Cougar Visa: Developing a Means-End Chain for a Credit Card Essay
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A) Using the data provided, perform a means-ends analysis.
During this case study, we can see that the current state the following: there are an increasing number of competitors in the credit industry. More and more companies enter this industry, making even more difficult for the bank to compete and gain more customers shares. So, we’ve perform a means-end analysis of the situation in order to get the maximum information for them improve their services and be more efficient. The goal of this means-end analysis was to find a way to differentiate from the others by any means.
But the first step of it was to find out what’s important for the customers when we’re talking a credit car (ie: what features do the expect? What kind of things really matters?). From that, we could analyze the means-end chain. The first thing that comes to mind is that the attributes are all around fees and acceptability.
Indeed, in table 3, we can see that the major part of the people interview got for attribute either fees (annual, or interest rate) or acceptability.
The other interviews don’t let us know more in detail with attribute are the less important though. Those attributes lead to some consequences/benefits. After giving a glance at table 3, we could easily says that the most important ones are saving money (which makes sense because you don’t want to put money in one bank if it’s not for saving that money) and contracting with a trustworthy bank. Indeed, if you trust your bank it’s mostly because you don’t feel that their interest rate are too high, you feel secure about your money, you feel that the money you’re giving them each month is worth the services you get. After having found the attributes and the consequences, we have to found out what are the values at the end of this means-end chain. In this case, we can conclude that the quality of life is playing the biggest role.
Indeed, you choose a bank because it gives you a better quality of life; you have to be less preoccupied than before; you could enjoy a better life with a greater amount of money because you’re not being “robbed” by the bank, paying them a normal and not too expensive fee every month. We could conclude from that analysis that this means-end chain helped us to define a bit more what a credit card customer is expecting when making the decision to go for a company more than another. If we have that in mind, then it’s much more easier to differentiate the company from the competition and as a results try to gain market shares.
B) What segments have been neglected?
After having a look at the whole document, and after having analyzed the means-end chain, we could say that some segments have been neglected. Indeed, we talk about all the added value option that we could actually encounter in a credit card but there isn’t any research or data on that. Like what kind of option are the most wanted (insurance? travellers checks ? no international fees ? etc…). Furthermore, we could see that we lack some information about the link between the attributes and the benefices. Indeed, we have then both but we don’t really know the relation between them, which makes it more difficult to do the means-end chain.
C) What changes, if any, in the product positioning might be recommended based on the attribute desired? Do you need additional information?
When you see table 2, you could retrieve the information about what’s most important for the customers when we are talking about a credit card. Then, we have the score of Cougar Visa compared to competitors’. On the one hand, we could first say that the two most important things for customers as an attribute are the interest rate (9.1) and the fees (8.9). On those two factors, Cougar Visa is doing much better that the competition. They are above the competitors on those two, which give them advantages over them. But on the other hand, they are much lower than the other on two very important points, Acceptability by business (7.7 of importance) and credit limit (7.5). Here we can say that it’s very important for Cougar Visa to look a bit more after those two factors because they are crucial for the customers.
They are nearly 1 point behind their competitors, which cancel their advantage they had with the interest rate and the fees. So, we could say that’s its primordial that the company gives more credit to acceptably by business and credit limit. That means try to make the credit card more business friendly and make sure the majority of the business around the world accept it. It also means that the bank shouldn’t be so closed on giving people credit because if you can’t get a credit or you’re very limited as a client if you want a loan, then you might lose customers as well. We might need some additional information like in a more detailed way. Indeed, with just have some clues here about what matters to the customers but we don’t really have a detailed list about what they expect in each category. For example, for the credit limit, do they expect a greater amount, more flexible reimbursement rates…
D) What should be the core communications strategy?
In order to have a proper communication strategy, we have to take some advice from table 2 and 3. Indeed, all the information we could gather would help us elaborate a communication plan/strategy. The core communications strategy would go around the quality of life that improve if you contract with that company compared with another. It would highlights the facts that at Cougar Visa, the most important things are the comfort of the customers and that the interest rate and fees are much lower and everywhere else. As fees are the most important aspects in the process of making a decision to chose a credit card, then being the best at it is something at is very important to the customers.