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Exploring smartphone brand preference for executives in the Malaysian Oil and Gas industry

A Research Proposal

 Introduction

 “Mr Watson – come here – I want to see you”, were the very first words which was uttered by Alexander Graham Bell on the 10th of March 1876 and were also the very first words to have travelled through a telecommunication line transmitted from one point to another end.  This historical moment marks the beginning of telecommunication for the human race.

 Telecommunication has revolutionized tremendously ever since and today communication has gone wireless without the need for a communication cable with devices the size of a business card’s footprint.  Computing revolution which can be seen from the early 1990s has also taken communication into the 21st century with the introduction of Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) which was then further revolutionized into Smartphone with functions supporting fax, e-mail, Internet connectivity, third party applications and the capabilities to synchronize with desktop and computing applications.

 The smartphone world today has leading contenders like Apple, Samsung, Blackberry and a few others.  Which of these is the best fit for use for the Malaysian Oil and Gas executives? Are there factors contributing to their preference?  In order to understand this further the research will investigate how executives subscribes to brand preference and what are the factors that contributed to such preference.

 Brand preference is normally developed by individuals at a very early age on almost everything.  There are many key factors that are normally associated to brand preference.

 Furthermore, it is also important to understand that brand preference is a moving scale and there are times that a brand moves up, down and can even move out off the scale.  This will directly affect a brand sales result and this is why brand preference is very important in the marketing world.  To ensure brand preference of the consumer is maintained large corporations normally have a marketing department that takes care of the branding and all issues associated with it.

 Background to the Study

 Alamaro & Rowley (2011) has written on the antecedents of brand preferences for mobile telecommunications which will be adapted for this study.  The main difference would be that their study sample was focusing university students in Jordan while this study would be focusing on the Malaysian Oil and Gas executives.  The study result can be adapted by the Malaysian Oil and Gas industry players.  This can also be used as an indicator for such companies when engaging a deal with a telecommunication company to provide smartphone for its executives.

 Alamro & Rowley also further suggested that brand preference is an essential pre-requisite to brand equity. As this research will be focusing on the telecommunication industry, its dynamic industry brand preference takes on a special significance.

 Problem Statement

 Globally, leaders of corporations and oil and gas company included has continued to increase spending on technology (Ray, Muhanna & Barney, 2007).  Since the middle of 1960s technology spending has risen tenfold and spending has increased from 5% of organizational capital spending to over 50% for technology purposes.  The spending trend noted by Carr (2003) continues globally and at the beginning of the twenty first century, technology spending has already represented 10% of the total United States of America (USA)’s gross domestic product (GDP).  The same trend is noted to happen across the globe involving other nations as well.

 Mobile technologies are representative of this exceptional growth in technological usage and growth.  The smartphone especially have been taken the world by storm and it is pivotal that Oil and Gas companies in Malaysia understand such requirement and understand the branding preferences of smartphone among its employees.

 Objectives of the Study

  1. To determine and analyze the impact of branding awareness in the Malaysian Oil and Gas employees to their brand preference for smartphones.
  2. To determine and analyze the impact of branding image in the Malaysian Oil and Gas employees to their brand preference for smartphones.
  3. To determine and analyze the impact of consumer attributes in the Malaysian Oil and Gas employees to their brand preference for smartphones.
  4. To determine and analyze Malaysian Oil and Gas executives’s brand preference for smartphones.

 Research Questions / Hypotheses

The research questions are important because these will help the researcher to locate the source of data (Chenail, 2000).  The research questions will inadvertently determine the research method in order to satisfy answering the research questions.  The literature reviews and this research will objectively answer the research question and its hypotheses.

 The main question guiding the research is: What relationship, exists between brand awareness, brand image, and consumer attributes into subscribing a brand preference for the Malaysian Oil and Gas industry executives?

 Significance of the Study

The proposed research will contribute to the body of knowledge concerning brand preference of Malaysian Oil and Gas executives for smartphone.  The research will first contribute through presenting existing literatures and examining consequences on the relationship between brand awareness, brand image, consumer attributes and brand preference.  Brand preference has always been a very important construct in marketing research and is of great importance to marketing practitioners.

 In a summary the significance and contributions of the research among many are as below:

  1. To identify gaps in existing academic and management theories regarding brand preferences in the Malaysian Oil and Gas executives for smartphones.
  2. To identify the impact of brand awareness towards brand preferences in the Malaysian Oil and Gas executives for smartphones.
  3. To identify the impact of branding image towards brand preferences in the Malaysian Oil and Gas executives for smartphones.
  4. To identify the impact of consumer attributes towards brand preferences in the Malaysian Oil and Gas executives for smartphones.
  5. To provide a general overview of Malaysian Oil and Gas executives brand preference for smartphone.

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