its competitors between 6th January 2006 and 4th December 2009

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Comparison to Competitors
Since the closest competitors Zavvi (previously Virgin Megastores) and Woolworths went
into administration at the end of 2008 (Murchie, 2009), HMV has no directly identical rivals;
other retailers offer a subset of its products, but there is no other business in the UK that
offers an identical product mix. Being unique provides HMV with a differential competitive
advantage (Porter, 1979).

What Needs to Be Understood


Consumers’ preferences when buying the products HMV offers needs to be understood to
avoid it developing as deadly a mismatch between consumer wants and its offerings as Zavvi
and Woolworths. This requires insight into why people shop, and the reverse, with HMV,
and their attitudes towards the brand. More immediately HMV’s positioning relative to its
competitors in different product categories must be assessed to find how it can better
compete.

The Need for Research


Currently, there are no pre-existing studies which analyse perceptions of HMV’s brand and
new product offers in the context of its financial results. The lack of understanding how a
consumer sees HMV might lead to poor marketing and product-mix strategy, decreasing the
value of the company by failing to supply the true wants and needs of its potential market
(Blankenship et. al., 1998).

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Research Objectives
Essential Aims of the Investigation
The investigation attempts to gain insight into:

the brand perceptions of media savvy Generation Y consumers aged between 18-32,
of HMV,
the demographic’s awareness of the range of products and services offered by HMV,
HMV’s popularity in comparison to current competitors,
the similarity of consumer perception of HMV, and that of its management in annual
reports.

Essential Questions for the Investigation


Is HMV still popular amongst this demographic, against current competitors?

Why is HMV popular?

Why do members of this demographic no longer shop at HMV?

Which parts of the product mix are valued most by this demographic?

To what extent is the demographic aware of all the services and products at HMV?

What can make HMV succeed over rivals?

How does the demographic feel about the in-store and online experience of HMV?

Is the future of HMV stable?

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Methods of Research and Design
Primary Methods: Questionnaire Survey
To establish an initial understanding of the target demographic’s opinion, a qualitative self
administered questionnaire survey was designed and distributed online through the use of
SurveyMonkey.com. The main advantages of this type of data collection are its highly
structured nature, which makes the results easier to synthesise than in-depth interviews,
and that a large volume of respondents can be generated. Due to the volume of
respondents, the results are relatively more representative in comparison to a few detailed
interviews of extreme examples.

Due to the size of the study, the sampling used was a non-randomised cluster convenience
sample. The sample is a cluster in that only those on social networking sites or the university
network were able to take part; it did not give the whole population of the target
demographic an equally random chance to participate. The study may missed extremes of
opinions. Therefore, a full and accurate analysis for the research’s margin of error could not
be calculated, and cannot determine the full representative nature of the responses. A more
representative further study to be carried out would investigate the opinions of a
randomised sample from the whole population of HMV consumers and competitors’
consumers.

Since the survey was carried out as an online self administered questionnaire, further
possible problems arise in the higher chance of leading questions, an inability to understand
a particular question, lack of flexibility in answering the questions, and an exclusion of those
without an internet connection or facebook / Twitter / Research agency/ University network
membership. However, the research aimed at understanding the opinions of media savvy
youth who were huge entertainment consumers. Ofcom research (Ofcom, 2009) indicates
that the majority of these respondents typically had access to a broadband connection and
in fact made up a large proportion of internet users.

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Ofcom Media Consumption 1 The Media Consumers Would Find Hardest To Live Without

Ofcom Media Consumption 2 Internet Audience and Time Spent by Age

Primary Methods: Consumer Interviews


Online interviews were also carried out in order to alleviate some of the limitations typical
of quantitative research highlighted above. While the survey provided a somewhat
representative understanding of the demographic, the interviews would provide deeper
understanding of the survey’s results through comparison with extreme examples of
respondents.

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The interviewees were youths typical of the demographic from across the UK, with different
occupational and educational backgrounds and strong opinions on HMV. Although there
were only 3 respondents, this was felt enough for this pilot study to investigate the issues.

The interview was conducted through online IM chats, chosen for the speed and ease of use
crossing geographical boundaries that would otherwise hamper the study. Respondents
were able to answer anonymously at their own convenience in their own surroundings. In
choosing this method, an immediate transcript was produced, preventing time wasted on
transcribing of audio transcripts misquotation of the respondents’ answers.

A disadvantage of online IM interviews is that respondents who do not have connectivity to


the internet could not be included. However, as the study’s aim was to understand the
opinions of media savvy youths who were using different types of media to interact with
retailers such as HMV, this failing was not vital. A further disadvantage perhaps felt on some
occasions was the inability to detect and exploit the interpersonal communication in the
form of body language and tone of voice. This may have prevented further questions for
investigation being inspired from non-verbal communication.

Primary Methods: Industry Professional Interview


In order to balance the views and opinions of consumers a qualitative telephone Interview
with an external industry professional was sought to gain an independent opinion on the
study. The interview arranged was with an eCommerce consultant, editor of
InternetRetailing, prior to which he had been LittleWoods eCommerce Director and Director
of BBC Online. At the interviewees request, no recording was made.

This qualitative interview gave many insights from the independent perspective of someone
typically consulted by retail businesses similar to HMV, and generated views and opinions
on HMV as a whole and specifically, HMV’s internet presence.

Like IM, for telephone interviews distance is not problematic. Unlike IM, the telephone
interview could detect the non-verbal communication contained in tone of voice. This

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meant that questions were more easily directed and flowed more naturally according to the
tone of the conversation.

In spite of this, the disadvantage of the non recorded telephone interview is the larger
margin of error in terms of inaccurately recording down by pen the data collected.
Therefore, the possibility of having misinterpreted the responses is higher.

Secondary Research Methods


To gain a good initial understanding of HMV’s situation and the varying theories behind, a
background analysis of current relevant literature was conducted. First, the company’s
annual report was analysed to understand the opinion of HMV’s board. To gain a full
understanding of HMV’s current situation, HMV’s industry report created by DataMonitor
was compared against HMV’s own data. A discovery of the current professional branding
agency opinion was sought by analysing reports created by Interbrand on brand
engagement, retail and digital; areas relevant to HMV. Further to this, trade press articles
for a more general background of practitioner opinion along with general press articles were
analysed. Finally, to keep the study well rounded, opinions form peer reviewed academic
journals were also sought.

All of this information gave a good basis for the direction of the research.

Research Limitations
Due to the size and timescale of the project, this can only be treated as a pilot study, an
indication of the need for further research and what the results of further research may
yield.

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Current Literature
HMV’s curent state
Despite Potter (2009)’s article describing HMV’s core sales falling, HMV’s 2008 annual
reports describe HMV as being in a positive situation in relation to the global slowdown,
with ‘good progress [being] ... made on the Group’s three-year transformation plan.’ HMV
recognises its market is changing structurally, with specialist retailing declining markedly.
Therefore, a programme of expansion to gain leadership is critical, especially in the face of
stiff competition from ‘online players’, (Amazon in particular), and best seller providers:
supermarkets. Their steady growth, has given them the ability to take the ‘first steps into a
new, long-term strategy to extend HMV’s brand and activities into live music and
entertainment venues and ticketing,’ (HMV, 2009: 6).

