Purposes: In general, a brand’s reputation of Airlines Company might be very important in the eye of people (society). In fact, brand is consider as a promise to customers “setting up expectations” and with a strong brand it deliver on what it promises by the development of a strong reputation (Aaker 2009, p. 3). This approach seems particularly well suited to the reputation of Airlines Company, in which their brand’s reputation as image can be describe as a very important aspect. The goal of this study is to assess and analyses on the implication of accident to the reputation of Malaysia Airlines (MAS). In this project, I will explore how the reputation of MAS is affected, after the accident on 8 March 2014 (BBC 2014). In particular, I will focus on how MAS’s reputation and brand is significantly damaged by the disappearance of Flight MH370 and how to fix and rebuilding their reputation and brand’s image after the accident happen. Therefore, the questions arise on how to convince and ensure the safety of MAS in their future operations. Also, the study will examine, test and attempt to measure the trust level of a customer’s perspective (the situational approach) towards MAS reputation after the tragedy occurred.
Background: In this age, reputation and brand is become one of essential part of business environment. According to Brigham (2010) claims a business’s most valuable asset is its good name, brand and reputation, as a result brand reputational value is irreplaceable and company must protect it (Brigham 2010, p. 1). Hence, the accident on Flight MH370 is apparently affected the brand and reputation of MAS. As a result, I choose this topic, since it was the current issue in the eye of people around the world, due to the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 went missing less than an hour after take off. Also, the other reason I’m interested to select this issue, because I believe this accident will give a huge impact which can tarnish to the business reputation of MAS. Thus, this topic is important issue now, because it not just involves the company itself, but it related to international accident. Furthermore, I will conduct my study in a literature review, observe the general people discussion regarding MH370 Flight incident, and take a survey and interview randomly in Sydney about the mystery of disappearance of MH370.
Scope: I will engage in literature review, in order to collect secondary data which is available on the news over a six-week period, from 1 April to 13 May 2014 for approximately 6 hour per week. I will typically observe the discussion of general people regarding the mystery of missing plane MH370 and stay around ten to fifteen minutes in order to observe other people perspective’s in the way they talk, feel and express about MAS reputation after the accident occurred. On some days I may come at other times of the day for survey. In this case, I will make a questionnaire regarding the people perspective’s generally of MAS reputation after the MH370 Flight incident. This questionnaire will be given to a random people whom I meet in Sydney (city area) and I will distribute the questionnaire also by email and other social networking sites. Moreover, I will schedule structured interviews, but I will interview randomly to a general people in Sydney as informal question regarding their opinion and judgement about MAS reputation after the missing plane MH370, as needed to clarify and provide insight perspective of MAS reputation’s value into specific conversations.
Theoretical framework: I will be guided most generally by the concept of branding in the International Marketing field, since branding is develop a company reputation in long term and it may be consider as one of the most important decisions made by marketing managers (Kohli, 1997, p. 206). The concept of branding leads to build a reputation in the mind of consumer as company image (identity) as seen from the outside and it about company brand is who they are, what is their strength, integrity and reputation, so its not simply on how company logo is displayed, but rather than that, it involves the emotional and intellectual response to target audiences (Stine 2008, p. 2). The corporate reputation can be consider as corporate image which is content identify, image, prestige, goodwill, esteem and standing (Wartick2002 as cited in Dolphin 2004, p. 81). Also, the corporate reputation is most influenced by the actions of an organization rather than a successful of PR campaign (Lewis 2001, p. 31).
Consequently, based on research a good reputation allows a company to easily attract customers companies by the establishment of reputation for delivering high-quality products and service (Ngwese and Zhang 2007, p. 30). Research show that a firms’ reputation is consider to the success or failure of its brands, so it is very important for a firm to maintain or advance their reputation (Herbig and Milewicz 1993, p. 18). In addition, research show a good corporate reputation leads firms to enhance financial and market performance, as a result the corporate reputation appears to emerge as a critical dimension of benchmarking of a firm performance (Lee and Roh 2012, p. 649). Hence, it is very important to get a good reputation; company must be truthful, reliable and consistent about the offering product or service in order to get a customer loyalty (Melewar, Nguyen and Abimbola 2013, p. 1).
