A Comprehensive Investigation of Supermarket Differentiation (2009)

Supermarket Differentiation Dissertation – Supermarket chains are operating in a profitable market but they are confronted with the problem of high competition and compared to manufacturers they have only few possibilities to differentiate. This dissertation examines and explains this situation. The importance of differentiation is questioned. It is examined whether differentiation is essential for gaining competitive advantage.

Possibilities for differentiation are identified with theories of manufacturers and retailers. Aspects of customer perceptions are considered as important as differentiation and thus, included and linked to differentiation strategies. The study ascertained best practice by surveying students to examine perceived differentiation factors.

Upon critical success factors perceived added value is identified as a major issue of differentiation strategies. The research led to the fact that differentiation is not conducted by all supermarkets and that undifferentiation can also be a profitable strategy. Hence, positioning strategies solely based on differentiation is seen as inadequate. For a successful applied competitor based strategy a combination of differentiation types, price and differentiation inter-dependencies, market segmentation and customers critical success factors is suggested.

The study also identifies that some competitors are applying strategies that cannot sustain in long-term. Further considerations of the development of these supermarkets seem to be interesting.

  • 10,000 words – 70 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Excellent analysis of the subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for business and marketing students
  • Includes questionnaire

1 – Introduction
Choice of the topic
Academic objectives of the dissertation
Outline of chapters

2 – Setting the Scene

3 – Literature Review
Competitive advantage
Resource-based approach
Competitor-based approach
Customer-based approach
Strategic positioning, differentiation and customer perception
Strategic positioning
Types of differentiation
Strategic positioning and customer perceived value
Types of differentiation combined with retailing
Differentiation in retailing
Price differentiation
Image differentiation
Support differentiation
Quality differentiation
Design differentiation
Categorisation of differentiation

4 – Methodology
Research questions
Research methods
Research philosophy
Research approaches
Research strategies
Descriptive research
Time horizons
Data collection and analysis methods
Primary and secondary data
Qualitative and quantitative data
Questionnaire design and methods of data analysis
Limitations and bias
Ethical issues

5 – Findings and Analyses
Gender and age
Choice of supermarkets
Shopping frequency
Supermarkets and product categories
Supermarkets and differentiation factors
Rated importance of differentiation categories

6 – Conclusion




Supermarket Differentiation Dissertation
Supermarket Differentiation Dissertation

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