“As a specialist retailer, both through our stores and websites, we seek to differentiate HMV
by:
- providing the widest ranges and availabilities, driven by best-in-class inventory
management systems
- offering customers superior product campaigns utilizing high-quality merchandising
skills . . .
- the authoritative product knowledge and advice offered by our employees
- provision to our customers of added value experiences, including special events to
meet artists and authors and
- to attend live performances at our stores innovative CRM to drive and maintain
customer loyalty,
- including in HMV UK access to rewards which are not usually available for purchase.”
(HMV, 2009: 11)

Further measures highlighted in the report discuss


- The introduction of 15 new stores throughout the UK supporting a ‘next generation’
store format. (HMV, 2009: 6)
- HMV’s highly recognised brand and prime high street locations are also being further
leveraged to offer customers related entertainment experiences. (HMV, 2009: 6)

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Loss of Competitors
2008 saw the loss of direct high street competitors, Woolworths and Zavvi based on
‘decaying business models’ (Perry, 2009). Despite the last minute efforts of Woolworths
management, as described by Hall (2009), Woolworths collapsed on a failed model. Because
of this, as Sutherland (2009), and Thompson (2009) explain ‘HMV ... benefited not only by
grabbing sales from now defunct retailers, such as Woolworths, but also by acquiring 25
stores from Zavvi,’ profiting from the "Woolworths effect” (Pearson, 2009).

Clearly the loss of competitors saw HMV’s profits rise, but also prompts HMV to reduce its
similarity to the failing companies.

HMV’s Current Competitors

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Experience Engagement
Industry insiders, commenting on the issue have described HMV’s situation as being
‘between a rock and a hard place, and it doesn’t get much rockier or harder than iTunes or
Tescos’, describing HMV’s first tentative steps online (Ritson, 2006: 20). Since then HMV has
rebranded its logo and slogan (Quilter, 2007). Despite HMV’s stable performance it, unlike
Amazon, has not featured in Interbrand’s best 100 global brands of 2009, an assessment
usually composed of a brand’s financial health and the brand’s influence on sales
(Interbrand, 2009a).

Indeed, Interbrand’s analysis of retail brands in general is positive. Interbrand believes that
far from suffering under a challenging economy, ‘retailers are perfectly placed to build truly
great brands. They have many rich data points: physical experiences involving numerous
opportunities to create uniqueness, including service, process, product mix, layout,
ambience, culture. (Interbrand, 2009b: 1).’

Interbrand explains further that, as well as acquisition, ‘great brands not only need to
engage, they also need to deliver *to customers’ expectations+. To be a truly great brand,
you don’t just need to get them hook, line and sinker, you also need to take good care of
them once they are in the boat.’ (Interbrand, 2009c: 1). The report emphasises on the
importance of consumer experience as a tool for retention and stronger brands.

Like Interbrand, Bowden (2009) suggests that, ‘customer-brand relationships do not just
exist, they develop over time and through multiple service experiences’, yet Bowden’s
research found that customer-brand relationships were a largely static phenomenon where
not much aftercare was placed upon acquisition of the consumer.

On a different level, Martinez & Pina Perez (2009) look into brand expansion strategies.
They found that in general ‘Brand-extension strategies *such as HMV’s+ enhance success
chances of new products,’ (Martinez & Pina Perez, 2009: 53) even when though brand
image is exposed risks of dilution. In spite of this, a brand expansion into highly relevant
areas did not guarantee the protection of brand perceptions.

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Methods of Data Access
Questionnaire Surveys
Access to a sample base for the questionnaire survey was sought from a variety of online
sources. The survey was advertised on status messages on Twitter and Facebook and on
HMV fan pages. An invitation link was sent through the online university message board and
through the management department admin who passed the invitation link to all
management students.

Further access was sought by sending the invitation link to a research and brand consultancy
which specialised in social network market research, which redistributed the link to its
database of respondents.

The eventual sample base generated from the questionnaire survey amounted to 160
respondents. The expected sample base from these forms of data access was approximately
80 respondents. The desired was 150 respondents. Although exceeding expectations,
through pay-per-click Facebook advertising the sample base would have been much larger
and perhaps more representative (of consumers online on social networking sites),
however, the decision was made not to use forms of rewards to advertise the research as a
general base of opinion was sought from respondents who were interested in taking part,
giving full and varied opinions, rather than extrinsically motivated.

Interviews: Professional
Existing industry contacts were used to source the telephone interview with the industry
professional.

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Questionnaire, Poll and Interview: Design and Objectives
Questionnaire Survey
The survey design was revised several times until it was felt that the final design targeted
the questions most relevant to the objectives and focus of the study with the questions
being simply phrased and without a leading bias.

Consumer Interview
The focus on the interview questions were to delve deeper into the questions asked in the
survey and to further investigate the responses generated from the survey, and to reveal
answers to the study’s questions.

Professional Interview
The questions in this exercise were designed to provoke responses from the respondent,
focussing on the study’s research objectives and main questions, to gain an independent
viewpoint.

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Discussion Analysis of Survey Results
Questionnaire Screening: Users/non-users and the gender

Have you bought anything from HMV, either in store or online, in the past 2 years?

Response Response
Answer Options
Percent Count
Yes 75.6% 121
No 24.4% 39
answered question 160
skipped question 0

The first question was designed to screen the sample and distinguish between users and
non-users. For this study, non–users were defined as respondents who had not bought from
HMV in the last 2 years. For some analysis, the non-users of HMV will be excluded.

The majority of the respondents (75.6 %) have recently bought from HMV and are expected
to be familiar with recent HMV’s branding efforts. This serves the further analysis by
reducing the likelihood of answers based on out-dated perceptions.

The sample used turned out to be composed of more females than males (73.8% and 26.3%
respectively), which suggests that the analysis of the questionnaire might suffer from the
gender bias. As can be seen from the Table 1, HMV seems to be more popular among
females (78% are Users) than among males (69% are Users). However, after applying
Independent Samples t-Test (sig. 2 tailed = .280) the difference appears to be statistically
insignificant (Table 2). Based on this, there will be no attempts to account for unequal split
between genders.

Recent Use r
Yes No T otal
Gend er Ma le Count 29 13 42
% withi n Gende r 69. 0% 31. 0% 100 .0%
% withi n Re ce nt User 24. 0% 33. 3% 26. 3%
Fem ale Count 92 26 118
% withi n Gende r 78. 0% 22. 0% 100 .0%
% withi n Re ce nt User 76. 0% 66. 7% 73. 8%
T otal Count 121 39 160
% withi n Gende r 75. 6% 24. 4% 100 .0%
% withi n Re ce nt User 100 .0% 100 .0% 100 .0%
Table 1 User/Non-User and Gender Crosstabulation

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Independent Samples Test

Levene's Test for


Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
95% Confidence
Interval of the
Mean Std. Error Difference
F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Difference Difference Lower Upper
Gender Equal variances
4.296 .040 1.154 158 .250 .094 .081 -.067 .254
ass umed
Equal variances
1.091 59.037 .280 .094 .086 -.078 .265
not ass umed

Table 1 t-Test of differences between genders and Users/Non-Users

Reason for not buying at HMV

Figure 1 Q2 Frequences: If you have not bought from HMV, why?