Brands and brandings have such a profound impact on the society as whole a not just on people who buy or used their product and service, thus an ethical brand enhances the firm’s reputation, since such a good reputation reinforces the brand in turn (Fan 2005, p. 341). However, any unethical behaviour of misconduct will severely damage or even destroy the total intangible asset of company, so in order to retain and advance company name, marketing managers must concern and implement 6Cs of corporate marketing which are corporate identity, corporate branding, corporate communications, corporate image and corporate reputation must be integrated under the umbrella title of corporate marketing (Fan 2005, p. 341 and Balmer & Greyser 2006, p. 730). According to Kotler and Keller (2006), brands are very important for both the company and the consumers, because brands indentify the source or maker of a product and service and allow consumers either individuals or organization to assign responsibility to a particular manufacture or distributor (Kotler and Keller 2006 as cited in Ngwese and Zhang 2007, p. 19).
In this case, the brand reputation can be good or bad, strong or weak, its depend on how the company maintain their performance of reputation and it crystallizes how people feel about that reputation based on whatever information they have about the brand is regarded and respected (Ngwese and Zhang 2007, p. 31). I am exploring the meanings of brand reputation of MAS which is apparently affected after MH370 Flight incident. In this research, I hope to achieve the solution on how to fix and rebuilding the reputation of MAS Company and find the solution on how to get a trust back from customer itself. Also, find the way on how to maintain the customer loyalty after accident happen. Moreover, conclude the outcome on how far the correlations regarding brand reputation can affect the consumer’s perception. At the end, get the results regarding on the current level of customers’ confidence and trust in general people towards MAS reputation.
1. Conduct a literature review on the implication of accident to the reputation of MAS.
2. Observe the discussion of general people about the mystery of missing plane MH370, for example: in collage or in a public place if somebody or friends talk about MAS Flight incident. Therefore, I will come closely and have a discussion with them in order to observe their opinion and judgement regarding their own way on how they talk, feel and express their perspectives about MAS reputation.
3. Interview randomly to a general people in Sydney (city area) to clarify and provide insight into conversations. Thus, I will try to conduct these interviews shortly after conversation of interest to a general people who discusses regarding the accident to the reputation of MAS. The common strategy for the interviews is to begin with broad and general questions and follow up on the interviewee’s response in order to capture the person meanings and get their perception and to avoid imposing my meanings on the interviewee. I will use structured interviews in order to ensure that answer can be reliably aggregated (consistent), also it can reach a large sample, so a representative sample is possible can be used to make statements.
While the interviews will not be formal but it structured, it more likely as informal and the kinds of questions I will ask include the following: a. What do you feel regarding the mystery of missing plane MH370? b. What do you think about the reputation of MAS after the accident occurred recently? c. What do you think that MAS should do in order to solve the tragedy of missing plane MH370? d. Do you still believe that MAS have a good reputation after the MH370 Flight incident? e. If you have a chance to travel going to overseas, do you still have trust to fly with MAS, despite the missing Flight MH370? f. Do you believe that MAS will improve their management of security and safety as their offered the flying service in the future?
4. Conduct a simple survey by a questionnaire paper regarding the people perspective’s generally of MAS reputation after the MH370 Flight incident. This questionnaire will be given to a random people whom I meet in Sydney (city area) and I will distribute the questionnaire also by email and other social networking sites. The reasons, I’m using questionnaires because it’s practical (I can do and conduct), realistic, sensible, handy, useful and convenient method. The outcome of conduct questionnaires can usually be quickly and easily interpret the result. 5. Write a research report that combines my understanding of own horizon and perception of the relevant theory and previous research with the outcomes of my empirical research.
Simple Gantt chart:
Limitations: Time constraints (limitation) of the semester require less time than may be ideal for research study. By collecting secondary data for only six hours a week for six-weeks, there are bound to be very difficult to evaluate the accuracy of secondary data, and the quality of internal secondary data may be exaggerated or biased, since I rely on secondary data from the news. Being an outsider may also limit what is revealed to me. The interview and survey it can be difficult to obtain reliable data on attitudes, opinion and values (unless validated questionnaires are used).
Delimitations: I am choosing to not find the data from primary resources which is not available (not exist) and it’s not allowing the access of data. Thus, I’m used the secondary data from the news which is available, in order to look a broader of perspective regarding the understanding of general people in society towards the reputation of MAS. It is often cheaper and it saves time than doing primary research. Additionally, I will not use unstructured interviews because; a lot more time consuming in comparison to other research methods and it can be difficult to interview a large sample, affecting the data’s generalise and representativeness, also prone to digression and much of the data collected might be worthless.
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