The majority (61.1%) of non-users said that there was no need to buy from HMV rather than
that they were unsatisfied with any of the aspects of HMV as a retailer (Figure 1). Even
considering the current trend towards cheaper digital media, bad value for money,
according to the research is only the second strongest reason for not buying from a high-
street retailer like HMV.

Conclusion: marketing efforts for attracting non-users should include the generation
of need, possibly emphasising the benefits that other retailers are not able to offer
or by looking at the underlying reasons for unwillingness to purchase entertainment
products.

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Customer profiles and the competition

1
Figure 2 Q3 Competitive environment

Since HMV is a multi-product brand, for the competitive environment analysis the question
was narrowed down to the core products (music, films, games). Loyal Customers were
defined as those who Always or Usually chose one retailer, Not-Loyal Customers as those
who Sometimes or Not Usually chose one retailer.

As can be seen from Figure 2, HMV looses Loyal Customers to Amazon, iTunes and
Supermarkets (orange and blue combined). However, it is also evident that HMV takes the
biggest share of customers who did not reveal a strong preference towards any of the
retailers.

Generally, there are more Not-Loyal customers in the market for music, films and games,
which suggests that customers are price sensitive and look for the best deal available.

1
SPSS tables with cumulative frequencies for each retailer can be referred to in the Appendix.

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2
Question 3: Statistics

HMV iTunes Supermarkets play.com Amazon


N Valid 160 160 160 160 160
Missing 0 0 0 0 0
Mean 3.44 3.74 3.61 4.19 3.13
Median 3.00 4.00 4.00 5.00 3.00
Std. Deviation 1.142 1.353 1.239 1.193 1.177
Variance 1.305 1.830 1.536 1.424 1.385
Table 2 Customer Profiles Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive analysis of this question revealed that HMV has the most homogeneous opinion
among the respondents (lowest standard deviation) meaning that HMV has the potential of
turning the biggest share of Not Loyal Customers to Loyal Customers. In comparison to
other rivals, HMV’s marketing efforts directed to Not Loyal Customers would have the
biggest reach.

2
Coding used: Always – 1, Usually – 2. Sometimes – 3, Not usually – 4, Never – 5

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Product awareness

3
Figure 3 Q4 Product awareness

As can be see from the Figure 3, three groups of the level of awareness emerged:

1. Music, films and games (86% and above) are the products that the majority are
aware of.
2. About half of (between 49.4% and 65.6%) are aware of fan-related merchandise,
MP3 accessories and books.
3. Less than 20% of know that online downloads, live concert and cinema tickets are
also sold by HMV.

This suggests that customers are not fully aware of HMV’s products. There are some
communication gaps concerning the product mix that the marketers of HMV should
consider filling. Tickets have just recently been added to the product mix of HMV; however,
what should worry marketers of the company even more is the low awareness of online
downloads (13.8%), especially concerning the current trend towards online retail.

3
In the questionnaire products were listed in a random order to reduce answer bias

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Strongest parts of the product mix

4
Figure 4 Q5 Product mix

As can be seen in the Figure 4 (detailed frequency tables can be found in the Appendix),
respondents revealed the strongest preference to buy DVDs from HMV (53.2%), followed by
Music CDs (51.7%) and games (28.5%). Digital media, together with the most recently
introduced products, was not perceived as being the strong part of HMV’s product mix. This
could be considered by HMV as the next potentially successful market, since as revealed by
the analysis, customers are likely to chose HMV over other competitors for music, games
and films while buying those in store.

4
The question also included a Non Applicable option. For the purpose of analysis, these entries were
considered as missing.

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Product-led brand or experience-led brand?

Figure 5 Product-led brand versus Experience-led brand

Respondents were asked to evaluate sentences that represent the product-led and
experience-led motivators. As can be noticed from the frequency tables below (Table 4 and
5), the majority (76.9%) enjoys the shopping experience provided by HMV, while only 19.4%
emphasised the grater importance of product range.

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 46 28.8 28.8 28.8
Agree 77 48.1 48.1 76.9
Neither Agree Nor
Disagree 13 8.1 8.1 85.0
Disagree 16 10.0 10.0 95.0
Strongly Disagree 8 5.0 5.0 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0
Table 3 Frequencies for Sentence 2: I like to wander around the shop even if I'm not buying anything

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Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 6 3.8 3.8 3.8
Agree 25 15.6 15.6 19.4
Neither Agree Nor
Disagree 66 41.3 41.3 60.6
Disagree 41 25.6 25.6 86.3
Strongly Disagree 22 13.8 13.8 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Table 5 Frequencies of Sentence 4: My primary reason for going to HMV is the specialised / rare products, which are
difficult to find elsewhere

These findings imply that one of the ways to gain competitive advantage over other
entertainment products retailers is to emphasise its shopping experience, which the major
competitors (like Amazon) are not able to provide. Results from Sentence 2 once again
validate the previous conclusions about the need to strengthen the position the digital side
of HMV.

Shopping experience

Figure 6 Shopping experience

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This question was aimed to measure the experience of shopping at HMV as far as value for
money, customer service and product range are concerned.

Statistics

Value for Customer Product


money Service Range
N Valid 160 160 160
Mis s ing 0 0 0
Mean 2.66 2.49 2.09
Std. Deviation .905 .727 .791
Variance .818 .528 .626
Table 6 Descriptive Statistics for Shopping Experience

As can be seen from Table 6, the average response for all three variables lies between Good
and Neither Good Nor Bad (2 < Mean < 3). It is also interesting to look at whether there is a
significant difference in the way Recent Users and Non-Users rate the experience (or
perceived experience in the case for Non-Users). According to Independent Samples t-Test
carried out (Table 8), there is a significant difference in the way Users and Non-Users rate
the shopping experience (Sig. (2-tailed) < 0.05). From Table 6, it is evident that Non-Users
rank the experience lower that Recent Users, with the most significant difference being for
Product Range.

Group Statistics

Std. Error
Recent Us er N Mean Std. Deviation Mean
Value for money Yes 121 2.50 .828 .075
No 39 3.13 .978 .157
Customer Service Yes 121 2.38 .698 .063
No 39 2.85 .709 .113
Product Range Yes 121 1.91 .683 .062
No 39 2.67 .838 .134

Table 74 Descriptive
Table t-Test for differences between
statistics for RecentRecent Users
Users and and Shopping
Shopping experience
experience

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Independent Samples Test

Levene's Test for


Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
95% Confidence
Interval of the
Mean Std. Error Difference
F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Difference Difference Lower Upper
Value for money Equal variances
.152 .697 -3.912 158 .000 -.624 .160 -.939 -.309
ass umed
Equal variances
-3.591 56.617 .001 -.624 .174 -.972 -.276
not ass umed
Customer Service Equal variances
1.715 .192 -3.611 158 .000 -.466 .129 -.721 -.211
ass umed
Equal variances
-3.584 63.544 .001 -.466 .130 -.726 -.206
not ass umed
Product Range Equal variances
4.927 .028 -5.688 158 .000 -.758 .133 -1.021 -.495
ass umed
Equal variances
-5.125 55.232 .000 -.758 .148 -1.054 -.461
not ass umed

Table 5 t-Test for differences between Recent Users and Shopping experience

Brand personality

Figure 7, illustrates that the majority of respondents felt HMV as being reliable and trendy.
The full brand personality analysis is beyond the scope of this research. However, the fact
that respondents trust HMV suggests that the new business areas that HMV is trying to
enter are likely to benefit from having a reliable brand name; however, at least from the
findings of the research, it seems that HMV does too little to communicate its intentions to
become a multi-channel entertainment brand.

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Figure 7 Brand Personality


Discussion Analysis of Interview Results
Analysis of Consumer Interviews
Respondent A is a 21 year old female, B a 19 year old male in his first year at university, and
C is a 29 year old employed graduate.

Respondent A provided some valuable insights into why the survey respondents found HMV
'reliable' and the shopping experience enjoyable, mentioning that the staff are always
helpful. Respondent B and C could give insight into the persona of the 25% of respondents
who had not recently bought from HMV's stores. Neither was interested in buying HMV's
core entertainment products in person, and both seemed to think a physical store for such
goods obsolete. B cited music services such as Spotify as fully satisfying his demand for
music.

The low take-up for HMV's online offering could be explained by price sensitivity and
intense competition for online entertainment, typified in respondent C's argument that he
would only consider HMV.com if it offered 'cost, variety and convenience' advantages over
competitiors. For consumers who view entertainment as a commodity to be bought as
cheaply and easily as possible, branding is of less importance. Respondent A, who has
otherwise positive feelings for HMV, suggests another reason for HMV.com's low take-up:
she found the site confusing and unappealing.

All respondents associated HMV first with music, and then with films and games. None
knew of HMV's wider offerings online or its ticketing. Respondent A and B had clear images
of the brand, but C was ambivalent. Correlating with the quantitative research, none of the
three had strong opinions of the brand either way.

Analysis of Professional Respondent Interview


As a third party, the professional respondent stressed primarily that his views on HMV were
neither positive nor negative. The respondent stated that far from hmv’s general rebrand
and expansion into all areas, HMV is heading in the wrong direction. With the age of the
specialist corner vinyl shop he believes that the future of retail is downscaling, not that of a
monolithic conglomerate. The respondent’s general belief was that HMV survived in the
Lina Pio 27 | P a g e
weakened economy not down to its merits, rather on the backs of its direct competitors
which ‘committed suicide’. When asked why these competitors had failed, the respondent
cited reasons as Woolworths having a ‘stack-‘em-high-price-‘em-low’ model of general best
sellers, a strategy that no longer worked. Similarly, Virgin or Zavvi, like HMV, was large
enough to house everything in a non specialist manner due to floor space constraints.
Although successful in previous years, Generation Y isn’t interested in the quantity a
physical store can sell, if breadth of range is required, Amazon far outstrips high street
stores capacities. Rather, once in the store, Generation Y wants more of a user experience,
an inviting atmosphere. He suggested the model of a shop which charged a deposit for
consumers to spend time on the premises and have a knowledgeable personal shopper to
take the consumer on a journey of discovery. In short, an experience similar to that of the
Apple store an inviting place to stay and try out items. Going shopping, he explained, was a
reason to go out and have fun.

Lina Pio 28 | P a g e
Conclusions and Implications for hmv
Overall, the perceptions of HMV’s brand appear to be fairly standard. Any boost in revenue
appeared to be the result of external factors: Zavvi and Woolworth’s unanimous closure.
The results of the consumer survey respondents do not indicate a high concentration of
either very positive or very negative opinion within this demographic. For the most part,
HMV is not a brand which incites a strong emotional tie. The research suggests that where a
small minority of respondents felt a strong affinity to the brand, an equal proportion existed
for other retailers cited.

In store experience must change


Industry experts point to an expansion as potentially toxic to HMV, with suggestions that, in
direct contrast to its current plans, HMV must massively downscale and specialise its
operations, positioning HMV as more of a specialist and experience brand. This was
suggested as the only armoury against competitors, Amazon, iTunes and Tesco.

However, as identified in its annual reports, HMV has already begun an initiative to
transform its in-store gaming experience, inviting customers to trial games (HMV, 2009: 3).
However, HMV must continue this drive and take even bolder steps towards creating a true
user experience, inviting customers to spend time and money in HMV’s stores.

More branding and awareness campaigns of other services


Of significant interest, and perhaps concern, should be the lack of knowledge of HMV’s
products and services respondents appeared to show. Indeed the majority of respondents
still felt that HMV was primarily a music brand. Whether HMV was in the wrong, in the eyes
of the demographic, to expand and rebrand itself as an entertainment conglomerate cannot
be exactly determined since a large number of respondents were unaware of the broad
services now available.

Because of this, an awareness campaign must be deployed emphasising on the broad range
of products and services now available at HMV and HMV.com.

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Opportunities for future research
Due to the time scale and size limitations of this study, it can only be treated as a pilot
study, a suggestion of what future research on a much larger, more representative scale
may yield. With this in mind, a survey randomly sent to the whole population of HMV
customers and non customers would generate a much larger and more representative
sample base for research. Throughout, the research has leant towards an external
understanding of HMV’s situation, with HMV’s opinions taken from existing literature. In
order to gain a further level of understanding of HMV’s management decisions, further
research would include in-depth staff interviews.

Lina Pio 30 | P a g e
References
Annual reports
Amazon.com, Inc (2008) Annual Report, Amazon.com, Inc.

HMV Group Plc (2008) Annual Reports and Accounts, HMV Group Plc.

Tesco Plc., (2009) Annual Report and Financial Statements 2009, Tesco Plc.

Walmart Stores Inc., (2009) 2009 Annual Report, Walmart Stores, Inc.

Industry reports
Ofcom (2008) Communications Market Report (14th August). London: Ofcom.

Interbrand (2009a) Best Global Brands of 2009, Interbrand. New York.

Interbrand (2009b) Best Retail Brands of 2009, Interbrand. New York.

Interbrand (2008c) Engage and Deliver: Understand your Customers and Improve their
Experience, Interbrand. New York.

Trade press
Perry, M (2009) A Natural Death. Accountancy

Ritson, M. (2006) HMV Group Faces Brand Equity Test. Marketing (00253650).

Sutherland, M (2009) The Beat Goes On. Billboard

News
Hall, J (2009) Sad Collapse of a Retail Giant. (Nov 15th) Financial Times, London

Pearson, S (2009) Retailers Profit from Demise of Woolworths.(Apr 24th) Financial Times,
London.

Potter, M (2009) HMV’s Core Sales Fall. (Sep 3) Thomson Reuters [Online] Accessed 3rd
October 2009. Available from: http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE58217F20090903

Thompson, J (2009) HMV profits from demise of rivals Zavvi and Woolworths. The
Independent. London: Jul 1. Pg 34

Lina Pio 31 | P a g e
Academic Journals
Bowden, J (2009) Customer Engagement: A Framework for Assessing Customer Brand
Relationships, The Case of the Restaurant Industry. Journal of Hospitality Marketing &
Management, 18(6), 574-596.

Martinez Salinas, E. , & Pina Perez, J. (2009) Modelling the Brand Extensions’ Influence on
Brand Image. Journal of Business Research, 62(1), 50-60.

Read but not cited:

Veloutsou, C (2009) Brand Relationships Through Brand Reputation and Brand Tribalism.
Journal of Business Research.

Books
Blankenship, A. B., Breen, G. B., Dutka, A., (1998), State of The Art Marketing Research, 2nd
Edition, Lincolnwood (Chicago): NTC Business Books

Murchie, K., (2009), HMV profits boosted by collapse of Woolworths and Zavvi, Finance
Markets, [Online] Available from: http://www.financemarkets.co.uk/2009/06/30/hmv-
profits-boosted-by-collapse-of-woolworths-and-zavvi/ (Accessed: 2009, December 5)

Porter, M.E. 1979, "How competitive forces shape strategy", Harvard Business Review,
57(2), pp. 137-145

Lina Pio 32 | P a g e
Appendices
Frequency tables
Q1 Have you bought anything from HMV, either in store or online, in the past 2 years?

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 121 75.6 75.6 75.6
No 39 24.4 24.4 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q2 If you have never bought from HMV, why?

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid 0 126 78.8 78.8 78.8
1 2 1.3 1.3 80.0
2 22 13.8 13.8 93.8
3 4 2.5 2.5 96.3
5 6 3.8 3.8 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Coding: 1 - I don’t like HMV; 2 – I have never needed to buy from HMV; 3 – I don’t know why
4 – Poor customer service 5 – Bad value for money

Q3 How often do you shop from the following retailers when buying music, film or games? Amazon

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Always 8 5.0 5.0 5.0
Usually 46 28.8 28.8 33.8
Sometimes 54 33.8 33.8 67.5
Not Usually 21 13.1 13.1 80.6
Never 31 19.4 19.4 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q3 How often do you shop from the following retailers when buying music, film or games? HMV

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Always 11 6.9 6.9 6.9
Usually 17 10.6 10.6 17.5
Sometimes 56 35.0 35.0 52.5
Not Usually 42 26.3 26.3 78.8
Never 34 21.3 21.3 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q3 How often do you shop from the following retailers when buying music, film or games? iTunes

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Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Always 9 5.6 5.6 5.6
Usually 30 18.8 18.8 24.4
Sometimes 28 17.5 17.5 41.9
Not Usually 20 12.5 12.5 54.4
Never 73 45.6 45.6 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q3 How often do you shop from the following retailers when buying music, film or games? Supermarkets

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Always 9 5.6 5.6 5.6
Usually 23 14.4 14.4 20.0
Sometimes 43 26.9 26.9 46.9
Not Usually 32 20.0 20.0 66.9
Never 53 33.1 33.1 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q3 How often do you shop from the following retailers when buying music, film or games? play.com

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Always 5 3.1 3.1 3.1
Usually 17 10.6 10.6 13.8
Sometimes 20 12.5 12.5 26.3
Not Usually 19 11.9 11.9 38.1
Never 99 61.9 61.9 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q4 What can you buy from HMV? Music

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid no 9 5.6 5.6 5.6
yes 151 94.4 94.4 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q4 What can you buy from HMV? Film

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid no 16 10.0 10.0 10.0

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yes 144 90.0 90.0 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q4 What can you buy from HMV? Online downloads

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid no 133 83.1 83.1 83.1
yes 27 16.9 16.9 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q4 What can you buy from HMV? Cinema tickets

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid no 147 91.9 91.9 91.9
yes 13 8.1 8.1 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q4 What can you buy from HMV? Concert tickets

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid no 138 86.3 86.3 86.3
yes 22 13.8 13.8 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q4 What can you buy from HMV? Games

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid no 22 13.8 13.8 13.8
yes 138 86.3 86.3 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q4 What can you buy from HMV? Fan-related merchandise

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid no 55 34.4 34.4 34.4
yes 105 65.6 65.6 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q4 What can you buy from HMV? MP3 accessories

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Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid no 60 37.5 37.5 37.5
yes 100 62.5 62.5 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q4 What can you buy from HMV? Books

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid no 81 50.6 50.6 50.6
yes 79 49.4 49.4 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q5 I would choose to buy from HMV over other retailers when purchasing music CDs

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 26 16.3 17.2 17.2
Agree 52 32.5 34.4 51.7
No Preference 42 26.3 27.8 79.5
Disagree 17 10.6 11.3 90.7
Strongly Disagree 14 8.8 9.3 100.0
Total 151 94.4 100.0
Missing 6 9 5.6
Total 160 100.0

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Q5 I would choose to buy from HMV over other retailers when purchasing DVD

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 25 15.6 16.0 16.0
Agree 58 36.3 37.2 53.2
No Preference 38 23.8 24.4 77.6
Disagree 21 13.1 13.5 91.0
Strongly Disagree 14 8.8 9.0 100.0
Total 156 97.5 100.0
Missing 6 4 2.5
Total 160 100.0

Q5 I would choose to buy from HMV over other retailers when purchasing online downloads from
hmv.com

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 4 2.5 2.9 2.9
Agree 24 15.0 17.5 20.4
No Preference 47 29.4 34.3 54.7
Disagree 29 18.1 21.2 75.9
Strongly Disagree 33 20.6 24.1 100.0
Total 137 85.6 100.0
Missing 6 23 14.4
Total 160 100.0

Q5 I would choose to buy from HMV over other retailers when purchasing games

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 13 8.1 9.4 9.4
Agree 32 20.0 23.2 32.6
No Preference 53 33.1 38.4 71.0
Disagree 23 14.4 16.7 87.7
Strongly Disagree 17 10.6 12.3 100.0
Total 138 86.3 100.0
Missing 6 22 13.8
Total 160 100.0

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Q5 I would choose to buy from HMV over other retailers when purchasing concert tickets

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 5 3.1 3.6 3.6
Agree 10 6.3 7.2 10.8
No Preference 42 26.3 30.2 41.0
Disagree 37 23.1 26.6 67.6
Strongly Disagree 45 28.1 32.4 100.0
Total 139 86.9 100.0
Missing 6 21 13.1
Total 160 100.0

Q5 I would choose to buy from HMV over other retailers when purchasing cinema

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 1 .6 .7 .7
Agree 4 2.5 3.0 3.7
No Preference 32 20.0 23.9 27.6
Disagree 34 21.3 25.4 53.0
Strongly Disagree 63 39.4 47.0 100.0
Total 134 83.8 100.0
Missing 6 26 16.3
Total 160 100.0

Q5 I would choose to buy from HMV over other retailers when purchasing fan-related merchandise

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 6 3.8 4.5 4.5
Agree 26 16.3 19.7 24.2
No Preference 68 42.5 51.5 75.8
Disagree 18 11.3 13.6 89.4
Strongly Disagree 14 8.8 10.6 100.0
Total 132 82.5 100.0
Missing 6 28 17.5
Total 160 100.0

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Q6 I prefer to buy from HMV's high street stores rather than buy from hmv.com

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 34 21.3 21.3 21.3
Agree 56 35.0 35.0 56.3
No Preference 50 31.3 31.3 87.5
Disagree 15 9.4 9.4 96.9
Strongly Disagree 5 3.1 3.1 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q6 I like to wander around the shop even if I'm not buying anything

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 46 28.8 28.8 28.8
Agree 77 48.1 48.1 76.9
No Preference 13 8.1 8.1 85.0
Disagree 16 10.0 10.0 95.0
Strongly Disagree 8 5.0 5.0 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q6 HMV is able to cater for my entertainment needs

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 19 11.9 11.9 11.9
Agree 70 43.8 43.8 55.6
No Preference 53 33.1 33.1 88.8
Disagree 11 6.9 6.9 95.6
Strongly Disagree 7 4.4 4.4 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q6 My primary reason for going to HMV is the specialised / rare products which are difficult to find
elsewhere

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 6 3.8 3.8 3.8
Agree 25 15.6 15.6 19.4
No Preference 66 41.3 41.3 60.6
Disagree 41 25.6 25.6 86.3
Strongly Disagree 22 13.8 13.8 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

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Q7 Value for money

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Fantastic 10 6.3 6.3 6.3
Good 67 41.9 41.9 48.1
Neither good, nor bad 56 35.0 35.0 83.1
Bad 22 13.8 13.8 96.9
Awful 5 3.1 3.1 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q7 Customer Service

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Fantastic 5 3.1 3.1 3.1
Good 85 53.1 53.1 56.3
Neither good, nor bad 59 36.9 36.9 93.1
Bad 8 5.0 5.0 98.1
Awful 3 1.9 1.9 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q7 Product Range

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Fantastic 31 19.4 19.4 19.4
Good 92 57.5 57.5 76.9
Neither good, nor bad 31 19.4 19.4 96.3
Bad 3 1.9 1.9 98.1
Awful 3 1.9 1.9 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

Q8 Gender

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Male 42 26.3 26.3 26.3
Female 118 73.8 73.8 100.0
Total 160 100.0 100.0

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Q9 Cheerful

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 26 16.3 100.0 100.0
Missing No 134 83.8
Total 160 100.0

Q9 Unique

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 4 2.5 100.0 100.0
Missing No 156 97.5
Total 160 100.0

Q9 Reliable

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 65 40.6 100.0 100.0
Missing No 95 59.4
Total 160 100.0

Q9 Pretentious

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 10 6.3 100.0 100.0
Missing No 150 93.8
Total 160 100.0

Q9 Leader

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 20 12.5 100.0 100.0
Missing No 140 87.5
Total 160 100.0

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Q9 Family oriented

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 13 8.1 100.0 100.0
Missing No 147 91.9
Total 160 100.0

Q9 Young

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 36 22.5 100.0 100.0
Missing No 124 77.5
Total 160 100.0

Q9 Trendy

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 55 34.4 100.0 100.0
Missing No 105 65.6
Total 160 100.0

Q9 Tough

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 2 1.3 100.0 100.0
Missing No 158 98.8
Total 160 100.0
Q9 Confident

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 41 25.6 100.0 100.0
Missing No 119 74.4
Total 160 100.0

Q9 Corporate

Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent
Valid Yes 33 20.6 100.0 100.0
Missing No 127 79.4
Total 160 100.0

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Consumer Interviews
Interview with Respondent A
Gender: Female
Age: 21
Education: college
Occupation: part-time cook

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of HMV?
The first thing I though of was music.
If HMV were a person, what would they be like? Can you describe their personality for
me?
If HMV was a person, it would be a young individual who was really cool. A person would be
friendly, outgoing, and knowledgeable about music. I would also probably be friends with
him because I love going out and meeting new people, so does he (laughing).
Have you bought from HMV in the past 2 years?
Yes, I have bought something from HMV a couple of times. I usually go there before
Christmas or birthdays to get presents.
What was it for?
I usually buy CD’s there as a present for my friends and family. I do not think I have ever
bought anything for myself because I think it is a bit too pricey. Instead I usually copy music
from my friends or download it. Though, it is nice to buy something of a good quality for
others.
Do you shop there often? Why?
No, I do not shop there that often because it is expensive and I do not have much money to
spend.
How do you find the experience shopping there?
I find the shopping experience at HMV pleasant. The staff are always friendly and they seem
to know what they are talking about, and if you need help they are always there. Also the
atmosphere is very comforting and makes me feel really relaxed.
At the top of your head, what can you buy from HMV?
CDs, DVDs, vinyl, and games.
Have you tried buying from HMV online? Why?
No, I have not. I like the experience of going to the shop, consulting the staff and listening to
the albums in-store. Besides, I find HMV’s website off-putting and a bit confusing. I
remember one time trying to buy something I needed but could not be bothered to go
through the procedure of registering, then entering my details and etc. I would rather go in-
store or to Amazon.com where buying is easy.

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How do you think HMV compares with Amazon.com, play.com, iTunes or supermarkets
(e.g. Asda, Tescos)?
I do not think HMV gets used as much as iTunes. Most of the people go to buy music online
because they have MP3 players or iPods and the music online is sold in a format already
compatible with the devices. For example, if I bought a CD I would have to spend time
converting it to an MP3 file or some other format in order to put it on my iPod.
Supermarkets offer cheaper prices than HMV while the variety of CDs is similar. Though,
when I needed a vinyl, I went to HMV straight away because it is the last place you can buy
them from, well except from the Internet. I trust HMV more because it always delivers
quality products whereas with the Internet you never know what you will get.
What would you like to see HMV do to improve their services?
I would like them to reduce their prices and get a wider range of electro and house music.
What would you like to see HMV stop doing?
There is nothing in particular that I do not like or find annoying.
What do you think are HMV’s main strengths?
HMV has a good promotion and a great variety of products available. They have made a
good name for themselves so you know you can go there and always get what you want.
They must be one of the only CD selling shops left around.
What do you think is the future of HMV?
I think they will go on forever doing what they do. I am sure they will start introducing all
sorts of new products and services which will make them even stronger.

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Interview with Respondent B

Gender: Male
Age: 19
Education: first year undergraduate
Occupation: student

Interviewer: what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of
HMV?

Respondent B: music

Interviewer: anything else?

Respondent B: the pink logo

Interviewer: ok that's interesting

Respondent B: not the dog or anything, just the pink logo that says hmv
15:28
Interviewer: ok that's very interesting

so if hmv were a person, what would they be like?

would they be modern, trendy, out of fashion, old, young etc

what would their personality be like?

Respondent B: oh right

maybe like late twenty's trendy white man

Interviewer: would he be chatty?

what kind of job would he have?

like as in, would he be technical


15:31
or would he be arty?

Respondent B: i honestly haven't been to hmv so i don't really know

he's more like a guy who has his own band and just works in a crappy record
shop around the corner

Lina Pio 45 | P a g e
15:32
Interviewer: ahh really?

interesting

Respondent B: a band which nobody has heard of and just plays at small
concerts

Interviewer: that's how you see hmv?

not mainstream?

not 'mister cool tyring to be everything?'


15:33
so you mentioned that haven't been to hmv

why do you think that is?

Respondent B: i have been to hmv


15:34
but only a couple of times

and i've never bougth anything

Interviewer: oh, why is that?

Respondent B: because i don't really listen to music much

and when i do listen to music i use spotify instead

Interviewer: oh ok

so what do you think HMV sells?


15:35
is it just music?

Respondent B: well i know they sell dvds as well

and i think they sell ipod accessories as well

Interviewer: ah ok

what was your experience like last time you visited?


15:36
did you like it?

Lina Pio 46 | P a g e
did you hate it?

was it cluttered?

was it clean?

Respondent B: oh hmv sells games too

i think

the last time i went i think i was lookign aroudn for which shop was sellign a
particual game that i wanted at the cheapest price
15:37
it was alright. it was clean and organised

Interviewer: i see

Respondent B: i don't quite rememebr though

Interviewer: and did hmv sell the game?

Respondent B: because i can't really tell the difference between hmv and
zavvi.
15:38
so if i'm trying to remember the last time i went to a recor dshop i can't
rememebr if it washmv or zavvi

because they're basically exactly the same

Interviewer: did you know that zavvi has gone out of business?

Respondent B: except that zavvi has a virgin media recruitment thing in the
back

i did not know that

Interviewer: yeah that was a year ago, coiincided with woolworths

another hmv rival


15:39
and hmv is the 'last man standing'

Respondent B: oh

how come zavvi was there for so logn as virgin megastores and then when it
changed its name

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it went out of business after a year or so

Interviewer: i think it was because the name change was a last ditch attempt
to try and save the store

and it didn't save it


15:40
Respondent B: ok

Interviewer: so they ditched the whole virgin megastore/zavvi thing

anyway

besides the point

so

you said that you tried buying a particular game from one of those stores

Respondent B: yeah

Interviewer: did you buy it in the end from there?

Respondent B: i think i probably bought it from zavvi


15:41
this was obviously more than a year ago

so i'm not entirely sure

Interviewer: that's ok

Respondent B: i think it was the same price in all the shops anyway

Interviewer: ok

so if you don't shop from hmv what do you think would encourage others like
you to shop there?
15:42
Respondent B: errm i'm not really sure.
15:43
i don't shop there because i don't listen to much music and spotify is free

and i just downlaod films and tv

and if i wanted to buy a dvd its cheaper mos tof the time online

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Interviewer: ok

are you aware that HMV has its own download service?

Respondent B: no
15:44
Interviewer: would you consider using it?

Respondent B: but then again everythign has its own downlaod service now

no, if i was going to downlaod music i'd downlaod it for free

Interviewer: what about film?


15:45
Respondent B: i would never pay to download music or a film or tv shows

i'd certainly buy a dvd of a film or tv shows

but i'd never pay to downlaod them

Interviewer: ahhh interesting

Respondent B: for music i wouldn't buy cds because cds are obsolete now (i
don't have a cd player) and i don't listen to much music anyway
15:46
Interviewer: ok

so what do you think of the idea of sitting in HMV in a lounge type experience
and trying out a film, meeting friends there etc
15:47
Respondent B: that sounds interesting. But there'd always be othe rpeople
sitting their watchign their own film
15:48
Interviewer: ok, but what if there were a certian number of screens around a
number of sofas where you sat with some friends for 5quid and watched one
film there and had access to a coffee bar etc

and it could have earphones

or even an isolation room/booth


15:49
Respondent B: for 5 quid? i could just go to a cinema

Interviewer: yeah but this would be an experience with your friends to chat
over a film

Lina Pio 49 | P a g e
Respondent B: or rent the dvd off lovefilm

Interviewer: with coffee service

or food

etc

Respondent B: i don't really dirnk coffee


15:50
Interviewer: hot chocolate

lol

pedantic ;-)

Respondent B: the idea doesn't really interest me that much

i don't think i'd use it if they had that

Interviewer: ok and why is that?


15:51
Respondent B: well first of all even if they charged 50p for it it'd be an out of
the question no

if it was free

i guess that if i was going around guildford i might stop there and sit down for
a few minutes
15:52
and i guess it would be interesting to have a film playign while iw as sitting
there

Interviewer: ok but you definitely wouldn't pay to watch it or sit down

Respondent B: no way. i'd rather go to a furniture shop and shit down there
15:53
and iwould probably never watch a full movie there

at most 15 minutes

or if i was waiting for someone it'd be a good place to stay while i was waiting

i'd certainly never go to guildford centre intending to go to hmv and watch a


movie

Lina Pio 50 | P a g e
Interviewer: what if it was a tv show playing?
15:54
15mins long?

Respondent B: if it was a tv show it'd have to be one that i really really liked

Interviewer: i see

ok
15:55
Respondent B: i watch a lot of tv but i only watch repeats of the ones that i
really like

Interviewer: so bearing in mind you don't shop from hmv - especially when
you're buying physical dvds and games, what makes amazon.co.uk
<http://amazon.co.uk> or play.com<http://play.com>, better?

better than hmv?

Respondent B: because its generally cheaper and move conveneitn

convenient

Interviewer: ok
15:56
what would you like to see hmv do to improve itself?

and what would you like to see hmv stop doing?

(i have 4 minutes left before my next lecture)


15:57
Respondent B: errm i can't really see anything to improve

i do like the idea though of havign a couch there and a tv playign a blu ray film

thats it really

Interviewer: interesting

ok

so what do you think hmv has going for it?


15:58
what strengths?

Lina Pio 51 | P a g e
advantages?

Respondent B: it sells a really wide selection of music, tv films and games

Interviewer: but in comparision to amazon.co.uk <http://amazon.co.uk>

which also does that

Respondent B: well if i wanted to a film today i could go there

instead of waiting for post


15:59
Interviewer: ok so the instantaneousness

what do you think is the future of hmv? bearing in mind that zavvi and
woolworths are out of business already?
16:00
Respondent B: i'm guessing they'll stay around but they'll downscale a bit.

so they might close donw some of their shops

Interviewer: so you think they're too big currently for their capabilities?

Respondent B: yes
16:01
Interviewer: and the average 2000 joe consumer buying music and video
games etc

Respondent B: i think maybe soon they'll move away from sellign cds as well

because nobody really uses cds anymore

everyone has an mp3 player

cds are pretty much dead already

Interviewer: ok

so hmv's future is insecure?


16:02
Respondent B: well people still buy dvds

and blu rays will soon replace them

adn hmv will mvoe on to sellign blu ray


16:03

Lina Pio 52 | P a g e
Interviewer: ok so there's still a future in hard media formats - especially
when it comes to film

as in they wont be replaced by downloads

Respondent B: yes for now

Interviewer: for exmaple, if LoveFilm and also Amazon were to suddenly sell
films downloadable to your computer in the UK

would that replace hmv?

Respondent B: well hard dvds are still better than legal downloads
16:04
the film downlaod market isn't veyr big at all now

in america there is netflix

but thats streaming films

not downloads

Lina Pio 53 | P a g e
Interview with Respondent C
Gender: Male
Age: 29
Education: History Graduate
Occupation: Web developer

Interviewer: hello

what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of HMV?
22:52
Respondent A: meh

Interviewer: can you extrapolate?

Respondent A: they're there: but i can't imagine why i'd use them

Interviewer: i see

so have you bought anything form HMV in the past 2 years?

Respondent A: only when w

someone bought my
22:53
me a gift card, who didn't know me that well

and i bought something with it for someone else; the rest of the giftcard is still
resting, unused, in my wallet

Interviewer: i see

why do you not buy from HMV?


22:54
Respondent A: because i don't often buy music or films. if I did, i'd buy them
from Amazon

Interviewer: ok so you say that hmv sells purely music and films?

Respondent A: and books and posters


22:55
Interviewer: that's it?

Respondent A: yup

Lina Pio 54 | P a g e
Interviewer: ok

what about online downloads?

did you know that HMV has an online downloads store?

Respondent A: nope

if it did films/series i'd be interested


22:56
Interviewer: i see

something which Amazon or Lovefilm currently do not do yet - at least not in


the UK

Respondent A: i believe so
22:57
Interviewer: so what do you think gives Amazon, play.com <http://play.com>,
iTunes and highstreet supermarkets an edge over HMV?

Respondent A: price

convience

range

at least for amazon + iTunes


22:58
Interviewer: ok so for you it's more convenient to wait for an item come to
your house rather than go to the item and buy it immediately in store?

Respondent A: yes

Interviewer: what would you like to see HMV do to improve its services?

Respondent A: the only thing i'd be interested in is online media renting

i can't think of anything else i'd want from them


22:59
Interviewer: ok so do you think it should change from being a highstreet AND
online store to a purely online store?

Respondent A: nope; i'm not like most of their customers

Lina Pio 55 | P a g e
if they're making money doing what they do they should stick to that
23:00
Interviewer: but to reach out to someone like you, they need to vastly
improve on their online services: to provide film and tv show renting?

Respondent A: yup
23:01
Interviewer: so seeing as HMV's main difference to it's current competitors is
it's in store experience (save for supermarkets) what do you think hMV should
be doing with it's store?
23:02
Respondent A: not sure

haven't been in there for years

Interviewer: what would you like to see HMV stop doing?


23:03
Respondent A: i'm not familiar enough with them to know

Interviewer: so do you know what their main advantages over Amazon,


play.com<http://play.com> and iTunes are?

Respondent A: they have advantages over the above?

Interviewer: lol
23:04
so what do you think is the future of HMV?

is it secure, stable? unstable?

Respondent A: i could see that they have major competition from online

not sure what they can do to compete really, their costs must be very much
higher
23:05
so it's up in the air: unstable

Interviewer: some say that HMV should concentrate more on making the
most out of HMV's physical store, by making it more of an experience being
there

do you agree?

Respondent A: sounds a good idea


23:06

Lina Pio 56 | P a g e
if you've got such high costs you should make it pay
23:07
Interviewer: so if HMV began introducing a range of lounge type experiences
in its stores where you were invited to watch a tv show or film on a number of
couches around a few tv screens, you could invite your friends for example,
order popcorn, hotchocolate etc

would that appeal to you?


23:08
Respondent A: maybe, i like cafes
23:09
i suppose it could be an interesting idea - a 'managed lounge experience' for
when you're too lazy to make your own tea at home

Interviewer: ok

would you pay for this?

Respondent A: i'd pay for the tea

Interviewer: but not the whole thing - as in just sitting there and watching the
tv show
23:10
Respondent A: maybe if some people wanted to go along to it

Interviewer: so a place to hang out with friends?

Respondent A: yup if people wanted to

Interviewer: very interesting

ok

so bearing all this in mind


23:11
how much would you pay for it?

Respondent A: for 'it'?


23:12
Interviewer: ok well am I right in saying that you said you'd pay for the
experience of being there if you went along with friends - or did i misinterpret
that as yo usaying you'd only go in general if your friends went along as a
place to hang out?

Respondent A: i'd pay for anything i ate or drank there, like a pub
23:13

Lina Pio 57 | P a g e
i'm not sure i'd pay entry

Interviewer: aah ok i see

interesting

so

in a few sentences/words

how would you describe hmv's personality if it were a person?


23:14
is it

cool

trendy

outdated

what clothes does it wear

male female

(basically describe the main consumer you think buys from hmv)

what job does it have

is it loud

is it chatty

Respondent A: i'd guess 'too young to have a credit/debit card'

Interviewer: is it old fashioned

Respondent A: or 'not online yet'

or rather, and
23:15
Interviewer: so you'd say it's naiive?

Respondent A: nope, just not online or young

Interviewer: old fashioned?


23:16

Lina Pio 58 | P a g e
Respondent A: I'm not sure, maybe if you liked browsing through cds etc it
would still be relevant

Interviewer: ok

Well thank you for your time, Respondent A.

Respondent A: No problem!

Lina Pio 59 | P a g e
Professional Interview

Lina Pio 60 | P a g e
Lina Pio 61 | P a g e
Questionnaire

Lina Pio 62 | P a g e
1. Default Section

HMV

* 1. Have you bought anything from HMV, either in store or online, in the past
2 years?
j
k
l
m
n Yes

j
k
l
m
n No

2. If you have never bought from HMV, why?


c
d
e
f
g I don't like HMV

c
d
e
f
g I have never needed to buy from HMV

c
d
e
f
g I don't know why

c
d
e
f
g Poor customer service

c
d
e
f
g Bad value for money

None of the above (please specify)

* 3. How often do you shop from the following retailers when buying music,
film or games?
Always Usually Sometimes Not usually Never

Amazon j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
HMV j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
iTunes j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
Supermarkets j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
Play.com j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
Other (please specify)
* 4. What can you buy from HMV? Please tick all that apply.
c
d
e
f
g Music c
d
e
f
g Games

c
d
e
f
g MP3 accessories c
d
e
f
g Fan-related merchandise (e.g. posters, toys etc)

c
d
e
f
g Online downloads c
d
e
f
g Live concert tickets

c
d
e
f
g Cinema tickets c
d
e
f
g Books

c
d
e
f
g Film

Other (please specify)

* 5. I would choose to buy from HMV over other retailers when purchasing...
(please evaluate this statement)
Strongly Not applicable
Strongly Agree Agree No preference Disagree
disagree to me

Music CDs j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
DVDs j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
Cinema tickets j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
Digital audio or video
j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
from hmv.com
Tickets to live
j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
performances

Games j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
Fan-related
j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
merchandise (e.g.
posters, toys etc)

* 6. Please rank the following statements.


Neither agree nor
Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree
disagree
I prefer to buy from
j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
HMV's high street
stores rather than buy
from hmv.com
I like to wander
j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
around the shop even
if I'm not buying
anything
HMV is able to cater
j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
for my entertainment
needs
My primary reason for
j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
going to HMV is the
specialised / rare
products which are
difficult to find
elsewhere
* 7. Please evaluate the following according to your experience at HMV.
Neither good nor
Fantastic Good Bad Awful
bad

Value for money j


k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
Customer service j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n
Product range j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n j
k
l
m
n

* 8. Please select your gender.


j
k
l
m
n Male

j
k
l
m
n Female

* 9. If HMV were a person, which TWO of the following characteristics would


you choose to describe HMV's personality?
c
d
e
f
g Confident c
d
e
f
g Reliable c
d
e
f
g Cheerful

c
d
e
f
g Unique c
d
e
f
g Family oriented c
d
e
f
g Tough

c
d
e
f
g Corporate c
d
e
f
g Trendy c
d
e
f
g Leader

c
d
e
f
g Young c
d
e
f
g Pretentious

c
d
e
f
g None of the above (please specify)

10. Any other comments about HMV? (Optional)


thank you :)